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CardName: Theros Cost: Type: Pow/Tgh: / Rules Text: Flavour Text: Set/Rarity: Conversation None

Created on 20 Jul 2013 by dude1818

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2013-07-20 20:24:18: dude1818 created the card Theros

A lot of info about Theros was revealed at SDCC today. Elite creatures make me think of Jack's enormous creatures (cf. Island Turtle). Hero cards are a new card type which play like Vanguard. The block has an enchantment theme and a future-shifted card - maybe Arcanum Wings or Daybreak Coronet? God cards appear to have new frame: here's Erebos. Art for Heliod and Nylea were also revealed. The blue and red gods haven't been yet (five card horizontal cycle).

Edit: More info at PAX Aus. Thassa is the blue god. Minotaurs, hydras, and krakens are some of the monsters.

The art for Thassa, the sea goddess, has also been revealed, and is equally as epic as the others. However, I don't have a link to it right now. I'm pretty excited by the gods, and the way there's one for each color.
I'm glad I called the enchantment theme right. It was pretty obvious when looking at RtR and M14, and I would have been sad if they didn't follow through.
Elite Creatures and Hero Cards are both just "alternate play style" card types, correct? Hero cards are for the prerelease, and the Elite Creature is for the Hydra encounter deck, I think.

I think it's neat that the gods have an alternate frame treatment, but I think it looks a little bit goofy. The "night sky" shadows in the art are beautiful, and a wonderful design, but I don't think it words so well on the card frame. I wonder if the gods are going to have some sort of alternate mana cost, and what their mechanic is going to be.
Does anyone else have the thought that Landfall might be in Theros?

Scratch that about Landfall. However, I'll hazard a guess that the gods are Enchantment Creatures.

FAR too soon to be landfall. Plus they said (IIUC) that the new mechanic is a futureshifted one.

Link, you're correct about the specialty cards. The Hero cards come in the prerelease packs. I've also updated my first post with Thassa's art. Nyx, the home of the gods, is the night sky, so the nw frame is flavorfully relevant as well. The god mechanic might be grandeur, so the frame might show that they have the ability. It's also interesting how Elspeth is the Hercules analog.

New: elves are replaced by centaurs and satyrs as green's common creatures.

You know, Dude, you're doing me an excellent service by rounding up all this information for my Power to the Meeple podcast on Monday. So thank you for that. :)

(I should probably mention that all this info will be old news by the time 2 weeks pass and the podcast hits. But I've always assumed the majority of our audience is casual enough to not really notice.)

Where did you find that gem about centaurs and satyrs?

@Link That was revealed at PAX Aus, live-tweeted here.

@jmg You're quite welcome.

Oh wow, that generally sounds awesome. I hope that heros, gods and monsters works as well as it sounds and isn't gimicky, but I have reasonable faith that it will. I also really love the greek flavour, enchantment theme, centaurs and minotaurs!

The art so far is all very impressive.

Apparently Theros is pronounced "Theeros," and I've been saying it wrong. Oops.

Oh, come on. If they wanted a long 'e' sound, they should have written 'ee'. We don't exactly go around calling the Greek Demigod 'Heercules' after all.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to Theros in the P2theM podcast. Marvel and DC announcements from Comic Con trumped Magic: the Gathering. :s

I didn't know this, but google says it's an existing greek word that meant "summer", in the bible and everything, and occasionally used to be used as a boy's name. I don't know if the connection is deliberate, but given the greek theme I assume it is.

So presumably the correct pronunciation is whatever the greek pronunciation would be, and wizards are right if they matched that, and wrong if not.

Someone on blogatog said "Theros is pronounced like hero correct? So Theer-os not There-os, and is it os as in ostrich or os as in comatose?" So I pronounced it wrong when I first saw it. But when someone said it had a double e, I thought it was supposed to be like "three-ros" which seemed obviously wrong. But that's in my accent; these vowel sounds are one of the things where there's three or four worldwide, but British English conflates two, and American English conflates a different two, and you only find out when you hear a pun from the other side of the atlantic :)

Huh; I assumed Theros was pronounced as in 'heh', or 'feather'. Ah well, silly ancient greeks and their own language; pronouncing their own words wrongly :)

Well, now that I'm watching the Magic panel, it seems everyone is saying it "Thare-os," so I don't know what's right.
I'm interested in the fact that there seem to be blue, red, and green "walled cities," but no white or black. EDIT: Wait, maybe it's white, red, and green cities. The first city sounded blue when they described it, but apparently its inhabitants worship Heliod.

First spoilers are out. Any thoughts?

I'm very interested in how they flavored the Enchantment "supertype" treatment.

So now that Bestow and Devotion are spoiled, what do we think?

This set is blowing my mind. The complexity of some of these cards is pretty surprising too.

Yes, if the spoiler on MtG Salvation is to be believed, the Gods are very complex cards.

How so? Devotion's just a restricted Chroma. At least now we know all the mechanics: ­

  • Bestow ­
  • Scry ­
  • Devotion ­
  • Monstrosity ­
  • Heroic ­

I just meant Thassa in particular, I suppose. She's doing so many things at once that aren't really related to each other at all.

I don't know, Devotion just seems like you have to keep track of a bunch of extra stuff (Chroma had the same issue). And Bestow has some crazy rules attached to it. And Monstrous requires some bookkeeping, although not much. I'm not gonna talk about Thassa either, cuz yeah she's got some stuff going on.

But, I'm not saying I don't like any of these, I really like all of them. And these are all rare, so yeah they can be more complex. It's just pleasantly surprising to me after the relatively simple mechanics of Ravnica.

Ravnica was bottom up design. Theros is top down. While it's possible to make top down design simple, you're more likely to make something complicated while trying to replicate the flavor you were hoping to achieve.

I think the real question is "How come Innistrad wasn't all that complicated (you know... except for DFCs)?" For such a flavorful set, they sure mined a lot of standard Magic. I blame Flashback.

By the by, I'm really digging a lot of Theros keywords. Bestow is great... people have been messing with that space for years, so I'm happy to see Wizards get a solid take on Licids. Scry is a no-brainer in Greek mythos, and is an excellent vanilla mechanic. Devotion is Chroma, but it sounds 10x cooler... you want to show your devotion.

Monstrosity is kind of odd. I like the flavor of turning things into monsters, but I think the preview card is the wrong card to preview its ability. It will look more natural when a common grants 'Monstrosity 1'. To be honest, if I was development, I would have rejected the mechanic for not being fun enough, and asked design to go back and tinker with it some more... +1/+1 counters... that's a really bad way to track monstrosity. One of these days, we'll sacrifice the token creature slot for something neat... like a token Monstrocity enchant creature card in every pack.

Heroic seems fine, but feels out of place. It feels like an excuse to enchant creatures, but it wouldn't be in the set if this wasn't an enchantment set. I get the flavor, but it falls flat when you tip over the cardboard set up.

Heroic seems fine, but feels out of place. It feels like an excuse to enchant creatures, but it wouldn't be in the set if this wasn't an enchantment set. I get the flavor, but it falls flat when you tip over the cardboard set up.

Isn't that the point of a top-down design? Even seemingly good mechanics may feel out of place in any given set.

Yet it still feels heroic besides the auras interaction. In the past similar abilities were usually drawbacks or granted piddly effects. This time they turned it around and made them grant momentous benefits.

At least it's not yet another combat focused mechanic. You have to play with instants, sorceries and auras to the get most out of it. Not to mention, the effects are wildly different for each hero. Some give out +1/+1 counters and trample to your troops, some turn lands into creatures. We can only hope there are more cool heroes to come.

It will look more natural when a common grants 'Monstrosity 1'.

That doesn't seem monstrous at all. 3/3 becomes 4/4 or 4/4 becomes 5/5. So what? yawn We actually have 4/5 turn into 7/8 and 6/6 into 10/10. Now that's monstrous! It resembles those RPG bosses that transform into a badder form.

With Monstrosity, I was mostly talking about a standard fixed number. You're right, though, it probably won't be 1.

As for Heroic... that isn't a top down mechanic, as far as I can tell. Granting a bonus whenever your creature gets targeted doesn't scream 'Heroism' to me. It actually screams the opposite to me... it's a very selfish ability word for a creature to have. Sure, the end result is generally 'and the creature acts like a Hero' (I presume), but the flavor's still off. The creature should be doing something heroic to trigger heroic.

they're heroes in the sense that the story and gameplay focuses on them. it's like a theater play, the scene focuses on them and then you see them do their 'heroic' stuff. going down this POV, many Greek heroes were somewhat tragic, not heroic. nevertheless, they are the main characters, hence heroes.

What does everyone think of the spoilers from tonight?
­Underworld Cerberus feels like something a beginner would design and everyone would tell them that it's overpowered. Why does {r}{b} get a 6/6 for 5cmc with (basically) all upsides?
­Rescue from the Underworld has beautiful flavor.
I really like Voyage's End.

Thoughtseize is only rare so price should drop a bit.

Read the bones is a cross btw divination/nights whisper. looks good for decks that want to refill hands.

Nylea and her bow together grant trample and deathtouch, a sick combination.

Elspeth looks good for control.

(Here's a link to the current visual spoiler of officially spoiled cards for those who don't have it.)

Underworld Cerberus: Because it's mythic, obviously rolleyes

I like the visual style of a lot of the set, especially the enchantment creatures like Cavern Lampad. I really want to see some of the common/uncommon Auras to see how good Heroic will be.

Bestow is an awesome mechanic, an extremely nifty way around card disadvantage, but it's a pity that all the Bestow costs have to be so high. I can see why they have to be so high, but it makes the bestow creatures less appealing for casual decks (and I suppose for constructed as well).

Devotion looks like a very sensible retread of chroma: it's so resonant and catchy that I can imagine it being reused in a future set. And it's always nice to see scry come back; I think every set should have either scry or cycling.

I'm not clear what i want to think of Bestow and Monstrosity. They just ridiculously high costed, and especially so on the commons in Monstrosity's case.

They do both seem to be costed way too safely. I guess it's "Use this as a normal creature; and hey, maybe you'll get lucky and use it for more" but.. they make me want a normal vanilla creature above them, which isn't a good thing for a splashy mechanic.

Bestow and Monstrosity currently remind me of Cipher. They seem to be costed way too safely, and therefore, despite the fact that they're interesting mechanics, they will probably end up as disappointments.
The visual design of the set so far, though, is amazing. I love the night-sky enchantment creatures. They're great.

They should bring back Madness in one of the later sets, if only to make Last Line of Defense a reality.

So, the rare dual land cycle (Temple of Triumph and friends) are just... dual-colored New Benalia. I've often felt that dual lands should be uncommon, and these feel even more so like they shouldn't be rare. I don't think that these are horrible cards, and "free" scrying that's available to all colors is nice... but these really just don't feel like rare lands.

­New Benalia certainly always felt underpowered. I'm glad to see Wizards agree. I think these will be very nice. But yes, I'm sad to see them rare. They're not flashy or splashy, they don't even have basic land types. They're just smoothing. But they get to be rare because eh, it'll probably get Wizards more cash.

Well, also, you only want four of (each of) them - at uncommon you'd end up with a small buckets worth.

Don't worry, New Benalia. You still belong in my Isamaru commander deck...

V: In my experience, when there's an uncommon that's flexible enough to go in plenty of decks (or a cycle of such uncommons), ending up with too many of them is definitely not a problem I suffer from.

I think wizards do tend to put dual lands at higher rarities than necessary for balance. (eg. a limited deck with only a few nonbasic lands probably isn't significantly stronger if it has shocklands instead of gates). But I'm not surprised by it; for whatever reason, that's how dual lands are usually printed: almost always at rare.

As a mostly casual player my instinctive reaction is to hate sourcing mana fixing because it seems like that shouldn't be the interesting part of deck-building, and I resent paying in time or money to make my deck N% more efficient, rather than "able to do this cool thing it couldn't do before".

But assuming wizards have to pay for R&D somehow, I don't know if forcing people to buy packs by making dual lands rare is worse than any other arrangement of cards. They could charge a lot more per pack but have rare cards be less rare. They could make dual lands common but small staple creatures rare. They could make most cards nearly free but have super super super extra rare broken cards you need to win tournaments (like planeswalkers but more so). Would those be be better? I don't especially like dual lands being rare, but I'm not sure why I don't like it.

I don't like it because new players, and some more experienced players, find it quite disappointing to get a land in their rare slot. The fact that these ETB tapped is going to make even more people disappointed to get them, even though Scry 1 is a great upside. I don't remember New Benalia being broken, but I wasn't around when it was being played. Was it being played?

Has anyone noticed how large creatures are for their CMC in Theros?

