This is it – the final installation of the Team GDC Theros Spoiler. We hope you’ve enjoyed the series so far, and you should all get out to the Prerelease this weekend if you have the opportunity. Awesome, flavorful set is awesome and flavorful.
Before we get going, though, a quick and very important note-
This particular edition of the spoiler was done without Dave. In related news, we also will be post-poning Friday’s installment of Three Cards Deep this week.
This past Monday, Dave welcomed his son Paix into the world!
Dave, congrats once again from the rest of the GDC crew! We’re completely excited for you and your family.
Question! Is this better than Mystic Melting or Slice in Twain, two similar cards that don’t get a lot of love? I would say the answer is “probably not,” although maybe Scry 2 is actually really good and I’m just dumb. If so, this is a marginal upgrade from Mystic Melting and Slice in Twain. Awesome!
WHITEScholar of Athreos
Wait, why am I talking about this card? It’s common!
Is this card good? I have no idea. At worst, its ability is like Extorting a two-mana instant that has Buyback and no abilities, and it’s a 1/4 for 3, which isn’t going to make anyone forget real cards. Is that good?
I suppose this is a reusable damage source, which means if you somehow have a way to generate infinite mana, this dude is another way to just end the game. Fascinating!
Aside from that, um, it’s a 1/4 for 3 with a three-mana marginal ability that will annoy people? Why am I talking about this card?
Evangel of Heliod
Alright, brace yourselves. This is the only non-god card in white that references the devotion mechanic. Prepared? Okay, it’s a glorified Springjack Shepherd. Yeah, the soldiers are 1/1, and the Evangel himself is 1/3, but this card is going to need some serious help to get a full’s day work in. If you’re not getting 4-5+ tokens from this chap, he isn’t worth it. Urbis Protector, Geist-Honored Monk, Knight-Captain of Eos and Ranger of Eos all will give you much better mileage before devotion/chroma 4.
The good news is, you need only have two or three other white mana symbols before he’s on par with these other classics in terms of sheer power and toughness. Angel of Jubilation, Twilight Shepherd and a few others will certainly have your back. Sadly, Evangel’s status as the only white devotee other than Heliod leaves us in the cold; unlike the black and green devotion cards, we don’t have enough reason to seriously warp our decks.
Man, if this was printed five years ago, it would be extremely exciting. As it is, I’m yawning a bit here. The “copy a spell” effect has been done excessively as of late – Nivix Guildmage, Izzet Guildmage, Echo Mage…it goes on and on. You can play a general that has the effect in Riku of Two Reflections or Uyo, Silent Prophet. It’s a great effect, and one that plays really well in EDH. Saturation, though…it kind of dulls the senses.
I guess this is at least mildly interesting in that the controller of the spell makes the copy and choses the targets, instead of the controller of Meletis Champion. That’s cool for some political machinations, if that’s your thing.
If not? You probably don’t play this.
How have we gotten this far without a card using this name?
In any case, the question for Dissolve is simple: Does it do a better job in the 3-slot counterspell arena than Spell Crumple or Hinder? I think the answer is clearly no. Scry 1 doesn’t beat tucking a problematic general.
On the upside, there seems to be butt cleavage happening here, so that’s got to be worth something.
How far we’ve come from cards like Invisibility and Teleport. This card is pretty cute; enchantress decks that cast their enchantments (unlike Zur, Bruna, and Hakim) will welcome an alternative to Traveler’s Cloak, since the scry will provide greater benefits after a few attacks. The other main competition for this kind of card is Artful Dodge and Distortion Strike, which carry less vulnerability than the typical aura, but do not last as long (unless you play in a wrath heavy environment. All told, I like this kind of card; it promotes the use saboteurs without having to jump through hoops like Writ of Passage.
Um, seems OK? 3/5 flyer for 5 is so-so. Discarding a card to give him troll shroud is so-so. Attack trigger to Scry 3 is decent, but it’s not going to make anyone forget anything else that does something when it attacks…
Devotion seems like it’s going to be a thing in EDH. It’s pretty easy to capitalize on devotion in this format, and there are some cards in this set that will likely see a ton of play due to the easy value. (Gray Merchant of Asphodel, I’m looking at you. And yeah…the gods too. And Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. And…well, you get the point.)
I’m not sure that Mogis’s Marauder is at the head of the class, but it is a winner in the “uncommon devotion dudes” category. It’s all good and well to dome your opponents with red devotion or make a handful of white soldiers. Handing haste and intimidation to a single creature seems better, especially when this plays so well with generals like The Mimeoplasm and Kresh the Bloodbraided
That’s a snappy hat too.
Hythonia the Cruel
She seems cool. I like her. Given the nature of things, most of the time her Monstrosity ability is going to read “Destroy all other creatures”, but that’s certainly not a bad thing. She seems totally fair, strong without being broken, and a neat design. Thumbs up!
Agent of the Fates
This is the first heroic critter I can really get behind, and here’s why: Agent of Fates impacts the board immediately. This is not Anax and Cymede who needs to live through removal or whatever to attack. This makes your auras, or any incidentals a mass Edict effect against your opponents. Aside from the enchantment creatures in this set, there are a few options to make this guy good; the fear mode from profane command, any sort of aura from this set, many buyback spells (including Mind Games and Change of Heart), and some evasion spells like Traitor’s Clutch or Shadow Rift.
More commonly than anything, this will upgrade a Dismember, Go for the Throat or even an Into the Roil into what amounts to Innocent Blood. Agent won’t be backbreaking, but it’s highly playable, even before you start talking about the 3/2 Deathtouch for 1BB.
