Vance’s Blasting Cannons has me excited to be a red mage.
Outpost Siege was one of my favorite cards from the Khans of Tarkir block, and Vance’s Blasting Cannons has a lot of similarities. Drawing two cards every turn when your opponent is only drawing one is a great feeling.
Outpost Siege does allow you to play lands whereas Vance’s Blasting Cannons doesn’t, but Vance’s Blasting Cannons actually turns into a cannon. Outpost Siege also wasn’t legendary, which allowed you to have two card drawing engines in play—but the first copy should be enough, and you can flip it then follow up with a second copy if necessary.
Ramunap Red decks already wanted to play a low curve to empty their hand for Hazoret the Fervent, and Vance’s Blasting Cannons fits right into this shell. You can unload your early plays and still have a source of card advantage with the enchantment side, and a lower curve helps you cast multiple spells in a turn to transform Vance’s Blasting Cannons into Spitfire Bastion.
It’s worth noting that transforming is a “may” effect, so when you flip the first one, you can play a second and keep the cards coming while you still have your Open Fire on a stick.
One thing working against Vance’s Blasting Cannons is that it competes in the same space as Chandra, Torch of Defiance. Both are 4 mana, and both work as a source of additional cards for red mages. Chandra, Torch of Defiance is one of the best planeswalkers we’ve ever seen in Standard, so it’s hard to imagine that it will be made completely obsolete by Vance’s Blasting Cannons, but one thing these cannons have that Chandra doesn’t is that they can’t be attacked.
Chandra, Torch of Defiance was often a liability because you couldn’t play it on certain battlefields, because it would just get eaten by creatures in play or a big haste creature like Glorybringer. Vance’s Blasting Cannons will be better in some of these spots, allowing you to play it when you’re behind on the board, or without fear of a Glorybringer making you look foolish.
Hazoret the Fervent and Chandra, Torch of Defiance are also weak to the “new Hero’s Downfall” Vraska’s Contempt, where Vance’s Blasting Cannons will leave them stranded with Vraska’s Contempt in hand while you continue to blast off. This will come into play against a deck like U/B Control that doesn’t have access to a way to deal with the one-sided Howling Mine, but will have Vraska’s Contempt to exile both Hazoret and Chandra. If the metagame takes shape such that Vraska’s Contempt is a heavily played removal spell and Cast Out isn’t, we may be looking to Vance’s Blasting Cannons to provide some inevitability for not only Ramunap Red but other red decks like Mardu Vehicles as well.
To build a deck with Vance’s Blasting Cannon, you want to keep a low curve so that you can cast multiple spells in a turn, both to transform and to get the most value out of it by not leaving any cards uncast. So play all of the decent 1-drops you have left in Ramunap Red and have all the removal go to the face as well so that you don’t leave an Abrade stranded in exile.
Here’s how I’d build a Ramunap Red deck with Vance’s Blasting Cannons to start:
We’ll have to see if Vance’s Blasting Cannons sees play alongside Chandra, Torch of Defiance and Hazoret the Fervent. I have my hopes set high for the card because of how hard it will be to interact with and how powerful a card drawing engine and finisher it can be.