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Author Topic: Porn of the Gods    (Read 5861 times)
Tiggupiru
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« on: 27-01-2014, 06:11:34 PM »

Felt like doing a set review and considering how few playables we have, the task wasn't too daunting. We did get some spicy ones and lot of cards that could see play once in blue moon, should every star in the universe align right, but I guess that is the case with every set.


Link to the visual spoiler if that helps people to follow this: http://www.wizards.com/magic/tcg/article.aspx?x=mtg/tcg/bornofthegods/cig


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Name:   Brimaz, King of Oreskos
Cost:    1ww
Type:    Legendary Creature — Cat Soldier
Pow/Tgh:    3/4
Rules Text:    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.

Brimaz is probably the card of the set. Not only is it an autoslam into any aggro that can produce the double white on turn three with ease, but it's also a good one to have against aggro. I could see some of the control decks picking this up since it's hard to attack into with most of the aggro creatures and it finishes games quickly if opponent stumbles, or when you stabilize. Vigilance is quite the nice one to sneak a few free attacks here and there.

It should also be noted how these triggers behave with planeswalkers, as you can declare Brimaz attacking an opponent and when the trigger resolves, your kitty-cat is free to attack any planeswalkers they control if you so choose. This can even get by stuff Gideon Jura. Same goes for Hero of Bladehold. This is actually sometimes relevant in HL, so bear that in mind.

It's not going to be a new Kitchen Finks or anything as removal is still one for one trade, unless you get to swing with it, but the power is clearly there.


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Name:   Fated Retribution
Cost:    4WWW
Type:    Instant
Rules Text:    Destroy all creatures and planeswalkers. If it's your turn, scry 2.

Akroma's vengeance is a super powerful card. The main reason it sees so little play is that there aren't enough cards that mimic it. After all, playing cheap artifact acceleration is a bit of a liability when you want to clear them and if you only have say one Akroma's Vengeance in your deck, you are playing weaker version of a deck for no particular reason. Fated Retribution is not nearly as powerful as Nevinyrral's Disk, Planar Cleansing or Vengeance, but there is a very slight chance for it. After all, it does deal with planeswalkers, which is very useful for a sweeper and Scry 2 in a seven mana spell is easily worth something like a card.

I am really doubtful, but we might have the critical mass of these sweepers at some point and retribution could theoretically be one of them.


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Name:   Spirit of the Labyrinth
Cost:    1W
Type:    Enchantment Creature — Spirit
Pow/Tgh:    3/1
Rules Text:    Each player can't draw more than one card each turn.

This has the legacy crowd excited and for a good reason: It's an excellent answer to the most powerful card in the format: Brainstrom.

It's much weaker in HL, but here the 3/1 body doesn't raise suspicisions as the sideboards of Legacy are already quite capable of taking down opposing 3/1's for some reason. In any case, it's still pretty good hate bear that will kill stumbling combo/control decks in quick fashion if not dealt with. Tutorable with Enlightened Tutor is probably straight up bonus as the decks you want this against probably don't have too many ways to destroy enchantments specifically.


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Name:   Fated Infatuation
Cost:    UUU
Type:    Instant
Rules Text:    Put a token onto the battlefield that's a copy of target creature you control. If it's your turn, scry 2.

Cackling Counterpart doesn't see play and making it harder to cast is a good way to make sure the fate of this card is sealed. Shame really.


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Name:   Perplexing Chimera
Cost:    4u
Type:    Enchantment Creature — Chimera
Pow/Tgh:    3/3
Rules Text:    Whenever an opponent casts a spell, you may exchange control of Perplexing Chimera and that spell. If you do, you may choose new targets for the spell. (If the spell becomes a permanent, you control that permanent.)

What a Perplexing card. At first I thought this could be another Spellskite in your combodeck that has decent uses, but it is very powerful when you are ahead. Any card your opponent has can just be stolen, so they really can't climb back into the game with something like a planeswalker while this is in play. Sweepers still work perfectly fine. It's also pretty nice to have in counterspell wars. Opposing Misdirection at will is super annoying when you have two counterspells on the stack.

The fact that it's pretty weak when you are losing is probably what makes him ultimately not worth the slot, but it sure looks like fun little number.


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Name:   Retraction Helix
Cost:    u
Type:    Instant
Rules Text:    Until end of turn, target creature gains "{T}: Return target nonland permanent to its owner's hand."

I love Puresight Merrow, but this card just doesn't quite pack enough punch on it's own. Guess I need to stick with Opposition.


