Hello everyone and welcome back to another edition of The Cardboard Witch. I'd especially like to welcome everyone who are visiting here from Mana Deprived; Canada's #1 Magic Website! If you're a little confused don't worry about it; I recently wrote an article for MD ("Fight Music") about playing RDW in Standard which included a link back to this article. As such this is intended primarily as a companion piece to "Fight Music" and once KYT actually publishes it I'll edit this post to include a link so people who don't regularly visit Mana Deprived (you should be reading this!) can find it. You don't technically need to read the other article to understand what I'm talking about today but it will certainly provide some context for this discussion; at least in terms of its relation to the current Standard format.
So what went wrong? Why did my day end at 0-3 while someone else was able to win the entire tournament with virtually the same deck? For starters as it turned out I wasn't nearly as good a player as I thought I was. I made multiple play mistakes during my first two matches and essentially played with little or no regard whatsoever to my opponent's decks. This wasn't the only problem however and looking back with more experienced eyes I think it's safe to say that I lost because I didn't truly understand how to play red aggro yet. You see the truth is that mono red aggro is *not* an easy deck to play either historically or in the current Standard format. While it's certainly true that these decks absolutely destroy unprepared opponents once you start to play good pilots with proper sideboards most of that advantage will evaporate right before your very eyes. Properly unlocking the win potential of this powerful deck requires a special mindset; a distinct style of thinking that simply does not apply to the other colors in Magic. Personally I call this mindset "the Psychology of the Red Mage" and identify those who adopt it by their adherence to the following "holy" tenents:
Well folks there you have it; a detailed study of the mindset common to one of Magic's rarest and most dangerous creatures: the experienced red mage. Hopefully you've all enjoyed this article and found at least a morsel or two of insight to chew on the next time you're "slangin' mountains". I especially hope those of you visiting here from Mana Deprived enjoyed your visit; feel free to stick around for a while and check out my other articles. Two of my favorites are a beginner's primer on drafting that I wrote way back in M11 and a recent standard article about U/W Mystic in the post-NPH environment. As always thanks for reading guys and remember to keep counting to twenty!