Welcome back to yet another set review here on TCGplayer.com! I am Conley Woods and once again, we have a new set to tackle! This time around, we have traveled back in time to a Tarkir where dragons still exist and man, do they ever show up in this set. All week long we will be taking a look at each card from Dragons of Tarkir and talking about its strengths and weakness for both Limited and Constructed play. For Limited, we will even make a distinction between Draft and Sealed as sometimes there can be meaningful differences there.

Remember that Dragons of Tarkir will effectively replace Khans of Tarkir in Limited. This means that Dragons of Tarkir will be supplying two of the three booster packs in Draft along with a single Fate Reforged back. In addition, as usual, Dragons of Tarkir will be drafted before the pack of Fate Reforged.

Dragons of Tarkir also increases the Standard card pool to the biggest size it has been since the Return to Ravnica rotation, which often means a lot of possible archetypes.

As mentioned before, we will be giving each card three separate ratings: One will be for Constructed, one for Draft, and one for Sealed. To help us out in the process, below are the two scales we will be using.


Constructed

5: Fives are ever-present cards that heavily warp a format or see heavy play across multiple formats. Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Deathrite Shaman, and Tarmogoyf are good examples of fives.

4: These cards tend to have support roles across multiple formats or be tier one cards in at least one. Spell Pierce is an example of the former while Thragtusk is an example of the latter. I expect to rate a lot of things as fours that are actually fives and vice versa, but in both cases these are going to be highly desired cards.

3: These are the bread and butter cards of a set, usually doing all of the essential things needed for a format, but doing them at a good rate. Cards like Oblivion Ring, Izzet Charm, or Diregraf Ghoul would be found here.

2: These cards are generally much more restrictive in use and application than a three, but they serve a similar purpose. You will see more sideboard or niche cards like Skullcrack, Heartless Summoning, or Gladecover Scout.

1: These are not going to see much play, but they have an outside chance. These tend to be weak or narrow sideboard options or extremely narrow main deck cards. Most ones will not ever make it into a winning list, but they have potential to do so.

0: These are unplayable in Constructed regardless of context. These tend to be the cards designed to balance Limited, like Grizzly Bear or Siege Mastodon or are narrow with a poor output, like Artificer's Hex.

*Any card that gets an X.5 rating just means I can see it falling to either side of the equation given the right metagame or environment.


Limited

The Limited scale used language such as "I draft this over..." but it applies to Sealed in a very similar manner. Essentially, for Sealed you would read it as "I play this over..." instead. So for a 5 in Sealed, you would play that card in your deck 100% of the time.

5: I will take and play this card over everything. Always. Examples: Umezawa's Jitte, Library of Alexandria.

4.: I will take and play this over everything in its same colors and will heavily consider splashing it or switching colors as a result of drafting this or having it in my pool. Incredibly powerful cards that are more difficult to cast will generally get a four or 4.5. Examples: Fireball, Gideon Jura.

3: I will first pick this and take it over most commons/uncommons in its color. These are generally the baseline best commons in a set for each color, like removal, looters, and efficient creatures. Examples: Lightning Strike, Merfolk Looter

2: I will draft and play these but do not value them highly. These are the typical 5th - 8th picks that generally are the backbone of decks but do not do anything fancy. Inefficient removal and combat tricks tend to hover in the 2.5 area as well. Examples: Hill Giant, Divine Verdict.

1: I generally do not want to pick these highly or play them in my maindeck. These cards are either bad or very niche and only go in specific strategies. In either case, there is a good chance these cards wheel when seen anywhere near the front end of a pack and very little value should be placed on these cards early. Reasonable sideboard cards can be found here, so you should not discount these entirely Examples: Demolish, Merfolk Spy

0: These are cards that have no value and should not be played in 99.9% of situations. If you take one of these, you had better know what you are getting yourself into. Examples: Progenitus, Sway of the Stars.

With that, on to the cards!

