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Author Topic: [THS] Theros    (Read 6425 times)
Doks
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« on: 11-09-2013, 03:49:41 PM »

Hi all.

So, I've been following the daily Theros spoils and I actually do think that there are some cards that will probably see (maybe even a lot of) play in our beloved Highlander format although many people say that they are somewhat disappointed so far.

I'm namely talking about:


I. Steam Augury

A 'reversed Fact or Fiction' and my personal favourite so far. This is by no means at the same power level of the real FoF simply because you give away information while making piles, but I actually think it might become another staple of CA generating CMC 4 bombs in control decks. Obviously, the main counter-argument will be that you can't really use this card in a defensive way when things get really tight. E. g. you are facing lethal damage in the opponent's next turn and are desperately looking for a solution, but even if you do the 4-1 split, your opponent can still prevent you from getting what you need in a certain defensive situation (unless there are two cards in the five that save your ass).

But - and this is why I think the card is so interesting - when the board is even or maybe just slightly in your opponent's favour, this card can seal the game with massive card advantage. And this is what makes it look so good for decks with controlish elements, since in the the current meta single cards can turn around close games easily. Best way to prevent this is to have sufficient solution options, and these are usually achieved by outnumbering your opponents options (usually cards in hand, thus card advantage). I for myself am so going to test this.


B. Spellheart Chimera

X/3 trampling flyer for CMC 3 with built-in Runechanter's Pike. This one might see play in some kind of midrange Izzet deck. Personally, I like it very much, especially when you consider that it's only UC.


C. Fleecemane Lion

The better Watchwolf. The monstrostiy option gives aggroish decks a nice mana sink when the game goes longer than they want and is always a thread. Sure, a spot removal in responste to the activation will kill it, but if you look at it this way, it forces the enemy to leave mana open and be ready to react. Either way, it's a win:win-situation since no one really wants to see hexproof + indestructible on the same card under an opponent's control.


D. Xenagos, the Reveler

This guy is pretty underrated in my eyes. 2/2 haste for free every round is still nice in midrange-type decks, but the potential ramp will help pumping out higher cost creatures consistently up until the ultimate will pretty much end the game.


E. Hero's Downfall

Since black is arguably one of the weaker colours in our format, the BB cost might prevent it from seeing a lot of play. Decks like Oath and the rarely seen MBC will still make good use out of the card.


F. Swan Song

This will replace the Dispel in all the blue based 'let's ramp up and drop some bombs' artifact / combo control archetype decks and can even become a staple in the typical blue countersuit next to its CMC 1 brothers Pierce, Misstep and Snare. A 2/2 flyer is irrelevant when you exchange it for a resolved Sphinx's Revelation for 5+. At the same time, tempo decks might not want that card since a 2/2 in the air might trade with their Vendilion Clique etc.


G. Anger of the Gods

A Firespout-like effect that exiles everything that dies that turn. Sounds good, will push Izzet Control decks like some other of the spoiled cards.


So far, so good. All in all, I have probably missed some nice cards but this is what I instantly recalled after seeing it for the first time. What are your thoughts?
« Last Edit: 11-09-2013, 03:52:31 PM by Doks » Logged
Maqi
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« Reply #1 on: 11-09-2013, 04:05:57 PM »

@Swan Song:

I do not share your optimism about this card. Giving your opponent a 2/2 flyer is a very serious drawback.

Oath decks however will most likely play it! Wink
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« Reply #2 on: 11-09-2013, 04:33:58 PM »

HOW...can someone be disappointed..its only the best set like...forever.
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Tiggupiru
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« Reply #3 on: 11-09-2013, 06:01:13 PM »

@Swan Song:

I do not share your optimism about this card. Giving your opponent a 2/2 flyer is a very serious drawback.

Oath decks however will most likely play it! Wink

Looks pretty good in combo. Cheap answer to most of the problem cards for single blue mana. Nothing amazing, though. Just a decent option to have.

My personal favorites so far:

Elspeth, Sun's Champion - Really hard to kill (I mean, five loyalty with THREE chumpers EVERY turn), really hard to ignore and will win the game in reasonable time. Great finisher in Wx - controls. Six mana is a lot, but I feel that she can easily still hold on her own.

Soldier of the Pantheon - Pretty self-explanatory.

