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Sometimes, players like to go fast, and in a format filled with four drop heavy Green decks like Scapeshift, speed may be the way to go. Utilizing an aggressive take on the Elementals archetype, this three color Red deck tries to use Chandra’s Spitfire and Omnath to fly over the ground defense provided by Field of the Dead. While some additions may be necessary in the current metagame (like Alpine Moon), Temur Elementals decks of any flavor have the tools needed to thrive. By no means a Tier 1 archetype, consider analyzing the deck in the same way that Mass Manipulation of Feather are discussed — consistent performers with potential, just waiting for the right metagame.

If you’re looking for an explosive midrange deck with just enough of an aggressive slant to have game against Scapeshift, consider tuning this Elementals deck. In this article, I’ll be discussing the cards included in my main deck, as well as the sideboard.

The Threats

Creeping Trailblazer | No elemental deck would be complete without powerful payoffs, and Creeping Trailblazer does not disappoint in that regard. Acting as both a Red spell for Steam-Kin and a huge damage curve when paired with Chandra, Creeping Trailblazer is the perfect aggressive tool for this strategy. By acting as both an early game threat and a late game mana sink, your best draws include at least one copy of this elemental, but keep in mind it will often be the first threat killed.

Runaway Steam-Kin | Not the most obvious inclusion in an Elemental deck, despite the relvant creature type, Runaway Steam-Kin synergizes with Chandra and Trailblazer to keep the pressure going. While not as explosive as in the Experimental Frenzy decks, the ability to double pump a Trailblazer or empty your hand quickly gives Runaway Steam-Kin an exciting new home. As with most of the list, four copies is the perfect number for this efficient two drop.

Thunderkin Awakener | Making waves in Modern is no small feat for Standard cards, and Thunderkin Ambusher’s place in Standard deviates quite a bit from the combo heavy role it has in Modern. Here it is simply an early game threat with haste, that can sometimes bring back a removaed Steam-Kin or Risen Reef in postboard games. By far the weakest card in the deck, consider boarding out Ambusher against other aggressive decks — though with Collision/Colossus you can use Ambuser to even return an Omnath. If this is a route you want to explore more, you can play additional copies of the split card.

Chandra’s Spitfire | While not as powerful without the cadre of one drops the Cavalcade lists play, Chandra’s Spitefire nonetheless is an explosive addition to the elemental card pool. With Shock, Lightning Strike, and Mask of Immolation, it can be deceptively easy to grow the Spitefire into a lethal creature — though it may be worth taking a more aggressive slant to capitalize on it, or cut it entirely for Risen Reef. Either option depends on the metagame.

Omnath, Locus of the Roil | Duking it out over Risen Reef for best Elemental payoff, Omnath is a reasonably sized threat that mitigates flood just a bit, while enabling both Spitfire and Ambusher. Omnath likewise serves as another burn spell in clogged boards, contributing to an unrelenting slew of direct damage. Consider cutting the fourth copy, as it can be difficult to cast and is less effective in multiples, but for now I like all four.

Chandra, Acolyte of Flame | Perhaps a bit overshadowed by her 6-drop kin, this rare Chandra packs quite a bit of power in aggressive builds. Primarily serving as a difficult to remove threat, Chandra can double up as board control in slower games, and can even generate additional value with the tokens. Mask of Immolation and Omnath both benefit from her, and the Creeping Trailblazer into Chandra curve is difficult for most slower decks to beat.

The Removal

Shock | Efficient removal is an absolute necessity in Standard, and while two damage is a small amount compared to many threats, Shock earns its keep with the incremental pressure it creates. By being able to nab planeswalkers or players who are low on life, Shock serves an important role in aggressive decks — removal and reach.

Lightning Strike | Like Shock, Lightning Strike is the next most efficient burn spell, but three damage proves to be more impactful in a world with Wildgrowth Walker, Omnath, and Dreadhorde Arcanist. Removing these permanents is incredibly important, and in matchups without such permanents Lightning Strike can always just burn the opponent out. Similarly to cantrips in slower decks, burn spells are rarely dead, and contribute to many wins on clogged boards.

Collision/Colossus | While not quite as versatile as the burn spells, Collision/Colossus provides two unique effects for this streamlined aggro deck. The first is as a combat trick — seldom are Standard decks in the market for such effects, but with a lack of hard removal and a need for pumping Thunderkin Awakener a pump effect has all the conditions necessary to be powerful. When not necessary to push through damage or save a creature, the Colossus portion can take down difficult to remove threats like Hydroid Krasis or Lyra Dawnbringer.

Mask of Immolation | A relative stranger to current Standard decks, Mask of Immolation has all the tools necessary for competitive success. It’s never dead, it provides reach, and it is synergistic with a variety of decks. By enabling Spitfire or converting Chandra tokens into additional points of damage, Mask of Immolation is the perfect synergy piece for this Elementals list. While not explicitly an elemental, it creates one, supplying that crucially synergy with Omnath and Creeping Trailblazer, while threatening to end games on the spot in the even of a board stall. Mask of Immolation is definitely a card to keep an eye on, as even Aristocrats style archetypes can utilize it.


The Sideboard

Aether Gust | With Blue and Red spells defining the current position of Standard, Aether Gust is the perfect pick up for aggressive decks looking to slow down bigger strategies. While ordinarily covered by Negate and Disdainful Stroke, the prevalence of Veil of Summer makes countering spells a dicey prospect, and Aether Gust can stall a critical spell even through a Veil. Additionally, Gust can disrupt other aggressive decks, by bouncing a Marauding Raptor or Experimental Frenzy.

Lava Coil | Removing early threats is important for synergy based aggro decks, and cards like Venerated Loxodon or Wildgrowth Walker can quickly snowball out of control. Lava Coil serves as a clean answer to most threats without being too mana intensive.

Fry | Similarly to Lava Coil, Fry is an efficient removal spell targeted for a specific class of threat  — in this case, White or Blue. This covers Basilica Bell-Haunt, Teferi, Lyra, and even Tempest Djinn out of Mono Blue. Don’t leave home without at least three copies.

Negate | While Veil of Summer has made countermagic much worse, Kaya’s Wrath remains a problem for creature decks, and Negate serves as the best answer to a variety of Esper shenanigans. From countering a Teferi to a Kaya’s Wrath, Negate pulls its weight in a matchup dominated by tempo. Often it is correct to counter the first relevant spell an opponent casts, as even a single window lets you do busted Elemental damage while their shields are down.

Living Twister | Primarily a roadblock for the Red decks, Living Twister also supports a grindy game plan by provided an endless stream of Burn and flood mitigation. A few copies are excellent additions, as they can block most Dinosaurs and Vampires effectively.

Risen Reef | Supporting a card advantage focused sideboard is difficult, due to the Red heavy restrictions this mana base requires, but Risen Reef gives the deck access to a relatively easy to cast engine that can bury slower opponents in just a few turns. Four copies is recommended, though these could be swapped for other threats, like Legion Warboss, in specific metagames.