The red deck crosses over pretty well into Ixalan Standard, but the one glaring hole is in the 1-drop slot. Falkenrath Gorger and Village Messenger provided the deck with an aggressive start that could threaten to deal multiple damage each turn, and that’s a big loss. So what if there’s a way to do aggro better?
Black has the best aggressive 1-drops in the format right now. Dread Wanderer headlines them as a 2-power creature for a single mana that has serious upside. This deck is already looking to empty its hand quickly, and a mana sink to return your attack force is a huge bonus.
Night Market Lookout and Vicious Conquistador wouldn’t pass the vanilla test, but the truth is that they both effectively attack for 2 damage to your opponent. The problem comes in when they have blockers with 2 toughness and you can no longer get through. This means that you’re going to need a reasonable amount of removal, but if opponents aren’t prepared for your aggression, this damage will add up quickly. The fact that you can also suicide these creatures in the late game for a guaranteed extra point of damage is a good consolation prize.
As you go up the curve, black offers you some aggressive card advantage creatures at 2. Glint-Sleeve Siphoner had issues with cards like Walking Ballista, and that certainly still exists, but you have so many aggressive creatures that it can be hard to find the time to kill the Siphoner immediately. Menace means that you’re more likely to get in extra damage, and cashing your energy in for cards is easy when you aren’t very concerned with your own life total.
Scrapheap Scrounger is as good as it gets for unbridled aggression. You’ve got 3 power for just 2 mana—a solid rate. The thing can’t even block if you wanted to. If you weren’t already enticed to get into the red zone, this thing will keep coming back from the graveyard for more (at instant speed, no less), and you have plenty of small creatures as fodder in the graveyard.
Yahenni, Undying Partisan looks a little out of place. It’s easily one of your very best blockers since it can threaten to become indestructible, but it also shines when creatures are going trading off. It plays especially well with and against sweepers, but playing it alongside aggressive creatures, creatures that come back from the graveyard, and a nice suite of removal is also effective.
Aethersphere Harvester gives you some evasion, life gain if you fall behind, and a great use for your smaller creatures. It’s pretty easy to blank a Night Market Lookout on the battlefield, but combo’ing with Harvester allows you to get extra drains at any point in the game.
Hazoret the Fervent tops your curve, and with so many cheaper plays, it’s looking to attack immediately. This is one of the best cards in the format, and getting a 5/4 indestructible, haste into play in a format without Grasp of Darkness available is huge.
Hazoret isn’t the only red card you’re effectively “splashing” as Lightning Strike is both a great removal spell and a tool to go upstairs when needed. This is your carryover from the red deck, and both can deal some big damage quick. Fatal Push provides you with some great tempo for an extremely strong 1 mana removal spell. The main deck also features a single copy of Bontu’s Last Reckoning as there are many decks with bigger creatures and the ability to go wide. With Wanderer and Scrounger coming from the graveyard and Yahenni and Hazoret having indestructible, this can be a one-sided Wrath with serious upside!
Aggressive decks tend to be really successful in the early stages of any new season, and they don’t get much more aggressive than this one!