Chained to the Rocks - I don't still consider Boros to be either worse WW or worse RDW. More cards like this and we could see that changing. Pretty good in URW - control too.

Curse of the Swine - OINK! in seriousness, I can see this appearing in Bant-type of goodstuffs for the mirror. But it kinda requires metagame full of goodstuff, so not holding my breath.

Hero's Downfall - I would really like to love this card, but the format is probably too fast for three mana spot removal, even if it is excellent answer to 95% of the problems control decks face.

Tormented Hero - I am not a fan of the black aggro, but these are reason to start.

Lightning Strike - Duh. Never can have enough of these in RDW.

Polukranos, World Eater - Cheap, big and a removal. What's not to like? Nothing broken, but a decent option if you go less of a goodstuff - route and just bash face. Remember, monstrous can be activated on your opponents turn too.

Ashen Rider - Reanimator. Not to replace Angel of Despair, but to have another one.

Fleecemane Lion - Incredibly boring, but also incredibly important for Naya. Monstrous is not super-relevant since this can just still simply blocked which is a regular thing in this format, but it's obviously nice option to have.

Xenagos, the Reveler - I like this one. A Llanowar Elves and a token from this when it first came into play gives you seven mana on turn four. Ultimate is saucy too, but I feel that pumping out hasty guys is most often just better. Very good ramp-walker, but also good in more aggroish decks too.

Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx - There is probably something to do with this. The effect is really powerful and it's only drawback is that it doesn't generate colored mana without help. Lands tend to be more playable than they first might seem.



All in all, lots of narrow, but powerful in the right deck kind of cards. Just the way I like my new sets to be.
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« Reply #4 on: 11-09-2013, 07:07:38 PM »

It´s neither disappointing nor the best set ever, it seems mediocre to me.

There are a handful of strong cards and a dozen of borderline cards which I think is the right mixture for a new set. I am just missing a "I-want-it-now!" card for myself.

I just want to complain that nearly no legendary card looks competitive to me which seems awkward in a Greek mythology set. Also the new mechanics are quite week/expensive/hard to trigger.

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« Reply #5 on: 12-09-2013, 10:15:26 PM »

Chained to the Rocks      W
Enchantment — Aura    Rare
Enchant Mountain you control
When Chained to the Rocks enters the battlefield, exile target creature an opponent controls until Chained to the Rocks leaves the battlefield.

A good removal, but you definetly need a basic mountain to be protected from Wasteland. Whithout a basic mountains this card is too risky, then you should play the more safe Journey to Nowhere.


Elspeth, Sun's Champion 4WW
Planeswalker — Elsepth    Mythic Rare
+1: Put three 1/1 white Soldier creature tokens onto the battlefield.
-3: Destroy all creatures with power 4 or greater.
-7: You get an emblem with "Creatures you control get +2/+2 and have flying."
4 Loyality

Of course 6 mana is much but this planeswalker spoils the board with 3 soldiers every turn. So this one mana more than Elspeth Tirel seems to be worth it.


Spear of Heliod         1WW
Legendary Enchantment Artifact    Rare
Creatures you control get +1/+1.
1{W}{W}, {T}: Destroy target creature that dealt damage to you this turn.

A Glorius Anthem which destroys attackers.

  
Soldier of the Pantheon   W
Creature — Human Soldier    Rare
Protection from multicolored
Whenever an opponent casts a multicolored spell, you gain 1 life.
2/1

An Elite Vanguard whith good protection, seems to be a good card for Boros and White Weenie


Swan Song                 U
Instant    Rare
Counter target enchantment, instant or sorcery spell. Its controller puts a 2/2 blue Bird creature token with flying onto the battlefield.

The perfect counter for an Oath-Control. For other decks is the 2/2 flying bird token too dangerous.  


Curse of the Swine      XUU
Sorcery    Rare
Exile X target creatures. For each creature exiled this way, its controller puts a 2/2 green Boar creature token onto the battlefield.

Looks like a Humilty, but the 2/2 Boar are still very big.


Hero's Downfall        1BB
Instant    Rare
Destroy target creature or planeswalker.

It just cost 1 mana too much.


