10 Best Red One Drops

Justin Clouse | 13 Mar 2015 15:00
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There was a time when a two power one casting cost creature was thought to be the death of Magic, though to be fair, just about everything has been the "death of Magic" at one point or another. Perhaps it's befitting from either the direction that Magic's taken or from the actual lore of Dragons of Tarkir that everyone is looking over Zurgo Bellstriker. Here's what the latest printing of Duress has to say. "Sarkhan was eager to take vengeance on Zurgo until he saw how lowly his old foe had become." Let this be a lesson, time travel isn't all fun and games.


While being demoted from Helmsmasher to Bellstriker might be quite the downgrade in clan Mardu, Zurgo Bellstriker is way more likely to see constructed play as a mostly no-nonsense two/two than his beefy five casting cost seven/two former self. In that spirit, let's take a look at a few other red one drops that have shaped the course of Sligh, Burn, Goblins, Red Deck Wins and other decks playing Red past and present.

Kird Ape - Arabian Nights


Kird Ape is one of those cards that's simply gotten better as time has gone on. Before you had depend on simple luck in order to have Mountain into Forest, or a Taiga, to turn on Kird Ape's ability. But these days, depending on the format, you'll have access to Stomping Ground and plenty of fetch lands in order to give really good odds that you can ensure you're always casting a two/three Kird Ape. Kird Ape has been a staple of various format's Zoo and aggressive decks going back to the 90s and continues to see a little play in extended formats today.

Jackal Pup - Tempest


Arguably the card that started it all, two power for one mana with no conditions or qualifiers. Granted Jackal Pup has a pretty big drawback if your opponent is interested in blocking or using damage based removal on your creatures, but if you were playing Magic in the late 90s this little pup was all over the place. Jackal Pup helped lead to a surge in fast aggro decks in response to decks using powerful cards like Survival of the Fittest and Recurring Nightmare. The years have not been kind to this little guy however, creatures have simply gotten better, so it's rare to see Jackal Pup outside of anything but singleton formats. Jackal Pup did get a recent reprint of sorts with Firedrinker Satyr though.

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