Saturday, 2:19 p.m. – New Gods on the Block

Posted in Event Coverage on February 15, 2014

By Nate Price

A longtime member of the Pro Tour and Grand Prix coverage staff, Nate Price now works making beautiful words for all of you lovely people as the community manager for organized play. When not covering events, he lords over the @MagicProTour Twitter account, ruling with an iron fist.

This is going to be the first Professional Level event to exclusively feature the newest addition to the pantheon: Born of the Gods. This new set features 249 cards designed to enhance strategies already inherent to Theros Limited, as well as enable some new ones.

Many of the things that made Theros Limited tick return. There are two new cycles of bestow creatures to enhance your armies. The common cycle is a more extensive foray into the realm "non-square" statistics, something R&D tried to avoid in Theros.

The uncommon cycle is another series of cards that grant a hallmark ability from each color.

Just as in Theros, all of these bestow cards are bound to be fairly powerful, even the innocuous looking commons. Scry, heroic, and devotion are all back, as well, each doing more or less the same thing they could be found doing in Theros Limited.

Perhaps the most notable exclusion from Born of the Gods is the monstrosity mechanic. In its place is the new tribute mechanic. Tribute pays homage to the Greek mythological trope of paying some sort of tribute to appease an angry God. Often, the tribute that was paid came at a terrible cost, like the sacrifice of someone's invariably beautiful daughter (gigantic sea monsters have needs, too). Born of the Gods's tribute puts players at a similar impasse. When a creature with tribute comes into play, they may either pay the tribute, keeping the beast appeased, or ignore its demands for beautiful women and suffer its now much larger wrath. Is it easier for you to deal with a single 5/5 flier, or would you rather face a 3/3 flier and two 1/1 fliers? Would you rather have an 8/8 rampaging on the other side of the field, or would it be easier to handle a 5/5 hasty one? Tribute asks the kinds of questions that leave players feeling terrible no matter which choice they make, unless you're the one asking them!

The other new mechanic is, well, an inspired one. Creatures with inspired have abilities that trigger when they untap, such as drawing a card or generating a token. This is especially potent in Limited, where attacking is the name of the game. In addition to attacking, Born of the Gods offers a few enablers to really help the inspiration start to flow. Cards like Karametra's Favor and Evanescent Intellect offer ways to tap your creatures without attacking, as well as providing a way to trigger heroic. Inspired also has an impact on the power level of some of Theros's cards. Breaching Hippocamp, Triton Tactics, and Savage Surge might see a change in their value now that inspired is a thing.

This weekend presents the first chance to really dig deep into how these new cards and mechanics will alter the landscape of Theros Block Limited. The information gleaned from this weekend will prove to be incredibly important in just one week, when Born of the Gods/Theros Booster Draft takes center stage at Pro Tour Born of the Gods. So keep an eye out, make sure you do your homework, and make an effort to sift through this mountain of new information with us and the over 700 players here at Grand Prix Mexico City!

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