"Torbran, Thane Of Red Fell" Deck Tech – "Magic: The Gathering"

When I say Magic: The Gathering is without question my favorite game, I mean that beyond the shadow of a doubt. I love the fantasy themes blended with the underscoring tropes of modern science-fiction, I love the characters and setting, and I love the gameplay. When I say that my favorite color of Magic is black by far, it may be a bit of hyperbole, though. I also really like red magic as well (so hence why I was so enthused with the new iteration of Chainer that was printed in the Commander 2019 set (and that I did a deck tech on not too long ago).

Today, hot on the heels of Linden, Questing Beast, and Ayara, my deck tech will center on a very strong red commander option: Torbran, Thane of Red Fell.

"Torbran, Thane of Red Fell" Deck Tech - "Magic: The Gathering"
Source: Wizards of the Coast

The list I'll be discussing in this article (which is to be found here) has a bit of a never-ending sort of story surrounding it. See, if you've read my work from the very beginning (and I mean the very beginning when I had the honor of getting some of Madeline Ricchiuto's writing slots for samples) you'd know that I have slight issues in mobility. That detail can be found here, but that's definitely not the exciting part. While I was recovering from this injury I didn't have access to my laptop, but I had a strong desire to make a deck based on Hazoret the Fervent, who was newly spoiled from within the Amonkhet expansion set.

And I did. I didn't have my cards or a way to access the Gatherer database, but I managed to craft a mono-red Hazoret commander deck using cards I could think of and nothing else.

"Torbran, Thane of Red Fell" Deck Tech - "Magic: The Gathering"
Source: Wizards of the Coast

Granted, this deck was very simple and straightforward, but it actually did work, once I got a chance to try it out. It won me a fair few games using a third-party software interface. And it's important to take into consideration that these games were comprised only of two players, so it might not be very helpful for this deck (in that original iteration) to be taken into a multiplayer setting.

But now, with Torbran, I can't say the deck falters anymore. With the ability to basically turn a Shock into a better Lightning Bolt, the Thane of Red Fell actually revolutionizes the Burn archetype for Commander, by making Burn do what Burn does best… But better.

Notable Inclusions

This deck is as rudimentary as you'd expect, but it's not without a few really good picks.

Purphoros, God of the Forge – a Burn deck that runs a glut of creatures will always be behooved by the inclusion of Purphoros, God of the Forge, within it. This deck has a lot of creature-based damage, combat or otherwise, and it needs things such as Purphoros to help it along.

"Torbran, Thane of Red Fell" Deck Tech - "Magic: The Gathering"
Source: Wizards of the Coast

Ogre Battledriver – There are so many creatures in this deck that care about other creatures being under your control. Ogre Battledriver helps the onslaught begin by, in a manner of terminology, encouraging your attacks along.

Hellrider – This is another creature that likes to see others on the field with it and with Torbran, Hellrider deals three damage per swing, before any combat damage is even dealt! Hellrider has always been a formidable card in other formats, but here is where the card really shines for Commander.

"Torbran, Thane of Red Fell" Deck Tech - "Magic: The Gathering"
Source: Wizards of the Coast

Burn, Burn, Burn It All! – There. Is. So. Much. Burn. In. Here! From Shock, to Lightning Bolt, to all  manner of knockoffs and imitations of both, expect to see as much of it in (the noncreature portion of) this deck as possible. It's the main way we see opponents defeated.

In Conclusion

I have tested earlier iterations of the deck laid out before you, but I haven't gotten a chance to update it until now. I believe the last time I updated this deck was around Hour of Devastation, so any newer cards, like from the Guilds of Ravnica block or Throne of Eldraine, have not been tested as extensively in this deck as I'd like. Nonetheless, I expect it to do just as well as (if not better than) it did in games past. It might even win a few multiplayer games.

Have you had good fortune playing Torbran, Thane of Red Fell in Standard, on Magic: The Gathering: Arena or tabletop alike? Let us know!

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About Joshua Nelson

Josh Nelson is a Magic: The Gathering deckbuilding savant, a self-proclaimed scholar of all things Sweeney Todd, and, of course, a writer for Bleeding Cool. In their downtime, Josh can be found painting models, playing Magic, or possibly preaching about the horrors and merits of anthropophagy. You can find them on Twitter at @Burning_Inquiry for all your burning inquiries.
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