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Much Abrew: Mono-Red Land Destruction (Modern)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Today, we're heading to Modern to play one of my favorite deck styles: Mono-Red Land Destruction, which is looking to blow up enough lands so that we can hard lock our opponent out of playing anything, with the help of Trinisphere. Our main goal is to start blowing up lands on Turn 2 with the help of some rituals and Simian Spirit Guide, stick Trinisphere to make everything cost at least three mana, and hope to keep our opponent with less than three lands on the battlefield until we eventually win with Chandra, Torch of Defiance or Eidolon of the Great Revel. How good is the plan? How many lands can we blow up in a single Modern league? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Mono-Red Land Destruction

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  • We finished our league 3-2 with Mono-Red Land Destruction, which is solid, if unspectacular. While we managed to crush decks built around playing efficient spells, like Burn, Bogles, and Death's Shadow, we also learned that the deck has some really rough matchups, specifically against decks that have non-land sources of mana, as we lost to a Thopter Sword deck with mana rocks and a weird Superfriends deck that managed to stick Wrenn and Six early in two of our three games. 
  • If we learned one thing during our league, it's that Trinisphere is an absurd Magic card. Most of our wins came from blowing up a couple of lands and having our opponent scoop to Trinisphere (and the inability to cast any spells). One of the best parts of Trinisphere is how good it was in some games where we didn't have much land destruction. Some Modern decks run pretty light on lands, and just ritualing out a Trinisphere on Turn 1 or 2 is often enough to beat decks like Bogles and Burn, even without the backup of land destruction. 
  • Mono-Red Land Destruction is very play / draw dependent. Things often go well in games where we get to go first and blow up a land on Turn 2. On the other hand, on the draw, blowing up a land on Turn 2 can be too slow in some matchups. If you decide to pick up the deck, make sure to take into account who is playing first. In some matchups, especially on the draw, it's important to mulligan for cards like Ensnaring Bridge or Trinisphere rather than just keeping a hand full of land-destruction spells. 
  • I really didn't like two cards in the deck: Eidolon of the Great Revel and Boom // Bust. Eidolon of the Great Revel is a fine sideboard option in a deck like Mono-Red Land Destruction, but as a main-deck finisher, it seems way worse than threats like Goblin Rabblemaster or even additional planeswalkers (Chandra, Acolyte of Flame could be interesting). Meanwhile, Boom // Bust is awkward since we are playing it fairly and blowing up one of our lands along with our opponent's lands, which meant there were a lot of games where we chose not cast it even though we had it in hand, to avoid locking ourselves under Trinisphere. To make Boom // Bust work in the deck, we either need to change the mana base by adding fetch lands or indestructible lands to break the symmetry of the land destruction, or just cut it altogether for a slower but more consistent land-destruction spell like Pillage (which probably should be in the deck over Stone Rain anyway since it has the additional upside of destroying an artifact in a pinch). 
  • The other part of the deck that is fairly confusing is the sideboard. Dismember gives us a way to kill big creatures, but spending four life is rough against the aggro decks where we want more creature removal, and Smash doesn't seem particularly playable as artifact hate, as compared to the other options in the format. While Tormod's Crypt and Lava Dart are fine, moving Pillage to the main deck, dropping Smash, and playing something like Flame Slash or Roast over Dismember likely would improve the deck.
  • Basically, Mono-Red Land Destruction was super fun and surprisingly powerful in the right matchups, but some of the specific choices in this build of Mono-Red Land Destruction are a bit odd. That said, the deck felt competitive, and with a bit of luck and good running, it could easily 5-0 a league. And it could be even better with the handful of changes we've been talking about. 
  • So, should you play Mono-Red Land Destruction? I think the deck could use a bit of a tuneup around the edges, but in general, the answer is yes. I don't think Mono-Red Land Destruction is a top-tier Modern deck, but it is competitive. Meanwhile, if your main goal is to make opponents not play Magic, it's one of the better choices in the format!


Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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