Welcome back to day three of our week long Origins set review here on TCGplayer.com! As always, I am Conley Woods and today we will be taking a walk through all of the red cards from Magic Origins as well as starting off on the artifacts from the set. Yesterday we explored black and found quite a few gems in the color that I am definitely excited about brewing with in multiple formats. Today we will have to see if red can hang with blue and black and at least one goblin is trying his best to make sure that it can.

We will be looking at all of these cards for both Constructed and Limited. That entails rating the cards and having a brief discussion about the potential applications of the card. To help us out with that there are two scales below to give some context to our rankings. The Limited scale applies to both Draft and Sealed.

 

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 Bears 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 five 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 fifth through eighth 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.

 

Red

 

Abbot of Keral Keep

Constructed: 2.5

I am a big fan of this card because it gives aggressive decks a flexible creature that scales well into the mid and late game. Too often the creatures you run in aggro become nearly useless as the game drags on but this actually gives you card advantage and a means to recover for a Second Wind.

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2.5

A 2/1 prowess is a fine creature as is, but you will usually want to wait until later to play this to make sure you get card advantage off of it. Playing it early on is usually only going to be for the most aggressive decks, but even there I recommend waiting until turn three to cast it before playing your land so that you at least have a 50/50 shot at this being a cantrip. On turn two, that is never an option.

Acolyte of the Inferno

Constructed: 0.5

This card is actually rather difficult to block in Constructed and once it becomes renowned, a 4/2 is plenty big enough. I don't think this makes most lists, but there could easily be something tribal or near-themed that chooses this over slightly more powerful three-drops.

Draft: 3
Sealed: 3

This thing is quite the beating in Limited where it trades up with anything big that blocks it and clears away anything small that blocks it. You basically need a 3/3 to deal with this efficiently and even then they can one-up you with a combat trick or something. Getting this renowned just makes it that much more painful for the opponent to continue leaving this unchecked.

Act of Treason

Constructed: 1.5

This always has the chance to make red sideboards when there are decks playing large creatures. The marquee format was when Titans were running rampant and you would gain not only a 6/6, but a trigger out of the deal. With dragons being so popular right now, Act of Treason will probably make quite a few sideboards.

Draft: 1.5-3
Sealed: 2

This is a card that will play fine in basically any deck with red but is going to scale up with how aggressive the deck is. Additionally, this is the backbone of the red/black sacrifice deck and will be taken above basically any nonbomb in that archetype, so you will not see these going too late very often.

Akroan Sergeant

Constructed: 0

Even if this were always a 3/3, it would not really measure up to Constructed standards. I need a little more rate or an immediate payoff.

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2

Fine before it becomes renowned but quite the brick wall after, this is one of those renown creatures that is worth working a little for. First strike means that most of your combat tricks are going to work better here making blocking this a scary proposition in the first place.

Avaricious Dragon

Constructed: 2-2.5

This is a really interesting card in the current world of Standard. Right now, anything with the dragon creature type is valued higher than normal and red in particular already has a deck looking to jam these flying fire breathers. Avaricious Dragon fits that mold for those reasons, but is also cheaper than many dragons, making him an awkward card on curve. Playing this after you have emptied your hand is basically pure upside though and will be why this card sees play in burn and aggro decks.

Draft: 4
Sealed: 4

Discarding a few bad vanilla creatures and lands is not as big of a deal in Limited where this 4/4 flier is likely to be the scariest creature out. That said, with a timely removal spell your opponent can still turn this into a big liability, so you probably want to have most of your hand empty before committing to this.

Bellows Lizard

Constructed: 0

He's back! The final touch to my lizard tribal deck! Next up, Rhinos!

Draft: 1
Sealed: 1

Probably the lowest quality creature you can justify running, Bellows Lizard gets small acceptance just because he can trade up when given enough mana to work with. You should never value this little dude during the Draft however as they are not ever your plan A or even B.

Boggart Brute

Constructed: 0

While this does have a pair of nice creature types, I can't imagine people are willing to spend three mana on a french vanilla creature that doesn't even have a great rate.

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2

A really solid aggressive card that plays extremely well with combat tricks as it forces a player to walk into a two for one situation or let this go unblocked. A 3/2 for three is fine in any deck though, so don't pass this just because your deck is a little slower.

