Theros is scheduled to be released September 27th, 2013 and will contain 249 cards.
About Quiet Speculation’s Theros Spoiler Coverage:
A team of Quiet Speculation contributors will be following the gradual spoiling of the upcoming Magic: The Gathering set, Theros. Stay tuned to this page for insights from some of the brightest minds in the MTG Finance community on the noteworthy mechanics and cards.
And if you’re an Insider, be sure to check out the Spoiler Season section of the QS forums for more Theros discussion.
|Release Date||September 27, 2013|
|Prerelease Events||September 21-22, 2013|
|Magic Online Release||October 9, 2013|
|Game Day||October 19-20, 2013|
|Official Three-Letter Code||THS|
|Number of Cards||249|
09/14/13 – Gervaise
Hey guys! Someone on MODO managed to get access to Theros beta and spoils it to MTGsalvation. Therefore I like to take the opportunity to finalize the list and choose my favourite picks for financial opportunities. Also I will include some limited powercards for Draft/Sealed because after all, we are Magic players =)
Information extracted from Compilation of Known Info;
Prelease Promos are: Celestial Archon (White), Shipbreaker Kraken (Blue), Abhorrent Overlord (Black), Ember Swallower (Red), Anthousa, Setessan hero (Green).
Out of these, the Ember Swallower spec pick is less effective now it is a prerelease promo.
Launch Promo: Bident of Thassa
Buy a Box Promo: Sylvan Caryatid
Game Day: full art Phalanx Leader
Game Day Top 8 : Full art Nighthowler
Spear of Heliod
A very late spoiler I know, it presells at $2.49 AVG on TCGplayer. Craig Wescoe ( The best source for White Weenie ) was not very confident about this card while theorizing about its opportunities. Fact is that this card is a Glorious Anthem while one had Honor of the Pure. Since playing this card means we are the aggressor, I do not think it is often the case one is going to use the Destroy Target Creature ability. Control’s finishers post rotation are Jace, Memory Adept , Aetherling and maybe some weird other finisher. Jace is obvious a planeswalker while one can blink Aetherling.
If this is going to rise somehow, we have enough time to jump in cheap so its best to just wait.
It needs a full turn to function something Control decks in Standard probably doesn’t have with the influx of Aggro decks around the corner. That said this will be fun in EDH. It can be as small as a Swords to Plowshares but also as big as a Warp World, Living Death (Negating the effect) etc. I don’t think valuewise this is going to be a jackpot winner but it will attract casual attention in your binder. Acquire cheap, uptrade accordingly.
It is a limited bomb, everything else it is going to be released as a Penny Kraken. Stay away from this card as if you would meet it in real life, it is a trap!
Whip of Erebos
This is an interesting card as I am fairly sure but still have my doubts that this is not playable in Standard. Control decks do not want this card. Aggro decks have better options at 4 CMC and Midrange decks also have more goodies around the 4-6 CMC range. It presells at $3.99 (SCG) but it is $1.99 on MagicCardMarket (Europe). Maybe that has more to do with the high amount of Spanish Vendors offering presales (Competition) but I am not convinced that this card will have an impact besides Commander.
So this guy is a champion in escaping from Labyrinths? I’m not impressed with the Heroic mechanic and this being a 2/2 for four mana makes me think that there are certainly better alternatives to fill your four mana slot in your constructed decks like Ember Swallower.
Another EDH goodie because Angel of Despair just got slightly upgraded for 1 mana more! $7.99 (SCG) is way too expensive as it can fall as hard as 40% of that price. That said if you open it, trade it away in your prerelease for more stable commodities
Medomai the Ageless
For control decks, this can be one of the finishers. Post-rotation they still have Aetherling & Jace, Memory Adept. I’m not sure how big of an impact an extra turn is in Standard besides ‘Scroll thief effect’ late game. It presells at $7.99 (SCG), $5.98 AVG (TCGPlayer) and 3.25€ ($4.35) on MCM.EU. Since it is a mythic, it has some upside below $3.5 but anything above that is just overpriced for a card that needs to proof himself. It is definitely a new Commander to test out for my decks but Commander won’t influence the price of this card.
Colossus of Akros
To finish the last sentence on the card: As long as Colossus of Akros is monstrous, it has trample and can attack as though it didn’t have defender. The colossus itself is a Rare and it presells damn low at $0.49 on SCG. Casuals love BIG cards look at Khalni Hydra, Primalcrux, Lord of Extinction, It That Betrays. There is definitely benchmarks that show a positive Return on Investment. Since the price is this low, I am happy to just get a cheap playset and gradually make Casual players happy.
Is this Standard playable? I doubt it but it can swing in 2 turns in Turn 10 and beyond which is a stage Control decks want to get in so I might just put one in my deck for upcoming FNM
Summing it all up:
My LGS in Dublin organizes five preleases but I only will play two where the highest attendance will be ( Contact me if you are going to PT Dublin for some Pints & banter!). I think the limited format looks fine but I have yet to experience it myself to fully grasp it. For the upcoming Standard rotation, loads of big creatures have been spoiled as well as control goodies. I am still confident UWR/Esper control are decks that can dominate especially with Scry (Dissolve)
If I had to make Speculation Picks I would choose the following cards:
Penny Speculation: Colossus of Akros ; Big Bad & $0.49 pricetag
Uncommon Speculation: Hunt the Hunter; if Aggro becomes the Meta, this is a premium removal + pump in one
Magma Jet; for both Aggro and Control decks this filters out ‘bad’ draws.
