In limited, Green Red (GR) archetypes tend to be midrange decks that generally are on the more aggressive side of the deck spectrum. Green/Red is often quite straight-forward, you want aggressive creatures from Red, bigger midgame options from Green, then a mixture of red removal and green combat tricks. This is “ABC” magic.
While that is congruent with Oath of the Gatewatch limited, I have found GR to be fairly flexible in its role. This is of course the case with many of the non-white archetypes in Oath, and the reason is almost always because non-white color combinations always have the option of “splashing” colorless. Red/Green is pressed with the option to draft colorless of course, but you can also potentially play an Ally deck, generic good stuff deck, or even curve out generic beater deck that leans on combat tricks.
Green/Red is one of the medium archetypes of Oath draft, but decks can be incredibly powerful when drafted properly. One of the main reasons GR can be good, is that combat tricks are more powerful in OGW than usual. They help break through high toughness boards and also can maintain or create tempo advantages, especially with surge or a good curve. Unfortunately, you won’t see removal in every draft, that is just the way drafts go. Because of this, GR is one of the few options where you can have a great deck without any removal whatsoever. Removal is great if you can find it, but as you can see in my GR draft, while our 3-0 was certainly sloppy-we demonstrated the fact that GR can win games of limited in this format without removal.
GR has a few different options in how to be drafted, of course you might not always be able to choose what is coming-it’s still important to be aware of the options. The most common GR decks are generic aggro-midrange, but some decks will be dedicated to landfall, allies, or colorless. The deeper you go within these sub-archetypes, the more power you will achieve through synergy. You become rewarded for going down one path more than the others, but don’t be worried about overlap, honestly you should expect some. In Oath, Green Red has the luxury of not necessarily needing any synergy compared to some other commonly drafted archetypes. Obviously, a card like Eldrazi Obligator, Tajuru Warcaller, or Embodiment of Fury are going to be good in any deck. But, as I said before, all three of these cards might become even stronger if your deck revolved around one of the specific GR archetypes.
Through my experience drafting, I think the better GR decks are more good stuff oriented and not all-in synergistic. You usually are unable to find everything you need for specific synergies, so you are more often rewarded for taking the best Green and Red cards compared to drafting all the Green/Red allies you see. In my draft for example, I end up in an aggressive combat trick heavy deck, I am more allies than anything, but even with taking all the ally support I found-it still didn’t fill a deck as easy as I could for perhaps playing R/W or W/B. Green Red happens to just have a wide array of playable cards, without a built in archetype(the only landfall creatures in Oath are the 2 Embodiments) so it’s hard to get a deck solely based on synergy. It sort of “borrows” from other “built-in” draft archetypes that way, as your goal is just to curve out with good cards and use efficient removal and tricks to push through. The creatures themselves don’t particularly matter. A card like Cinder Hellion for example is quite awkward in WR allies or RB devoid just based on its “non” creature type. We can easily utilize a card like that in green red, a creature that gives us reach and takes combat tricks well is perfect.
It’s a good idea to always take powerful creatures highly in Red/Green because the ability to snowball games in your favor will make all your individual cards more powerful. Since Green generally doesn’t offer many good spells, you should usually end up being RG through the creatures you pick up more often than not. Creatures with staying power are quite helpful, as the RG won’t really have much reach so having renewable sources of damage is strong, not to mention you want heavy hitters when you aren’t particularly synergy driven.. I would say some of the stronger commons are Zada’s Commando, Saddleback Lagac, Stalking Drone (if colorless), Valakut Predator or any of the landfall creatures are some of the more easily acquirable creatures. Draft to your deck though, the more ally synergies you get the more valuable subsequent Ally picks have, as you can get paid off in Battle For Zendikar. Similarly, if you are short on removal and are going the combat trick route, keep an eye out for creatures that “take” combat tricks better. The nice part about having so many solid creatures, is that you can win games through a simple ladder curve, so you will lose less games where you only draw lands and creatures. Not to mention, maybe one or two good spells thrown into our curve, perhaps a Sure Strike or Boulder Salvo, and all of a sudden our solid curve becomes an “unbeatable draw”.
GR is a deck that isn’t ramping in this format. I point this out since this is often the case in other formats. Understand how other archetypes in the format operate. For instance, there is a general trend for decks to create board stalls and then have ways of breaking them. UB Devoid, W/B Allies, Green/Black value are examples of decks trying to do so. GR is most trying to prevent these decks from ever stabilizing. You want to keep them on their back foot and not allow them to set up shop. However, the trick is that some decks will be faster than you, such as RW allies or RB Devoid aggro. To take advantage of being the true midrange deck of the format, you generally want some amount of strong expensive spells. If our opponent is trying to stabilize all game, we just hit our land drops and eventually play them. If our opponent is faster than us, we will be trying to stabilize and some of the bigger spells can help do that or turn the race in our favor. GR is pretty bad at stabilizing the board through blocking, so against aggro our spells need to tilt the race in our favor as opposed to trying to block. Essentially GR is the perfect deck to utilize some of these options, as they will be effective in many different games. Some of these stall breakers and “stabilizers” include: Birthing Hulk, Tajuru Beastmaster, Rolling Thunder, Tajura Pathwarden, Gladeheart Cavalry or even Valakut Invoker or Saddleback Lagac can fill this role. Those are just a few to give you an idea of what they look like. Some of these are quite easy to get, and often can increase the power level of your GR deck a great deal-as they often don’t fit into other archetypes-especially since we can forego needing allies or devoid synergies.
Drafting the strongest Green and Red monsters needs to be supplemented by picking up removal and tricks. After all, part of the reason we can draft this deck effectively is because tricks can be so potent. For the most part, actual removal will almost unanimously be better than pump. Any deck would prefer it, but you need to always adapt to your draft. If you don’t have much removal, prioritize pump even higher./ Luckily, there is enough pump that few drafters can use that you can usually fill your deck with as many Vines/Lead by Example/Brute Strength as you want. The pump from pack three can be really potent, Sure Strike and Infuse the Elements can lead to the most blowouts. In general, I would like to have somewhere in the range of 5-8 spells. If they are all removal, great! You did it. The less removal you have the more pump you should be able to fit-if you have 5 good removal spells, having 3 pump spells will generally be bad as they don’t always play well together and will often create bad hands. Always think about what the end product might look like throughout the draft. If you have removal, prioritize creatures and more removal, if you don’t-still look for removal, but maybe take the combat tricks a bit higher.
-Draft strong on curve creatures, synergy helps, but don’t worry too much about being in the perfect devoid or ally deck, as this is often impossible for GR. Just try to get as many solid attacking creatures as possible so you can win off of a good curve out draw.
-Removal is always great. Green generally has less removal than other colors though, so if you are short on removal you can substitute combat tricks for it. This is the strength of GR in Oath, utilizing tricks that we receive later in the draft while we beat down with our early picks. Understand the scenarios where drafting several combat tricks will help you win.
– This format is defined by board stalls and decks that attempt to push through. GR doesn’t really stall the board that well, so ensure you have decent late game options that can break stalls but also stabilize(essentially kill) aggressive decks.