MTG Deck Tech: Electrosnipe Red (Standard)

Artwork from the 'Magic: The Gathering' card Electrostatic Field. Artwork from the 'Magic: The Gathering' card Electrostatic Field. WOTC / DAN SCOTT

Sticking to a budget and still making a halfway decent Magic: The Gathering deck doesn't have to be a pipe dream.  Keeping costs under $90, we threw together a nice little mono-red deck that looks like it's perfectly suited for local Friday Night Magic events.


Magic's Standard format already had one nice card that provided for great synergy and extra damage in Guttersnipe.  Now, thanks to the recently-released Guilds of Ravnica, it has another in Electrostatic Field.  While Guttersnipe is a 2/2 goblin that can go on the offensive when needed and Electrostatic Field is a non-attacking wall, it's 0/4 body means it's quite a bit tougher to kill than our slingshot-wielding friend.  It also costs one fewer generic mana to play, which means that it curves out rather well with the deck and puts one auxiliary threat on the board before it's (hopefully) joined by Guttersnipe for when you burn your opponents to a crisp.

This deck is rather spell heavy with 11 sorceries and instants apiece as well as a pair of enchantments in the Dominaria saga The Flame of Keld that allows us not only to refill our hand, but acts as a third auxiliary threat when it hits its final mode.  We're also running two copies of the planeswalker Jaya Ballard, who just seems custom made for this deck.  As for creatures, we're looking at four each of the aforementioned Guttersnipe and Electrostatic field, as well as a playset of Runaway Steam-Kin (yet another card that just gels so well with what we're trying to do here).

Instants are a big driving force in this deck -- especially since they fire off our Guttersnipe and Electrostatic Field triggers.  In this build, we've included a playset each of Lightning Strike and Shock for quick, versatile damage.  We're also including three copies of Risk Factor.  Early in games this is a nice four-damage spell.  Late in games, it's all but guaranteed to be drawing you the three cards you'll need to finish off your opponent.  Add to it the fact that you can cast each copy twice thanks to its jump-start ability and wow.

On the slower, sorcery side of the coin we have a slightly more diverse lineup.  We're running a playset of Lava Axe to act as a finisher (something that can happen sooner than you might expect), two copies of Fight with Fire, and one copy of Banefire for that X spell versatility.  We also have two copies of Doublecast that helps us double-trigger our auxiliary damage sources (note that Doublecast's created copy doesn't trigger -- just the Doublecast and its following spell) PLUS when Guttersnipe or Electrostatic Field is in play, Doublecast is never a dead card in your hand because even if you have no spell to follow it up with it'll still trigger that bonus damage upon cast.  Finally we're running two copies of Tormenting Voice to help get rid of mid-to-late game lands in favor of more useful cards to finish things off.

In the sideboard, we decided upon largely focusing on artifact/colorless hate.  With Karn and other colorless cards being a common problem, we have two copies of Smelt and three copies of Goblin Cratermaker.  For dealing with decks that go small and wide, a pair each of Goblin Chainwhirler and Shake the Foundation are included.  There are also two more copies of Banefire for when dealing with counter/control decks and a playset of Unfriendly Fire to replace the maindeck Lava Axe cards when you want the option to hit creatures as well as players with a larger direct damage spell (and at instant speed no less).

We (of course) began testing this deck in goldfishing and found it to be quite fun.  The 22 lands (all Mountains) seems appropriate and the deck flows rather well.  Taking it online against other players, it caught some folks off-guard.  Half of our matches went to the third game, but we won more than we lost going 3-1 after four having played against a Boros aggro deck, Jeskai control, mono-green stompy, and a really slow dinosaur tribal deck.  By the way, the Jeskai control got us in two as our deck just couldn't handle it.

So what do you think of our fun little budget-friendly deck?  Are you considering running it or something similar at an event at your LGS?  If so, let us know how you do!

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