I think we can all agree that there were a lot of ways that Theros could have gone wrong. Enchantment creatures, cultural appropriation, and Gods…there’s a lot there to make a girl twitch if it wasn’t executed with some grace and sensitivity to the status quo.

Wizards did it, though. If the prerelease is anything to go by, Theros is going to be a fun Limited format, and you can always tell how cool a format is by how quickly you slot cards from the prerelease into your EDH decks. Suffice to say, many of my Commander decks are now running some of my sweet new loot, and I didn’t even get anything particularly amazing. Even the uncommons in this set are fun. So, abandoning my usual review, I am just going to go through a couple of my decks, pointing out which cards already made it in, and what cards, if any, I am still looking to add.

Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder

My baby! I love this deck, and sadly I have yet to crack the Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx that it so desperately wants. In the meantime I’ve been forced to console myself with a Devotion subtheme that lets me play cards like Abhorrent Overlord and the Gray Merchant of Asphodel (which, btw, sounds legendary to my earballs). The deck is already primed for their inclusion, since it’s running a suite of hard black creatures like Massacre Wurm, Reaper from the Abyss, and Necropolis Regent, which each lets me get another three harpies or some multiple of three extra life. And that’s completely ignoring the Phyrexian Obliterator, who’s even more devoted to the dark Gods. To balance out these new additions I also brought in two of the Gorgons, Hythonia the Cruel and Keepsake Gorgon. Each one of them triggers Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder, and yet they both also give me fairly unrestricted removal options (as Gorgon is not a particularly prevalent creature type).

I considered adding in a Whip of Erebos, since it’s a creature deck, but I only have one at the moment and I am trying to reconstitute Sedris, the Traitor King. There’s also room for a Nighthowler when I find one; I think it triggers Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder, but I’ll admit that Bestow confuses me. What I am not looking for is an Erebos, God of the Dead. I worry that a card like that draws a fair bit of aggro from any deck that likes to gain life, and the devotion to black means he’s probably going to be an easier-to-handle creature most of the time. Maybe if I find myself needing an extra Greed I’d look into it, but I think I’d just be more likely to run another Demonic Tutor effect instead.

Edric, Spymaster of Trest

Magic: the Gathering legends tend to have some sweet jobs, amirite? Edric has always watched over a flock of Mulldrifters, and the return of scry has brought some decent ones in with this set. To start, giving my limited card availability, I only added in Omenspeaker and Horizon Scholar. Omenspeaker is another Sage Owl effect, only slightly less good in a deck that prizes evasion. Still, a two drop in EDH should be able to hit someone on turn three when I drop my general, and Omenspeaker helps me find that third land. I think it’s definitely worth a shot. Horizon Scholar is a lot pricier for the same effect, but a 4/4 body is relevant in the Commander skies, if not particularly powerful. I like it. The third inclusion was a bit of a maverick, but I feel good about trying out Horizon Chimera. The deck draws a lot of cards, and that lifegain has the potential to be a factor in the outcome of the game. Add in flash, flying, and trample, and it’s the type of card that is probably going to draw me a fair number of cards on its own.

Now, I don’t have one yet, but as soon as I get one of those sweet release promo Bident of Thassas, I am slotting it in. Redundancy on my Edric effect seems sweet, and being able to taunt opponents into bad attacks is always fun. Now, it’s no Thassa, God of the Sea, since that card seems like an auto-include, but it’s pretty close. I also am strongly considering Master of Waves. Sure, her army-in-a-can goes away if you flicker her, but in the meantime that’s a lot of cannon fodder to try to use to get draw triggers. A good addition to such a roster would be the Bow of Nylea (mini-jitte), which is disgusting in most decks but almost essential in this one, since it lets my underpowered dudes trade up. Still, though, the two other Bows we opened at the pre-release have already found different homes (Enchantress Sigarda, Host of Herons which is Dana’s deck, and Glissa, the Traitor, which I will discuss below), so in the meantime I have to wait. I am tempted by Prophet of Kruphix, obviously, but I would feel a little guilty playing a card that does something I usually hate. I hope playing quickly makes up for it, because being able to dump Edric’s hand that much faster is really, really calling to me.

Glissa, the Traitor

I was a little surprised to find anything in this set for Glissa, the Traitor, since she’s an artifact general and this is an enchantment block, but the Bow of Nylea is such a perfect addition that it made my day. Unfortunately I didn’t crack a Burnished Hart, which is a shame because that card is going into Glissa so fast once I find a copy. And since Glissa loves it when creatures die, I also added in a Reaper of the Wilds (foil yay!) to help maximize the value of all those creatures becoming deceased. Otherwise the set’s kinda a bust for this deck. I might put the Whip of Erebos in eventually, but Glissa doesn’t run a ton of creatures and likes to get its things back from the graveyard, not exiled. But hey, three solid inclusions is more than I had expected, and it makes me excited for the next set.

Anyway, those were the three decks I tweaked after the pre-release. Next week I’ll be continuing this discussion as I acquire more Theros loot at the release, and manage to get more of my Commander decks up to date and tuned. But I hope you like the way I am approaching it this set; I feel like this way provides some context that can be lost in lists. Wish me luck! My pack-crack-lucksack powers have been weak so far, and I hope to have a wide assortment of these fun and ridiculous cards when my next article rolls around.

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