Atarka Efreet

Constructed: 0

A nice unmorph trigger that is held back by the six mana you need to spend to get there. A 5/1 or 6/2 is not very resistant to removal either, which is not good for your four or six mana play.

Draft: 2
Sealed: 2.5

This has a huge hidden upside which is that it gets to six power without needing to spend five or more mana. That generally means you are going to trade with just about any other morph for less overall mana. Trading is not the greatest thing in the world, but the extra one damage from this can hopefully push the trade even further in your favor.

Atarka Pummeler

Constructed: 0

The vanilla body on this is not very impressive for five mana and the activated ability requires you to invest quite a lot for an ability that is not the most impressive in Constructed.

Draft: 2
Sealed: 2.5

Meanwhile, in Limited this activated ability will often win you a game or create a huge advantage for you at worst. A 4/5 for five mana is acceptable already and that means only four additional power needs to be gathered before you can start messing with the rules of combat.

BerserkBerserkers' Onslaught

Constructed: 1

If you compare this to Rage Reflection, it is almost strictly better for competitive purposes as a deck wanting to play this is going to want Double Strike on offense almost exclusively. Obviously defensive double strike comes up, but you don't play a card like this with defense in mind. The saving of a mana, and therefore a turn, is a big deal though so this might sneak into some decks like Monored Devotion.

Draft: 3.5
Sealed: 3.5

This tends to be better in aggressive decks, such as Jeskai aggro, because it just swings a game so much when it can come down on curve and punishes an opponent who maybe only has one or two creatures out. Later on, this can be an Overrun, so it is still strong, but double blocks and removal are also an out at that point.

Commune with Lava

Constructed: 3

Important to note on this card is the fact that you get until the end of your next turn to cast the cards off of this. That is quite different than your next end step. The most common play will be at the end of your opponent's turn and then using your turn to cast the goods off of it, but if you have a ton of mana, it can be correct to cast this for a lot on your turn, play something off of it, then play the rest on your following turn.

Draft: 3
Sealed: 3

This is a pretty powerful card past turn five or so as it will often draw you two or three cards depending on your luck. In the late game, this can be a complete beating, but you really need to get to the eight mana or more mark before that happens.

Crater Elemental

Constructed: 1.5

I am actually quite a fan of solid defensive creatures like this. Usually, you couldn't waste more than a sideboard slot on a wall, but this offers a lot of versatility as both a removal spell or a late-game threat. If four toughness proves to be a benchmark in the format, expect this to be a common solution.

Draft: 3.5
Sealed: 3.5

A big butt wall that turns into a removal spell or an 8/6 is a lot of really good things going on all in one card. Six toughness makes this pretty resistant to removal as well, although do be wary of combat tricks pumping blocked creatures as you don't want to lose this guy for so little.

Descent of the Dragons

Constructed: 1-2

While expensive, this does a lot of what Hour of Need can do in Constructed (a card I thing is very strong) while eventually doing it better than Hour of Need itself. Obviously being a sorcery is a drawback, but once three creatures are targeted by this, you are actually saving mana. This works just as well, if not better, with Battlefield Thaumaturge too! Shrink opposing fatties and upgrade your own dorks for game swinging potential.

Draft: 4
Sealed: 4

Outside of this being dependent on you having a few creatures out, it is going to be a powerful one. Once you are making three or more dragons with this, the game is likely over and even at two dragons, if the original creatures were useless anyway, you are still getting a lot out of this. Keep in mind that you can reduce opposing bombs into more manageable 4/4 fliers with this too.

Draconic Roar

Constructed: 1.5-2

This is a card that is fairly bad without the kicker and quite above rate once it picks up its dragon bonus. If there is an archetype running enough dragons (which red can do quite easily these days) then this is a very strong Searing Blaze effect to be played alongside Lightning Strike. A deck with just four Stormbreath Dragon and four Thunderbreak Regent might be enough for this.

