Monday, October 17, 2016


Crawling his way into our hearts.
Whats good, fellow dorks? Dan is here with a sexy new and improved deck to show you. Well, ok, it's not really new, but it is improved. Some of you may remember this shell from way back when during SoI Standard. I forgot to build a Standard deck and ended up playing this monstrosity. Also back then I made excuses for not making many posts, but I've run out of excuses. Truth is I'm just a piece of shit who prefers watching videos of Corgis trying to climb staircases rather than write stuff. I have no reason to lie to you - what are you gonna do, tell my mom? She's known I'm a failure for 26 years now, so whatever. Anyways... yeah, ever since that day half a year ago, I've had some variant of this list in my pocket as a backup Standard deck.

So here we are several sets later, and we've landed in Kaladesh. Chandra's home is a magical land where the vehicles drive, and the turtles thrive. With Collected Company finally leaving, there are a ton of sexy new mechanics and interactions making their way into Standard with Kaladesh. We have Energy combos thanks to Aetherworks Marvel, Storm in Standard thanks to Aetherflux Reservoir (also I'll always get those two confused), Copters smuggling all over the place, Control is viable again, and all sorts of other wacky brews are showing up.

Thats cute and all, but I'm a simple man. I'm the kind of red mage that will un-ironically Lava Axe you. So if you give a Lava Axe legs, you can bet I'm gonna play that bitch until it rotates.

That's right ladies and gremlins, you can still cast Reality Smasher on turn four in this format, and it turns out that's still pretty fuckin' good. You know what's better than a turn four Reality Smasher? A turn three "Reality Smusher."

Beep beep.
Who knew that five power trample haste would be strong as hell early? Most people. That's a lot of damage real quick, and I think Red Eldrazi is poised for a comeback as a solid aggressive strategy. With cars in the mix though, we need a new name for our mono-red/colorless deck that just wants to turn sideways, so I present to you:

Get it? You can turn right on red lights, and it's a red deck with cars that turns their cards to the right to attack! Puns are great. (Attacking on a budget? Check the bottom of the article for a cheaper list!)

This deck does a lot of damage early to throw opponents off balance, and thanks to big Chandy and the addition of Vehicles that can be crewed by just about every creature in this deck, it has a good deal of late-game staying power.

Get your spoons, cause we're gonna analyze all the meaty chunks of this stew. Then again, maybe you don't need a spoon to just analyze. Grab your spoons anyways, just in case.

The Critters:

There aren't a whole lot of changes from the average Mono-Red Eldrazi list that I was playing last Standard, at least in the creature department. Pia takes the place of Thopter Engineer (pour some out for Kiran), and croozer fills in the light four-drop slot. We lose Hangarback Walker, which sucks, but balling new removal spells give us a nice buffer against aggressive decks.

Mana dorks have never been so dorky.
Hedron Crawler has the most useless body I've ever seen, but it gets the job done. Colorless mana is important for our deck, and being able to ramp is big bizness. Crawler lets us play scary threats like Thought-Knot Seer and Reality Smasher ahead of curve, or when paired with Ruins of Oran Rief, lets us play our fatties on curve with an additional +1/+1 counter on them. Not too shabby. On top of all that, Mr. Hedron himself can get wacky and go on the beatdown path with a counter from Ruins, or by using Pia to pump him up. This isn't the strongest, but it does confuse your opponent, so it's like Plan F.

Sometimes he dies and turns into a Mountain, and that's ok.
Reshaper is a great card if we need to go late. He trades off with something without losing us a card, he's fine attacking, and is surprisingly good at driving for having hands made of lava. The more popular Kalitas and Declaration in Stone are in Standard, the worse this guy gets. Switching up numbers on him may be necessary depending on your store's meta.

He's looking down at his bottom half like "Shit, my organs fell out again."
Aggy is a lot worse in the deck now than he was before rotation. Hangarback Walker, Pia and Kiran Nalaar (#NeverForget), Thopter Engineer, and Foundry of the Consuls could provide an asston of colorless dudes to make Vile Aggregate a huge beater. Thankfully, with widow Pia, Hedron Crawler, our Eldrazi, and the new Vehicles, Aggregate is still a reasonable threat with a big booty that's amazing at blocking.

One is the looooneliest thopter...
Pia is a strong independent woman who don't need no man. Even with only one thopto, she has enough abilities and mini synergies with our deck that she is the real deal. A thopter gives us a bit of evasion to pressure walkers, and is actually pretty scary if we get to put a counter on it with Ruins. Pia herself can drive a car, and then her ability to pump the power of artifacts comes up a lot, whether it be her thopter, a vehicle, or even a particularly cheeky Hedron Crawler. And finally, being able to sac an artifact to knock out a blocker is great, giving late-game Hedron Crawlers and un-crewable vehicles some purpose.

