– Guilds of Ravnica
January 11, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 3.38
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
When I saw/read Runaway Steam-Kin, the first thing I thought of was Storm Entity from Future Sight. Not because they do explicitly similar things when they’re in play, but because they both do well as the only creature in a deck where every other card is an instant or sorcery. The Steam-Kin has the potential to fuel an endless chain of spells, as long as your deck has plenty of Faithless Looting and Sleight of Hand effects. Unlike Storm Entity, though, he’s also strong in a non-combo scenario, as he can grow to Tarmogoyf-style stats in the space of one turn. And anybody who leans too heavily on trying to stop either the spell chain or the beatdown element of him will likely fall victim to the other.
Runaway Steam-Kin plays well in what was already one of the best decks in Standard: red. Because if it ain’t red, then they ain’t dead.
In spite of the 1/1 body, Runaway Steam-Kin rewards you for playing even more red cards, quickly snowballing into a 4/4 that you can use to power up even more spells. It’s possible on turn 3 to chain together three red instants (like Shock or Lightning Bolt), swing this as a 4/4, and then use the counters to power out yet another spell. It’s seen some fringe Modern play already as a way for red to play with a bit more of a sustained assault, as opposed to the all-in rush down it is most known for, and the Izzet style of slinging spells is well-suited for the Steam-Kin.
Runaway Steam-Kin definitely is a good piece to an already-powerful deck. While it’s unclear as to how Gruul and Rakdos exactly will pair with it, I could see it augmenting those decks as well as the existing ones it slots in. Expect to see it, especially in multiples.
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