The other day a bunch of us were chatting on the Hipsters writers’ list, as we are wont to do, and the old, familiar, “Jeez, how can you guys stand to play *Limited*/“What kind of sucker plays 60 cards, gross!” argument raised its ugly, Gorgon-headed head. Specifically it was asked how we Limited players deal with the dregs of the fall season, when the second set of the year’s big block takes forever to release, and the draft format grows stale.

I actually thought it was a good question, and so I’ve been thinking this week about all the stuff I’ve yet to do in Theros, and all the stuff I want to do. So here’s my top 10 list of cool shit I still want to do before Born of the Gods drops. What are your bucket-list achievements for the set? Hit me up in the comments!

1. Drain somebody out with Scholar of Athreos

It’s well known around Hipsters HQ that black/white is my all-time favorite color combination. There was nothing I enjoyed more in Gatecrash than extorting the hell out of some fools, for fun and profit. But I haven’t really played much BW on the Greek Isles of Theros, despite the set having multiple cool BW cards in the form of Scholar, Triad of Fates, and Sentry of the Underworld—to say nothing of Ashen Rider. I’ve heard the strategy is strong, but I haven’t had the chance to give it a whirl.

2. Play my favorite mythic in a tribal Gorgons deck

Hythonia is probably my favorite card in the set, bar none—I just love the art, and how the sexy orange mythic symbol really pops against all that black, green, and blue—and yet I haven’t even had a chance to play with her once yet! I opened one the other day in I think pack three, when I was firmly in UW, and sadly had to pass her. C’mon, one time, Worth! A 4/6 deathtouch that wraths the board *and* becomes a 7/9 in the process? How cool is that! And that would also allow me to play two of my favorite other cards in the set, for full Gorgon tribal: Reaper of the Wilds and Keepsake Gorgon, the latter of which is basically Rosie the Riveter in a World War II–era American munitions factory, that’s how much work she does.

3. Last Breath my Wingsteed Rider in response to a kill spell, or just for the hell of it

I’ve done some version of this as recently as the last PTQ in Philly, when on a key turn I swung in and my opponent untapped his big guy with a Savage Surge, threatening to block and kill my attacking flier—but, nope, I had Pharika’s Cure in hand, to target my Wavecrash Triton, tap (back) down his big guy, and even gain a couple life in the offing. That’s one of the best parts of Limited, in my opinion: finding those corner cases where it’s absolutely the right—albeit unintuitive—play to kill your own guy, or target your guy with a kill spell like Last Breath. I commend Wizards R&D for developing Theros with an eye toward (I assume, at least) pushing this sort of thinking, as the interplay between L.B. and any of the heroic guys that start out as 2/2s but get bigger when targeted practically begs you to play spells like these on them.

4. Put on Ordeal on a Yoked Ox and go to town, I mean market

I’m not even saying this is good, I just want to do it for the story. (Ox doesn’t have defender, you know.)

5. Play a few more B.B.G.s

As I said a couple of weeks ago, after one (of three) copies of this 4/5 hexproofer was a key roleplayer in my 7-2 PTQ deck, at the start of Theros I thought we’d be playing the Big Blue Giant (B.B.G.) here a lot more. It hasn’t panned out that way, but I still think he’s strong in the right controlling shell. I guess the problem is not that B.B.G. is bad, just that you usually end up with *more* powerful stuff to do at the six-drop slot, of which at best you’ve only got two or three. But whenever I played B.B.G. in Philly, my opponents were nearly always A) initially unfazed followed by B) really unhappy, after I slapped Cavern Lampad or Erebos’s Emissary or what-the-hell-ever-else on him, and went to town. Three cheers for the B.B.G.!

6. Find some goddamn use for a Loathsome Catoblepas (and figure out how to pronounce him)

This guy is just the worst. But has there ever been a more aptly named card? Loathsome Cat o’ Bleep-us is how I imagine it’s pronounced, and it cracks me up just to type it. Ol’ Uncle Bleep-us here is just hanging out in his chair, drinking Beast Light and telling you to pull his finger. No way, Uncle Bleep-us, I’m not falling for it this time. Still: It would be an achievo to play him in a winning deck, and I’m going to try to do it.

7. Make RW trainwreck heroic work

I don’t even really *want* to do this, as I kind of think the deck is just miserable, but RW heroic is not something I’ve yet been able to successfully run, so I reckon it should be a goal. The problem, I think, is Akroan Crusader. It’s just such an underwhelming card—and, as I’ve said before, there’s no way to really capitalize on a stream of 1/1s even if you were to try and stack up a bunch of stuff on the lowly A.C. Who knows how it works? Does it? I’m sure I could win some games with it, and maybe even a draft, but I just don’t think it’s inherently very powerful, like UW or GW heroic are. I think you could easily be the only RW drafter at the table and—short of getting passed some sick rares like a Fabled Hero or, um … I can’t think of a sick red rare you’d even really want in RW heroic; maybe Hammer of Purphoros—still end up with a mediocre deck. [Note: Brendan reminded me this morning that of course Anax and Cymede is tempting RW bait; but Akroan Crusader, unlike many of the other build-around-me gold cards (Battlewise Hoplite being a prime example) decidedly is not.]

8. Monstrify—or is it monstrofy?—Colossus of Akros

Basically this is ridiculous goal, especially in draft, where you could almost never tempt me to play this guy, but man if a 20/20 indestructible trampler doesn’t sound fun as hell. A buddy of mine—Big Dave—did, however, have Colossus in his sealed pool in a PTQ out in Berkeley, at which he made top 8. After the event he said that in sealed, Colossus was actually an MVP. Against a non-blue deck, and with the right build to support it, that doesn’t surprise me. (Although I would probably snap-board him out against against any blue opponent packing Voyage’s Ends or Griptides, ugh.)

9. Cast Flamecast Wheel and not feel bad about my life

I mean, it’s removal, right? Would it have killed them to at least add “or player” to the “target creature” clause? Surely that’s not too powerful at this cost.

10. Win with a five-color Nylea’s Presence deck

I don’t even know if this is a good strategy—I kind of don’t think it is—but I’d like to try, if for no other reason than I want all of my lands on Magic Online to turn gold and say “Plains Island Swamp Mountain Forest” in their type line; that just looks cool. And then you can pick up whatever random Chained to Rocks you see floating around late-ish, or Sentry of the Underworlds … like I said, it doesn’t seem like a great strategy. But this is definitely the kind of thing I’ll start itching to do come Christmas. Just watch out for your opponent straight-up wrecking you with all the Peak Eruptions. D’oh!

23/17 is a Hipsters of the Coast column focused on Limited play—primarily draft and sealed, but also cubing, 2HG, and anything else we can come up with. The name refers to the “Golden Ratio” of a Limited deck: 23 spells and 17 lands. Follow Hunter at @hrslaton.

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