What to Expect: The Impact of M13 in Standard – Red
I hope you could get a little insight from yesterday’s Artifact list, but I think today will be a lot more useful. Today I’ve decided to talk about Red. During the pre-release I said that red really got shafted, because lets face it, drafting a sealed deck from that card base is like a shot in the dark. A lot of the cards were only powerful if you got a sweet rare to go with it (Krenko’s Command was good, but with Krenko it was insane). You’d probably have better luck drafting red in a booster draft than doing sealed with it. Keep that in mind if you do any drafting/sealed tourneys in the future.
Let’s start off with hands down the best red card of the set. This thing is bad ass on an entirely new level. I don’t even have to explain it, just look at the card! In a format dominated by Delver, this bad boy is looking to level the playing field. He’ll take out just about any angel as well, especially Restoration Angel (unless they flash it in to block). I think this card definitely will get a spot in some Naya/GR Pod decks, as well as Naya/GR beatdown decks. Those decks lack any anti-air spells aside from Restoration Angel in the Naya forms, but this Dragon will feel right at home. I could see a lot of people taking out their Acidic Slimes from their 5 spot in Pod decks and putting the Hellkite in there. I’m sure there are going to be some decks being built around him as well, so be on the look out.
Hmm, I don’t think we’ll see this guy in any mono red decks, but he could possibly be in a GR beatdown deck. One of my friends pointed out that you could T1 a mana dork +1 land, Turn 2 another green mana dork + red land and cast him, and on turn 4 cast an Increasing Savagery to give him 5 +1/+1 counters and attack for 8. Definitely a possibility, but it will take remaking GR Kessig Beatdown and I’m not sure people are willing to do that for a creature that might not even transform that turn. Another way to get counters on him would be to use Curse of the Nightly Hunt, but that wouldn’t start working until Turn 3, plus you’d have to deal with those creatures attacking. Courtly Provocateur from M13 would combo well with him if you had some blockers available, and so would Heckling Fiends. Maybe a mono-red provoke deck with Circle of Flames to kill the weak creatures that attack? Hmmm. If anybody comes up with ideas for him, let me know.
I think this could find it’s way into GR Beatdown, Birthing Pod, and maybe even RW Humans. 3 mana isn’t that bad of a cost at all to give everybody haste. It would work well in Pod cause you could attack and then sacrifice the creature, treating all cards like a Strangleroot Geist. I also think we’ll see people using Goblins in the coming weeks with this card and Goblin Chieftain in it, and this card MIGHT even work in a BR Zombie deck. Gravecrawlers with haste would be great. This card definitely has some applications.
It’s like Earthquake but better (some people think Earthquake would be better cause you can redirect the damage to the planeswalker, but hurting yourself too can be dangerous). Instead of dealing damage to players, it does it to Planeswalkers which is just downright awesome. Comboing this with Bonfire of the Damned will take everything off of the board. Bye Tamiyo, bye Jace, bye Sorin . . . You might see some people take out a Bonfire of the Damned or two just to be able to target Planeswalkers with this. But what kind of deck would it fit in? I feel like Red is going to change come Friday. It won’t be just mono-red anymore, but more of a Red burn/control deck that burns everything in sight. I don’t think you’ll see this in Beatdown or Pod decks, but I definitely think it has it’s uses and will get some play in the future. It just might be closer to rotation time when we see it being used.
So Chandra’s Phoenix is (or will be) gone, but that’s okay with me. I used to run 3 Chandra’s Phoenix’s in my UR Control deck, but the problem was that I quickly ran out of Galvanic Blasts and other red spells to bring the Phoenix’s back. And nowadays, my UR deck RARELY attacks my opponent directly. However, my creatures do die pretty easily and are hard to bring back. I wouldn’t mind switching out a Dungeon Geists from my deck and putting him instead. He’ll take out a Restoration Angel, Delvers, etc, and come back the next turn (on their turn no less) for more punishment. I’m liking this guy against control decks like Esper control, as well as UB control that mills and kills. If control makes a comeback in the next few weeks, this guy might get some play. Otherwise I think we’ll see him more post rotation to take over for Chandra’s Phoenix’s spot.
I think all 3 of these cards will get played in the new goblin decks that will start showing up at FNMs and other casual events. People like Goblins, and now they are definitely viable for beatdown and have some awesome weapons at their disposal. This is how I would run a Goblin deck. T1 Arsonist, T2 Krenko’s Command, T3 Goblin Chieftain/Arms Dealer, Turn 4 Krenko, Mob Boss. When Krenko comes in he’d be able to make another 5 2/2 Goblins and you could swing for 22 damage. And if you decide to go the Arms Dealer route, he combos pretty damn awesomely with Goblin Arsonist. For 2 mana you’ll basically be hitting your opponent’s creatures for 5 damage. And with Krenko in play, you’ll have an endless supply of “Goblin Grenades” to throw at their creatures. Arms Dealer would probably be a good sideboard card in this deck, cause I’d definitely Run 4 of all of those other cards.
Well, that wraps up my thoughts on the red cards for M13. I think Beatdown decks will definitely use some of these cards, and I guarantee that you’ll be seeing some goblin decks around in the next few weeks as well. Better have your Whipflares ready! Haven’t decided what to do for Wednesday yet, but most likely it will be Green or Blue. Thanks for reading!