Wilds of Eldraine Set Review - Red

Mike Carrozza • September 5, 2023

Imodane, the Pyrohammer

White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Artifacts & Lands | Allied Colors & Shards | Enemy Colors & Wedges | cEDH | Reprints


Wilds of Eldraine might not be as cracked and busted as Throne of Eldraine was, but following its predecessor, WOE has a lot of interesting designs. With Adventures returning and the introduction of bargain plus a Rat token theme, let's see what red has to offer in this new Standard-legal set.


Realm-Scorcher Hellkite

This is a strong Dragon I'm only considering in Dragon typal decks or in decks that can absolutely guarantee it being bargained for.

It's important to note that blinking it will not allow you to sacrifice again and have it be "bargained" either. Bargain is an additional casting cost. That said, Ognis, the Dragon's Lash is the first commander that came to mind for this. A hasty Dragon that can bargain off an Ognis Treasure token only to make mana in a deck that's already set up to support it is great, especially when four mana can be used to slam another hasty creature or two.

Stats-wise, a 4/6 in the air with haste is scary, and then tack on that activated ability, you've got a sniper ready to Pyromatics any target that swings for enough to make it worth it. Overall, I'm not very impressed by Realm-Scorcher Hellkite, but it is a fine card.

Virtue of Courage

Prosper, Tome-Bound and Ob Nixilis, Captive Kingpin.

That could be the entire review of this card. These two decks are pretty much where I anticipate this card going. As a Prosper player, I can speak to the fact that it's extremely tempting to have my Reckless Fireweaver hitting each of my opponents for one damage because I've made a Treasure also "draw" me three cards.

Ob does this already to an extent but only for pinging for one damage, and he keeps the cards available until the end of your next end step, so MobNix players, get ready to have different piles clearly marked.

The downside of this card is that you don't get to bottle your cards for as long as with Reckless Impulse, i.e., the end of your next turn. You can only play them the turn they are exiled. You have to remember the timing restrictions!

Where else can this go? Purphoros, God of the Forge and Impact Tremors decks seem pretty good to me! What about decks that like to run Electrostatic Field? Absolutely! Keep the train rolling.

Oh yeah, the Adventure is a Surging Flame without ripple. Pretty good for early game and having the Virtue available to you when you need it and - oh, what's this? It casts from exile, so you get a Prosper trigger? Come on! Slam dunk!


Charming Scoundrel

The latest entry into the Charming Prince cycle along with Callous Bloodmage and Aether Channeler. I like it a lot!

On ETB, you can rummage, make a Treasure, or get a Wicked Role Aura which buffs the creature and pings each opponent when it hits the graveyard. These are all great abilities, and on a two-drop 1/1, no less. In a deck like my beloved Lyzolda, the Blood Witch, where creatures are just dancing in and out of the graveyard, I can see this being a real role-player. Rummaging is a massive tool for reanimation decks, and they often run Panharmonicon, so that Treasure ability can often make it a free roll. The Wicked Role Aura token is interesting in that I've only considered the Role tokens for Constellation shenanigans, and red is the last color I think of for that kind of strategy. I'm eager to try this out in my reanimation decks.

Court of Embereth

A new Court cycle! What a treat! I really loved these in Commander Legends, and, with the new ones in Wilds of Eldraine, we get a new batch of cool enchantments that introduce the monarch.

This one is not my favorite but it can be extremely powerful in the right deck. Krenko, Mob Boss decks will make effective use of this if they can keep the crown. Any mass-token-generation deck, like Éomer, King of Rohan or Grand Warlord Radha, can really end a game with the second half of the upkeep trigger. Typal synergies mean this is probably going to see Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale in the 99, too.

Food Fight

This one is weird. At its base, it turns all your artifacts into a Reality Hemorrhage you have to sacrifice. If you can find a way to make a bunch of copies of this enchantment, it rewards you by making those artifacts hit for an extra damage. I have no idea how you can have multiple permanents called Food Fight in Commander, but I'm sure someone with an Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar deck will try their hand at it, maybe with a Lithoform Engine or something. Do you have a URx enchantment deck that packs a Mirrormade and Estrid's Invocation? I don't know, even then, the juice doesn't seem worth the squeeze. This feels like a 60-card format card to me, and not even that great of one to be honest. Pass.

Goddric, Cloaked Reveler

Is this Korvold, Fae-Cursed King before the transformation? Or is it just some other random Human Noble who turns into a Dragon? Probably not, but it's interesting that there are two people turning into Dragons.