Call of the Full Moon

Constructed: 1.5

This has the potential to see some play in the aggressive red decks for a couple of reasons. First, it triggers heroic while providing enough output to be worth a card. Second, it provides a form of evasion to some creatures that could use it, like Foundry Street Denizen, Goblin Rabblemaster, or now Goblin Piledriver.

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2

This will be an incredible card in highly aggressive decks, especially through using renown or prowess along their early curve. Obviously there is a risk that you will lose this, but it will generally be a couple turns down the line and in the meantime, you can generate a big aggressive advantage with this.

Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh

Constructed: 1.5-2

I find Chandra to be my least favorite of the new walkers, but it certainly can find some homes before it rotates. My main gripe is probably that the creature form of Chandra is so linear in nature. You Deal Damage to the opponent and that's it. The versatility of hitting creatures would have been nice. Note that to flip this, you can attack and then activate it, but you cannot activate it and then attack as the flip happens upon the resolution of that activation. Once Chandra flips, she is still a little anemic, but she does go to the opponent's face for two consistently which backs up the burn plan nicely. Minus two loyalty to Shock a creature is a poor rate, but at least this adds the versatility I wanted.

Draft: 3.5
Sealed: 3.5

This is pretty easy to flip in Limited and even when it isn't flipping, it is putting out some consistent damage which adds up quickly. Once this flips, it has the pressure that most walkers do which is to deal with it quickly or die. Two damage to a creature is more likely to be meaningful in this world, at the very least.

Chandra's Fury

Constructed: 0

If there were no sweeper alternatives to this, I could see decks using this as it often takes out a walker and some tokens, but with plenty of better options such as Anger of the Gods, this this a tough one to justify.

Draft: 1.5
Sealed: 1

This is best in aggressive decks as a Lava Axe, but it does bring some utility with the AOE on it, so sideboard this against small creature decks is perfectly fine as well. Decent at proactively enabling prowess too.

Chandra's Ignition

Constructed: 1

This is more unreliable than you typically want your sweepers to be as it is prone to a removal spell in response netting you nothing. That said, I can certainly see a deck that wants this as preserving your best creature and getting some extra damage out of your sweeper are both big bonuses over something like Anger of the Gods. This won't see as much play as a traditional sweeper, but might pop its head up from time to time.

Draft: 4
Sealed: 4

This has the same weakness in Limited, but there are much fewer instant speed removal spells running around and more creatures, allowing this to be significantly more powerful. Keeping your biggest guy around while you clear the rest of the board is usually going to lead to a win, although it's worth noting that if you are behind, this can be a difficult spell to set up.

Cobblebrute

Constructed: 0

Good luck trying to cobble together a win with these in your deck. (Too obvious? Too obvious...)

Draft: 1.5
Sealed: 1.5

Despite having a lot of power, this is actually a better defensive creature than offensive one as you can hold this back to take down all sorts of fatties. On offense, when you attack with this, most two-drops can trade with it. Of course, some evasion going on this is a sneaky strategy that gets around all of that.

Demolish

Constructed: 0.5

I give every card that kills lands a higher rating than I probably should, but I have a dream that we can get enough land death in the format at once to make the strategy viable again. #SaveTheLandDestruction

Draft: 0.5
Sealed: 0.5

A pretty obvious sideboard card but a versatile one at that. You can use this to take out a splash color or just use it as a Shatter. There are enough artifacts in the set that you might get away with running one of these main if you have to.

Dragon Fodder

Constructed: 2

This card has proven itself over time and it just turns out that there are enough things to do with a pair of creatures that people will keep running this spell. Prowess has helped it quite a bit as well.

Draft: 2
Sealed: 2

One of the few cards to get the same rating in all three formats. Dragon Fodder is a pretty average two-drop whose value can go up if you draft some synergies with it. Nothing fancy here, but a solid card.

Embermaw Hellion

Constructed: 1.5-2

A 4/5 trampler is not a bad deal already. I specifically remember back to Arc Slogger which had the same stat to cost ration but without a keyword. The Hellion's ability is worse than Arc Sloggers most of the time, but it can be built around and increase in value with specific cards such as Arc Lightning or the aforementioned Dragon Fodder. Not sure if this will end up making cuts, but it is a card worth talking about.

Draft: ?
Sealed: ?