Tormented Hero           B
Creature — Human Warior    Uncommon
Tormented Hero enters the battlefield tapped.
Heroic — Whenever you cast a spell that targets Tormented Hero, each opponent loses 1 life. You gain life equal to the life lost this way.
2/1

2/1 for one black with Heroic, seems good enough for BR-aggro or Mono-Black-Suicide.


Read the Bones         2B
Sorcery    Common
Scry 2, then draw two cards. You lose 2 life.

Could be played in MBC but Sign in Blood and Night's Whisper look stronger, even whithout Sry2.


Anger of the Gods     1RR
Sorcery    Rare
Anger of the Gods deals 3 damage to each creature. If a creature dealt damage this way would die this turn, exile it instead.

There is already Slagstorm which can shot damage to player or planeswalker.


Firedrinker Satyr       R
Creature — Satyr Shaman    Rare
Whenever Firedrinker Satyr is dealt damage, it deals that much damage to you.
1{R}: Firedrinker Satyr gets +1/+0 until end of turn and deals 1 damage to you.
2/1

The new Jackal Pup whith Firebreathing for 1R.


Hammer of Purphoros   1RR
Legendary Enchantment Artifact    Rare
Creatures you control have haste.
2{R}, {T}, Sacrifice a land: Put a 3/3 colorless Golem enchantment artifact creature token onto the battlefield.

Fervor or Fires of Yavimaya hadn't seen play but this enchanntment can produce 3/3 Golem creatures. Maybe it will see play in heavy red decks.


Lightning Strike       1R
Instant    Common
Lightning Strike deals 3 damage to target creature or player.

This will replace Volcanic Hammer in RDW, Borors or Naya. A very straight foreward design.


Stormbreath Dragon    3RR
Creature — Dragon    Mythic Rare
Flying, haste, protection from white
5{R}{R}: Monstrosity 3. (If this creature isn't monstrous, put three +1/+1 counters on it and it becomes monstrous.)
When Stormbreath Dragon becomes monstrous, it deals damage to each opponent equal to the number of cards in that player's hand.
4/4

This reminds me of Thundermaw Hellkite with protecion white and -1/-1. The Monstrosity cost very much with 7 mana but generates a few extradamage.


Boon Satyr            1GG
Enchantment Creature — Satyr    Rare
Flash
Bestow 3{G}{G} (If you cast this spell for its bestow cost, it's an Aura spell with enchant creature. It becomes a creature again if it's not attached to a creature.)
Enchanted creature gets +4/+2.
4/2

I can't imagine Bestow to be a good ability, but the Boon Satyr looks interesting with 1GG Flash and 4/2


Polukranos, World Eater 2GG
Legendary Creature — Hydra    Mythic Rare
{X}{X}{G}: 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.
5/5

Can shot down small creatures and grows a little bit. Looks like a good card to green ramp decks.


Sylvan Caryatid         1G
Creature — Plant    Rare
Defender, hexproof
{T}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.
0/3

The best protected colored mana source.


Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver 1UB
Planeswalker — Ashiok    Mythic Rare
+2: Exile the top three cards of target opponent's library.
-X: Put a creature card with converted mana cost X exiled with Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver onto the battlefield under your control. That creature is a Nightmare in addition to its other types.
-10: Exile all cards from all opponents' hands and graveyards.
3 Loyality

One of the few good 3 mana planeswalker. You exiled cards and pick a creature from them using Ashiok Loyality for the mana cost. This can easily be worth his mana cost.


Fleecemane Lion          GW
Creature — Cat    Rare
3{G}{W}: 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.
3/3

For me the best card in the set. Starting as a Watchwolf and becoming a better Thrun. With only 3 mana more than Thrun itself.


Medomai the Ageless     4UW
Legendary Creature — Sphinx    Mythic Rare
Flying
Whenever Medomai the Ageless deals combat damage to a player, take an extra turn after this one.
Medomai the Ageless can't attack during extra turns.
4/4

With the extra turns this creature generates the game will be soon finished.


Steam Augury           2UR
Instant    Rare
Reveal the top five cards of your library and separate them into two piles. An opponent chooses one of those piles. Put that pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.

A Fact or Fiction with swaped roles. This looks for me a little worse than the normal FoF, your opponent has here the last word.


Spellheart Chimera     1UR
Creature — Chimera    Uncommon
Flying, trample
Spellheart Chimera's power is equal to the number of instant and sorcery cards in your graveyard.
x/3

Definetly a good card for a deck which plays already Delver of Secrets.