Sleeper Rare: Soldier of Pantheon ; Ravnica is a multicoloured set and Standard is at its weakest when Theros is released. I do not see a lot of cards that can handle this one. $3.99 presells on SCG & TCGplayer. The risk with this card will be 1) Future sets released (= more Monocolored cards) and 2) Event decks
09/13/13 – Jason
All anyone wants to talk about is this dude. What troubles me is that players whose opinions I respect are divided into two camps. Some think it’s very good and mock anyone who disagrees as unable to evaluate 1-drops. Others, like me, are really not impressed and would rather be serving with Rakdos Cackler. Swinging a Rakdos cackler into an Omenspeaker isn’t ideal. Swinging Firedrinker Satyr into an Omenspeaker makes you make the painful choice to take 2 and use your entire turn 2 to trade, or don’t swing. That feels bad. This guy eating a Mizzium Mortars will similarly feel bad.
Granted, a lot of people with more experience playing red than me say if you lose that game, it’s because they played a removal spell and tempoed you out and the 4 extra damage was significant. Personally, I think this guy is being over-evaluated because of the nostalgia boners people have for Jackal Pup. Yea, Jackal Pup was a good card. That’s because everything else sucked. You also ran Ironclaw Orcs and Giant Strength in that deck, and those cards were very good in it, too. And like Jackal Pup eating it when your opponent played Bottle Gnomes, this eats it to Omenspeaker, and myriad other first strikers and 1/x dudes.
Do you buy in at $2.50? That’s hard to say. If there is significant hype, I think you buy in regardless because hype inflates cards far past $2.50 in the short term. But I can’t not look at this guy and see Legion Loyalist, and I still remember everyone telling me how wrong I was to say that card wouldn’t see much play. His ability is bad the same way Boros Reckoner’s is good. Boros Reckoner saw a lot of play. Does that mean a reverse Reckoner won’t? Or is that pushing the limits of the transitive principle? Either way, I’m not buying in at $2.50, and what’s great about that is even if this hits $10, I’m still not wrong. In that case everyone will be wrong, and also the card will be $10. If this were going to be another Vexing Devil, it would be expensive already.
I can already see this review biting me in the ass in 3 months when these are $25…
And now you’re picturing Scragnoth and Kraklin boning. That’s messed up.
At very first blush, this card seems less good than Vastwood Hydra, a $1 card. Are people countering a lot of creature spells? Or are they just playing removal? I’ll make a list of playable removal spells this guy dodges (they spoiled this card 30 seconds ago and I’m making my mind up as I type).
I think that may be it. Mono blue decks are going to really struggle against this guy. I think he is going to die a Supreme Verdicty death in most instances, though. A sorcery speed but variable-power Skylasher doesn’t excite me more than Skylasher did (which was “not at all”) and I imagine I’ve put too much thought into evaluating a bulk rare. Better cards that this don’t see play.
The first benchmark card I am going to look at is Silverblade Paladin. The restriction Paladin had in the INN/RTR era was that it had to have a creature to give both double strike. Doing a quick checkup on the price development of our benchmark card; AVR was released on the 4th of May 2012. One can use http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/magic_single_card.asp?cn=Silverblade%20Paladin to see the price development graph but to quickly sum it up:
Presale Price (<4th of May): $2.2-2.5 avg.
Release Price: $4.88 avg
All-time High: $12, 10$ avg (Nov 2012 till March 2013)
Current Price (Rotation): $2.23
The All-time high can be explained that GW Humans was a top-tier deck after Return to Ravnica was released ( http://mtgtop8.com/event?e=3764&d=222452 ). After Gatecrash, Aristocrats/Naya humans and Bant Hexproof started to show up. I played Hexproof myself and thought Silverblade Paladin was more of a ‘Win-more’ card but before Dragons’ Maze, there was no alternative
After Dragons Maze & M14, other cards were more superior to fill up the slots or the decks fell out of favour in the metagame.
Regarding this card; it is a 2/2 Double Strike which can be a 3/3 by default when casting an aura on it. This is a very strong contender to contest Fiendslayer Paladin.
The risk is that it does not have the Protection from Red & Black mechanic but does more damage instead. If the price is low enough to jump in, I will based on the information I have laid out here & my understanding of rules is correct.
Agent of the Fates
Without the Heroic text, it is already a decent card being 3/2 Deathtouch. I am not exactly sure what ‘legit spell that targets’ is in Green/Black or any other aggro colour combination to make the Edict effect relevant in Standard. This card is heavily being contested with Lifebane Zombie because Lifebane Zombie gives immediate card advantage, complete hand information and is an intimidating guy. That said I think it is not worth going in on this fella just yet.
Anger of the Gods
Deals 3 damage to each creature. If a creature dealt damage this way would die this turn, exile it instead.
It seems Flamebreak and/or Slagstorm is back without damaging the player itself. It however contests Mizzium Mortars in a way of sweeping the board. However with many big creatures being spoiled, one has to see if 3 damage sweep is enough in the upcoming Standard format. Besides one still has Detention Spheres, Supreme Verdicts in the format. It does counter my brewing idea with Varolz once more =(
Is it Fact? Or is it Fiction? Fact or Fiction. But then worse. Because you choose the two piles while your Opponent has the last say. So in topdeck mode, this is very mediocre. We still have Sphinx’s Revelation and even Opportunity that makes us Happy Control players so when deckbuilding I won’t consider this Browbeat card to gain card advantage. It presells at 1.84 euro on MagicCardMarket but even that I do not find it ‘worth it’.
