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Shards of Alara Red November 29, 2008

Posted by Norm in Casual, Shards of Alara.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Part of my Shards of Alara exploration, here is my review of selected red cards (part two), found on the full visual spoiler.

Dragon Fodder
I like this card because you basically get a two for one. Dragon Fodder is no Mogg War Marshal, but it still does give you a head start in an aggro race. I think this card is ok in limited when more creatures can go a long way. Or in an obvious devour situation when two little guys can go a long way to make one big guy.  

Goblin Assault
The new Bitterblossom that couldn’t. I thought that this would have at least some impact on constructed. But as we have seen the differnce between two mana and three mana is significant. Also forcing your guys to go into the red zone every turn isn’t very powerful. However I still think that this is a great card in a lot of decks, Nantuko Husk anyone.

Personally I really like Goblin Assault as it gives you guys and can help you forge an advantage in the long game. 

Hissing Iguanar
At first I didn’t really think that this creature would be very interesting. Shame on me. I was beat down with one of these guys soundly in an early Shards of Alara FNM draft. His ping damage adds up especially in a situation where there are a lot of creatures going to to graveyard (devour sound familiar), I know I don’t need to talk about how good it is to send creatures to the graveyard. With cards like Bone Splinters and Branching Bolt floating around I’m sure there will be many counters to add to this guy.  

Lightning Talons
I love Lightning Talons because it changed my world at the PTQ Kyoto. This card as I’ve said before makes a token a huge problem. In limited this enchantment can be really strong and devastating. In casual play this is going to make whatever you can stick it to a huge problem. My favorite time to use this is on one of the Broodmate Dragons, but I’ve already covered that.

Thunder-Thrash Elder
This is one of the secret bad asses of Shards of Alara. I love this guy because he gets so big so fast and usually comes out of no where. A great play is to unearth some of your dead creatures and then devour them all to the elder second main phase. Unearth is a great ability to use with any devour creatures. The only drawback is if you are in a tight spot and need to play a 1/1 for three mana.

Now it’s time to tell me what you think. What is your favorite of these picks or is it another red card I didn’t cover?



1. Michael Rawdon - November 29, 2008

Well, you missed Soul’s Fire, but I think it’s merits have been pretty well covered elsewhere (Deathtouch, anyone?).

Goblin Assault is one of several cards which seems like it should be good, but it’s also tough to use. Which makes it an interesting challenge in casual constructed play. Obviously its main use is as Devour fodder. Secondarily it’s an automatic way to put a little pressure on your opponents, if they don’t have a Disenchant. Obviously you could use it to generate sacrifice tokens for a Siege-Gang Commander, but unfortunately it will also force all your other goblins to attack, too. If you could find a way to skip your attack phase or tap your goblins every turn, then it could build up a nice army for you. So the question is: Is it worth 2R to deal an occasional point of damage and generate some Devour fodder? In the right deck, I think the answer is ‘yes’. Getting something every turn for free seems like it’s got to be good sometime.

Other cards in the “it seems like it should be good, if you can figure out how” category are Vicious Shadows (nifty card, but very expensive) and Where Ancients Tread. Many of the Naya cards seem to fall into the “good if you can get them to work” category in constructed. But that is the problem with big creatures.

The Jund Battlemage is the sort of card that looks interesting, but I think is too slow to be truly useful for its cost, much like the Selesnya Evangel and Selesnya Guildmage seemed to be (at least when I try to use them).

2. Dyre42 - November 30, 2008

Lightning talons is great. Particularly when placed on a Woolly Thoctar on turn 4. Its also handy for pumping a 2/2 just enough to qualify for all of those bonuses available in the Naya shard.

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