Day four of the Theros: Beyond Death Limited Set review is here, and prerelease is almost upon us! Today we will be taking a look at all Red and Artifact cards.
And be sure to check out the other entries:
Rating - Explanation
1- This card is not making it into any of my Limited decks.
2- Not good, but a necessity for filling your curve and smoothing out your draws.
3- Value cards you are happy filling your deck with.
4- Cards to get excited about and premium removal.
5- Reserved for cards that will win the game if left unanswered.
The Akroan War - 5
Of all the recently added mechanics, Sagas are by far my favorite. This Saga is very powerful but will not win the game immediately. Deciding when to cast this will be key. Easily first pickable.
This is everything I want from a Red card. The devotion based power turns him into an aggressive attacker while also helping you build a massive board. This card will pair well with White for the new heroic trigger and go-wide pump spells. It's also an enchantment; you never know when that will come in handy.
Arena Trickster - 2.5
The Izzet deck wants this card, but most others don't. The "opponent's turn" mechanic will be really powerful and if you have enough of that synergy this guy can become big really fast.
Aspect of Manticore - 2.5
Some aura spells in this set are going to have a lot more value because of the flash mechanic. This is doubling as a combat trick (normally semi-low rating) and a mediocre aura. The flexibility and increased chances for 2 for 1 value makes this playable. You can also trigger constellation at instant speed.
Blood Aspirant - 1.5
The creatures in Theros: Beyond Death do not seem to support the sacrifice game plan. I am seeing the outlets, but not many of the creatures which actually want to be sacrificed. I doubt I will find space for this card in many decks.
Great value for a 2-drop. Potentially a solid trade up or even a 2 for 1. I would like more than one of these in every Red deck.
This card might perform better than it appears at first glance. If we can find value sacrifice targets it could pull its weight. Omen of the Forge is a good example of something worth sacrificing. I don't think its stats are where we want them to be as a filler but with a few targets I think this might find a place as a 23rd playable.
Dreamstalker Manticore - 3.5
Good stats for the mana cost and it has a solid ability. Few cards say "any target" and when they do they tend to be very powerful. It's also an enchantment which is easy to find synergy with.
Escape Velocity - 1.5
I'm really not happy to run this card, but I might not be valuing haste highly enough. The escape cost is very reasonable and I still don't think it will see much play without having a fair amount of enchantment synergy.
Fateful End - 4
This is the removal card I will be looking for in all of my Red decks. The cost is one more than some we have seen in recent sets, but we also get the Scry 1 to help smooth out our draws.
Final Flare - 2
Most removal spells that require a sacrifice are a lot more powerful. This one is an instant. We can compare this to cards like Heartfire and that did make it into a fair amount of my decks. The major difference is that Heartfire could go face for lethal, or simply in response to removal if the opponent had no creatures out. Final Flare is more expensive and less flexible.
I'm a bit unsure how to evaluate this because it does a lot of things well, but also has a big weakness. It's large and attacks well for four mana, so that's good. The reach part may be misleading combined with its "can't block" clause so I wouldn't put too much stock into it stopping flyers. Overall, I want it in an aggressive deck and would bank on it not being able to block in combat.
Furious Rise - 1.5
Furious Rise is one of those win-more cards that I'd rather not play, but does have a ton a value once it gets going. You'll get a card's worth of value if you trigger the ferocious ability the turn you cast it, which is likely the case if you're casting it at all. I look to play Furious Rise if I have at least 6 ways to trigger it, as well as a game plan for not getting beat down in the meantime.
A 3/2 for three mana is a solid set of stats. The heroic trigger of this set is granting +1/+0 to all of your creatures, promoting aggressive openings. Infuriate and Iroas's Blessing are cards I'm looking for to pair with Hero of the Games.
Five mana for a 4/4 that enters with a 1/1 that can't block. The heroic trigger here is slightly better since you're likely to have a decent battlefield worth of creatures given the free 1/1 that came on the enters the battlefield trigger.
Impending Doom - 3
I like Impending Doom a lot, albeit situationally. You're looking for 2-drops to curve into this like Underworld Rage-Hound, Careless Celebrant, or Incendiary Oracle. The death trigger is sweet, but the main draw to me is attacking for 5 on turn three.
Incendiary Oracle is a filler bear with trinket text. It's not an enchantment and doesn't have very much meaningful going on with words within its card frame, meaning it will mostly just be a 2/2 for. Sometimes it'll attack into a 3 toughness creature with the threat of the pump.
Infuriate - 2
Infuriate looks decent to me along with the aggressively slanted Red creatures, especially ones that want to be targeted. You want to push damage through with these kinds of decks and Infuriate is the card that can enable attacks into what appear to be bad blocks.
Iroas's Blessing - 4
This is a Lightning Blast with upside in my book. Enables heroic and constellation without missing a beat. The +1/+1 is almost an afterthought, but it's quite noteworthy when sizing up your attackers versus their blockers.
Irreverent Revelers - 1.5
I enjoy a good 2/2 for haste creature. We've gone past the point where that's a good Limited card and need a little more. Now we have a Manic Vandal split card going on to open up a ton of optionality on this common. If you ever destroy an artifact I can see this being quite a tempo swing.
