Rage Reflection | Illustration by Chris Seaman
Creatures are flimsy. They can provide great effects, but they’re so prone to interaction, making them a major element of your game plan comes with risk. If you want to reduce the risks while still bringing backbreaking passive effects, enchantments are what you need.
Red offers some fantastic enchantments that can up your deck’s power and dazzle factor. Here are my picks for the top 40 red enchantments in all Magic.
Stranglehold | Illustration by John Stanko
Enchantments are a permanent type in Magic. They’re common throughout all five colors as a card type that stick around on creatures as auras or passively on the battlefield producing an effect. To qualify for this list, a card needs to meet two criteria: it’s red, and it’s an enchantment on at least one of its faces.
While red doesn’t have many inherent synergies with enchantments like white and green do, the best red enchantments tend to play a major role in powering up the classic red staples. A lot of these spells increase the damage your spells and your attackers can deal, usually in the form of granting double strike or doubling or tripling the damage dealt.
“Group slug” is another element red tends to excel in by using enchantments that punish players with damage for performing game actions. With Fireballs and other big damage spells to close things out, these burn effects can consistently keep players’ life totals lower while managing their creatures.
Molten Echoes easily slots into creature-heavy decks focused around a single type. In archetypes like dragons, Echoes can double big, expensive heaters with splashy combat triggers for insane value. You only need to have one or two copies out of this for it to justify its cast. That’s not a high bar to meet in decks like Lathliss, Dragon Queen.
Are you tired of people recycling fetch lands indefinitely or running the best tutors in the game to find the best card for a situation? May I recommend Stranglehold! This kind of restriction is an effect that hoses a lot of landfall decks by preventing them from searching for their library for more lands, so I’d bring it up in a rule 0 conversation if your deck runs it, but if everyone agrees, it provides a meaningful layer of protection against some of the most unfair spells in the game. Finding a deck that wants this, though, is a trickier question, because it only punishes your opponents and doesn’t otherwise push your game plan forward.
Sunbird's Invocation may not be the spikiest card in the world, but my goodness is it a blast to play with. Six mana for an enchantment that doesn’t typically immediately do anything is rough. If it sticks and you get two or three decent hits, it’ll feel solid.
Double Vision isn’t a shoo-in for every spellslinger list. You really need to have a good number of sizeable instants and sorceries you can pair with this to justify the cost to get it on the table. If you meet that criteria or are just trying to set up sequences where you can start taking turns until the game is over, Double Vision can perform well. If I only copy a Preordain and Chaos Warp with this over two turns, I’m disappointed.
Shared Animosity feels like a one-sided Coat of Arms in red creature-type decks on offense. Goblins, humans, and kobolds all build up big numbers of little tokens to charge to victory. Multiplying the damage you’re presenting by the number of creatures of the chosen type results in certain demise for whoever you attack.
Six mana is a lot to invest into a spell that does nothing on its own; Warstorm Surge is one of the few effects I’d consider making the investment in. The payoff if it sticks is akin to a Terror of the Peaks, and it quickly takes over a game by shooting down all the possible threatening creatures that oppose you. If you want to speed your deck up, it probably doesn’t belong, but if you want big, splashy enchantments that pay off bigger, splashier creatures, this one’s for you.
Uncivil Unrest provides +1/+1 counter decks a powerful reason to consider red. Riot puts the counters on creatures that lack them and want them. Alternatively, it gives haste to creatures that come in with a bunch of counters and immediately doubles the damage they deal. In Marath, Will of the Wild and similar red counter decks, this spell is nuts. There just aren’t that many of those.
Flameshadow Conjuring is something I compare to Panharmonicon; if you can afford the one red per creature, you’re doubling enter the battlefield triggers and can attack with it for immediate attack and damage triggers. If you’re building a deck that cares about any kind of creature-based trigger, this can be an effective tool to get more out of each cast.
Bitter Reunion is one of the best versions of Tormenting Voice we’ve seen in a while. Stapling a 1 mana cost one-time mass haste effect to a reasonable card selection tool that plays great in madness and other discard strategies makes this card generally applicable to most red decks and a homerun for lists that like discarding and attacking.
