Posts Tagged ‘red’

23
Jul

Magic 2014 M14 Casual and Commander Review: Red

   Posted by: Jesse    in Gaming, Reviews

I am a red mage a heart, even after playing Magic for nearly two decades. Sure, I enjoy a cold, calculating control deck but that the end of the day, no play is more satisfying then tapping a Mountain and saying, “Bolt.” M14 follows the trend of new cards for Red, but also introduces some new and refined mechanics for my favorite color. As always, this review only covers new cards printed in M14, not reprints.

Magic 2014 (M14) Casual & Commander Review
White Blue | Black | Red | Green | Artifacts & Lands

Academy Raider

The Red Ophidian, Academy Raider is a fascinating little common. While the power level isn’t quite good enough for the kitchen table (three mana for a 1/1? That isn’t happening.), I love the combat ability on this card. Red’s reverse looting is slowly building up and I really like the idea of being able to pitch a dead card in hopes of drawing something better. It’s just too bad that Academy Raider isn’t quite there.

Awaken the Ancient

Giving haste is a nice touch, but makes the card feel overpriced. A 7/7 for 4 and a land drop is decent, but this card really opens you up to too much 2-for-1 disadvantage. Against one player in limited formats, it’s a bomb, but when three or four turns may pass before you get your next untap step, it isn’t worth the risk. Read the rest of this entry »

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Personally, when it comes to Commander, this entire block has had a lot of disappoints for me. But that’s because I run a monored Jaya deck in the format, so multicolored options limit me a lot. But when I’m not playing Commander, I love basking in all the colors – and Boros is one of my favorite color pairings.

Dragon’s Maze Casual & Commander Reviews
White, Orzhov & Selesnya | Blue, Simic & Azorius
Black, Dimir & Rakdos | Red, Izzet & Boros

Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review
Orzhov Syndicate | House of Dimir | Simic Combine | Gruul Clans | Boros Legion
White | Black | Blue | Green | Red | Other

Return to Ravnica Casual & Commander Reviews
Azorious Senate  | Izzet League | Cult of Rakdos | Golgari Swarm | Selesnya Conclave
White | Blue | Red | Black | Green | Gold, Artifact & Lands

Awe of the Guilds

Mostly limited fodder, Awe of the Guilds can make for some interesting plays due to its limitations. But being sorcery speed means you can’t use it to screw combats you aren’t directly involved with.

Clear a Path

Well, you now have a way to stop Wall of Deni- nope, you still don’t. Read the rest of this entry »

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The newest Magic: the Gathering Duel Decks got released over the weekend, and like always, the price kept climbing so I waited until I spotted them for MSRP and picked up a pair. Once a year, Wizards release a set of Duel Decks focused on a pair of Planeswalkers battling it out and this year, we’re going back to Innistrad as Sorin and Tibalt go head to head.

Suggested Ages: 13+
Suggested Players: 2 players
Contents:

  • Two ready-to-play 60-card decks
  • Two deck boxes
  • Two creature tokens
  • A strategy insert
  • A Magic “Learn to Play” guide

Retail price: $19.99 available at Amazon.com

Like the other Duel Decks, Sorin vs. Tibalt is two 60-card decks specially made to battle one another. For the spring releases now, it seems like Wizards is sticking to two planeswalkers from the previous block which I love for two big reasons: it makes planeswalkers super accessible to casual and new players and it ties back in with sets you can currently buy. These Duel Decks also include two spirit tokens with Magic card backs (with the Avacyn Restored art),  two deck boxes (which can’t fit sleeved decks), a how-to-play insert and a strategy insert outlining how the decks work. Read the rest of this entry »

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6
Mar

Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review: Red

   Posted by: Jesse    in Gaming, Reviews

I love mono red in multiplayer. Much like blue, it’s a color that just shouldn’t work. The shortsightedness of red is about impulsive actions and not thinking about consequences. If I wanted to care about consequences, I wouldn’t include a bunch of self-destruct buttons.

Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review
Orzhov Syndicate | House of Dimir | Simic Combine | Gruul Clans | Boros Legion
White | Black | Blue | Green | Red | Other

Return to Ravnica Casual & Commander Reviews
Azorious Senate  | Izzet League | Cult of Rakdos | Golgari Swarm | Selesnya Conclave
White | Blue | Red | Black | Green | Gold, Artifact & Lands

Act of Treason

Hey, a reprint! A fun card with the likes of Bazaar Trader.

