Conspiracy Set Review Red Cards
Welcome back to part 4 of the set reviews for the new magic set. That's right it's time to go card by card with the red cards. So let's not waste any more time.
Barbed Shocker – 3R – Creature – Insect – U – Trample, haste. Whenever Barded Shocker deals damage to a player, that player discards all the cards in his or her hand, then draws that many cards. 2/2. Do I have one of these in my Commander mass draw deck? If not I have to make room for it. Still this is a cool card for Limited as you can just upset perfect hands that have been shaped over turns of Brainstorms and Fact or Fictions. I like it.
Boldwyr Intimidator – 5RR – Creature - Giant – Warrior – U – Cowards can't block Warriors. R: target creature beomes a Coward until end of turn. 2R: target creature becomes a Warrior until end of turn. 5/5. Totally a great beater for Limited. This is just dripping with flavor. It also just your opponent to have to stay home and hope for the best that they can muster up enough blockers that don't become cowards.
Brimstone Volley – 2R – Instant – C – Brimstone Volly deals 3 damage to target creature or player. Morbid – Brimestone Volley deals 5 damage to that creature or player instead if a creature died this turn. Hells yeah. I was so happy to see this in the set for Limited. I have to say this is the best three-drop burn spell ever printed in my opinion. You just never pull the trigger on it till you are ready to get the morbid trigger, then bam, five damage! Seeing this passed to me is a clear sign that I need to jump into Red in Drafts.
Chartooth Cougar – 5R – Creature – Cat Beast – C – R: Chartooth Cougar gets +1/+0 until end of turn. Mountaincycling 2. 4/4. It's the Mountaincycling creature of the cycle, but this one I have to say is the best as you can combo it with Traveler's Cloak to win games. I mean come on Landwalking and firebreathing on a dude is kind of sick. This makes me want to draft Izzet colors all day.
Cinder Wall – R – Creature – Wall – Defender. When Cinder Wall blocks, destroy it at end of combat. 3/3. In multiplayer you need to be able to start building defenses early. I like this card for that reason. Having a 3/3 wall on turn one this means you aren't going to see many opening attacks till someone has a creature that can get over it, survive it, or until they have removal. Even with the dies after it blocks trigger this doesn't suck because this turns on Morbid so you can Volley or Slip another creature.
Deathforge Shaman – 4R – Creature – Ogre Shaman – U – Multikicker R. When Deathforge Shaman enters the battlefield, it deals damage to target player equal to twice the number of times it was kicked. 4/3. Hang on need to go check the FAQ for this guy... Okay, so this works like I thought when you blink it. Even if you kicked it when you cast it the blinking basically erases that memory and you don't get any more damage. Yeah, this sucked in Zenkidar Limited and it sucks now too. Maybe it will get into a deck as a 23rd/24th card and have some cool stories about being cast on turn ten and killing a player but I would rather have a card I want to cast on turn five every time in it's place.
Enraged Revolutionary – 2R – Creature – Human Warrior – C – Dethrone. 2/1. Okay, so warrior is the tribe for Red in this set which means that Boldwyr Intimidator gets better with each one you draft. Again, I love the dethrone ability in the set for multiplayer draft and Commander. I'll draft this all day.
Flaring Flame-Kin – 2R – Creature – Elemental Warrior – U – As long as Flaring Flame-Kin is enchanted, it gets +2/+2, and tramble, and has “R: Flaring Flame-Kin get +1/+0 until end of turn.” 2/2. YES! I'm so drafting Izzet. This plus Traveler's Cloak is just GG in four turns for anyone. So good, so good.
Flowstone Blade – R – Enchantment – Aura – C – Enchant creature. R: Enchanted creature gets +1/-1 until end of turn. Yeah, it's a good enchantment for Limited but that's about it.
Grenzo's Cutthroat – 1R – Creature – Goblin Rogue – C – First Strike. Dethrone. 1/1. Just some good two-drops for Limited that can quickly become 2/2s, 3/3s, or 4/4s before you become the player that has the highest life total. Just loving this in Limited.
Grenzo's Rebuttal – 4RR – Sorcery- R – Put a 4/4 Ogre creature token onto the battlefield. Starting with you, each player chooses an artifact, a creature, and a land from among the permanents controlled by the player to his or her left. Destroy each permanent chosen this way. Okay, so I really want to put this in my Grixis Commander deck just to combo it with Hivemind. Think of all the chaos that would bring. Still this is awesome to play in multiplayer just to kind of set up a mini board nuke to bring balance back to the game.
Heartless Hidetsugu – 3RR – Legendary Creature – Ogre Shaman – R – Tap: Heartless Hidetsugu deals damage to each player equal to half that player's life total, rounded down. 4/3. Okay, I know he looks cool, but it's a trap! Once you get this on the table either it or you are going to have such a large target on its head that the ability doesn't matter. Also you lose half your life as well. No, I'm not going to try to make this work in Limited.
Heckling Fiends – 2R – Creature – Devil – U – 2R: Target creature attacks this turn if able. 2/2. A good provoke ability for Limited. Still I would rather just spend that three mana to straight up kill a creature.
Ignition Team – 5RR – Creature – Goblin Warrior – R – Ignition Team enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it, where X is the number of tapped lands on the battlefield. 2R, remove a +1/+1 counter for Ignition Team: Target land becomes a 4/4 red Elemental creature until end of turn. It's still a land. 0/0. I have to say out of all the cards in this cycle I like this one the most. It's going to be huge and you'll be able to transform lands all day.