Draft: 3.5
Sealed: 3.5

Cheap and instant speed removal is quite nice in this format, even when it doesn't come with a Lava Spike attached. When it does, you are getting quite a lot of value here. Keep in mind that even though we lose Khans of Tarkir, megamorph means that there will be plenty of facedown 2/2s ready to be picked off by this.

Dragon Fodder

Constructed: 2-2.5

A simple card with a big impact on the metagame. We have seen how strong Raise the Alarm can be and while Dragon Fodder is worse in most ways, it has the advantage of being red which is a huge bit of upside. A curve of this into Hordeling Outburst into just about any Anthem effect is an incredible start.

Draft: 1.5
Sealed: 1.5

There is not a ton of value in a pair of 1/1s in this format due to so many things being 2/2s by default. There is the synergy with exploit, which can be real. The best place for this is going to be in prowess aggro decks where this triggers prowess and then works well with things like War Flare later on.

Dragon Tempest

Constructed: 1

This is a rather interesting card in that the haste ability is the primary thing we want to evaluate even though the dragon pinging is the potentially more powerful. Combine this with Descent of the Dragons to see what I am talking about. That said, there is no deck that is realistically going to run 20 dragons or whatever to abuse this. Creatures with flying open us up to way more options though and there I think this has some value, but Temur Ascendancy does steal a lot of the thunder here.

Draft: 1-2.5
Sealed: 1-2.5

A card that directly scales with how many creatures you have that actually trigger this. One trap here might be that if you have a deck with a bunch of fliers, you have a big edge already, but I would imagine haste is always a desired thing. Once you pick up three to five dragons though, this starts looking decent.

Dragon Whisperer

Constructed: 2.5-3

I am a big fan of this card for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it stands on its own as a pretty strong creature with all sorts of versatility both early and late. While this won't end up being the best creature in Standard or anything, it should be a big player in decks that can cast him. The second big reason is exactly that mana cost as Monored Devotion should absolutely love a powerful two-drop like this that just does it all with active Nykthos online.

Draft: 3.5-4
Sealed: 3.5-4

It is actually probably a bit of a trap to play this guy early as you are going to be spending your mana on other things afterward and this will be sitting there waiting to eat removal. If you play this later on, maybe the removal was used up and this can actually Threaten to start making 4/4 fliers.

Dragonlord's Servant

Constructed: 1

This guy has a bit of durability for a two-drop, which is good considering he needs to stick around to do anything. I am not sure there is a deck that plays enough Dragons to warrant this, but if there ever is, this guy is probably both the incentive and the glue of said archetype. M16 will likely be a big factor in the success of this.

Draft: 1.5
Sealed: 1.5

This has three toughness, so it can only be so bad as blocking early morphs is fine. The cost reduction ability is nice and chances are you might have up to a handful of dragons to take advantage, but it is not as though this is some kind of consistent Elvish Mystic.

Hardened Berserker

Constructed: 1

This is a really interesting effect, especially to see at common in red. While I think the fact that this is a vanilla 3/2 in combat will keep it from doing much, the ability excites me, especially if we see it again on a more powerful option.

Draft: 2
Sealed: 2

Keep in mind that this ability is a delayed trigger, so losing this in combat is not actually going to turn off the -1 cost ability. That means that this will generally be a one-for-one trade with a mana upside, which isn't terrible. Ramping straight to five mana is quite reasonable in this format.

Impact Tremors

Constructed: 1

We have seen token decks take advantage of the additive damage that this kind of card can have. This needs to preempt your token making cards, which might hold it back, but I can certainly see a deck taking advantage of this.

Draft: 1.5
Sealed: 1

Not a huge fan of cards that do nothing on their own and are terrible in the mid-to-late game. This is probably ok in a prowess deck, but a lot of things need to go right for this to be the Lava Axe you hope it to be.

Ire Shaman

Constructed: 2

This is a fine body for two mana as it is difficult to block and gets around annoying cards like Courser of Kruphix and Sylvan Caryatid. That alone would not be good enough, but when you draw this later on, not only does it unmorph to be bigger, but you essentially get to draw a card off of it as well. While neither mode is amazing, the versatility and scaling make me think this will be solid.

