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Core Set 2021 Limited Set Review: Red, Artifacts, and Colorless

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Core Set 2021 came out today on Magic: The Gathering Arena, and soon hopefully we will be playing in store. After tomorrow we will have looked at every card in the set and be ready to battle both online and at our local game stores. Hopefully this set marks a new beginning for Magic this year. I know it's been a tough one. Let's go ahead and jump into the next article.

This article is the fourth of five, and in it I will be evaluating every Red and Colorless card while scoring them on a scale of 1-5. These ratings are purely based on Limited formats and have no bearing on Constructed play. I would also like to note these ratings are based on how I believe the card will perform in an AVERAGE Sealed or Draft deck. Often this means a lower score for cards with great potential in a highly synergistic deck.

Rating - Explanation

1- Ideally not making the cut in any of my Limited decks.

2- Not good, but a necessity for curve filling and smoothing out draws.

3- Value cards I am happy to fill my deck with.

4- Cards to get excited about and Premium Removal.

5- Reserved for cards that will win the game if left unanswered.

Red Cards

Battle-Rattle Shaman - 2.5 - In a deck with a lot of small creatures this card will allow you to trade up in value. I would also consider this a much stronger card in a deck with a lot of flying creatures.
Bolt Hound
Bolt Hound - 3 - Any aggressive deck will want this card, and it can end the game quickly if an opponent has a slow start.
Bone Pit Brute
Bone Pit Brute - 2 - This fits into my big dumb idiot category. Reasonably happy to play this at the top end of my deck when I don't have anything better.
Brash Taunter
Brash Taunter - 4.5 - I love this card! This stops an opponent from pressuring you on the ground. And at the end of their turn you can make their biggest creature deal damage to them anyway. This has a lot of endgame reach.
Burn Bright - 1.5 - Decks that want this card will have 16+ creatures. Ideally you will have token generators and other payoff cards for going wide. Most decks are not going to want to run this card.
Chandra, Heart of Fire
Chandra, Heart of Fire - 4.5 - Great value on the board. The only reason this card is not a 5 is because it is not as immediately impactful as we have seen in the past, but she will still generate a lot of value. As long as you don't draw this card when you are too far behind, she can carry you to a win.
Chandra's Incinerator
Chandra's Incinerator - 3.5 - There seems to be a lot of interaction in the set to trigger this card's text box. At its worst, it has a reasonably sized body for the top end.
Chandra's Magmutt
Chandra's Magmutt - 3.5 - This card is great in an aggressive deck. The ping is great reach to keep pressure going once an opponent stabilizes against your more aggressive deck. Great card for any Red deck.
Chandra's Pyreling
Chandra's Pyreling - 3 - The base stats are reasonable, but I think the text is really strong. Commons like Chandra's Magmutt pair really well with this.
Conspicuous Snoop
Conspicuous Snoop - 1 - This bear is hard to cast. I am really not a fan of giving an opponent so much information for no benefit. This isn't going to make the cut in Limited decks.
Crash Through - 2 - Most decks are not going to want this card. I like that this works with Green on many levels. Green wants trample and it has a few cards that benefit from drawing a second card for a turn.
Destructive Tampering - 1 - Sideboard card at best. If you have an aggressive deck that's short on playables you might run this has a possible way to close out the game - probably not.
Double Vision
Double Vision - 1 - The average deck won't have enough spells to make this worth running. I would want at least 8+ really good spells to run this card.
Fiery Emancipation
Fiery Emancipation - 2 - This is a really hard card to evaluate. It will certainly win games, but it is hard to cast and it will be a horrible draw if you have no board presence.
Furious Rise - 1.5/3 - This card always feels really mediocre. Red doesn't have enough 4 power creatures to justify running this card. I suggest pairing with Green if you are looking to get value out of this card.
Furor of the Bitten - 2 - An extremely aggressive deck will want to play this card, but 95% of decks won't want it. It does not do enough to justify the risks.
Gadrak, the Crown-Scourge
Gadruk, the Crown-Scourge - 4 - This card is ramp and fixing all rolled into one. It is a great early game blocker and turns into a HUGE threat after a few turns. There is nothing not to like here.
