Goro-Goro, Disciple of Ryusei – Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty
Date Reviewed: March 11, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
There was once a time when Magic’s designers thought that a 2/2 for two mana with a drawback was almost too good for red. It’s probably just as well that those days are gone, because nobody likes Sligh mirror matches that take 40 minutes.
Even so, I hadn’t quite expected to see a two-mana 2/2 goblin who was so effective in the early, middle, and late game phases. As a third-turn attacker, Goro-Goro is merely serviceable, but if you time your spellcasting right, he can send allies hurtling into combat earlier than they’re supposed to, and opponents may not be ready for that. And his dragon-summoning condition is shockingly easy to meet, meaning that a defense plan that focuses on dealing with small creatures might not be good enough. I expect to see him dealing absolutely horrendous amounts of damage to people in multiple formats.
Commander [EDH]: 4/5
Goro-Goro is an interesting synthesis of abilities, one of which is a direct homage to the red member of the original Spirit Dragon cycle.All the same, he’s pretty solid even if he never gets to pop that ability. A 2/2 that can empower your entire army with haste for a turn is rather nice as a way to surprise people (and, yes, he can grant himself haste), and seeing as how red and Boros decks in this set aim to smash hard with single attackers, being able to get them able to attack then and there is nice! Also of note is that the spirit dragon summoned is not a once-per-turn thing, and it’s also not a legendary one, so you can snowball hard if you have enough mana to spend and an eligible attacker, unfortunately, they’re unlikely to attack that turn, thanks to needing the modified creature to be attacking.
I think Goro-Goro is definitely strong as a card to give a notoriously myopic deck type a bit of late-game reach, though he does have some particular demands; luckily, those are pretty easily met. He’s unlikely to be a star, but red decks in Standard will quite like him. I’m not sold on him in deeper formats, but I suppose it could work out.
Limited: 4.75 (stop him early, or you may never get the chance)
Commander [EDH]: 4 (has several potential shells he slots nicely into, like Goblins)
Got to love a two for a 2/2 with great added abilities. The one red to give ALL of your creatures haste is a great ability, especially in red that just wants to be as aggressive as possible. This is something that red has needed for a little while now to be more aggressive in a post Throne of Eldraine standard environment.
What makes this card extra special is the second ability for late game. For five mana you get a 5/5 dragon with flying, all you need is a modified creature (which isn’t hard with auras and the amount of +1/+1 counters in this set). This is huge for red aggro decks, the ability to not stall during the late game is something that has plagued red decks for a long time and this is a beautiful answer to that problem. Definitely a 2-3 of in any red aggro deck.
Don’t pass on this in limited, you definitely want it in and splash red to accommodate it. At the very least you’re taking it so your opponent doesn’t hit you with a 5/5 dragon to seal the game. You’ll want to make sure you protect this creature in order to continuously utilize it’s abilities!
Commander [EDH]: 4/5
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