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2.5

You really want this to replace itself as the body alone is not the most impressive thing. That said, it should not be too difficult to set that scenario up with such a cheap megamorph cost.

Kindled Fury

Constructed: 0.5

There is a very small chance that red heroic or 17 land red would play this, but so long as Coordinated Assault is around, that is unlikely.

Draft: 1.5-2
Sealed: 1.5

I love this card in Limited because so few people play around it or can afford to play around it due to how inexpensive it is. When this is also triggering prowess or turning on ferocious, I like it even more.

Kolaghan Aspirant

Constructed: 0

There are certainly some metagames where you could make a case for this if it were pseudo unblockable due to its ability, but we just covered a creature that is significantly more unblockable and has other upsides, so expecting much from this seems aggressive.

Draft: 1.5
Sealed: 1.5

Bears are fine in that they trade with morphs. This actually trades up further due to the extra one damage on blocking, which is cute. Most of the time this will stop being effective around turn four or five unless you have some assistance for it.

Kolaghan Forerunners

Constructed: 1

This is actually a pretty strong way to finish an opponent out of a token strategy or something. Three mana for a bunch of unexpected damage is nice. Unfortunately, this card is not good on its own, which means other options will get explored first, but I wouldn't completely sleep on this.

Draft: 2
Sealed: 2

This gets a pretty big front end, but you are going to need to jump it or give it first strike to keep it from just trading with most other three or four-drops. Still, this has a lot of upside and the dash ability can be a total beating when the opponent has yet to see it that match.

Kolaghan Stormsinger

Constructed: 1

After playing with the monored aggro decks in this format, if this ended up seeing play in said deck, I would not be surprised. There are some weird choices in that deck to maximize damage and a Raging Goblin could be good enough. The megamorph ability on this is a bonus, but not the most exciting one.

Draft: 1
Sealed: 1

My big issue with this in Limited is that it is only ever relevant when it is morphed. A Raging Goblin is going to be bad even in most aggressive decks. A Grey Ogre that gives something haste is fine, but this needs to still be around for that to ever happen. That means you either keep your face down 2/2 out of Harm's Way or you lose the entire upside of the card, making this an odd man out most of the time.

Lightning Berserker

Constructed: 1.5

Realistically, if the previous one-drop sees no play, it'll be because Lightning Berserker stole it. This little guy can pack a huge punch whether he is putting out consistent damage from turn one onward, or as a surprise Fireball with legs.

Draft: 2
Sealed: 1.5

This little guy can be a great addition to any aggressive strategy with enough red to actually make this a threat. Otherwise, he plays decent defense if you have a lot of instants and unmorph costs to bluff him getting big all the time. In general though, if you are taking this it is because you wish to turn him sideways.

Lose Calm

Constructed: 0

Threaten at four mana is fine if the bonus is provides is substantial. For example, +2/+0 was suitable for Constructed. I don't think this two-headed clause is all that exciting though as you theoretically want to be taking an only creature. Could certainly be wrong here, but with Harness by Force in the format, this just feels lackluster.

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2

In Draft, this is a perfect closer for an aggressive prowess deck. This adds a ton of proactive power to the board when you have a few prowess guys out as the combat math changes dramatically. I don't think you can ever afford to run more than about two of this unless you happen to have a ton of sacrifice synergy, but it's nice to have around.

Magmatic Chasm

Constructed: 1

Falter is always a fringe card if an aggressive deck exists that can sideboard it. Blinding Flare can be a bit expensive when trying to actually win the game so having a nice two-mana variant could be something monored is in the department for.

Draft: 2
Sealed: 2.5

A great finisher for prowess decks, like many of the red instants and sorceries we have seen thus far. This is also going to reward a fatty Temur player though, meaning I would not expect to see this wheel or anything, although 5th - 8th pick territory seems appropriate.

