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Stacking the Deck: Seeing Red in Dragons of Tarkir
The full spoiler list for Dragons of Tarkir was released yesterday and honestly the set looks really good. Today we're going to be covering mono red cards. Don't worry, I'll go back and do an update for blue and white cards worth taking note of. For now, let's start seeing red.
Dragon Fodder gets a reprint in this set. The last time we saw this spell was in Shards of Alara when this card was associated with Jund. It makes sense that this card gets a reprint in this set due to goblin tokens being playable with cards like Goblin Rabblemaster and Hoardling Outburst. Personally, I would swap out Hoardling Outburst in favor of this card. One mana can make the difference in any game.
Kindled Fury was one of the cards released yesterday and it honestly doesn't disappoint. One red for an instant that gives you +1/+0 and first strike is pretty good. It's nice to see that red has it's own version of Defiant Strike. It's even a common, which makes it even more comparable to Defiant Strike. Sure it's not a cantrip, but it makes up for it with the ability to dish out First Strike. Combine this with a Heroic strategy or any creature with prowess and you have a winning strategy.
The first uncommon of the color is Dragonlord's Servant. Two mana for a 1/3 is decent in limited. It's ability of making dragons easier to cast makes it a staple in any dragon deck. Definitely a Commander card, especially if your general is a dragon and possibly Standard worthy in a dragon based red deck. Maybe a Kologhan Mardu deck or something to that regard.
Draconic Roar is the new Lightning Strike, well kind of. Sure you can only hit creatures for three damage, but if you reveal a dragon or you control a dragon you can hit your opponent's dome in the process. For two mana, that's insane. Commander card for days. Solid Limited card and could be played in Standard in a dragon based strategy.
Sarkhan's Triumph is the card that reminds everyone that Sarkhan changed the past and saved the dragons. It's a three mana instant that searches for a dragon. Plain and simple, I like it. You play a five color dragon deck and search out the dragon you need the most. Once again it's simple, but good.
Rending Volley is a premier removal spell even before set release. Can't be countered and it deals 4 damage to a blue or white creature. For a red mana? Yikes this is power. I see this as a staple side board card for any card that plays red, in any format.
Roast is another good example of red removal. Two mana to deal 5 damage to a creature without flying?! Goodbye Siege Rhino, Courser of Kruphix, and any of the Theros Gods when they become creatures. Out of Standard, the list is too great.
The first rare is another sad sight flavor wise. Other than Anafenza being dead, Zurgo, /Bellstriker is the most depressing of the former Khans. Look at him in Khans of Tarkir. He's a 7/2 monster who was leading the assault of the Mardu Horde. Now he's a little weakling who rings a bell to warn the others when the dragons are coming. He's like a less badass Paul Revere. Honestly, he's not a bad card. A 2/2 that you can cast for one red is pretty good. Unfortunately he can't block creatures with power two or greater, but you can just dash him in for two mana. From what we've seen from Seeker of the Way, two mana 2/2's can be pretty good.
Commune with Lava follows the trend of red exiling cards and being able to cast them in order to deck thin. First Chandra, next Outpost Siege, now it's Commune with Lava. The only difference is that you can control how many cards to exile. X plus two red to cast where X is the number of cards you exile. This card is solid due to the fact that you can cast the exiled cards until next turn. Since it's instant speed, you can end step this during your opponent's turn and cast any of the exiled cards during your cards. It has the potential for Standard play in my opinion. After all we've seen what Outpost Siege has done in red decks.
The mythic of the day is Dragon Whisperer. Two red for a 2/2, pretty good. You can pay one red to give it flying, cool. One colorless and a red to give it +1/+0 until end of turn, not bad. Paying four colorless and two red to give yourself a 4/4 flying red dragon token if you have eight or more power of creatures, it's not that bad. A bit high of a cost for this card, but the ability to trigger Ferocious and then gain a 4/4 creature to increase your team's power to ensure that you can trigger Ferocious easier is not too bad. I doubt it'll be Standard playable, but it will be a comb in Limited and a pretty good Commander card.