Shards of Alara Red – Dragons November 13, 2008Posted by Norm in Shards of Alara.
Tags: Caldera Hellion, Dragons, Flameblast Dragon, Hell's Thunder, Magic: The Gathering, Predator Dragon, Red
Part of my Shards of Alara exploration, here is my review of selected red cards, found on the full visual spoiler. Red by far will be the most difficult in this set to choose from other than multicolored cards. So I’m going to deviate from my normal review structure.
First off Dragons! The shards dragons are by far the most powerful creature type and will win you the game in most instances you can get them on the board. There are only two dragon creature types in red, Predator Dragon and Flameblast Dragon, but I’m going to take the liberty of including two other creatures who deserve to join this circle, Caldera Hellion and Hell’s Thunder. While the latter two aren’t auto win conditions they do pack a punch and can certainly win the game for you if you play them right.
I was fortunate enough to open this guy at the Shards prerelease and everytime I got him on the board it was a win. Unless your opponent is able to deal with it as soon as it hits the board you will be able to swing dealing a minimum of 10 total damage to your opponent next turn thanks to the fire breathing ability.
Another sick creature who can smash for the win on the same turn it comes into play. I don’t think I really need to say much about this guy other than devouring two measly guys will give you and 8/8 flying, hast that will make your opponent cry. Awesome artwork.
I’m thinking we should rename this guy, “Excuse Me, While I Kill Everything Else and Get Huge.” Sounds about right. Lets break this down one sec. We’ve got a creature than can get as big as a dragon while Pyroclasm for 3 damage simultaneously. OK lets break this down a little more. Pyroclasm deals 2 damage to everything for a colorless and a red man. If you subtract that cost from Caldera Hellion you have a guy that could be as big as 5/5 or 6/6 for three mana. Seems like a deal to me.
Playing this guy is probably isn’t going to make your opponents scoop the way the other three guys will but he is still super strong. Essentially a Flame Javelin that has a slightly easier casting cost who can come back for more fun when you have the mana. Unearthing a flyer late game especially in limited is usually a game winning play. I can’t say how many times I’ve had a flyer come in through unearth and hit me for final damage. Ouch. Plus, how freaking cool is that artwork! A cloud dragon breathing lightning, awesome!