Pending Review

Enthralling Victor

Constructed: 1

While this effect is generally worse than Act of Treason due to no dream of a big creature, in aggro mirrors, this can be huge as it provides a body back on defense for during racing situations.

Draft: 2.5-3
Sealed: 2.5

An almost Hill Giant with a nice ability that gets in for some damage or, more importantly, gets sacrificed to some other cause. Having access to a second steal effect, even at uncommon, helps that deck out quite a bit.

Exquisite Firecraft

Constructed: 3-3.5

The new Char on the block. This has a bit of a restrictive mana cost, so it won't be as popular as Lighting Bolt or anything, but it produces a lot of damage for three mana and the uncounterable clause is just gravy on top of that. With Lightning Strike, Stoke the Flames and this all running around, things are being lit up in the new Standard.

Draft: 3.5
Sealed: 3.5

This is premium removal that is a little tough to cast and you should draft it as such. It is not a bomb just because it is rare.

Fiery Conclusion

Constructed: 0

If this could hit players it would be pretty interesting but as a removal spell that you need to two-for-one yourself to cast is not all that exciting.

Draft: 2-3
Sealed: 2.5

Another tool for the Act of Treason deck. If cast fairly, this isn't the best removal but it is an instant speed way to deal with pretty big creatures. Once you start sacrificing opposing creatures though, this becomes real nice.

Fiery Impulse

Constructed: 2

I am actually a little unsure of this spell because at the end of the day, it is one dimensional whereas Bolt isn't. This should see play over stuff like Wild Slash, but it won't be the de facto removal spell for most decks whereas Lightning Strike is likely to be that still.

Draft:3
Sealed: 3

A really cheap and fast removal spell that scales a little into the late game. Your removal suite needs to be wider than just Fiery Impulse, but picking two or three of these up is going to make your early game and mid game that much easier.

Firefiend Elemental

Constructed: 0

This feels a little too anemic for Constructed purposes. A 4/3 haste is actually worth thinking about, but this needs to jump through a hoop to get there and the haste part is never associated with four power, so it is a little deceptive.

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2.5

This actually does some work in Limited where you can hold it back for a time when the opponent has no blockers. Once it is a 4/3 you ended up with a pretty good deal out of your four mana.

Flameshadow Conjuring

Constructed: 1

This is one of the more interesting takes on this kind of card that we have seen. Most cost a lot more mana to use, but at only a single red, this could be a sweet enabler for some kind of 187 deck similar to what Momentary Blink supported back in the day. Also potentially strong in midrange matchups where this just becomes damage or card advantage over time.

Draft: 4
Sealed: 4-4.5

I imagine this card is nearly unbeatable most of the time. Gaining a second copy of every single creature you cast is a bunch of value that grinds the opponent down. There are so many enters the battlefield effects to take advantage of on top of just having more attackers each turn.

Ghirapur Aether Grid

Constructed: 1.5

This is one of those wacky build-arounds that could easily lead to some wackiness, even in Standard. Off the top of my head, adding Jeskai Ascendancy to this with two artifact creatures out makes for a lot of damage quickly and that just scales up with more creatures. I don't know if this is good enough for Modern, but it could be the win condition in something like Krark-Clan Eggs while being useful at other times in the game.

Draft: 0-3
Sealed: 1.5

I suspect this will be difficult to make work consistently in Sealed where you can't just draft artifact creatures at will. In draft, however, if you can get enough artifacts, this is not only a threat, it is also removal and needs to be viewed as such. With eight or more artifacts in your deck, this card is pretty sweet.

Ghirapur Gearcrafter

Constructed: 0.5

There is a small chance that we are short a few artifacts in Standard for any real kind of deck and this could work in that case, even if it isn't a great rate.

Draft: 3
Sealed: 3

We have been playing with Sandsteppe Outcast for a year now and this just does the same thing 90% of the time in making a 1/1 flier. It is probably even better though as there are some awesome artifact synergies to pair up with the Gearcrafter.

Goblin Glory Chaser

Constructed: 1.5

This is an interesting card because it really only has value on turn one and maybe turn two. From there, it is just a 1/1. Some decks look to abuse that swingy nature, such as Heroic Red, so they might use the card, but most decks would prefer something like Zurgo, which has some utility in the mid to late game. This is a goblin by the way, so it will be considered for all tribal situations.

