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Red has two tactics that stand out: aggressive starts in the first 3 turns, and direct damage done with cheap spells.

Red is the color of alchemy, flame, and combustion. The sparks start to fly pretty darn fast when a red deck hits the table. The creatures treat themselves like cannonballs rolling down a hill. If the cannonballs bump into something big, there’s usually a pyromancer standing at the top of the hill who can finish it off from distance — so smart creatures know what will happen if they get in the way.

Playing an all-in aggressive deck in Magic is a little like flipping a coin - and there are dozens of red cards that literally require you to flip a coin to find out if your gambit will pay off. Easy come, easy go, is red’s motto.

Red creatures get excited when they get to attack. They can call random dudes to join in on the stampede, and even get their opponent’s creatures to switch sides for a hot second. They’re also sometimes good at evading blockers.

Once the opponent gets their game plan assembled, and starts stringing spells together or stabilizing the balance, a big question for red is whether they’re in range to be finished off with whatever fireballs remain in hand. Red is liable to run out of cards if the initial surge comes up short (it can usually only draw if it is also discarding).

Also: dragons. Probably Magic’s biggest nod to the world of traditional fantasy, dragons have nearly always made their home in the mountains of red mana. And, they taught other red creatures how to breathe fire.

While artifacts are available to every color, red has a different relationship with them: it’s the best at breaking them. Red creatures and spells can regularly demolish opponents’ artifact tools, and sometimes they turn one of their own into a grenade.

At first, the colors formed five alliances, but now they are all adept at joining together. You can draw power from several of these basins all into the same deck.