Sunday, 15 December 2019

Theros: Beyond Death Preliminary Review Part III

Skola Grovedancer 1

Very low powered but does do a fair number of things and is unique in a number of ways. Having a trigger as it does is open to abuse too as much as one can abuse a life point! I can see this being a nice role filling support card in some weird decks but that is all it has hope of doing in cube. The kind of deck that runs Nyx Weaver and Crop Sigil!

Warbriar Blessing 2

This is basically Epic Confrontation reworked. You lose a power on the fight but you gain being an aura and having the toughness boost permanently. Overall I would call that is a win for Blessing but I am well against sorcery speed fight cards. They are risky, and adding risk on to card already a little situational for comfort is unpleasant. This might be cheap but it is still expensive for a sorcery speed fight card in my books. I might play this in a Boggles style deck to power up synergies, and because my hexproof dorks are less liable to getting blown out! Not touching it outside of that sort of setting.

Karametra's Blessing 1

I think probably too narrow even for an enchantment themed aggro deck. You need to have enough auras and enchantment dorks in your deck to give this a reasonable chance of being more than a bad Giant Growth. You also then need to want the buff and protection this offers in that deck, what with this not being an enchantment. Seems high implausible but if it does happen this will be a decent enough card. It is a lot of effect for the mana.

Daybreak Chimera

This is probably pretty good in cube where devotion to white is easy to get in the places you would want a 3/3 flier. Assuming it is no more than one white in the cost and that it is no more than six generic mana then this seems like it has a good shot. At 4W cost I think it will be really really good. With a double white cost it  might still have a chance too but if so a whole lot fairer, mostly a bad take on Serra Avenger. I guess lets wait and see what the cost is! 6WW and we can pretty safely rule it out!

Leonin of the Lost Pride 0.5

Tribal filler at best and probably not. The disruption is too inconvenient and minor to make this an enticing option.

Nylea's Huntmaster 1

Might be used as another Aspect of Hydra effect in some green stompy devotion affair, otherwise too fair and narrow.

Naiad of the Hidden Coves 2

I think the cost of this is too high and the body is too uninteresting. Either this gets easily dealt with or it fails to do all that much as is very low powered. I like it a lot but you can't just run this in some control deck at which point where are you playing it? You really need most of your spells to be instant before this looks like an option and then you kind of also need a generic body or enchantment to be at least on theme.

Setessan Training 1

Draw a card is nice and the overall rate on this is very acceptable. My concern is that it is just a little situational and easily disrupted for general use. If this were not an aura and afforded a counter and a card on EtB then I would be a lot more interested. As it stands I suspect I would only play it in aura or hexproof lists which are already spoiled for choice.

Funeral Rites 2

In decks looking for self mill this is probably too slow. Beyond that it is just not as good as Read the Bones. This is certainly playable and has useful things going on in a direct way so I expect it will wind up at least in EDH.

Irreverrent Revelers 5

This is the most playable maindeck artifact hate dork in red to date. Sadly I am still not sure I want this as the power level is just so low. Three mana is a potent place in red and so weaker 2 cmc options appeal rather more if I were desperate to play a red Viridian Shaman/Zealot type of card. Sure, a 2/2 haste for 3 is better than a 2/1 for 2 or a 2/2 for 3 but it is still so much worse than all the things in cube you can do with three mana that it is still much the same kind of hindrance as the other cards and their low power. The other issue is that it is not proactive if you want it as removal. At least with a Hearth Kami style card you can flop it out and do something with it before you need it as removal. So yeah, this is a good card that likely makes the cut in most cubes. For mine however it is lacking enough targets and a little too much tempo to last I think. A long way off challenging Cratermaker that is for sure.

Underworld Ragehound 2.5

Nice design but I don't hold out too much hope for this. I will give it a test as it does a couple of things quite nicely. Sadly it is just a little unreliable as it is so easily killed. A token on defense does it as do ALL the removal spells. The cost to recur it is also fairly significant. I think any one random buff would make this pretty strong but as it stands it is just a little bit underwhelming. It is value rather than tempo on a card that wants to be more tempo.

Satyr's Cunning 6

This is very interesting despite being fairly low power. Mostly this is interesting because of spells matters cards in red. This works with all the token things and all the prowess things. It even works with looting and self mill style things. The token is about as bad as it can be while remaining relevant. If your cube pushed red (and blue) spells matters themes then this is worth a try despite seeming so fair. Low cost cards that can also work from the bin like Lava Dart are amazing with a lot of the things red has going on from Hazoret to Bomat Courier. Ideally you use this for some bonus value with a spare mana after turn one, ideally an elemental token with Young Pyromancer. Then you get to using it late game from the bin to empower your Porphorus, Firebrand Archer, and Goblin Bombardment cards. I think this has a real chance of making it in my cube and will crop up in an array of themed red aggro builds.

Fruit of Tizerus 1

Too much of a cost on the escape, both in mana and cards, to have any real hope as a finisher style card. Too low effect on the front end to be used in any other capacity. I will run this in one deck I have in mind but this will be a meme card in a meme deck. It just so happens that black has enough direct damage (life loss) cards that you can make a burn style deck! Obviously worse than a red version but still, nice to do things for the novelty.

Pious Wayfarer 4

This looks innocuous enough but I think it has a lot of potential. I am not expecting it to perform all that well in most cubes as it lacks the enchantment support. It is however a 1/2 prowess dork for enchantments at worst and a terrifying combat trick machine at best. The ability to pump any dork and the vast array of cheap flash enchants on offer makes this something that can dominate a board in the right kind of deck. White already has a lot of decent enchantment dorks as well as removal and buffs all on enchantments. In the enchantment themed white weenie where at least a third of the deck trigger this then it is one of the best possible one drops. A specific card for sure but certainly not one to overlook.

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