Lizard Warrior – 3R – Creature – Lizard Warrior – C – 4/2. Just a 4/2 warrior dork to flush out the deck in Limited.
Mana Geyser – 3RR – Sorcery – C – Add R to your mana pool for each tapped land your opponents control. Just a janky mana ritual for the multiplayer part of this limited format. Without a Fireball type card in the format this just doesn't scream pick me that much. Still should help you empty your hand once you cast it.
Orcish Cannonade – 1RR – Instant – C – Orcish Cannonade deals 2 damage to target creature or player and 3 damage to you. Draw a card. As an example of how bad cards use to suck in the old days this is great. Still the ability to fire this off and lower your life to turn on Dethrone cards and draw you a card means this is going to be a sleeper card in the format.
Pitchburn Devils – 4R – Creature – Devil – C – When Pitchburn Devils dies, it deals 3 damage to target creature or player. 3/3. Just a good dork for Limited as it threatens to become removal if you kill it.
Power of Fire – 1R – Enchantment – Aura – C – Enchant creature. Enchanted creature has “Tap: This creature deals 1 damage to target creature or player.” So for 1R you can make any utility dork that you don't want to attack with into a pinger, okay that's not that bad for Limited.
Scourge of the Throne – 4RR – Creature – Dragon – M – Flying. Dethrone. Whenever Scourge of the Throne attack for the first time each turn, if it's attacking the player with the most life or tied for the most life, untapp all attacking creatures. After this phase, there is an additional combat phase. 5/5. This so makes me wish I hadn't sold my Kaalia of the Vast. I want to put that deck together and have it be about her being the Mother of Dragons. Just Picture this on turn three attacking with Kaalia, then them untapping to follow up with Aurelia, then dropping an Utvara Hellkite. That's game right there. So what if that is the Magical Christmasland in Commander, I would build the deck for casual and play four of each card in that chain just so that the deck worked like that every time. Still loving this Dragon more than any I have seen in a few sets.
Skitter of Lizards – R – Creature – Lizard – C – Multikicker 1R. Haste. Skitter of Lizards enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each time it was kicked. 1/1. Out of the cycle of multikicker creatures this one has to be the best for any match-up. Just drop it late and surprise attack an opponent.
Sulfuric Vortex – 1RR – Enchantment – R – At the beginning of each player's upkeep, Sulfuric Vortex deals 2 damage to that player. If a player would gain life, that player gain no life instead. I like that we are getting a flood of this card into my own local meta-game. One of my friends has the Sanguine Bond/ Exquisite Blood combo deck. Plus I have seen how life gain in this Limited format can get out of hand. This is just a good all round reprint. Plus it helps to keep the price of Legacy Burn down.
Torch Fiend – 1R – Creature – Devil – C – R, sacrifice Torch Fiend: Destroy target artifact. 2/1. Just a good artifact hate card for Draft. With all the drafting matters artifacts in the set this helps to keep the more annoying ones in check once they hit the table.
Treasonous Ogre – 3R – Creature – Ogre Shaman – U – Dethrone. Pay 3 life: Add R to your mana pool. 2/3. I can see this easily finding a home in Commander as you can just pay a bunch of life and power out your Commander or other large spell early in the game. Still this is cool for Limited as it allows you to go all in if you need to on casting a key spell to win the game or keep another from winning it.
Trumpet Blast – 2R – Instant – C - Attacking creatures get +2/+0 until end of turn. A great combat trick in Limited that I find is even better in multiplayer Limited as you can surprise kill an opponent by playing after another player attacks them.
Uncontrollable Anger – 2RR – Enchantment – Aura – U – Flash. Enchant creature. Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and attacks each turn if able. What else were you going to do with the creature you enchanted this with.
Vent Sentinel – 3R – Creature – Elemental – C – Defender. 1R, tap: Vent Sentinel deals damage to target creature or player equal to the number of creatures with defender you control. 2/4. This is the best defender ever printed. This allows you to draft mono-walls and win. In Rise of the Eldrazi draft my buddy Kevin pioneered the deck known as Canadian Border which is just red and white walls for days. Both the life gaining white wall and this are in the set so we can draft CB all over again.
Volcanic Fallout – 1RR – Instant – U – Volcanic Fallout – can't be countered. Volcanic Fallout deals 2 damage to each creature and player. This is red's answer to tokens in the Limited format as each other color has a way to mass an army of same 1/1 or 2/2 dorks.
Wrap in Flames – 3R – Sorcery – C – Wrap in Flames deals 1 damage to each of up to three target creatures. Those creatures can't blcok this turn. In Rise of the Eldrazi Limited this was a much more powerful card because of all the X/1 creatures that you could kill off with this when you cast it. Still this is powerful because it allows you to tell them to hold back their best blockers as you attack into them after casting this.
It seems that red is in the same boat as black was when we looked at those cards. The color alone isn't completely overpowered which is great, because that means that they did a good job of balancing the colors. Yes, we get a lot of great limited staples with means that a box of this set is a great jumping off point for building a cube. Maybe a complete set of Conspiracy and Modern Masters would be the perfect cube for a player not looking to break the bank with tons of cards on the reserve list. Hmm, that would be one sexy cube. Well, time to get on with the review. I'll be back shortly with the green cards.
This has been...
Jeffrey Carmichael II
KDPfenthing on MTGO
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