Tonight's the big night: Our first official Theros spoilers have arrived, in the form of the decklists of Duel Decks: Heroes vs. Monsters, which we knew would contain six Theros cards, revealed in Trick Jarrett's feature article today. The decks both do look fun to play - the Heroes one is a red-white build with an Aura theme, and the Monsters one is a more ramp-style red-green one with (naturally) bigger creatures and a bloodthirst theme. Each of them contains three of the preview cards - a legendary creature, plus one Theros common and one Theros uncommon. Let's break them down:
Polukranos, World Eater 2GG
Legendary Creature - Hydra (Mythic)
XXG: Monstrosity X. (If this creature isn’t monstrous, put X +1/+1 counters on it and it becomes monstrous.)
When Polukranos, World Eater becomes monstrous, it deals X damage divided as you choose among any number of target creatures your opponents control. Each of those creatures deals damage equal to its power to Polukranos.
Anax and Cymede 1RW
Legendary Creature - Human Soldier (Rare)
First strike, vigilance
Heroic — Whenever you cast a spell that targets Anax and Cymede, creatures you control get +1/+1 and gain trample until end of turn.
Akros's greatest heroes are also its royalty.
Since both of these cards were already spoiled, there's not much extra to say here, save that the flavor of Anax and Cymede is simply awesome; they remind me of King Leonidas and Queen Gorgo of Sparta (whom they were probably inspired by) who were made famous to today's audiences by the film 300. They're also, notably, the first card to represent a married couple since Tibor and Lumia, though there have certainly been plenty of other legends that depict three or more individuals.
Cavalry Pegasus 1W
Creature - Pegasus (Common)
Whenever Cavalry Pegasus attacks, each attacking Human gains flying until end of turn.
"It is hope, hooved and winged." - Cymede, queen of Akros
Ahh, our first Pegasus - and undoubtedly not the last in this set. This looks like it'll be an absolute bomb in Limited; so much of any given white weenie deck's creatures will be Humans that this'll act like an effective Levitation on offense a lot of the time. There are also some interesting echoes of Innistrad in the Human-tribal aspect of it, which I suppose is inevitable given the "walled cities full of people battling monsters as a way of life" flavor that hangs over the set.
Ordeal of Purphoros 1R
Enchantment - Aura (Uncommon)
Whenever enchanted creature attacks, put a +1/+1 counter on it. Then if it has three or more +1/+1 counters on it, sacrifice Ordeal of Purphoros.
When you sacrifice Ordeal of Purphoros, it deals 3 damage to target creature or player.
I definitely smell a cycle with this one - there'll surely be Ordeals in every color in Theros. Ordeal of Purphoros (which is Greek for "fire-bearer," naturally - maybe Purphoros is our red god?) looks particularly sweet; up to three +1/+1 counters for two mana is damn good value even if it takes three turns (less if you're getting additional combat phases), and shooting off a Lightning Bolt when all the counters are on leaves you with a fatty AND some good removal/another decent chipping-away at an opponent's life total.
Satyr Hedonist 1G
Creature - Satyr (Common)
R, Sacrifice Satyr Hedonist: Add RRR to your mana pool.
"Any festival you can walk away from wasn't worth attending in the first place."
Oh, those crazy drunk Satyrs! This is also definitely a good Limited guy and shows us that multicolor decks are going to be getting a little bit of support other than just a smattering of multicolor cards (see, Ravnica fans, the rug isn't completely getting pulled out from under you). I can also see some Constructed applications for this as a bit of ramp. It also has that je ne sais quoi of an excellent Commander card.
Destructive Revelry RG
Destroy target artifact or enchantment. Destructive Revelry does 2 damage to that permanent's controller.
"Stoke a fire hot enough and you'll never run out of things to burn." - Xenagos, the Reveler
This is a typical Chinese-menu multicolor design, but hey, it's also one that's (surprisingly) never been done before. (Chinese-menu designs mean "one from column C," as in the green artifact or enchantment destruction, and "one from column D," as in the red burn.) In a Limited environment that's sure to be full of strong enchantments, it's good to pack this if you're running red-green - and something tells me this'll also be a hell of a Constructed sideboard card no matter your format. I do want to hear more about this Xenagos character.