Standard Black-Red Aggro

Posted in Daily Deck on October 28, 2015

By Melissa DeTora

Melissa is a former Magic pro player and strategy writer who is now working in R&D on the Play Design team.

Today's deck is an aggressive brew created by Pro Player Tomoharu Saito. Saito is known for building interesting and unique decks when a new set releases, and this is a great example of the kind of decks he comes up with. Saito's black-red aggro deck is full of the fastest creatures in black and red, using both efficiency and haste.

First, he plays seven one-drops. Many players are opting to play three- and four-color decks that don't really get going until turn three or later. Having a one-drop on the play can ensure that you can get in for 6 to 8 damage before your opponent can even do anything about it. Next, he plays plenty of creatures that are really difficult to block by having either haste, evasion, first strike, or any combination of the three.

Drana, Liberator of Malakir has a unique effect that we really haven't seen before on a creature. She puts a +1/+1 counter on each attacking creature when she deals combat damage, which isn't that exciting—but having first strike means that she will put counters on your team before your other creatures have dealt combat damage. This will make blocking much more difficult for your opponent, especially after you've gotten a few hits in.

The Dragon package consists of Thunderbreak Regent and Kolaghan, the Storm's Fury. Both of these Dragons deal damage to your opponent right away, either by them targeting the Dragon and taking 3 damage, or because of Kolaghan having haste. Kolaghan is definitely capable of ending a game by herself.

Saito has also made some excellent choices for noncreature spells. Draconic Roar is the most important, as it can deal damage to your opponent as well as their creatures. Another card I think is excellent in Standard right now is Duress. Duress has been around for a really long time and has seen lots of play anytime it has been in Standard. These days, it's great against spells that can two-for-one you, such as Languish and Ojutai's Command. Having a converted mana cost of 1 is crucial in a deck like this. It allows you to cast this spell early in the game and gives you information of how to best deploy your threats.

Congratulations to Tomoharu Saito for his 7-3 finish in Standard at Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar!

Tomoharu Saito's Black-Red Aggro

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