Hey guys! Welcome to the fourth review of Trial of the Gods card set and next up is Magic. If you missed the previous review you can find them here: Neutrals, Light, Death. There is a lot to cover so let's jump in right away.
All of this data is subject to change before and after the release of Trial of the Gods.
Many card names are placeholders. Many cards do not have tribes assigned, but will prior to release.
Rarity of cards are not final. Some of these cards may be deleted. We may add cards prior to release."
Here is a document with the full list of cards: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qJBtnGvIP7pxWMP12aIe-Bs43-XRMwGaGXhz22iVvLg/edit#gid=0
A 5 mana 5/5 Aether creature with Roar: This creature gains blitz, if any enemy creature has blitz. Repeat for godblitz, deadly, flank, twin strike, regen, ward, and protected.
This effect is a little bit confusing as to how it actually works in some cases. So to clarify. Effects like Ward and Protected will be only copied if the effect is still active (Ward not broken by the spell and Protected not broken by damage). If a creature gets let's say blitz from Onslaught god power this will get blitz also.
So, a 5/5 creature for 5, on its own isn't terrible but getting any single effect except Flank or Twin strike is really strong, maybe Deadly not so much but still. It is a perfect counter for cards like Highborn Knight and Aeneas, a relatively small body with a couple of effects to copy. Especially useful versus already mentioned Onslaught War decks. The card isn't the worst played without any effects and most of the time that will mean that your opponent's side of the board is empty so you are ahead in tempo anyways. Really solid card gonna see a lot of play.
Blessing of Magic
A 4 mana spell that reads: At the end of the turn, gain favor equal to the amount of health your god is missing.
It looks like a pretty niche card that is mostly good if you are losing. For 4 mana I would expect this card to give me at least around 15 Favor because that's 4 mana worth of tempo and the effect is only felt on the next turn and of course, you need a reason to justify the need for that Favor over doing something on that turn. The primary use case for this one would be in a deck that is trying to utilize Divine Messenger and/or Metaphysical Chariot, other than that it just feels like you could be doing something more meaningful with you mana. If you aren't familiar with those cards you can find them on the Neutral cards review.
A 1 mana 1/3 Aether creature that reads: Whenever you cast a spell that costs 3 or less, gain +1 strength until the start of your next turn.
Further down the list we are going to see this new archetype developing for Magic da uses a lot of 3 and less mana spells in the aggressive fashion to close out the games as fast as possible. With that in mind, it looks like this card will be a huge part of this playstyle. Magic already has some powerful cheap spells like Ancient Texts, Tracking Bolt and Starshard Bolt and there are also cards that can lower their cost like Arcane Transcendent so even higher cost spells can contribute to these effects. This 1/3 will in most cases be more like a 2/3 or even 3/3 so it's easy to say that this card will be exceptionally strong 1-drop.
A 3 mana spell that has Soulless, and reads: Pull 2 random spells that cost 3 or less from your void to your hand.
Well, this is a first, a spell with Soulless and there is a good reason for it. It is an easy way to avoid the constant loops of two Forgotten Knowledges, and in the future, if they are going to buff Discovery (which should be done) it won't generate an absurd amount of value. Since it also costs 3 mana and gives you back two cheap spells it will be a staple in the already mentioned archetype.
Form of Power
A 1 mana spell that reads: Deal 2 damage to an enemy creature and 2 damage to your opponent's god.
This is a perfect Aggro card and for its cost, it deals so much damage! For example, it deals in total the same amount of damage as Starshard Bolt that costs 2 and it's even better since you will be most likely playing aggressively so that split which can kill a smaller creature and also deal damage to the face is even more efficient. At the same time, it buffs your College Familiar and whatnot. This card is amazing if not potentially broken.
Form of Unity
A 3 mana spell that reads: Deal 2 damage to a character for each friendly creature on the board.
I already covered these "Form spells" after the Magic Champion tease and said this one will be definitely overpowered. Why? Well, it isn't that hard to imagine that Aggro deck is going to have around three creatures on board on average and that would mean that this spell will be able to do 6 damage to any character which includes face. Even if it's only 4 it deals one damage less that Wyrmbreath that costs 4 mana. Okay, it won't be as consistent but most of the time you can expect to lose against this card, be it finishing you off or removing a giant Frontline creature to get to your face. Maybe I'm overreacting, and all those new neutrals that give Ward to gods will be enough to defend against this.
