Grand Prix Valencia 2013 - Heroic Feats

Posted in Event Coverage on November 10, 2013

Heroic, more than any other of the mechanics in Theros, can lead to some spectacular lines of play. For example, in his round-four feature match against Marijn Lybaert, Marcos Yustas created a 13/11 creature in three simple steps: step one, cast Centaur Battlemaster, step two, bestow Boon Satyr on it, step three, cast Time to Feed

 

But this is mere peanuts compared to the story which an excited Valentin Mackl, a Grand Prix Miami Top 8 competitor, has been telling basically everyone. In his fourth round today, he actually managed to have a combined power of 16 on the battlefield by turn four! "Turn two I cast Phalanx Leader, turn three Fabled Hero," Mackl explained, "and then on turn four, I cast another two-drop, Setessan Battle Priest or something, and had two copies of Coordinated Assault." Did we mention that said 16 power included an 8/6 double striker? "My opponent even blocked with Erebos's Emissary and discarded two creatures in his vain attempt to get rid of the Fabled Hero," said a happy Mackl. "That was awesome!"

However, Heroic doesn't only lead to straightforward, and somewhat simplistic, blowouts. The following story comes courtesy of Steve Hatto, Luxembourg's foremost pro player, and tells of a remarkable turnaround thanks to Heroic. Hatto was facing a newly-monstrous 8/8 Sealock Monster, a 5/5 Thassa, God of the Sea, as well as a Benthic Giant and Prescient Chimera, all attacking, and only had a tapped 4/4 Battlewise Hoplite and a 1/1 Phalanx Leader on the battlefield himself. Hatto was at 5, his opponent at 9. 

 

Obviously he won that game, or else he wouldn't have lived to tell the tale, but can you guess how he managed to do that? Well, he cast Breaching Hippocamp to untap his 4/4 Hoplite, then blocked Sealock Monster with Phalanx Leader and Benthic Giant with Battlewise Hoplite. Then he cast Last Breath on his very own Phalanx Leader to go to 9 and turn his Hippocamp 4/3, his Hoplite 5/5. He survived at 1 life and now had exactly enough damage to kill his opponent on the backswing.

Giving one's last breath (or Last Breath) for the greater glory of one's master? It doesn't get much more heroic than that! 

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