G/R Aggro was one of the more anticipated archetypes during the preview season for Amonkhet. Glorybringer was another in a long line of successful, undercosted Dragons that could be paired with some mana acceleration, efficient removal, and other creatures to create a midrange-aggressive deck that would win mainly on the good rate of all of its cards.
But as is often the case in Magic, things didn't come to pass as expected. In a format that already has such a deck in Mardu Vehicles and plenty of good removal for Glorybringer, there wasn't a lot of room for G/R.
Today's list is an attempt to flip the script on this deck, and change it into something no one expected it to be. Gone are the Glorybringers and mana acceleration. Instead, the deck is committed to a lower curve with cards like Greenbelt Rampager and Heart of Kiran. It's a true aggressive deck rather than a midrange-aggro hybrid.
Nowhere is this commitment to a lower curve more evident than in the removal suite. Rather than the typical four copies of Harnessed Lightning there is only a singleton in the maindeck alongside three copies of Magma Spray. You could play more removal than that, but instead this list opts to play a healthy suite of pump spells.
The four copies of Blossoming Defense may only be surprising for the high number, but Invigorated Rampage hasn't seen play outside of its pairing with Electrostatic Pummeler. This energy deck doesn't play the artifact creature so there's no true combo element, but the pump spell, especially in combination with so much evasion and the hexproof of Bristling Hydra gives the deck more reach than any removal spell available would.
A lot of deckbuilding is borrowing from the past, but sometimes that leads us astray. Context is so important in every part of Magic and sometimes you have to break from the expected in order to find the best build of a certain deck. With early versions of G/R and G/B faltering in the current metagame, this reimagining of the former could simply be the better list for Amonkhet Standard.
- 3 Bristling Hydra
- 4 Greenbelt Rampager
- 4 Lathnu Hellion
- 4 Longtusk Cub
- 4 Voltaic Brawler
- 2 Rhonas the Indomitable