Volatile Arsonist – Crimson Vow
Date Reviewed: January 18, 2022
Commander [EDH]: 4.17
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I can’t believe this is a real sentence now, but: red has a real dilemma for hasty five-mana creatures. Volatile Arsonist and/or Dire-Strain Anarchist are for the most straightforward and aggressive decks; for when you want things set on fire, and you want it fast. On an empty table, you hit the opponent for five damage the first two turns, and presumably a lot more than that on consecutive turns. Adding in menace and the ability to damage planeswalkers and take out sacrificial blockers – thereby disabling many of the popular defenses against this kind of creature – makes this one of the most threatening creatures at its cost that we’ve seen of late. It strikes me as a werewolf version of Glorybringer. Of course, that kind of comparison only comes up if you’re casting your deckbuilding net wide, but the tribe may be relevant to you in casual play, as might the ability to distribute damage even more widely.
Commander [EDH]: 4/5
Volatile Arsonist, on both sides, is certainly a threat of a body, thanks to it being an evasive attacker on its own with good power and spreading damage with each swing. While it’s only 1 damage on its Human side, remember that menace forces multiple creatures in front of it, and you can use the damage to threaten interesting trades (or just remove the ability for them to answer it altogether). Jumping the damage to spreading Shocks around is certainly a nice upside, even if Dire-Strain Anarchist is only slightly larger. Never underestimate the damage this can do with repeated attacks, and this is a threat of a card that’s likely to present another axis for red decks to do their thing for all of Crimson Vow‘s Standard run.
Limited: 5 (this is definitely mythic for power-level reasons)
Multiplayer: 4.25 (remember: you can attack one player and soften up the others with the attack triggers)
Commander [EDH]: 4.5
A great late game card for red focused decks or red aggro decks that is difficult to block and it can help get rid of pesky 1/1 tokens, weaken planeswalkers, and do ping damage to players. Switching to night just makes this card better by having a 5/5 that deals two damage to a creature/planeswalker/player so you want to save this for when you don’t have spells and you can keep attacking in werewolf form. A great creature that you can have multiple of on the battlefield, there’s a reason why this is a mythic and it should fit perfectly in a few decks! Menace was a really nice touch to add on, it just makes it that much harder to block and you’re likely going to take out one of your opponents blockers at the very least being a 4/4 or a 5/5.
Commander [EDH]: 4/5
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. 😉