Form of Wisdom
A 2 mana spell that reads: Draw a card, if it's a spell that costs 3 or less, reduce its cost to 0.
It doesn't seem too strong, it cycles itself with a potential benefit. It doesn't fit Aggro style too much so I don't think we will see it used there but it looks like a great addition to Dragonkin Caller and Enter the Arena in forming a more consistent Combo deck oriented around Cloning Leyhoard Hatchling. It's an okay card but its use is highly limited and inconsistent.
A 5 mana 3/3 legendary creature with Ward and reads: After you cast a spell that costs 3 or less, refresh 1 mana.
Kinda meh. The creature itself is worth around 3 mana so just to compensate for the tempo loss you will need to play two spells. Ward is a key part here since it will give it a better chance of surviving a turn if you already have some kind of board control. The problem is that this card comes so late it will barely every make a difference in Aggro so it will make more sense to use it in a bit slower decks but then again you will probably find better options to fill your 5 mana slots.
Majes, Ghost Philosopher
A 5 mana 2/1 legendary creature with Roar: Add a Form of Wisdom, Power, and Unity to your hand.
Another legendary on the 5 mana slot but this one is much better and can be useful across many archetypes. It just gives nice value. Even though it has really abysmal body it can be useful for Aggro, just because it gives so much potential damage and it is similar to drawing 3 cards but you know exactly what you will get and it is possible to plan ahead reliably. Not a priority card to have on your list but it can give more juice for the extended Midgame for aggressive style decks.
A 3 mana 2/4 Aether creature with Roar: Reduce the cost of a random Aether in your hand that costs 3 or less to 1.
For this to be worth playing you only need 1 mana discount to equal out the tempo you are sacrificing. That shouldn't be too hard to accomplish especially now that Magic is getting quite a number of Aether creatures. Also, it is an Aether so activating other Aether effects that usually need you to hold one in hand will become easier, like for the next card.
A 2 mana 2/3 Aether creature with Roar: If you are holding an Aether, deal 3 damage to your opponent's god.
Not much to say about this one. Okay, body if you are able to activate its Roar. Very suitable for Aggro and it is another Aether on the list. It can get discounted by Mana Auditor, a very nice card.
A 7 mana spell that reads: Deal 1 damage to a character for each spell that costs 3 or less in your void.
This card is interesting, it kinda uses all the Aggro cards from the set but acts more like a combo piece that needs preparation. 7 mana is obviously too much for Aggro so it will be most certainly be used in a different way. Considering that there are a lot of cheap spells for Magic you can easily make a deck with like 20 of them in it and there is quite a number of them that cycle, like Dimension Door, Levitate, Seeing Stone, etc. Getting around 15 of them in the void won't be easy but also getting to 7 mana takes some time. So finishing your opponent across two turns with two of these can be a possibility.
On the more serious note, if you take a decent number of cheap spells and make a Midrange style of deck, this could be some kind of finisher that you can expect to deal between 7-10 damage easily. I know this isn't just for burning face but using it for Control doesn't seem most practical compared to other hard removals in Magic's disposal. It is a type of card that really needs experimenting before you get a feel as to very it really belongs.
Pallas, Champion of Magic
A 3 mana 1/4 legendary creature with Ward and Ability: Target a character -- If it is an enemy god, obliterate a random card in their void, and deal damage equal to its cost to them. If it is an enemy creature, deal 2 damage to it.
For some reason, when Pallas was first revealed in my review I said it wasn't really impressive, and that's because I somehow read it has Roar, not Ability which changes things a lot.
Because it is an Ability creature, it somewhat requires you to have some kind of board control already to get the full potential out of it and since its use is flexible this card can be used from full Aggro to a value generator type of card. Using the effect on opponent's god is variable but that isn't a problem since you should be doing it only if you don't need to remove creatures or you are just trying to set up a lethal. Targeting creatures and dealing 2 damage per use is quite strong, especially because it has Ward so your opponent will have some trouble getting rid of it without trading or using extra mana for it. Really strong card, we gonna see a lot of it in Magic decks.
A 6 mana spell that reads: Transform each creature that costs 6 mana or more into a 1/1 Rat. Obliterate both voids.