Draft: 1
Sealed: 1

A great one-drop on turn one and then a one-drop after. I have said this a couple of times, but I think it is important to understand. If your deck is extremely aggressive, you can play this because it will have redundant one-drops alongside it and a game plan looking to maximize damage. In every other scenario, this card is a dud too often to risk a pick on.

Goblin Piledriver

Constructed: 3.5

Piledriver has proven itself many times in the past and will continue to see some play in Legacy. What is interesting here is that the card is now legal in both Standard and Modern. Goblins has lacked some of the natural incentives it needs in Modern, but Piledriver goes a long way toward plugging that hole. In Standard, Piledriver is a big reward for the tribal archetype and with Goblin Rabblemaster already in the format, we should be seeing some of our favorite pro blue goblin.

Draft: 2
Sealed: 2

If you manage to pick up an abnormal number of goblins, this will definitely improve, but at the end of the day, it is attacking with only two toughness which means it is going to die. I still want this in my aggro red decks and in my sideboard against blue, but it is far from the all-star that it is in Constructed.

Infectious Bloodlust

Constructed: 1

This is an interested take on Rancor / Kindle in that it combines both but only asks for one Bloodlust at a time to be most effective. The fact that this grants haste is where the party begins and just like the werewolf aura before, this has good enough rate that Heroic Red should at least be looking in this direction.

Draft: 1-3
Sealed: 2

Obviously you want multiples of this card so that you don't lose card advantage, but where is the right time to draw the line. You probably don't want six of these in your deck, for example, as that is taking away from valuable creature and removal slots. This might be the most interesting Limited card in the set just because of its really unique play pattern.

Lightning Javelin

Constructed: 0

Not only is four mana a lot to spend on a Lightning Bolt that scrys, but this also got bumped back to sorcery speed, which is extra punishing for our sixty card decks.

Draft: 3
Sealed: 3

This is pretty strong in Limited but the four mana price tag and sorcery speed do hurt it over other removal spells. I will still first pick this at some point, but it's not the highest quality red removal we have seen.

Mage-Ring Bully

Constructed: 0

Compare this to the earlier rare that brought prowess to the table with upside and it isn't hard to see that tacking a downside on to a mediocre creature is not the way to find it a home in Constructed.

Draft: 2
Sealed: 1.5

This is pretty strong as an aggressive on-curve play, but it also can cause some issues. For example, you attack on turn three and they block, do you invest a spell into prowess or do you leave your mana open to cast a three-drop this turn? Be wary of situations like that when planning out your turns.

Magmatic Insight

Constructed: 2

This is like Tormenting Voice and should see a similar amount of play in Standard but also has a real chance at seeing play in older formats as well. Costing one mana versus two is a big upgrade, especially considering that you often wanted to pitch a land anyway. Check out my article from last week if you are looking for decks to fit this in.

Draft: 1.5
Sealed: 1.5

Getting rid of extra lands for new cards is a pretty decent deal but where this card shines is in enabling prowess for very cheap. You can actually set up a nice chain of spells using a couple of these in a turn to have a big prowess Overrun of sorts.

Molten Vortex

Constructed: 2

This card was also featured in the above article, for what that's worth. I have always been a big fan of Seismic Assault, but I will say that a cost of RRR can be quite prohibitive at times. Molten Vortex moves the heavy red requirement to the activation of this, which in many ways works better as you have more time to establish your mana while still getting two to four damage a turn out of this. You do lose some of the explosiveness that Assault had, but I still think this can compete with it on some level, and in Standard it doesn't have to!

Draft: 3.5
Sealed: 3.5

The key with this card is knowing it is in your deck and playing accordingly. Holding extra lands, even your fifth or sixth land sometimes, is crucial as you want this to be removal when you draw it. Generally, getting rid of two to four lands is going to be the norm, but that is still an excellent exchange of resources in Limited.

Pia and Kiran Nalaar

Constructed: 2.5

Much like the Whirler Rogue from blue, this card excites me as it just supplies so much value for four mana. You get three bodies, one of which helps your devotion while the other help your artifact synergies. From there, you basically have what amounts to Siege Gang Commander in play, except replace goblins with artifacts. I would guess this sees some substantial play before it rotates.

