Welcome back everyone! Today, we are going to look at some of the red cards in M19 as they relate to sealed play. I’m not going to look at cards like Sarkhan, Fireblood because if you are playing red, you are playing this card. I’m going to take a look at the Removal, Questionables, and Traps, as well as the general strategy and playstyle.
Spit Flame: This card is great and you should always play it. End of story.
Banefire: Like Spit Flame, you should play Banefire. This card is never great, but occasionally it steals a game or kills your opponent, which is highly valuable. You can’t play more than 2 of these really, in my opinion, but they are at rare for a reason.
Thud: Fling typically seems to be cast at sorcery speed, so Thud doesn’t seem too far off the mark of that. I hate Fling in a non-combo kind of decks though, and Thud fits that bill. I would avoid this one.
Lightning Strike: This card kills your opponent sometimes, and kills their creatures. Play all of these that you open.
Electrify: A bit clunky, but a solid removal spell at common. Consider playing a few of these, but if you have several better options, don’t be afraid to cut it.
Fiery Finish: A card with the name “finish” should finish off your opponent, which this doesn’t. If you have no other removal, or if your opponent has a lot of big threats, this isn’t a bad one of, but I would avoid it if I could.
Shock: Much like Lightning Strike, Shock is fantastic, and often will give you a mana advantage. It’s a little weaker in a format like sealed, where bombs float around, but you’ll be happy to play several of these.
Sarkhan’s Unsealing: This card seems amazing if you get 2+ triggers out of it. Unfortunately, you likely don’t have too many cards in hand after t4 that trigger it, and you don’t want to load your deck with huge creatures you’ll struggle to cast. This card also sucks as a top deck. I would avoid it unless you have plenty of cards to trigger it, and enough acceleration to reasonably play all of them.
Inferno Hellion: I think this card is pretty bad. 4 mana for 7 damage is a lot though, and this does an alright job as a huge blocker if you need to slow down a big green deck. Usually these effects aren’t good enough, but this one is big enough to make me question it myself.
Goblin Motivator: I usually don’t like this kind of card, especially without something like exert to really push your cards over the top. However, with the right pairings, this card can do a lot. Giving a 4 drop haste can often turn the tide or shut the door. If you have better cards, play them, but take a good hard look at this one when you cut it.
Sure Strike: First strike is a decent effect, and the fact that this pushes three damage potentially is high upside. I’m not big on combat tricks in general, but there are worse ones than this.
Apex of Power: Ten. Mana. This card doesn’t seem awful if you get there, but you will almost never get there, and die with this in hand.
Alpine Moon: This isn’t something you should ever play in sealed. There aren’t any lands that are really scary, and that’s all it’s meant to deal with.
Doublecast: This card seems awesome. Double your Lightning Strike. Double your Shock. Etc. But in reality, it is hard to enable, and requires sorcery speed. Just play another great spell, and then you don’t need to use this.
Tectonic Rift: There are a few VERY small sideboard choices where this can work, but not for the first sentence. You should not main deck this card, because killing their lands isn’t as good as killing them.
Lava Axe: I’ve lost to this card before a couple times, though never a match. Axing your opponent for five simply doesn’t do enough. That’s two and a half attacks with most two mana creatures. Play something that impacts the board and can kill your opponent instead.
The general strategy for red is to play guys and turn them sideways. This time around, red seems to have some late game tech as well. Volcanic Dragon and Sparktongue Dragon have me the most interested, the former being the better card, though the latter effectively has a powerful kicker. The wealth of burn and token producers like Goblin Instigator means that Trumpet Blast may very well end more games than one. Red seems a solid place to be for me.
Well, that’s it for this article. We’ll be looking at green next. Tonight is the LAST day to preregister for our prerelease events! You can prereg. in store or online! 🙂
~ Cassady O’Reilly-Hahn