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Core Set 2021 Draft Guide – Red | Magic: The Gathering

Welcome back to another Core Set 2021 Draft guide for Magic: The Gathering! Last time, I went over all the cards for black. Today, we will be looking at all the red cards.

Before I get into my rating for each card, here’s a brief overview of my Core Set 2021 Draft Guide rating system.

  • 1 – Bad card or only useful in the sideboard
  • 2 – Passable, but not something I would pick early or often
  • 3 – A solid card I’m happy to pick most of the time
  • 4 – Powerful cards that provide a lot of value on their own
  • 5 – Cards that will almost always win the game if your opponents can’t deal with them

Now that we know how I’ll be rating each card, let’s get straight into the ratings.

Core Set 2021 Draft guide – Red

core set 2021 draft guide

Battle-Rattle Shaman – 2.5

The reason why I like Battle-Rattle Shaman is that he buffs one of our creatures the turn he’s played. This makes him a great addition to any aggro deck. The only downside to this card is that it easily dies to common removal like Shock.

core set 2021 draft guide

Bolt Hound – 2

The effect of Bolt Hound is strong, however, there just aren’t enough token producers in this set. Having a wide board is crucial for Bolt Hound to do well, and I just don’t see that happening too often.

core set 2021 draft guide

Bone Pit Brute – 2.5

I think there are enough fliers in this set that the +4/+0 stat bonus will be threatening. Plus, a 4/5 menace for 6-mana is a decent topdeck to pressure our opponent’s life total.

Brash Taunter – 4.5

Brash Taunter is a bomb that does a great job of preventing our opponent from attacking. Also, if either you or your opponent has a decent creature on board, Brash Taunter will output tons of burn damage every turn.

core set 2021 draft guide

Burn Bright – 1.5

Unfortunately, due to the lack of token producers this set, Burn Bright won’t have many opportunities to shine.

core set 2021 draft guide

Chandra, Heart of Fire – 4.5

Chandra packs an incredible amount of value. She won’t win you the game outright, but does a great job of finding you ways to get there while protecting herself.

core set 2021 draft guide

Chandra’s Incinerator – 3.5

Chandra’s Incinerator as a 6 mana 6/6 with trample already makes it a fine creature. However, it is very possible to have Chandra’s Incinerator come down for only 4-5 mana. Plus, it’s nice that this card rewards you for doing things you already want to be doing.

core set 2021 draft guide

Chandra’s Magmutt – 2.5

A 2 mana 2/2 that can provide incremental value throughout the game? Yes, please!

core set 2021 draft guide

Chandra’s Pyreling – 3

Chandra’s Pyreling is one of the best payoffs for going into a spells-heavy archetype. It’s an aggressive creature that gets in for a lot of damage while also being difficult to kill in combat.

core set 2021 draft guide

Conspicuous Snoop – 1.5

Although I do love the art of Conspicuous Snoop, there aren’t enough Goblins in this set to make the ability relevant.

core set 2021 draft guide

Crash Through – 1.5

Even if Crash Through was utilized alongside Prowess cards, I don’t think it will do much for you.

core set 2021 draft guide

Destructive Tampering – 1

A sideboard card.

core set 2021 draft guide

Double Vision – 1.5 // 3

If you have 10+ spells that can deal damage to your opponent or opponent’s creatures, then Double Vision becomes playable. Otherwise, stay clear of expensive enchantments that do nothing when they enter the battlefield.

core set 2021 draft guide

Fiery Emancipation – 4

Okay, I know I just said to stay clear of enchantments that do nothing when they enter the battlefield, but Fiery Emancipation is an exception to that rule. Regardless of what type of deck you have, Fiery Emancipation will provide you with a lot of value. Triple the amount you would normally get, to be exact.

core set 2021 draft guide

Furious Rise – 3

In the right deck, Furious Rise will give you an immense card advantage.

core set 2021 draft guide

Furor of the Bitten – 2

In a very low curve aggressive deck, this card can be a good inclusion to pressure your opponent.

core set 2021 draft guide

Gadrak, the Crown-Scourge – 4.5

Gadrak is an insane card. You won’t be able to attack with Gardrak for a while, but this card provides you so much value that it doesn’t matter. First, it’s a 5/4 flying body for 3-mana that can still block. Secondly, it ramps you 1-mana. Finally, Gadrak can even help you splash into a third color.

