The main strategy of this Deck is to pressure the opponent with small, aggressive attacks from your low-cost units, then finishing off their life with burn damage or Karrina, Embercaster
. Do not be afraid to get damage wherever you can get it but play smart! Burn spells are versatile to ensure you hand all opponents blistering defeats!
Card Choices 1-Drops
The name of the game is consistency. I opt for 4-of's in my builds giving us a clear game plan. Let's begin with the 1-drops: Ascetic Lantern
is a great card in the early game but drawing it late game may be detrimental. Despite this, we run the max to ensure that we get it in our opening hand as much as possible as it both doubles as card draw, helps fix our hand, early pressure and damage, and as an additional trigger for Twilight Lantern
are our basic early and cheap removal. Ignite
is fairly straightforward but I find the utility of Char
is amazing in both the early game and late game. Being able to knock off an opponent's Aegis
at the end of their turn, then proceeding to burn them out never gets old. Pyroknight
is just a good 1-drop that can be threatening in the late game if necessary. 2-Drops
There are occasions where you'll not start off with a 1-drop or we'll just have removal but no 1-drop unit. Enter our 2-drops: Rakano Anarchist
is a decent 2-drop that has some combat tricks available with our removal or with Display of Passion
. Her Warcry
ability is quite situational with all the Hunt
happening but the Quickdraw
usually keeps some units from blocking. One of our premier hard hitters if her Frenzy
ability goes off giving her Double Damage
. There are plenty of ways to trigger her ability: Char
, Display of Passion
is our two-ofs and go-to break defense card. Playing this on a Twilight Lantern
or Censari Brigand
can really end the game quick or put the opponent in burn range within the first 4 turns of the match. Allows us to get damage through even when dealing with beefy Aegis Units
. Twilight Lantern
has two purposes for us. An early heavy hitter as well as a form of card draw. The former is facilitated by it's own Nightfall
ability as well as our other forms of card draw: Ascetic Lantern
, Display of Passion
(don't forget that one of it's options plays an Ornate Katana
which draws a card), Solfire
is treated as drawing a card), and finally Midnight Reprieve
which provides draw power via Nightfall
The 3-drop spot is where we really start seeing some heat: Catalyze
- fixes hands and let's us dig, gives us Double Damage
, and allows us to keep pressing the offensive. What's not to love? Censari Brigand
- Hits hard (Double Damage
to players only!) and as soon as it hits the field (Charge
). Great turn 3 or whenever the opponent drops shields down. Can combine with Display of Passion
, or Catalyze
for boosted damage (yes, the Double Damage
will stack!). Display of Passion
- A wonderful card that give us a variety of choices for any give situation, all in a Fast Spell
! We can burn out the opponent, do some combat tricks, or get rid of a pesky unit with Endurance
- Okay removal spell early game but where it really shines is the late game, especially off of Catalyze
. It's Unleash
ability generally means you can just burn someone out on the spot and helps trigger the aforementioned Twilight Lantern
Next, our trump card to top off our list: Karrina, Embercaster
- Very powerful and can win games when dropped in the right spots. Easily incapacitates blockers and can remove a creature all together with Endurance
again isn't that great in the meta but Charge
is just icing on the cake. Power
In last, I'll discuss the Power
card choices. With a total of 30 Power
cards, the goal here is to never miss a drop in the early game. Do not be afraid to aggressively mulligan as we can make up the card draw or get rid of power cards we do not need later via Ascetic Lantern
. We'll generally want a hand with at least 2 Power
cards and either Ascetic Lantern
to fix our hand or Twilight Lantern
to increase our chances of drawing into fixing our hand. Midnight Reprieve
- Although sometimes we'll discard this card, it's importance must not be minimized. Not only does it provide card draw via Nightfall
, it also dings the opponent for a point of damage that can sometimes make the difference between winning or losing (same goes for Twilight Lantern
). Do keep in mind that it comes in with Depleted
so plan our plays accordingly. Latest Sample Matches
The deck can easily climb through the Master Ranks and has the ability to win even when on a streak of playing 2nd. Below is a table of the latest match-ups well as a massive going second streak:
That's the list! Take it for a spin. It took me through Gold basically undefeated and I haven't struggled with any deck types. The only concern is the mirror as generally, being on the play results in the win. As a lover of aggro and in particular mono red/fire decks, (Mtg and the like) I was inspired to try my own hand at making a deck. Comment below and share what you think. Remember. Red goes face!
I initially created the deck on the March 11. It reached Mastery Rank as of March 13 (accounting for school and work).
3.22.23 - Aggressive Meeting
has been added to the database and can be officially part of the deck's visuals. That said, the recent update has caused Ziat, Steelwarren Reeve
to be much easier to deal with, leaving us with only one meta problem (Primal/Justice Lipa, Witch of the Woods Hunt
decks) and a less useful 3 cost removal spell. I haven't decided what would be the best answer yet but feel free to provide suggestions.
3.28.23 - I've recently added Rampage
to replace Aggressive Meeting
as a "punch-through" Fast Spell
. With Ziat, Steelwarren Reeve
being nerfed, the high-damage removal card isn't as necessary. Potentially looking to either get rid of Ossuar Longbow
for an additional Rampage
or a fourth Ignite
if the meta swings in that direction.
4.4.23 - Removing Ossuar Longbow
for a third Rampage
has served as a much better option in multiple situations. We no longer have to consider whiffing due to Aegis
or spending a whole turn making one of our Units
a big target. A well timed Rampage
can end the game when combined with the likes of Rakano Anarchist
, Twilight Lantern
, or Censari Brigand
4.18.23 - I've seen a deck on the ladder that is focused around Shepherd's Horn
. While you'll have the advantage the first 3 to 4 turns of the game, this quickly disappears as the they recover going forward. It might be good to consider using some tech in the form of Barbarian Guerrillas
heavy decks or Shavkan Dogma
to outright deny the recovery from the get-go. Both are counters to the Horn and give potential late game additional damage output.