Draft: 4.5
Sealed: 4.5

If Whirler Rogue was good, this takes evasion and turns it into removal, which is even better. The mana cost can be a bit prohibitive, but I am still slamming this with my first pick whenever possible.

Prickleboar

Constructed: 0

Come on, let's be honest here, we all want to Top 8 a tournament with Prickleboar in our deck. Unfortunately, they had to attach such a sweet name to such a stinker of a card. Still, one day Prickleboar will have his trophy!

Draft: 2
Sealed: 2.5

This thing is actually a beating on offense. Five power of first strike is nearly impossible to block effectively. The first strike basically had to be lost on defense or this would be absurd, but as an offensive threat, I still am down with playing this piggy most of the time.

Ravaging Blaze

Constructed: 1

This is not a very good spell before it has spell mastery, but with it, you can easily get enough value for this to be a real contender in Constructed. Spending five mana at instant speed for a Searing Blaze doesn't sound awesome by itself, but consider that this can continue to scale from there. I know I will be trying this out in my Dictate of the Twin Gods brews.

Draft: 4
Sealed: 4

Volcanic Geyser is pretty strong, but you often need to kill a creature with it and miss out on gaining the Fireball to the face. This allows you to get both with just a little Spell Mastery. You can't do much with this in the early game anyway due to its mana cost, so waiting around for a bit to gain the bonus damage is probably easier than on most spell mastery cards.

Scab-Clan Berserker

Constructed: 2

This card seems pretty powerful to me and Monored Devotion is probably very excited to see another decent three-drop running around. Haste allows this to be renowned right away which is good because the power level lives mostly in that noncreature punishing ability. Unlike Eidolon of the Great Revel though, this only hits the opponent, allowing you to do as you please and not take damage.

Draft: 2.5-3
Sealed: 2.5

This is strong because it has haste and can easily be a 3/3 for three mana, but its ability takes a big drop in power level when moving to Limited as your opponent might not have anything to cast. If you get four damage out of this ability though, it definitely paid for itself, so you should still take this relatively high, but passing it for removal or a bomb uncommon is reasonable.

Seismic Elemental

Constructed: 0

A neat card, but not really what Standard decks want to be spending their five mana on. You know Stormbreath Dragon? Yea, that's what five mana gets you these days.

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 3

I am a big fan of this in Limited although its play pattern is a bit different than most Falter effects. This one leaves behind a 4/4 body so you kind of want to Falter for some damage, but when you Falter for the win outright, your 4/4 never mattered. Of course, you will take that win happily, but it changes when you cast your Falter. Normally I am holding it until I have lethal, but with Seismic Elemental, I really can't afford that luxury and just need to squeak in some damage when I can.

Skyraker Giant

Constructed: 0

So red is getting some reach, eh? I actually like this move quite a bit as both green and red lack in fliers for the most part. As for Constructed, I think we all know to pass on this giant.

Draft: 2.5
Sealed: 2.5-3

The four mana 4/3 has been a staple for red in recent sets so to see it get an upgrade here is nice. Reach actually improves this quite a bit, especially in Sealed where red tended to have some issues with fliers and, unlike green, did not really have the sideboard answers to deal with it. This is very much a maindeck card, but it helps nonetheless.

Smash to Smithereens

Constructed: 2

A popular sideboard card, especially for aggressive decks that make use out of the removal and the damage. This sees play in basically every format and will continue to do so.

Draft: 1
Sealed: 1

Usually this is going to be a sideboard card, but if you have to, running one of these in the maindeck is not the worst idea as there are some quality artifacts that will be seeing play. Ideally though, start this in the board.

Subterranean Scout

Constructed: 0.5

Goblin Shortcutter is the more playable version of this effect, even though this can occasionally have big moments. Making your Goblin Piledriver or Goblin Rabblemaster unblockable is a real thing, but outside of the most dedicated goblin tribal decks, this will not likely see much play.

Draft: 2
Sealed: 1.5

This has some nice combos such as Jhessian Thief or various renown creatures. I like that we have value here that extends well past the point where the 2/1 body is relevant. This is one of those commons that does a little most of the time but can also randomly win you a game out of nowhere.