Cinder Elemental

Another reprint! Originally from Mercadian Masques, Cinder Elemental is a nice blend of creature and utility, but it is beyond slow. Read the rest of this entry »

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19
Feb

Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review: Boros Legion

   Posted by: Jesse    in Gaming, Reviews

One of my favorite cards in Magic is Boros: Lightning Helix. I love Lightning Bolt and Armadillo Cloak was one of my favorite spells too. So when it comes to Magic, I feel right at home in the aggressive style of Boros.

Weenie decks are difficult in multiplayer formats. The traditional system of applying pressure and keeping it on doesn’t exactly work when you’re facing off against 60 or 80 points of life. And RDW faces the same issue. You might burn out one player and maybe half of another before getting crushed into the ground.

Amazingly, Boros manages to avoid both of these pitfalls.

Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review
Orzhov Syndicate | House of Dimir | Simic Combine | Gruul Clans | Boros Legion
White | Black | Blue | Green | Red | Other

Return to Ravnica Casual & Commander Reviews
Azorious Senate  | Izzet League | Cult of Rakdos | Golgari Swarm | Selesnya Conclave
White | Blue | Red | Black | Green | Gold, Artifact & Lands

Boros Elite

I love when I say things and then immediately get proven wrong. Boros Elite is an interesting variant of the Savannah Lions archetype in white weenie. But weenies aren’t always the best. As far as batalion goes, it’s a nice mechanic that encourages attacking – which is a great way to break stalemates. Sadly, you can’t do crazy tricks but putting creatures onto the battlefield tapped and attacking …usually.

Daring Skyjek

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I found Blade of the Sixth Pride to be interesting, and for an aggressive deck, this is a fine two-drop. The biggest issue is it doesn’t do enough late game. Read the rest of this entry »

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6
Feb

Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review: Gruul Clans

   Posted by: Jesse    in Gaming, Reviews

There is a side of me that loves a great blue-white control deck or a black-blue behemoth that wins by taking control of the entire battlefield – and the stack. I’ll even dabble in red-black when I want pure chaos to take over.

But at my core, I’m a green-ally player at heart. My favorite deck is now referred to as Naya, but it was built long before that name was a thing. If I called it anything, it would be Thornscape (though those cards got removed a long time ago). But there is something about the Gruul Clans that makes me smile while smashing.

Gruul’s new mechanic, Bloodrush, allows you to turn creatures into pump spells on the offense and has a little touch that is great for multiplayer. It is target attacking creature – any attacking creature. This little change makes combat much more interesting for red and green since they can’t smash every turn.

Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review
Orzhov Syndicate | House of Dimir | Simic Combine | Gruul Clans | Boros Legion
White | Black | Blue | Green | Red | Other

Return to Ravnica Casual & Commander Reviews
Azorious Senate  | Izzet League | Cult of Rakdos | Golgari Swarm | Selesnya Conclave
White | Blue | Red | Black | Green | Gold, Artifact & Lands

Scorchwalker

Not the most exciting card in the bunch, being a 5/1 for 4 is pretty standard. The bloodrush addition is interesting because it gives mono-red some new pump options besides Brute Force. I’m most interesting in this for mono-red infect, but any aggressive red deck could use this… but that doesn’t make it good.

Skinbrand Goblin

This is much closer to what I want! The ability to be a small body or a cheap pump spell is exactly what red wants. And it is a goblin, so it will be right at home in tribal decks. Skinbrand is awesome, and when it comes to commons, this is the kind of utility I like to see. Read the rest of this entry »

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17
Oct

Return to Ravnica Casual & Commander Review: Red

   Posted by: Jesse    in Gaming, Reviews

Unlike normal sets, the color wheel is slightly out of whack. Black and red have switched places so instead of black, red is getting reviewed after blue!

As that weird mono-red Commander who doesn’t play Kiki-Jiki, I always get excited when I see new red cards for my Jaya deck. And while Blue felt like more of the same, Red in Return to Ravnica is very, very exciting.

