Theros Block Speculation: Legendary Creatures
With the Dragon’s Maze prelease right behind us heralding the end of the Return to Ravnica block, eager Magic fans have already begun speculation on the next block and its first set, Theros. A Greco-Roman themed set, this looks like it may be borrowing flavor from the tales of old as Innistrad did with major Gothic overtones and themes. So, let’s talk legendary, which any god certainly qualifies as. Come with me as I delve deep into the world of Greek myth and legend and discuss what legendary creatures we might expect from this new and exciting block.
As we know, there will always be good guys in each set and there will always be the baddies. Whether it’s Urza throwing down with Yawgmoth or the Phyrexians battling the Mirrans, each set has its enemies and its heroes. Unsurprisingly, the same holds true for Grecian myths. Let’s say then that we’re casting the bad guys and the good guys at the legendary slots for the next block. Who are they? Let’s talk good guys first. These are our Greek Gods. Let’s discuss each color and the god that most personifies them and how that could be employed in a Magic card. Of course this is probably wildly wrong, but hey wild speculation is half the fun of a new block.
White is up first and the Greek god that runs the whole show is the one that most fits this color. That’s right, Zeus. While his primary tool is a lightning bolt, which is iconically red space, he uses it to instill order over Olympus. White is a difficult color to fit to Greek gods, because all are so frequently fighting, whether it is against Titans or amongst themselves. That along with the increasingly aggressive state of Standard leads me to believe that we are going to have a round of extremely aggressive big bads to top out our curves. As for our white legend, we can be sure that he will be quite adept in battle and will probably have his fair share of keywords down in the rules text. Vigilance is the go-to keyword ability for white but here’s hoping we get something spicy for the new block to give these characters some of that good ol’ Magic flavor.
Next up, we’re talkin red and boy, oh boy, do a lot of Greek gods fit in here. I think ultimately, though the place has to be awarded to Ares. I mean come on god of blood, war and destruction. Can you be any more red? Ares fights. Frequently. He always has a beef with another god and is ready to kick some ass at a moment’s notice. Hence, like most good red guys, he’ll probably have haste. First strike, too probably. But is anyone else tired of oh here we go another red haste, first striker? I’d like to see something more from this guy. He’s the god of war so maybe he gives you a boost the more creatures you commit to the board. Oh wait. That’s battalion. Here’s where we see Wizards R&D conundrum. How do you innovate red? It’s just damage spam but it needs depth to keep it interesting in this world of Omni-door Thragfire Prime Speaker Wolf Run Reanimator Flash decks. A possibility that ties into another Theros speculation, legendary equipment, could be a boost if equipped, which is a mechanic we have seen before in Magic. Regardless of the particular fix, I believe WoTC will trot out something spicy for all of us red lovers.
Next color up is green and here the God I’m picking here is Demeter, goddess of the harvest. As goddess of the harvest she is in control of growth of all the Greek crops and what I’d like to see from her is a card that is relatively weak in its own right but provides a large bonus to other green creatures you control. A permanent giant growth effect can change a lot of battlefield math and turn your mana accelerant creatures into threats in their own right. Evolving your Gyre Sage to accelerate your mana then dropping this turning it into a potential 4 or 5 power creature is nothing to scoff at and will allow it to be more versatile in combat while still ramping you all the way into your Craterhoof Behemoth.
Blue is next and you’re probably all thinking Poseidon here but I am thinking something else entirely. Hear me out. Hermes. This little trickster should be the cause of sooo many shenanigans. I want to manipulate the battlefield. In the mythos he was the messenger of the gods, and yet he always seemed to look out for his own interests first. As a child he was a mischievous liar and thief and as a god he was no different. With the recent release of Aetherling we have a new version of Morphling so there’s that ruled out. What I would rather see is a very blue card here. Low power and high toughness with a powerful and game-state altering enter the battlefield effect. An effect in particular that I would enjoy seeing is not only giving the spells in your graveyard flashback but allowing them to use alternative casting costs such as fuse and overload. Yes, I realize that this is against the rules, but let’s all try to remember that this is Magic and Chaos Orb is a real thing. I’m envisioning a situation in which I use one half of my fuse card for early game advantage, then when I need it again, I can pick it up and fuse it for a powerful late game effect.
Last but never least is Hades repping black. Hades is a power hungry, jealous, treacherous god. He is cruel. He is unforgiving. But, unappealing as it may be he is powerful. Very powerful. He commands the souls of all who have ever died. His realm is unspeakably large and contains the darkest place in the entire known span of all worlds, Tartarus. I want to see a creature with total dominance over all graveyards, that’s right even yours. It’s all under Hades’ dominion. Black’s power could be an alluring and difficult line to walk in Theros and I would love if it were. Conley Woods’ mono black with a splash of red deck at Pro Tour Gatecrash proved that black decks are still potent even without good ol’ necropotence.
The final color is….another red card? Check this one out. Hephaestus. He is the Greek god of building cool stuff, and secondarily fire and I want him pumping out cool equipment and artifacts with sweet bonuses. There has been a lot of speculation so far about equipment and I feel a large bodied legendary red guy that helps get those things out in an almost Stoneforge Mystic type way that can fit onto multiple decks would be really exciting for the game. Now due to his being the god of fire he is going to be a red card, but with all the equipment we players are expecting (Now seating Legendaries, party of Jitte.) it would be good to have a legendary creature that interacts with these in a positive way.
So there they are: the good guys I’d like to see for Theros. Join me next time, when I’ll be starting my series of articles detailing why Urza was a eugenics practicing, brother murdering psycho, and why I, Yawgmoth, get a bad rep.
(Mana Symbols and Umezawa’s Jitte © 1993 – 2013 Wizards of the Coast, LLC)