Red is the color of impulse, emotion, and chaos. Red seeks freedom through action.
Popular mono-red commanders include , , and .
Red follows its heart. Red does not see the need to bother with a search for purpose or meaning, because its feelings already tell it what is right, and how to act. Red wishes to seize every moment and live life to the fullest. Rules and organization are anathema to Red, because they eliminate the chance for each person to live freely and to be their authentic selves. Red embraces emotion, and views any attempt to ignore or stifle those emotions as ignorant or even oppressive.
Popular Strategies in Mono-Red
- Goblins tribe Tribal (including Tokens)
- Artifacts (including Cheerios theme)
- Burn theme
- Dragons tribe Tribal
- Equipment theme (see Voltron)
- Treasure theme
- Extra Combat theme (see Aggro)
- Red is the color of fire and lightning, which commonly takes the form of damage-dealing spells. These can be directed towards players, creatures, planeswalkers, and sometimes all three. Red uses this as a form of removal and even mass removal, as well as a form of lowering enemy life totals even without use of the combat step.
- Red is an exceptionally quick color. Red decks can sometimes defeat their opponents before those opponents have even had a chance to properly enact their deck's plans, precisely because they have taken too long to do so. Red also excels at avoiding summoning sickness by having many creatures with the haste ability, or else using many cards that will provide it to them.
Instant and Sorceries
- Red offers plenty of support to instant and sorceries, either by copying them, recasting them from the graveyard, or by using cards that provide additional benefit whenever instants and sorceries are cast.
- Red offers many beneficial effects for the artifacts strategy, often able to return them from the graveyard to the battlefield, sacrifice them for benefit, or amplify the capabilities of those artifacts. Red excels at manipulating artifacts so well that it also has many removal options to use against enemy artifacts.
- Red has many spells, enchantments, and creatures that can provide it with multiple combat steps each turn, increasing the potency of its already powerful creatures.
- Red has many creatures and enchantments that may increase the amount of damage (usually noncombat) that its spells will deal. Some may increase the damage by a few integers, while others may double or even triple the damage dealt.
- Rather than spells that provide steady, consistent sources of ramp, red uses 'ritual' spells (named after cards like and that provide a sizable, temporary influx of mana all at once.
- Red is one of the only colors that can temporarily gain control of enemy creatures, usually for a single turn, and turn them against their owners. Such aikido effects may turn an opponent's strength into their very downfall.
- Red is inconsistent with its forms of card advantage. Because it is an aggressive color, it does not usually take additional time to put cards into its hand. The form of card advantage red typically relies upon usually takes the form of 'impulse draw' (cards that temporarily exile cards from the top of a player's library, allowing the red player a brief moment to cast them, such as . These effects are named after cards like ).
- Enchantments are an extremely problematic permanent type for red. Though it may deal damage to creatures and can melt or scrap down artifacts, red is unable to reliably remove insubstantial forms of magic such as enchantments.
- Red may play a fast and brutal game, but it does not tend to like a long game. Red's pacing is built for a quick burst of power upfront, which may peter out over an extended duration. Games that take too long may find Red making a waning impact during each subsequent turn.