Fires of Yavimaya – Invasion
Date Reviewed: October 21, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 2.92
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Haste is one of the most devastating abilities you can put on mid-sized to large creatures, because for many creatures that can do a lot of damage on their own, the trade-off is that it takes time to do so. You may have your own experiences getting hit by a Goldspan Dragon or Glorybringer outta nowhere; Fires turns every creature into a Goldspan Dragon, at least in terms of combat. Even so, Fervor never lit the tournament world on fire (pun intended), and that effect isn’t usually constructed-worthy on its own – in Fires of Yavimaya’s case, the little extra utility of extra damage put it over the edge, working like a pseudo-burn spell in a deck with enough creatures in it. It also enabled “cheating” with Blastoderm and Saproling Burst to get more attacks out of them than the designers may have intended.
Fires of Yavimaya dominated part of a tournament cycle full of some of the most powerful blue instants of all time, and gave us the merest glimpse of what creatures were capable of. It may not be a tournament staple any more, but its history is more than enough to make it an icon of Magic.
Constructed: 2/5 (in Legacy; in Invasion Standard I’d probably have given it at least 4)
Casual: 5/5 (N.B.: planeswalkers fear haste)
It may not look the part today, but Fires of Yavimaya was, back in Invasion, one of the most powerful cards. Haste to one’s board isn’t half bad for three mana, particularly since it makes the rest of your bombs more powerful, but the ability to turn this into a one-shot power boost is what sealed the deal, and it mitigated the downside of running multiple copies. Keep in mind that Fires is worded to that you can attack with the haste and buff in one turn, so it’s not impossible to land an out-of-nowhere alpha strike against an opponent who wasn’t expecting it, and it was a force to be reckoned with for its Standard run.
Unfortunately, it winds up being a touch too slow for today’s game, at least where it’s legal. It’d probably be a threat in Standard, but it hasn’t returned to Standard since its original printing. It had its time to shine, but Legacy is not where Fires of Yavimaya burns brightest.
Fires of Yavimaya
Beautiful artwork from an earlier time of Magic that really captures the fantasy feel and the tone of the late 90’s. Other than that this card is…meh. An enchantment that gives your creatures haste isn’t bad but for 1RG it is, it has a nice added effect of sacrificing it to give a creature +2/+2 until end of turn but there are so so many other and better alternatives to both of these abilities. Nowadays, red creatures almost always have haste or come in fast and quick (think of the Dash mechanic) and RG creatures usually have a haste ability attached or another effect that is just better. I don’t think a permanent haste ability on the board is worth it for 3 in those colors in today’s magic. If this card gave haste and the plus ability permanently then I would say this card is great but that’s not what we got. It is a hard pass in almost all formats in today’s environment with the lone exception being Invasion booster draft…if you find yourself in those colors it is a good pick up but only in this scenario!
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