Thursday, July 3, 2014

Two Red Commons in Magic 2015

We are now well into spoiler season for the Magic 2015 Core Set. I for one have been pretty pleased with the quality of Commons, particularly given that the power level tends to be lower in Core sets than Expert sets. While you can view the official Wizards of the Coast spoiler here, currently MTGSalvation has 223 of the 269 cards in the set, and that is where I am getting the information for this post.

Today I want to look at two Red Commons from the set that are particularly interesting to me. According to the Red color pie philosophy, Red is a color that values immediate action over thoughtful strategy. And yet, these two Commons are designed to give you not only an immediate effect, but the option to do something better later. Additionally, both of these Commons have a complexity to them that I would deem on the upper-end of what is acceptable according to the design dictates of New World Order. Let's take a look.

1. Inferno Fist has not yet been officially confirmed, so it's possible that this is actually Uncommon. A +2/+0 Aura for 1R is fairly mediocre in Red. However, the ability to transform this into Shock at Instant speed is quite strong. This is a great example of what I would term "good now, good later" kind of card. In an aggressive deck, this Aura allows you to punch through for some extra damage. Then, when it is no longer relevant, you can sacrifice it as a combat trick or even in response to removal. The fact that it only requires you to keep up one red mana is what really makes this so good.

2. Generator Servant also subscribes to this "good now, good later" philosophy. A 2/1 for 1R is a typical but unexciting Red Common. Such creatures generally only see play in hyper-aggressive decks. However, the ability to sacrifice it and, in effect, gain back the mana you used earlier is quite relevant. Even better, this has the secondary ability of granting Haste to any creature summoned with that mana. Additionally, this also functions as mana ramp. Play this turn 2, and on turn 3 you could cast a 5 mana Haste creature. Once again, you keep the first effect around until it is no longer useful, then cash it in for a more significant effect.

While not outright powerful, both of these cards grant Red a level of complexity and strategy that it unusual these days at Common. I can't wait to see what kind of impact these two cards make in the post-Magic 2015 Standard Pauper metagame.

So what do you think of these two cards? Let me know in the comments below. See you next time with another spoiler from Magic 2015!


  1. That aura looks really good for Boros decks. Triggers heroic and acts as both an aura and a burn spell in the decklist. Two birds, one stone. Also, Auramancer makes this thing essentially a recurrable burn spell. And if that Heliod's Pilgrim spoiled on MTGSalvation is real, then this card and all other auras are now fetchable, too. Could end up being pretty clutch.

  2. Hey, great minds think alike! I think the elemental mana ramp at common is just too good to not take advantage of. Not just fast creature acceleration but you can use it for burn when needed too!