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Throne of Eldraine Standard Set Review: Red and Artifacts

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Check out the other entries:

White | Blue | Black and Gold


We are almost at the end, today we have the fiery Red cards along with the artifact cards from Eldraine. You READY? No, not yet. First, how I'll be evaluating the cards.

I will not be going over cards that I believe will not see play in Standard and I will not be going over the Commander cards that will not see Standard play. For example, cards like Silverwing Squadron (Brawl rare) and Lonesome Unicorn will be omitted since they are just Limited/Commander cards and saying, "This is just a Limited card" repeatedly gets old rather fast. Don't worry though, I will be covering all the rare and mythic cards in the actual Throne of Eldraine set. So, if you like a certain rare or mythic, it will be mentioned in the review.

Keep in mind I'm rating all these cards for Standard playability. I will mention Modern applications if I believe the card has some.

Each card will be listed by color, then alphabetically by name.

Each card will be given a rating of 1-5. If a card would receive a 0, meaning it will see no play in that format ever, its rating is left off the list.

Rating | Explanation | Standard Examples

0 - Will never see play in this format (0 ratings are not listed).

1 - Unlikely to see play. (Light of the Legion)

2 - Could see fringe play, or occasional sideboard card. (Drowned Secrets)

3 - Commonly played, staple in a single deck, or frequent play in several decks. (Oath of Kaya, Thought Erasure, Lava Coil)

4 - Format staples. Sees play in multiple decks, one of the best cards in the format. (Hydroid Krasis, Risen Reef, Field of the Dead, Nissa, Who Shakes the World)

5 - Format warping. If you're in these colors, you play that card. (Teferi, Time Raveler, Narset, Parter of Veils)

Let's Go!

Bonecrusher Giant
3 - A removal spell that doubles as a 4/3 creature is very good and will see play. It's a different Flametongue Kavu mid to late game which is fine since it can go face. This also gets around protection and cards like Root Snare.
Claim the Firstborn
2 - This is one of the best Threaten affect I've seen recently. I expect this to see a lot of sideboard play for Red decks.
Embercleave
2.5 - Embercleave is hard for me to evaluate but it seems good as a "gotcha" card. It reminds me of Ghalta but for Red decks. It should end the game or get close when you play it.
Embereth Shieldbreaker
2 - Great Sideboard card for any Red deck, not just knights.
Fervent Champion
3 - This is the reason to play rw knights over bw Knights but I still think Knight of the Ebon Legion is the better 1-drop.
Fires of Invention
3 - I really like this card and it can do some silly things. It does not look broken in Standard but it will do some powerful stuff, especially if you play it alongside something that can bounce it / reset it, like Flood of Tears.
Irencrag Feat
2.5 - Fun to cast this into Sundering Stroke or any other big spell like Chandra, Awakened Inferno. This could make big Red a thing in Standard.
Irencrag Pyromancer
3 - This is probably, the best pay off for drawing your second card per turn affect. Just got to watch out for Narset!
Merchant of the Vale
2.5 - This card should see more play for its adventure half than its creature counterpart. A solid card for Phoenix decks or decks trying to trigger, "drawing you second card per turn."
Opportunistic Dragon
2.5 - This reminds me of a bigger Sower of Temptation but the thing you steal can't attack or block which is still totally fine and forced your opponent to deal with in order to unlock whatever you take. I guess it's a little more like Dungeon Giests than Sower of Temptation in that regard.
Rimrock Knight
2.5 - Just a Red knight that rw Knights could play. Nothing fancy here.
Robber of the Rich
2.5 - Not sure why this is Mythic Rare but here we are. Card seems like a great card to bring in against slower decks, it reminds me of Dire Fleet Daredevil but with a twist.
Scorching Dragonfire
3 - If you want an instant speed Lava Coil that hits planeswalkers but deals one less, then you're in luck! This card will see play as long as creatures and planeswalkers exist in Standard.
Slaying Fire
3 - Flame Javelin saw plenty of play while it was in Standard and Slaying Fire will be the same way.
Sundering Stroke
2.5 - Big Red come back? Eh? Doesn't take many of these plus Slaying Fire / Chandra to reduce an opponent's life total well below zero.
Thrill of Possibility
3 - Tormenting Voice is back but at instant speed! Don't worry though, you'll still be casting this at sorcery speed thanks to Teferi.
Torbran, Thane of Red Fell
2 - Fringe card but if your opponent untaps with this or plays it after they've played a Cavalcade of Calamity, then RIP.

Top 5 Red Cards

  1. Slaying Fire
  2. Bonecrusher Giant
  3. Fervent Champion
  4. Thrill of Possibility
  5. Fires of Invention

Onto the artifacts!

Heraldic Banner
2.5 - Overall worse than Icon of Ancestry but could still see play in mono-colored aggressive decks.
Lucky Clover
3 - This is a sweet card to play alongside Fae of Wishes or even Brazen Borrower. I look forward to making many Fairy wishes with the Clover.
Stonecoil Serpent
2.5 - The best part about this card? You can't bounce it with Teferi or Tyrant's Scorn the snek! It's going to bash through those Hero of Precinct one tokens too. Seems like a good Shifting Ceratops for non-Green decks.
Witch's Oven
2 - Got to make some food for the Savvy Hunter somehow and what better way to do that then baking your things in the Witch's Oven?

The Top 5 Red cards are all even and we still had some left over in Irencrag Pyromancer and Scorching Dragonfire. Red did not get a four, but it brought a lot of staples to Standard. Lucky Clover has the most potential as far as artifacts go, I look forward to brewing with that card and Fires of Invention.

Tomorrow we'll be wrapping it all up with the Green and Land cards from Throne of Eldraine.

As always, thanks for reading,

Ali Aintrazi

Follow me @AliEldrazi

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