Bolt Hound Mono-Red by EdFrank – #230 Mythic – July 2020 Season
Hello! My name is Eduardo Francis, also known as EdFrank on MTG Arena, and I’ve been having a good time in Mythic with my personal build of Mono-Red featuring Bolt Hound! Currently I am 29-12 in Mythic with this deck at rank 230 and I am pleased to say that if you want a budget deck that stands up to the likes of Temur Reclamation, Bant Ramp, and Sultai Ramp with acceptable chances against the rest of the field I wholeheartedly recommend this build.
Why This Particular Mono-Red Build?
So in running from Platinum 2 to Mythic I went 20-3 with this exact build except playing Runaway-Steam Kin and Light Up the Stage over Rimrock Knight and Bolt Hound. While regular Mono-Red is an acceptable deck in this current metagame there is a higher reliance on variance and stumbles from your opponent as well as the dice roll to maximize your chances of winning. Temur Reclamation, Bant Ramp, and Sultai Ramp all have various anti-aggro tools especially post-board that invalidate even your best draws, a fact made worse if you are on the draw. Moreover, resilient Sacrifice decks and beefy aggro decks like Mono-Green and Mono-Black outclass Mono-Red in creature quality aside from Anax and Torbran while also packing their own high-quality removal. All of these facts make cards like Runaway-Steam Kin and Light Up the Stage in my opinion sub-optimal cards against the best decks, and my diminishing returns with regular Mono-Red in Mythic led me to try and figure out a more efficient build.
The Power of Bolt Hound and Rimrock Knight
Given the propensity for Runaway Steam-Kin to simply die to removal and provide little aggressive advantage in most games against the best decks, and for Light Up the Stage to function as either a brick or an abysmally situational source of card advantage, I decided what I wanted instead were replacements that furthered the aggro game plan and provided instant pressure and action. Rimrock Knight has proven effective in Mono-Red Aggro before for pushing damage and supplying combat tricks while leaving behind a respectable body, so replacing Steam-Kin with this more proactive choice seemed like a good start. What I did not anticipate was the power of Bolt Hound: this good boy turns innocuous fields into terrifying surges of damage and pressure while also providing an immediate impact with a 22 haste body himself. In my eyes, Bolt Hound is a pseudo lord woefully underrated in Mono-Red that is the perfect way to accelerate the clock against various flavors of Blue-Green ramp decks. I cannot express how many board states that seemingly too slow for victory suddenly became viable or game-winning due to Bolt Hound.
The Rest of the Main Deck
The rest of this build is designed to maximize Embercleave and provide options against Sacrifice decks as well as other creature decks, hence keeping in 4 Bonecrusher in the main. The ladder is too diverse to leave home without them even if they are subpar against Temur Rec, Bant, and Sultai. 12 one mana creatures is essential to increasing the chance of curving out with pressure every turn and activating Embercleave, and 2 Torbran and 4 Embercleave seems like a reasonable split since Torbran can clog hands at 3 while Embercleave is too important not to run the full 4.
The sideboard is tailored for a diverse set of matches:
2 Claim The Firstborn: Mostly for Uro and Shark Tokens but also effective against opposing creature decks for getting rid of oppressive blockers and turning a game around (especially Mono-Black with their flying Regisaurs).
2 Redcap Melee: Brought in as instant removal against Nightpack Ambusher in Temur Rec, the Red mirror, against Rakdos and Jund Sacrifice (Mayhem Devil or Judith), and the occasional Gruul player.
2 Embereth Shieldbreaker: Brought in against Rakdos or Jund Sacrifice for their Witch’s Oven, and against Temur Adventures for Lucky Clover. I don’t recommend boarding this in to destroy Glass Casket in Bant.
2 Lava Coil: Bring in against Rakdos and Jund Sacrifice, Mono-Green, Gruul, the Red mirror, and or any match where you think opposing creatures will cause you problems Bonecrusher cannot solve.
2 Scorching Dragonfire: Similar idea to Lava Coil but particularly useful for its instant speed and exile effect: if creatures that you can’t kill with Bonecrusher are a problem, board this in.
3 Unchained Berserker: Great against Bant, Four-Color Reclamation, Esper Control, and pretty much any other deck that runs Teferi, Glass Casket, or Deafening Clarion. Also an awesome creature versus Mono-White Aggro.
1 Chandra, Acolyte of Flame: Awesome against Temur Reclamation, Bant, and Sultai for playing around board wipes and a lot of removal and providing a healthy source of repeatable damage.
1 Tibalt, Rakish Instigator: Board in against Temur Reclamation, Bant, and Sultai to prevent the lifegain of their Uros and ensure the win. Also provides bodies that further your game plan and work great with Torbran.
This deck is powerful, straightforward, and makes for fast laddering especially when everything is running well. I firmly believe in my approach to playing Mono-Red and I hope you can find success playing this version too. Have fun!
Gave it a mighty effort tonight and had a 10-3 session with Bolt Hound Mono-Red. Calling it a night at #230 Mythic. Overall since playing only Mono-Red from Platinum 2 I am 58-22 with Red variants and 29-12 with Bolt Hound Mono-Red in Mythic. Top 100 is within reach! #MTG pic.twitter.com/iu8JoRqq3C
— Andre Francis (@EdFrankBlack) July 22, 2020