Qal Sisma Behemoth

Constructed: 0

I can appreciate what this is going for, but unfortunately with a drawback spelled out like that, there are not many workarounds to get this thing into combat other than paying two, which is just not good.

Draft: 1.5
Sealed: 2

I actually did not get to see this guy played with this weekend which was a bummer since it is a card I am uncertain on. In the mid-to-late game, the drawback on this is fairly easy to work around and you do get a rather cheap 5/5 for your troubles, so I suspect he is playable, although not amazing.

Rending Volley

Constructed: 2

While Combust would have been a nice card to see reprinted, Rending Volley is actually a lot better in Modern where the card sees the most play. This still takes out Pestermite, Deceiver Exarch, and Restoration Angel which are some primary Combust targets, but it does so for only one mana. Siege Rhino is the big winner here as he lives through Volley, but I don't think many people were bringing in Combust against Abzan as is.

Draft: 2
Sealed: 2

While this is obviously a very strong card against a blue or white mage, it is a dead card against too many decks to really gamble with it in your main deck. If you have a ton of looting or something, perhaps you can get away with it, but otherwise, pick it up mid-to-late pack and enjoy the sideboarding advantage.

Roast

Constructed: 1.5

I can actually see this filling a similar role to Flame Slash. Two mana is a lot more than one and restricting to ground guys is tough, but this is a red card that kills Siege Rhino, Polukranos, World Eater, and Goblin Rabblemaster alike, which seems like a desired thing. Fated Conflagration is solid, but at double the mana of this, I would be surprised if this saw no play.

Draft: 3
Sealed: 3.5

While you are going to need something else to take out those pesky dragons, this is going to clean up the ground pretty nicely. Five damage is enough that you can even aim this at facedown creatures much of the time and still get the result you are looking for.

Sabertooth Outrider

Constructed: 0

The cost to body size on this is not very impressive which has me looking to the ability here (which is also not impressive). The opportunity cost of running this means not running a Polukranos, World Eater or Ashcloud Phoenix, which are just so much more powerful.

Draft: 2
Sealed: 2

A 4/2 trample is actually not very impressive because it trades with all of the morphs in the format. However, four power toward formidable is quite a lot and once this is attacking with first strike, it is a solid common.

Sarkhan's Rage

Constructed: 0

Lava Axe becoming an instant and being able to hit creatures is a big upgrade, even if this always deals two damage to you. The issue here is that this still has the same mana cost as Lava Axe which is not a friendly cost for Constructed. Fated Conflagration is likely just a better option and Roast from above covers a lot of what this does as well.

Draft: 3.5
Sealed: 3.5

Instant speed five damage is a lot. Obviously cards like Throttle have shown that they can hold their own and the extra damage is certainly beneficial. The bigger thing here is the ability to be an instant speed Lava Axe. This lets you trigger prowess at instant speed while chunking a full quarter of your opponent's life. The two damage clause isn't much of a drawback, for what it's worth.

Sarkhan's Triumph

Constructed: 1

I don't think this will be particularly popular because it lacks the abuse cases that most tutors do. For example, do you see a dragon toolbox existing with a ton of one-of dragons ready to be grabbed for the right situation? In general, you are just going to run three or four copies of your dragons as they win the game and aren't especially situation dependent. Still, this is a reasonably priced tutor, so it could easily find a home.

Draft: 1-3
Sealed: 1-3.5

This will go up or down in value depending directly on the number and types of dragons you manage to collect. One or two bomb-level rare dragons and this becomes a must-play but even just a trio of uncommon dragons might have you choosing to run this. Certainly evaluate your pool before deciding one way or another.

Screamreach Brawler

Constructed: 0

This has a poor sized body for Constructed and not a particularly flashy dash ability or cost. From there, a quick check of creature types and seeing nothing relevant has us moving on.

Draft: 2
Sealed: 2

A 2/3 body is a fine defensive option with all of the morphs running around and occasionally you can sneak in a few damage with this too. Don't prioritize this as it is rather generic, but it fills a nice role.