Goblin Arsonist - 2 - Always a fine filler card that can make combat really tricky for an opponent. I am excited to get to use Alchemist's Gift and kill multiple large creatures!
Goblin Wizardry
Goblin Wizardry - 2 - A bit too low impact for the average deck, but this card's value will increase a lot in the spells deck. It will not be hard to turn this into a really strong card. Be on the lookout for Opts and Crash Throughs when playing this card.
Havoc Jester
Havoc Jester - 3 - For its mana cost, 5/5 is actually kinda big in this set. We have seen a few things that sacrifice in the set, so it will be reasonably common to be able to trigger the ability. It will also make combat difficult for an opponent because they never know if you might be able to sacrifice later in the turn.
Heartfire Immolator
Heartfire Immolator - 3.5 - Bear stats with prowess?! I am sold already. The sacrifice ability will also make things awkward for an opponent.
Hellkite Punisher
Hellkite Punisher - 3.5 - I would not want to play more than one thing at this mana cost, but if the rest of your deck is not extremely high cost this is a reasonable card that can top off a deck. Once this hits the field it will end games quickly. Just make sure you are able to cast it.
Hobblefiend
Hobblefiend - 3 - This card is great in a creature heavy deck. Token generation is ideal. As an opponent attempts to remove larger creatures, this creature will only grow. Over time this can become a real threat.
Igneous Cur
Igneous Cur - 2 - This card is happiest in an extremely aggressive deck. It trades up nicely and only gets better if you have any dog synergies.
Kinetic Augur
Kinetic Augur - 2.5 - The average deck isn't going to have enough spells to make this card good, but it will always be fine. It is reasonable to redraw extra lands in the mid to late game. I expect to run this card a fair amount of the time.
Onakke Ogre
Onakke Ogre - 1 - This card trades down too easily. If you are really light on playable cards you can use this as a curve filler.
Pitchburn Devils - 3.5 - This card is actually a bit stronger than it looks. Against a smaller deck this is easily a 2 for 1, and it makes combat really difficult for an opponent.
Sanctum of Shattered Heights
Sanctum of Shattered Heights - 2 - If this is your only Shrine, I don't think it is playable. If getting 2+ Shrines on the board is possible it becomes exponentially better.
Scorching Dragonfire - 4 - 2-mana, 3 damage burn spells tend to be really strong in Limited. This will allow you to progress the board while still holding open your removal spell.
Shock - 3.5 - With the amount of 1 and 2 toughness creatures in the set I think this is a bit better than it typically is - and it's always good. I absolutely want Shock in all of my Red decks.
Soul Sear
Soul Sear - 4 - Low mana cost and instant speed! This is a great removal spell that you can't have enough of. I would even consider splashing these.
Spellgorger Weird - 3 - Spellgorger Weird was a great asset to the spells deck when it was printed in War of the Spark. It was easily my favorite card for the deck. Very few spells are needed to actually make this card good. Even when you don't have spells you can still make things difficult for your opponent.
Subira, Tulzidi Caravanner
Subira, Tulzidi Caravanner - 3.5 - A very strong card to cast on curve. She is very aggressive and can allow you to refill your hand once you have cast all your cards.
Sure Strike - 2 - Sure Strike is always a decent combat trick if you have room in the deck. It is very situational so I typically remove it very early when making cuts but you won't be unhappy to have it in your deck.
Terror of the Peaks
Terror of the Peaks - 5 - This is an insane bomb and a great reason to go Red.
Thrill of Possibility - 2 - Always a reasonable card to pitch unneeded lands late game. The more aggressive the deck, the more it wants to run this card. After dumping out my hand early it is nice to pitch lands to refill it.
Traitorous Greed
Traitorous Greed - 2.5 - A major archetype in the format seems to be sacrifice, and that makes this card better than it typically is.
Transmogrify
Transmogrify - 1 - This is more of a Constructed card. If you use it as removal you are losing card value. This could be fun in a token deck with a bunch of big bombs? Seems like a stretch.
Turn to Slag - 3 - Turn to Slag is a bit expensive, but still great removal. 5 damage will kill most things in the format and it is hard to have too much removal.
Turret Ogre - 2.5 - This card has gotten both better and worse from the last printing. Overall, there seem to be fewer easy to find 4 power creatures, but there do seem to be more small fliers. The creature has gained a bit of overall value.

