Dire Fleet Daredevil
– Rivals of Ixalan
January 24, 2018
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Innistrad block was the better part of a decade ago, so you may not remember the argument that Snapcaster Mage could have been red. I favored that argument probably a little more than was, strictly speaking, healthy. But the upshot is that I’m perhaps a little more excited to try out Dire Fleet Daredevil than is, strictly speaking, healthy. The Daredevil has a downside that Snapcaster Mage doesn’t have, which is that your opponent has to have used the spell first; you can’t set it up yourself like you could with the famous Invitational card, and if you’re looking to use a removal or card-drawing spell, she will often only let you come back to parity, not pull ahead. But that can be a big deal in itself; lots of red decks find it easy to fall behind when other people start casting powerful instants and sorceries, and when the way to turn that around on someone also comes in the form of a creature whose stats they would like anyway, you have the recipe for a potential hit.
Dire Fleet Daredevil definitely has an Izzet feel to her. Being able temporarily steal cards is one of red’s best tricks so I’m surprised it took so long to make a card like this. I like how this card compliments “Hostage Taker” so well. If this card becomes popular I can see people running it with “Vance’s Blasting Cannons” or “Primal Amulet.” Heck, it might be worth adding “Etali, Primal Storm.” If Black is more your thing than play lots of discard so you can play your opponents spells before they even get to.
The nice thing about Dire Fleet Daredevil is that she has good stats if you play her on turn 2. Sure you miss out on the fun ability, but most of the time having a creature is more valuable than the ETB ability. If you have some treasure in your coffers you should have no problem casting this card and swindle a spell.
Dire Fleet Daredevil has rules text that makes her seem really, really fun. Yank a spell from an opponent’s graveyard and potentially cast it for yourself? Pretty nice in all, even if you only can cast it on the turn she comes out. She calls to mind Snapcaster Mage in that regard, a two-mana creature that lets you pop something out of a graveyard. Of course, this is slower, and it relies on your opponents having nifty spells, or this merely winds up being a way to thwart Aftermath (still Standard legal for a bit longer!) or other recursive tricks. The upside is real, though, and she is the rare two-drop that’s quite useful late and early.
And even before your opponents start loading up their graveyards, she’s a 2/1 with first strike for 2 mana, which is a solid rate of return. I think she’s pretty good and will see a healthy amount of play overall.
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Magic the Gathering Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉
Visit the Magic Card of the Day Archive! Click here to read over 4,000 more MTG Cards of the Day! Daily Since 2001.