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Name:   Stratus Walk
Cost:    1u
Type:    Enchantment — Aura
Rules Text:    Enchant creature
When Stratus Walk enters the battlefield, draw a card.
Enchanted creature has flying.
Enchanted creature can block only creatures with flying.

There are decent value for cheap cantripping permanents. If you can bounce them or you have Argothian Enchantress in play, there is always some cheap ways to gain some CA. Not that I expect Stratus Walk to be enchantress staple, but all it takes is some weird card to come along and change things.


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Name:   Drown in Sorrow
Cost:    1BB
Type:    Sorcery
Rules Text:    All creatures get -2/-2 until end of turn. Scry 1.

Infest could be an okay spell and this one does something even if you don't need it. Granted the effect is super minimal, but it's still miles better than stone nothing.

Also, killing two creatures and Scrying for one is incredibly good for three mana.


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Name:   Gild
Cost:    3b
Type:    Sorcery
Rules Text:    Exile target creature. Put a colorless artifact token named Gold onto the battlefield. It has "Sacrifice this artifact: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool."

Nope. Four mana spot removal isn't the thing. The upside just isn't good enough. Seize the Soul is miles better and it sees no play.


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Name:   Odunos River Trawler
Cost:    2b
Type:    Creature — Zombie
Pow/Tgh:    2/2
Rules Text:    When Odunos River Trawler enters the battlefield, return target enchantment creature card from your graveyard to your hand.
{W}, Sacrifice Odunos River Trawler: Return target enchantment creature card from your graveyard to your hand.

I have no idea what kind of deck would want this, but if there is one, this is really good in it. Maybe deck that has bunch of enchantment based removal? Get in there Blightcaster.


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Name:   Pain Seer
Cost:    1B
Type:    Creature — Human Wizard
Pow/Tgh:    2/2
Rules Text:   Inspired — Whenever Pain Seer becomes untapped, reveal the top card of your library and put that card into your hand. You lose life equal to that card's converted mana cost.

It's clearly not Dark Confidant, but we don't have too many of those anyway. It's not strictly worse either, you can pretty much choose if don't want to activate this and that beats losing when it matters. 90% of the time you are playing Dark Confidant and not this, but again, that's not nothing.


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Name:   Sanguimancy
Cost:    4b
Type:    Sorcery
Rules Text:    You draw X cards and you lose X life, where X is your devotion to black.

Probably not worth it even in MBC. You don't have enough control over how much life you lose and when you want to draw a bunch of spells, you might not have the choice to do that. MBC has enough good card draw that there is no need to resort to this.

Also, pretty classic example of a "win more" card.


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Name:   Spiteful Returned
Cost:    1B
Type:    Enchantment Creature — Zombie
Pow/Tgh:    1/1
Rules Text:    Bestow {3}{B}
Whenever Spiteful Returned or enchanted creature attacks, defending player loses 2 life.
Enchanted creature gets +1/+1.

Well this potential is 4 damage for four mana, no matter how big is the opposing army. It's pretty decent two drop as well and Bestowaway cost is more than reasonable. I could see this being playable, or even pretty good part of an aggressive black deck. Wei Ambush Force is a card I've actually played not too long ago and this is clearly superior in multiple ways.


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Name:   Archetype of Aggression
Cost:    1RR
Type:    Enchantment Creature — Human Warrior
Pow/Tgh:    3/2
Rules Text:    Creatures you control have trample.
Creatures your opponents control lose trample and can't have or gain trample.

Is this playable? I feel like it's just below the line. 3/2 Trample is not quite on par with red three drops, but it's not far. Giving trample to your other guys is a decent bonus, but red creatures tend not to care too much. Could be pretty cool in a RG aggro. The the last line of the oracle text is practically part of flavor text, so judge accordingly.


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Name:   Bolt of Keranos
Cost:    1RR
Type:    Sorcery
Rules Text:    Bolt of Keranos deals 3 damage to target creature or player. Scry 1.

Had this been printed as an instant it might have had a shot to appear somewhere. Sadly it isn't.


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Name:   Reckless Reveler
Cost:    1R
Type:    Creature — Satyr
Pow/Tgh:    2/1
Rules Text:    {R}, Sacrifice Reckless Reveler: Destroy target artifact.

I like Torch Fiend. Playing two seems like a pretty decent idea with all these Academy decks running around and now we get to.


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Name:   Searing Blood
Cost:    RR
Type:    Instant
Rules Text:    Searing Blood deals 2 damage to target creature. When that creature dies this turn, Searing Blood deals 3 damage to that creature's controller.

