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Drafting M10 - Red - Luke Collins (8/26/2009)

Having finished with Blue in my last article, I'd like to move on to the second ´´support´´ color in M10, red. Red has always been awkward in core sets. It has a few notable removal spells that get picked highly, and then a large number of creatures which are too small or too poorly costed to matter, with one or two Dragons rounding things out. M10 has taken steps to correct some of the typical Red problems, but there are still a lot of situations where things have stayed the same. As such, Red continues to be a strong support color, running well alongside Green, Black and White, offering them speed and efficient kill they wouldn't otherwise have access to.

Red is a little stronger than Blue, and can be a main color if it's heavily under-drafted. However, as most of red's best spells have only a single R in the casting cost, odds are it will never be under drafted. Every deck can run Lightning Bolt
Lightning Bolt
Lightning BoltSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Lightning Bolt does 3 damage to one target.
or Lava Axe
Lava Axe
Lava AxeSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
84
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
Lava Axe deals 5 damage to target player.
as a splash, and Red's cheap, efficient removal often means it ends up as a third color.

Remember, my grades are based purely on their draftability and are rather harsh, with A being a bomb, B being a very solid card, C being a card you'll end up playing, D a card you would want to avoid playing, and F being a card you shouldn't play at all. S is used on cards that are best kept in the sideboard or are hard to evaluate.

Act of Treason
Act of Treason
Act of TreasonSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
124
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
Gain control of target creature until end of turn. Untap that creature. It gains haste until end of turn. (It can attack and {T} this turn.)
- A re-name of ´´Threaten
Threaten
ThreatenSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
241
Artist:
Mark Brill
Text:
Untap target creature and gain control of it until end of turn. That creature gains haste until end of turn.
,´´ Act of Treason
Act of Treason
Act of TreasonSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
124
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
Gain control of target creature until end of turn. Untap that creature. It gains haste until end of turn. (It can attack and {T} this turn.)
is one of Red's better tricks, especially on an alpha strike or if you have a sacrifice outlet (like Vampire Aristocrat
Vampire Aristocrat
Vampire AristocratSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire Rogue
Rarity:
C
Number:
117
Artist:
Austin Hsu
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Sacrifice a creature: Vampire Aristocrat gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
). Using your opponent's creatures against them is always good, and while its short-lived nature makes it inferior to Mind Control
Mind Control
Mind ControlSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
U
Number:
63
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Enchant creatureYou control enchanted creature.
, the fact that it gives the creature Haste is surprisingly relevant. Several times I've come from behind to win using Act of Treason
Act of Treason
Act of TreasonSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
124
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
Gain control of target creature until end of turn. Untap that creature. It gains haste until end of turn. (It can attack and {T} this turn.)
to steal and attack with my opponent's biggest man. - B

Ball Lightning
Ball Lightning
Ball LightningSet: Fourth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ball Lightning
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Power:
6
Toughness:
1
Text:
Trample Ball Lightning can attack the turn it comes into play. At the end of any turn, bury Ball Lightning.
- Playable only in a very red-intensive deck, these guys will rarely go around the table for long thanks to the fact that they are popular in constructed. Still, from a pure draft perspective, they are rather weak. Any first strike or tap-down creature will eliminate them, and the RRR mana cost is very awkward when Red is too heavily drafted (and yet too weak) to be out on its own. As such it ends up primarily being played and thrown into an alpha strike to add more impact, and usually, that job can be better done by other cards. - C

Berserkers of Blood Ridge
Berserkers of Blood Ridge
Berserkers of Blood RidgeSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Berserker
Rarity:
C
Number:
126
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Berserkers of Blood Ridge attacks each turn if able.
- Red's problem has always been that its creatures were too small. The berserkers, while painfully overcosted, are large and capable of at least trading with almost every other common. Their ´´must attack´´ drawback usually isn't an issue since you'll be attacking with them every turn anyway, and since they kill or trade with most creatures in M10, they end up being surprisingly relevant. I'm not saying they're good, I'm saying don't pass them up just because of their cost and drawback. - C

Bogardan Hellkite
Bogardan Hellkite
Bogardan HellkiteSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
8
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
147
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flash (You may play this spell any time you could play an instant.) Flying When Bogardan Hellkite comes into play, it deals 5 damage divided as you choose among any number of target creatures and/or players.
- It's a dragon, therefore it's a bomb. Really, what more can be said? He can be flashed into existence to turn an alpha strike into a death march, he can finish off a weakened opponent, the only thing he CAN'T do is be affordable. You really need Green to run this guy so that you can get him out earlier, but all in all, he remains a bomb. - A

