Amonkhet Set Review – Red

I will be ranking the cards in a scale from 0 to 5. Be aware that evaluations change with time, depending on how the set plays out. The rankings below reflect my initial views on the set.

Red:

Hazoret the Fervent

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Rating: 4

Hazoret is no joke. This guy can kill an opponent out of nowhere either attacking or throwing extra lands at them. He is a better fit in an aggressive deck, so draft accordingly.

Glorious End

Rating: 0

I think the only glorious end you will have with this card are the stories about how you lost to your own copy. I don’t think this is playable, ever.

Combat Celebrant

Rating: 2.5

The rate is decent, but it is a very fragile creature. It will probably give you one extra combat phase, but you need at least a decent board advantage for this card to be really good.

Insult/Injury

Rating 1.5

The “Insult” here is how bad the first effect is, especially at sorcery speed. The second part of the card is reasonable, but it seems too expensive to justify the overall cost.

Trial of Zeal

Rating: 3.5

The base rate of the card is already good, and the opportunity to re-use it off Cartouches make it a great first pick.

 

Cartouche of Zeal

Rating: 1/3

The card isn’t playable without the Trials. If you have some, it can be a very good card, but I’d definitely avoid picking those early if you don’t have any Trials, as it’s not impactful enough to justify the potential 2-for-1.

 

Deem Worthy

Rating: 3

This is a very good card, both the cycling and the cast modes. 7 damage is close to unconditional removal, and I think this is a format where five-mana removal spells are always going to be solid.

 

Heart-Piercer Manticore

Rating:3.5

Sacrificing a creature is a steep cost in Limited, but the stats are good, and Embalm is always a sick ability. I think this is a good early pick.

Sweltering Suns

Rating: 4

Sweepers are usually boom or bust in Limited, but cycling makes this a really, really good first pick, as you can evaluate whether the effect will put you ahead on board or not.

Harsh Mentor

Rating: 2

This isn’t much better than a glorified Grizzly Bear with a golden expansion symbol in Limited.

 

Hazoret’s Favor

Rating:1

The ability on this card is not even close to something I’d consider sacrificing my creatures for. I’ll go ahead and say no, thanks.

Soul-Scar Mage

Rating: 1

Not a fan of one-drops with regular one-drop stats in Limited. Not enough of an impact to be worthy of a slot.

Glorybringer

Rating: 5

One of the best bombs in the set. Pick it and be happy for it.

Trueheart Twins

Rating: 1.5

The stats are lackluster and Battle Cry, while decent, isn’t really an ability you want to Exert a creature to get. Mediocre.

Warfire Javelineer

Rating: 1/3

The upside on this card is really strong. I’m not sure at this point how easy it is to draft around this card, hence the flexible rating, but it is obviously pretty good with a lot of cyclers.

 

Bloodrage Brawler

Rating: 2.5

The rate for these stats is absurd enough that it might be good enough even without a lot of Embalm synergies. The thing is just huge.

By Force

Rating: 1.5

Strict sideboard card.

Battlefield Scavenger

Rating: 3

A bear that lets me loot is a good bear indeed.

Consuming Fervor

Rating: 1.5

The pump is big, but without evasion this card doesn’t impress me much. Be aware that there are synergies with the -1/-1 counters, especially on Black and Green, but I’d not pick this highly either way.

Flameblade Adept

Rating: 1,5

Still don’t like one-mana creatures with one-mana creature stats.

Ahn-Crop Crasher

Rating: 3.5

Love this card. Haste is a great ability on your regular 3 mana 3/2 dude, and the Exert trigger is very relevant on Red aggressive decks.

Limits of Solidarity

Rating: 2

This is exclusively for aggressive decks; while cycling makes it more maindeckable than regular Threaten, it is still too narrow of an effect for me to justify maindecking it anywhere.

Emberhorn Minotaur

Rating: 3

Solid rate and a good Exert ability to push through damage on a stalled board. I like this card.

Electrify

Rating: 3.5

This isn’t fancy, but it is still a great common removal spell and one you’re going to be picking early.

Desert Cerodon

Rating: 2.5

You could do worse than a Craw Wurm with a cheap cycling cost.

Brute Strength

Rating:1.5

This isn’t a great combat trick because it usually won’t save your creature, but it does push through a ton of damage, so it can be great in an aggressive deck.

Manticore of the Gauntlet

Rating: 2

Not a great creature on stats, but the trigger means you at least get some damage out of it. Unexciting.

Minotaur Sureshot

Rating: 2.5

A red creature with Reach is a rare sight nowadays, and Firebreathing is a good ability.

Nef-Crop Entangler

Rating: 2.5

I have played worse bears. The Exert trigger helps push damage late, which is always welcome.

Tormenting Voice

Rating: 2

It is worse than it was last few times it was reprinted, but it’s still a decent card. Goes up in value if you have a lot of Embalm creatures, obviously.

Thresher Lizard

Rating: 2.5

The base rate isn’t exciting, but at 4/4 it is a beast; this is a card that gets a lot better the lower your curve is. Red has a good amount of early plays in this set, so the ceiling on this might be higher than a 2.5.

Purse glory

Rating: 1.5

This is a mediocre and very situational card. Cycling makes it playable, but I’d avoid it if possible.

Pathmaker Initiate

Rating: 3

Any two-drop relevant early and late like this one is very good in my book. Pick them early and play as many as you can get, as it’s always going to be a threat in an aggressive deck.

Violent Impact

Rating:0.5

This is sideboard material at best, even with cycling.

Nimble-Blade Khenra

Rating: 2

Sanguinary Mage is back, and it’s as unexciting as it was last time.

Magma Spray

Rating: 3.5

The exile clause is even relevant this time because of Embalm, but you’d play this anyway without it. Very good card, as always.

Bloodlust Inciter

Rating: 1

Another small one-mana creature you should avoid playing in your decks.

Hyena Pack

Rating: 1.5

This competes with Emberhorn Minotaur at the same cost and rarity and loses every time. Filler at best.

Fling

Rating: 1.5

This is borderline playable in the most aggressive decks, but never draft it highly or play many of them.

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