Thopter Engineer

Constructed: 2

This card feels like it can be a real powerhouse, potentially even in Modern. Granting haste at such a reasonable cost is a big deal. This even brings a 1/1 flyer with it to kick the party off. If there is an artifact deck resurgence in Standard, I would bet that this plays an important role is said deck.

Draft: 3-3.5
Sealed: 3

This is one of the stronger artifact synergies you can pick up in the format and once in play, the opponent needs to be fearing whatever is coming out next. Even without the haste clause, this is a great rate for a 1/3 and a 1/1 flyer, but with that ability, I am very willing to spend an early pick on this and then to see where I can go with it.

Titan's Strength

Constructed: 1.5-2

It turns out that Lava Spike is pretty good when it comes with a scry and triggers your heroic abilities. Titan's Strength only gets played in a very select group of aggro decks, but there it tends to be one of scarier cards as it ends games so quickly and always makes you feel like you could have kept up a removal spell to deal with the situation (hint: you probably couldn't have.

Draft: 2
Sealed: 2

Not the greatest combat trick in the world as you only get a small boost to toughness, making it less likely that you won't still just trade. That said, sometimes this will make the difference and the scry is a nice touch for smoothing. Prowess being around also helps the value this provides quite a bit.

Volcanic Rambler

Constructed: 0

Craw Wurm might have gotten a cool new ability, but if I am spending nine mana on my first point of damage, I want someone to send some help. Please.

Draft: 2
Sealed: 2.5

I like big creatures to top off a curve in Limited and this does a pretty great job. This wins board stalls by going over the top both in size and ability. You obviously cannot have too many fives and sixes in your deck, but one copy of this isn't bad.

 

Artifacts, Part 1

 

Alchemist's Vial

Constructed: 0.5

I actually view most artifacts that cantrip as playable after having played Eggs for so long. This one needs a little assistance as its ability is only marginal, but I could see it popping up and stopping a Griselbrand from attacking or something.

Draft: 1.5
Sealed: 1.5

This is a pretty big freeroll to run as it replaces itself and has no color requirements. The one turn Pacifism is actually a relevant ability to have in Limited, so aggressive prowess decks might just run this for its face value. This won't be universally played, but I bet it will pop up and win games from time to time.

Alhammarret's Archive

Constructed: 1

On the one hand, this card does nothing on its own, so it is hard to be excited about it. On the other hand, this doubles up two things that control definitely enjoys doubling, so I could see it finding a home. Imagine casting Sphinx's Revelation with this out, for example. Five mana is a lot to invest into this, but on turn six you can run this out and then Treasure Cruise for six, which is pretty sweet.

Draft: 0.5
Sealed: 0.5

You need a lot of lifegain an/or card draw before considering this and given the nature of Limited, that seems pretty hard.

Angel's Tomb

Constructed: 1

I would be lying if I said I have not considered this card in the past. Compare it to Glint Hawk Idol and it makes more sense. Having a "creature" that dodges common sweepers and sorcery speed removal is just what you need some of the time.

Draft: 3
Sealed: 3

This is quite the strong rate, especially when played on turn three. Getting in for three a turn in the air adds up very quickly and all of those sorcery speed removal spells just get to sit in the opponent's hand and rot. Make sure you keep track of your creature count when running this!

Bonded Construct

Constructed: 0.5-1

It is hard to completely write off a colorless 2/1 for one, but the reality is that this drawback is quite severe. Without haste or an Ornithopter, this is not attacking on turn two, which makes it costing one mana a lot less important. Modern Affinity might find that this thing is perfectly acceptable, but my guess is that there are enough good artifacts without downsides that this will be left behind.

Draft: 1
Sealed: 1

This is a very risky card to run in Limited as it might just be a total dud. You can board this in as an early blocker though, because it has no restriction in that regard. If you want to attack with your 2/1 though, you need a lot of cheap creatures and probably some artifact synergies to do something with this when it can't attack.

Brawler's Plate

Constructed: 0

Far too much mana needs to go into this before it gives anything back and that is just a recipe for disaster in Constructed.

Draft: 1-1.5
Sealed: 1.5

Not my favorite equipment as it just requires so much mana to move around. That said, if you have artifact synergies, this is much easier to justify. On its own though, I only really want to play this as my 22nd or 23rd card.

Chief of the Foundry

Constructed: 1.5

An artifact lord is a real thing, especially in Constructed where we appear to have many Thopters flying around. I think that in older formats, this is outclassed by cards like Master of Etherium, but it might see play in small numbers.