Burning Inquiry
Burning Inquiry
Burning InquirySet: Magic 2010
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
128
Artist:
Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai
Text:
Each player draws three cards, then discards three cards at random.
- This is really a constructed card, a mini Wheel of Fortune
Wheel of Fortune
Wheel of FortuneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Daniel Gelon
Text:
All players must discard their hands and draw seven new cards.
for discard and card advantage decks. The only use I've found for it is eliminating a trump card you know your opponent is holding, since if they're down to one card in hand there's a 75% chance they will discard the held card. Even then, its unreliability is an issue. - D

Burst of Speed
Burst of Speed
Burst of SpeedSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
129
Artist:
Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai
Text:
Creatures you control gain haste until end of turn. (They can attack and {T} even if they just came under your control.)
- Haste is wonderful. Haste at the cost of a card rarely is. In general, you'll only play one creature a turn, and attacking with it immediately is only worth the cost of a card if it'll make you win this turn. As such, this card is really just there to teach new players about Haste. - F

Canyon Minotaur
Canyon Minotaur
Canyon MinotaurSet: Conflux
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minotaur Warrior
Rarity:
C
Number:
60
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Set/Rarity: C
- It's Hill Giant
Hill Giant
Hill GiantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Giant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
with a new name! Sadly the core set has sped up and changed around a lot so the 3/3 for 4 is no longer the stick by which all creatures are measured (it's now the 2/2 for 2, IMHO) but he's still relevant and can still fight and trade with the other early creatures. He'll end up in your deck whether you like it or not, simply because he's a dumb guy with a fat body - C

Capricious Efreet
Capricious Efreet
Capricious EfreetSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Efreet
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Power:
6
Toughness:
4
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, choose target nonland permanent you control and up to two target nonland permanents you don't control. Destroy one of them at random.
- This guy is a bit of a liability, but he's a Craw Wurm
Craw Wurm
Craw WurmSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
6
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wurm
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Daniel Gelon
Power:
6
Toughness:
4
in Red, which is always short on red critters. He'll only rarely destroy what you really want, and if he's the only creature in play you'll often end up losing him to himself, but occasionally he'll break an opponent's bomb. He's relevant, if not superb, and can often be a nasty, random surprise for your opponent. - B

Chandra Nalaar
Chandra Nalaar
Chandra NalaarSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Chandra
Rarity:
R
Number:
159
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Text:
+1: Chandra Nalaar deals 1 damage to target player. -X: Chandra Nalaar deals X damage to target creature. -8: Chandra Nalaar deals 10 damage to target player and each creature he or she controls.
- All planeswalkers are bombs, period. I'd say Chandra is one of the weaker ones because her +1 ability is painfully weak, but she can still ruin your opponent's day. What with a lack of board sweeping in the format, her ultra ability is usually a game win, and her second ability means that often you can use her loyalty counters to kill creatures aimed at her rather than just losing them in combat. - A

Dragon Whelp
Dragon Whelp
Dragon WhelpSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Amy Weber
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying R: +1/+0; if more than RRR is spent in this way during one turn, Dragon Whelp is killed at end of turn.
- Red is always short on good flying creatures. The whelp isn't great, but its three toughness allows it to survive a fight with many other flyers, and its pumpability means that you can often burn out creatures much larger than it is. Don't forget that its ability doesn't destroy the Whelp until end of turn, allowing you to send him alpha-striking into the enemy with all the Red mana you've got. - B

Earthquake
Earthquake
EarthquakeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Does X damage to each player and each non-flying creature in play.
- The fact that this kills everything that doesn't fly is a real problem, since Red rarely has enough flying men to avoid wiping its own board with this. Still, Earthquake
Earthquake
EarthquakeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Does X damage to each player and each non-flying creature in play.
can often clear out the board, and even a small one can get rid of problematic tokens. Just make sure not to wipe yourself out when you use it. - A