5.19.23 - I've been playing in Master rank for a few weeks and seen a new card that's not yet available for free-to-play accounts I believe. This would be Defy Authority
and it would fit perfectly on the curve. Counter play to this deck may be ramping up and so crucial/flexible burn spells may be more necessary. Considering trading out Catalyze
for it. Rampage
is in consideration as well but less so as it can be pivotal for breaking through established boards, getting finishers or getting a massive early lead. Ignite
is another option to replace but a 1 power 3 damage Fast Spell
is too efficient in my opinion. Further testing and analysis will be posted when the card is accessible to me.
PS: I wish there was a replay feature in the game. That game you described sounds awesome and exactly the exciting and blazing speed at work. Deck can kill you out of nowhere if the opponent is too careless.
As for the mirror, that's a puzzle that is interesting to me. It's normally the only match where one finds it to be a struggle. I have tried replacing Pyroknight but as you noted, you end up with more mulligans. The biggest issue is that the Fire faction doesn't have terribly good 1-drops outside of Ascetic Lantern. Bumping Rakano Anarchist to 4 might help on the offense but unfortunately, having the same stats as the knight results in similar losses except for now you're paying 2 for that loss.
My current solution is to (if possible) have removal up turn 3 and going forward. It's the match-up where unless you had a great hand, you'll likely be the defensive player (even on the play). However, if you have no removal, it's a race. Keep attacking (as Gareth, Veteran Lantern will kill/exhaust your Units anyways). As for adding him to the deck: if you feel plagued enough by the mirror, it could be warranted, but I believe the Gareth is played in a different variant of the Mono Fire deck that uses a different set up (here's the deck: Fire Deck Triumphs). Because of the lower costs, they can justify the use of the ability at 3 per turn. In my version of the deck, I've found that you usually need every single point of power, and the deck is built to be as power efficient as possible as to never waste any. Taking a turn off to use Gareth may not be the best but I'm not opposed to giving it a try.
Another option is Bombard. I have personally tried that version of the deck and the reason I didn't like it was because it basically almost auto-loses to board wipes. Being able to knock out multiple Units with a single card (albeit you discard) nets a huge swing in momentum, especially if you already have a 2-life creature in play or a big follow-up turn. Of course, this is only if you have major concerns with the mirror match.
The deck suffers from extreme efficiency to the point that teching for niche matchups can be difficult. Could always try Caravan Delivery in place of Catalyze for more precise access to necessary cards. Might allow for better flexibility in matches that require a particular card to get you through them or instant access to a heavy hitter or burn Spell you need to finish the game.
I hoped that helped in some way. I'm going to try some of these and see how well it works out. I admit I do not run into the other variant very often to effectively test the changes.
I actually had a 10-game losing streak yesterday, which can happen in a pretty high variance game like this one, or maybe the meta has adapted slightly. Some of the decks/cards I ran into trouble with:
--The mirror when going second.
--Bone Music decks that seek to trade super low-curve units and then end-of-turn music into my exhausted board. A case for bombard?
--Argenport decks that play a lot of Collection Rounds early then curve out into Black Book, Pit Boss
--Hooru decks that play Scornful Elite
(New) Livestock Aphid (Very defensive 2-drop)
(New) Kelmak's Spear reusable removal for Feln midrangey/control lists.
As for that second red list, It is played by at least two of the top 10 ladder players at the moment! I still think our list is in a good place right now for the reasons you mentioned, and it's ok to drop one game every three or four, because there's so little opportunity cost in time investment per game. I thought about Caravan Delivery too, but when Catalyze hits DoP, Solfire or a double-damage unit it's just so explosive. Why use a scalpel when you can use dynamite? :)
-- The mirror when going second we cannot really help unless we go out of our way to be removal heavy, but then we are at the mercy of every other deck running better and more efficient removal. I think it is okay to have a 50/50 run against another Mono Fire deck. Referencing the other red list, I do see it played by top ladder players and I think it is a case of "grass is greener" if you know what I mean. After playing for a while, I think this version has more longevity and adaptability to the meta. If it becomes a removal heavy meta, the other deck just has no outs. It IS cheaper though so that's a plus.
-- Bone Music decks are another case where you really hold back, attacking, and letting yourself take time to burn them out via Nightfall and your other cards. I usually find that a turn 3 play on their part is too slow and they end up having to block so leaving up removal for when they try is good. Also, I find that Rakano Anarchist shines as she can push through these Units easily. Everyone else are basically chump blockers. Definitely a fight where you have to play less aggressively and more strategically. Bombard could work here. Just depends on if you want the card economy trade-off.
-- Most other decks, I recently haven't had much of an issue with. Truthfully, I have lost to them but I feel I win much more than I lose (subjective so I wish we had a match tracking system like untappedgg). My goal is normally get them to 10-12 life. From there, unless the opportunity is available, I switch to the "burn them out" plan. The one deck I do find I generally struggle against are the Scornful Elite lists. A 2-drop that essentially shuts down the aggro game plan all on its own. And to make matters worse, it has Aegis (I've been lobbying for a Fire card that can hit a unit or player through Aegis, one of which should be Karrina, Embercaster to get more out of that high-rarity card; personally think her effect should hit Units with Lifesteal and Aegis with the 6 damage like she hits the Endurance Units but I'm asking for miracles). You can punch through it with Rampage but smarter opponents know better than to block.
PS: I know the feeling on that game you played. I was rooting for you to top deck a burn spell to clean that one out. But such is the fate of red player. Exciting top decks for sure.