Not long ago someone on Twitter posed a very interesting question: what’s more valuable between drawing 1 card and scrying 3? On this creature, I would have preferred to draw one methinks. This way you always have something in your hand to pitch and give this Sphinx Hexproof. Scrying for 3 is really nice, and I like that this guy just has to attack to trigger the ability vs. the likes of Scroll Thief. But as many pointed out in the forums, I just don’t see this card trumping [cardAetherling[/card] in Standard control decks.
Soldier of the Pantheon
Well hello power creep, how are you? Remember when Savannah Lions used to be a card? Then Wizards printed Elite Vanguard which got no play. So we need to make these one drops stronger – here it is! In this Standard environment the protection from multicolored is definitely relevant. Not sure how good it’ll be after Return to Ravnica rotates. But in the meantime I really like the flavor of this card. But for it to be financially relevant we’re going to need to see the right deck for the Soldier to shine. Here I go again hoping to see the return of White Weenie – I’m not too confident.
I don’t know how to feel about this card. It’s more versatile than Dispel and more definitive than Spell Pierce. But I don’t like how it gives your opponent a 2/2 flyer. I suppose many decks wouldn’t care about this if they plan on wrathing the board anyway, but the drawback bugs me. Perhaps the card is playable in Legacy, where disrupting an important combo card or storm piece can mean gg even if your opponent gets a 2/2.
Wizards printed a Trojan Horse – A+ for flavor! But the card isn’t really good. Seems like a casual multiplayer card to me.
Sphere of Heliod
White Weenie players rejoice, we have a new Glorious Anthem. Only this one has the nice bonus of killing creatures that damage you as well! It feels like this card is very powerful upon first glance, and I’m eager to see it in action. But the card is pre-selling at $2.99 on SCG and there are currently 40 copies in stock. This tells me people aren’t eager to preorder. Perhaps the card is too white intensive, and the Legendary aspect of the card hinders utility, but I still like the abilities. Perhaps the discussion forums can shed more light into whether people like or dislike this card as a spec. I can say that at $2.99, there’s little sense in trading these away if you open them at Prerelease.
Hythonia the Cruel
The only thing cruel about this card is Hythonia’s parent’s, who decided to name their offspring Hythonia. All joking aside, I’m not too impressed here. Comparing this creature to Grave Titan (same casting cost) makes me like this creature even less. 4/6 seems like a setback, and the 8 mana Monstrosity cost is almost insulting. Sure, she pretty much wipes the board when activated, and I suppose a really grindy control deck could get there one day. But 8 mana should be basically winning you the game…not making a big dumb creature that dies to all sorts of removal. I know the removal argument gets old, but honestly I’d rather just play Supreme Verdict and better creatures. Maybe that’s just me.
Three mana for 4/2 flash – this is already pretty decent. I like four-powered creatures that cost 3 mana (see: Loxodon Smiter) and flash is just gravy. Then add in the fact that five mana can make this an Enchant Creature first via Bestow. All of a sudden I really like this card. Early game he can flash in for some surprise damage or blocking. Late game he can pump up some other creatures via Bestow to generate a nice 2-for-1. I’ll keep my eye on this one – not acquiring yet, but if this drops down after release I may wait to buy on the dip depending on how much play the Satyr sees.
Yes this card will be played. Yes Dreadbores seem like an iffy investment now. I’d consider selling if you’ve been speculating on them, but the 1 mana difference could be relevant. Yes I think the $3.99 preorder price is reasonable. But I probably won’t order them simply because I hate preordering in general. I don’t see this running up to some crazy high price at release, so I’m content to wait and see how things unfold.
Great flavor and great artwork. Underwhelming card. As a Coercion this card is awful. It’s nice to play a spell, but it’s not like you’re doing anything broken here. No free spells. So if you steal a Griselbrand, you still have to pay a billion mana to cast it. There are definitely nice scenarios where this card could be good. If you’re U/B in limited, I suppose it’s playable as potential removal and resulting two-for-one. I just don’t see it getting there in Constructed play.
Kicking off today with a Giant because this bad boy can get big. If Ramp is going to be a thing, this can become big as you can play this on Turn 3-5 and upgrade it the following turn. What you get is a 9/9 reach and the option to destroy a flying creature. It doesn’t have trample which can be a ”huge” make or break thing. It presells at a dollar each on SCG so it might have some upside if this is the ‘fatty’ to go with, I doubt it though.
Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
Well hello there $24.99 Planeswalker. I am unsure about this card because it needs two turns to actually do something given that Loyalty stays at 5 making it possible to cast a 4 cmc creature with kind of a Suspend 3 because of its summoning sickness. It might see some EDH play but it would not influence its price too much. Indicating its price range, I think this is going to where Tibalt is going at the moment so when you open this at your prerelease I would trade it for more stable commodities.
This is the Gameday Top8 promotional card and it looks like a black Bonehoard & Mortivore. Unfortunately I did not played in the Mortivore era so I do not have statistics how that card performed during that season. Theorizing about it, I do not think this will have a big impact as it requires 3-4 creatures in order to be cost effective. Since there are creatures spoiled that have massive power/toughness in the same converted mana cost range, I think this is the lesser choice. It presells at 1.99$ which is the price that I would rate it at.
