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Insider: Eternal Cards in Born of the Gods

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So great news...Cardmageddon (January 19th) has passed and our cards are still valuable. For those living under a rock, the Chinese supplier who was supposed to be sending 19,000 counterfeits to the MTG community claimed that they would be shipping all these cards by January 19th.

So far, so good. But now let's get back to what you're really here to read about. How will Born of the Gods (BNG) affect the eternal formats (Legacy, Modern, and EDH)? As it's my favorite format we'll review Legacy first.

Legacy

Spirit of the Labryinth -- White hasn't gotten a solid "hate bear" like this since Thalia came to us in Dark Ascension. For those who don't remember, Thalia made Maverick (G/W toolbox deck) a tier-one deck for quite a while as she allowed the "fairest" deck in Legacy to fight the unfair ones.

The trick to Maverick was that to beat combo decks you wanted to stick Thalia (and ideally protect her with a Mother of Runes) and then use Knight of the Reliquary to Wasteland them into oblivion.

Eventualy these decks started adopting unique hate cards that were really good against Thalia (mainly Massacre). Even then most of those decks (especially Storm) would only have 2-3 copies of Massacre in the sideboard and would have to use all their cantrips (that cost one colorless more thanks to Thalia) to dig for those Massacres in a timely manner.

Spirit of the Labyrinth gives hate bear decks a way to fight all the cantrip style decks. The fact that she is non-legendary--it really sucks to draw additional copies of Thalia--and has three power is huge. I think this card could be the push Maverick needed to get back into the game.

It will definitely find some room in Death and Taxes, though whether she'll be a maindeck or a solid three-of-plus sideboard card is up to the D&T players to decide. Reading the forums on The Source shows that most feel she'll be in the board.

Bile Blight -- This is almost a strict upgrade to Echoing Decay, though ED has in itself fallen out of favor as an answer to Belcher/Storm players who gunned for Empty the Warrens. Giving -3/-3 is huge though as it opens up a lot of potential against bigger creatures (I'm looking at you KoTR). Unfortunately, the biggest creature threat with three toughness is untargetable (Nimble Mongoose).

I don't know how much play this card will actually get, but if you can find foreign foils (as an uncommon there's not a ton of room for massive gain), I'd definitely pick them up as throw-ins.

Searing Blood -- This is a great addition for the Mono-Red/Burn players. Similar to Searing Blaze, however for one less damage to a creature you don't have to hit a land. There are a LOT of creatures in Legacy with two toughness or less, so it's still very relevant.

Kiora's Follower -- I only bring this one up to keep it on everyone's radar. The ability is quite powerful on a two-drop (especially one from a strong tribe). Again, foreign foils would be the play, though I wouldn't go deep on them as this one is still kind of a long shot.

Modern

Hero of Ioras -- This one might show up in some Boggle.dec deck as it does reduce the mana cost of some of the enchantments (Spirit Mantle and Journey to Nowhere), however, it's unlikely to make that much of a wave.

Thassa's Rebuff -- This one might find a home in Modern Merfolk. Usually Mana Leak would be preferred, but due to the limited number of two-mana counterspells available in the format, one that could potentially act as Mana Leak #5 is something to keep in mind.

Archetype of Courage & Brimaz, King of Oreskos -- I put these two together because I think White Weenie might have a shot in Modern. There are enough powerful white hate bears in the format that all the deck needs is an efficient threat. Both of these provide this threat.

While most will go with Brimaz, the ability to give your entire team first strike and take it away from your opponents' creatures could be huge. There aren't a lot of first strikers played in Modern (outside of Thalia herself), but it is nice that in a WW mirror your Thalias would beat there's.

Pain Seer -- I know a lot of people think this is just a slightly worse Bob...but it's a much worse Bob. The one toughness is nowhere near as important as having to wait a full extra turn for the first trigger. While Dark Confidant is often sent into battle, the fact that for Pain Seer to activate he pretty much has to battle means that if your opponent has a good blocker in play...you won't be drawing a card, unlike with Bob.

I do expect people to try him out, as in a deck like Jund with a lot of removal spells there's a decent chance he'd just be another card advantage machine.

EDH

This is the category that gains the most from BNG.

The Minor Gods (Ephara, God of the Polis, Karametra, God of the Harvests, Mogis, God of Slaughter, Phenax, God of Deception, Xenagos, God of Revels) -- Some of these gods are more powerful than others (looking at you Karametra and Xenagos) for EDH. However, I feel all will likely find homes in certain decks. Many casual players love the mill strategy and are salivating at Phenax.

Fated Retribution -- Another instant speed Wrath (of which there are few) that also kills planeswalkers. While the scry ability is cute, I imagine few games in which it will be cast on the caster's turn.

Silent Sentinel -- Sun Titan sees a lot of EDH play as it provides solid card advantage (though Sentinel doesn't give it when it hits the field, it doesn't have a mana requirement to it). I can't wait to recur Pernicious Deeds and Defense of the Hearts.

Champion of Stray Souls -- This has my pick for best card to get foil copies off within the first three months of the set's release. His ability is really powerful, especially with creatures that make tokens. The artwork is gorgeous to boot.

Felhide Spiritbinder -- Red is the color of attacking, so red "inspire" cards basically read "you'd better block this guy". The fact that he makes tokens of any creature with haste is a great ability for a format known for large/overcosted creatures.

Archetype of Endurance -- While most of the archetypes (especially the white one) have a decent chance of making it into some EDH decks, green is probably the most popular color and the one that can tutor easiest for creature cards. Hexproof is a ridiculous ability and permanently removing it from opponents' creatures is really useful.

Nessian Wilds Ravager -- I'm a huge fan of Gruul Ragebeast because in most games he's a two-for-one. While this creature isn't as powerful as Ragebeast it is also mono-green so it can go into more decks. I don't think tribute will be that good of a mechanic in EDH, but if people were going to be concerned about it...sticking the ability onto a 6/6 for six that either kills a guy or becomes a 12/12.

Chromanticore -- While it makes me really sad this guy isn't legendary (to use as a five-color general) his abilities are decently powerful and the artwork is gorgeous. He will find a home in some five-color decks with ease.

Hero's Podium -- Any artifact that provides card advantage is something to consider. Certain deck styles tend to play a lot of legendary creatures (Captain Sisay for example) and the fact that it gives you a way to dig for them with colorless mana at instant speed means it will find a home...though I doubt it in many decks.

3 thoughts on “Insider: Eternal Cards in Born of the Gods

  1. Minor nitpick

    Hero of Iroas doesn’t touch Journey to Nowhere. It cheapens Aura spells. None of the O-Ring variants like Journey are auras.

    The rest feels right on the money though.

    1. Thanks. That’s a great catch. I haven’t played the Boggle deck at all and didn’t even think about that…I just remembered Journey was an enchantment that could only target creatures and assumed Aura.

      1. I’ve not played it in modern, but I’ve played it in MTGO Pauper a few times. Play Aura Gnarlid enough and you start to remember your auras from pseudoauras.

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