He's like a Magic 8-ball, except every answer is "CONSUME AND DESTROY ZENDIKAR"
A 4/4 for four that eats the opponents best card in hand is good. Not a lot else to say here. Sometimes you play him on turn three, and that's swell. Sometimes Ruins makes him a 5/5, and you cheer. Sometimes he pilots a blimp.

The Lava Axe we all deserve.
This card is why I decided to play Eldrazi this Standard. He's big, he's fast, he's hard to kill, and he tramples over most of the creatures being played. Torrential Gearhulk is his biggest enemy, and even that can't stand in the way if we get lucky enough to put a Ruins counter on the Smasher. He puts a whole lot of pressure on slower decks, and can even convince aggressive decks to stop attacking for fear of a wicked crackback.

Oh, also haste. Frequently your opponent will do something stupid like attack you, in which case you get to slam a Smasher and ruin their night. Nigel smash!


The invention of the combustible engine is what actually drives Eldrazi back into the competition. Vehicles count as colorless creatures, are easy for the deck to crew, and let us stay aggressive while also leaving us something late after boardwipes or whatnot. So grab the keys, get out of my dreams, and get into my car.

Reality Smasher 5-8.
The best part about this card, objectively, is that you get to play it and make tire screeching sounds as you attack. It's also takes a big chunk out of your opponents life total, comes down unexpectedly with haste, is easy to crew, and can even get a counter on it from Ruins the turn it lands. A curve of three-drop into Cruiser into Smasher into Chandra is our dream, and is just a stupid amount of damage.

Keep an eye out for opportunities to play this, attack, and then wait for them to make poor blocks before you activate Ruins of Oran Rief to put a counter on it. Often times they'll forget that's an option since it's such a strange interaction, and you may be able to eat a creature for free. Mmm, creatures.

I really want to fill this full of thopters for the full Protoss experience, but that's not really something that can happen with this deck :'[. I'll settle for having Eldrazi fly the blimp though, cause that mental image is gold.

The boat hits the field, ideally killing something, and then hangs out as a gigantic threat against... well, everything. It gives us a great way to cope with Planeswalkers, get rid of blockers, and pressure life totals directly. There isn't room in the deck for multiple high-cost spells that don't attack life totals right away, but one or two boats go a long way in diversifying our threats while also giving us access to more removal.

The other goodies

We arent't running a ton of non-creature spells, but the number has increased in comparison to the pre-rotation list. We've got some brand new quality removal thanks to Kaladesh. Harnessed Lightning is a natural inclusion, as Aether Hub turbo charges the spell and is one of the most powerful lands our deck can run. Lightning is just a great early answer against aggressive decks, while still being relevant against bigger dudes.

Spatial Contortion is still good, but thanks to Veteran Motorist and Depala making the Copter a wee bit too large, we only run two of them. Don't forget that Spatial Contortion can be used on your own fatties to push through extra damage when necessary!

Who needs four loyalty abilities anyways?
Chandra is at her finest in this deck. Her +1 gives us yet another way to add big piles of hasty attackers to the board, which this deck wants once we hit turn five and on. In this list the elementals are even stronger than before rotation, since we can now have them drive cars and shit if they have large enough blockers where their bodies are irrelevant. I like to pretend they wear little chauffeur hats as they do it, too.

Her next best ability is her -X. Most early game threats rest around three toughness, and a -3 sets us up perfectly to wipe out a board and be left with a threatening planeswalker. Our own creatures are typically large enough to survive the wipe as well, with Pia and Hedron Crawler being the only losers. Even if you have to nuke your own Matter Reshaper, at least you get a card back!

Her 0 is good, letting us go late by drawing cards and improving our hand quality. There are plenty of players who will love this option on Chandra, but lets be honest - I'm not that dude. I'm fuckin' attacking or killing stuff, ideal strategies be damned.

Utility lands

We're technically running a two color deck here - Red, and colorless. Luckily, most lands that offer additional utility these days also provide us with colorless mana, which gives us access to a whole pile of great spell-effects that don't even waste a spell slot in our deck. The small advantages gained by being able to include fancy-pants lands add up, and help us to drag this fairly aggressive deck into the late game.

Makin' big dudes bigger since OGW.
Ruins is definitely in the running for most powerful land in this deck. Our colorless creatures are already outrageously powerful on their own, and being able to toss extra power and toughness onto them is a hoot. Every single creature we run benefits from this land as well - even Pia, a red creature, comes along with a colorless thopter that can get a counter from Ruins. Vile Aggregate may look red, but thanks to devoid can also nab a counter from Ruins. I don't run four, because we're aggressive enough that we don't want too many tapped lands, but I think the deck could handle it if that's your thing.

