In order to best use my Magic resources, I'm trying to take the two dozen standard decks I have and narrow them down to fifteen decks with an even distribution of colors and color combinations (White, White/Blue, White/Black, White/Red, etc.).
However, I'm rubbish at Red and Red/Green decks, so three weeks ago, I thought I'd publicly work on the Red and Red/Green decks so that readers, friends, and random passers-by could offer input on the deck creation process. My rules for the decks are in that post.
Three weeks ago, I made a short-list of cards I had that I wanted to build a deck around. This week, I'm going to outline some cards that have been cut and the threats that my decks will need to address.
Archwing Dragon: I toyed with running green and cards like Thunderbolt to clear the airspace while this dragon swings through, but there's no upside to casting a 4/4 flier for four every turn. I'd have to control the airspace constantly from turns 4-8 without my opponent gaining life or killing me first while I essentially reset my mana base.
Aggravate: I just can't find a way to make this one work. With two fog effects in standard (the titular Fog and Terrifying Presence), you'd think it'd work, and I'm sure it'd work against most human, white weenie, poison, and saproling decks, but it doesn't clear the board or put me in a good situation otherwise.
Blasphemous Act and Scourge of Geier Reach: I mentioned that both of these cards need you to fall behind before really being useful. Scourge of Geier Reach requires that you fall behind and doesn't really address that, and though Blasphemous Act does, it's more a utility card than a "build around" card. If I'm keeping Jar of Eyeballs and/or Harvest Pyre, then Blasphemous Act becomes a pretty good idea there, but not on its own.
Wild Defiance: I like all the options, I even like that I can even cast Searing Spear on one of my dudes in a pinch to essentially give them +3/+0. However, I'm not sure if I can drop this, keep creatures on the battlefield, and keep cards in my hand to make it useful. There's not a lot of "target my own creature for 1 mana" cards out there right now. At least, not ones that are still good before I get Wild Defiance out. Maybe with a Jar of Eyeballs deck, I can razzle-dazzle enough cards up and put it in as support, but it's unlikely.
Otherworld Atlas & Grimoire of the Dead: I really wanted these two to work, but they make a complicated, slow, not-very-effective combo. Otherworld Atlas might work with something like Scourge of Geier Reach, or even Blasphemous act, but not enough to make a sure team with it.
Wolfir Avenger: A stain that's as hard to expunge as it is to use. No.
There are plenty of threats in Magic's standard format right now (standard usually being the last six sets to come out and the latest core set) and if I'm going to be making a standard deck, it has to be able to respond to them. A good rundown is here, but I'm going to take a second to talk about the six most dangerous cards I have to look out for: