We had some new cards spoiled over night and some of them look pretty interesting. Let’s take a closer look.
Aegis of the Gods- A 2/1 Enchantment Creature Human Soldier for 2 mana (1 white, 1 colourless), this is a pretty cool card. It grants you, the player, hexproof. Well, that’s pretty spiffy! My first reaction is that this was merely a speed bump for burn decks that now must target the Aegis first before burning you out to the dome, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this little guy could save your bacon from a few other nasty treats. The biggest one is Thoughtseize, but there could be other really nasty spells that this helps you to avoid. Now, here’s the drawback. He’s too slow, too small, and can’t protect himself. He’s totally in reach for any burn spell…so he dies. He’s not hexproof so he dies to doom blade or ultimate price. He’s too little and gets run over by…well…basically everything…and dies. Basically, this guy dies. At a casting cost of 2 he’s already missed the first Thoughtseize and is really only holding off a second one. Not usefuI. If he had flash and could play the role of a counterspell to foil something then he’d have more hope, but basically this guy is kind of groovy, but you would need a pretty significant way to protect this guy to reap the benefit, and I don’t see that happening. He’s getting a C from me.
Battlefield Thaumaturge- A 2/1 Blue creature for 2 mana (1 Blue, 1 White) you get a Human Wizard that makes instants and sorcery spells cost 1 colourless less for each additional target AND has Heroic so that when you target it with a spell it gains Hexproof. At first I thought this was just a poor copy of Goblin Electromancer, but then scrolling through some of the other cards spoiled I saw that this was really designed to enable Strive cards. One in particular jumped out. The U/W Heroic deck that plays lots of guys would LOVE to cast Launch the Fleet and target EVERYTHING for FREE! So, Heroic triggers abound, a whole load of creature tokens pop up…and things get gross from there. The Heroic trigger on this guy is also cute and allows you to protect him a turn or two if your opponent is frustrated with him. This could be a very fun card and might be broken by deck running tons of Strive cards. I’ll give this guy a B- and will be watching closely to see if he I was right.
Bearer of the Heavens- This is super flavourful and clearly drawn from the story of Atlas. For 8 mana (1 red and 7 colourless) you get a 10/10 creature that says when Bearer of Heavens dies, destroy all permanents at the beginning of the next end step. Fun, flavourful and playable at draft with a MASSIVE sweeper ability (that you may be super wary of), I can’t really get behind this guy. First, this feels like an ability for a White creature, not Red. Second, the fact that ALL permanents (including your land) are destroyed makes me nervous and hesitant to run him. Third, 8 mana is very expensive…in any format…except maybe EDH where it seems like mana is plentiful and wild spells abound. This just might be the landmine everyone plays around allowing you to smash face…but it could just as easily be your undoing. I’m not a huge fan…so again, another C from me.
Daring Thief- A 3 mana (1 blue, 2 colourless) 2/3 creature with Inspired that says whenever Daring Thief becomes untapped, exchange control of target non-land permanent you control with permanent your opponent controls that shares a card type with it. This will be a fine limited or casual card where the ability to steal something from your opponent is fun and cool, but the set up cost to get him there is pretty steep. Once again, Inspired has largely underperformed, and while the ability on this guy is powerful I don’t see it getting there. Another C.
Dictate of Heliod- Ok, so I was down on the Dictate cycle before, but I’m really down on it now. This is a 5 mana (2 white,3 colourless) enchantment with Flash that gives all your creatures +2/+2. In my opinion 5 mana is WAY too expensive to play for this sort of boost. Spear of Heliod and Hall of Triumph both exist and offer similar benefits for cheaper. Sure, the Flash ability could be a nasty combat trick to pump your team for the win, but if you are in any other situation you would rather see almost any other 5 drop. I hope that I’m wrong because I love the art on this, but I think this ability, while powerful, is a trap and that you can get similar abilities for cheaper.
Eidolon of Rhetoric- This is a 3 mana (1 white, 2 colourless) 1/4 enchantment creature spirit. The neat ability here is that each player may only play 1 spell each turn. I’m not sure what to think of this guy. The body is serviceable and is largely out of range of burn spells and can block reasonably well. The ability is extremely stifling, particularly to aggro decks that want to toss their whole hand on the table and attack. It feels very controlling and limiting, so if you like that style of deck, you may have a new best friend. Pair him with Spirit of the Labyrinth and suddenly your opponent is looking across the table and wants to cry. I think this could be quite useful in a number of formats, so I’ll give this guy a B.
Riddle of Lightning A 5 mana (2 red, 3 colourless) Red burn spell that allows you to Scry 3, then reveal the top card of your library and Riddle of Lightning deals damage to target creature or player equal to the converted mana cost of the card revealed. I think this is fun and interesting and I love to scry 3 but I find it tough to justify spending 5 mana for this. I’m hoping I pack my deck with Colossus of Akros just in case. I feel like this will draw dead more often than not and if you need to spend 5 to scry 3 then you are likely in trouble. I’ll give this a C.
Riptide Chimera- Hmmm… three mana (1 blue, 2 colourless) for a 3/4 flying enchantment creature Chimera that requires you to return an enchantment to your hand during your upkeep. This will be a staple in limited environments because a 3/4 flier, even with the drawback, is nothing to sniff at. Also, there are enough inexpensive enchantments with upside that it shouldn’t be hard to cram something in your deck so you can reap the benefits again (I’m looking at you fate foretold!). Oh, and I love this art…a shark head at a piranha head…on a scaly lion body? Why not? It looks awesome…and if Kiora wants one, so do I.
Star-Woolen Sheep- Another story from mythology with the tale of the Golden Fleece, this card is a 2 mana (1 white, 1 colourless) for a 0/5 enchantment creature sheep that gives you 1 life at the beginning of your upkeep. I like the ability, because gaining even 1 life a turn is pretty good. The casting cost feels pretty good for what is essentially a 0/5 wall. I think this is very playable in a number of different types of decks…although I don’t think Standard is one of them. I’ll give this flavourful, fun card a B and hope that it sees significant play.