Is Theros Draft Battleship Magic?

October 11, 2013 | Posted by Will

Theros is not exactly “Battleship Magic,” at least not how I expected us to be playing with big bestow creatures and big flashy spells. Not that those things can’t happen, it’s just not every deck at the table, and many of the decks you do see are pretty, well, fast.

R/W has perfectly playable one drops and one and two cost auras that come in as early threats while they fill out the board horizontally. Cavalry Pegasus is a beating if you can’t answer it very quickly. The auras that make it hard to deal with are cheap and the white protection trick, Gods Willing, is plentiful.

B/W wants to suit up a flier with small advantages, play another and suit up again, and bounce your threats to sneak damage through. The color combination has tempo plays and most of the evasion. We should know that evasion is important always, but it’s more important now than it has been lately.

With removal as weak is it is, combat tricks have to function as removal. If you can avoid being interacted with in combat, you have a big advantage. This makes Aqueous Form a great card if you can catch your opponent off guard. It pairs really well on turn 3 with an Ordeal.

There are decks that have slower game plans. B/W has enough drain effects to keep up the attrition game and the pieces tend to clog up the ground as well. Gray Merchant of Asphodel is a huge player in this deck. I loved Returned Phalanx even when I had no blue to turn it on. As we’ve talked about with TherosStandard, 3/3 bodies are simply relevant.

The G/B deck has a lot of targets and a lot of different ways to get there. Pharika’s Mender is a great card for that deck. Any mana ramp creatures will help. Late pick Commune with the Gods and Nemesis of Mortals add more to the G/B theme. It’s also the only deck that gets real advantage from Pheres-Band Centaurs.

Heroic seems hard to pull off or at least inconsistent.

I haven’t played enough Theros to know more, but I’ll be using Magic Online (MTGO) to find draft experiences to talk about, dissect, and reflect upon.

One Response to “Is Theros Draft Battleship Magic?”

  1. Dave on October 14th, 2013 10:22 am

    If you can’t get a quick green biggie, go with fast and unblockable. Scry in this format works well too, not that it gets you to a win card, but ensures your next card isn’t a dud, i.e. a land card when you don’t need land.