Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Oath of the Gatewatch Top Picks: Red

Oath of the Gatewatch prereleases officially begin on Friday on Magic Online, and I know many players are eager to get their hands on the new cards. Both Part One and Part Two of my Standard Pauper review of the set are available now on PureMTGO, so I encourage you to check those out for more detailed analysis of all of the cards.

I've already written about the new colorless mana from the set as well as a first look at the new Lands at Common. This week, I'll finish up my evaluation of my top two picks at Common from each of the five colors for Oath of the Gatewatch. So far I've looked at White, Blue, and Black; today, I'll look at Red.

Best Red Common: Goblin Freerunner
With the two mana discount off its Surge cost, you get a 3/2 with Menace on Turn 3, which certainly has the potential to do a lot of damage before your opponent can deal with it. And even if you pay full price, that isn't the absolute worst.  That said, this seems like it deserves a spot in an aggressive Rakdos or RDW style deck, where the combination of cheap creatures, burn, and combat tricks gives you good odds on being able to cast this for the Surge cost more often than not. This isn't enough to build around, but it's decent value for what it is.

Red Runner Up: Cinder Hellion
Creatures with native Trample are pretty unusual at Common, and combine that with a very reasonable 4/4 for 4R that also  deals 2 points of damage when it enters the battlefield and you definitely have a pretty solid beater. However, most of the time Red decks just aren't looking to run a five-drop creature, no matter how good it might be. That fact relegates this card and others like it to a more midrange Gruul style deck, and generally speaking there aren't enough powerful high mana creatures to make that strategy viable very often.

Overall I thought Red was probably the worst color at Common, but those two cards are definitely the best of the bunch. What do you think?

1 comment: