The week is over, and with it the official preview articles for Gatecrash on the mothership. But Wizards, as is their wont, continues to distribute preview cards to third-party outlets over the weekend. Today, the geek culture podcast BJ Shea's Geek Nation got a preview card of their own this rumor season, having previously spoiled Palisade Giant during the lead-up to Return to Ravnica. Their spoiled card is another rare with a big impact on how damage is dealt, but one that's a tad more explosive. Say hello to Five-Alarm Fire.
This fittingly has no guild affiliation, because I think it'll be equally beloved by Boros and Gruul decks. The Boros, however, have a slight advantage in that they have more ready access to double strike, the one keyword that turns this initially-unassuming three mana enchantment into, essentially, a nuclear bomb factory. Drop a Five-Alarm Fire and you need to throw an Explosive Impact wherever you please is five total attacks or blocks... two and a half, on average, if you have double strikers. Yes, for those keeping track, this means that it takes a mere ten combats total between any number of double striking creatures to grab enough blaze counters to deal 20 damage to the face. On the surface, this is an incredibly aggro card, but it fits extremely well in a red-white control archetype (possibly with the protection of Palisade Giant itself). With some defensive double strikers on hand, you can sit back and let your aggro opponents wear themselves out trying to break your guard, all while Five-Alarm Fire accumulates blaze counters and you get ever closer to throwing a firey end at them.
Five-Alarm Fire has a really cool, really red effect that's reminiscent of Zendikar block's quests, and has extremely resonant flavor and an excellent flavorful name to boot. I think this is going to be one of my favorite non-guild cards of the set.
What do you think of this uncontrollable inferno? Let me know in the comments.