Avacyn Pre-release tips: Play to your weaknesses – Red

I know that I probably could have put all of these cards into one post, but it would have been a MASSIVE post and I’m sure some of you would have fallen asleep before getting to the end. Therefore here is the next installment of playing to your weaknesses (or playing with commons, since these are the cards you will most likely get). Today I am focusing on the red cards from Avacyn Restored.

I believe that red will be one of the BEST colors to use in the Avacyn pre-release. The creatures and the cards are both very aggressive.

Vampires are scary

Yeah, he’s a 2/2 for 4 mana, that’s a little high, but I like him because of his second triggered ability. If you’re killing a lot of creatures with cards like Killing Wave or if you are sacrificing a lot of creatures, this guy suddenly becomes huge. And if you double him up with a Wingcrafter from blue, even better! Take this guy out ASAP if you fight against him.

Did Humans really need to get any stronger??

There are so many humans in Avacyn Restored that this wouldn’t be a bad card to have one or two of in a deck. The fact that you can have it deal one damage to creature OR player is great. Put 3 Humans in play and suddenly you have an Incinerate. This will definitely see play with Gather the Townsfolk in standard play. It also combos well with the vampire above.


This card has been covered a lot on other websites, so there isn’t much to say about it. I’d put it into your deck and always keep a single red mana untapped each turn just in case. I’d also mulligan if I pulled it in my opening hand. Very unlikely you’ll play this on a turn 6. Might be too late by then.

KFA - Kentucky Fried Angel

There are going to be a lot of flying creatures in Avacyn, and I don’t think it would hurt to have it in the main deck since it also does 3 damage to a player. Definitely sideboard, maybe main.


Good drop on the first turn. You’ll definitely take out their early drops with this guy, and he’ll survive a few turns. It’s too bad he doesn’t do the damage while blocking too! Can also be used to set up a Pillar of Flame on a 3/3 creature.

Great against Undying Creatures

Keep in mind that this says “die this turn”. Yes this can take out undying creatures that have 2 defense, but if you deal more damage later in the turn, the creature is still exiled. This will definitely see a lot of play against Zombies in the metagame, as well as any other undying creatures like Strangleroot Geist or Vorapede.

Now you can ping with the best of them!

Thank god! There hasn’t been a good pinging card for such a long time, and now anybody can become a pinger! You’d be surprised how useful being able to do one more damage can be. 1 more damage before the end of their turn, one more damage to kill a creature . . . and what about teaming up with Gisela, the angel that DOUBLES damage to each player and permanent they control? Yes, this is a nice card.

Damn it humans, STOP!

Geezus. This could be a game ender. If you already have 2 humans on the field, cast him after attacking, you could have dealt 5 damage that turn. Next turn attack for 5, then flicker him with a white or blue spell and suddenly you have another 5+ damage at your opponent! Mono-red Humans or RW Humans will be nasty at the pre-release.

Adding fuel to the fire

Okay, maybe you wouldn’t use this right away, but if you save it until the right moment, suddenly your Killing Wave or Bonfire of the Dead become GINORMOUS. Especially if you’re running a lot of cheap humans, this will be more than worth having in your deck.

More Vampires

2 mana is not bad for this type of card. It might be hard to get those first few counters on him to let you use that activated ability, but why not combo him with Lightning Prowess? Whenever he pings your opponent he gets a counter, then you can do another damage to a creature. Good to have with the Havengul Vampire as well.

Now you might not get any of these cards in your booster packs, but you’d be lucky if you did.

2 for the price of one

Tap + 1 mana, and suddenly you have a 6  point Thunderbolt heading at a player, or 8 points at a flyer. Maybe you just cast a Bonfire of the Dead or a Killing Wave, why not change that X=3 to X=6? I also wonder if you could use this to copy a Temporal Mastery and take TWO turns after the next one. Good card to have.


There are some sick people at Wizards of the Coasts that thought mono red needed more power. If you pull this card, you better run mono red or a combo of red and this. It’s just too nasty to pass up.

So it's kinda like a fireball but . . .

Okay, so maybe it’s not like a fireball at all. Even if you can only pay 2-3 mana for each X, you’re still going to wipe most of the player’s creatures off of the board. White has Terminus, Black has Killing Wave, Blue has Devastation Tide, and Red has Bonfire of the Dead. Not sure what green has though . . but now every color has a board wipe!

Okay, this is it for red today. Hopefully you’ve gotten some good ideas for your decks at the pre-release this weekend. If you can think of any other combos, please let me know!