5.0: The best of the best. ([card]Pack Rat[/card], [card]Umezawa's Jitte[/card], [card]Gideon Jura[/card])
4.5: Incredible bomb, but not unbeatable. ([card]Polukranos, World Eater[/card]. [card]Hypersonic Dragon[/card].)
4.0: Good rare or top tier uncommon. ([card]Phalanx Leader[/card]. [card]Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage[/card]. [card]Chaos Imps[/card])
3.5: Top tier common or solid uncommon. ([card]Lightning Strike[/card]. [card]Nimbus Naiad[/card]. [card]Dreg Mangler[/card])
3.0: Good playable that basically always makes the cut. ([card]Leafcrown Dryad[/card]. [card]Essence Scatter[/card].)
2.5: Solid playable that rarely gets cut. ([card]Borderland Minotaur[/card]. [card]Dead Reveler[/card]).
2.0: Good filler, but sometimes gets cut. ([card]Savage Surge[/card]. [card]Omenspeaker[/card]. [card]Armory Guard[/card]).
1.5: Filler. Gets cut about half the time. ([card]Pillarfield Ox[/card]. [card]Tenement Crasher[/card]).
1.0: Bad filler. Gets cut most of the time. ([card]Lost in the Labyrinth[/card]. [card]Pay No Heed[/card]).
0.5: Very low-end playables and sideboard material. ([card]Survey the Wreckage[/card]. [card]Celestial Purge[/card].)
0.0: Completely unplayable. ([card]Search the City[/card]. [card]Pyxis of Pandemonium[/card]).
[draft]Archetype of Endurance[/draft]
I’m not giving this a high score just because it’s an 8-drop, but because it completely changes the game once it comes out. All of your creatures become immune to removal for the rest of the game, and the opponent is faced with the daunting task of dealing with a 6/5 to boot. If you get this early, it’s definitely worth drafting a deck that can live long enough to cast it, but because of the cost, it won’t fit into every deck. This is the type of card that wins unwinnable games, even if there are matchups where it is a little too pricey.
[draft]Aspect of Hydra[/draft]
I don’t love Giant Growth to begin with, and this is one of the most conditional Giant Growths I’ve ever seen. If you have a million green mana symbols out, you are usually in good shape (or dead to fliers), and Aspect of Hydra isn’t helping a ton. A card that is only powerful when you have a lot of stuff and is especially bad when you don’t is not the kind of card you’ll find me playing very often.
As usual, the saving grace of 1/1’s for 1 is that they can be boarded in against 2/1’s.
[draft]Courser of Kruphix[/draft]
Of course I like this! It gains life, draws cards (essentially), and is a 2/4 for three mana. All of those things are great, making Courser of Kruphix a solid value rare. It might not be a giant flying finisher, but I’d rather be the guy who uses Courser to hit land drops than the guy with a 7-mana card stuck in hand.
The only culling this will be involved in is when it gets cut from every sealed and draft deck where it appears. There are so many ways for this to go wrong, and even when it works, it’s a really bad Time to Feed.
Three green mana makes it a little harder to cast this on turn five than I’d like, but the effect is quite powerful. The ideal use is to ambush something, and even better, two somethings, but if that doesn’t look likely you can settle for some scry action. If this was easier to cast, I’d definitely be willing to take it over a good piece of removal, so if you see it mid pack 1 after taking a few green cards, go for it.
As far as the off-color activation cycle goes, this is definitely the one with the most reach in the lategame. It functions as a Giant Spider at all times, which is already good, and once the graveyard is stocked it becomes a Giant-er Spider. The base creature here is good enough that I’d always play this, and try my hardest to get at least one black source in as well.
[draft]Hero of Leina Tower[/draft]
Early game, the Hero makes you pay one or two extra mana to get value out of her heroic trigger, which is fine. Later in the game, she just goes insane, getting 4+ counters off of anything cheap and even 1 or 2 from most bestow cards. This is the hero you both need and deserve.
I’d take the opportunity this provides any day, especially given how big your creatures tend to be in this format. This being a sorcery clearly opens you up to all sorts of vulnerabilities, as well as giving your opponent full info before blocking, but none of that is too hard to play around. A true hunter will wait until the opponent is tapped out and doesn’t have good blocks, letting them reap the delicious rewards.
While this normally won’t ramp you to four mana on turn three, it will set you up well for the mid to late game. Having cantrip mana sources is an excellent way to hit six or more mana without trouble, and that’s very important for most green decks. It’s even a perfectly acceptable heroic enabler for a low-curve deck, and the color-fixing it provides certainly doesn’t hurt.
[draft]Mischief and Mayhem[/draft]
Apparently hunting is much more profitable than causing mischief. Despite how much damage as this could potentially deal, the fact that the opponent can just opt to chump makes it much worse than a Lava Axe.