Return to Ravnica Casual & Commander Reviews
Azorious Senate  | Izzet League | Cult of Rakdos | Golgari Swarm | Selesnya Conclave
White | Blue | Red | Black | Green | Gold, Artifact & Lands

Annihilating Fire

And when I mean very, very exciting, I don’t mean this card. If scavenge, dredge, undying or persist are huge issues at your table, this is an okay removal spell (Disintegrate would cost 4 for the same effect). It really is one of those metagame dependent calls that I can’t make for you.

Ash Zealot

Last night I tried out my Crosis Commander deck which is all about reanimation from everyone’s graveyard. Then Josh played Grafdigger’s Cage on turn 2 and my deck was shut down. Ash Zealot is an amazing two-drop. Red usually doesn’t get two abilities on a 2/2 for RR. But the final ability is the perfect piece of table hate. When Memory Plunder, Snapcaster Mage or flashback spells become a hassle, she viciously punishes people with Lightning Bolts. Read the rest of this entry »

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Return to Ravnica is an interesting set. While most expansions only offer one or two archetypes when it comes to mechanics, Return to Ravnica allows for five right off the bat. But there is one small issue with this for kitchen table players: Rakdos doesn’t really work.

The core of Rakdos is the unleashed mechanic which is great for sligh decks, but those never work against more than one player. Dealing 20 damage to someone quicker than they deal 20 to you is easy, but when you’re facing off against 60 or 100 life, you can’t win.

Return to Ravnica Casual & Commander Reviews
Azorious Senate  | Izzet League | Cult of Rakdos | Golgari Swarm | Selesnya Conclave
White | Blue | Red | Black | Green | Gold, Artifact & Lands

Rakdos, Lord of Riots

Rakdos has been in desperate need of a do over since he originally debuted. But holy crap is this a commander! Costing only 4 mana, he’s pretty easy to cast. As long as any opponent lost life, he’s in play and changing the game. He’s a 6/6 flying, trampler for only four mana! That’s beyond amazing.

The second ability is fantastic. Dubbed “paincast,” it allows you to rapidly escalate your army. Grab some eldrazi and get to work.

Rakdos’s Return

What do you get when you combine Mind Shatter and Blaze? Really good discard and really good damage! Taking out someone’s hand is mean, but burning them is delightful. This is exactly the kind of card that won’t make you any friends but will feel so satisfying when it connects. Good thing this card says opponent, so you don’t have to worry about it coming back to you. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Izzet League is the guild everyone seems to love. The band of mad scientists working for an insane dragon certainly has some appeal, but the lack of focus makes me think Izzet has no idea what they are doing. Every now and then, they’ll do something awesome though. Probably accidentally.

Return to Ravnica Casual & Commander Reviews
Azorious Senate  | Izzet League | Cult of Rakdos | Golgari Swarm | Selesnya Conclave
White | Blue | Red | Black | Green | Gold, Artifact & Lands

Epic Experiment

This card is hilariously stupid and equally awesome. Generate enough mana and this can end games in a mess of spells waiting to resolve. In Commander, I see this being the destroyer of worlds like Genesis Wave. I can’t wait to see one go off.

Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius

Curse you Wizards, you had to make a second Niv-Mizzet that doesn’t automatically cause infinite damage when combined with the first. An inverse of his old-self, Niv-Mizzet is still a good card and a great legendary but he’s so much harder to abuse now. That said, turning UR into a card whenever you want is amazing. For combo commander players, he will easily find a home but his original version is better. Read the rest of this entry »

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16
Jul

Magic 2013 Casual & Commander Review: Red

   Posted by: Jesse    in Gaming, Reviews

I’m a weird Commander player. I know that because I keep tweaking my mono-red Jaya Ballard deck whenever a new set comes out in hopes that maybe some day it will actually work (though pulling off her Inferno when equipping a Loxodon Warhammer and wearing a Darksteel Plate was awesome), so when looking at red cards I take it way too personally.

Magic 2013 Casual & Commander Review
White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Other

Chandra’s Fury
Combining Lava Axe with a one-sided Tremor doesn’t really wow me. Or maybe I’ve realized how few 1/1s get played at my table. I don’t every expect to play this card, but I do think I’ll keep it in mind if tokens ever become a problem again.

Cleaver Riot
Red Overrun makes Cleaver Riot an interesting card, but the sorcery speed makes it much less fun (and impossible to use defensively). Where I am most interested in this card is an awkward red infect deck that probably shouldn’t exist but I don’t even care. I want to make it. Read the rest of this entry »

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