core set 2021 draft guide

Goblin Arsonist – 2.5

There are enough 1-health creatures in this set that picking up a Goblin Arsonist is going to be well worth it.

core set 2021 draft guide

Goblin Wizardry – 2

Even if you manage to create a deck that can trigger a prowess a few times, 4-mana for this effect isn’t worth it.

core set 2021 draft guide

Havoc Jester – 3.5

Havoc Jester is one of the best sacrifice payoffs in the set. I think this card will fit in almost any red deck.

core set 2021 draft guide

Heartfire Immolator – 3.5

Heartfire Immolator is an extremely pushed 2-drop. Not only does it get in for a lot of damage, but it also acts as a removal spell.

core set 2021 draft guide

Hellkite Punisher – 2.5 

Hellkite Punisher is an expensive late-game threat for red decks, but does an amazing job at closing out the game.

core set 2021 draft guide

Hobblefiend – 2.5

Hobblefiend is a solid creature for any sacrifice/aggro deck.

core set 2021 draft guide

Igneous Cur – 2

Igneous Cur is a filler playable that gets better if you have Alpine Houndmaster.

Kinetic Augur – 2.5

Kinetic Augur is a solid UR spells payoff. Plus, this card is a great topdeck that can replace the lands in your hand with useful cards.

core set 2021 draft guide

Onakke Ogre – 2

Combined with 4+ power payoffs like Furious Rise, Onakke Ogre becomes good. Otherwise, it’s just a filler playable.

core set 2021 draft guide

Pitchburn Devils – 3

I like Pitchburn Devils. This card allows you to 2-for-1 your opponent, and at worst it burns them for 3 damage.

core set 2021 draft guide

Sanctum of Shattered Heights – 2 // 3

This card is a decent filler card, but becomes better when combined with other Shrines.

core set 2021 draft guide

Scorching Dragonfire – 3

A solid common removal spell.

Shock – 3

Another solid common removal spell. I rate Shock slightly higher than Scorching Dragonfire because it can hit our opponent’s life total.

Soul Sear – 3.5

The premium red removal spell that will kill almost anything.

Spellgorger Weird – 3.5

Spellgorger Weird is the best payoff for going into a spells-matter deck. However, it’s not hard to cast noncreature spells, so any red deck should be happy to include Spellgorger Weird.

Subira, Tulzidi Caravanner – 4

Subira is an amazing card for aggressive decks, making your 2-power creatures unblockable. Plus, I’m a big fan of being able to draw cards from the creatures I make unblockable.

Sure Strike – 2

Sure Strike is one of the better combat tricks, as it usually wins you the combat. The only problem, like with any other combat trick, is that you’re setting yourself up for a 2-for-1.

Terror of the Peaks – 5

Terror of the Peaks will win you the game extremely fast unless your opponent has an immediate response to the card. Even if they do, they’re going to lose 3 life just by targeting Terror of the Peaks.

core set 2021 draft guide

Thrill of Possibility – 1.5

A mediocre filler card that can be decent in a spells-matter deck.

Traitorous Greed – 2.5

Normally, I wouldn’t rate Act of Treason effects very highly. However, there are enough sacrifice effects in this set to make Traitorous Greed worthwhile.

Transmogrify – 1

Unfortunately, Transmogrify wasn’t made with limited in mind.

Turn to Slag – 2.5

A great removal spell in any red deck.

Turret Ogre – 2.5

Turret Ogre is a solid creature for any red deck. Plus, having Reach is relevant in a set full of common flyers.

Unleash Fury – 1.5

This card just sets you up for a 2-for-1.

Volcanic Geyser – 3.5

A removal spell that turns into a direct damage spell is always going to be amazing.

Volcanic Salvo – 4

In most games, you’ll be casting this card for 6-7 mana, which is really cheap considering the power of this card.


The spells-matter theme is looking very solid in red. This color has plenty of flexible damage based spells, making prowess creatures look a little better. Anyways, that’s it for the Core Set 2021 Draft guide for red! Next up in the color wheel is green!

Stay tuned to SQUAD for more Magic: The Gathering content.

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Paul Dudsdeemaytha

Paul Dudsdeemaytha is a Vancouver, BC-based writer and content creator at SQUAD. Paul specializes in creating guides for Magic: The Gathering and Legends of Runeterra. When he's not writing, you can probably find him throwing frisbees nearby.
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