Either way, 3/3 for three with haste is a good start. The second ability tells me you want to be packing Goddric in your go-wide Dragon decks, like Lathliss, Dragon Queen, so you can take advantage of that Dragon-specific Moonveil Dragon-esque ability. I'm a little low on Goddric, to be frank. He doesn't key off or benefit from cast or ETB Dragons, like Herald's Horn or the aforementioned Lathliss. When he's a Dragon, it can be great for a swing, but you'll need to pop some real mana in there to make it scary. Maybe in a Dragon-themed Ognis, the Dragon's Lash deck?

Imodane, the Pyrohammer

As someone with a Brash Taunter deck, the first place I went with this was that little Goblin. Pack this deck up with Explosive Singularity, Shivan Meteor, and Into the Maw of Hell, and start targeting your Stuffy Dolls and Spiteful Slivers.

This is the mono-red burn deck that needs creatures out to do what it does, so grab your Forbidden Orchard and Akroan Horse, it's time to Shock a 1/1 for two damage and then Brimstone Volley another 1/1 for five damage, hitting your opponents for seven apiece.

Imodane feels like the kind of commander people see go off once and then never again because they know better. Cool brew full of cards you probably aren't using in many decks which is what I love to see. This feels like it'll be one of the breakout commanders of the set.

Ogre Chitterlord

It's fun to see the design team revisit the Titan ability. Last seen on Titan of Littjara, the Titans are great top end with tons of value in the right deck. Just ask Sun Titan!

So what do we do with this red interpretation of Grave Titan? I love my Lyzolda, the Blood Witch deck, and Grave Titan is already great in there, so why not get another? Especially when Ogre Chitterlord is red, so if I need to cash it in for some extra damage instead of card draw, there's some hidden versatility.

Court of Embereth and Ogre Chitterlord should have a lot of overlap if I had to guess. I reckon in a Jaxis, the Troublemaker deck, it'd be pretty easy to get to five Rats and with every ETB and attack from the Chitterlord, you're pumping the gnawing lil vermin by +4/+0 from just the one copy. I think this card is cool, and I love seeing more Titans!

Raging Battle Mouse

Let's talk about Celebration real quick. I love that it's a mechanic that rewards you for committing to the battlefield. That said, it'll be so easy to trigger with the slew of creatures in this set that enter and create a token, not to mention of the ones that are already out there that do the same. That's why I don't think Celebration will be a pushed mechanic to emerge from this set. Will this be a beast of a card to open in Limited? Absolutely. For Commander? Well, it's not the Celebration trigger that does it for me.

"The second spell you cast each turn costs 1 less to cast" has the potential to be quite potent; well, there are also the Medallions, like Ruby Medallion, and there's Cloud Key... So maybe you free roll on a Sol Ring when you cast this first and then get to play your Ring for free. One-mana-value artifacts as the second play are immediately where my mind goes, but using 0-mana-value cards to ramp you with the Mouse out seems great. How about artifacts in general, like an Equipment deck? You don't have to play a Skullclamp for free to get value, but even getting to play a Lightning Greaves or even Loxodon Warhammer for one less can go a long way.

There aren't likely any cEDH implications here, but if a deck is built around this theme, a little bonus is nice.

All that said, I don't feel a particular pull from RBM, no matter how cute the lil guy is.

Redcap Gutter-Dweller

This is like Siege-Gang Commander and Smothering Abomination were fused for mono-red but were appropriately nerfed.

ETB with two tokens for five power across three bodies, not bad. What's great is that upkeep trigger: sacrifice another creature for a +1/+1 counter on the Gutter-Dweller is sweet, but of course the real juice is the impulse draw, like an Outpost Siege trigger. The trouble is in it being an upkeep trigger, but it's innocuous enough for the first few turns where I don't think your opponents will use removal on this. That said, if you're running this in a red-black deck, please consider Smothering Abomination over this unless the tokens are important. Even then, though, it's not blowing my doors off.

Rotisserie Elemental

I don't think I like this card. I think the art is funny. I think the name is funny. I think that one mana for a 1/1 with menace and a bottle draw ability is cool.

Yes, I'm expecting lots from a one-drop. You have to attack, put a counter on this, decide not to sacrifice it, then maybe get in for another hit, and then what? That's when you want to cash it in? And proliferate isn't really a factor, you need to hit once for the first skewer counter and then again to cash in. Also, red isn't much of a proliferate color. Hmm...

This is probably incredible for mono-red decks in Standard and likely a sick pull for Limited. But for Commander, I guess Elemental decks that are into a cheap creature that matters with their type.

Let's talk about Prosper, Tome-Bound, inevitably. If you run this and it isn't in your opening hand, hopefully you exile it and get to cast it "for free". It's pretty low-maintenance. Just pay one, no big deal. Prosper decks tend to not be combat focused so I'd probably keep my Wrenn's Resolve or Reckless Impulse where they are.