There aren’t a lot of auras on this list; Sticky Fingers makes the cut because it’s cheap, gives a creature relevant evasion, pays for itself off a single attack, and replaces itself when the creature goes down. That tight package of abilities makes it efficient; if you’re playing a cheap commander like Kediss, Emberclaw Familiar, every little bit adds up to make a huge impact on your game plan.
Rage Reflection turns a mid-size board of creatures into some of the best attackers and blockers you could ask for. Its only issue is its cost; 6 mana is a lot, but the effect can be worth that if you’re looking to take advantage of damage triggers or plan on killing with a big combat and want enemy attackers to have a miserable time attacking you back.
#29. Berserkers’ Onslaught
Double strike is great on defense, but usually, you’re using it to try to leverage high-power creatures to knock players out quickly. Berserkers' Onslaught offers you double strike when you want it most at a cheaper rate than Rage Reflection.
Brazen Cannonade is a bit messy, but in the right circumstances, it’s a card-advantage engine and an aristocrats payoff. In combat, you get priority after damage has been dealt at the end of the combat step, and in that step, your creatures are still considered attacking. This means with a sac outlet, you can have your attacking creatures deal damage with their attack, then be sacrificed before combat is over for the 2 burn damage around the table.
I regularly forget that the dragons mode on Outpost Siege deals 1 damage to any target. It tends to go in red decks desperate for card advantage, and it serves a noble purpose in those lists, but in self-sacrifice decks that can use both modes effectively, Outpost Siege is an excellent role-player. Unlike Cannonade, it can consistently draw you cards, even if you have no good attacks, which is a huge upside.
Of all these fairly similar once-a-turn impulse draw effects, Valakut Exploration has the highest ceiling and lowest floor. In landfall decks, this is card-advantage machine. Three mana makes it an appealing alternative to Siege and Vance's Blasting Cannons should you not need it to find you lands or have ample ways to trigger it multiple times per turn.
Curse of Opulence I think sees a bit more play than it necessarily should, but in the decks that run cheap attack-based creatures, it’s a fantastic ramp option to have. It comes down early and accelerates you the fastest while rewarding aggression pointed away from you.
Mass Hysteria isn’t as relevant as its green counterpart, Concordant Crossroads, simply because red has no shortage of ways to give its creatures haste. If you need haste for cheap and can be sure you’re getting more value out of it than your opponents, this little enchantment can facilitate spontaneous wins from once summoning sick creatures for just one red mana.
Arcane Bombardment is a game-winning effect when it gets going. It doesn’t take much to set it up with something like a Time Stretch in your graveyard; now, as long as you can keep casting just one instant or sorcery, you’ve got infinite turns. Even when played “fairly” in decks with a high density of instants and sorceries, Bombardment can be an enormous engine of value and interaction.
Breath of Fury combos with token-producing attack or damage triggers and haste to get infinite combat steps. That use alone makes it appealing for decks like Najeela, the Blade-Blossom, but beyond combo potential, any deck wanting extra combat steps that has a wide board is pretty happy sacrificing a few flying tokens for two or three combat steps in a single turn for just four mana.
Burning Sands is about as punishing an effect as you can get for aristocrat strategies. Outside of that archetype, by packing amble interaction in a Rakdos or Boros deck, this spell can turn every removal spell into an Epicenter. This kind of effect isn’t for every group; I’d talk about it in the rule zero conversation before the game starts if you’re trying to leverage its mana-restricting capabilities.
Red tends to play a lot of creature-based strategies which makes Aether Flash tricky to find room for. If you’re not running many creatures with 2 or less toughness and are in an archetype that wants to win without going wide with small creatures, this enchantment locks some players out of the game entirely until it’s dealt with. Its effect is so backbreaking you should probably bring it up in the rule 0 conversation prior to a game; if the table’s cool with it, it can be a superb piece to control what creature strategies can do.
All Will Be One is a two-card combo win condition paired with The Red Terror, Ob Nixilis, Captive Kingpin, and War Elemental. Gross! Incidentally, it’s also just a superb payoff for putting counters on things in red, and while that isn’t usually a big element of red’s color identity, commanders like Shalai and Hallar and Auntie Blyte, Bad Influence find it a slam dunk.
Gratuitous Violence is the first of many damage-amplifying effects on this list; this version is five mana, and unlike the other options, only affects creatures. That’s still excellent. Paired with double strike creatures or double strike enchantments, your 4/4s can punch for 16 damage each.
Flash takes Dictate of the Twin Gods and puts it above the asymmetrical Gratuitous Violence for me. Doubling damage at instant speed can get players out of nowhere. In Commander, with four players, this can assist the second-place player in suddenly dropping whoever’s currently archenemy.
Fiery Emancipation slammed down the turn you go to swing out with a huge board of creatures normally is a way to end the game. It doesn’t just pair with attackers, though; with Terror of the Peaks or other burn effects, Emancipation helps to easily remove creatures of any size while threatening to drop players in bursts of glory.
Convoke makes the two extra mana you pay for City on Fire slightly better than Fiery Emancipation. Decks that are going wide can get this down prior to turn 6 with little to no issue, and damage tripling is a surefire way to reduce players’ life to zero.
Braid of Fire generates silly amounts of mana if it comes down early, but that mana is restricted by when you can use it. Leyline Tyrant and Omnath, Locus of All kind of effects can help you move that mana into sorcery speed casting. Otherwise, you need a lot of things to do in your upkeep to make use of the bananas amount of red Braid produces.
Spiteful Banditry is no The Meathook Massacre, but it still offers a massive boon to Commander decks in need of a board clear because it also sticks around as a passive ramp spell. In some games, I’d even consider just playing it with X as 0 to get the ramp effect out before people are sacrificing Caustic Caterpillars and Sakura-Tribe Elders.
Pyrohemia was printed as a color-shifted Pauper all-star Pestilence. In Commander, red tends to have more synergies for its damaging spells and effects, and that extends to benefit Pyrohemia. It’s a tool that reshapes which creatures people can play safely while you’ve got a few Mountains untapped, and can be a political tool alongside a board clear that can burn the table out with a Mana Geyser and a damage doubler.
Furnace of Rath is the cheapest damage-doubling effect in the game. Four mana is an incredibly cheap price to double the effectiveness of your damage-based spells and creatures. The symmetrical nature of it does make it risky to run out early, but if you want the cheapest damage double you can get, it’s Furnace.
Fable of the Mirror-Breaker does everything most Commander decks want to be doing; it produces mana with the Goblin Shaman token, rummages to smooth out your early turns, and transforms into a version of one of red’s strongest combo cards, Reflection of Kiki-Jiki. If you want a smoother game, a turn 3 Fable makes that happen. Eternal formats like Modern see this staple show up everywhere for good reason.
Free sacrifice outlets are pivotal to many Commander strategies; Goblin Bombardment isn’t only red’s best one, but it’s also one of the best free sacrifice outlets in all of Magic. Rakdos and Jund decks tend to want this kind of effect, but any deck making enough creatures can consider this as a way to interact with your opponent’s creatures and life totals. It also wins the game if you can get a creature that can die infinite times, which is easily achievable with persist creatures like Putrid Goblin and something that puts a +1/+1 counter on it when it comes into play.
Mana Echoes may have the highest potential of any creature-type payoffs in the game. In decks like slivers or goblins, this thing generates hundreds of mana throughout the game, often over just a turn or two. When it’s online, you’ll start making mana on each creature cast, easily creating windows to take over a game and win with a splashy X spell.
Aggravated Assault not only combos with mana dorks to take infinite combats, but in fair decks that just want extra attack steps, you’re happy to pay 5 for it multiple times. Extra combat steps, especially when paired with prior double striking or double/triple damage effects, is an easy way to end a game of Magic with any semblance of a board state.
