Dominate the Combat Phase with Odric, Master Tactician (Magic 2013 Preview Card)
June 13, 2012 | Posted by Dee
It’s interesting that right after Wizards previewed Sublime Archangel, a four mana white creature that gets better the more creatures you have on the battlefield, they spoil a similar four mana white creature.
Odric, Master Tactician costs the same as Sublime Archangel and has a similar body. However, he actually doesn’t play well with the mythic Angel because his special ability requires more than one attacker. In fact, it requires you to have at least four attackers.
Check out Odric below.
His 3/4 body is definitely good for four mana as we’ve seen Restoration Angel being played by many people in Standard.
First strike is a great ability with his three power. He can block to kill Strangeroot Geist or Wolfir Avenger and not worry about taking combat damage and then dying to a burn spell like Arc Trail or Pillar of Flame. Also, he can block and kill Geralf’s Messenger all day without dying even when the Zombie is a 4/3 from undying.
Odric’s four toughness is very important when players are casting Slagstorm, Brimstone Volley, Incinerate, and Bonfire of the Damned.
His special ability definitely requires you to play a lot of creatures so Odric fits well in a token deck. You’ll definitely want to play him with cards like Gather the Townsfolk, Lingering Souls, Midnight Haunting, Increasing Devotion, and Geist-Honored Monk.
Hero of Bladehold is another good token generating card but her token making ability doesn’t actually trigger Odric’s ability. Here’s the ruling from her official card page:
Although the tokens are attacking, they never were declared as attacking creatures (for purposes of abilities that trigger whenever a creature attacks, for example).
So keep that in mind. You’ll have to attack one time with Hero of Bladehold before you can count her two Soldier tokens towards Odric’s ability.
The Naya Pod deck also seems like a good fit for Odric. You’ve got good token cards in three-drop (Blade Splicer), four-drop (Huntmaster of the Fells), and five-drop (Geist-Honored Monk) spots. You can even play a six-drop that gives you multiple creatures (Sun Titan).
I could also see Odric in a Human deck since he is part of that tribe. Humans has token cards like Gather the Townsfolk, Blade Splicer, and Huntmaster of the Fells. Even Geist-Honored Monk is a Human.
How to Use Odric’s Special Ability
One powerful way to use Odric’s ability is making all your creatures unblockable. His ability allows you to choose which creatures block and zero blocking creatures is definitely an option. A few unblockable attacks from four creatures including a 3/4 is usually enough to deal lethal damage.
There are several ways to take advantage of unblockable attackers. You can attack planeswalkers. You can play Sword of War and Peace or Sword of Feast and Famine to gain a lot of value when you hit your opponent.
You can play Geist of Saint Traft, which is at his best when he can’t be blocked. By the way, Geist of Saint Traft has the same ruling as Hero of Bladehold for his Angel token. You can’t count on the Angel token to activate Odric’s ability.
You can attack with the Magic 2013 uncommon, Crusader of Odric (I like calling her Odric’s sidekick).
With all your creatures on the board, Crusader of Odric will be pretty big for only three mana. It takes four attackers to activate Odric’s ability, so she will be at least a 4/4. That’s not bad at all for three mana.
For a ton of damage, you should try Wolfir Silverheart. He is pretty awesome when your creatures are unblockable because he adds 12 power to your team for only five mana.
Of course, you don’t have to choose zero blockers. You can make certain creatures block if you want. For example, if there’s a creature you need to kill like Huntmaster of the Fells, Delver of Secrets, or Geist of Saint Traft, you can force it to block Odric.
Odric’s text doesn’t say target, so you can definitely force your opponent to block with Geist of Saint Traft even though it has hexproof (as long as its untapped).
If you have Odric and three other creatures on the board, your opponent will be hesitant to play Geist of Saint Traft or Delver of Secrets unless he can deal with Odric. He no longer has the option of counterattacking and racing. But if he doesn’t play his creature, you will just swing with your army and lower his life total. It’s a win-win situation for you.
If your opponent has big creatures that you need to deal with, you can play Nightshade Peddler to give one of your tokens deathtouch. Trading a 1/1 token for a Titan is pretty sweet.