This entry is part 5 of 8 in the series Unexpected Posts

Posted by Brian aka ChaosMTG

ohlookapictureWeek one of Theros previews is complete, now it’s time for me to go through them, give my opinions, and ask for yours.

Let’s get started.

The Legends

Heliod, God of the Sun

Heliod, God of the Sun
As a commander, Heliod is a miss for me; he’s essentially Mobilization the creature that makes tokens of a less relevant type. I can’t really see him making a splash at the head of any decks, but Rhys decks will probably enjoy him.

Thassa, God of the Sea

Thassa, God of the Sea
Thassa is a huge hit for me; half of a Phyrexian Arena that promotes slightly more aggressive blue decks and is a decent body if you actually want to use her as a creature. And as an added bonus, Zur can find her. I expect to see her in multiple blue decks, maybe even leading a few.

Erebos, God of the Dead

Erebos, God of the Dead
Erebos is a more expensive Greed, and Greed is a bad Necropotence…  But even a bad Necropotence is a good card. I don’t expect him to have the impact of Griselbrand, but Cabal Coffers definitely mitigates the mana cost. I only lament the fact that he couldn’t cost BBB.

Purphoros, God of the Forge

Purphoros, God of the Forge
Turns your creatures into shocks. Purphoros seems like an auto-include in any Krenko or Kiki-Jiki deck and I can easily see him taking the lead of many red token decks.

Nylea, God of the Hunt

Nylea, God of the Hunt
I’m really not impressed by Nylea, she’s obviously more for constructed than Commander. 4 mana for +2/+2 is just too much. Primal Rage is rarely used as it is; I don’t think making it cost 2 more and occasionaly be a body will be of much help.

Anthousa, Setessan Hero

Anthousa, Setessan Hero
To me, heroic doesn’t really fit here. Green wants to be giving its effects as mass boosts like Overrun or as combat tricks like Mutagenic Growth. Anthousa misses on both of those points by wanting you to use sorcery speed targeted buffs to make more attackers, or to hold back your combat tricks to create blockers. If she untapped the lands she targeted, I could see potential… But as it is, I don’t see her seeing much play. (But that won’t stop me from getting a promo version just in case.)

Daxos of Meletis

Daxos of Meletis
I’m not usually one for saboteur abilities, but I’ll definitely be building a deck around Daxos. Evasion, lifegain, card stealing, so many things I love in a 3 mana creature… I’m actually surprised he doesn’t cost WUB.

Tymaret, the Murder King

Tymaret, the Murder King
I’m not sure what direction Tymaret wants to take, but he feels like a new Lyzolda… I don’t think I’d use him on his own, but alongside Lyzolda he definitely has potential to be ridiculous.


The Planeswalkers

Elspeth, Sun’s Champion

Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
I’m not sure if I should look at the new Elspeth asd a wrath that sticks around to make tokens, or a token maker that can wrath if necessary. Either way, I don’t foresee her ultimate going off often since her other two abilities are far more useful.

Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
Coming down at 5 for only 3 mana makes Ashiok an immediate threat. While she doesn’t have automatic protection, her ability to steal creatures is a definite boon against decks like Mayael. She has to stick around for four turns unprotected to ultimate, but Identity Crisising all of your opponents is bound to be painful (and likely to get you hated out if they ever recover), especially if you go back to building her up to be able to use all of the things they were hiding from you.

Xenagos, the Reveler
Xenagos, the Reveler
While Xenagos is bound to make a splash in constructed, his EDH potential is fairly limited, he refunds his mana or makes a decent amount more the turn he comes down, but aside from being a Braid of Fire, his other abilities aren’t all that great.

Other Things

There are a lot of other things, I’ll just be going over most of them, but I’ll add images of things I think are worth noting…

