Mono-Red Aggro Kaldheim Standard Deck Guide: February 2021 Update

Anax-Hardened-in-the-Forge-Theros-Beyond-Death-Art

Hello everyone! I’m back with an update to one of the best rags to riches stories of Kaldheim Standard, Monored Aggro. No matter how good or bad the deck seems to be, many players naturally flock to Monored for its aggressive, low to the ground game plan. Many tried it during Zendikar Rising standard, but it was pretty clear the deck was completely outclassed by the other decks in the meta, and beyond that, wasn’t even well positioned. With Kaldheim however, a lot has changed. Not only has Monored received the best possible card it could ask for, but it’s actually well positioned on top of it. Let’s take a look at a list made by Monored’s prodigal son, sandydogmtg.

Monored Aggro Kaldheim Feb 

Creatures
4
Fervent Champion
4
Fireblade Charger
3
Rimrock Knight
4
Robber of the Rich
4
Bonecrusher Giant
2
Torbran, Thane of Red Fell
2
Goldspan Dragon
Spells
4
Frost Bite
Artifacts
4
Embercleave
Enchantments
4
Anax, Hardened in the Forge
Lands
2
Castle Embereth
4
Faceless Haven
19
Snow-Covered Mountain
Cards (60)
Sideboard (15)
2
Redcap Melee
2
Fire Prophecy
2
Roiling Vortex
3
Phoenix of Ash
1
Soul Sear
2
The Akroan War
3
Ox of Agonas

It’s not doing too much that is new, but what it got from Kaldheim is making all the difference right now. The most important addition to the deck and what it sorely lacked from last Standard is easily Faceless Haven. Flooding out with an aggro deck can be a huge issue considering your card quality is generally worse than many of the other decks in a metagame. Where aggro decks generally get their advantage is in how many spells they get to cast before the opponent, thus the risk of flooding is a huge detriment. With Faceless Haven, flooding is now significantly less likely as 4 of your lands more act as spells that happen to add mana and are free to play. A 4/3 attacker lines up relatively well in the format and 3 mana, although somewhat costly, is still a reasonable price to pay for a free attacker. Faceless Haven isn’t Mutavault, but this is about as close as you can ask for.

Frost Bite is a great inclusion in the Monored deck that may seem weird at first glance. When most people think Monored, they think of Burn spells like Shock, Lightning Strike, Lightning Bolt, and so on. Frost Bite can’t hit players which is a detriment, however the tempo advantage you gain from using a 1 mana spell to kill a 3 drop is unparalleled, especially in a deck looking to kill the opponent with creatures. Cards like Bonecrusher Giant and Kazandu Mammoth used to be herculean issues for Monored as they had no easy way to deal with them, but Frost Bite not only gives them an easy way, it gives Monored an excellent way to deal with it.

To round out the new cards, we have the very powerful and mana efficient Goldspan Dragon. Monored in the past generally wouldn’t play 5 drops, but with the inclusion of Faceless Haven upping the land count, getting to 5 mana isn’t that unreasonable. Flying and Haste on a 4/4 is a great stat line for an aggressive deck, but Dragon is also great at allowing double spell or even triple spell turns when it comes down. Attacking with the dragon then casting two 1 drops or a 2 drop isn’t always likely as Goldspan very well could be your last card, but if you get to pull that off it’d be very difficult to lose. Furthermore, the extra treasures can also help you activate your utility lands or help double spell down the line.

Beyond the new cards, Monored does what Monored does. You play to your curve, ideally find one of your power cards in Anax, Bonecrusher Giant, Torbran, and especially Embercleave, and you kill the opponent before they get to do anything meaningful.

MATCHUPS AND SIDEBOARDING

MIRROR

IN (ON THE PLAY)OUT (ON THE PLAY)
+2 Redcap Melee-3 Rimrock Knight
+2 The Akroan War-1 Goldspan Dragon
IN (ON THE DRAW)OUT (ON THE DRAW)
+2 Redcap Melee-3 Rimrock Knight
+2 Fire Prophecy-1 Robber of the Rich
+1 Soul Sear-2 Goldspan Dragon
+2 The Akroan War-2 Embercleave
+1 Ox of Agonas

On the play, you want to focus on just reenacting your preboarded game plan, play to your curve, kill them with a power card. When you’re on the draw, you don’t have that luxury. If your opponent is looking to curve you out and you try to curve them out, whoever is on the play is more likely to win. However, if they’re trying to curve out and instead you try to control them out with more removal and the extra card from being on the draw, you’ll generally be a lot more successful. Pretend you are a control deck on the draw with the sole goal of trying to live rather than trying to race (if it makes sense) and you should be able to outmuscle your opponent.

MONOWHITE AGGRO

INOUT
+2 Fire Prophecy-3 Rimrock Knight
+1 Soul Sear-2 Goldspan Dragon
+2 The Akroan War

This boarding is a lot less nuanced compared to Monored as you can’t control Monowhite as effectively. You’ll still try to overwhelm them normally, but now you have extra removal to help you out and you cut the cards that weren’t going to help you much. Goldspan Dragon could be good in this matchup, but giving the opponent a good Giant Killer target is less than ideal. Do your best to not get overwhelmed, play around Giant Killer, and bonk them with an Embercleave.

GRUUL/NAYA ADVENTURES

IN OUT
+1 Soul Sear-3 Rimrock Knight
+2 The Akroan War

Adventures is generally a pretty rough matchup as Lovestruck Beast and Bonecrusher Giant are just insane against Monored. Ideally you are facing the newer versions with a bunch of Goldspan Dragon and 4 Embercleave, but the more traditional version with The Great Henge is extremely problematic. Curve them out the best you can and hope your little idiots can carry you across the finish line.

SULTAI ULTIMATUM

IN OUT
+2 Roiling Vortex-4 Frost Bite
+2 Phoenix of Ash

This matchup is the main reason to play Monored in the first place. Sultai does its best to control the board, but most Sultai lists don’t have the resources to control you well enough before you can kill them. Keep the pressure on, don’t overcommit to a wrath, and you’ll be fine.

ROGUES

INOUT
+2 Fire Prophecy-4 Fireblade Charger
+3 Phoenix of Ash-2 Goldspan Dragon
+3 Ox of Agonas-2 Embercleave

This matchup is more or less a joke for you. You have a fast clock, removal, and a ton of Escape creatures which is all 3 things Rogues doesn’t want to see. You can lose if they have the nuts or your hands are super awkward, but it’s very unlikely assuming you both have the average draw. Try to not let them resolve an easy Into the Story and you’ll be fine.   

TIPS AND TRICKS

  • All of the text is on the card, but a lot of players forget all of Fervent Champion’s abilities. It can pump any Knight including Rimrock Knight and Faceless Haven. You can also equip Embercleave to it for free!
  • Fireblade Charger’s death trigger deals with power so consider pumping it with Rimrock Knight in combat for a burst of damage.
  • Robber of the Rich allows you to cast exiled spells whenever any Rogue attacks so future Robbers can pick up past spells. Faceless Haven does this as well!
  • Playing Anax into Anax is a surprisingly good play as you get 4 1/1 tokens. It’s like a better Hordeling Outburst!
  • In any deck playing Roiling Vortex, if you’re playing against Sultai ideally you cast Vortex right before they can cast Emergent Ultimatum. A big mistake a lot of players make is that they run it out early and give the opponent a chance to destroy it with Binding the Old Gods.

Thank you for reading!

DoggertQBones

Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is a streamer and high ranked Arena player. He has one GP Top 8 and pioneered popular archetypes like UB 8 Shark, UB Yorion, and GW Company in Historic. Beyond Magic, his passions are writing and teaching!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *