Over the past 3 articles there have been some great budget rares less than $1. But when it comes to Red, I'll be honest, I was not expecting anything great. In Commander (EDH) Red is not a strong color by itself. It is actually a very weak color along with White (which had some really sweet rares that are very underrated). So after all of that, I do have good news. There are good underrated Red rares less than $1.
Let's talk about that.
Outpost Siege ($0.25) has 2 modes when it enters the battlefield. I want to focus on the "Khans" mode here. At our upkeep we exile the top card of our library and we can play that until the end of our turn. While it can seem a bit drastic to exile cards if we do not use them, it's really is the opposite. What if we exile a land? This means we got rid of 1 more card in our deck and still have our cards in hand, including our card we drew for our turn.
Outpost Siege is often seen as "card draw" with the fact that we get 1 more card to play that turn. I absolutely agree! This is a budget friendly way to "draw" an additional card each of our turns and our opponents can't mess with that card. So if we discard our hand, we still have that 1 card in exile that we can play.
Definitely underrated and I highly recommend this one when in Red.
Sunbird's Invocation ($0.46) is one of my personal favorite cards. Does this go in every deck? I don't believe so. This is meant for the powerhouse decks. I'm talking Cascade! This awesome enchantment gives you the opportunity to cast more than the one spell you are casting. So the bigger the spells, the bigger the next spell could be. As well as the farther we dig into our deck. And did I mention casting the second spell for free? Yeah, this card is perfect for high CMC decks.
I added this to my
Maelstrom Wanderer deck that loves to Cascade. So free spells and hopefully crazy ones like
Avenger of Zendikar,
Kodama of the East Tree, etc.
What's important to know is that Sunbird's Invocation only cares about cards we cast from our hand. So Cascading will not trigger this. But like I said: huge spells, huge reward.
Chain Reaction ($0.29) is powerful board wipe that cares about how many creatures are on the battlefield. With a small price of 2RR we deal X damage where X is the number of creatures. Wow! I know most players think of the classic
Wrath of God, but when you're in Red, this is a great option.
I'm surprised this doesn't see more play. It's had a total of 6 printings, so I'm sure that has had an effect on the price of the card as well. Whatever the case, it's budget and underrated.
Burn at the Stake
Burn at the Stake ($0.92) is one of those great finishers that many people didn't know about or didn't know they needed. We pay 2RRR and tap any number of creatures. We then deal the amount of tapped creatures to a creature or player times 3! I have always targeted an opponent with this spell because there is just so much damage that can be dealt this way.
If you have a lot of creatures or a lot of tokens in your deck, I encourage you to try this one! In a goblin deck, it's easy to make 20 goblins. So let's tap them all and deal 60 damage to an opponent! This is a neat win-con if you're in the market for one.
Court of Ire
Court of Ire ($0.64) might seem like a weird choice. For 3RR we become the monarch and can deal 2 damage to any target at our upkeep. Unless we're the monarch, when we'll deal 7 damage instead.
Monarch has become a really fun mechanic for me. I often add it to my decks because it will give us card draw at our endstep and promotes us to be swung at. If our opponent deals us combat damage, they are now the Monarch. And this creates a continuous combat throughout the game and gives a reward for doing so.
The damage that Court of Ire deals at our upkeep is a nice bonus. This can take out an
Oracle of Mul daya,
Azusa, Lost but Seeking, or even a
Grand Abolisher. And with 7 damage, this starts taking out huge threats like
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, or a planeswalker that will soon when the game like
Jace, Wielder of Mysteries.
Red struggles with card draw anyways, so why not try this one?
Dragon Mage ($0.35) has a high CMC of 5RR but we get a 5/5 Flying Dragon that gives us a
Wheel of Fortune ($279) effect whenever we deal combat damage to our opponents. I like this one because Flying is relevant in my personal EDH group and can make a difference. But most importantly I love the WoF effect and I do not want to spend $200+ on one card. Luckily, for $0.35 we can still have this great card, just more hoops to get it.
Does this go in every Red deck? I mean, it could. Maybe not goblins, or whatever tribal that has Red, but if we need to "Wheel" this will get the job done.
Geode Rager ($0.97) comes in close to our $1 budget. I have to mention the MV again because it's 4RR which is a lot. Commander does normalize this high of a MV but players really want cards that can effect the game for this cost. Look at
Bolas's Citadel ($4.51) a 3BBB spell that takes over the game and can end it shortly after.
So where does Geode Rager fit in this very competitive MV area? Well, it's a 4/3 Elemental with First Strike. Still it's "meh" as best. But what I really care about is its Landfall ability. Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, goad each creature target player controls. (Until your next turn, those creatures attack each combat if able and attack a player other than you if able.)
Goading is a very powerful and underrated ability. Forcing our opponent's creatures to attack can get rid of a lot of threats that they did not mean to ever attack with. So this puts them in a poor position which can easily move into our favor.
How often we play a land is really what determines how good Geode Rager is.
The last card I want to mention is
Tilonalli's Summoner($0.56). Whenever it attacks, you may pay XR. If you do, you create X 1/1 red Elemental creature tokens that are tapped and attacking. And at the beginning of the next end step, exile those tokens unless you have the city’s blessing.
Getting the city's blessing is extremely easy in a token deck. And being able to keep the tokens we make with Tilonalli's Summoner is beyond powerful and it's only a 1R MV.
Thromok the Insatiable is a great commander that would love this card.
Red has some great rares less than $1. Even if it is a weaker color in the Commander format, there are hidden gems. Next time I'll be covering the Green $1 rares and can't wait for you to join me.
Thank you for your time! If you'd like more budget content (EDH Deck Techs, Budget Alternatives, etc.), be sure to check out my YouTube channel.
I'll see you all in the next one. Uuuuuuh peace!