It's annoying when the creature needs to actually die for you to shoot your opponent, but that being said I'd say this is RDW-worty easily. While Searing Blaze is better in your opener, this is actually an instant so it's not strictly worse. Better top deck later in the game as well. Two damage is enough to kill lots of relevant things and three to dome while you are clearing a blocker out of the way feels so good.
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Tiggupiru
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« Reply #1 on: 27-01-2014, 06:12:20 PM »

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Name:   Courser of Kruphix
Cost:    1gg
Type:    Enchantment Creature — Centaur
Pow/Tgh:    2/4
Rules Text:    Play with the top card of your library revealed.
You may play the top card of your library if it's a land card.
Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you gain 1 life.

I thought this would be playable even when I didn't see the "gain life" - clause. To be fair that doesn't change too much. It just makes it even more annoying to your RDW opponent. I mean, it makes sure you play your expensive cards on time, makes sure you don't flood out and is a very sizable body for the mana cost. All in all, the perfect card to draw against RDW.

Pretty good synergy with cards like Sylvan library, Sensei's Top and Life from the Loam. I actually like Courser more than Oracle of Mul Daya as he is much harder to kill and he costs a critical mana less (usually the difference between turn two and three when we are dealing with a green card).

It's also an enchantment, so that might matter in some corner cases, but most of time it just means Qasali Pridemages blow him up, so be mindful about that. Probably never worth Enlightened Tutoring.


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Name:   Karametra's Favor
Cost:    1G
Type:    Enchantment — Aura
Rules Text:    Enchant creature
When Karametra's Favor enters the battlefield, draw a card.
Enchanted creature has "{T}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool."

Another cantripping aura that actually has a somewhat relevant effect and is in the perfect color for this sort of nonsense. I am ready if these actually are good enough Smiley


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Name:   Peregrination
Cost:    3g
Type:    Sorcery
Rules Text:    Seach your library for up to two basic land cards, reveal those cards, and put one onto the battlefield tapped and the other into your hand. Shuffle your library, then scry 1.

I love Kodama's Reach and Cultivate more than most people, but even I think they aren't good enough sometimes and making them cost one more is not worth the scry 1 even though it would make this way better topdeck in late game.


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Name:   Raised by Wolves
Cost:    3gg
Type:    Enchantment — Aura
Rules Text:    Enchant creature
When Raised by Wolves enters the battlefield, put two 2/2 green Wolf creature tokens onto the battlefield.
Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 for each Wolf you control.

How is that you can make someone raised by wolves retroactively? Furthermore, when you bounce the aura, the wolves and the targeted creature stay in play, but now he isn't raised by them anymore? Do they just forget about the whole incident? I am calling flavor fail on this one. Also, a crappy aura for constructed.


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Name:   Satyr Wayfinder
Cost:    1G
Type:    Creature — Satyr
Pow/Tgh:    1/1
Rules Text:    When Satyr Wayfinder enters the battlefield, reveal the top four cards of your library. You may put a land card from among them into your hand. Put the rest into your graveyard.

I kinda like this one. Too bad it isn't an elf. Too bad you also have a decent chance to miss completely. On the upside this is an effect I love to have in Pattern-Rector tucked on a two-mana creature. It also puts the other cards in the graveyard which is clearly relevant. It's one of those potentially good role players that look unimpressive, but can make a bad opening hand into a pretty good one.


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Name:   Fanatic of Xenagos
Cost:    1rg
Type:    Creature — Centaur Warrior
Pow/Tgh:    3/3
Rules Text:    Trample
Tribute 1 (As this creature enters the battlefield, an opponent of your choice may place a +1/+1 counter on it.)
When Fanatic of Xenagos enters the battlefield, if tribute wasn't paid, it gets +1/+1 and gains haste until end of turn
.

A good trick to evaluate Tribute cards is that you pick the worse side of the card, treat the whole card as such and consider the rest of the text like a minor but relevant drawback. This makes Fanatic a three mana 3/3 that hits for four on the turn it comes into play that can be killed with sorcery removal before it deals damage. All in all, still playable, but nothing amazing. Makes me wonder if straight up RG aggro is playable with the new mulligan.


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Name:   Kiora, the Crashing Wave
Cost:    2GU
Type:    Planeswalker — Kiora
Pow/Tgh:    2
Rules Text:    +1: Until your next turn, prevent all damage that would be dealt to and dealt by target permanent an opponent controls.
-1: Draw a card. You may play an additional land this turn.
-5: You get an emblem with "At the beginning of your end step, put a 9/9 blue Kraken creature token onto the battlefield."

