Has it really been four months already? Seems like just a few weeks ago I was writing the Theros reviews. Guess it's time to dive into Born of the Gods, the new set that is hitting the shelves on February 1st and making us spend all our money updating our decks. The cards we will be drafting our of pack one from, and making up half our sealed pools, in Limited for the next four months. So let's dive into the new toys as we go card by card look to at their effect on the game.
Acolyte's Reward – 1W – Instant – U – Prevent the next X damage that would be dealt to target creature this turn, where X is your devotion to white. If damage is prevented this way, Acolyte's Reward deals that much damage to target creature of player. Lols, this is so much jank outside of Limited. It's just a bad protection spell that is only good late or if you can force a very silly block with a chump verses a fatty. Hmm, that is kind of cool... You attack with your fatty and they chump block, you rebound the damage to their face as if it wasn't blocked at all... nice combat trick.
Akroan Phalanx – 3W - Creature – Human Soldier – U – Viligance. 2R: Creatures you control get +1/+0 until end of turn. 3/3. Not a bad beater in Limited. That's not that bad of a built in combat trick.
Akroan Skyguard - 1W – Creature – Human Soldier – C – Flying. Heroic – Whenever you cast a spell that targets Akroan Skyguard, put a +1/+1 counter on Akroan Skyguard. 1/1. Hey, look it's the flying heroic creature for Limited. Moving on...
Archetype of Courage – 1WW – Enchantment Creature – Human Soldier – U – Creatures you control have first strike. Creatures your opponents control lose first strike and can't have or gain first strike. 2/2. I have to say this is a pack-one, pick-one card. First strike wins games and if you also get death touch dorks with this you basically get to laugh to the finish. Might see some Standard play if we get a Mono-white deck going, but that would have to be post-rotation or in block.
Brimaz, King of Oreskos – 1WW – Legendary Creature – Cat Soldier – M – Vigilance. Whenever Brimaz, King of Oreskos attacks, put a 1/1 white Cat Soldier creature token with vigilance onto the battlefield attacking. Whenever Brimaz blocks a creature, put a 1/1 white Cat Soldier creature token with vigilance onto the battlefield blocking that creature. ¾. Got to say I can't wait to put this in my cube. This is just a bomb in Limited where you can just keep spawning cats. Sure they will die in combat a lot but it's still an army of cats. As for this in Standard I can see it finding a home in the new Mono-white post-rotation. I can totally see that deck starting of with 4x Brimaz and 4x Archetype of Courage as it's three-drops.
Dawn to Dusk – 2WW – Sorcery – U – Choose one or both – Return target enchantment card from your graveyard to your hand; and/or destroy target enchantment. Have to say this a great card for Limited. Sure it's a four-drop removal, but in a world full of bestow creatures this basically allows you to nerf a voltron and return you a lost dork.
Eidolon of the Countless Battles – 1WW – Enchantment Creature – Spirit – R – Bestow 2WW. Eidolon of the Countless battles and enchanted creature get +1/+1 for each creature you control and +1/+1 for each Aura you control. 0/0. IT'S A TRAP! God this thing sucks. Got no creatures or auras in play? You just paid three mana for a 1/1. Even when you are making Voltrons with this it's janky because you are just one removal spell away from having the same issue. Also they printed some strong enchantment hate in this block because of the gods. Might be a last pick to fill out a deck in Limited, but I don't see this doing anything other than filling up bulk rare binders and boxes.
Elite Skirmisher – 2W – Creature – Human Soldier – C – Heroic – Whenever you cast a spell that targets Elite Skirmisher, you may tap target creature. 3/1. I can't wait to enchant this with an ordeal in Limited and just bash face then drop an Archetype of Courage to bash even more face.
Ephara's Radiance – W – Enchantment – Aura – C – Enchant creature. Enchanted creature has “1W, tap: You gain 3 life.” Limited fodder for the Inspire mechanic. Granted I'm not a fan of the Inspire mechanic at all. It's just some flavorful jank.
Excoriate – 3W – Sorcery – C – Exile target tapped creature. Okay this just sucks. It's not removal for combat because it's not an instant, and exiling a tapped dork isn't going to do any good for you during your own combat step. Best thing I can think of for using this it to chump block a god then exile it or you are killing a inspired dork. Granted unless you are killing a inspired dork that has attacked you is not doing much. All round sucky card.
Fated Retribution – 4 WWW – Instant – R – Destroy all creatures and planeswalkers. It if's your turn, scry 2. Nope, not going to play it outside of Limited. I would much rather be casting Merciless Eviction or Planar Cleansing in Standard than this. Granted, I would take this in Limited as a last resort nuke to reset the board. Also it not bad in Commander as a late nuke because the format is much slower.
Ghostblade Eidolon – 2W – Enchantment Creature – Spirit – U – Bestew 5W. Double Strike. Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has double strike. Yeah, if you want to give dorks double strike out side of Limited you have better options. Still just another good dork for Limited.
Glimpse of the Sun God – XW – Instant – U – Tap X target creatures. Scry 1. Okay, I can see this being the ultimate combat trick in this set. Tap down you opponents forces so you can fog there turn and counter with an alpha-strike during yours, or you can turn on all your inspire creatures at the end of an opponents turn. Still don't see it being good outside of Limited, which means copies altered to have Tien, Goku, and Krillin using the Solar Flare are just going to be cool but sadly not worth the paint.