Celestial Archon – Enchantment and archon decks might want it, but It’s not very impressive.
Chained to the Rocks – I love being required to play a second color for my monocolor cards to work… Well, at least it has flavor.
Gift of Immortality
Gift of Immortality – I absolutely love this card and expect it to see play in almost every white deck. Endlessly avoiding the death tax is a wonderful thing, Bruna and Zur will likely abuse this to its fullest.
Glare of Heresy – Hate cards… Well, if nothing else, you can run it to prevent your own thing from having… Something done to it… I guess…
Gods Willing – I don’t see cards like this one seeing much play, but I could definitely see this one being put on an Isochron Scepter.
Hundred-Handed One – Flavor! And sometimes that flavor might actually be relevant against token decks. The most exciting part about this for me, though, is as a french vanilla 3/5 Vigilance for 4.
Observant Alseid – As unplayable as this might be, I kind of want to build a super-casual Zur deck that fetches the bestow creatures with cmc 3 or less.
Phalanx Leader – The more I look at heroic, the more I dislike the tension of it. I certainly see potential in this one if it’s properly built around though.
Vanquish the FoulSmite the Monstrous… At Sorcery speed… For 2 more… With scry 1. Yeah, just avoid this.
Wingsteed Rider – 2/2 flier that gets bigger when you target it… I’m going to say this probably isn’t great.
Artisan of Forms
Artisan of Forms – Clone hero… I preffer getting ETB effects off of my clones, but this has ridiculous potential for combat tricks; I can’t wait to see what comes of it.
Bident of Thassa
Bident of Thassa – Saboteur all the things! All you need to know before playing this is that it will  make you a huge target. I expect to see this in every Zedruu deck I come across.
Curse of the Swine
Curse of the Swine – Mass removal by exile for blue… And flavor! (Bacon flavored, of course) I’m sure this will see play, but I’m not sure where… Maybe Animar and Wanderer, where mass removal isn’t usually as selective?
Gainsay – Do you play blue? Do you play against blue decks? If so, you’ll probably be playing this card. If nothing else, this will be in my wishboard.
Lost in a Labyrinth – Probably not playable, but if you’re going to play a minotaur tribal deck, you lose points if you don’t run it.
Master of Waves – Probably not playable in any removal heavy environment, but fun if you ever get to use it.
Nimbus Naiad – Evasion that turns into a creature, seems decent, but at 5 it might be a little to high.
OmenspeakerAugur of Bolas for decks a bit lighter on spells, I like it.
Sealock Monster – It’s an octopus, so that’s a thing…
Shipbreaker Kraken
Shipbreaker Kraken – This is likely the only format where this will get to shine as a 10/10. I really want this to be good but have my doubts.
Thassa’s Emissary – Just as unplayable as most of the bestow creatures, but also really pretty.
Voyage’s End – My first thing to compare this to is Whirlpool Whelm, and I’m honestly not sure which I’d prefer. I’m goign to say it’s slightly worse, but not bad.
Wavecrash Triton – Barely worth looking at.
Abhorrent Overlord
Abhorrent Overlord – Harpy tokens! Playing black, you’re likely to be highly devoted to it and I certainly hope this is playable; especially since it can sacrifice itself to leave its token army behind.
Cavern Lampad – Like its sisters, it’s really pretty but also really likely to be unplayable.
Dark Betrayal – Sometimes you need to kill black things… But this one seems just as good without your opponent’s influence to kill your own things if you don’t have a sac outlet.
Gray Merchant of Asphodel
Gray Merchant of Asphodel – I’ll say that this is tennatively playable because devotion to black is so much easier than other colors, especially if you’re taking advantage of this being a zombie.
Nighthowler – Finaly something with Bestow that is playable at both costs. Graveyard decks will love this; I’ll be putting it to use in my Kresh Voltron deck (Hmm… I wonder how the triggers stack with it and Death’s Presence)
Read the Bones
Read the Bones – Scry in Blood… Nights Whisper with Scry for 1 more. I expect this to be one of the premiere black draw spells for a while.
Rescue from the Underworld – FLAVOR EVERYWHERE
Akroan Crusader – Fast red decks might like it, Boros decks will almost definitely want it.
Ember Swallower – LD for 7 mana isn’t great, but it does set a milestone before it’s monstrous by being a 4/5 for 4 in red.
Flamespeaker Adept – Unless red gets a lot ore scry, this probably won’t be playable… It is another one that’s above curve in terms of vanilla stats though.
Hammer of Purphoros
Hammer of PurphorosFervor that turns your extra lands into attackers, I like it.
Lightning Strike – Functional Reprint of Searing Spear, and we know how playable that is…
Magma Jet
Magma Jet – One of the few staple burn spells in red, it’s nice to have it back.
Peak Eruption – I’d like this to be playable, but it’s probably not.
Purphoros’s Emissary – It costs 7 to bestow it… Yeah, no.
Rageblood Shaman – Minotaur tribal!
Spearpoint Oread – I think I’ve said all that can be said about this cycle…
Stoneshock Giant – Probably unplayable
Stormbreath DragonStorm Seeker Dragon, not amaing, but probably playable.
Titan of Eternal Fire – FLAVOR! Great taste, less playable.
Hunt the Hunter – The least playable of the self-hate cyle.
Karametra’s Acolyte – At 4 mana, it’s a bit much, but its ramp potential is insane.
Leafcrown Dryad – I may have spoke to soon, this one is a reach bear and only costs 4 to bestow… It might be slightly almost viable… Elsewhere.
Nessian Asp – Monster snake… With reach for some reason.
Reverent Hunter – Gets huge lategame, maybe playable.
Satyr Hedonist – Ritual on a creature, I have many plans for this guy, unfortunately none of them work in this format.
Sylvan Caryatid – Utopia Tree has finally given in to power creep, and it is beautiful.
Battlewise Hoplite – It’s certainly in the colors to get the most benefit out of its heroic ability… I might use him as a pauper commander.
Fleecemane Lion – Watchwolf that becomes ridiculous post-monstrosity maybe fringe playable in green/white decks that have no other mana sinks.
Kragma Warcaller – Unfortunately outside of the color identity for most minotaur tribal decks… Maybe we’ll see a 5color minotaur legend eventually…
Polis Crusher – Having problems with that pesky Zur player? Well, unfortunately for you, he probably has some instant speed removal to deal with this before you get to crush him… Go attack Bruna instead.
Underworld Cerberus – Graveyard hate on a big beatstick that refreshes your hand upon death… Just don’t use it against graveyard decks unless you can somehow kill them by locking things in their hand.
Pyxis of Pandemonium – Chaotic deck? Chaotic deck.
Witches’ Eye – A budget version of Sensei’s Divining Top that can be fetched by Trinket Mage. I’d call it an upgrade to Crystal Ball.
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx – Do you like playing monocolored cards? Do you like using those cards to play a lot more of them? Well then, this land is for you.
Prophet of KruphixSeedborn Muse stapled to Yeva, Nature’s Herald, a must-have for GU.
Psychic Intrusion – A bit expensive, but stealing things is fun.
Triton Fortune Hunter – Heroic – Draw a card… Seems like it should be playable somewhere.
Reaper of the Wild – Scry, Hexproof, Deathtouch, Gorgon, 4/5 for 4… I see nothing not to like about this!
The Temples – Scry lands… New Benalia on Rare-oids… These could have easily been uncommon, but I’ll save that rant for somewhere that isn’t here. A solid addition to 2-color decks, but probably the first thing to get cut when going to tricolor.
Ashen Rider – What’s better than an Angel of Despair? A double Angel of Despair. Reanimator decks will love this.

So, now that I’ve listed my opinions on what we know of Theros so far, what do you think? Let me know in the comments.

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