Theros is all about the flavor. Mark Rosewater (aka MaRo and the head of design for MTG) said at the SDCC panel that “…if you don’t like Theros block then there’s no hope, Vorthos players”, and I can see why. Maybe it’s because I’m paying more attention to it this time around, but there is a lot to be excited about for Vorthos players. The cards spoiled so far have some incredible flavor, and so do the set mechanics themselves! I’m stoked. And when I first saw the official set trailer for Theros, I got even more excited.
Theros is shaping up to be a great world with an awesome storyline.
Now, I could spend all of this week’s post talking about the second part to the “Planeswalker’s Guide to Theros”, but you guys should go read that for yourself. It’s all about the three poleis. If you want to know more specifics about Meletis, Akros and Setessa, it’s a great breakdown of the three communities. I’m sure I’ll talk about them more later, but right now I’m too excited about the spoiled set info!
I am obviously not sure how these will be while actually playing, but flavor-wise, they’re pretty awesome.
Bestow — A mechanic found the new enchantment creatures that enables players to either cast the card as a creature for its normal mana cost, or as an enchantment for its bestow cost. The bonus is that unlike other enchantments, the spell doesn’t fizzle if the target it killed in response; it just enters the battlefield as a creature instead. I really like this mechanic’s flavor because the cards like a gift from the gods. And the enchantment creatures even have special borders and art elements to indicate they’re divine and from Nyx.
Heroic — As Heliod said in the trailer, Theros is full of heroes. So wizards created a mechanic just for them, and it seems pretty cool. The mechanic triggers abilities whenever the creature (or hero) with heroic is targeted by a spell you cast. My interpretation of the flavor behind this mechanic is that heroes are the leaders on the battlefield, so when you do something to help them it should influence the battlefield in more than one way.
Monstrosity — You can’t have heroes without monsters, after all. And monsters are big, bad and powerful. The monstrosity mechanic is basically one that makes the monsters even more scary. The player can pay to make the monster “monstrous” and it gets a certain number of +1/+1 counters on it and triggers an effect that influences the battlefield for that turn. I think this is great because in battle monsters are scary, and in my mind they’re probably getting more and more pissed of as the fight progresses. Once they hit their breaking point, BAM they’re legit terrifying.
Devotion — Some cards, like the gods, only do certain things when the devotion its color is high enough. None of the gods are creatures until the devotion is high enough, for example. Devotion is determined by the number of colored mana symbols on the battlefield in mana costs. So if you play a triple black mana card, it would raise the devotion to black up three points. The idea is really cool, especially in regards to the god cards. The gods can fight for you, but only if you are devout enough… basically if you worship them enough. There are other cards with devotion, too, and they all reward you for playing a lot of a certain color.
Scry — Scry is a returning mechanic, but it falls right into the Theros flavor. Scrying is the ability to look at the top few cards of your library, then deciding whether you actually want to draw them. If you don’t, you can put them at the bottom of your library. Pretty cool! It fits into Theros well because of Greek prophecies and oracles. In mythology, there is a lot of examples of predicting the future, and scry basically does that.
As you can tell, I’m pretty excited about all the mechanics. They seem like they’ll be cool to play with, and they appeal to my Vorthos side!
All for now,
What do you think about Theros and its mechanics so far?