Kiora is not bad, but not good either. At first I was very disappointed, but having played with her I know that she isn't too shabby. Obviously two loyalty just is very weak if there are mountains across the table, but then again she is pretty powerful when playing against any other color(s). The first ability is pretty good protection and you can always activate it on your second main phase if you need to attack first. Explore is a pretty good card too, so having couple of those at the ready is a pretty nice way to get ahead in control mirrors. Probably reserved to a handful of ramp decks as she is basically Jace Beleren if you don't get to take advantage from the extra land drops and there are better options to get card advantage with four mana, especially with these two colors.

Ultimate is pretty weak, it still gives your opponent a ton of time as those wurms can be chumped to eternity, but that really doesn't matter as her best ability is exploring anyway, so I don't anticipate ultimating her pretty much ever and ultimates shouldn't really be part of evaluating planeswalkers.


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Name:   Kiora's Follower
Cost:    GU
Type:    Creature — Merfolk
Pow/Tgh:    2/2
Rules Text:    {T}: Untap another target permanent.

Mana ramp for two mana that can easily extract decent value from commonly played cards (Sensei's top comes to mind). Also a 2/2, so I like the power level on this one. There are probably few decks that want to have this card mainly as a walking Rampant Growth, but have enough synergy to make this pretty good when the acceleration is not needed. Quite good ramp card.


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Name:   Mogis, God of Slaughter
Cost:    2BR
Type:    Legendary Enchantment Creature — God
Pow/Tgh:    7/5
Rules Text:    Indestructible
As long as your devotion to black and red is less than seven, Mogis isn't a creature.
At the beginning of each opponent's upkeep, Mogis deals 2 damage to that player unless he or she sacrifices a creature.

Four mana Sulfuric Vortex isn't the worst thing in the world. If this would prevent life gain, I would be sold, but as it stands, I feel there still could be something. Effect is problematic and gods are stupidly hard to remove. There is also the nice little fact that if this ever becomes a creature, you pretty much straight up win.


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Name:   Xenagos, God of Revels
Cost:    3rg
Type:    Legendary Enchantment Creature — God
Pow/Tgh:    6/5
Rules Text:    Indestructible
As long as your devotion to red and green is less than seven, Xenagos isn't a creature.
At the beginning of combat on your turn, another target creature you control gains haste and gets +X/+X until end of turn, where X is that creature's power.

Well, Berserk every turn is certainly something. Five mana might still be too much for it, but the effect is undeniably powerful. I actually gladly trade the trample for the haste here as it makes all your subsequent creatures better.

The big problem with Xenagos is that it doesn't fit in many (any?) decks. Aggro can't play five mana for a card that might not do anything and ramp definetely can't afford to use the five mana just to make your attack steps better. 4 color goodstuffs (I refuse to call them "blood" as it means nothing) don't usually want to be this aggressive and would usually prefer cards that generate card advantage.

Should probably be noted how much I like this with Treachery, but Treachery makes everything better so the point is kinda moot.


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Name:   Astral Cornucopia
Cost:    XXX
Type:    Artifact
Rules Text:    Astral Cornucopia enters the battlefield with X charge counters on it.
{T}: Choose a color. Add one mana of that color to your mana pool for each charge counter on Astral Cornucopia.

https://twitter.com/maro254/status/426359549394567168/photo/1

Sums my thoughts of the card exactly, the third X shouldn't have been there. Also makes me think MaRo made this card just so he could make that joke.


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Name:   Temple of Enlightenment
Type:    Land
Rules Text:    Temple of Enlightenment enters the battlefield tapped.
When Temple of Enlightenment enters the battlefield, scry 1.
{T}: Add {W} or {U} to your mana pool.

Name:   Temple of Malice
Type:    Land
Rules Text:    Temple of Malice enters the battlefield tapped.
When Temple of Malice enters the battlefield, scry 1.
{T}: Add {B} or {R} to your mana pool.

Name:   Temple of Plenty
Type:    Land
Rules Text:    Temple of Plenty enters the battlefield tapped.
When Temple of Plenty enters the battlefield, scry 1.
{T}: Add {G} or {W} to your mana pool.


I actually kinda like all the Temples for HL. At first I was super skeptical about them as I actually tried to make New Benalia work few years back and got grossly disappointed. Addition of another color is very relevant and I think makes these playable in certain combo-decks and slower control lists.



All in all, not too many cards enter the format from this set, but that is not always a bad thing. This gives the format time to settle with the new mulligan and introduction of Tolarian Academy, so that seems fine to me.

