by Steve ‘DDT’ Giannopoulos
Triad of Fates
Fate counters? Where have we seen that before?
I’m not going to try and pull the wool over your eyes to convince you that this card is going to fit into a competitive deck. The blink uses are fewer but still potent in the new Standard. We obviously already saw with Restoration Angel just how powerful that ability can be. Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Keep the Triad of Fates alive long enough to make good use of its abilities.
Note: when the exiled creature returns to the battlefield it will no longer have a fate counter on it.
Jackal Pup version 2.0 !
Is Red Deck Wins looking like the top contender next format? If it wasn’t before, it sure is now. Add some Boros Reckoners, Ash Zealots and Burning-Tree Emissary and you have the beginnings of a deck. It’s not all rocket science when it comes to magic, sometimes it’s just about cramming 20 damage quickly and efficiently.
This guys is probably not going to deal you as much damage as he is going to deal your opponent. If you’re finding yourself having to block with it, then you’re probably doing it wrong. You might as well not block unless the attacker has a ‘when this creature deals combat damage to a player’ clause.
Looks like there’s more than just Martial Glory now
I’m not sure even this will be worthwhile enough for interesting Heroic triggering, but we need something for the limited formats. Otherwise it’s basically a split pump spell that can potentially save two of your guys or kills a couple of theirs (combat trick of course).
Removal that eventually gets there
The Gorgons get to have the ‘built-in’ deathtouch ability I suppose. You can get in some interesting two-for-ones with this little hoarder. If you’re ever short on playables for your low-budget Commander deck, you can go ahead and sleeve this up.
Anger of the Gods
It’s about time !
You can call it Pyroclasm, Slagstorm, Earthquake or whatever. It’s baaaaack! For quite some time we’ve had to put up with little weenie rushes dominating the early game and now we get to saw: No More!
It seems so long ago since I cast Slagstorms in Standard and it’s going to feel great doing it again. You also get the bonus of the creatures getting exiled if they die so that ‘when this creatures dies’ triggers don’t happen. I can appreciate that it doesn’t affect players so that random aggressive decks don’t run this. Sure we had Magmaquake (still do until Setp. 27), but that spell never really amounted to much.
I know that most of you are thinking: “but wasn’t there Bonfire of the Damned?” and the short reply to that is: “Sort of …”.
You see, it was sort of terrible to have this card in your opening 7 and then you had to hope to topdeck it before like turn 4-5 (when you are getting attacked by the more aggressive decks. Without any ramp spell we were forced to cast it for X=2 on turn 5 which wasn’t always good. This card comes down on turn 3 and does 3 (again, Bonfire would only hit for X=1 at that point since we have not even made our land drop on that turn if we Miracle it.)
We’ll be seeing a lot of this card in the new Standard format and that’s a good thing.
Agent of the Fates
Agent of Liliana of the Veil is more like it
Here we have a creature with decent stats and an ability that is reminiscent of Lilian of the Veil’s. Thing is: it’s a Heroic ability in a color where our spells that target will usually be removal spells. I suppose that it can somehow fit in a Red/Black weenie style deck and can be used to get in some 2-for-1’s in combat sometimes.
We’ll see just how much effort people are going to put into making this card’s Heroic ability trigger. At the very least it will go toe-to-toe with their best non-flying non-first striker. Agent of the Fates being a human might also merit in a spot in some Black/White Xathird Necromancer deck, since Humans appear to be a thing in our upcoming Standard format.
Love that quote !
Reminiscent of Mirran Crusader from Scars of Mirrodin, Fabled Hero is going to be competing for the White Weenie/Boros deck 3-drop slot with Fiendslayer Paladin. Both cards have their merits: Fiendslayer obviously stacks up better against the colors it has removal-protection against, while Fabled Hero can get a ridiculously huge amount of damage in quickly or trade with opposing 4-toughness creatures.
You also get Spear of Heliod that makes it into a 3/3 (or if you prefer, 6-damage dealing killing machine). Any time the Heroic on this gets triggered, you can think of it as getting a permanent +2/+2 because of its double strike ability. It not having any protection like its Mirran predecessor makes it somewhat less good on its own, causing it to probably see considerably less play.
I really adore this card. It offers Izzet decks an effcinetly-costed finisher. Think of it as an evasive creature already coming into play equipped with a Runechanter’s Pike. I don’t know how prevalent reanimator or anit-reanimator strategies are going to be post-rotation, but Scavenging Ooze on its own doesn’t really count here. Every little burn or card-drawing spell can be used to grow this thing.
You can even use Steam Augury as a a mini-combat trick, dumping it and maybe another instant in the graveyard for some extra combat damage (potentially enough to take the game). The Chimera creature type is pretty odd though, I would have preferred Goat, or more specifically: Flying Goat. Chimeras do originate in Greek mythology, but this one seems out of place, all on its own with no fellow tribe members. While we see some of its cousins show up in Theros Block‘s two other sets?
To be Continued …
For all your Theros Pre-Order needs