There aren’t many things this doesn’t stop, but the lack of damage it deals is its mortal weakness. It’s still a good trick to have up your sleeve, in a category that’s pretty full for most decks.
If you can run this out early enough that destroying a land hurts, it’s either a 5-mana 6/6 or a 3/3 Stone Rain, both of which are great. Later in the game, the opponent will be glad to feed it a land as tribute, so you may have to wait until they play a juicy Aura or artifact in order to super-size the Demolok.
[draft]Nessian Wilds Ravager[/draft]
While I’m not wild about the idea of my rare just being a vanilla creature for six, a 12/12 is a sight more than your average vanilla. Sometimes your opponent’s best creature won’t be worth the extra six counters, and sometimes it will, but either way this is a good deal. What it isn’t is the kind of card that wins you the game from behind, and at six mana, that’s unfortunate.
If you consider this a lategame-only card, you won’t be disappointed. It’s small when cast, expensive to bestow, and more of a finisher than anything you’d want to play in the early or midgame. Cards that are great early, mid, and late are as rare as unicorns, or in some cases, rarer.
Wolves are apparently now known for their toughness, which does make this a little harder to just slap on a creature and swing in. It’s still always going to be a good addition to your deck, especially if you have a couple evasive creatures.
I don’t think it’s a reach to say that this fits into exactly the kind of decks I cultivate, but that doesn’t make it a perfect fit in every deck. If your curve ends at four, this doesn’t help a whole lot, which basically makes this good in everything but the aggro heroic decks.
A 5/5 for six is already reasonably-costed, and one that lets you cast Nessian Courser every turn it untaps is pretty sweet.
Green has no shortage of good inspire creatures, all of which are very likely to survive unaided. One good hit and this becomes a great deal, especially for a common.
[draft]Raised by Wolves[/draft]
A card that’s great in Flavor Draft and normal Draft? Sign me up. Getting 6/6 worth of creatures for five mana is awesome, and spreading it around among three different creatures makes you much less vulnerable to removal. Just make sure that your target doesn’t get removed in response, or you will be one sad puppy.
It’s no Sylvan Ranger, but the additional graveyard synergies it opens up are nice. You also have my permission to complain whenever this misses, despite it being not that unlikely.
[draft]Scourge of Skola Vale[/draft]
Despite the modest beginnings, Scourge of Skola Vale is always a good threat to have in play. Even if you aren’t using it, making all your opponent’s removal give you value forces them to kill the Scourge first, something that isn’t always possible. Later in the game, you can just feed the Scourge until it is unstoppable, though always beware of bounce spells.
If you have a heroic deck, the Oathsworn is a better addition than Staunch-Hearted Warrior, but there are plenty of green decks that just won’t play this. I’ve mostly sworn off green heroic in Theros, so hopefully Born of the Gods offers some improvement.
Setassan Starbreaker is the best enchantment removal spell to maindeck, just because it’s always at least a body. I think most green decks will want exactly one in the main, and it isn’t an incredibly high priority (though it is nice to have).
You assemble all this devotion, patiently wait for your opponent to play a flier, and then realize the only reward you reap is that you built your own [card]Plummet[/card].
[draft]Snake of the Golden Grove[/draft]
Sadly, you will always gain the life unless you actually need it. There are enough expensive cards in the set that you’d rather look elsewhere, though this is passable.
As long as mana cost isn’t an issue, this should always make the cut. That’s what the sword is for, after all.
[draft]Unravel the Aether[/draft]
There are enough better enchantment removal spells that I’m loathe to maindeck this, especially once you factor in that your opponent could just draw whatever you shuffled back if the game goes long enough.
Top Three Green Commons
3. [card]Karametra’s Favor[/card]
2. [card]Nyxborn Wolf[/card]
1. [card]Pheres-Band Tromper[/card]
Green gets a giant creature, a good bestow card, and a mana fixer. Who’d have thought? Green has a solid selection of creatures at common, though the removal spell is very bad this time around. Without anything like Nessian Asp, green looks like it will promote lower curve decks than in straight Theros, which is an interesting development.
For the multicolored cards, I’m assuming you are the two given colors when it comes to the ratings. Any multicolor card that you see pick 1 pack 1 has more risk than a mono-colored card, so I’d lean towards mono-colored cards with the same ratings until you know you are those two colors.
% I Pick This: 100
Limited: 4.5 (if castable)
If you can actually cast Chromanticore, it’s incredibly powerful. Five-color cards often look like jokes, but this is actually just insane. If makes any creature into a ridiculous [card]Baneslayer Angel[/card], and if they deal with that creature, it leaves another Baneslayer behind. The rub, of course, is that this is not something most decks can or should try to cast. I know I’ll be trying, but it’s going to be rare that putting this into your deck is right.
[draft]Ephara, God of the Polis[/draft]
Even if Ephara never activates, drawing a card every turn you play a creature is a very nice ability. The multicolor gods are also much easier to bring to life than their mono-colored brethren, making almost all of them very high picks. Seven is still a lot, but having every permanent count towards devotion rather than just some is a huge shift.