Whip of Erebos
I’ll be honest, Whip feels pretty middle of the road for this set. It’s not as awful as Heliod’s Spear, or as uninspiring as Purphoros’ Hammer, but it doesn’t have the cute versatility of Nylea’s Bow, nor the greater potential in Thassa’s Bident.
The blanket lifelink is exciting, but the mediocre Seance attached is disappointing. Nobody plays Seance, except to interact with fringe mechanics like Populate. Blanket lifelink is already somewhat duplicated in Exquisite Blood which also doesn’t see much play in my environs; it’s lifelink for unblocked creatures, and for spells as well, but still rarely perceived to be all that good (unless paired with Sanguine Bond). If you glue Seance and Exsquisite Blood together, make each one a little worse, and make the permanent type more vulnerable, do you get a better card? I’d answer a solid ‘maybe’.
Man, do I want to get excited about this card for EDH, but it simply screams “mundane role player.” There’s a lot of good here; it can act as an graveyard hate effect or a Duress effect, and is pushing the new way of being able to ignore color requirements (which is helpful in most formats but really critical in EDH.) It plays a decent Swiss army knife role in the same way that Knowledge Exploitation does. It goes a step further and hits all non-land permanents.
The more I write here, the better it sounds.
But really, it’s going to end up fading into the background in the same way Knowledge Exploitation does. Lots of people will play it, but how many people will be excited about it? I think it runs the risk of becoming a staple, and thus fading into the background the same way that Solemn Simulacrum and Krosan Grip have done.
And with that, I’ve taken complaining about nice things to a whole new level…
Oh hey, reverse Fact or Fiction!
Look, Fact or Fiction is a good card. This is another copy of Fact or Fiction for any deck that plays these colors. People will play this.
(I love Fact or Fiction, mainly because I enjoy splitting other people’s Fact or Fictions. Whether I find this card as fun remains to be seen.)
The best thing about this card: it’s Sunforger-able.
Triad of Fates
I won’t lie, this seems terrible. At absolute best, you can combine this with some sort of “untap a creature” effect and/or use it with OStone for an extremely mana-intensive, slow, janky combo. As a General option, this seems pretty bad as well, although the fact that it can enter the battlefield as a new object and still interact with counters left by previous iterations of itself at least makes it marginally better. Still, this seems terrible.
Hi there, EDH plant!
Um, yeah. This guy will see a lot of EDH play, although his color requirements will make him less common than, say, this irritating thing:
The fact that he costs eight (including four colored mana) also means this should probably be cheap to pick up, although (checks SCG) apparently he’s preselling at $8 right now. Huh.
Whatever. Comes-into-play value creature. Good in EDH. Welcome to the party.
Medomai the Ageless
For years now, Cass and I have been semi-discussing how to build a blue-white aggro deck. The basic premise of this discussion is that blue-white is terrible at doing anything other than grinding and/or comboing, and now we get this dude to prove that.
Upside for this guy: because of how his static ability is worded, it doesn’t matter if he becomes a new object (hi, Momentary Blink!), he still won’t be able to attack during the extra turn.
Downside for this guy: he’s another blue-white grind general. I would expect that you will roughly never be able to untap and attack with this guy, but if you get Lightning Greaves online then you can probably give everyone else at the table another 4-7 minutes to check their phones and trade while you take another turn and bore them to death. Awesome.
I really should stop writing these things.
ARTIFACTSColossus of Akros
I have a well-documented love for giant creatures that dates back nearly twenty years. I had to have a Colossus of Sardia upon reading the card name in Scrye Magazine (or maybe it was The Duelist…) sometime shortly after Antiquities was released, and that was just from the checklist. I had no clue what it did or what it cost, but I needed it.
And I sure did win a tournament back in the day with it and Instill Energy.
So anyway, I’m always all ears when the next big thing comes along. Krosan Cloudscraper was awesome when it was printed, Darksteel Colossus blew my mind, and Dark Depths was the reigning king of awesome until this card was spoiled.
This is my new “gotta have this in foil in every deck” card.
Sure, it still forces you to jump through hoops to make it huge and get it active. However, it doesn’t require another card (Thespian’s Stage, Aether Snap) or thirty mana to get going. It hits the table as a 10/10 indestructible, so it’s going to be hard to handle even as a big dumb defender.
And once it gets active, it tramples. That’s better than flying in a vacuum, since Marit Lage gets shut down by Flying Men.
I fully recognize that this thing essentially has a casting cost of eighteen, but that seems fine to me. I realize that indestructible is not all that hard to deal with in this day and age. That’s fine too. I get that this card really isn’t all that particularly, you know, good.
And that’s fine too. Because 20/20 trampling artifact dude. EDH, here’s your battlecruiser.
And yea, it was foretold that Explosive Vegetation would reach all, and that all shalt have decent ramp in decks, including red and white. In all seriousness, this card is remarkable only in that it ramps in off colours. It does not, however, even remotely compete with Everflowing Chalice, Thran Dynamo, Worn Powerstone, or Coalition Relic.
The Hart’s main failing is that it’s only exciting as a turn three play; beyond that, you’re playing catchup as other players make their critical plays or develop further. It’s not awful, but it suffers from the same issues Gem of Becoming does: net six mana cards need to have a higher impact, and if the impact is going to be resource development, it needs to provide a colossal advantage, in the same way Boundless Realms might.
I won’t lie, I’m going to open a LOT of this set. The fact that we get ANOTHER Lightning Greaves is swell, and I love that it’s uncommon (because I’m going to need a lot of ’em.)
(Important note: Lightning Greaves is the best equipment in the format because it has Equip 0. Swiftfoot Boots is possibly better than Greaves, but Equip 1. The fact that this thing has Equip 2 is a factor, although it also grants Flying, which is REALLY relevant. This is going to be EVERYWHERE in EDH.)
—>THE GDC CREW