Magic: The Gathering - Born of the Gods Full Spoiler Released | Fanboys Anonymous

Magic: The Gathering - Born of the Gods Full Spoiler Released

Posted by Eric Minton Monday, January 27, 2014
As a longtime fan of Magic: The Gathering—I've been playing on and off since 1994—I'm excited to post about the game here on Fanboys Anonymous. I'm largely a kitchen-table player who occasionally plays Draft or Sealed, so my posts will be aimed more toward the casual audience than die-hard Constructed players. That said, let's dig right into the new set!

MtG expansion Theros block card spoilers
Wizards of the Coast has published a full spoiler and release notes for Born of the Gods, the second set in the Theros block. It retains the previous set's flavor focus on Greek mythology and mechanical focus on enchantments. In addition to three returning mechanics from Theros, it has two new mechanics: Inspired and Tribute.

Magic the Gathering blue creature Inspired token generator
Inspired is a new ability word found on permanents, although only creatures have it thus far. A permanent with Inspired has some beneficial ability that triggers whenever it becomes untapped. While this is usually automatic, you may be required to pay a mana cost. For example, when Aerie Worshippers becomes untapped, you may pay one blue and two colorless mana to put a 2/2 flying Bird token into play.

The Inspired creatures in Born of the Gods vary widely in their usefulness. They're tricky to employ because unless your deck is engineered to tap your own creatures, you'll probably have to attack with the Inspired creature in order to gain its benefits, which risks getting your creature killed by blockers or hit by spells like Azorius Charm or Divine Verdict. Fortunately for Limited players, there's a cycle of common creature-tapping Auras you can use for—ahem—Inspiration.

Magic the Gathering black creature Tribute flier
Tribute is a new creature keyword. When you cast a creature with Tribute, your opponent can "pay tribute" by putting a number of +1/+1 counters on the creature. If the opponent doesn't do so, that triggers some other beneficial effect instead. For example, unless your opponent puts two +1/+1 counters on your Shrike Harpy, that opponent has to sacrifice a creature.

Overall, the creatures with Tribute appear relatively weak. While each of a Tribute creature's two modes is usually slightly above the curve, your opponent chooses which mode applies; this means that in practice, such creatures can't be played to their best effect. Worse, some modes aren't above the curve in the first place; for instance, if your opponent pays the tribute for Shrike Harpy, all you get is a 4/4 flier for 3BB. As a result, these creatures aren't likely to see Constructed play. They look like solid beaters in Limited, but even there they can't match the raw power of the Monstrous creatures in Theros.

Returning mechanics include Bestow, Heroic, and Scry. These function much as they did in Theros. Bestow remains Limited fodder, Heroic is still good for aggro combat tricks, and Scry provides a cost-efficient boost to card quality that's useful across the board.

Of all the new cards in Born of the Gods, I'm most excited by the following:

Magic the Gathering white instant devotion damage prevention
Acolyte's Reward: It's like a mono-white Boros Fury-Shield that also works on noncombat damage. This looks great for silly casual combos with Spitemare or Boros Reckoner. Its utility is limited mainly by the devotion requirement.

Glimpse the Sun God: I'd call this a strictly better Word of Binding, but a more recent point of comparison would be Gridlock. Adding Scry 1 on top of tapping out your opponent's creatures at instant speed should prove to be a winner.

Hero of Iroas: This awesome little dude reinforces Aura-based strategies, while its Heroic ability provides an automatic target for beneficial Auras. All this on top of a solid 2/2 body for 1W. What's not to like?

Arbiter of the Ideal: With a 4/5 body and flying, the Arbiter is one creature with Inspired that's likely to be able to attack each turn and survive. Its ability to drop a creature from the top of your library directly onto the battlefield is damned impressive, especially when you can use Scry to stack the deck!

Fated Infatuation: Possibly one of the best Clone variants ever printed! Limiting it to copying your own creatures is a significant restriction, but the bonus Scry 2 will be a tremendous boon in play.

Magic the Gathering blue creature Heroic card draw
Meletis Astronomer: I don't know if this card is actually any good—I suspect it isn't all that powerful in competitive play—but I'm an absolute sucker for a card draw engine. I want to play this in a deck packed with Flitterstep Eidolon, Nimbus Naiad, and Thassa's Emissary, turning the Astronomer into Voltron while drawing a steady stream of cards.

Drown in Sorrow: Another solid utility card with Scry 1 stapled on. This is a strictly better Infest, and Infest was already a solid card to begin with. I expect to see this one get a lot of play.

Fate Unraveler: This is a splashable Underworld Dreams attached to a solid 3/4 body. It's a bit more vulnerable to removal due to being an enchantment creature but is nonetheless a viable threat.

Servant of Tymaret: Another playable Inspire card, the Servant can attack freely with the knowledge that you can regenerate it. More importantly, it's an intimidating blocker. A creature that regenerates becomes tapped, which may discourage your opponent from attacking into the Servant.

Magic the Gathering red enchantment creature Bestow firebreathing
Everflame Eidolon: Could it be—a playable Bestow creature? Like all Bestow creatures, its printed power and toughness are too low to be terribly useful in the late game, but firebreathing gives it the potential to swing for a whole lot of damage, especially after a board wipe when your opponent doesn't have any blockers on the table.

Scouring Sands: This looks like a great way to deal with decks full of tokens or quirky 1-toughness utility creatures, or to clean up some almost-dead creatures after a big engagement. The ability as written is unique (like a strictly better Sandstorm or Simoon), and would be worthwhile even without the Scry 1.

Stormcaller of Keranos: This is the first repeatable Scry ability we've ever seen, which makes it worth a closer look! It should also combo nicely with Flamespeaker Adept.

Hero of Leina Tower: This could be the strongest Heroic creature yet, growing more and more powerful in the late game. It has great synergy with cheap spells that protect against removal (Ranger's Guile), offer evasion (Rancor), or allow the Hero to fight another creature (Mutant's Prey).

Magic the Gathering green sorcery pump card draw
Hunter's Prowess: A potentially backbreaking late-game play. Yes, you have to play around removal and clear an opening through your opponent's defenses, but if it works, you'll dish out massive damage and draw a metric fuckton of cards.

Satyr Wayfinder: This looks like a fun enabler for self-mill decks. A 1/1, a land in hand, and three cards in the graveyard to pump Boneyard Wurm or to cast for their flashback costs? Yes, please!

Reap What Is Sown: This could be the best Heroic enabler around, short of playing Gigadrowse. It's generally better than Seeds of Strength and strictly better than Common Bond, and hitting three Heroic triggers should be enormously effective—assuming you can keep three Heroic creatures alive on the table.

Siren of the Silent Song: As a cheap flier with Inspired, this stands a good chance of successfully attacking and forcing your opponents to discard. The extra mill should give a little more oomph to blue-black Mortivore decks.

Magic players, what do you think of my card choices—are they brilliant or moronic? Make your feelings known by posting in the comments section below!
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