If anything this is mostly an anti-control control card. For 6 mana the effect can be really powerful but because of its limitations, it will be most useful only versus other control decks. Having two copies of it in the deck is a bit too risky when you play versus other match-ups since you don't want to draw them in those cases. When I said in the last review that there is a nice counter card for probably otherwise broken Trial of the Underworld, I was thinking about this card. Because it obliterates both voids it basically nullifies its effect, alongside the use of things like Raise Dead and also can help versus Light if they use Born Again or Radiant Embalmer. Quite simply, depending on how popular slower decks will be at the time we will see more or less of this card in the meta.
A 2 mana 0/1 legendary relic that reads: After you play a Magic card, add 1 durability to this relic. Ability: Draw a card, then remove 3 durability from this relic.
I don't have much faith in the relics in the upcoming expansion simply because if the meta will be full of them because naturally, we will see a lot of relic removals being used. But that isn't much of a problem for this one as it's really cheap and you won't be too dependent on it. Getting on the card out of it won't be something to aim for but with faster decks, it won't be a problem to get at least two uses out of it quickly. There is not much else to say about this one, just don't be too greedy trying to hold on it too long and you'll be fine.
A 4 mana 4/5 Aether creature with Afterlife: If you are holding an Aether, gain 9 favor.
Aether Wetlands Ogre that gives 9 favor? Divine Messanger is also Aether, the dream! Magic could indeed be the one that develops this archetype into something worth playing. Even without that, it could be used alongside other aggressive Aethers reviewed so far to get an extra card from the Sanctum and that's good enough. A solid body, solid Afterlife, nice card overall.
Rod of Rodents
A 3 mana 0/1 relic that reads: After you cast a spell that costs 3 or less, summon a 1/1 Rat.
In theory, a bunch of free 1/1s can be quite strong but it needs a lot of time to accomplish to be worth it. To get what you paid for you need to summon at least 3-4 rats but since relics tend to get removed this won't be an easy task and there is no need for this type of card in anything other than Aggro or maybe even Midrange/Zoo so there is plenty of other options to go for in the 3 mana slot already. Doesn't seem like it will get to see a lot of play I guess.
A 4 mana 2/3 creature with Spell boost +1 and Roar: Remove 8 durability from your opponent’s relic. If this destroys a relic, your opponent draws a card.
If you really hate relics you will use this card. But the body really sucks and Spell Boost won't make a huge difference in most cases. Even when you destroy a relic you opponent is getting a card in return so you might consider using other relic removals instead. Maybe if this was a cheaper or bigger creature this would see a moderate amount of play, depending on how easy it will be to get rid of those legendary relics this won't be worth running.
Trial of the False Reflection
A 5 mana spell that reads: Summon a copy of target creature. The copy has "At the start of your turn, summon a copy of this creature."
Oh boy, isn't this something. If you can target hard to remove creatures with this one it can get out of control pretty quickly. Thankfully there are no hidden creatures available for Magic (excluding hidden for 1 turn) that could easily make this card broken but getting this on Ward creatures does seem like a powerful thing to do. If you are able to copy any bigger creature only once you still paid only 5 mana for it which is nice. A solid card, imagine endless copies of Planetar Sages, easy Divine Messanger trigger.
A 5 mana 5/5 Aether creature with Roar: If you are holding an Aether, reduce the cost of a spell in your hand that costs 3 or less to 1.
Nice tempo card and another addition in the Aether family. If this actually works with spells that were already discounted from higher mana to 2-3 to reduce it further to one this can enable scenarios where you could, for example, reduce Rune Viper Tincture from 5 to 3 with Arcane Transcendent and than to 1 with this guy and then draw three cards for only 1 mana this will be an awesome card. And I imagine it should work like that. Even without it, its body is quite alright if you just use it to get a 1 mana discount.
This is it for today's review. Magic got a lot of aggressive tools so I won't be surprised if this manifests in a lot of Aggro decks. Aether tribe is also getting a lot of members and has a lot of options ranging from really aggressive to much slower Value-based playstyle and even, I hope, a deck revolving around Divine Messanger. A couple of Combo enabling pieces including Neutrals could create the first "real" Combo deck as well. Overall Magic seems widely spread across the spectrum and I like it very much. What do you guys think will come out of it? If you have any questions or want to discuss some cards in more detail please leave a comment below.
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Thank you for reading!