Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Theros Spoiler: Abhorrent Overlord, Thassa, God of the Sea

More spoilery goodness at MTGSalvation.

There are lots of new stuff to look at in the Theros Spoiler so far, including some new mechanics like heroic. But, a couple of gems caught my eye. Presenting!

There shined a shiny demon... in the middle... of the sky: Abhorrent Overlord.


Not only is the artwork absolutely badass, but we're looking at a huge flying demon with good demon flavor. When you summon the demon, he shows up all wings a flappin' and harpies come with him! I can't wait to see the Harpy token artwork. Lots of possibilities there.

6/6 and flying for 7 mana. That's castable. Plus, it triggers a creature sacrifice, which is a very demon thing to do. Not a great thing to do, but a demon thing to do. The sacrifice is on every one of your upkeeps, though. At least he brings creatures with him. I'm not sure this demon makes the cut in my demon deck, but with such cool artwork I'll probably make it work or have one painted up as a token.

Remember that Bident we were talking about? No, not a trident! A bi-dent!

Well, now we get to see the god that wields it. And it's a doozy: Thassa, God of the Sea.

Thassa, God of the Sea

Legendary Enchantment Creature — God Mythic Rare
As long as your devotion to blue is less than five, Thassa isn’t a creature. (Each {U} in the mana costs of permanents you control adds to your devotion to blue.)
At the beginning of your upkeep, scry 1.
1{U}: Target creature you control can't be blocked this turn.


To be fair, this is the God of the Sea we're talking about here: he (she?) should be pretty awesome. There's a lot going on with this card and it's all kinds of good. Let's break it down.

It's Legendary, and Enchantment, a Creature, and a God. As I mentioned with the Trident, er Bident, that's a neat design choice that makes these guys feel unique. Something old and new.

Indestructible. Excellent.

Devotion is new for Theros and in-flavor with the god-theme. Commit to blue and be rewarded by the Sea God. It provides one of the blue mana symbols by itself, so we're looking for four more blue mana symbols to unleash the kraken.

But, even when it's not all creature-ified, you still get to scry 1 on your upkeep. Awesome. And, you can dish out unblockable to any creature for a measly 2 mana.

I'm a little disappointed that Thassa and the Bident don't obviously combo, other than supplying a couple of blue mana symbols to the devotion count and getting to draw a card off a now unblockable creature. Seems like they would have gone further in this direction. That said, I'd run the Sea God in my blue decks all day long.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Theros Spoiler: Bident of Thassa, Polukranos, World Eater

Spoiled cards are starting to trickle out for Theros. Check it out over at MTGSalvation.

I like the way things are shaping up with the "Greek" theme for this set. I'm not a "collector" per se. I mostly grab the cards that look cool to me to build a deck around. But, the Theros block might be the first set in a long time where I actually want at least one copy of every card. Block constructed is going to be neat, the art is cool, and the cards have a lot of flavor!

But, onto the new cards.

Up first, we've got a Legendary Enchantment Artifact. Yep. You read that right. The Bident of Thassa is a not only an Enchantment it's also an Artifact, plus it's blue! The picture is a little blurry, but it's clearly a bident and opposed to a trident. Take that spell-checker.

Bident of Thassa

Legendary Enchantment Artifact Rare
Whenever a creature you control deals combat damage to a player, you may draw a card.
1{U}, {T}: Creatures your opponents control attack this turn if able.

They already used up a cool concept with the Eldrazi by making them colorless without being artifacts. It works for the Eldrazi gods. But, the colors are important to give flavor to the Greek gods. They also already used up colored artifacts, first here and there in Future Sight, Shadowmoor, and Dissension, and then a bunch in the Alara block. So, how do we make the gods feel "godly?" Put a bunch of card types together!

It sounds like I'm being sarcastic, but this is a pretty good idea. It makes these cards feel like they are "from the gods" by giving us something new and old. Repetition on a theme is a wonderful thing.

Okay, but how about something new(ish) altogether? Polukranos, World Eater - here, have a sandwich.


I've been playing Magic for a long time, and for a while there I was worried about power creep. It's darn near miraculous that the designers have not been fully tempted to push each new set into power levels that make earlier sets irrelevant. Heroic even. It's happened in other games and it's not fun. With that said, I think they made an effort to push the power levels of creatures in particular so that the things about the game that are supposed to be fun are actually still fun. Creature combat anyone? For me, there's nothing quite like cartwheeling down a piece of cardboard and going into the red zone for the win.

Polukranos, in addition to having a large appetite, has a very flavorful and powerful ability without taking the focus off of the creature itself. This is a very cool card for green. Back in the day, a 5/5 for 4 would have been studly. Now, you get all that plus the ability to super size this bad boy and stomp other creatures in the process.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Epic Co-Op Magic Adventure in Theros?

So, Wizards announced the new Block a while back: Theros! In all its Greek-themed goodness.

We even have a couple of spoiled cards, including one pretty cool Hydra with a mouthful of a name, Polukranos. My fifth-grade root word lessons in Latin and Greek are making my spider-senses tingle in anticipation of this new set. Get ready to look stuff up!

What I'm really excited about is this article, "The Path of the Hero" over at Daily MTG. I'm excited because there's a chance we are going to see some kind of co-op / group encounter variation on Magic.

Cooperative games, where all of the players are fighting together instead of against one another, are cool in their own way. There's (almost) nothing worse than sitting down to a new game with an experienced player, having your ass handed to you, and then never playing again because who likes that? Ah, but if it's me and you working together, explaining the ins-and-outs, now were on to something.

At this point, the article makes it sound like more of a gimmick, that there will be these special Hero Cards you can earn through achievements at certain events. Okay, great. And at the end, there will be some kind of epic encounter called a Challenge Deck. The example they give is a Challenge Deck called, "Face the Hydra" where, "the Hydra follows a predetermined sequence of casting cards from its shuffled deck and blasting you for damage. The goal is to eliminate all of the Hydra heads before it eats you."

In and of itself, this doesn't sound all that exciting, especially if it really is predetermined. But, there is promise in this idea. Will there be other Challenge Decks? Maybe even multi-player Challenge Decks that a group of Heroes can face together? How cool would it be to shuffle up your Commander deck (now a Hero deck) and face some epic evil together?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Braids vs. Zur

I haven't been playing much Magic the past few weeks. Lots of other stuff keeps coming up. But, I did get a chance to play some 1vs1 against Chris with Zur the Enchanter.

Zur the EnchanterBraids, Conjurer Adept

We played three games. I ended up winning 2-1, but it was close. It all comes down to controlling Zur when he comes out. We did have a cool interaction involving Treachery and Captivating Glance as we fought over control of Zur. Chris played Zur, so I took him with Treachery. Then, Chris took him back with Captivating Glance. I had Future Sight out, so Chris knew that I was going to reveal Memnarch at the end of his turn and most likely take Zur back. But he had an answer for that! He cast an entwined Second Sight to set up our libraries in his favor.

TreacheryCaptivating GlanceFuture SightSecond Sight

Another cool play that Chris uses in his deck is Cytoplast Manipulator. With her out, I usually have to start paying around it or the next monster I drop may be my last.

Cytoplast Manipulator

I did change around the deck list for Gods, Robots, and Monsters and updated it over at tapped out. Check it out! (Copied below.) The jury is still out on a handful of cards while I try to make room for other cards that I think would be cool in include.

Artifact (13)

Sorcery (10)

Land (39)

Instant (5)