Magic: The Gathering – The 8 Best Red Cards In Dominaria United

In Magic: The Gathering, no matter what set or Standard format, red decks are the old dependable. While everyone else is trying out their new brews and attempting to understand the meta, you can rely on the good old strategy of aggressive creatures, burn spells, and ending the game as quickly as possible.

Mono-Red decks aside, all players who enjoy the red section of the Magic: The Gathering color pie have a lot to celebrate with the introduction of Dominaria United. Lightning Strike is back, a new four mana value red planeswalker gives us a lot to be excited about, and one of the best Goblin cards ever printed has entered the fray. But enough durdling around: let's get into the cards.

8 Sprouting Goblin

While this isn't the Goblin card we mentioned in the introduction, it's still a great one that will see a ton of play in Limited. Its statistics are already baseline for the cost, but it also comes with a useful kicker ability that can provide you with more lands.

However, the real kicker here is that this sprouting boy can draw you a card every turn for the small cost of a land, a single red mana, and tapping himself. In Limited, this is treading in to bomb territory. Limited games that stalemate often devolve into top decking with the winner of the match being decided by whoever draws fewer lands. Sprouting Goblin changes all of that, allowing you to turn your extra lands into good old card advantage.

7 Electrostatic Infantry

We typically see this kind of creature printed as an Izzet (blue/red) flyer, but trample also works. Electrostatic Infantry is likely to be an important creature in any kind of Izzet spells-matter Standard deck, due to its ability to grow to enormous size.

Beyond that, this card is an absolute bomb in Limited. Izzet looks to be the best draft archetype in all of Dominaria United, and this creature is partly responsible. The amount of cantrips (cards that provide an effect and draw a card) available in red and blue are perfect for creatures like this that further reward you for firing off instants and sorceries.

6 Defiler of Instinct

This is a good Magic card, but it might be outshined in Standard by Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty's Thundering Raiju at the end of the day. Four mana value is typically the top end of the curve for especially aggressive decks like Mono-Red, and that also makes it a highly contested slot. While first strike is always an impressive keyword on red creatures, haste is a bit better.

Comparisons with Raiju aside, this creature's ability to turn your red mana costs into Phyrexian mana (pay two life) shouldn't be ignored, and could be pivotal for getting big red bombs like Arcane Bombardment down a lot earlier than you could cast them otherwise.

5 Shivan Devastator

Who wouldn't want to put a Dragon Hydra in their deck? Shivan Devastator is a combination of two of the coolest Magic creature types ever printed. However, unless you have access to fast mana through ramp, it may be the case that Devastator is a little too slow.

Four mana for a three-power, three-toughness flyer with haste isn't a bad deal, but it also just dies to Lightning Strike. This may look like a great card in an aggressive deck, but you're probably better off playing something else. Where Shivan Devastator will shine is in decks that can afford to cast it for an absurd X cost and have it come in even bigger.

4 Phoenix Chick

Speaking of aggressive decks, say hello to a great new addition. Phoenix Chick might appear harmless enough with just a single power and toughness, but flying and haste pack this baby with quite a punch. The damage Phoenix Chick offers adds up with each turn, eventually forcing your opponent to remove it.

Once it's in your graveyard, it still remains a threat though. When you manage to attack with three creatures, you can bring Phoenix Chick back to the battlefield attacking and with an additional counter on it for the small cost of two red. Not too bad for a one-drop.

3 Lightning Strike

It's been a decent amount of time since Lightning Strike graced Standard. With its inclusion, the threat of Mono-Red aggressive decks and their ilk becomes much more palpable. In a properly aggressive deck, Lightning Strike provides the ability to outright win the game once your opponent has been reduced to a low enough life total.

Furthermore, Lightning Strike is also a favorite of Izzet spells-matter decks that can use it to similar effect. It's notable that the fan-favorite creature Delver of Secrets remains a Standard playable card, so don't be surprised to see a handful of iterations of Izzet decks trying their hand at this in the format.

2 Jaya, Fiery Negotiator

We've yet to really see a Jaya planeswalker that offers great value, but it appears that Jaya, Fiery Negotiator is breaking the trend. With four abilities and a total cost of four mana value, it's hard not to compare this fiery new red planeswalker with the similar and incredibly powerful planeswalker Chandra, Torch of Defiance.

A +1 loyalty ability that creates tokens is always welcome on planeswalkers, and the fact that these monks comes with prowess makes them even more valuable. Card advantage is another great feature we love to see on planeswalkers, and Jaya offers that in the form of her -1 ability.

Jaya's -2 can act as removal in a pinch, though its power is lessened by the fact that you'll need a number of creatures on board to take advantage of it. Lastly, Jaya's final ability doesn't win the game on its own, but decks that you'll play this planeswalker in will end the game very quickly if you happen to get this emblem on the board.

1 Rundvelt Hordemaster

What better way to wrap up this list than with a classic Magic archetype from the game's original lore setting? Rundvelt Hordemaster is likely not great in Limited and Standard play, but older constructed formats like Modern, Vintage, and Pioneer stand to be revolutionized by this impressive Goblin lord.

For starters, lords (creatures that give others of the same type +1/+1) usually come at a minimum cost of three mana value. Rundvelt only costs two. On top of that, this Hordemaster exiles cards from the top of your library any time a creature you control dies, and allows you to cast Goblin cards exiled among them until the end of your next turn.

In other words, Rundvelt Hordemaster comes with a built-in answer to the greatest weakness of tribal decks: wrath effects (board wipes). Goblin players rejoice because you've got a very shiny, very potent new toy.

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