Red. Red is my least favorite color in Magic. I use the term "least favorite" because I don't dislike Red. I just like it less than the other colors. There are many reasons why this is, and just to highlight one of them, Red is probably the worst at drawing cards, and as you all know by now, drawing cards is my favorite thing to do in Magic.
Red is also among the weakest colors in EDH. Red is overloaded with one-shot direct damage spells and other card-disadvantage type effects. A famous M:tG axioms states "Card advantage wins games". A typical Red strategy is to say "Screw card advantage, I will just kill you before card advantage has time to win out" and throws everything it's got at an opponent's face until that opponent is burned to a crisp.
Red doesn't like a long game, and EDH is all about long games. It's simply a mismatch of philosophies. That said, sometimes Red does draw cards. Wheel of Fortune is one of my favorite spells ever. Sometimes it can even do card advantage; Flametongue Kavu is a good example of how Red handles CA. And nothing wins the long game on the spot like a massive X-spell like Fireball or Comet Storm. So Red CAN do all the things it needs to do to compete in EDH.
The problem is that for every Wheel of Fortune or Flametongue Kavu or Comet Storm, there are a hundred little burn spells or other such incremental one-shot effects. Lightning Bolt is the gold standard of Red direct damage, and is fan-friggin-tastic in 60 card decks as a 4x. But in EDH? Nope. Lightning Bolt is HORRIBLE in EDH. That's what is so neat about EDH. You have to evaluate cards so differently. It can be disconcerting to some players to realize that in EDH a Prophetic Bolt is a wonderful and highly-playable burn spell, whilst Shock is utter crap. FTK is still good, but it's not quite as good as it usually is. Spitebellows is generally better than FTK. That's the kind of world EDH is.
The sad truth is that EDH is a world that, when you evaluate cards appropriately Red's #1 claim to fame, the one thing that it does better than any other color, is virtually useless in EDH. As such, the vast majority of Red's spells in any given set are going to be largely unplayable in EDH. Red just brings fewer desirable cards to the table, when compared to other colors. Mono-R decks exists, and they work. You just have fewer options to choose from without dipping into sub-par cards.
Anyway, this was all a very long way of explaining that this review will likely be noticeably shorter than others, as Red tends to get the shaft in EDH. But I also just wanted to throw out my little essay on Red and why it is my least favorite color (but I do still like it!).With that out of the way, let's get the review started.
This is one of those little one-shot effects I mentioned that usually suck in EDH. An equipment or aura that does the same thing is usually better. I only include this one because it can sometimes help you win through General Damage. This could find a home in Uril decks and some Mono-R decks. However, it IS a Sorcery, not an Instant, so that weakens the card considerably.
So, as I expected, Red is quite shallow. For me, the Dragon is the only imminently playable card in Red. A couple of cards will be good in Mono-R, which I will never build. And a few that I'm eager to play outside of EDH. But not much love here. Sorry! Maybe green will be a bit deeper? Spoiler: My #1 fav card in the set is Green, and it's not very good in EDH. :(
Next post: Green.