Just like in real life, once the dam breaks, you... draw cards? I dunno.
The Wreckage is one of our best extremely late-game cards. This lets us draw more threats if the opponent manages to survive and stabilize, while also giving us colorless mana early on. Multiple Sea Gates are bad unless you're wicked deep into the game, and you have enough mana to activate one, then activate the other in response to net two cards. I'd look to cut one of these first if you're looking to up the Ruins of Oran-Rief count.

Kaladesh is actually just New New York.
If Ruins doesn't make the cut for best land, Aether Hub certainly does. This is the ideal land to see at most points of the game. A majority of our spells require colorless mana, which Aether Hub gives us. But in addition to that, we get a one-shot red source, which is often enough to play your one Pia or Vile Aggregate before you get back to slamming Thought-Knots and Smashers. Conveniently it gives us an additional energy as well, which makes our Harnessed Lightnings that much scarier. Alternatively, if we only need to harness a few points of damage from our lightning, we're left with more red-source activations. Aether Hub fills the same role of "dual land" that Battlefield Forge and Shivan Reef used to, but gives us extra play with our removal spells.

Ah yes, just a perfectly normal church, nothing to see here.
The abbey lands in the deck as an all around good card, while not actually essential to our strategy at all. Making a 1/1 isn't bad when you have nothing else to do, and sometimes we get lucky and get to randomly make a 9/7 flying indestructible haste lifelink, which sounds like a happy little accident. Other than that, it's just another dumb colorless source.

The last couple of utility land slots are open to interpretation. So far I've tried Crumbling Vestige as another one-shot red source, Mirrorpool to try and copy a Harnessed Lightning or one of our big critters, Blighted Gorge for a tiny amount of reach, and Spawning Bed as an instant-speed way to get some blockers or enough creatures to crew a vehicle. All have been decent, with no clear-cut best option. Right now I'm leaning towards a one-of Spawning Bed for more chumps if I'm behind, attackers if I'm ahead, or drivers if I'm in a race.

On top of this, the deck runs 10-14 Mountains. I wouldn't go any lower than 10, since we still have colored cards in Pia, Aggregate, Harnessed Lightning, and Chandra. Pia gives us a place to use up excess red, and even though it's a later-game card, Chandra still requires double red. Quite a few of our sideboard cards require red or double red as well, so having enough Mountains is essential. Don't go overboard though, because getting colorless early on is very important for a lot of our spells.

The Matchups

Right-on-Red has some good play against aggro. We have plenty of early game disruption with Harnessed Lightning and Spatial Contortion, and once we manage to survive the first few turns with minimal damage, we can turn the race in our favor very quickly with Thought-Knot seers, Reality Smashers, and Chandra. Be sure to kill any fliers (cough copter cough) as soon as possible, as fliers are a pain for our deck. Most of the aggressive ground creatures can be stone-walled by our superior butts, so that's not as much of an issue.

In the side-boarded games, I'd recommend cards such as additional Spatial Contortions, Savage Alliance, and Kozilek's Return. Savage Alliance in particular is a killer, since it lets us nuke several things on board, namely Toolcraft Exemplars and Veteran Motorists. Drop the cars and one or two Chandras to make room. On turn four you'd rather play removal than the Cruiser, and while Chandra is great to help stabilize, there's a real chance you never hit six mana to cast her.

Our midrange matchup is probably the worst. Our removal is typically slightly worse, our creatures are big but not as flexible, and they'll usually have more planeswalkers along the curve. Our best bet is to play aggressive, and hope we can fade as much removal as possible. Kill walkers as soon as you can, and try to force them to have an answer or die. If we can keep the board relatively clear, eventually a Reality Smasher or an active Chandra can clean the game up for us.

Post board, they probably get even better, though we get some options. Bring in cards like Warping Wail if they're playing board wipes or sorcery speed removal like Ruinous Path. Dragonmaster Outcast can also do a lot of work, coming in and taking over the game after they've blown most of their early game removal. Endbringer is a newbie I've been trying for this matchup, though I can't say I've ever actually drawn him. I imagine drawing extra cards and eliminating attackers/blockers would be good, but fuck if I know.

If they aren't running Ishkanah, Eldrazi Obligator can also be insane against midrange decks. We can typically chip in small bits of damage, get into a board stall, and then blow it wide open with an Obligator stealing a creature. Spider babies make that rough, though, so try to avoid it against Delirium decks. On the other hand, stealing Emrakul is hilarious, so it might be worth it. You do you.