Curse of the Swine
Oink! It exiles creatures in blue. In return players get a 2/2 Oink green boar in return. This is a pretty interesting card. In Standard I think this is merely a sort of Mending Hands reducing the damage. If Control players find a substitute for Augur of Bolas with x/3+ toughness that can at least block or kill the boar then this card might see play. It presells at 2.99$ (SCG) which is a bit too steep for my pocket.
Heliod, God of the Sun
I think this is a very conditional card needing a load of support to be played efficiently. What I mean with this is that a White weenie deck needs to have 5 devotion around the 4 mana mark to make this card even playable. You then get a 5/6 indestructible but the combat strategy makes it awkward since as soon as the devotion gets less than five as a result of creature combat, one also lost a 5/6 creature and is basically a Mobilization Therefore it presells at $9.99 and I would be happy to trade this away for more stable cards.
“What are you going to do about it, nerd? Go play Yu-Gi-Mon?” – Wizards of the Coast
So these are going to be in booster packs occupying the rare slot. Enjoy that. It’s always good when we get a card at rare that is marginally better than a guildgate. Better players than I am are saying these are better cards than people think. That very well may be. That does not change the fact that there are between 5 and 10 middle fingers in the rare slot just lowered my expectation for overall value for the set and they haven’t even spoiled half of it yet. These could see play and they could even see $5. That doesn’t change how disappointed right now we all are that we didn’t get the Nimbus Maze cycle we all anticipated.
Reaper of the Wild
Whenever another creature dies, Scry uno.
B: Give it Deathtouch
1G: Give it Hexproof
A 4/5 for 4 is already solid, but hexproof could make this guy Constructed playable. I always laugh when they give gigantic creatures deathtouch, as if anything in M10 didn’t straight up die to Grave Titan anyway. 4/5 may not be gigantic, per se, but this dude on turn 3 is going to cause a lot of pants to be crapped. Being a 5/5 for 4 wasn’t enough to get people to play Deadbridge Goliath, but I’m hoping the mix of good abilities on this beater might persuade some people to give it a shot. That said, it’s tough to predict the price. Pre-selling at $8-$9 makes this a big “pass” in my book, but when this is a buck in two weeks you may want to give it a shot. That said, paying close attention to the past few sets has taught me that probably 5 cards from every set will see play (unless it’s Dragon’s Maze and then the number is 1) and this guy probably ain’t it. Save your $40 and don’t pre-order this guy.
This set is starting to feel like they put a bunch of abilities in a hat and then gave two at random to every rare and three to every mythic. This is another RB Mythic that seems powerful at first. Take a look at the price trajectory of Master of Cruelties and order accordingly. Dump these ASAP.
Tymaret, the Murder King
This pairs very nicely with all the zombies that are rotating. Sam Black is going to break this guy, but don’t expect that to mean he’ll be worth more than $5 under any circumstances. If you look at how much Gravecrawler and Geralf’s Messenger were played at their peak, their ceiling was $10, so preordering this guy for the $3 it is right now at least has potential upside. If there were good zombies to bin and morbid triggers to hit, this guy would be king of something other than the abstract concept of murder. He’s really good at murdering your dudes, that’s for sure. Let’s see him murder your opponent’s creatures. Aww, that’s right, he can’t. I want to like this card but trying to is giving me a headache.
09/05/13 – Sigmund
Prophet of Kruphix
Hello Seedborn Muse. I am tempted to call this an upgrade, but the casting cost is tougher, the toughness is 1 less, and you don’t get to untap all your permanents – only creatures and lands. Though creatures and lands are often most important. Naturally I’m watching this card for EDH. I don’t think it’ll hit Standard play, but Seedborn Muse has been printed multiple times and is still worth more than $5. This card should also end in a similar range I suspect. Foils could be the play here if the right Casual crowd gets excited about the Prophet.
Translation: Creature — Cat
3: Monstrosity 1. (If this creature isn’t monstrous, put a +1/+1 counter on it and it becomes monstrous.)
As long as Fleecemane Lion is monstrous, it has hexproof and indestructible.
I kept reading on Twitter about how a strictly better Watchwolf was printed. But I didn’t know what the card was until I got home from work tonight. Wow. A 3/3 for GW isn’t too special. We already know that because Watchwolf didn’t see much Standard play. But being able to pay some more mana to make this cat Monstrous (though only 4/4) and have hexproof/indestructible is some pretty serious upside. I can really envision a beatdown creature deck with these cats, Loxodon Smiter, Scavenging Ooze and more. So many efficient beaters here, I have to imagine some combination of them become good. I’ll be watching the forum discussion on this one to see what others think – I’d suggest you do the same and keep this cat on your radar.
Erebos, God of the Dead
The flavor and artwork on this God is awesome! I can’t wait to see what foils of these Gods look like. Four mana for a 5/7 Indestructible is amazing. The opponents not gaining life ability is a small bonus, but the power to draw cards at will via infinite Sign in Bloods is amazing. Hopefully you don’t drain yourself to death between this activated ability and Shock Lands. But being able to ensure you have constant gas is critical. Imagine this guy with some way of gaining life consistently and you have some major card advantage. I’m sure the preorder price on Erebos is too high, but I expect him to have a legitimate shot at Standard play in the coming months.
