Haste is good. Essentially having Haste herself and giving it to any Ally when they enter is pretty solid. A 3/2 for 4 isn’t great, but what she does makes for a playable creature. Rally the Ancestors and March from the Tomb have already been mentioned as being playable along the Guide in some Mardu Ally deck. As a replacement for Mogis’ Marauder, which gave intimidate, the popular Rally deck will get new life with Allies. The haste is probably better than the intimidate fueled by devotion to Black anyhow. March from the Tomb gets a lot better if the Allies it brings back suddenly have haste. I’m with the crowd on this one; this obviously is no Goblin Guide, but she’s solid.
Menace isn't quite as good as haste, perhaps. But with enough creatures on board, being unable to block any one creature with a single creature can leave opponents dead. Being able to get Menace on a regular basis is scary, and in combination with Chasm Guide, Allies have some serious acceleration. The fact that they curve well into one another in Limited helps matters, as well.
Who doesn’t love trample? Who doesn’t love Minotaurs? Ondu Champion gives all creatures you control trample with his Rally effect, which is pretty nice. In a Limited format full of chump blocking Eldrazi Scion tokens and other little creatures that need to band together to be any good, Trample is especially useful. Those few extra points of trample damage here and there can prevent opponents from ever being able to drop their big Eldrazi bombs by virtue of simply being dead.
A red “bear” is fine, but the downside is meaningful. In an Ally deck, you won’t have to worry about this guy recklessly killing himself, but the drawback does downgrade him a bit overall. Limited player only and really only in Ally-heavy builds.
3RR for a 4 / 4 with Menace is good at common. Exciting he is not, but he owes the Kor a debt of gratitude and is potentially going to take at least two creatures down with him. Any common that can give you a two-for-one is a solid card in my opinion.
As an Ally, Zada doesn’t really have any synergy with the tribe outside of being an Ally himself. I’ve already gone into how good he is as a Mono-Red Commander and how you can use Zada in Standard without ever needing another Ally on board. Remember, Become Immense is a thing, and giving your whole team +6/+6 is sort of unfair. Here’s that in-depth review of Zada.
Since then, the entire set has been spoiled, so now we get to see what Zada has to play with in Limited. There aren’t a bunch of useful spells, but the ones there are should be good enough. Tandem Tactics is fine, giving Zada and your team +1/+2 as long as you only choose Zada as your only target (gaining 2 life for each creature is a nice bonus). Lithomancer’s Focus gives your team +2/+2 and invulnerability from colorless sources until end of turn - not quite protection and certainly no God’s Willing. Sure Strike in Red for 1R gives +3/+0 and first strike until end of turn - solid enough. The best ones appear to be in Green, Earthen Arms and Infuse with the Elements. Earthen Arms essentially gives all your creatures 2 +1/+1 counters. Infuse is a Converge spell for 3G that gives a target creature X +1/+1 counters and trample until end of turn. Four colors of mana is not out of the question for an Ally deck. But even for just 2 or 3 colors, it’s a nightmare with Zada.
Since Zada does have some decent firepower in Limited, I can get behind him in an Ally deck. But he doesn’t have to see play in Allies. The only thing about Zada is you need to have a pump spell to fire off right away to get the most out of him. You do kind of have to build around him, but when you do, you’ll probably win quite a few games.
Verdict on Red Allies: B+
Chasm Guide and Zada definitely look like Constructed playables, but as four-drops they will need to find their niches in Standard. In Limited, though, these Red Allies are all playable, with Cohort being the worst. Even Cohort is fine if all you’re casting are Allies. Black may have some great stuff, but so far, Red has the overall best cards. The Vampire theme in Black has proven a bit too cute for some players to stomach, so the alternative option to just bash face with Red is a welcome sight. Of course, Red and Black are probably going to be working together a lot when it comes to allies. Perhaps Mardu Aggro really will be a thing in Standard - finally.