Theros got spoiled prematurely over the weekend. It’s looking pretty good for a bunch of formats, but EDH in particular is making out well in this set. With thirteen new generals to choose from, and a whole new type of general in the God cycle, Theros looks to be a fertile ground for the best of the formats.


Heliod, God of the Sun

If he weren’t a god, I’d be very unimpressed with Heliod. His static ability, “Other creatures you control have vigilance,” is a good one in EDH, but you can get a very similar effect for less mana in Mobilization. What does excite me about this card, though, is that the creature tokens it makes count as enchantments as well. My dream is to acquire a Serra’s Sanctum to do ridiculously scaling things with Heliod, since each cleric you make lets the land tap for more the next turn. Anyway, there’s not a bad god to choose from, since each one is going to reward their necessarily mono-colored deck when it’s a general, and getting a nigh-impossible-to-remove enchantment that occasionally becomes a creature seems to be all upside.


Thassa, God of the Sea

These names are fairly boring. I hope we get a god of the hearth at some point in this (15 card?!) cycle of gods. Thassa’s the best of her kind though. EDH players, myself included, love messing with the order of the top of their library, and making creatures unblockable does seem like the type of useful activated ability to break through some of the most annoying board stalls. This might even be one of the ones where the devotion aspect is a downside, since it’s easier to kill creatures than enchantments in the format, and this is the type of ability that you want to stick around. Still, with a CMC of three, there’s not a ton of tempo lost if you just have to replay her.


Erebos, God of the Dead

I get that they’re doing the basic ones first, but I am yawning over here. So you have Neptune, Zeus (Helios or Apollo, maybe?), Hades, Hephaestus, and Artemis in the first wave. So, second wave will probably be something like Athena (white), Hera (blue), Ares (red), Demeter (green), and Aphrodite (black?). I do not know! It’s a world full of possibilities, I’ll tell you that much. Anyway, Erebos is a good card for the format. Greed is still pretty bonkers with a two-mana activation, and the one-sided Leyline of Punishment seems like it will shut some decks down. Run this with Wound Reflection and expect to win, hated by those around you.


Hythonia the Cruel

Is there some rhyme or reason to their decision on which colors and color combinations get legends? This is one of three, non-god, monocolored legends. I know that seems like a lot of qualifiers, but when you consider that the majority of legends are monocolored, and not the entirely new gods, it’s an interesting break from the past. Anyway, Hythonia is going to be a nasty combat general for the big black decks. Her power jumps to seven when you monster her, which means you get to wrath the board and then swing in with something that’s lethal in three hits. Add in Conjurer’s Closet to reset her at the end of every turn, and there’s some vicious potential there.


Purphoros, God of the Forge

If there’s a phrase that makes a card go from marginal to EDH playable, it’s “to each opponent.” And this guy has it! Artistically he looks a little too much like Koth of the Hammer for my tastes (why does every forge god need to have some weird lava heart thing?), but practically this seems like a great engine to put all of red’s token creation to work. Dragon Fodder and its ilk haven’t seen a lot of Commander play, but something like this adds a Flame Rift to each one, and then pumps them when you attack the next turn. I don’t love the linear nature of it, but I definitely see its power.


Anthousa, Setessan Hero

I don’t really see a way to break this card as your general. If you’re not using her as your general, you can always use her ability to do the Mirrorweave/Contested War Zone combo to someone, or even everyone, but that’s not a tremendous amount of fun and requires a bunch of set up. It’s easier to just go with Enchanted Evening and Aura Thief, if you absolutely must steal everyone else’s permanents. In EDH, turning your lands into creatures tends to be a drawback, not a perk, since the format sees a lot of wrath effects, and the lands you animate won’t even survive a Volcanic Fallout. I am unimpressed with this one, although I’ll admit it looks like a limited bomb.


Nylea, God of the Hunt

This is my pick for the worst of this cycle, at least where EDH is concerned. The pump ability seems over-costed, and I’d rather have something like reach than trample. I get, flavor-wise, why this card is what it is, but I am much more interested in the inevitable one of these things that gets you lands or overruns your whole team. As is, this single target business is a little underwhelming, even repeatable at instant speed. But if you want to be the one killing people with Glistener Elf, go right ahead?


