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Crimson Vow Standard Set Review: Red and Artifacts

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Welcome back everyone! Yesterday we went over the Black and Multicolored cards in Crimson Vow and today we will be going over the Red and Artifact cards. Before we start, let's go over how I will be rating 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 Nebelgast Beguiler and Unholy Officiant will be omitted since they are just Limited cards and saying, "This is just a Limited card" repeatedly gets old rather fast. Do not worry though, I will be covering all the rare and mythic cards in the actual Innistrad: Crimson Vow 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. (Divine Gambit)

2 - Could see fringe play, or occasional sideboard card. (Disdainful Stroke, Annul, Candletrap)

3 - Commonly played, staple in a single deck, or frequent play in several decks. (Righteous Valkyrie, Behold the Multiverse, Wash Away)

4 - Format staples. Sees play in multiple decks, one of the best cards in the format. (Werewolf Pack Leader, Elite Spellbinder, Ranger Class)

5 - Format warping. If you are in these colors, you play that card or keep that card in mind when building decks. (Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Alrund's Epiphany, Hullbreaker Horror)

Now that we have that out of the way, let's begin!

Red

Abrade
Abrade - 3.5 - Abrade is always a solid addition to Standard, removal with multiple modes is much desired, especially since threats are stronger and stronger.
Alchemist's Gambit
Alchemist's Gambit - 2 - Fringe playable card. This is what Alrund's Epiphany should have been. 7 mana Time Walks that get exiled and don't make bodies are completely reasonable.
Cemetery Gatekeeper
Cemetery Gatekeeper - 2 - Gatekeeper will not be great in Standard, but it could really shine in Modern or formats that have fetchlands. Exiling a land with Cemetery Gatekeeper is brutal against midrange and control decks.
Chandra, Dressed to Kill
Chandra, Dressed to Kill - 3 - Another medium planeswalker that I am happy to have. Chandra does not just slot into any Red deck, you must think about her a little bit first and how you want to build around her. The way a lot more cards should be honestly.
Change of Fortune
Change of Fortune - 1 - Heartwarming Redemption saw no play, this won't either. That is way too much mana for that ability. It is a combo card but extremely difficult to get to work in Standard.
Creepy Puppeteer
Creepy Puppeteer - 2.5 - Surprised this card is not being played yet. It's not insane but it does have haste and it can grow your smaller creature for more damage. Maybe because you can only attack with one other creature is why it's not seeing play.
Curse of Hospitality
Curse of Hospitality - 2 - Cool card for Commander but not so much Standard. In Standard you are just better off playing another creature or threat.
Dominating Vampire
Dominating Vampire - 3 - This card will get stronger if you can curve into it with a sacrifice outlet. Thankfully Witch's Oven is gone but a card like that will really make this card shine.
Ill-Tempered Loner // Howlpack Avenger
Ill-Tempered Loner // Howlpack Avenger - 2.5 - Red has better access to 4-drops. Not at all a fan of four-mana 3/3s, even with the revenge ability.
Manaform Hellkite
Manaform Hellkite - 4 - Izzet really does have a plethora of insane creatures and spells to choose from. Manaform Hellkite just adds another win condition to that deck, it also works well with Alrund's Epiphany!
Olivia's Attendants
Olivia's Attendants - 1 - Not sure why this card is rare. Six-mana 6/6 with mediocre abilities. Definitely a bulk rare.
Reckless Impulse
Reckless Impulse - 2.5 - No Light up the Stage but I like Reckless Impulse in a low mana curve deck. Especially a burn variant. This one is worth trying out for those decks.
Stensia Uprising
Stensia Uprising - 1.5 - Very unimpressive enchantment. 4 mana for a 1/1 is not appealing and the payoff for seven damage is not worth the turns and mana investment.
Vampires' Vengeance
Vampires' Vengeance - 2 - Instant speed Vampire Pyroclasm! I am a fan, especially in the sideboard of vampire decks where this can act almost like a plaguewind.
Volatile Arsonist // Dire-Strain Anarchist
Volatile Arsonist // Dire-Strain Anarchist - 2 - I mean, you need to do a lot of amazing things to beat out Goldspan Dragon, and Volatile Arsonist does not come close to the Dragon. I'd stick with or treasure making friend.
Voldaren Epicure
Voldaren Epicure - 3 - The Epicure is not super impressive, but it costs one mana and fills the mana curve. The Blood Token is nice too.

Top 5 Red Cards

  1. Manaform Hellkite
  2. Abrade
  3. Voldaren Epicure
  4. Chandra, Dressed to Kill
  5. Dominating Vampire

Red seems to really help shape that vampire deck. This should make the deck viable in Standard and that's amazing. Love cards that make new decks in Standard instead of helping the already established ones. I am also excited to see if someone finds a cool home for Chandra and Manaform Hellkite. Lot less hope for Hellkite as it is probably just an Izzet deck but we will see.

Next up, the artifacts!

Artifacts

Dollhouse of Horrors
Dollhouse of Horrors - 2.5 - I love this card, but we don't really have amazing things to bring back with it and on top of that it is an artifact. With Abrade and Prismari Command running around, it is going to be extra difficult to make this one work.
Honored Heirloom
Honored Heirloom - 3 - I loved The Celestus and while this card is worse than The Celestus, it is still an excellent tool for midrange and control decks. Love this design to attack graveyard-based strategies!
Investigator's Journal
Investigator's Journal - 2 - Mazemind Tome and Treasure Map are rolling around in their grave! This Journal just doesn't do anything against control decks and that really hurts. Maybe a sideboard option for aggressive strategies to battle control decks but I think we have better options.

Nothing too impressive here, but I do hope I am wrong about Dollhouse. I would love to see baby 1/1 and 2/2 Komas or something getting in the red zone!

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As always, thanks for reading

Ali Aintrazi

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