Attack With Black

As Ramunap Red has established itself as the dominant aggressive deck of Standard, people have started to shift their hate more and more towards cards that punish that deck in particular. Things like Contraband Kingpin and Gifted Aetherborn, or even Essence Extraction. The more people build their deck with Ramunap Red in mind, the more the format opens up for other aggressive decks to take advantage:


Gifted Aetherborn
The advantage of this deck is that you have a similarly high density of powerful one and two drops as Ramunap Red. However, your Gifted Aetherborns and Aethersphere Harvesters are very good against the Red deck, as is the high density of effectively unconditional removal. In addition to having plenty of cards that are very good against Red, you have a handful of resilient threats like Dread Wanderer and Scrapheap Scrounger that are great against all the efficient Red removal except for Magma Spray.

What’s more, most players aren’t prepared for evasive threats like Heart of Kiran and Bone Picker, which means that getting them into play early gives you a fast, evasive clock that’s going to get in for a couple of points of damage before requiring your opponent’s entire turn to answer. Combine that with the fact that your removal is better at answering the high end threats, and you’ve got a couple of very real advantages over Ramunap Red.

Perhaps the biggest losses in switching from Red to Black is Hazoret the Fervent and Chandra, Torch of Defiance. These are two premier four-drops that can each take over a game and put your opponents in positions where they have no winning options. You do have options like Ruin Raider and Glint-Sleeve Siphoner. These are fine aggressive cards that let you keep doing more of what your deck does, but you aren’t generating unique and powerful angles to attack your opponent from.

All in all, if your metagame is short on Fumigate and heavy on Ramunap Red and Red-based removal, this seems like a solid way to attack the format to punish those strategies. You still come out of the gates quickly, you have fast, evasive threats, and you’re very good at keeping opposing blockers out of the way.


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