Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Commons of M14 - Red

This is part of a series of posts about drafting our brand new set, Magic 2014. I'll discuss each of the five colors, and rank each common card from that color as I would expect to take them in a limited format. Check my recent posts to see the other colors.

Red

Tier 1 - Potential pack one, pick one:
1. Shock
2. Pitchburn Devils
3. Chandra's Outrage

Shock is immensely useful. As a one mana card, it's almost always available to blast away some creature. Pitchburn Devils is like Goblin Arsonist on acid, so obviously I think it's fantastic. I like Chandra's Outrage; four damage is going to get rid of the most common problem creatures in the set.

Tier 2 - Potential pick one in pack two or three, after my colors are established:
4. Blur Sliver
5. Marauding Maulhorn

Blur Sliver is just a really solid card; 2/2 with haste just gets work done. Marauding Maulhorn is very useful even if you haven't got Advocate of the Beast. Dropping 5 power on turn four is a huge advantage.

Tier 3 - Solid cards to fill out the color:
6. Regathan Firecat
7. Goblin Shortcutter
8. Act of Treason
9. Striking Sliver
10. Lightning Talons
11. Canyon Minotaur

Red in this set seems to get a lot of power at a reasonable price; Regathan Firecat gives you 4 power for three mana. Goblin Shortcutter can give you a very useful effect sometimes, but is always good enough to play. Act of Treason is a hit-or-miss, but sometimes it can hit really, really big. Striking Sliver is similar, really strong in a slivers deck, kind of blah in a deck without slivers. Lightning Talons is a powerful enchantment; 3 power plus first strike is an offensive and defensive house. Canyon Minotaur is Canyon Minotaur.

Tier 4 - Not exciting, but playable cards in color:
12. Dragon Hatchling
13. Academy Raider
14. Thunder Strike
15. Lava Axe
16. Wild Guess

Dragon Hatchling is a card that relies heavily on exactly how red your deck is. Academy Raider is I guess about as good as Rummaging Goblin was, but I'm not wild about relying on intimidation to get my card cycling. Thunder Strike reminds me of Mind Rot; you don't want to play it, but you don't want to see your opponent play it either. Similarly, you want to have Lava Axe late game, but you don't want to make room for it in your deck. I'd like Wild Guess alright if it were instant speed, but as is, it sits pretty low on my list.

Tier 5 - Cards I have a hard time seeing myself play:
17. Smelt
18. Seismic Stomp
19. Cyclops Tyrant
20. Demolish

We all know what Smelt is, sideboard. Seismic Stomp can be useful for some extra evasion, but you have to already have a decent board for it to be useful. Cyclops Tyrant has a forbidding cost and a considerable downside. I'll avoid it most of the time. I guess in the rare situation where your opponent lucked into a ton of good artifacts or one or more Mutavaults, you might want to play Demolish. But that's about it.

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