Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dark Ascension EDH Set Review: Red

And so, we have come to the Red cards, and I'm really hoping for at least one or two playable Vampires. Let's see what we can come up with.

At first I was like "How the hell did Green get this for G while Red has to pay six?" Then, I realized it didn't require one of the creatures targeted to be under your control. While the six mana price tag is still quite unatractive, the multiplayer implications are quite intriguing. Making any two creatures fight means that, if you're careful with it, you can get rid of two troublesome threats at once. Still, it's probably only playable in Red decks that don't have access to better removal options.
If this were a Wheel of Fortune with Flashback, I'd be drooling right now. Alas, it's not and I am sorely disappointed in this card. I can't imagine using this anywhere, even in a deck built around Flashback as a mechanic.
Pretty sweet combination of effects. You get the Goblin War Drums thing going on, but you have to attack with this wolf to get it. However, the Wolf is hard to block as it's effect covers itself. And in the even he does get blocked or targeted for removal, he has Undying as yet another layer of protection. Pretty good for 3 mana. I think this is pretty playable in Red Zone decks.

River Kelpie meets Pandemonium. This is a bit too specific to be widely playable. Most of the time I'd just rather have Spitebellows and Flametongue Kavu. But in the right deck this could be a powerful enabler.

Another largely useless card that could still be an important to certain decks. Mono Red mages might find this to be a worthwhile form of spot removal. I don't play Mono Red, though, so I can't say for sure. Seems worth trying out.

Probably, not even the presence of Haste will make this truly worth playing. But it MIGHT be playable in a very dedicated vampire deck with all the available Vamp lords to pump it up to a respectable size.
Ha ha, oh wow. Possibly the most compelling Curse we've seen yet. On the flip side, though, putting this on an opponent in a multiplayer game will definitely earn you the ire of that player, and possibly the rest of the table too. Unless the person you put it on is "that guy", which is pretty amusing. I like this, but don't expect to see widespread play. It's going to be a niche card for sure, but there is definitely a home for it somewhere in the format.
Surprise, surprise. After a string of utterly horrible Red mythic dragons, this one is pretty damn sweet. It's hard to tell if that's only because it looks so good next to it's janky bretheren, but at the very least this should be widely played in Kaalia and Rith the Awakener decks. Firebreathing for your whole army is a new twist on the mechanic and it's quite exciting. Time will tell if it actually matters or not, but I think it will be relevant.
Another card that should at least find a home in Rith the Awakener decks. Also, Sek'Kuar or any other token decks that have Red in them.
Hilarious effect, but the CMC of eight is rather sobering. I really don't see this taking off in the format, but it should at least be a "pet card" for a few players. It basically says "Destroy all creatures target player controls", but in a much wordier and confusing fasion. Also, if their biggest guy has Shroud (or Hexproof) you'll be a little sad about this.

Another Haste-y vampire, but this one is just as iffy as the last one. It might prove to be a reliable yet expensive utility creature, allowing your vampire army to punch through for an unexpected alpha strike. Still, I'd rather just kill blockers outright. Borderline playabe at best.
The cheapest of the "Increasing" cycle, and the most playable as well. The only downside is that it can only copy spells you control, which means Reiterate and Wild Pair will still be preferable to this in most decks. However, this definitely has huge amount of potential and seems like a sure thing for virtually every R/U deck out there.
Finally! A vampire in this set that I'm unconditionally willing to play. Doublestrike means this thing will get really big, really fast. Coming down to start swinging on Turn 4 means there will almost always be one opponent open for attack at that point, so it should be swinging as a 3/3 on Turn 5. Combine with Rakish Heir or any "Lord" and it really can get out of hand.
Well, that's it for Red, and while I'm somewhat disappointed, I did get the minimum of one really good Vampire, so it's not a total bust.

Next up: Green. Enjoy!


  1. No mention of Faithless Looting? It's probably only really playable in mono-red but if you go that route I think it's one of the best draw spells red has available; it's basically draw four, discard four for four mana, divided between two castings. I've been running it in Bosh, Iron Golem and I haven't been sad to see it yet.

  2. I'll admit I didn't really consider the card an EDH-worthy card, but I don't have any experience with mono-Red to know if I'd be willing to play it there. Also, I vaguely thought it said "at random", but now I see that it doesn't. That does improve it's standing somewhat.