It’s an exciting time of year! The limited season is about to change over, with the M15 pre-release this weekend. Theros block is riding off into the sunset, head held high. While my pro-tour bound colleague Hunter pores over the card image gallery for all star commons, I’m chilling back and reflecting on my favorite cards of Theros.

Continuing the fine tradition of my Theros and Born of the Gods top ten columns, this week I offer a pair of fives: my favorite Journey cards and cards from the whole block. Let’s get started with the Journey!

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Tacos! Boing!

5. Oakheart Dryads

If you watched my first draft video you saw the dryads in action. 2/3s for three mana with an upside are always good in limited, and the bonus +1/+1 really comes in handy. When both players curve out, giving your attacker an extra point of power and toughness helps stay ahead of opposing blockers.

Where they really shine, however, is with instant-speed constellation triggers. Feral Invocation and Renowned Weaver fill this role well. The best blowout is Fated Intervention during attacks—two +1/+1 triggers, two 3/3 tokens, and scry two? That usually wins the game.

4. Cast into Darkness

This unassuming common removal spell really gets some work done. Throw it on an opposing Deathbellow Raider to take it out of the game. Or how about putting it on Ravenous Leucrocota? An 0/4 that can’t block  doesn’t do much, and even if they dump the seven mana into making it monstrous, that’s a tempo-killingly slow 3/7 that still can’t block.

3. Flurry of Horns

Most underrated card in the set, hands down. Quite possibly the best red common, this thing never gets picked highly. I don’t know why. Flurry is such an efficient spell—two Pensive Minotaurs with haste for only two extra colorless mana than a single Pensive Minotaur.  It’s the perfect five drop for an aggressive deck, providing two extra surprise attackers that likely will survive combat. Even on defense the flurry can help stabilize a board that is growing out of your control. I had three in my second draft video, and they were true all stars.

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Catch up!

2. Supply-Line Cranes

Strong commons that are undervalued in draft seem to be a recurring theme here. The cranes fit this to a T. Silent Artisan is already a solid-if-boring playable as this set’s ubiquitous white 3/5 for five mana. Adding in flying and the ability to put 1/1 of that creature somewhere else is a huge bonus.

Blue-white fliers took a hit as an archetype in the full block draft format, but Supply-Line Cranes really power that deck if you go that route. I’ve often been able to pick up two of the cranes in the middle of pack one and ended up with a strong air force that takes down games without having to rely on inconsistent heroic strategies. I generally try to avoid drafting white in the full block, but the cranes are one reason I will happily go in that direction.

1. Sigiled Starfish

By now everyone seems to know the power of the scryfish. A turn two Omenspeaker can provide a good start to any defensive (or even aggressive) blue deck, and scryfish turns out to be even better. I know I hate seeing one cast across the table on turn two, or turn ten.

Over the course of a slow game the controller of the scryfish will see probably twice as many cards in their deck as they would just drawing off the top. Assuming your deck is pretty good, that’s a recipe for victory. And it’s an 0/3, so it helps slow down early attacks and gets you to the late game where it takes over. The hardest part is remembering to scry every turn, and deciding whether to do it on upkeep or end of the opponent’s turn. Fantastic card, and my number one pick from Journey.

Time for a musical interlude! (Warning, “mature” content.)

And now, my top five cards of the block! These rankings are based on full block draft, so they come out a little different than my previous rankings of the individual sets.

5. Strength from the Fallen

The best kind of build-around-me uncommon is one that comes in the first pack of the drat and nobody else wants. When you can pick up the lynchpin of your deck at ninth or eleventh, that frees up your early picks for power cards that won’t wheel. It’s been a while since we’ve had a draft format with a good example of this type of card, but Strength from the Fallen fits the bill perfectly.  You need to pick up some Satyr Wayfinders in pack two, but nobody wants those either.

Just like Oakheart Dryads, strength gets even better with instant-speed constellation triggers. Wait until blockers are declared and then drop a Feral Invocation on an unblocked creature, giving it +2/+2 and whatever giant bump comes from your graveyard as well. Or my favorite combo which doesn’t even need to be after blockers, Noble Quarry. It’s a fun archetype and I hope you got a chance to play it during the set’s run.

4. Perplexing Chimera

Plexi, Plexi! A 3/3 Force of Will that nobody knows how to play against? There is real value in playing a card that makes your opponent go “huh?” People underestimate this card because it is so complex and unpredictable, but it is a real powerhouse. You can read about two of my successful outings with Plexi at GP DC round seven and GP Philly round eleven.

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You likeah dah juice?

3. Eidolon of Blossoms

One of my favorite old school cards back in the day was Verduran Enchantress.  Our new eidolon of enchantments really brings the fun to the table. In one game I went off with it and Aerie Worshippers. Let me tell you, cantripping off each free Wind Drake gets out of hand fast.

Of all the rares I could open to start a draft, Eidolon of Blossoms makes me the happiest. Green is already the best color, and getting a free card drawing engine to go with all the great constellation synergies is a big game. Eidolon pairs well with blue and black, putting you in the sweet spot to draft more of the best cards in the format.

2. Erebos’s Emissary

I think this card won me more games than any other. A key win condition in my 7-2 Grand Prix Sacramento deck as well as a powerhouse in my 6-2 PTQ deck in Coopersburg and my 4-2 deck in the DC Super Sunday Series sealed. I even beat Kenji “numotthenummy” Egashira in the finals of a block sealed daily live on his stream, avenging my loss to him at Grand Prix Montreal.

Ole Erb offers a devastating threat that is hard to block and hard not to block. Bestowing it can top off a winning aggressive curve, and it also provides an explosive finisher for a control deck. Pair it up with Dreadbringer Lampads to hit for a lot out of nowhere, and recycle your pumps with Font of Return. My favorite emissary by far.

1. Scholar of Athreos

Still number one in the hood, G. I love this card more than Stab Wound. High, high praise.

Speaking of which, it’s time to draft some more Stab Wounds in M15! See you next week.

Brendan McNamara (MTGO: eestlinc, Twitter: @brendanistan) used to play Magic in the old days. His favorite combo was Armageddon plus Zuran Orb. After running out of money to buy cards and friends who were willing to put up with that combo, he left the game. But like disco, he was bound to come back eventually. Now he’s a lawyer by day and a Dimir agent by night.

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