Draft: 3
Sealed: 3

A fine body on its own, this card works so well with all of the Thopter production that it can get out of hand quickly. Drafting this early gives you some nice direction to your deck while keeping your colors open, which is generally a good way to go about the start of your draft. Once you have one of these, the value of the second copy skyrockets.

Gold-Forged Sentinel

Constructed: 0

Maybe if Wurmcoil Engine were never printed, we wouldn't be so spoiled and would play this card. No, you're right, we wouldn't.

Draft: 3
Sealed: 3

A colorless fattie in the sky is likely to be pretty strong, as one might expect, but this does come with the upside/drawback of being an artifact. That means it benefits from artifact synergies which might be nice, but it is also prone to artifact removal, which is a little easier to maindeck in this format. It will be interesting to see how highly non-artifact decks draft this.

Guardian Automaton

Constructed: 0

I have famously run the card Peace Strider in multiple Grand Prix, but I still don't think this is playable. Moving the life gain to the back end rather than up front is a big deal as you might just die before this gets to pay you.

Draft: 2-2.5
Sealed: 2

A fine creature in most decks as a Hill Giant with upside, this is going to be best in UR Artifacts and will probably be drafted a little higher than it normally would as a result of that. The artifact decks won't be able to wheel this too often just because other decks will take it late as a decent rate creature to slot in.

Guardians of Meletis

Constructed: 0

I thought this might be good enough for Constructed when it was first printed, but it turns out that spending three mana on a marginal defensive card is just not a sound strategy for dealing with aggressive decks.

Draft: 0.5-1.5
Sealed: 1

This is primarily a sideboard card that can be used to hold off ground creatures big and small alike. The artifact deck wants this for different reasons, although having defender does eliminate some number of synergies, such as the haste granting we looked at earlier.

Hangarback Walker

Constructed: 1.5

This is an interesting card that could very easily find a home outside of even the artifact decks. It provides you with some sweeper protection while scaling depending on the amount of mana you can sink into it. Spending two mana on this and then letting it grow will be a common line. It might even be worth finding other ways to dump +1/+1 counters on to this as you get rewarded pretty well for doing so.

Draft: 5
Sealed: 5

If you end up with this in your pool, you should play it. Period. There will be a few cards you might first pick over this, but I find that to be a rare situation as this card provides you with so much value and for literally any deck. If you end up with this in your artifact deck, then congratulations, you did it!

Helm of the Gods

Constructed: 2

This card feels busted, but it could just be a big lie. The first place I went was Bogles in Modern, but I doubt they need an equipment doing the work of their auras for them. In Standard, there are enough viable enchantments that this could definitely be giving off +3/+3 or more regularly, which is very strong, so I find it hard to write this card off as being bad.

Draft: 0+.5 for every two enchantments in your deck.
Sealed: 0+.5 for every two enchantments in your deck.

I made that formula up obviously, so it isn't perfect, but that is about where I see this card. With eight or more enchantments, this should be in your deck but lower than that is a judgment call on your part, so choose wisely.

Jayemdae Tome

Constructed: 0

There are far too many faster, sleeker, cheaper, and smoother versions of this card running around to really consider it for Constructed. That said, we can still pay homage to one of the OGs! #Respect

Draft: 1.5
Sealed: 2

Most decks will not have the time nor desire to run this as it can be pretty clunky overall. However, there are control decks and probably artifact decks that will have the time or synergies to make this not only viable, but an important part of those strategies.

 

Wrap Up

 

Red actually followed up black and blue nicely. Magic Origins seems to have a higher power level than most Core Sets we are familiar with as every color looks to have some impressive cards. Chandra's parents, for example, provide a really strong card from both a surface level view and then become even more exciting once you start to dig around a bit for additional interactions. Even the utility spells offered to red are interesting in that they have situations where they are outstanding and it's all about sculpting the game to get into those situations.

Tomorrow we will return by wrapping up the rest of the artifacts from Origins as well as moving on to the green cards from the set. Does Nissa stack up against the other flip walkers from the set? On Friday we will wrap up the entire set by checking out the white cards, the lands, and then going over my Top 8 cards for Constructed! Until tomorrow, thanks for reading!