Casual Friday: Two Red/White Decks for Fun and Profit (At Least the First Part…)


Welcome, fellow adventurers, to my first “Casual Friday” column! These articles will explore the realms of the Casual, or “kitchen table,” format in Magic: The Gathering, where there’s no pressure to keep up with either the evolving wilds of Standard or the insane power and price levels of competitive Modern and Legacy. These are purely decks for fun or for exploring deck interactions from various blocks.

Today’s column features two red/white decks: 1) a build based around the Theros block’s “Heroic” mechanic and instants, appropriately named “Instant Success,” and 2) a variation of the Modern-format “red/white burn” deck that’s composed of some of my favorite cards from the past few blocks. Let’s start with “Instant Success.”

Instant Success

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The “Heroic” mechanic from Theros offered you two possible tracks during deck building: 1) running enchantment-heavy decks, ideally using creatures with the “Bestow” mechanic to replenish your ranks (plus Hero of Iroas to lower their cost) or 2) packing the deck with instants (such as Gods Willing) that give your team a temporary buff in addition to Heroic-generated counters.

White was one of the key players in “Heroic” with superstars like Phalanx Leader (the “Oprah” of the group), Fabled Hero, and Favored Hoplite. The other primary colors to pair with White were Green for heftier, albeit pricier, Heroic creatures (such as Staunch-Hearted Warrior) or Red for smaller and faster ones (such as Akroan Crusader). I’m a devoted fan of aggressive decks, so a red/white blend appealed most to me.

“Instant Success” is intended to be two things: fast and cheap. Nothing in the deck costs more than three mana. True to tournament style, I run four copies of nearly every card for consistency of play. Each of the instants are chosen to target two creatures at once, guaranteeing the maximum Heroic boost, especially if one or more Phalanx Leaders are involved. Bring a LOT of dice or counters to this game, my friend, because you’re going to need them!

U Mad Bro?

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Instant (10)

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My second build leans more towards the Red part of the spectrum, but takes advantage of both battle-tested multicolor cards (Assemble the Legion, Boros Charm) and newcomers (War Flare) to bolster your team on their way to victory. The pair of Dolmen Gates allow for a risk-free strike, at least from the damage side of the house.

The creatures, like in “Instant Success,” were chosen mostly for their speed and cost, but also for the amount and type of pain they can inflict. I had a lot of fun using Legion Loyalist, Firefist Striker, and Spark Trooper in a former Ravnica-block Boros build, hence their prominent roles here.

There are plenty of tournament-grade Modern builds that bring on the red/white hurt a lot more effectively than “U Mad Bro?”, but like I said at the beginning, this is just for fun.

That’s All, Folks

That’s all for today’s column! Next time, I’ll showcase a black/white build based on the Modern “BW tokens” archetype along with a green/black deathtouch build I’ve assembled.

About brightmatrix

brightmatrix is a long-time casual gamer. His gaming journey has included Magic: the Gathering, the first, second, and fourth edition Dungeons & Dragons, and the first wave White Wolf games from the late 90s. If you are a denizen of the Twitterverse, you can read his posts on Magic, web development, puns, and other shenanigans at @brightmatrix.

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