Fiery Hellhound
Fiery Hellhound
Fiery HellhoundSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental Hound
Rarity:
C
Number:
135
Artist:
Ted Galaday
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
{R}: Fiery Hellhound gets +1/+0 until end of turn.
- I've always wanted Wizards to start putting the Firebreathing
Firebreathing
FirebreathingSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
R: +1/+0
ability on small, useful men so that it's not necessary to waste a card, and here my wish is answered. Yes, it's not a great card, but it can trade with something much larger than it is, so your opponent will find it difficult to block. Its 1RR casting cost isn't that big of a deal either, since you'll want lots of red to make him run properly. - C

Fireball
Fireball
FireballSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Fireball does X damage total, divided evenly (round down) among any number of targets. Pay 1 extra mana for each target beyond the first.
- A lot of people are excited about this card, and while it is good, it's really a lot better in constructed decks which can produce huge (or even infinite) amounts of mana, thus allowing it to take out the opposing player and/or their entire team. As it is, it usually just ends up being a finisher or an expensive kill spell, since choosing new targets is expensive and often means you don't have enough damage to kill them all. - B

Firebreathing
Firebreathing
FirebreathingSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
R: +1/+0
- Like many enchantments, it's not worth the cost of a card, and it begs to cause a two-for-one. It's cheap, but its ability is minimal, and expensive to use every turn. - F

Goblin Artillery
Goblin Artillery
Goblin ArtillerySet: Magic 2010
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin Warrior
Rarity:
U
Number:
138
Artist:
Alex Horley-Orlandelli
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
{T}: Goblin Artillery deals 2 damage to target creature or player and 3 damage to you.
- I miss Orcish Artillery
Orcish Artillery
Orcish ArtillerySet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Orcs
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
T: Orcish Artillery does 2 damage to any target, but it also does 3 damage to you.
, but this functional reprint will do just fine in Limited. Repeatable kill is always good, and this will take out a great number of creatures, or let you turn a chump block into a trade. I just wish I knew why it harmed the player when it,s art clearly shows it only harms the operators... - A

Goblin Chieftain
Goblin Chieftain
Goblin ChieftainSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
R
Number:
139
Artist:
Sam Wood
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Haste (This creature can attack and {T} as soon as it comes under your control.)Other Goblin creatures you control get +1/+1 and have haste.
- There aren't a lot of Goblins in M10, and most of them aren't very good. Still, if you end up getting a lot of them (they do tend to get passed around) then the Chieftain is very playable, making your goblins big enough to fight and fast enough to get in for the kill. - S

Goblin Piker
Goblin Piker
Goblin PikerSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
C
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
- As I said, there aren't a lot of Goblins in this set, and most of them aren't very good (Siege Gang Commander
Siege Gang Commander
Siege Gang CommanderSet: Scourge
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
R
Number:
103
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Siege-Gang Commander comes into play, put three 1/1 red Goblin creature tokens into play.
1R , Sacrifice a Goblin : Siege-Gang Commander deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
and Artillery are excellent, the others are rather unimpressive). This guy isn't very good, but he's necessary in an aggressive red deck since he has two power for two mana. - C

Ignite Disorder
Ignite Disorder
Ignite DisorderSet: Conflux
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
66
Text:
Ignite Disorder deals 3 damage divided as you choose among any number of target white and/or blue creatures.
- Obviously a sideboard card, this card is murder on a number of white and blue decks, since it allows you to take out up to three critters at once. Pick one up if you see a lot of small blue/white flyers going around. - S

Inferno Elemental
Inferno Elemental
Inferno ElementalSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
U
Number:
142
Artist:
Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Whenever Inferno Elemental blocks or becomes blocked by a creature, Inferno Elemental deals 3 damage to that creature.
- This guy is among Red's best creatures, and will more than likely be the best one you actually get to play with since he isn't rare. His ´´Deal 3´´ ability means he's impossible to gang block, since he hits each creature, and the fact that he strikes out when blocking means he's very hard to attack in to. With an effective attack power of 7 in most cases, he can kill almost every creature in the set in a trade. Pick him highly! - A