Seismic Rupture

Constructed: 2

Pyroclasm is something that many decks have wanted access to over the last year. This is pretty obviously worse than Pyroclasm, but luckily there are not a lot of small fliers running around that would get hit by this anyway. Three mana is not great but Drown in Sorrow has shown that it is still reasonable enough.

Draft: 3.5
Sealed: 3

While I cannot know for certain as I never played with this this weekend, sweepers were quite good in Khans Limited and I imagine they will remain strong here. Large flying dragons means this won't always clean up a board, but it still wrecks aggressive strategies and morphs.

Sprinting Warbrute

Constructed: 0

A 5/4 for five mana with a drawback is not anything special so we would need a dash cost of three or even two to really look seriously at this, but with it coming in at four mana, I just don't see enough of a discount there to consider this.

Draft: 1.5
Sealed: 1.5

While the body on this is totally fine for five mana, the inability to control whether this sits back or not is a pretty big drawback in a land where there are plenty of things big enough to take this down. Dash helps, but continuing to spend four mana turn after turn can be a bit taxing.

Stormcrag Elemental

Constructed: 0

Just too expensive without adding anything special to one's deck. Well, maybe a Stormcrag is special, whatever the heck that is.

Draft: 2-2.5
Sealed: 2.5

While this is pretty expensive to flip over, it does so as basically the biggest thing on the table. Woolly Loxodon was quite the star in Khans and I think this serves a very similar role in this format.

Stormwing Dragon

Constructed: 0

These uncommon dragons are definitely intended for Limited as none of them really poses the stats or abilities to be very exciting in a world of Counterspells, sweepers, and mythic rares.

Draft: 2
Sealed: 2.5

Six mana for a 3/3 flying first strike is not really a steal of a card and the megamorph cost on this is quite expensive. Still, with enough synergy or if you are lacking in finishers, this can fill in just fine.

Summit Prowler

Constructed: 0

Clearly not a Constructed power level here. I am curious what people think about the art change though. The original Summit Prowler contains this exact artwork without the added dragons in the background. Personally, I would have rather just seen all new art, but I guess this has some neat qualities to it.

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2.5

Just an all-around efficient creature to have in your deck. Three toughness is a big gain here over Sabertooth Outrider as it can get into fights with a lot more things and live to tell about it.

Tail Slash

Constructed: 0

This card already exists in Standard at a full mana less than this and it has seen zero play, so I would expect more of the same here.

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2.5

This is nowhere as strong as Fall of the Hammer was in Limited because it costs a full mana more and Heroic is not around to get additional benefits. Prowess can help out a little there, but this still moves from a first pick common down to a second to fourth pick common as a result. Still a strong piece of removal, just be cautious of getting two-for-oned!

Thunderbreak Regent

Constructed: 2.5-3

I am going to give this about a half point more than I normally would just because being a dragon is so beneficial in this set. This card is likely worse than Ashcloud Phoenix at a very similar role, but once you start synergizing with dragon kicker cards, that race probably goes back in favor of Thunderbreak Regent.

Draft: 3.5-4
Sealed: 4

Playing a 4/4 flier on turn four puts the opponent under an immense amount of pressure as most removal that can take it out isn't even online at that point. Plus, when you do finally answer this thing, it bites you back for a Lava Spike, which means this is almost always going to generate some sort of advantage for you.

Tormenting Voice

Constructed: 2

See, like this Mr. Prowler, new art! Tormenting Voice is a pretty great delve enabler while also filtering niche or dead cards out of your hand for others. While it isn't the greatest rate, for red it is some of the best we have seen since Faithless Looting.

Draft: 1.5
Sealed: 2

I tend to like this a little more in Sealed where I play a maindeck Naturalize or Plummet effect more often and this gives that card some uses when it is dead. In both formats it is a fine prowess and delve enabler, although not of the top tier options for sure.

