So Born of the Gods has been out for a week now, and people have gotten to try out the new mechanics that were printed and those are Tribute and Inspired. The keyword Tribute is an ability that comes into effect as the creature is cast, allowing the opponent to choose whether to place + 1+1 counters on your creature, or let that creature do something, usually pretty nasty. A couple of good examples are Siren of the Fanged Coast and Fanatic of Xenagos.
Fanatic of Xenagos
I really like the tribute mechanic, but I felt that it was not implemented very well except for a couple of cards. That 3 drop trampler that’s swinging for 4 one way or another is nice, as is the Flame-Wreathed Pheonix, and the siren isn’t terrible, but none of them were exceptional. Oracle of Bones has potential but I was really honestly expecting a demon to have tribute in this set and the closest we got was a hydra that fights something unless you make it a 12/12. Overall I was disappointed in this mechanic, but I am really looking forward to them abusing it in the future. On a side note, tribute is a great way to go in drafts and sealed and could win you some free cards, so keep a look for it in the Limited formats.
On the other side of Born of the Gods, we have Inspired, which is a little keyword that says whenever this creature untaps, do X. This mechanic was very underwhelming as there are only 3 usable cards with this ability, and even they aren’t all that good. You have God-Favored General, which isn’t too bad, Oreskos Sun Guide which was useful in Limited and Siren of the Silent Song which I could see being played next to Ashiok. other than that they are all too expensive, or their abilities cost more mana than it is worth. This is just one of those abilities that might be nice to work in with Spingleaf drum and kiora’s follower, if only there were better effects to them. In EDH if you can get one of those nifty untap chains going one of them might be useful but otherwise, I hope this ability really gets majorly buffed or just done away with in Journey into Nyx.
Siren of the Silent Coast
A couple of mechanics from Theros return in Born of the Gods where we see multiple cards with Bestow and Heroic, and I was impressed with most of these. Hero of Iroas and Hero of Leina Tower really do the Heroic keyword a lot of good, and while that Hero of Iroas also helps out by making bestow creatures cheaper, Eidolon of Countless Battles, Herald of Torment, and Spiteful Returned can all do some nasty things to your opponents all on their own. I really like what they did with these creatures and while I still remain disappointed by no demon with tribute (it’s just too perfect) and no angels with Heroic, all in all, Born of the Gods wasn’t too bad at all.
A nasty combo, resulting in a turn 3 5/5
For those of you wanting to make some themed decks looking to run tribute or inspired, I’ve got a couple things for you. Running Corpsejack Menace turns every tribute into a huge threat, and running the Archetype of Aggression makes them regret every decision they have to make. For maximum meanness run a couple monstrous creatures and bioshifts to move those counters around to double them again with corpsejack or save them from a kill spell.
If you’re running inspired try getting there with hidden strings, kiora’s follower, spingleaf drum and prophet of kruphix for a constant stream of tapping and untapping while still having blockers.
A couple of fun cards for those casual themed decks
Finally, as to what I’m expecting from Journey Into Nyx, I’m really hoping for at least one demon with tribute, something that makes the inspired mechanic worth having been printed, and I would love for them to finally print a green white planeswalker. I’m also quite looking forward to seeing what Kruphix (the blue green god) is going to do and I’m excited for the commander potential for Keranos (the red blue god).
What is it you liked most about Born of the Gods and what are you looking forward to in the next set? Feel free to leave comments! join me next week for some amusing rogue decks ideas just in time for the SGC Qualifiers on the 22nd in Tallahassee!