Polukranos, World Eater

This card looked so much better when it looked like the Monstrosity cost was XGG. At XXG it’s a little less powerful, although in EDH this shouldn’t be too much of a drawback when you have access to cards like Vernal Bloom. When all your lands tap for three or four mana, XX seems a lot less onerous of a mana cost. But what really bums me out about this card is its functional similarity to Hythonia the Cruel. Sure, she outright kills all non-gorgon things and it only fights with a bunch of things you choose, and it can get a lot bigger, but it seems like there should have been something else than “kill a bunch of creatures” to show off on these legendary monsters.


Anax and Cymede

This seems to be another contender for strong tokens general, and just like Purphoros the strength mainly comes from the ability to be a force multiplier. Only, unlike how Purphoros is both mandatory and limited in its abilities, Anax and Cymede’s overrun allow you to take out one opponent at a time. Occasionally it’s going to be a drawback that fielding creatures means taking out an opponent you’re trying to keep alive for your own benefit; there’s rarely such a problem with an overrun. But! I do think there’s going to be some tension between cards that let you trigger Heroic and cards that give you tokens to maximize the value of the overrun, so it’s not as easy a deck to make as some of the others.


Daxos of Meletis

On the one hand, Augury Adept was a solid card and this is worded to be more EDH playable than its legendary predecessor, Sen Triplets. On the other hand, you don’t see a ton of players using Thada Adel, Acquisitor as their general. Daxos seems like he’s going to be a solid roleplayer in any deck running his colors, and a marginal general at best. There’s no real way to abuse him; he’s value, but he’s only value. Don’t get me wrong, I love him as a card in my 99, I just think he lacks a certain je ne sais quoi that will keep him off the sidelines.


Medomai the Ageless

The two things worth knowing about Medomai the Ageless are a) a lot of people don’t run enough of an aerial defense in Commander, and b) there are no effects in only white and blue that can be abused to give you multiple combat steps. They almost all require red mana, and you’re not going to have access to that if Medomai is your general. But! This is a strong card, and not going infinite is occasionally useful since your opponents are more likely to accept your shenanigans when they get the occasional turn. I’m going to kill the thing on sight, of course, but I imagine it’s going to see a fair amount of play in the format.


Triad of Fates

I was kinda shocked when I realized this was a legendary creature, and not just some value rare. It makes sense, of course, but it’s a lot of power in a relatively reasonably priced package. Now, anyone with access to Gatherer or a copy of Modern Tron will immediately make the connection between the Order of the Triad and Oblivion Stone. Because that’s going to be an interesting interaction! But what I like about this card is it gives black/white decks a political general that also manages to be a fairly potent source of card advantage. And with Staff of Domination unbanned, there are more colorless cards than ever that untap your dudes while doing something independently valuable (see also Umbral Mantle and Sword of the Paruns if you don’t believe me). I love this card. Full stop.


Tymaret, the Murder King

Lyzolda, the Blood Witch, did it better. Basically, you’re getting a point of toughness that means that your general won’t die to Staff of Nin anymore, as happens to Lyzolda these days. In return, you’re losing the card draw ability, losing the self-sacrifice ability, and there’s a color restriction on the ability’s cost. Sure, you can bring him back from the graveyard? But that ability is nearly meaningless in a format that lets you play a legendary creature over and over again. That having been said, this makes the cut in Lyzolda’s maindeck, but it’s never going to be your first choice for this effect.


So those are the legends that the first set in our Greek Myth block brings. I still don’t understand the color distribution at all, what with blue/white getting two different generals and no scryland, or green’s sampling of each of the three major mechanics. Next week will bring a chance for me to rail against some of the most broken EDH cards the set brings (I AM LOOKING AT YOU PROPHET OF KRUPHIX), and then the week after that will probably involve a look at some of the changes I make to my decks in light of the new cards. This set looks to be an interesting ride, so all aboard that’s coming aboard!

Because I am very much on board with this set.

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