Nyxborn Brute - 2
Nyxborn Brute has a lot power, which looks appealing, but in practice won't be too relevant. The 3 toughness holds it back and as a result will be brickwalled by any three-power creature. This is filler that will need to be backed by tons of removal to get the full value out of its 7 power. Though if your deck is chock full of removal you don't need much help anyway.
Omen of the Forge - 3.5
This is the best of the omens. It should easily make it into all Red decks.
This card is not as aggressive as I typically like my Red cards to be. Getting to discard lands and redraw late game is always really helpful to keep the pressure on. Typically happy to have this effect in my deck.
Ox of Agonas - 4.5
The escape cost is a bit hard to achieve, but I think the initial discard draw effect is going to be enough value on its own. I can't wait to play a Mono-Red or Boros deck, dump out my hand, and play this.
Phoenix of Ash - 5
Fire-breathing phoenix. The card is really good and the cheap escape cost will eat up a lot of the opponents removal. 100% First pickable.
Portent of Betrayal - 1.5
Really shouldn't be playing these cards most of the time. It also costs one more than normal and only adds scry 1. That said, they are really fun, and getting to sacrifice the creature afterwards makes Magic worth playing.
Sadly this Purphoros isn't as powerful as the last one. He can still win games, but his ability is going to be less powerful on the boardstate if he is not active. If I am plaything this card I really want to be close to Mono-Red.
Purphoros's Intervention - 4.5
Strong removal spell that can double as a finisher. I love having this in all of my Red decks.
Satyr's Cunning - 1.5
Not a huge fan of them not getting to block. This spell is a sorcery and cannot trigger the opponent's turn mechanic. Overall it seems like low impact unless you have a large number of the new heroic creatures.
Skophos Maze-Warden - 2.5
For Limited we will be totally ignoring most of this cards text. The mana cost for the stats makes this a reasonable body. Its toughness is going to make combat more difficult for an opponent. Being able to sink a few extra damage in will be helpful.
Every set has a big Red idiot, and that's exactly what this card is. Reasonable top end and it is possible that its ability could make combat really tricky. Low end filler.
Stampede Rider - 2.5
Potentially a 3/4 trampler for three seems really good. At its worst it is better than a vanilla 3-drop we often have to put in to fill out our curve. However, In the right deck Stampede Rider will be tough to deal with early.
Storm Herald - 2
Filler stats and an ability that you need to build around. A 2 in most decks, a 3.5 in the right deck.
Storm's Wrath - 4
Very situational. Taking a few turns to set this card up could gain a lot of card advantage. Be sure to get as much value as you can.
Tectonic Giant - 5
I had to read this card three times before I was willing to believe it was that good. Great stats and will hit them for a ton of extra damage. Even if an opponent manages to remove it right away, Tectonic Giant will still replace itself. First pickable easy.
This card is always playable. It allows you to discard a land late game which can be valuable in an aggressive deck. It is important to note it is an instant and can allow you to cast it on your opponent's turn - something important to Izzet decks.
Filler card. While it may not make it into most decks, when paired with fliers and first-strikers this card can be a much better fit."
I don't like this card in any situation. The deck would have to be full of low drops and this would need to be very late game. Translation: You are already dead.
Underworld Fires - 1.5
Easy sideboard card. Doubt I will ever want this in my main deck.
Aggression with recursion. This will help aggro decks keep from running out of steam. Three cards is a reasonable amount to exile if you don't have too many graveyard needs.
Wrap in Flames - 2
This card wants to be in extremely aggressive decks. Most of the Rakdos cards fit this theme, so I think it might be used more that we have seen in the past. The 1 damage to three targets will be something to keep in mind while in the sideboard.
Top 5 Red Commons:
This is going to be unplayable in the majority of decks. The ramp and color fixing might be useful, but the format seems low to the ground and closer to one color than it is to three.
Bronze Sword - 1.5
The equip cost is far too much. I can only see playing this card if I had a lot of fliers, as well as short on playables.
Entrancing Lyre - 3.5
An interesting removal spell. The fact that you can upgrade the target throughout the game makes the card far more flexible than normal aura removal spells. This will also get around the spells designed to kill enchantments but not artifacts.
Mirror Shield - 1
Does your deck have 5+ bombs you'd like to protect? No? Not playable.
Nyx Lotus - 1
I don't remember seeing a Fireball in Red. Did you? Unplayable.
Shadowspear - 4.5
This card is really good! Trample and lifelink is an interesting combination, and it's not too expensive to equip. The best part about the card is the ability. I have seen a lot of bombs with both hexproof and indestructible (All gods, Dream Trawler), and I am excited to take them down with this card.
I don't think this card is going to make it into the original 40 cards. Without hitting strong graveyard cards I don't think it will have much impact on the board. It will be great to have as a sideboard card.
Thaumaturge's Familiar - 1.5
Nothing impactful here. I can't see a reason to want a three-mana 1/3 or to be running artifacts.
Great stats and abilities for the mana cost. Crew 1 should not be difficult to maintain.
Reasonably cheap fixing. The question is: Do we want to be splashing in this format?
Wings of Hubris - 1.5
Unlikely to make many decks. I can see using a filler slot for this card if my deck was full of big Green idiots and had no other way to close.
We are almost finished! Are you feeling ready for your prerelease events?
Check back tomorrow for the final day of review for Theros: Beyond Death - Green and Lands!
MTG Nerd Girl