There are various rules and schools of deck design from which you can choose. Some people will tell you to watch your mana curve. Others will stress that your deck should follow a predetermined plan. Some will argue that you need to choose between speed and longevity, aggression and defense, disruption and protection, et cetera. Finally, ideally, your deck will amount to a whole that is larger than the sum of its parts.
Or you ignore everything you've learned and just go brr.
Social media is full of posts dunking on Pioneer's Black-Red Midrange. It has some discard, but not enough to disrupt anyone seriously. It has some great-on-rate two- and three-drops, but not enough to qualify as a beatdown strategy. It doesn't have enough removal to succeed as a control deck, but enough to run into trouble when it faces an actual control deck. It has some card filtering in Blood and Fable of the Mirror-Breaker // Reflection of Kiki-Jiki, but it doesn't do anything interesting with either. (Other people discard Parhelion II and reanimate it, or take their Fable to more creative ends.) The deck does a little bit of everything, doesn't excel at anything, and largely plays out good card after good card and hopes for the best.
It's also wildly successful. The deck took four of the Top 8 spots at the Pioneer Challenge on July 30, including first and second place. To be fair, recent builds improve both the early as well as the late game by including more Tenacious Underdog and more Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger. Between this recursion, the planeswalkers, Fable, the other creatures, and the lands that turn into creatures, the deck does excel at one thing after all: You won't find another strategy that presents so many different types of threats.
None of them are broken by themselves, and the whole may not be larger than the sum of its parts, but the sum evidently works.
|Black-Red Midrange by Misplacedginger, 1st at Pioneer Challenge, July 30|
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