Jackal Familiar
Jackal Familiar
Jackal FamiliarSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Hound
Rarity:
C
Number:
143
Artist:
Alex Horley-Orlandelli
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Jackal Familiar can't attack or block alone.
- A ´´fixed´´ variation on the Orcish Conscripts
Orcish Conscripts
Orcish ConscriptsSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Orcs
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Orcish Conscripts cannot attack this turn unless at least two other creatures are attacking.Orcish Conscripts cannot be assigned to block this turn unless at least two other creatures are blocking.
/Mogg Flunkies
Mogg Flunkies
Mogg FlunkiesSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblins
Rarity:
C
Number:
92
Artist:
Brom
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Mogg Flunkies cannot attack or block during a turn in which no other creature you control attacks or blocks.
of old, Jackal Familiar
Jackal Familiar
Jackal FamiliarSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Hound
Rarity:
C
Number:
143
Artist:
Alex Horley-Orlandelli
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Jackal Familiar can't attack or block alone.
can't attack until turn 3 in most games, and usually ends up tagging along and getting killed while big guys go through. But he's got two power for one mana, and when played right, can do well. His drawback becomes very painful in limited a lot though, since often he can only attack when he'll get killed. I avoid him, but some players find his stats too good to refuse. - D

Kindle
Kindle
KindleSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Kindle deals to target creature or player an amount of damage equal to 2 plus the number of Kindle cards in all graveyards.
ZCBGdXJ5 - A cheap combat trick, Kindle
Kindle
KindleSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Kindle deals to target creature or player an amount of damage equal to 2 plus the number of Kindle cards in all graveyards.
ZCBGdXJ5 is a great way to play ´´gotcha!´´ when one of your high power, low toughness men gets into a fight. It's too underpowered to be widely used (compare it to Giant Growth
Giant Growth
Giant GrowthSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
Target creature gains +3/+3 until end of turn.
) but it's not a bad card, and one or two well played will put fear into your opponents. - C

Lava Axe
Lava Axe
Lava AxeSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
84
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
Lava Axe deals 5 damage to target player.
- In constructed, this card is frowned on for being too little damage for too much mana. In Limited, it's a quarter of your opponent's life total, gone. It's splashable and fits a great niche in Red's high spot, and should be picked and played highly. It's not a bomb, but it's a great way to put one's opponent on their back foot while you're preparing for an alpha strike - B

Lightning Bolt
Lightning Bolt
Lightning BoltSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Lightning Bolt does 3 damage to one target.
- A lot of people went nuts when this came out in the spoiler, but I understand the logic behind it. Ever since the Bolt was replaced with Shock
Shock
ShockSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
206
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
Shock deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
, creatures with a power of 3 or higher have had it ´´easy,´´ so to speak. With Wizards toning down mass removal or making it inconvenient, strong spot removal like Lightning Bolt
Lightning Bolt
Lightning BoltSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Lightning Bolt does 3 damage to one target.
becomes very necessary. Also, with creatures rapidly becoming very large (think Woolly Thoctar
Woolly Thoctar
Woolly ThoctarSet: Shards Of Alara
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
U
Number:
209
Artist:
Wayne Reynolds
Power:
5
Toughness:
4
Text:
Set/Rarity: U
) three damage isn't as dangerous as it used to be. Still, it's a great card, and odds are you won't get passed many, since it's infinitely splashable. - A

Lightning Elemental
Lightning Elemental
Lightning ElementalSet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
C
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Power:
4
Toughness:
1
Text:
Lightning Elemental is unaffected by summoning sickness.
- I see these guys going around as late as pick 6 or 7 and I just don't get it. Yes he trades with everything, but his ´´gotcha´´ power is incredibly strong. So many times I've had my opponent tap out or attack with all his men, only to get hit with four hard to the face. He can trade with most blockers, allowing him to be a sort of pseudo removal, and that for power is hard to attack in to. He's not a bomb, but I really think he's being under-valued, especially considering how big of a surprise value he offers. - B

Magma Phoenix
Magma Phoenix
Magma PhoenixSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Phoenix
Rarity:
R
Number:
148
Artist:
Raymond Swanland
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
FlyingWhen Magma Phoenix is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, it deals 3 damage to each creature and each player.{3}{R}{R}: Return Magma Phoenix from your graveyard to your hand.
- The ´´every creature and player´´ part of this card is very annoying, but it's a red creature that flies and which also can come back over and over to hit again. Players are hesitant to block it or kill it, and its departure usually means that most of the board gets cleared out. If played well, it can be very powerful, but its drawback and high expense mean that it's not really a bomb. - B

Manabarbs
Manabarbs
ManabarbsSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Whenever mana is drawn from a land, Manabarbs does 1 damage to the land's controller.
- This is another card intended for constructed players to build a deck around, say by stuffing it with non-land mana sources or massive life gain to counteract the barbs. In Limited it's never worth it due to how difficult it is to break the parity. - F