09/04/13 – Sigmund
I would try to review the playability of this card, but let’s face it. This one was spoiled by Channel Fireball and LSV himself gave a breakdown of how he likes the card. There’s no way I can provide better commentary. What I will say is that this card is getting some favorable reviews in the QS forums, but some feel the starting price is a bit high. I’m inclined to agree. Thundermaw Hellkite aside, I don’t see many dragons breaking the $10 mark. And it took the Hellkite quite a while to get there. If this guy is a winner straight out the gates, I can see it going higher. But I think the odds are the card drops in price first (isn’t this the case 99% of the time with spoiler cards?).
Xenagos, the Reveler
Finally, a card really worth talking about. This guy kind of reminds me of a blend of Koth of the Hammer, Domri Rade and one of the Garruks. Guess what – these all saw Standard play. Xenagos is likely to see Standard play as well. I could see him fit into some creature-heavy Gruul deck, perhaps alongside Domri. Here’s the bad news – the new Planeswalker is pre-selling at $40. We go through this exercise every single time this happens. How many Planeswalkers have sold for over $40 ever? Two. Jace and Liliana of the Veil (maybe Gideon Jura came close?). And Liliana of the Veil spiked over $40 only temporarily before dropping below. Unless Xenagos is played in Legacy, Modern and Standard like Liliana is, I don’t see any profitability at this price point. Wait a couple months if you can before acquiring. Please.
09/03/13 – Sigmund
I wanted to mention this Uncommon because I like its abilities. Don’t get me wrong. A 2/2 for two mana isn’t exciting and I wish the card wasn’t two colors. But being able to scry 1 over and over again is pretty handy and the +1/+1 counters are a nice bonus. A shame this guy didn’t have Hexproof, or we’d have the beginning of an insane Hexproof deck on our hands. Wait a minute, what am I saying? Hexproof is terrible for Magic…forget I ever even said that.
Pyxis of Pandemonium
I absolutely must have this card in my Chaos-themed EDH deck. Hmmmm, I wonder how many other people will feel the same way about this card. Enough for it to remain above bulk? The card is probably too risky to play in a competitive environment, but I like the power and fun that the card evokes. Great flavor too. This may be a good bulk trade target when the set starts to get boring. But the fact that SCG is pre-selling this card for $0.49 tells me it’s not going to be financially relevant for a looong time, if ever.
Master of Waves
Oh my gosh it’s a Merfolk!!! I should get Corbin to do a guest spoiler here for this card alone, just to do the review justice. This card would be amazing in a Merfolk deck, right? Just think of all those awesome…wait Elementals get +1/+1? Not Merfolk?!! What the heck? Maybe there’s some flavor-based reason for this ability, but I think it kinda ruins the card’s hope of seeing play. If only the tokens he made were Merfolk tokens and he pumped Merfolk, then the synergy would be amazing. As it stands, you gotta be playing a permanent heavy blue deck to get value here. Last I checked, blue liked to be control-based. This guy doesn’t do a whole lot after a resolved Supreme Verdict. Maybe someone will prove me wrong, and this guy will make Legacy Merfolk playable again, but I am not a believer in this one. I’d check the forums to see what others think here.
Even more cards are being spoiled this week and there are some screamers out there. For me it feels Theros is a fine blend from multiple older sets I have enjoyed playing! Let’s get started!
Titan of Eternal Fire
I start out with this card because I’m watching the anime serie ‘Shingeki no Kyojin’ aka ”Attack on Titan” where titans took over the world. The artwork is amazing so I definitely recommend watching it. Now back to this card; I think it is a bit ambitious to make it work in an EDH deck to let the price of this card exceed double digits.
My (polish) friend wants to acquire this card asap to paint an -h behind the Polis. A Gruul four mana 4/4 Trample, Protection Enchantments is instantly contesting any 4 cmc slot in any aggro deck. I think the mana cost is too high to have an impact on Modern vs the GW deck. But it might contest the current auras deck in Standard. Making this a 7/7 trample on Turn 6 in an Aggro deck while playing this on Turn 3/4 is a smooth curving out. I won’t go in deep just yet
Looks like an Utopia Tree with the art of Zyra of League of Legends . Being an 0/3 hexproof definitely matters stopping aggro decks so I think post rotation, ramp might stage a comeback if fatties keep getting spoiled. It is also a Buy-A-Box promo potentially creating a ceiling along with its rare status. It presells at 4$ on SCG which is OK but I rather wait it out
Purphoros, God of the Forge
As long as your devotion to red is less than five Purphoros is NOT a creature.
Whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, Purphoros deals 2 damage to each opponent
2R: Creatures you control get +1/+0 until end of turn
This screams EDH material in an instant. A Guttersnipe effect regarding playing creatures (or creature tokens). One can abuse this with Norin the wary, Siege-Gang Commander or some Naya token deck that can tutor for this bad boy.
I think it is a bit easier to get to 4 Red in a Red standard deck. Burning-Tree Emissary, Boros Reckoner, Ash Zealot to name a few. I think it can make a splash in Standard. It presells at 19.99$ though, thats a heavy price tag in presale season!
Sweet Jesus, Theros is shaping up to be a monster. If you play any EDH, you’re going to want a ton of cards from this set. The comparison has been made to Kamigawa block many times and it feels more apt every day. Kami block may have seemed like a wet paper bag full of dog turds when it was viewed in the context of the absurd power level of Mirrodin and the fun and complexity of Ravnica block, but history has been a little kinder to Kamigawa block when you look at how many formerly bulk rares are now $10 EDH staples. I bet you wish you hadn’t sold that Azusa, lost but seeking for bulk when it rotated, don’t you?
