Mono-Red Aggro is one of the top-tier decks in Pioneer. In fact, in the last tabletop premier event that I played in, back in 2020, I made a deep finish with Mono-Red in Pioneer and wrote a Deck Guide on my version at that time. Since then, I’ve found success with the archetype in various formats. Today, I’ll explore the archetype in Explorer – essentially Pioneer lite on MTG Arena.
Over the past two years, several new cards have been released, including Den of the Bugbear, Kumano Faces Kakkazan, Play with Fire, Spikefield Hazard and Chandra, Dressed to Kill. The typical Pioneer version has become more burn-heavy as a result, which makes sense. It’s also possible to build a burn-heavy Mono-Red Aggro deck in Explorer – Martin Juza already wrote a Deck Guide on a Wizard’s Lightning build a few days ago – but it doesn’t feel as coherent to me without Monastery Swiftspear and Eidolon of the Great Revel. These red creatures are cornerstones of the Pioneer build, but they’re not legal in Explorer. Without them, a burn-heavy version does not feel as powerful to me. Instead, I believe that an Embercleave version is currently superior in Explorer.
Here’s my latest build.