Mana Flare, as a group hug spell, can be a blast to play with at tables that leave it. In spikier groups, this often is going to be a mana doubler for the turn you intended to storm off and win with other mana doublers like High Tide and spells that untap lands like Frantic Search. With eight lands, it pays for itself; any more than that and it acts as a ritual the turn it comes down.
Greedy mana bases run rampant in Eternal formats; Blood Moon is here to punish them. In Commander, this card absolutely should be mentioned in a pre-game rule 0 conversation. If allowed, this enchantment hoses mana bases and prevents the 3+ color decks from functioning.
Impact Tremors gives go-wide creature decks an alternate win condition they desperately need. Because of how common these archetypes are, lots of decks want a 2-mana wincon to make all their generated tokens and cheap creatures come with some damage.
Purphoros, God of the Forge both as a commander and as a card in the 99 is usually the most threatening effect on the table. Two damage per creature results in incidental damage that racks up quickly. You need half as many creatures entering to win compared to Tremors, and because it’s an indestructible enchantment, many decks struggle to interact with it.
Want to spend 1 mana for a Blightsteel Colossus with haste? Sneak Attack is for you. Legacy Sneak and Show has been highlighting how unfair this effect can be; in Commander, with ample spicy creatures and explosive death triggers at your disposal, this enchantment can end a game out of nowhere. Pair it with Sundial of the Infinite or Obeka, Brute Chronologist to keep the creatures forever by “stifling” the sacrifice trigger!
Underworld Breach takes a page out of Yawgmoth's Will book by turning your graveyard into a second (usually larger) hand. In Eternal formats, its combos with Mishra's Bauble and self-mill effects have led it to be an absolute menace. In Commander, you don’t need to get more than two spell casts with it for its cost to be great, making it wildly applicable as a card advantage tool.
Instants and sorceries are completely nuts with this; they immediately go back to the graveyard upon resolution, so rituals like Mana Geyser can pay for itself over and over again so long as you can keep exile cards to it. With that much mana, it’s not that challenging to find a win.
Breach is one of the most powerful spells printed in modern Magic’s history, and it will continue to see play doing busted graveyard nonsense for a long time to come.
Pyrohemia does silly amounts of damage for cheap when paired with these effects. Torbran, Thane of Red Fell adds +2 to each instance of damage. Because it’s a replacement effect like these other spells, you get to pick in which order they apply, making it a way to turn a humble Lightning Bolt into a deal 10-15 to anything!
Purphoros, God of the Forge, Impact Tremors, and Warstorm Surge all want creatures entering the battlefield en masse to trigger as often as possible. Commanders like Krenko, Mob Boss produce silly numbers of creatures. When you have lots of creatures, enchantments like Rage Reflection give them all double strike while Aggravated Assault and Breath of Fury provide you ways to attack with a wide board over and over. Mana Echoes doesn’t do damage, but instead gains you mana when you put lots of creatures of the same type into play. Sneak Attack works alongside these effects as a tool to put every creature from your hand into play with haste for just each.
A Storm-Kiln Artist, Runaway Steam-Kin, Urabrask, or Birgi, God of Storytelling can produce tons of mana while you’re chaining instants and sorceries together amplified by the aforementioned enchantments, with Breach providing you a tool to buy back explosive rituals like Pyretic Ritual and Mana Geyser with a payoff like a giant Fiery Encore or ten or more burn triggers from Firebrand Archer paired with a damage multiplier win it all.
Underworld Breach | Illustration by Lie Setiawan
Red decks across the land reach for these staples to produce splashy red effects that make the other red and black players nervous. Enchantments aren’t the easiest permanent type to remove; having your win condition attached to one can be a huge boon since only white and green have stellar answers to them once they’re in play.
While some need to be built more around and others you could cram in any deck with red and get value from it, these all have homes in Commander and some even in other Eternal formats. If you’re looking to do gross combos with Underworld Breach or end the game by making 30 tokens with an Impact Tremors or Purphoros in play, or if you just want some neat cards to enhance your brews and collection, this list has everything you’d need in terms of red enchantments.
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