Card of the Day - February, 2014

Posted in Daily Deck on February 3, 2014

Ajani, Caller of the Pride Magic 2014 Core Set . Ajani is a powerful warrior, in addition to a Planeswalker, whose spark ignited when his beloved brother—and leader of their pride—was assassinated. He met Sarkhan Vol on Jund after his first planeswalk. Later, he befriended Elspeth Tirel, as we know from her "Lost Confession" to him.

Kemba, Kha Regent Scars of Mirrodin . We know, from "The Nonhuman Cultures of Mirrodin," that Kemba prefers the title of "regent" instead of "kha," and hopes not only for the return of Raksha Golden Cub, but to also reunite the leonin prides before his return.

Jedit Ojanen of Efrava Planar Chaos . The second set of the Time Spiral block, Planar Chaos presented alternative Dominarias through cards that bent the color pie and new versions of otherwise familiar legendary creatures. The flavor text here is referring to that, as the original Jedit Ojanen, was a white-blue vanilla creature (that is, one with no abilities), from Legends.

Brimaz, King of Oreskos Born of the Gods . We know from the "Planeswalker's Guide to Theros, Part 3," that Oreskos is the central domain of the leonin, who are slowly reverting to their original culture and abandoning that which was imposed on them by humans.

Ajani's ChosenMagic 2014 Core Set . It might be hard to see at card size, but these three cat soldiers are paying homage to their albino Planeswalker leader. From the art description: "Each of them has a symbolic mark of face paint that slashes down over their left eye, that mimics Ajani's eye scar."

Drown in SorrowBorn of the Gods. This is not the only sage saying of Perisophia the philosopher, the "most learned living philosopher of Meletis." And when she isn't being quoted in flavor text, Perisophia is known to question reality and commune directly with the god Ephara.

Anger of the GodsTheros. In his Multiverse-delving article, " The M Files: Theros," Sam Stoddard talks about several different issues that Anger of the Gods solved, one of which is red board sweeper—which the Theros Release Notes clarifies: "Creatures don't necessarily have to be dealt lethal damage by Anger of the Gods to be exiled. After being dealt damage, if they would die for any reason that turn, they'll be exiled instead."

Avatar of WoeProphecy.The set Prophecy contained five different Avatars—Hope, Will, Woe, Fury, and Might—connected mechanically with a condition that drops the cost by when conditions are met. Of the original five, Avatar of Woe has been reprinted the most (for a total of five printings).

Militia's PrideLorwyn. What the flavor text is getting at on this card is the thoughtweft, a magical empathic bond among all kithkin. Read more about the thoughtweft and kithkin in general with this article by Doug Beyer and this one by Rei Nakazawa.

Eater of HopeBorn of the Gods. There are three Demons so far in Theros block; all are rare and have in their cost (it shouldn't be a surprise that Demons are pretty devoted to black). Eater of Hope definitely loves the Harpy tokens created by Abhorrent Overlord's devotion (four just from these two Demons alone), and if you're interested in a Demon and Harpy deck, you'll want to know there are three of those in the block as well.

Screaming SeahawkOnslaught. A variant of the enters-the-battlefield effect of this card is probably more famous among newer players on Squadron Hawk, a key component of the dominant Caw-Blade deck a few years ago. The first version of this ability appeared in Weatherlight, but you had to pay mana to use it. The ability became free in Mercadian Masque, into Nemesis, and Onslaught featured four cards with it (including the flier featured today).

Tower of ChampionsMirrodin. This card was originally part of a cycle that wasn't actually a cycle that then became an actual cycle with Scars of Mirrodin. Sounds like a story, doesn't it? Fortunately, Mark Rosewater relates the entire story about that in his Making Magic article, " That's Going to Leave Scars, Part 3 ."

Kiora, the Crashing WaveBorn of the Gods. As described in the " Planeswalker's Guide to Born of the Gods" and hinted at in the flavor text of Kiora's Follower, "Some tritons believe that Kiora is an avatar or herald of Thassa, god of the sea. Kiora does not disabuse them of this notion—in fact, she rather enjoys the attention." Read more about Kiora in this Uncharted Realms story by Kelly Digges.

Contested War ZoneMirrodin Besieged. This card has been written about a couple times on our site, each time from a different angle. If you like fun combos and enjoy the idea of an entire board full of Contested War Zones, get some ideas with From the Lab's "No Contest" article. If instead you'd like a closer look at Scott Chou's excellent artwork, the Arcana "In the War Zone" has you covered.

Thassa, God of the SeaTheros. The " Planeswalker's Guide to Theros, Part 1 " tells us of Thassa that, "Although tritons exalt her above all other gods, she shows no favoritism toward them, seeming equally impassive to all mortals." That might have been true until Kiora arrived and did nothing to dissuade tritons of thinking she was a manifestation of Thassa. Kiora should be careful, though, because, "Thassa is slow to anger but implacable once roused."

Archetype of FinalityBorn of the Gods. The word "archetype" follows the pretty typical trail of Ancient Greek to Latin to French to English, which it entered in the sixteenth century. The Greek arkhetypos meant "first-molded" or "something molded first as an example" and is composed of arkhe, or "first, origin, primitive" (itself related to the word that gave us "archon"—see yesterday's card), and typos, meaning "press, type, model." Incidentally, "final" (and thus "finality") comes from Latin's finalis.

Silent SentinelBorn of the Gods. We haven't seen any Angels on Theros, but there are several Archons. And the word "archon" comes to us from Greek, which makes it topical. In Ancient Greek, arkhon meant "ruler." But when it entered English in the seventeenth century, it more specifically came to refer to one of the nine chief magistrates of ancient Athens.

PeregrinationBorn of the Gods. This word—and it is an actual word in English—originated in Rome, not Greece. It means "an excursion, especially on foot or to a foreign country" and comes to us from Latin (where it meant "from abroad" or "found outside Roman territory") via French.

Spirit of the LabyrinthBorn of the Gods. The word "labyrinth" in Ancient Greek referred specifically to the maze that trapped the Minotaur, and came to us in the "maze" meaning from Latin, via French. It possibly came to Ancient Greek from Lydian labrys (a double-bladed axe and symbol of royal power), but its etymology is not entirely clear.

Meletis AstronomerBorn of the Gods. Meletis is the Theran "polis of learning, magic, and progress" and is home to Daxos, among others. "Astronomer" derives from "astronomy," naturally, which came to English via Old French and Latin. It originated in the Ancient Greek astronomia, which is astron ("star") + nomos ("arranging, regulating"). And astron might be even older, perhaps going back to PIE (that is, Proto Indo-European).

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