This set looks like it will not only give Standard a ton of powerful tools, it should give casual formats a huge boost as well. I always say casual players are the best people to trade with. Let’s see what you’ll have for them.
Bow of Nylea
How many abilities does this card have? If you said “one more than Jace, the Mind Sculptor and two more than Umezawa’s Jitte” you’re right. This card is better than its $2 pre-sale price would indicate. A lot better. This card may be this set’s Deadbridge Chant for me- I will have to see the whole set first, but this may be the card that gets me to violate my “no more speculating on pre-orders” policy. With a plethora of options afforded you, there will be something you can do with this card every turn and it may even impact Constructed formats. Although it’s vulnerable to a great deal of removal and its double-green casting cost pigeonholes it a smidge, expect this card to go places. I’m excited as all hell for this card.
Chained to the Rocks
Flavor-wise this card is a home run. You can’t chain a creature to any rocks if you don’t have any rocks (you can’t chain it to your opponent’s rocks- that would be weird), etc. Playability-wise, this has the potential to replace Path to Exile in Modern. Its applications are more narrow than are path’s, it’s less playable on Turn 1 (though not unplayable if you control a Sacred Foundry) and the Sorcery-speed narrows its utility more. There are two uses for Path to Exile in Modern, currently. One is to clear the path of creatures to beat faces. Path is very bad for this because you give them a land. The other is to try and kill a Deceiver Exarch with Splinter Twin on the stack so they don’t ruin your day. Chained to the Rocks is literally useless for this. Not every deck that runs path will even spare this a second glance. However, decks that currently aren’t happy with giving your opponent a land may consider this as an alternative.
One caveat is that decks are already running Ghost Quarter to deal with Tron, etc, and this is quite bad to play if your opponent has Ghost Quarter, Sowing Salt if you put this on a Foundry, Fuminator Mage, etc. Putting this on a basic Mountain still leaves you vulnerable to a bit of land removal and that doesn’t even touch all the enchantment removal that can bring their dude back. It’s likely even a quick zoo-type deck (the kind that doesn’t exist in Modern) would see too many drawbacks to this spell an stick with Path to Exile, and you would not even consider this in Legacy. I am not buying these. Cool flavor, though. And really, wasn’t that our biggest problem with Kami block? All style and no substance? Luckily, not every card in Theros leaves me wanting.
Daxos of Meletis
What if Augury Adept and Nightveil Specter had a baby? Oh, no, stop that. It was a metaphor for the culmination of abilities not an excuse for you to picture a kithkin boning a demon. And you’re still picturing it. Would you stop that so we can move on?
Daxos has the evasion Adept wanted and has the lifegain missing from Nightveil Specter’s life, not to mention the ability to cast any card you have converted mana enough to pay for. I don’t know how much play this will see, but if you can either bump his power and toughness a bit or clear some small dudes out of the way, this ability of his could get out of hand, quickly. It may sound like a lame answer, but there is really no way to fully evaluate the impact this card will have until we see the rest of the set. All I know is that this may be the best Ophidian ever printed, and control decks might even want to serve this. I like this card a lot, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be good. But since when do cards have to be good to be worth money? Not when there are millions of casual players playing this game. I’m not pre-ordering, but I’m not disappointed if he’s in my pre-release sealed pool, either.
Artisan of Forms
Just because the new Legend rule makes clones more fair, that doesn’t mean you don’t love this utility guy. Harder to turn on than Clone, but cheaper than any clone beside Phantasmal Image without image’s significant drawback make this a decent card. How many cards that target creatures are you going to play to turn this guy on? I guess that all depends on how badly you want to clone stuff in a world where it doesn’t kill Legends.
I have no idea what to think here, honestly. Is the ability to block 100 dudes relevant? Either they have a manageable number of creatures from playing fair, or they have 37 trillion Pestermites from playing unfair. If he’s blocking more than 8 creatures, he’s going to die, making his ability a fog in that case. Blocking 4 1/1s? Now we’re talking. But how good will that be? Obviously nutty in limited, but I don’t know that any constructed format will want to touch this dude. Polukranos has a better chance of making an impact, but let’s not compare rares to Mythics. This is likely bulk.
09/01/13 – Gervaise
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
The picture reminds me of Heroes Square in Budapest, Hungary which makes me like the Artwork. Playabilitywise having a Primalcrux in play for example gives massive mana in EDH. Generally the card has to produce >4 mana because one uses three lands to activate this at least. Therefore I think this will see more EDH play rather than Standard play at this moment in the spoiler season. If this card is going to be supercheap as soon as a massive amount of packs are opened, I will start hoarding these up
Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
I like to use benchmark planeswalker when evaluating planeswalkers. Since the +1 is identical to Elspeth Tirel, we at least have some framework to work with. I like the +1 being able to defend Elspeth on its own. The -3 might or might not have an impact on Standard metagame depending if the power >4 is realized (thus a higher powerlevel) earlier. The ultimate is dissapointing though but one can mostly neglect that in EDH play.
