There are two weeks (roughly) until Commander 2013's release, but Theros, of course, is still fresh on everyone's mind, and the first Challenge Deck of the Hero's Path, Face the Hydra, makes its debut at Theros Game Day this coming weekend. What I mean to say is - it's a busy time for Magic. It pays, therefore, to sit down and continue going through Theros, color by color and card by card, in order to get the best possible understanding of all the set has to offer. Continuing from part 2 of the white cards, I'll be considering the last portion of Theros white.
Ray of Dissolution - This is, I guess, intended to be in Theros Limited what Shatter was in Mirrodin/Scars of Mirrodin block Limited - a marginal sideboard card elsewhere but a maindeck high-pickable weapon in this environment. That's only half right. See, it does plenty of work against bestow creatures, the Ordeal cycle, and the gods' legendary artifacts - but the gods themselves are indestructible, so the biggest threat it should be taking out is immune to it. Also, Theros isn't really an enchantment block - at least not to the extent that the Mirrodin blocks were artifact blocks. But hey, can't win 'em all.
Scholar of Athreos - Yowza holy awesomely punishing defenses. This is a little late love shown to the Orzhov of the previous block, because this activated ability is essentially "2B: An extort trigger," and it also fits very well with their sit-back-and-watch-'em-bleed playstyle. A 1/4 for 2W is nothing to sniff at, and that activated ability can hurt after a while. This is also, incidentally, relatively good confirmation that the white-black god to appear in Born of the Gods or Journey into Nyx is named Athreos.
Setessan Battle Priest - "You gain 2 life" isn't exactly the strongest of heroic abilities, but it certainly helps in a tight Limited matchup. And a 1/3 body for 1W can gum up the board for a little while. Overall, not spectacular - there are definitely better white two-drops - but it fills its curve spot respectably.
Setessan Griffin - A five-mana 3-power flyer that can pump itself looks good on paper - a 5/4 in the air is nothing to sneeze at in any Limited situation - but unfortunately, this kittybirdie's once-per-turn +2/+2 costs 2GG - a little expensive for a Rootwalla ability. It doesn't exactly scale favorably with Knight of the Skyward Eye, which can become a 5/5 groundpounder for a similar activated ability cost and costs 3 less to cast, but hey, flying can make all the difference sometimes.
Silent Artisan - Normally I have nothing against Siege Mastodon and its ilk. I happen to like midrange white beaters, especially ones without flying. Yes, even vanilla ones. And I think the flavor and art on this card are excellent. But to put it in the same set as Hundred-Handed One - which costs one colorless mana less, has the same creature type and power and toughness, and a whole slate of good abilities - just feels insulting. Ah well, such is the nature of rarity.
Soldier of the Pantheon - I've already mentioned how crazy-good this card is at hosing just about every deck in a post-Return to Ravnica-block Standard. It can't be hit by Dreadbore or Abrupt Decay, it can't be attacked into profitably by Lotleth Troll, and it gains you life off all of those. Expect its price to rise once it's in the sideboard of every deck that plays white.
Spear of Heliod - Three-mana anthem effects are usually playable. Three-mana repeatable removal is usually playable. This is both at once. Any questions? Its potency in Theros Sealed is already, well, legendary given the number of Prerelease and Release stories involving it.
Traveling Philosopher - Not much to be said about a Glory Seeker with a less relevant class type except wow, a philosopher is a 2/2? That's buffer than the elite, monster-slaughtering, divinely-powered Soldier I reviewed two cards ago. Meletis must offer a hell of a good free gym membership program to its philosophy grad students.
Vanquish the Foul - The good news is this is perfect removal for the kind of huge threats that Theros Limited is generally all about. The better news is it has a scry-trip. The bad news is it costs six freakin' mana. And it's destroy-based so, much like the first card on this list, it does jack-squat against the gods. Honestly, I'd much rather have yet another Iona's Judgment functional reprint.
Wingsteed Rider - Oh man. See, a flying smallish beater is usually the kind of creature you'd be throwing all your combat tricks and Auras at anyway in the early game. And this particular one gets a +1/+1 counter every time you do. Seriously, slap two cheap Auras on this and the game's basically over unless your opponents answer it fast. Plus that Pegasus is Lisa Frank levels of sparkly and majestic.
Yoked Ox - I love it. It's everything I could possibly have wanted an Ox to be. Nobody wants to attack on a board with 4 toughness sitting on it from turn one onwards, and it was about time we got a Kraken Hatchling that could actually be played in a Doran, the Siege Tower deck.