God-Favored General – 1W – Creature – Human Soldier – U – Inspired – Whenever God-Favored General becomes untapped, you may pay 2W. If you do, put two 1/1 white Soilder enchantment creature tokens onto the battlefield. 1/1. It's cool because of the flavor, but I don't see this making the cut outside of Limited. This dude needs to live to attack and then untap without tricks, and that is just too much to ask of a 1/1 dork.
Great Hart – 3W – Creature – Elk – C – 2/4. Just another vanilla dork for Limited ready to be Voltorned into a beater.
Hero of Iroas – 1W – Creature – Human Soldier – R – Aura spells you cast cost 1 less to cast. Heroic – Whenever you cast a spell that targets Hero of Iroas, put a +1/+1 counter on Hero of Iroas. 2/2. Yeah so this not being legendary means that there is so going to a be Heroic deck floating around the edges of Standard... thinking Black/White because it will be able to make use of Agent of the Fates. Yeah, Voltroning that dude and killing your opponent's dorks at the same time is going to be fun.
Hold at Bay – 1W – Instant – C – Prevent the next seven damage that would be dealt to target creature or player this turn. It's a good combat trick and also a dink card to cast when you opponent is about to dome you when for the game. Granted I don't plan to see this played outside of Limited.
Loyal Pegasus – W – Creature – Pegasus – C – Flying. Loyal Pegasus can't attack or block alone. 2/1. Limited sky fodder, moving on.
Mortal's Ardor – W – Instant – C – Target creature gets +1/+1 and gains lifelink until end of turn. I like it, it's a good combat trick for Limited.
Nyxborn Shieldmate – W – Enchantment Creature – Human Soldier – C – Bestwo 2W. Enchanted creature gets +1/+2. ½. Limited bestow ground fodder, moving on once more.
Oreskos Sun Guide – 1W – Creature – Cat Monk – C – Inspired – Whenever Oreskos Sun Guide becomes untapped, you gain 2 life. 2/2. Great card for Limited. Get in with the bear and it lives you gain life on your next turn. Then if you pump it up you have more odds to keep gaining the life.
Ornitharch – 3WW – Creature – Archon – U – Flying. Tribute 2 (As this creature enters the battlefield, an opponent of your choice may place two +1/+1 counter on it.) When Ornitharch enter the battlefield, if tribute wasn't paid, put two 1/1 white Bird creature tokens with flying onto the battlefield. 3/3. Loving this for Limited, Commander, and mono-white in Block. Either way you get to have five power in the air for five mana. Plus I get give my opponents two birds to his face if he doesn't pay tribute... loving it.
Plea of Guidance – 5W – Sorcery – R – Search your Library for up to two enchantment cards, reveal them, and put them into your hand. Then shuffle your library. Not a bad card in Limited or Commander. Way too slow for any other format. I mean in Commander you can tutor up the Exquisite Blood/Sanguine Bond combo. I really need to put that deck together for fun. In Limited you get to use this to fill you hand with a pair of Nyx creatures when you have gone late and need more dorks to get on the table. Another upside is that it tutors up the Gods if you were lucky enough to crack a few in you packs.
Revoke Existence – 1W – Sorcery – C – Exile target artifact or enchantment. Hell's yes! This is so going into the sideboard of my Maze's End deck. Long have Purphoros, God of the Forge and Burning Earth have been a pain in my side, but not for long. Must have more hate for them in the deck.
Silent Sentinel – 5WW – Creature – Archon – R – Flying. Whenever Silent Sentinel attacks, you may return target enchantment card from your graveyard to the battledfield. 4/6. Hang on I need to go read another card..... Ashen Rider plus this plus Whip of Erebos means the start of a new Solar flare deck... I mean this is just as cool as Sun Titan, sure it cost one more but we have all the awesome Nyx creatures to haul back into play with this. I can so see this being part of the new hot graveyard deck, and you know me and graveyard decks. Just remember that Bestow dorks can't be cheated into play as auras because they only become auras if you have cast for the bestow cost. So if you return a bestow dork with this it will enter the battlefield as a creature only.
Spirit of the Labyrinth – 1W – Enchantment Creature – Spirit – R – Each player can't draw more than once card each turn. 3/1. Kind of happy to see this as the new hate bear for Death and Taxes in Legacy. Nerfs every blue deck running Brainstorm and also slows down Dredge as well. I will also say this is going to have a home in Commander and Cube as hate for extra card draw effects. Seeing how we don't have much card draw in Standard I don't see this making any waves.Maybe to hate mono-black.
Sunbond – 3W – Enchantment – Aura – U – Enchant creature. Enchanted creature has “Whenever you gain life, put that many +1/+1 counters on this creature.” The fact that you need a life gaining card to make this work means that you are going to have to build around it in Limited. Now what does Uncle Akbar say about build around me auras in limited, that's right, IT'S A TRAP!
Vanguard of Brimaz – WW – Creature – Cat Soldier – U – Vigilance. Heroic – Whenever you cast a spell that targets Vanguard of Brimaz, put a 1/1 whtie Cat Soldier creature token with vigilance onto the battlefield. 2/2. Personally this has to be the best of the Heroic creatures I have seen in this block so far. Cast a spell to trigger heroic and even if this dude gets hit by removal you have another dude. I'm going to be taking these in Draft all day long.
Well I have to say that I'm looking forward to seeing either of two new Block decks coming out of these new cards; Junk Reanimator/Solar Flare and Mono-white. I think that Boros has gotten a new tool out of this mix with the Archetype. Still I think the best thing about this set is how much fun it is going to be to draft. Alright time for me to move on to the blue cards.
This has been...
Jeffrey Carmichael II
KDPfenthing on MTGO
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