For 6 mana I see this being a niche card through the likes of Tamiyo back in the days of control decks. If one opens this in a Prerelease I highly suggest trading it away with casual players as the release price would probably be 20+. In the very long term the price will go steadily up due its EDH playability
Reverent Hunter & Gift of Immortality
Reverent Hunter can in theory be a 3 mana 4/4 in Standard Aggro decks if the one drop – naturally – contains 1 Green symbol and the 2 mana drop is double green. So currently the only creature that has double green is Burning-Tree Emissary & Kalonian Tusker according to Gatherer Search. So at this moment I think this card is card to watch while the Theros spoiler is being spoiled otherwise I see him dissapearing in bulky boxes at some point.
Gift of Immortality is an interesting resurrection card. It has a slight delay when it is sticked to its target again meaning Control decks have a time window to get rid of the creature in question. In EDH most people play ”Exile target creature” or cards like Condemn, Hallowed Burial so unless the EDH deck can ‘combo’ out, I don’t see this being an EDH staple when assessing its value potential.
09/01/13 – Sigmund
Chained to the Rocks
This is kind of like the latest 1-drop White removal spell. We’ve had Swords to Plowshares, Path to Exile, Oust, Condemn, etc. This one is obviously strongest in decks running White and Red. While I don’t expect this card to break the bank due to the narrow decks it can fit in, I fully expect it to see play. If only the creature didn’t come back into play when this card leaves the battlefield. I am starting to like Sacred Foundry more than many other Shock Lands at this point.
Hammer of Purphoros
Red Deck Wins is getting better and better in new Standard. This Legendary Enchantment Artifact helps turn your top deck lands into 3/3 bodies during the late game, to ensure you’re always drawing gas. The haste ability is relevant as well. My only concern is that 3/3 dudes aren’t really all that strong for the cost of sacrificing lands. Still, the card helps strengthen the deck some. But unless casuals love this card too (think Vexing Devil), this card probably won’t break the bank.
FINALLY!!! Pre-selling on SCG at $19.99 and likely to drop further once packs are opened. I may have advised selling these too early, but watching the price on Thoughtseize tumble to below where I sold my copies at is rewarding. Now, of course we need to be alert and acquire foils while these are at their cheapest because it’s not like the card is going to see less play now. Just make sure you don’t over-pay on these! Be patient and wait for the full dip, and you’ll be rewarded.
Nylea, God of the Hunt
Yet another God has been spoiled, this time the Green one. But it’s so difficult to predict how powerful this devotion ability will be. A four mana indestructible 6/6 sounds powerful, but it really depends on the devotion piece. It’s also slightly disappointing Nylea doesn’t have trample herself. Or some sort of reach ability (given her bow). And four mana to pump one creature +2/+2 also seems underwhelming. My prediction is that this is not going to be the most expensive God in Theros, but time will tell.
OMG a Minotaur general, time to buy up 100 Boros Reckoners and all the Didgeridoos!!!!111111!1….False. This card is Hurloon Minotaur with Trample. Yes, it pumps all your other Minotaurs but please stop and think about that for a second….what other Minotaurs? Aside from Boros Reckoner, there are no playable Minotaurs. Unless you count Mutavault. I can certainly see a Boros strategy being strong in Standard, but it won’t be because you can play Rageblood Shaman. And as for Didgeridoo, I guess if Casual players want to go wild with this card then more power to them. But I’ll go with my gut and say that I don’t think cheating a Hurloon Minotaur into play for the exact same casting cost will be good enough for Legacy. Don’t get caught holding these when their price finally deflates.
It’s entirely possible the spoiling of this card was a way to indicate that there will be more Minotaurs in Theros. There are nearly 200 cards left to spoil – Jason
08/29/13 – Gervaise
Surprisingly Magma Jet sits at a $3 price tag according to MTGstocks. One can expect the same downfall trend when a pricey uncommon is spoiled in a new set. Examples are Putrefy, Electrolyze, Mind Funeral & Spell snare.
What these cards mostly have in common is the lack of tournament appearances. Cards like Path to Exile & Lightning Helix have more tournament results which is reflected back in the price. Therefore Magma Jet should be a cheaper pick up as soon as Theros is released.
Back in the days when playing competitive Standard in Kamigawa/Mirrodin era, there was a slight appearance of Iwamori of the Open FIst. a 4 mana 5/5 trample with a huge drawback as it incorporates a sort of show and tell effect for your opponents. Going back to RtR/Theros standard environment, it is a 4 mana 4/5 with no drawbacks.
I would not ignore the heavy manacost of giving this elemental +3/+3 and sacrifice 3 lands. Fact is this creature will fight for its slots in RDW/any Red aggro deck with the likes of Ghor-Clan Rampager, Firemane Avenger, Ogre Battledriver.
I currently believe Ghor-Clan rampager is better but there is so much unspoiled so I am putting this card on the watchlist. RDW decks at least have a goodie to work with coming rotation
Anthousa, Setessan Hero
Heroic keyword looks like Radiance from the old Ravnica but with more opportunities.
Take a simple Giant Growth, now Anthousa becomes a 7/8 and if I read the card correctly three lands become 2/2. I am not impressed by this card’s playability outside Commander and Limited so far. Seeing this is one of the early Heroic creatures spoiled, there might be some fun goodies spoiled later so I keep an eye on this regardless though I don’t expect much presence from this Human Warrior fighting Minotaurs.
