The unsung hero, the guy who never gets the credit, who always stands in the background, that nobody ever knows. I think that there are several of these in standard right now that aren’t getting any attention and probably should. Some of them even have the word hero in their name. The most recent of these hero’s is the Hero of Iroas, which was previewed to us on January 14th. This card is a powerhouse for a deck I’ve been building over the last couple of months.
A Mono-White Heroic/Control deck.
It’s a recipe that pretty much built itself. But I’ll take you through my little process anyway. I started with my old standard white deck which used control elements of Pacifism, Oblivion Ring, and Fiend Hunter to keep my opponents board clear until I could get the soldier engine of Captain of the Watch and Conjurer’s Closet online with Cathars’ Crusade, and with Odric, Master Tactician as the blowout card. The deck was oppressive and took second place at M14’s Game Day at my LGS. But when Innistrad and M13 rotated out I lost access to a lot of that and the deck sat collecting dust until I saw Fabled Hero. This card was going to be the new champion for the deck and from that point construction came easy.
After I had established the control back into the deck I needed to figure out how best I could use Fabled Hero’s Heroic ability. Ordeal of Heliod seemed to be a nice choice, first for making him bigger and second for giving the extra life to survive Mono-Red Aggro and Mono-Black Control decks. After that the next one that stood out was a gem of a common in RTR and that was Ethereal Armor. And given all of the enchantments I was looking at for our control suite it only made sense. Not that First Strike mattered with Fabled Hero, but you can imagine how nasty that enchantment could get once you’ve locked down your opponents board with enchantment control. Next I thought of the Gift of Orzhova. Throwing that on a Fabled Hero just seemed very rude to me. A 4/4 Flying, Double Strike, Life Link? Definitely rude, but nearly as rude as the last aura that came to mind and that was Holy Mantle. Protection from Creatures on a creature with Double Strike and Heroic? Sign me up please!
But all of that gets better with one of our latest preview cards and another hero. Hero of Iroas. A 2/2 body that makes aura spells cheaper to cast by one colorless mana and also has Heroic as a +1/+1 counter. So not only does he make things cheaper to cast, but he wears those auras well too! I can’t believe how well this guy fits into the mold of this deck. Noting that Pacifism, Soul Tithe, and Arrest are all aura’s too. It really can’t get any better.
So I can’t wait for this new hero to show up and join the ones that are already sitting and waiting on the sidelines waiting to be heard. Sing it loud my unsung heros!
~ Gerald Knight
Below is a sample decklist that I took to my LGS the other night to play casually, keeping in mind there is no Hero of Iroas in it. It had a total game record of 11-1 against Mono Blue Devotion, Mono Black Control, White Weenie and Blue-White Heroic, losing only to the Heroic deck once.