Magic: The Gathering – 10 Underrated Mono-Red Commanders

Building a new deck is an exciting and sometimes daunting task for Magic: The Gathering players. There are so many commanders to choose from and with each commander comes a different style of deck. Mono-red is known for its aggressive, fast-paced style of play that aims to overwhelm its opponents with a nonstop barrage of spells and attacks.

But with so many commander options, some inevitably fall behind and get left in the proverbial dust of popular mono-red commanders like Krenko, Mob Boss and Neheb, the Eternal. However, that doesn't mean they're not worth considering putting in charge of your next deck. Some of these fit right into already popular deck types while others offer something not typically seen in mono-red.

10/10 Drakuseth, Maw Of Flames

Nothing screams mono-red quite like a massive, fire-breathing Dragon. Whenever Drakuseth attacks, it deals four damage to any target and three damage to two other targets. Drakuseth is great at crowd control, allowing it to thin out the ranks of your opponents' weaker creatures each time it attacks. Since it's a 7/7 with flying you'll usually be able to attack freely, without worrying about blockers.

Seven mana for a commander may be a deterrent for some players, but red offers a number of options for reliable ramp and cost reduction. Dragon tribal staples like Dragonspeaker Shaman and Dragonlord's Servant reduce the cost of all Dragon creatures, meaning even the Dragons in your deck will be easier to cast.

9/10 Ib Halfheart, Goblin Tactician

Apart from Dragons, Goblins are probably the creature type that best exemplifies mono-red. Ib Halfheart, Goblin Tactician essentially turns the board into a Goblin minefield, as any other Goblin that you control who becomes blocked is sacrificed and deals four damage to each creature blocking it. Ib Halfheart forces your opponents to be very cautious in combat, allowing you to deal damage more frequently.

Although it may seem this commander would waste a lot of valuable creatures, it's important to remember that majority of a Goblin's value comes from the fact that they're expendable. Creatures like Legion Warboss and sorceries like Hordeling Outburst will give you a steady supply of Goblins, so don't be afraid to cause some chaos and blow them up!

8/10 Mannichi, The Fevered Dream

Mannichi, the Fevered Dream is vastly different from the majority of mono-red commanders. The strategy for this deck is very specific and requires a few key elements to succeed. First, most of your creatures should have a power of two or less and high toughness, such as Prophetic Flamespeaker. Then, you need cards such as Break Through the Line that make your low-power creatures unblockable. Finally, activate Manichi's ability to switch all creatures' power and toughness, then swing in for high damage with unblockable attackers.

It takes some setup, but it's a fun deck and can end up being pretty powerful especially if you add in equipment like Slagwurm Armor. However, this deck needs Mannichi on the battlefield to succeed, so it's important to have plenty of ways to protect it.

7/10 Zalto, Fire Giant Duke

Zalto, Fire Giant Duke's ideal deck build lies somewhere between a Voltron deck and a burn deck, all for the sake of sprinting through dungeons as quickly as possible. Whenever Zalto is dealt damage, you can venture into the dungeon. To achieve this, add in spells such as Pyrohemia and Prodigal Pyromancer that will allow you to deal one damage to Zalto over and over again. They'll also come in handy to remove some smaller threats from your opponent's side of the board.

This deck hinges on being able to repeatedly damage Zalto to get as much value from dungeons as possible. Use equipment such as Accorder's Shield to boost Zalto's toughness so he can soak up damage, or Darksteel Plate so he gets indestructible.

6/10 Gadrak, The Crown-Scourge

Gadrak, the Crown-Scourge incentivizes ramping through treasure tokens. Although Gadrak can't attack unless you control four or more artifacts, a three-mana 5/4 with flying is great value. Additionally, at the beginning of your end step, you get to create a treasure token for each non-token creature that died during your turn.

The strategy is to blast away your opponent's creatures with spells like Lightning Bolt and Chandra's Ignition to stockpile treasure tokens. Then, it only seems fitting to use your mountain of treasure tokens to summon powerful dragons like Scourge of Valkas to decimate your opponents.

5/10 Farid, Enterprising Salvager

Farid, Enterprising Salvager is another artifact-focused deck that offers a lot of flexibility on what it can do with artifacts. You'll want to add a lot of artifact creatures that help you get artifacts back from your graveyard like Scrap Trawler and Junk Diver. Additionally, you'll get value through Farid's first ability which allows you to create a scrap artifact token whenever a non-token artifact enters your graveyard from the battlefield.

You can then sacrifice those scrap tokens to activate one of Farid's three abilities, offering versatile effects depending on the flow of the game. The whole point of this deck is to get as much value as possible from artifacts, so be sure to add synergistic cards like Mirrorworks and Kuldotha Forgemaster.

4/10 Marton Stromgald

Marton Stromgald wants you to build a massive army of creature tokens, and what better way than with Goblins. Whenever Marton attacks, other attacking creatures get +1/+1 for each other attacking creature other than Marton. So if you get five goblins onto the battlefield, when you attack with them and Marton, they will get +5/+5. The same goes for when you block.

Of course, the downside is this ability doesn't affect Marton, so he remains a very meek 1/1. You'll need to include some equipment or instants like Infuriate to allow him to attack each turn without fear of being destroyed in combat.

3/10 Fumiko The Lowblood

While Marton Stromgald strengthens other creatures when he attacks, Fumiko the Lowblood is much more interested in herself. She has bushido X, where X is the number of attacking creatures. So a similar strategy to the previous commander can be used for this deck. However, Fumiko the Lowblood will aim to win through commander damage. Spells to boost Fumiko's power and toughness will be important to accelerate this deck's progress.

Additionally, Fumiko forces any creatures your opponent controls to attack each combat if they're able to. This forces opponents to deal damage to another, as her bushido ability makes her a formidable blocker.

2/10 Rosnakht, Heir Of Rohgahh

Rosnakht, Heir of Rohgahh is another fun option for a mono-red Voltron deck. 0/1 is pretty much the worst stat line possible for a creature in Magic: The Gathering, but costing only one mana is what makes it worth it. This is especially helpful for recasting your commander, as even with commander tax, the cost will still be relatively low and Voltron decks need their commander to succeed.

Red has access to a lot of low-cost auras, equipments, and instants like Akki War Paint to quickly boost Rosnakht's power. It's a super-fast deck and with the right build, you can get dangerously close to lethal commander damage before your opponents have time to set up any sort of defense.

1/10 Squee, The Immortal

If you've sensed a Voltron-heavy theme, it's because red just lends itself to that play style so well. Squee, the Immortal lives up to his namesake allowing you to cast it from your graveyard or exile. This means that no matter what happens, Squee will always cost three mana. Seeing as the main anti-Voltron strategy is to continually destroy the commander until it costs a ridiculous amount, Squee does a great job circumventing this weakness.

Any standard red Voltron cards will suit this deck just fine. For some extra damage, add in some Goblin tribal cards like Goblin Trashmaster. Watch and laugh as your opponents try in vain to keep Magic: The Gathering's most popular Goblin from slowly chipping away at their life total.

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