I don’t know how often I’ll be wanting to re-cast this, but at worst it’s a +1/+1 pair of wings, which isn’t bad. Getting to move around your evasion-granting enchantment is a nice ability to have, though you are still open to all the 2 for 1’s that normal Auras run into.
[draft]Fanatic of Xenagos[/draft]
I’m a fan of three mana 3/3’s that shoot the opponent for four, which I suspect is the most common mode you are going to get with this (unless it’s immediately going to die to a removal spell).
[draft]Karametra, God of Harvests[/draft]
Karametra easily wins the award for “worst god”, as she’s expensive and has an ability that doesn’t do a whole lot. If you’ve already cast a five-drop and another creature, getting a Forest is not that alluring. In permanent-heavy GW decks, she’s still playable, just not awesome like gods should be.
[draft]Kiora, the Crashing Wave[/draft]
I like planeswalkers that can protect themselves, and I like planeswalkers that draw extra cards, so Kiora is right up my alley. She is a little fragile, but it’s hard to lose value given that she can always at least draw a card. If you can protect her, the ultimate goes off very quickly, and should end the game within turns.
A 2/2 is big enough to brawl without feeling bad, which is only one of the reasons this is much more than just a mana Elf. This gets to untap any permanent, which can potentially shut down the opponent’s attacks with ease, and makes this versatile enough to be a solid early pick.
[draft]Mogis, God of Slaughter[/draft]
Now this is a clock. Mogis starts ticking down as soon as he’s played, making it very difficult for your opponent to survive in any sort of longer game. As long as you are damaging them at all, Mogis’ ability is incredibly relevant, making him awesome without even taking into consideration what happens when he comes to life.
[draft]Phenax, God of Deception[/draft]
As if I needed any more excuses to draft all Mnemonic Walls and Returned Centaurs, Phenax shows up. You do need a board to get Phenax to work, but not that much of one. It’s not hard to mill for six a turn, which is a fast clock, and milling the opponent out in two turns can easily happen in a longer game. I loved UB control before Born of the Gods, and if Phenax is any indication, it will continue to be good.
Stop trying to make Minotaurs happen. They aren’t going to happen.
[draft]Reap What Is Sown[/draft]
Even if this only targets two creatures some of the time, it’s still a great card. It’s obviously got heroic written all over it, and even in the non-heroic GW deck (if that exists), it prepares your creatures for travel as well as any pump spell.
[draft]Siren of the Silent Song[/draft]
This is one of the stranger-looking [card]Ophidian[/card]s we’ve seen, but it’s an [card]Ophidian[/card] nonetheless. The lesson I’ve learned from these two sets is that blue-black gold cards are excellent.
[draft]Xenagos, God of Revels[/draft]
Xenagos knows how to get them fired up. You get to smash with your creatures immediately, and they get a nice big bonus to boot. Xenagos the god is sure better than Xenagos the planeswalker, and the planeswalker is no slouch.
If you are playing three or more colors or have a lot of five-drops, this is the perfect card for you. It’s also a key part of the Chromanticore deck...
Flavor Text: 5.0
I like being able to trade with any of my creatures, even the terrible ones, so the only decks where I wouldn’t run this are the decks that are really short on low drops. That’s less decks for me these days, as I’ve learned at least a little bit of restraint lately.
I just can’t see the deck that actually should play this. Even if you have a couple legends, you aren’t going to have six or seven, and the amount of mana you have to pay to draw a card is excessive even for me.
[draft]Pillar of War[/draft]
Most decks will be able to enchant this, and even some of the ones that can’t want a 3/3 blocker for three. It isn’t a fantastic deal, but everyone needs 3-drops.
[draft]Siren Song Lyre[/draft]
I’d be a lyre if I said I was sure about this rating. I don’t like the idea of paying two mana and tapping a creature just to tap a creature, but some decks need removal so badly that they are glad to pay that. On the flip side, some decks are very vulnerable to tap effects, thanks to bestow, which also is a plus. In a normal format, this would be pretty bad, but I think it lands closer to solid here.
In a truly inspiring deck (5+ good inspire creatures without evasion), Springleaf Drum might actually get there, but nobody else should want it. Just play another land.
Temples of Enlightenment, Malice, and Plenty
[draft]Temple of Enlightenment
Temple of Malice
Temple of Plenty[/draft]
I’d always play the Temples if I was both colors, sometimes play them if I was one of the colors, and only take them if there wasn’t a good playable.
That does it for the Limited portion of my Born of the Gods review. I’d love to hear what people think about splitting it up like this, as well as my change to the ratings descriptions. I like how both went, but I’m always open to feedback.
Tomorrow I get to play with the cards for the first time, and hopefully that includes a Chromanticore, or at least some Divinations!