Panic Attack
Panic Attack
Panic AttackSet: Prophecy
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
98
Artist:
Mike Ploog
Text:
Up to three target creatures can't block this turn.
- This is a card specifically made for Limited, to allow you to win during your alpha strike by getting rid of your opponent's three biggest blockers. Since Red lacks evasion and needs a way to get in, it's very good in a deck that's heavy in red or green, and it is often necessary elsewhere. It's not a great card, but picking up one or two and then holding them until the last turn is usually necessary for a red deck. - C

Prodigal Pyromancer
Prodigal Pyromancer
Prodigal PyromancerSet: Planar Chaos
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
c
Number:
118
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T Prodigal Pyromancer deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
- For years, core sets had a pinger in the common slot. First it was Prodigal Sorcerer
Prodigal Sorcerer
Prodigal SorcererSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wizard
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Do 1 damage to any target.
, then Anaba Shaman
Anaba Shaman
Anaba ShamanSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minotaur
Rarity:
C
Number:
165
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
R, T: Anaba Shaman deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
, then this very same Pyromancer. And that made Red one of the best colors, because it meant that you could always get yourself a handful of cheap, common pingers, and keep your opponent's early creatures from ever making a real impact. For the sake of Limited, this guy needs to be at Uncommon, even though his ability and stats are really more at home in Common. - B

Pyroclasm
Pyroclasm
PyroclasmSet: Ice Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Pat Morrissey
Text:
Pyroclasm deals 2 damage to each creature.
- Again, the parity of this card makes it annoying, but it's invaluable against token decks, especially white and blue. The fact that it hits creatures in the air (unlike Earthquake
Earthquake
EarthquakeSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Does X damage to each player and each non-flying creature in play.
) is extremely relevant, and if you get it in your open hand it's often possible for you to play around it, leaving your board empty and then getting two or three creatures from an overextended opponent. - B

Raging Goblin
Raging Goblin
Raging GoblinSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
C
Number:
200
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Haste (This creature may attack and tap the turn it comes under your control.)
- As I said, there aren't a lot of good goblins in this set. A lot of players are lured in by the fact that this guy can be played and attack on turn 1, but usually he never makes it past that. He's tiny and has no evasion other than his speed, making him generally nothing more than a chump blocker after turn 1. Still, he can apply early pressure, and that makes him a usual component of red decks. - C

Seismic Strike
Seismic Strike
Seismic StrikeSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
154
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Seismic Strike deals damage to target creature equal to the number of Mountains you control.
- It's rather expensive and demands that your deck be red-intensive, and rarely deals more than three or four damage. Still, it's removal, and its ability to take out large creatures without too much mana makes it a good-but-not-great card. I'd say it's the low end of Red's removal, but still very playable. - B

Shatter
Shatter
ShatterSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Shatter destroys target artifact.
- As always, Shatter
Shatter
ShatterSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Shatter destroys target artifact.
is a sideboard card you pick up late and hold on to in case your opponent has a Platinum Angel
Platinum Angel
Platinum AngelSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
7
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
R
Number:
228
Artist:
Brom
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying You can't lose the game and your opponents can't win the game.
or some other nuisance. It's overpriced by today's standards, but in Limited it will always have a place. - S

Shivan Dragon
Shivan Dragon
Shivan DragonSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Melissa A. Benson
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying, R: +1/+0
- I remember when this guy was hailed as Red's biggest, meanest critter. That was a long time ago, and Shivan Dragon
Shivan Dragon
Shivan DragonSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Melissa A. Benson
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying, R: +1/+0
's glory days are long since past (along with its original artwork, which I always thought was way better than the yellow snake we have now). It's still a good creature with evasion and aggressive stats, but now it's so incredibly outclassed as to be laughable in Constructed. At least it'll always have a home in Limited, until they decide to quit reprinting it. - A

Siege-Gang Commander - By far the best of the goblins, this guy gets stronger the more goblins you have, especially since most of them are pretty useless. While damage may no longer stack, he's eight damage separated into inexpensive chunks (remember that he can fling himself towards the enemy) and he turns chump blocks into trades. - A