Twin Bolt

Constructed: 1.5-2

Forked Bolt was a very strong card in its day and for a mana more here we get an upgrade to instant speed. In many ways, that is a big upgrade for the midrange and control decks but a hit to aggressive strategies. The metagame will determine just how playable it is, but being able to answer Raise the Alarm or Dragon Fodder with a single card at instant speed would seem like a desired thing.

Draft: 3
Sealed: 3

Generally this is going to kill a morph or something similar but it can also be used as a great stop-gap against aggressive strategies such as Mardu tokens or warriors.

Vandalize

Constructed: 0.5

While I highly doubt this will ever see play, there is not a lot of land destruction running around these days so if something like Haven of the Spirit Dragon starts seeing heavy play, perhaps this will be one of a few available answers.

Draft: 0.5
Sealed: 1.5

Much more likely to maindeck this in Sealed where taking out a Dragon totem and a dual land can completely turn a game around for you. In Draft, I would expect better mana bases with less artifact dragons overall, so this is much less needed as a maindeck option.

Volcanic Rush

Constructed: 0

There are too many other options to pump your team, from anthems to one-shot effects like this. Five mana is simply asking too much.

Draft: 2
Sealed: 1.5

As we have already discussed about a half dozen times, this is another prowess finisher. You really can't afford to have too many of these finisher spells in your deck, but in the absence of a War Flare, this works decently.

Volcanic Vision

Constructed: 1-1.5

I don't know if anyone else thinks this card is sweet, but I like it quite a bit. Duneblast has shown that if you have some solid removal early, a seven mana sweeper can be effective. This acts as a one-sided sweeper, which is big, and a Regrowth effect, which isn't too bad either. You need to get something worthwhile in the yard, but casting Opportunity the turn before this seems rather easy to pull off.

Draft: 4
Sealed: 4.5

A one-sided sweeper that gets back your removal spell from earlier in the game is a pretty big beating. The limiting factor here being that this costs seven mana, so your deck needs to be able to get there, but that's not asking too much.

Warbringer

Constructed: 0.5

I cannot really imagine this guy seeing play as he comes down permanently at four mana, which is a bit late to be getting cost reduction on your dash. That said, mana reducing abilities have a potential to be abused, so we will have to wait and see.

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2.5

A Hill Giant is a fine man as is, but this one has a real impact on the game as he allows you to hold two or more dash guys and actually be able to dash 'em both out, turn after turn. Often, the second or third dash guy is better off in play just because you cannot afford the upkeep of so much mana. You can also set up a surprise turn with this and a couple of other dashers all in one turn to win the game.

Zurgo Bellstriker

Constructed: 3.5

This should be a more significant player across multiple formats than the likes of Isamaru currently does. Red can make better use of a one-drop with this power level and while the drawback on this is mostly irrelevant, the upside of it having haste later on in the game is absolutely real. We will have to see if Zoo and other aggressive red strategies pick this up for Modern, but I imagine they will.

Draft: 1.5-3
Sealed: 1.5

This is going to be a really solid pick up if you happen to be going aggressive as one-drops that scale reasonably are always decent and this hits hard right out of the gate. Outside of aggressive decks though, the drawback on this can be very punishing and limit the usefulness of this, so you probably should avoid it.


Wrap Up

Overall, I found red to be quite impressive. There are some really strong rate creatures in the above breakdown that are essentially guaranteed to see play and then on top of that, there are some interesting spells that can go a lot of places. Commune with Lava in particular is an exciting card to me and I hope we get to see it used in multiple different ways over the course of its stay in Standard.

Tomorrow we will be moving on to blue as well as the lands from Dragons of Tarkir. I would say it is going to be tough to compete with this red offering, except I peeked already and can tell you that blue has some awesome stuff on the horizon.

On we continue through the colors and remember that at the end of the week, I will also be rating my Top 8 cards for Constructed, so be sure to come back! Thanks for reading!

--Conley Woods--