Today Jan. 13, 2014 Tom LaPille revealed Pharagax Giant, a new "Born of the Gods" spoiler from Wizards of the Coast's upcoming expert "Magic: The Gathering" expansion set in an article on DailyMtg.com. This common red creature card showcases one of the set's newest mechanics: Tribute.
Pharagax Giant - 4R
Creature - Giant (Common)
Tribute 2 (As this creature enters the battlefield, an opponent of your choice may place two +1/+1 counters on it.)
When Pharagax Giant enters the battlefield, if tribute wasn't paid Pharagax Giant deals 5 damage to each opponent.
Pharagax Giant forces your opponent to choose between losing a quarter of their starting life total or being slightly larger. Barring the Yoda factor, your opponent will always choose the irrelevant option. Because Pharagax Giant's ability won't reliably fire one way or the other, Fanatic of Mogis might make a better choice for a constructed deck.
In limited your opponent will most likely choose to pay the five life in order to make Pharagax Giant not be such an imposing threat. Later in the game when they're lower on life it'll end up being a 5/5 for five.
An important thing to note about Pharagax Giant is that it says "each opponent." That means if you've gained a political ally in a multiplayer game of commander then the opponent you've chosen might decide to let everyone (except you) take five damage.
The new Tribute cards like Wild Devastating Nessian are an interesting twist on the "punisher" cards, and much more relevant in multiplayer.
How will you use Pharagax Giant?
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