I haven't got the chance to test this deck against the new Jeskai and Grixis control of the Pro Tour quite yet. I'm sure I will this week as the dirty control players at my shop try out the lists, and we'll see how it goes. Historically this deck has done well against control, since haste creatures put a lot of pressure on control players. Thought-Knot is great here to clear out removal, and creatures that don't put us behind on cards are also money. Matter Reshaper is spectacular if they don't have exile-based removal, Reality Smasher is oodles of pressure that makes them two-for-one themselves, and Pia leaves behind a creature even if one half is dealt with.

Post-board is interesting. You can either try to keep up late, making changes similar to your Midrange matchup where you bring in Dragonmasters, Endbringer, and Obligators to steal their finishers, or you can go turbo-aggro. I'm an advocate of the second, because I'm always an advocate of attacking. I always bring in 8 against control - four Obligators, four Goldnight Castigators. If I've seen Fumigate or some nonsense like Descend Upon the Sinful, then I'll also bring in any Warping Wails I have access to.

Not a lot to say here. Your decks are like two ships passing in the night - them trying to do something stupid, you trying to count to 20. I'd just board in every haste threat possible, and try to race their combo. If they're running board wipes, sideboarding in Warping Wail can help save you, and can even give you another attacker in a pinch.

Eldrazi Obligator is at his absolute best against the Aetherworks Marvel deck. You hit them for a bunch early, they manage to drop a huge Eldrazi on turn four or five, and you just steal it and hit their face with it.

I've given an example sideboard in the deck list, but it is by no means final. Depending how the meta shifts, I wouldn't be surprised if I need more Warping Wails to deal with Fumigate, or maybe more Savage Alliance and Spatial Contortion to fight aggro. Who knows?! As always, be sure to tweak your sideboard for whatever the flavor of the month is at your store.

Budget Options

I can relate to both his empty wallet and his confused face.
Don't like paying much to play? I don't blame you. My favorite deck ever was my Theros Standard deck, Pump and Dump, because it barely cost me for than $50 to put together. So what can we do with Right-on-Red so that more people can play it? Sadly, a lot of the core pieces of this deck are immovable. Coming in somewhere around $140, this is relatively inexpensive for Standard, but we can do better.

Chandra is definitely the most expensive part of the deck. Luckily, her price has dropped significantly the past several weeks since she hasn't been seeing much play. To shave off $20 or so bucks, you can run 0-2 Chandras, and replace her with Endbringer to play a longer game, or bring in Reckless Bushwhackers to play aggressive with an explosive finish.

Thought-Knots and Reality Smashers are the next most expensive, thanks to their widespread play in eternal formats. Smasher is necessary, and can't really be replaced. Sorry mate. Thought-Knot, though powerful, isn't necessary if you're willing to play more aggressive. Maxing out on Fleetwheel Cruisers and bringing in Reckless Bushwhackers is a great way to keep the same core idea, but try to go fast to make up for the absent hand disruption.

Aether Hub is way too expensive for an uncommon. I fully expect it to drop a ton in the next few weeks as Kaladesh is opened more and more. Until then, feel free to run a split of 2 Mountains and 2 of whatever colorless land. Alternatively, Crumbling Vestige does a cute impression of the Hub.

Making these changes gives us a budget version of the deck that's almost $50 cheaper. Sure, it won't be as good as the main list, but it should be more than enough to rock an FNM!


That's all for today, my fellow red mages and spaghetti enthusiasts. It looks like this set is our time to shine - Red is back, and it burns so good. I can't wait to see what other crazy new decks come out of Standard, and more importantly, I can't wait to smash their realities.

Like Eldrazi? Have you been playing a different version/different color, and wanna share? Think there's some stupid shit I missed? Let us know! Leave a comment below, send us a message, or holler over at our twitter @Heavy_Salami! Also check out our bros at, they're cool.


  1. "Right-on-red" is a very strong deck name. That's really half the battle.

    Though with a little creativity, I feel we could expand the Protoss theme. First, the Hedron Crawler is a clearly a Probe. Collects resources, even kind of looks like one!

    We could stretch a little and pick some Eldrazi to be a Colossus. Hard to tell the scale, but either the Matter Reshaper or Reality Smasher would fit the bill.

    After that though, I think I'm dry (I also never played the final Protoss expansion of SC2 with the teleporting nonsense).

  2. Have you bumped uglies with those control decks yet? I've been playing Eldrazi all standard too with the smashers, but doing it mono black with more interaction and the Mindbender.

    1. Got my first try over gameday, and it was NOT pretty. I was on the draw game 1, mulled to 6, and got obliterated, got him to like 12 before he just murdered me, then game 2 I had to mull to 4.

      So sadly I didn't get a great representation, but it seems like a crazy bad matchup.