Couple of fringe strategies might have something here, which definitely makes me happy. I hate when there are cards that just automatically go onto four colored goodstuffs and just make the format little bit more stale. I hope Wizards give us cards like Nykthos that promote entirely new kind of decks.
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phyrexianblackmetal
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« Reply #2 on: 30-01-2014, 07:23:20 PM »

Nice review, I agree with you for the most part, but I think there are some cards that might be playable you didn't mention:

Herald of Torment:

A 3/3 Flier for 3 Mana is quite good, and giving you the option to Bestow this on another creature to maybe break a stalled board makes this one of the best cards in the set in my opinion. Aggressive black decks will probably want this.

Fated Conflagration:

RDW doesn't want a 4-Mana Burnspell that doesn't hit players, but I think this may be playable as a decent removal spell in Rx-Control builds like Izzet Control.

Archetype of Courage:

Looks like a decent 3-Drop for WW or Boros. Obviously there are better options out there, but giving your whole team First Strike and at the same time taking it away from the opponent's creatures seems quite powerful in aggro matchups.

Archetype of Endurance:

May be playable in some Ramp or Reanimator deck. Too expensive everywhere else, but these decks might be fast enough to get it out quickly. And when that happens, you should not have to worry about protecting your fatties anymore, since it completely invalidates your opponent's spot removal.
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Tiggupiru
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« Reply #3 on: 01-02-2014, 11:09:18 AM »

Herald of Torment:

A 3/3 Flier for 3 Mana is quite good, and giving you the option to Bestow this on another creature to maybe break a stalled board makes this one of the best cards in the set in my opinion. Aggressive black decks will probably want this.

Three mana 3/3 has become quite supbar in recent years. Serendib Efreet rarely makes the cut these days and the fourth toughness is very critical. Bestowing is always just a bonus and the base stats aren't quite impressive enough. I guess if you go monoblack aggro there might be a slot for this, but I left it out because I prefer cards like Hypnotic Specter and Liliana's Specter that disrupt the opponent while pressuring them. Black has more than enough tools to break board stalls wide open, so you shouldn't go out of your way to look for them.

In short, there might be a niche situation where you would run this, but we are getting better cards basically all the time so that window is closing fast if it even were open the first place.

Fated Conflagration:

RDW doesn't want a 4-Mana Burnspell that doesn't hit players, but I think this may be playable as a decent removal spell in Rx-Control builds like Izzet Control.

This looks like it's good, but in reality there are just too many better options so that you don't have to play this. Stuff like Incinerate, Lightning Strike and Searing Spear are just so much more efficient and the more burn spells you have in your deck, the better the rest get. Flame Slash has been on my radar for a while, but I've yet to play it and it is miles better than this. Four mana is just too much to pay to remove creatures, which would be Fated Conflargations main purpose. Triple red also makes it a bit awkward in a deck that plays Cryptic Command. We are getting quality burn in just about every block and the world is full of Lightning Strikes that are just so much more efficient.

Archetype of Courage:

Looks like a decent 3-Drop for WW or Boros. Obviously there are better options out there, but giving your whole team First Strike and at the same time taking it away from the opponent's creatures seems quite powerful in aggro matchups.

Giving your team first strike is worse than giving them +1/+1 and there are cards that do it for three mana much more than the average WW even plays at this point. First Strike is also much better when you are blocking rather than attacking something which aggressive white really doesn't look forward doing. If your opponent has no creatures (combo/control) this is a vanilla 2/2 for three that is about as bad as you can get and if they play midrandge, their creatures are either bigger or have abilities that generate advantage no matter if they get little weaker in combat. In straight up WW mirror this can be good, but even then there are quite the few situations where he does nothing and I would still prefer Glorious Anthem over him as it's way better against other archetypes (no pun intended).

Archetype of Endurance:

May be playable in some Ramp or Reanimator deck. Too expensive everywhere else, but these decks might be fast enough to get it out quickly. And when that happens, you should not have to worry about protecting your fatties anymore, since it completely invalidates your opponent's spot removal.
 

Reanimator might get not more than one animation and this just can't win on it's own. This also doesn't help setting up further animations like Griselbrand and company.

Ramp really doesn't want to set up ramp spells and board control for a fatty to set up more fatties. Six and seven mana spells these days are good enough to win the game on their own and they usually provide enough advantage even when they get immediately removed. If your plan is to cast two fatties, you are better off casting two that have ETB abilities than hope to draw and play this first to bypass their removal.

All in all, eight mana spells better win on the spot without the help of another cards and this is an archetypical (pun intended) example of how not to do it.
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