Deck Tech: Big Red with Raphaël Lévy

Posted in Event Coverage on April 18, 2015

By Tobi Henke

In the wake of Martin Dang's Pro Tour victory we saw a lot of hyper aggressive red decks at this Grand Prix, rushing opponents with an army of Goblin tokens backed up by a massive assortment of burn spells.

However, Hall of Famer Raphaël Lévy approached red with a very different mind set. Instead of small creatures, he was going big, with things like Flamewake Phoenix, Ashcloud Phoenix, and Thunderbreak Regent.

And he clearly was on to something; I talked to him after he had just won his round six feature match against No. 7 Seth Manfield to advance to 6-0. So where did that deck come from all of a sudden?

Raphaël Lévy

"This is my Pro Tour deck but with an extra week of work on it," Lévy sighed. "Just one more week." At the Pro Tour, Lévy had played the precursor to a disappointing 6-4 record, but all, or at least most, of the elements had already been present even then. For reference:

Raphaël Lévy's Standard Deck at Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir

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"I basically just cut the Dragon Whisperers and the Roasts, added some different creatures, and moved black to the main deck," said Lévy. The new additions in the creature department included two morphs, Ire Shaman and Jeering Instigator, which had been good for a few surprises in the feature match area already, when opponents expected one but suddenly faced the other.

The big game changer, however, was the inclusion of the full four-of of Murderous Cut which Lévy called the most important card in the deck. "I like Murderous Cut. That was what the deck was missing at the PT," he said. "I love the creatures, the Phoenixes and Thunderbreak Regents. They were good and still are. But in a deck like this you need a good removal spell to back that up. I had trouble with so many different creatures, and now Murderous Cut really deals with all of them."

So far Lévy had beat Mono-Red, Abzan, and Esper Dragons, so the deck appeared to be good against everything. Like Seth Manfield said, "Oh man, if only you had played this at the Pro Tour …"

Raphaël Lévy's Big Red

Download Arena Decklist

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