Xenagos, the Reveler  2GR
Planeswalker — Xenagos    Mythic Rare
+1: Add X mana in any combination of {R} and/or {G} to your mana pool, where X is the number of creatures you control.
0: Put a 2/2 red and green Satyr creature token with haste onto the battlefield.
-6: Exile the top seven cards of your library. You may put any number of creature and/or land cards from among them onto the battlefield.
3 Loyality

For me the hardest card to evaluate in the set. It produces 2/2 haste creatures so it looks like a good aggro planeswalker. The first ability produces green and red mana like Gaea's Cradle. The ultimate looks dissapointing, you can't be sure if you find enough creatures. This planeswalker can be best compared with Garruk Wildspeaker and Garruk Relentles. Xenagos has a better mana producing ability than Garruk Wildspeaker. The 2/2 Satyr haste token for -0 loyality is exact good as the 3/3 Beast token for -1 loyality. The Overrun ability of Garruk Wildspeaker is better then Xenagos unpredictable Ultimate. Garruk Relentles tokens don't have haste but Garruk Relentles has much more different abilitys which seem to be better for a creature deck.
So I think that Xenagos is best for a ramp deck which already plays Gaea's Cradle. For an aggro deck arruk Wildspeaker is better, and for an diverse creature deck Garruk Relentles is better. So there are not much decks which will use Xenagos at full potential,but i think this card will see much play.  



My Ranking for the revealed 138/249 Theros cards:

Fleecemane Lion          4,8/5
Elspeth, Sun's Champion  4,7/5
Xenagos, the Reveler     4,3/5
Lightning Strike         4,2/5
Firedrinker Satyr        4,1/5
Soldier of the Pantheon  4,1/5
Tormented Hero           4,0/5
Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver 4,0/5

Medomai the Ageless      3,9/5
Steam Augury             3,8/5
Chained to the Rocks     3,7/5
Spellheart Chimera       3,6/5
Spear of Heliod          3,5/5
Stormbreath Dragon       3,3/5
Polukranos, World Eater  3,1/5

Swan Song                2,9/5
Anger of the Gods        2,6/5
Curse of the Swine       2,4/5
Sylvan Caryatid          2,3/5
Hammer of Purphoros      2,3/5
Read the Bones           2,2/5
Boon Satyr               2,1/5
Hero's Downfall          2,0/5
« Last Edit: 12-09-2013, 10:27:49 PM by GoblinPiledriver » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: 15-09-2013, 02:51:33 PM »

Anger of the Gods     1RR
Sorcery    Rare
Anger of the Gods deals 3 damage to each creature. If a creature dealt damage this way would die this turn, exile it instead.

There is already Slagstorm which can shot damage to player or planeswalker.

Slagstorm doesn't get around Voice of Resurgence, Finks, Academy Rector and recursion. I think this is better than Slagstorm, but I can not imagine a scenario where you would choose not to play both. Having Slagstorm, Firespout and Anger of the Gods, red is actually looking decently appealing control color.


Firedrinker Satyr       R
Creature — Satyr Shaman    Rare
Whenever Firedrinker Satyr is dealt damage, it deals that much damage to you.
1{R}: Firedrinker Satyr gets +1/+0 until end of turn and deals 1 damage to you.
2/1

The new Jackal Pup whith Firebreathing for 1R.

Monored will love this. Straight up Jackal Pup reprint would have been awesome inclusion. Yes, please.


Lightning Strike       1R
Instant    Common
Lightning Strike deals 3 damage to target creature or player.

This will replace Volcanic Hammer in RDW, Borors or Naya. A very straight foreward design.

Why would this replace Volcanic? Sure it's better, but Volcanic Hammer and Fire Ambush are still very much wanted in these decks.


Sylvan Caryatid         1G
Creature — Plant    Rare
Defender, hexproof
{T}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.
0/3

The best protected colored mana source.

Not even close. I'll take Birds of Paradeise over this any day. Not to mention a little innocent looking Deathrite Shaman is just miles better. And if it's two mana ramp you look for, Wall of Roots and Rampant Growths are way more appealing.


Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver 1UB
Planeswalker — Ashiok    Mythic Rare
+2: Exile the top three cards of target opponent's library.
-X: Put a creature card with converted mana cost X exiled with Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver onto the battlefield under your control. That creature is a Nightmare in addition to its other types.
-10: Exile all cards from all opponents' hands and graveyards.
3 Loyality

One of the few good 3 mana planeswalker. You exiled cards and pick a creature from them using Ashiok Loyality for the mana cost. This can easily be worth his mana cost.

I doubt he is any good. Doesn't protect itself, takes minimum of two turns to get any real value and even then the odds of hitting something relevant aren't very high. It does rack up loyalty at decent rate, but fair milling isn't a win-con in HL and sometimes opponents will keep this in check with utility guys. Very narrow, but cool desing. I hope we'll see him in play, but I would be fairly surprised if that ever happens.


Medomai the Ageless     4UW
Legendary Creature — Sphinx    Mythic Rare
Flying
Whenever Medomai the Ageless deals combat damage to a player, take an extra turn after this one.
Medomai the Ageless can't attack during extra turns.
4/4

With the extra turns this creature generates the game will be soon finished.

Six mana flier that needs to connect to get value? Not in a million years. Even the most controlling of decks cannot afford to run too many six drops and this isn't going to stabilize, or generate any value if it trades with a removal spell.


Steam Augury           2UR
Instant    Rare
Reveal the top five cards of your library and separate them into two piles. An opponent chooses one of those piles. Put that pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.

A Fact or Fiction with swaped roles. This looks for me a little worse than the normal FoF, your opponent has here the last word.

Pure garbage. I'd play Concentration, Harmonize and Foresee over this any day and those cards see play only rarely. Never let your opponent interfere what cards you draw, ever.




The rest of the set looks like limited fodder, but I still like this set. Few archetypes get what they really needed and there are practically no boring "this card should be played in every deck that has the mana." - cards. I hope limited is fun, early signs are somewhat promising.
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« Reply #7 on: 30-09-2013, 01:51:42 PM »

I am just missing a "I-want-it-now!" card for myself.

I was completely wrong...Spellheart Chimera is my new pet card. It´s simply bonkers in the right shell. It’s the creature with the best damage to casting cost ratio in non-green aggro control decks by far. It even hits harder and more reliable than Tombstalker in my Grixis deck. I expect this card to be a must play in every deck with counter(/burn) strategy.

Sylvan Caryatid – I also really like this card in a ramp strategy deck, especially against fast Aggro (save block into 4-drop). Natural Order is one of the strongest cards in the format and Sylvan Caryatid is perhaps the best support creature for it.  Another format staple IMO.


Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver 4,0/5
Medomai the Ageless      3,9/5


In comparison to:

Spellheart Chimera       3,6/5
Sylvan Caryatid          2,3/5

Come on…you can do better.

My prediction of Theros Highlander format staples:

Fleecemane Lion (Zoo)
Spellheart Chimera (all kind of Counter burn strategies)
Sylvan Caryatid (Midrange, Ramp)
Lightning Strike (RDW)
Soldier of the Pantheon (WW, 1dropZoo)
Firedrinker Satyr (RDW)

Playables:

Ashen Rider (another dumb Reanimator target)
Boon Satyr (flash=best ability ever, OK stats, Bestow ability quite useless)
Anger of the Gods  (good card, but I currently see no home for it)
Chained to the Rocks (perhaps Boros, if it would be a deck)
Destructive Revelry (good Gruul card in the right meta)
Elspeth, Sun's Champion (another reasonable but ultra-slow win condition for UW)
Hero's Downfall (UB if meta is not full of aggro)
Polukranos, World Eater (another rock solid 4 mana spell, most properly ending in my binder)
Purphoros, God of the Forge (high risk high reward spell, there are quite a lot of RR(R) permanents available)
Spear of Heliod (good enough for WW?)
Steam Augury  (I want this to be good enough…)
Stormbreath Dragon (reliable and hard to block/kill damage output)
Swan Song (another good combo counter)
Tormented Hero (another RB  one drop)

Hammer of Purphoros (?)
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx (?)
Xenagos, the Reveler (?)
Whip of Erebos (?)
Thassa, God of the Sea (?)
« Last Edit: 30-09-2013, 05:26:22 PM by MMD » Logged

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