Hello, and welcome back to our ongoing coverage of Time Spiral Remastered previews! As we've reviewed during our previous recap articles, this spoiler season, Wizards of the Coast is going over the new set color by color. As such, we have gotten a chance to look over the White, Blue, and Black cards revealed so far. This time, we will be looking at Red's slice of the set, focusing on five of the newly-reprinted cards and the history behind these reprints. Let's get a look!
Wheel of Fate is a card that has waxed and waned in its utilization over recent years. Some deck strategies thrive on cards like it for its Wheel of Fortune-adjacent effect, while other decks use it because it's possible to cast it freely with an ability like cascade. However, these decks are mostly prevalent in Commander nowadays, with not much attention being given to Wheel of Fate from Modern or Legacy decks of late.
When we covered the Blue cards that are due to be reprinted in Time Spiral Remastered, we mentioned that Ancestral Visions, which will be reprinted at mythic rare and presumably in a full cycle. The fact that we definitely will also see Lotus Bloom, Restore Balance, and Wheel of Fate in this six-card cycle bodes well for Hypergenesis as well. That said, we still have yet to see proof of a reprint for Living End, the final card in the cycle (perhaps because of the Damnation reprint at mythic rare). Because both of the unrevealed cards have had quite a few moments in Modern and elsewhere, that may give some Living End or Hypergenesis players a bit of pause. Will these cards show up in Time Spiral Remastered after all? We'll see!
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker is a card we spoke of back when covering the White cards revealed in the new set, filed under "cards that play really well with Restoration Angel". It may come as a surprise to some newer players, but Kiki-Jiki has not been printed in the original frame, as its first printing was within Champions of Kamigawa, back in 2004! Since then, there have been a bunch of cards that combine well with Kiki-Jiki beyond Restoration Angel, including but not limited to the Lorwyn expansion's Pestermite and Deceiver Exarch from New Phyrexia. The presence of these cards has caused decks to revolve around the combo of at least one of these cards with Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker in the Modern format.
Back in 1999, a card was printed that managed to break the mold for how Goblin decks interacted within the metagame. Goblin Welder played with artifacts in ways that were very different from how other, older Goblin cards did, and, in a sense, paved the way for the current way red decks work with artifacts and the graveyard (see also Daretti, Scrap Savant. Goblin Engineer is a neat facsimile of this kind of card. While it is fairly new (seeing its first printing in Modern Horizons back in 2019), it works quite well with red artifact-centric decks in many formats, from Modern to Commander and back again.
Storm is a very powerful archetype and has been on a rather strict watch since the decks revolving around Dragonstorm were making their rounds in the Standard format after the Time Spiral block's release. Since then, cards such as Mind's Desire have been banned in Legacy and even restricted in Vintage due to the overall strength of Storm decks.
However, it's plain to see that the cards supporting the Storm combo archetype are the true culprit, facilitating the blow-out finishers like Brain Freeze, Grapeshot or the aforementioned Dragonstorm (which will not be reprinted in Time Spiral Remastered, sources have said). Simian Spirit Guide is one of the most egregious of these support cards, in that the card can be exiled to provide much-needed mana to cast more and more spells. In fact, just before this reveal, Wizards of the Coast determined that Simian Spirit Guide is really that powerful of a card, and have banned it from Modern for this reason. Fortunately, this ban won't affect its usage in the Time Spiral Remastered Limited environment, so players need not worry about drafting this card only to be unable to use it.
Speaking of banned cards, Dreadhorde Arcanist, a card banned in Legacy at the same time as Simian Spirit Guide was banned in Modern, will be reprinted in the "timeshifted" showcase card frame in the upcoming set. This card was said by Wizards of the Coast to be "powerful and game-defining in a way that further adds to cards and strategies that were already among the most powerful, like Temur Delver". Dreadhorde Arcanist had been banned in anticipation of what would happen once Oko, Thief of Crowns was itself banned from Legacy (at the same time). It is a strong contender for one of the strongest two-drop creatures in Red, and while it is unfortunate that it has been banned from one of the fastest formats, this card will surely be a major hit in any Time Spiral Remastered-centric Limited format.
Stay tuned in, as soon we will be looking at the five coolest Green cards from the new set!