New Benalia never really got played. I play it all the time, and I can tell you that the Scry - 1 is about worth the EBT tapped... sometimes one saves you, and sometimes the other. It really did need something else to, um, interest the players who are 'better' than me.

I will say, that I like having all this incidental Scry 1 kicking around. I'm sure they found good ways to build around that.

So if New Benalia is about equivalent to a Plains, then a dual colour New Benalia would be about equivalent to a Taiga? :) Not really, but I think a more valid way of judging the power level than assuming they'll be no stronger than New Benalia :)

Link wrote "Has anyone noticed how large creatures are for their CMC in Theros?"

More precisely, the rares are :/ There are tons of 4/5s for 4 and similar, but only at rare. The commons and uncommons are sensible sized :/

Yeah, it is the rares. Even RED gets a 4/5 for 4 in Ember Swallower! I don't really care for the direction of development right now. There's also the fact that the removal so far has been extremely weak.

Having played with the set at the Prerelease:

1) It is a heck of a lot of fun. It plays very well.

2) Bestow looks overcosted, but the costing is well deserved. A bestow aura hitting the table means you're pretty much guaranteed to get a 2-for-1 in your favour, unless the opponent has enchantment destruction. It's particularly groanworthy if the ability being bestowed is relevant in the current game (eg deathtouch on a blocker, Heliod's Emissary on an attacker).

3) The scry lands are very good. I had a blue-white deck, and I was playing Temple of Deceit in place of an Island and was happy about it. About halfway through the prerelease I swapped in Temple of Abandon as well, despite my only other red mana symbol being on a Crackling Triton.

4) Monstrosity is very good as a late-game mana sink. It does leave even the humble commons with monstrosity as an ominous ticking time bomb. I heard of an Abhorrent Overlord being used along with his 2 tokens to just trade with some random monstrous uncommon.

As far as monstrosity goes, I'm still not a fan of Nessian Asp, but Ill-Tempered Cyclops? Ooooh boy...

I played in two prerelease events, and yes, both Bestow and Monstrosity are extremely relevant in limited. I found Bestow to be quite fun. I like the design choice to make the Bestow creatures give exactly what they have (in terms of abilities and P/T) to the creatures they bestow.
I didn't get the chance to play the scry lands, because I only pulled some of those in the packs that I won. I did notice that all of the incidental scry sprinkled everywhere was fairly nice, but that the fact that it was often only scry 1 could get very annoying. Scry for 1 multiple times in a row is frustrating and useless when you already know the top card of your library and want to keep it. I often felt like I was "wasting" a card when I cast a spell with scry 1 after already having scryed my top card.

Development has explicitly stated that they common scry at one because they didn't like that spells with higher scry value would be often cast strictly for the scrying. I have rarely had that much scry myself, except when I had a Witches' Eye or Prescient Chimera (Chimera is a common? I thought it was uncommon!), the former of which is IMO a lot better than people credit it for.

Had fun. Also, I'm very impressed that Wizards figured out how to do a Voltron (one big creature) strategy at common. I ended up doing 3-2, but I saw many eyes go wide as my giant over enchanted flying creature kept growing and swinging.

Yeah, the Bestow auras get attention, but the set also has a bunch of other auras that are just good, like Aqueous Form. I loved casting Aqueous Form on Wingsteed Rider, and Ordeal of Thassa on Battlewise Hoplite.

It did feel kinda odd when I cast a Vaporkin turn 2, Ordeal of Thassa turn 3, and was attacking for 3 flying on turn 3 and 4 flying on turn 4. Even blue can have randomly aggressive starts.

The set has so many 2-power 2-drops (and even three 2-power 1-drops!) that after Rise of the Eldrazi, the set it reminds me most of is Gatecrash. Which is a curious place for a set to be. But it's a heck of a lot of fun to play, so who cares? :D

I can testify to that - a blue white deck that was speed competitive with my black rats deck? Ouchie.

Amusingly enough, between Griptide, Voyage's End, Lost in a Labyrinth, Pharika's Curse, Viper's Kiss and Shipwreck Singer as well as the above-mentioned Witches' Eye and Prescient Chimera, you can quite easily cobble a slower Black/Blue control-style deck in Limited that waits until it can ramp into a gorgon. I didn't get ordeals or aqueous forms (or even a Sip of Hemlock) and had to do with Scourgemark and still did pretty well.

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