Welcome to my first post, in what will hopefully be an adventure into my world of Friday Night Magic (FNM). Last week a new local gaming store (lgs) opened it’s doors in my home town. What better way to attend my first local standard FNM than with a mono-red deck, what could go wrong, is what I say to myself. Well, it actually went pretty well.
The deck was borrowed from a friend and work colleague, and subsequently added to by myself. Mono-red isn’t the powerhouse it usually is in the standard meta, with mono-white humans taking the aggro crown, but I took it for a spin.
BW Ally Drain (8-Gid)
Pairings were announced and I was against the friend that had lent me the deck. During the few days leading up to the FNM we had played about 10 games against each other, so I knew that it could go either way depending on draws.
Rather uneventful, both hitting land drops I am down to 7 life with him at 8, he drains me for the win. 1-0
I manage to keep his creatures off the board with a few burn spells, then we hit a point in the match where he double blocks a Pia and Kiran before I sacrifice a Thopter to kill one of the blockers, netting a successful 2 for 1. After that I close the game to take it to a decider. 1-1
This game was pretty one sided, all I remember was him getting his drain pieces out and me bumbling along with 3 Sin Prodders. Not a great start; my friend wins 2-1.
Round result: LOSS
My opponent, a nice guy I had met the week before, had multiple lands but no creatures to back it up with. I on the other hand had produced a nice curve of Neonate into Ravenous bloodseeker into Pia and Kiran with a discarded Fiery Temper. This game was over in 5 turns. 1-0
Opponent on the play with a turn one Jaddi Offshoot, annoying against my deck. On his turn 5 I got hit by a 10/10 landfall creature which hurt. Next turn I had removed it and flipped Chandra to push consistent damage through for the win. 2-0
Round result: WIN
I was playing against an experienced player, who mainly plays legacy and modern, whom I have known for a few months. I win the draw and go first, turn 1 I lay a Neonate and pass. He lays a land. Turn 2: land, Ravenous Bloodseeker, swing for 1. He plays a second land followed by transgress the mind, removing my turn 3 Chandra before she hit the battlefield. Turn 3 I play a skin invasion on my Neonate in-case I have to sacrifice it in the future, and pass the turn. Surpisingly my opponent slips up and ruinous paths the neonate on his turn 3 leaving me with a Bloodseeker and a 3/4 Skin Shredder. Turn 4 I top deck an Incorrigible Youths which I proceed to discard to Bloodseeker, casting it for its madness cost, and swing for 10 putting my opponent to 7. Opponent untaps and casts Kalitas, my worst nightmare. I can’t swing through it due to the life gain. Turn 5, draw, ROAST!!!!!! I was very lucky but I had won. 1-0
This game my opponent was on the draw. I decided to keep a 1 land hand as I had a few one drops and a low curve. In hindsight I got very lucky by drawing 4 lands in my next 5 turns, meaning my hand was full of power. It ran pretty similarly to the first game but this time I got him down to 1 life before he had removed all of my creatures. He played a Goblin Dark-Dwellers (GDD) and passed the turn. I proceed to lay a GDD of my own, casting fiery impulse for the win. 2-0
Round result: WIN
I feel confident after my last round that the deck has enough about it to go 3-1, if the curve is right. My final round opponent wins the draw and goes first. This game goes like most of the others, turn 1 Neonate, turn 2 Ravenous Bloodseeker followed by a turn 3 Chandra. My opponent’s first play was a Wicker Witch on turn 3, which in constructed I thought was odd, but due to my drafting knowledge I assumed he was playing delirium. After a quick burn spell I didn’t see anything else as my opponent flooded out. I proceed to beat down for the win. 1-0
In this game my opponent played a turn 2 Molgraf Scavenger, which slowed me down. The turn after he plays a Gryff’s Boon on the creature which swings in. After combat he plays a second defending creature. I untap, play a Skin Invasion on my opponents creature, discard a Fiery Temper to my Bloodseeker to kill his creature, netting myself a 3/4 in the process. This caused some questions from the opponent which were cleared up when I talked him through what happened. As he was not fluent in Russian I had to get my phone out to show him how madness, and the Fiery Temper I played works. He triggers delirium, making his Molgraf a 4/4 flyer, which gets hit with the Lightning Axe I was saving for this eventuality, he then passes the turn with no creatures on-board. Turn 5 I top deck a Incorrigible Youths and proceed to discard to Ravenous Bloodseeker, which happened multiple times over the night and just feels so good. I swing for 10, Bloodseeker, Youths and Skin Shredder, which was exactly lethal. 2-0
Round result: WIN
Writing this out I feel my 3-1 could have been very different if I played a deck such as tokens, or a deck with lots of cheap removal. The deck was very tempo orientated which was both its strength and weakness. Luckily I got some ideal top decks throughout the night. The key card to making this deck tick was the Ravenous Bloodseeker, which performed admirably throughout the night, making madness readily available. The card that most surprised me was the late addition Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh. She was either a lightning rod, taking removal away from my enablers or becoming a planeswalker due to the low mana spells in my hand. If I was to change the deck I would reduce the Sin Prodders for another Pia and Kiran or an Exquisite Firecraft.
I would recommend this alternate, more mid-range version of Insolent Red. It is relatively cheap and with the correct draws you will win the game with enough time to get a drink afterwards.
Thank you for reading and until the next time.