Theros is an enchantment block so it is inevitable hate is going to be included in the set to combat it. But giving the top Tier decks a combined Shock/Naturalize is pretty interesting. If this is going to be a premium uncommon of the likes of Boros Charm, Burning-Tree Emissary then it might be an interesting venture to invest in.
Ordeal of Purphoros
Is that 300 Spartan looking guy named Purphoros as in the god? I do not think this is a good card in practice. It has to stick for 2 1/2 turns to get the Searing Spear effect. I won’t be happy putting this in my Prerelease deck
08/28/13 – Sigmund
Thassa, God of the Sea
Oh my God it’s a Magical Legendary Enchantment Creature God! That’s a mouthful. We see a lot of spoilage with this one card. We see what the Gods of Theros, we see a new keyword in Devotion, and we see these Gods are indestructible. Well, that’s going to be annoying. Dealing with indestructible cards in Standard can be a real nuisance without the right removal around. Maybe this is why Detention Sphere is getting so much attention lately. A three mana, blue, indestructible 5/5 creature with a special ability – yeah this card could be playable. I’d watch the forum discussion on this card very closely if I were you.
Whoa, another Enchantment Creature? I’m getting the feeling this format is going to become very confusing with all these game states. How many times a game will the number of mana symbols be counted for devotion? How many Bestow rules questions will be asked at each Prerelease? I shudder to think about this. In terms of value, isn’t this card in an intro pack? Enough said.
Another intro pack rare, so it’s not that exciting value-wise. But it must be pretty sweet to play a mono Black deck and get Harpies when this guy hits the table. But I’m a little underwhelmed by the card’s drawback. I suppose if you did get 10 Harpies, then 16 total power for 7 mana is amazing. But in more likely scenarios where you’re getting just a few Harpies, the upkeep cost may become a bit of a hindrance. I don’t think I’m going too far out on a limb to suggest that Black can do better. At least I hope this is the case!
08/26/13 – Sigmund
Bident of Thassa
This is a first – enchantment artifacts. Tarmogoyf fans rejoice at the potential +2/+2 bonus! In all seriousness, this is an interesting card. It basically turns all your creatures into Scroll Thief and it has the cute ability to make your opponents creatures attack, allowing yours to get through. The flavor is there, the abilities are strong…I just don’t know if I can get around the casting cost. 2UU is steep. Very steep. In Legacy, this card will never be played over Jace. Without seeing more Theros spoilers, I gotta say this isn’t the card to play – usually blue control decks don’t want to attack and don’t have many creatures to attack with. Being a rare and what appears to be a promo, my interest finance-wise is near zero for now.
08/20/13 – Sigmund
Polukranos, World Eater
Here we have the first glimpse at what the Monstrosity ability does. It feels like the ability could be fairly sweet – I’m just not sure how sweet it is on Polukranos. Four mana for a 5/5 vanilla creature is pretty mediocre. It would be nice to use the monster’s ability to knock out a pesky Deathrite Shaman or two. But if you want to really get big, you need a lot of mana! I wonder if this set will come with enough mana acceleration to make this good. Even if it does, we need to keep in mind that Polukranos is in a Duel Deck – therefore, his value is already capped. Still a sweet spoiler and I look forward to see what’s next.
Anax and Cymede
The flavor of this card is pretty amazing. Three mana for a 3/2 first strike AND vigilance? Sweet! Kind of makes sense since the card really represents two creatures – one can attack and one can block. Plus we get to see anther new keyword: Heroic. And man is this one powerful. Combat tricks just got a whole new meaning with this guy on the board. And Auras could also prove potent here. A shame you don’t get the benefit even when your opponent targets the creature(s). It would be nice if you could punish your opponent for casting Abrupt Decay on heroic cards. Value-wise, this one is tricky. I can’t tell if it’s playable or not knowing only what I know now. Check the forums for more discussion.
Man this card reminds me of Orcish Lumberjack. Wasn’t there also a Thrull that did something similar? Basal Thrull maybe? In any event, this guy definitely has some potential. Two-for-oneing your self is no fun, but being able to ramp is very nice. Wizards usually takes ramp spells very seriously – there’s a reason we saw Rite of Flame banned in Modern. We’ll have to wait and see what this guy can do to the Standard metagame, but I have a feeling he’ll be quite useful in ramping to monsters of all sizes. If he becomes impactful, grabbing foils as trade throw-ins may be the play.
07/25/13 – Sigmund
There really aren’t any official cards spoiled yet, but there are a couple interesting things worth looking at.
Snaping Fang Head
The color scheme on this token kind of reminds me of Eldrazi tokens. Except this guy is no mealy 0/1 do-nothing token. This “Elite Creature” is a 0/8 that pings all players each turn. We also see some kind of new mechanic, where each player is rewarded when this creature is killed. Called “Hero’s Reward”, I sure am curious to see how these cards will impact the game of Magic as we know it!
Oh man, we know nothing about this guy except for his artwork. But check out the border – I don’t think a card has ever had this black/purple border before. What could it mean? A new card type? Did Tarmogoyf just get even better?? Time will tell if this guy will be relevant or not in Standard, but my suspicion is that he’ll make a difference. Minimally he’ll be popular amongst the casual crowd.
It sounds like these Vanguard-like cards will mostly be used at Prerelease, Release, and Game Day events. In the meantime, they just seem like sweet new cards with cool artwork. We’ll see if they become financially relevant. In the meantime, I’m just going to try my best to enjoy these cards the way they were intended!