While Magic: The Gathering's newest set, Streets of New Capenna is characterized by its central five three-colored factions, it's still home to a wide range of powerful mono-colored cards.
As red is a color characterized by its impulsive nature and aggression, Streets of New Capenna includes many potent red cards that drive home this theme through the use of effects that provide "impulsive draw" or other temporarily accessible benefits. As many of these potent new red cards are likely to make a splash in formats like Commander, Standard, and Pioneer, we're going to see which are the strongest.
5 Devilish Valet
Red is home to a multitude of decks that aim to create a sizable number of small, aggressive creatures, using them to take down their opponents as quickly as possible. Devilish Valet is a 1/3 Devil Warrior with trample and haste that is capable of allowing for incredible high-impact turns within Voltron and token strategies alike.
This is because whenever another creature enters the battlefield under its owner's control, its power is doubled until the end of the turn. Within a Voltron strategy, a Devilish Valet suited up with several auras or enchantments can become a massive threat after a mere one or two creatures are played, while a turn of token generation could grow this creature into a sizable menace as well.
4 Structural Assault
Board wipes are an integral part of Magic, especially within the Commander format. They allow a player to clear away large chunks of the board (if not everything on it) with a single spell to set players back on more equal footing. The most potent board wipes are those that are one-sided, only negatively impacting your opponents. Structural Assault is a now five-mana red board wipe option, capable of destroying all artifacts on the battlefield, then dealing damage to each creature equal to the number of artifacts destroyed this way.
As Commander is a format rich with utility artifacts and mana rocks, this spell will most often take care of all artifacts and all but the most massive and indestructible creatures. While Structural Assault isn't exactly a one-sided board wipe, it can harm opponents more than its caster when used within a deck that includes very few artifacts.
3 Arcane Bombardment
For those who enjoy playing decks based around slinging spells and casting high-impact instants and sorceries, Arcane Bombardment may be the spell for you. An enchantment for six mana, whenever its controller casts the first instant or sorcery of a given turn, they exile an instant or sorcery chosen at random from their graveyard. Then, that player may copy any number of the cards exiled with Arcane Bombardment, casting those spells without paying their mana costs!
This allows for absurdly explosive spells to be repeatedly cast each turn, such as those that draw additional cards, those that deal direct damage, or those that allow a player to take additional turns. This card is sure to function as a win condition for many decks within the Commander format.
2 Urabrask, Heretic Praetor
Urabrask, Heretic Praetor is the second iteration of Red's Phyrexian Praetor, Urabrask. A 4/4 with haste for five mana, like each other Praetor, Urabrask has access to two abilities: one which directly benefits its controller, and one which hinders each other player. When it comes to this iteration of Urabrask, the name of the game is impulsive draw. Firstly, at the beginning of its controller's upkeep, that player exiles the top card of their library, gaining the ability to play it that turn. This is a solid benefit that can consistently provide its controller with additional card access on their turns.
Conversely, Urabrask also states that at the beginning of each opponent’s upkeep, the next time they would draw a card this turn, they instead exile the top card of their library, gaining the ability to play that card until the end of the turn. This is a unique effect that effectively replaces the first of each opponent's drawn cards with impulsive draw instead. While many aggressive combat-oriented decks may not suffer from this effect, it may be a huge headache for control players.
1 Professional Face-Breaker
In recent years, impulsive draw and the utilization of treasure tokens have become an integral part of red's color identity. Professional Face-Breaker is an all-around great creature that happens to simultaneously include both of these potent mechanics. As an evasive 2/3 with menace for three mana, whenever one or more creatures under its owner's control deals combat damage, its controller creates a treasure token. While Professional Face-Breaker has solid evasion through its access to menace, it notably doesn't need to be the creature that dealt combat damage, adding to its flexibility.
Perhaps this creature's most notable ability, at any time, its controller may sacrifice a treasure to exile the top card of their library, allowing that card to be played this turn. This can allow decks capable of producing sizable numbers of treasure tokens to directly convert their treasures into playable cards, providing significant card advantage! Between its ability to both produce treasures and convert them into card advantage, we won't be surprised if Professional Face-Breaker ends up as a red stable in Commander.
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