Unleash Fury
Unleash Fury - 1 - This card is worse than double strike, but if your creature already has double strike this card can be really fun. I also might consider this if I had a lot of big tramplers - but probably not.

Volcanic Geyser - 4 - This card gives you the flexibility to kill most creatures relatively easily. It is also a good topdeck late game for lethal in a more aggressive deck.

Volcanic Salvo
Volcanic Salvo - 4 - The original mana cost might be off putting, but I think it will actually be very reasonable to cast. When you do get to cast it, this will be able to easily kill two of your opponent's best creatures. I am always happy to play this card in any Red deck.

Top 3 Red Commons

  1. Scorching Dragonfire
  2. Shock
  3. Pitchburn Devils

Artifact and Colorless Cards

Chromatic Orrery
Chromatic Orrery - 1 - 7 mana is a lot for a card that really doesn't do much in Limited. It is far too expensive and slow to find its way into any deck.
Chrome Replicator
Chrome Replicator - 2 - Most likely this is a slightly expensive 4/4. I would guess you need at least 3 or 4 pairs before this card goes up any in value. I also wouldn't run bad cards just to make pairs for this. Playable - but barely.
Epitaph Golem - 1.5 - It has a nice butt, and there is some merit to running this card if you have any abilities that shuffle your deck. Putting back all your strongest spells will increase the overall value of the cards you draw.
Forgotten Sentinel
Forgotten Sentinel - 2 - Not where I want to be, but I am sure some sealed pools will need cards like this to fill out the curve. Avoid running it unless you really need the body.
Mazemind Tome
Mazemind Tome - 3 - The card basically says pay 10 mana and draw 4 cards. That's not a bad deal considering you get to do it at your own pace. The bonus life isn't important in most decks, but it's never a bad thing.
Meteorite
Meteorite - 1 - Five-mana colorless Shock? No thank you. Only consider this if you have a lot of BIG creatures and a splash color.
Palladium Myr - 2.5 - A turn four 6-drop seems really strong. I am excited to play this in my big Green idiots deck.
Prismite - 1.5 - Very low end fixing with subpar stats for a 2-drop. Avoid unless you are desperate for a body.
Short Sword - 1.5 - I set the bar kinda high for equipment spells. This one is too low impact for me to want it in my decks. Maybe it's a playable card in lifegain decks?
Silent Dart - 1.5 - Subpar removal that you might need if you lack any better option.
Skyscanner
Skyscanner - 3 - Always a good card, and it's even better in this set because of the flying creature and "second draw" themes we see through the set. Any deck would be happy to play this card.
Solemn Simulacrum - 4 - Though it is small, it brings a lot of value to the table. It is a body that gets you two other cards for free! It even ramps you into your larger creatures. I love everything about playing this card.
Sparkhunter Masticore
Sparkhunter Masticore - 3 - Getting to make this indestructible makes it worth playing. Consider siding this out if an opponent shows Soul Sear. If they have more than one it won't be worth getting 2-for-1ed after you discard a card to play this.
Tormod's Crypt - 1 - This is never in the main deck, and I don't see anything overly scary with graveyard synergies that would make me want to board this in. This is a 100% unplayable card.
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon - 5 - Pick this card. There is nothing better. The end.

These articles are used for the drafting data on Untapped.gg, and because of this we will be updating them periodically with new information and insight. Comments and discussions help me improve the articles to provide the best information for both other readers and Untapped.gg. So please feel free to comment below and give me your thoughts.

Twitter: @MTGNerdGirl

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