I guess in Ob Nixilis, Captive Kingpin decks, this does deal exactly one damage when MobNix is out...

How about Faldorn, Dread Wolf Herald? With the Wolf tokens, you'll likely be attacking more, and a 1/1 probably isn't high on the blocking priority, so you might get in for damage and eventually for a few cards.

Maybe Pia Nalaar, Consul of Revival? From what I've seen, Pia decks love a low curve, and this nestles up in that sweet spot for this deck, and just like in Faldorn, if you cast it from exile, it's two bodies for one mana. Nothing to turn your nose up at.

Okay, okay, I'm coming around on this one big time.

Equipment decks. A 1/1 with menace for one mana in a color that's half of the most popular Equipment colors sounds like a solid deal. Put a Fireshrieker on it and you can get in for a few hits and get a few cards out of the Elemental.

Okay, I like this lil guy.

Song of Totentanz

"I want Tempt with Vengeance!"

"We have Tempt with Vengeance at home!"

I present to you the second Tempt with Vengeance for the decks who want another one but don't care about creature type. Or blocking. Or getting extra tokens from your opponents wanting some too.

Song of Totentanz is still pretty great, but there's no denying that sometimes the Tempting offer really goes your way when you cast Tempt with Vengeance. Both end up in Impact Tremors decks or more accurately any Purphoros, God of the Forge decks that haven't been hated out of their playgroups.

What I like about Song is that it makes black tokens and gives them haste, which is great for my Lyzolda, the Blood Witch deck because I prefer card draw to the Shock part of her sacrifice ability. Otherwise, I'm seeing Tempt and Song on equal footing in decks like Mishra, Claimed by Gix and Garna, Bloodfist of Keld - an extremely underrated commander, by the way.

Also, sure, the Rats can't block, but they're swinging and getting in the Goblin Bombardment catapult anyway.

Uncommons & Commons

Flick a Coin

A new card to top end your Thousand-Year Storm decks. I really like that the first thing I thought of when seeing this is the Mystery Booster test card How to Keep an Izzet Mage Busy. It's a goofy card, flavor-wise, and it's pretty effective if you've got token-doublers or ways to copy spells a ton. No doubt I'll be trying this in Zaffai, Thunder Conductor and wouldn't be shocked see this almost exclusively in URx decks.

Grabby Giant

A sacrifice outlet that turns artifacts and lands into card draw for three mana is a pretty sweet creature to keep an eye on. Let's see this in Zirda, the Dawnwaker decks!

Harried Spearguard

Is this red's first Doomed Traveler-ish card? A one-mana creature that leaves behind another creature? I tried to find one on Scryfall and couldn't, so I guess it is!

I like a card that leaves behind another body! Unfortunately, red-black on this set seems to be Rat tokens that can't block, so it's not incredible, but it is worth noting for aristocrats decks that bring creatures back, like a Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker secret commander deck or, once again, Lyzolda, the Blood Witch who can take advantage of both colors coming from this one drop.

Hearth Elemental

Excellent for graveyard strategies and even better when those strategies include a ton of Adventures, instants, and sorceries. The possibility of getting a 4/5 for one red mana seems powerful for 60-card formats, but in EDH - and I don't know this deck very well - this seems pretty good in Vial Smasher the Fierce. Nothing crazy, but worth noting!

Korvold and the Noble Thief

New Saga for your Tom Bombadil decks but not your Narci, Fable Singer decks. Can you double your tokens? Great! By the end of this Saga, you'll get what you paid for and three cards from an opponent's library for the turn.

Remember, the final chapter gets you cards from an opponent's library, but it doesn't say you can spend mana as though it were of any color.

I'm not high on this, but it's a new Saga with a popular commander's name in the title, so it goes in the "notable uncommons and commons" section.


Wilds of Eldraine has some cool interesting stuff going on, but if I'm being completely honest, I feel a little let down by some of the red offerings in the set. I like a few cards for my own deck upgrades, and there are a few that make me want to try them, but ultimately, it's a Standard set that's focused on Standard. Which, honestly, is a pretty good thing. I appreciate that this Limited environment looks so fun and that we don't have a extremely busted bunch of cards. A few role-players and a few flavor champs. Can't wait to see what you all use from the set! Where are some of these new cards going for your own decks? Sound off below!

Mike Carrozza is a stand-up comedian from Montreal who’s done a lot of cool things like put out an album called Cherubic and worked with Tig Notaro, Kyle Kinane, and more people to brag about. He’s also been an avid EDH player who loves making silly stuff happen. @mikecarrozza on platforms