My Limited Card Pool: Red Non-Creature Spells

This is the 12th entry in a series where I comment on and explain my choices for my limited card pool in detail. Here are my previous entries:

Lands & Artifact Creatures

Non-Creature Artifacts

White Lands & Creatures

White Non-Creature Spells

Black Lands & Creatures

Black Non-Creature Spells

Green Lands & Creatures

Green Non-Creature Spells

Blue Lands & Creatures

Blue Non-Creature Spells

Red Lands & Creatures

In this entry I listed a number of guidelines I follow when deciding which cards I want in my cubes.

Here’s a PDF you can open in a new window to look at the part of my list I’m taking about while reading:

Red Non-Creature Spells (Claws of Valakut and Lightning Cloud should be rare, while Slagstorm should be uncommon.)

And here’s a link to an explanation of the shortcuts I use in that list, if you need it.

I consider Maniacal Rage to be a superior design to Furor of the Bitten, but Furor sits in a better mana slot – on two mana Madcap Skills and Ordeal of Purphoros give me enough options.

Claws of Valakut is not quite as powerful as Armored Ascension or even Blanchwood Armor, but still at the top of the power level spectrum for my cubes. I need it as a companion to Spitting Earth, just as Nightmare is a companion to Tendrils of Corruption, but I don’t like how it threatens to kill out of nowhere.

Disintegrate is my burn x-spell of choice. I do not think Fireball is as overpowered in limited as it once was – games go a lot faster today – but it’s unnecessarily complicated. Rolling Thunder was the bogeyman of Tempest limited, but what’s true about Fireball is also true about the Thunder: Games go faster, creatures are bigger, and that spell isn’t terribly mana-efficient. Since Red has few ways to attain card advantage, it is a good option. Back to Disintegrate: It is a way to deal with regenerating creatures (Red has a few more, but that is a good thing) of any size, and it also makes sure they do not come back, although that isn’t quite as important anymore, since I removed most self-recurring creatures from my pool.

It is probably telling that I already run out of things I want to say about my red non-creature spells here: Red really lacks variance a bit. Then again, since this is the last entry about monocolored cards, I already said everything which pertains to colorspanning cycles, making this entry especially short.

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5 Gedanken zu „My Limited Card Pool: Red Non-Creature Spells

  1. Jashin sagt:

    Surely you meant to write Tendrils of Corruption and not Tendrils of Agony…

  2. NTL sagt:

    Is Mono Red Aggro a feasable archetype in your cubes?

    In the different cubes I’ve played so far it never seems to work out. Even when the designer tries and tries again to push the color a bit, it always ends up as a second or support color, more so than green. Even forcing mono red when the color is clearly open hasn’t lead to very competetive decks.

    I’m designing a cube myself right now and I really want each mono color and two color combination to support an archetype of its own. The first few test drafts have shown it works really well except for mono red, but I’m not ready to give up on the color, yet.

    • Zeromant sagt:

      It really depends on the cube. Encouraging monocolored (or nearly monocolored) decks isn’t something I do every time, but if I do, Red certainly can stand its own.

      I can only speculate why this doesn’t work in your cubes, but I guess the reasons might be among those in many official draft environments:

      1. Red creatures being too weak to „compensate“ for the strength of burn spells. WotC has been guilty of this many times.

      2. Non-burn removal spells not being efficient or available enough. This is a somehow newer trend with WotC, leading to more drafters stealing Red its burn spells for their secondary color or even a splash.

      3. Midrange and Highend creatures being too strong. The way WotC interprets its color pie, Red has a really hard time to deal with big creatures – its own creatures are weak, and burn is designed to be only really good against weenies. At the same time, power creep in creatures has been going strong for years.

      4. Not enough red spells which help against bigger creatures. For a cube-builder, Fissure (or, if you prefer, Aftershock) is still available, and you can always use x-spells if big creatures aren’t TOO efficient. There’s also Spitebellows and the new Fated Conflagration, if you like. Also, always make sure there is a Threaten effect.

      5. Too strong enchantments in an environment. Red can just not deal with enchantments. Black can at least discard and Blue counter or bounce them, but Red can do squat, and colorless cards offer very little help. You need to keep the power level of enchantments down in your cube (generally an excellent idea), and it’s a good idea to give Red the option to splash good enchantment removal, and to include some conbination of Nevinyrral’s Disk, Poweder Keg and Ratched Bomb.

      6. Drafters not willing or able to commit to really aggressive strategies. While you can do a lot to help Red become more viable in slower decks, in the end that color will always prefer an offensive stance, just like Blue will always be best suited for control. Drafting aggro competently is actually harder than it seems, though, and a valid primarily Red deck might exist, but just not be found. The prejudices many players have against Red in Theros draft is an example here.

      • NTL sagt:

        Thanks for your pointers. I certainly didn’t know about Fissure/Aftershock and will be adding one or both to Red’s pool.

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