Sparkmage Apprentice
Sparkmage Apprentice
Sparkmage ApprenticeSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
144
Artist:
Mark Poole
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Sparkmage Apprentice comes into play, it deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
- Two mana for one damage is a bit much, even if it does leave a body behind, since the body is too small. It's certainly a card I don't mind having or playing with, but its ability is so small that it's not really worth getting excited about. I pick them up, but I don't seek them out, because without the ability to come down during your opponent's turn it can't really be seen as effective removal. - C

Stone Giant
Stone Giant
Stone GiantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Giant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
T: Make one of your own creatures a flying creature until end of turn. Target creature, which must have toughness less than Stone Giant's power at the time it gains flying ability, is killed at end of turn.
- Red has always had a problem with fliers, and Stone giant helps somewhat, since it allows you to put your chump blockers in the air. It can also throw over smaller men during an alpha strike, but in general, he can't throw anything big enough to matter. I usually see him as a slightly-better Canyon Minotaur
Canyon Minotaur
Canyon MinotaurSet: Conflux
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minotaur Warrior
Rarity:
C
Number:
60
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Set/Rarity: C
who sometimes helps me attack or block. - C

Trumpet Blast
Trumpet Blast
Trumpet BlastSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
98
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Attacking creatures get +2/+0 until end of turn.
- It's not as good as Overrun
Overrun
OverrunSet: Tempest
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
All creatures you control get +3/+3 and gain trample until end of turn.
, but it's a common, and often allows you to get the extra damage necessary to win or force trades. Obviously best with tokens or lots of other small men, it's not a great card, but one of those necessary red cards that you'll want to hold on to, especially since it is an Instant and can often force unexpected trades. - C

Viashino Spearhunter
Viashino Spearhunter
Viashino SpearhunterSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Viashino Warrior
Rarity:
C
Number:
161
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
First strike (This creature deals combat damage before creatures without first strike.)
- Not great, but very playable, especially since his First Strike ability means he can fight with lots of creatures at the common level and still live. Ironically his first strike ability means he's better as a defender than an attacker, but he's still a good solid creature and an essential ´´mass´´ for your average red deck.

Wall of Fire
Wall of Fire
Wall of FireSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Power:
0
Toughness:
5
Text:
R: +1/+0
- Wall of Fire
Wall of Fire
Wall of FireSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Power:
0
Toughness:
5
Text:
R: +1/+0
is red's best defense, since it can not only block most creatures at the common level and survive, it can even burn them up. With five toughness it's hard to kill, and leaves you free to attack without needing to worry about your opponent counter-attacking, provided you have enough red mana to burn him out. I find that it may work a little too well against some players, since they are so afraid of losing a man to it they leave all their creatures untapped, making them hard to attack in to. - B

Warp World
Warp World
Warp WorldSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
8
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
150
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Each player shuffles all permanents he or she owns into his or her library, then reveals that many cards from the top of his or her library. Each player puts all artifact, creature, and land cards revealed this way into play, then puts all enchantment cards revealed this way into play, then puts all cards revealed this way that weren't put into play on the bottom of his or her library in any order.
- This is a constructed card, that goes with a specific sort of combo deck meant to take advantage of it. In Limited, it never works out in your favor, and its crazy randomness is very hard to deal with. It also has three R in its casting cost, making it very hard to play. Pick this up only if you're looking to build said combo deck. - F

Yawning Fissure
Yawning Fissure
Yawning FissureSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
164
Artist:
Véronique Meignaud
Text:
Each opponent sacrifices a land.
- Wizards decided awhile back that land destruction was effective and therefore not fun. After all, it makes your opponents unable to play, and there's nothing more frustrating than losing by being unable to play. So this is what we end up with, a card that's pretty much unplayable everywhere. I'm beginning to wonder if Wizards plans to get rid of land destruction all together, at least as viable strategy. Cards which blow up lands while they do something else will no doubt remain for awhile. - F

Red is stronger than Blue largely because it doesn't have as many ´´printed for new players´´ sort of cards. It still suffers from unimpressive creatures, and outside a few notable pieces of removal (Lightning Bolt
Lightning Bolt
Lightning BoltSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Lightning Bolt does 3 damage to one target.
chief among them) it doesn't have much to play with. Because its creatures are so small and mediocre it usually has to depend on Green, White or Black for viable creatures, which tends to cut down on the sort of fast aggression that it's famous for. Still, red is not a BAD color, it's just a support color, relegated to using removal and the occasional aggressive creature to complement a color that's got better men to fight with. It's also highly splashable for the most part, which makes it a great third color.


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