Red Prowess has been one of my favorite Modern archetypes ever since Lava Dart was printed (reprinted, to be exact) back in the original Modern Horizons set. It’s a straightforward strategy with high card quality, but which also makes for wild turns and interesting games.
One of the best things about Red Prowess is the customizability. You can play Mono-Red, or you can splash any color. You can use Obosh, the Preypiercer as a companion, or you can tap into even-cost cards including Mishra’s Bauble and Manamorphose. Your top-end can be anything from Bedlam Reveler to Underworld Breach to… Jaya, Fiery Negotiator?
Modern Mono-Red Prowess by Reid Duke (5-0)
My idea with this version was to use the Dominaria United planeswalker as a sideboard plan for grindy matchups. If people are trying to Fatal Push, Prismatic Ending and Solitude away your one-drops, it’s likely that they’ll have no plan when you drop the hammer with your four-drop planeswalker.
A single Monastery Swiftspear or Soul-Scar Mage can be deadly in this deck. I routinely get them up to 5/6 or 6/7 on big attack steps. Now consider that Jaya produces a roughly equivalent creature every time she +1’s! She can also dig you to more action, and her emblem is a stone-cold game-winner whenever things get to that point.
To accommodate Jaya, it’s best to play a couple of extra lands. Fiery Islet, Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance and Mishra’s Factory are all great fits. Factory can chip in some extra damage to get you across the finish line, and can even tussle with protection from red creatures like Sanctifier en-Vec or Kor Firewalker.
Don’t forget your Kozilek’s Returns in the sideboard, which represent additional answers to these troublesome creatures. They also come in handy if you face somebody trying to go wide with tokens, Elves or Goblins. Outside of Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, all of the creatures in the deck can survive the two damage effect, and can even get pumped up off of it!
Finally, a shout-out to the amazing creature quality in the color red. In the old days, you’d play Swiftspear and Soul-Scar Mage, and then start reaching for mopey creatures like Blistercoil Weird to round things out. Now you have Dragon’s Rage Channeler and Ragavan, which are some of the best creatures ever printed!
I love how this deck can tie together so many of the best one-mana cards in the format, all into an effective and synergistic package. Check out my gameplay video, or give Red Prowess a try yourself!