Born of the Gods Prerelease Planning

I wrote about my general approach to prereleases last week, but now we know the prerelease promos for Born of the Gods, so its time to go a little deeper. The problem here is that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of room. These are quite similar in nature. There isn’t an outlier like the last few times, so you pretty much can’t go wrong at this stage. However, I do have personal preferences.

For white we have:

Silent Sentinel 5WW
Creature — Archon
Flying
Whenever Silent Sentinel attacks, you may return target enchantment card from your graveyard to the battlefield.
4/6

For blue:

Arbiter of the Ideal 4UU
Creature — Sphinx
Flying
Inspired — Whenever Arbiter of the Ideal becomes untapped, reveal the top card of your library. If it’s an artifact, creature, or land card, you may put it onto the battlefield with a manifestation counter on it. It’s an enchantment in addition to its other types.
4/5

For black:

Eater of Hope 5BB
Creature — Demon
Flying
{B}, Sacrifice another creature: Regenerate Eater of Hope.
2{B}, Sacrifice two other creatures: Destroy target creature.
6/4

For red:

Forgestoker Dragon 4RR
Creature — Dragon
Flying
1{R}: Forgestoker Dragon deals 1 damage to target creature. That creature can’t block this combat. Activate this ability only if Forgestoker Dragon is attacking.
5/4

For green:

Nessian Wilds Ravager 4GG
Creature — Hydra
Tribute 6 (As this creature enters the battlefield, an opponent of your choice may put 6 +1/+1 counter on it.)
When Nessian Wilds Ravager enters the battlefield, if tribute wasn’t paid, you may have Nessian Wilds Ravager fight another target creature.
6/6

So, we don’t know what exactly will Born of the Gods include, but we do know that the prerelease pack will include one seeded booster, which includes the promo card, 2 Born of the Gods boosters and three Theros boosters. This is something to work with. We know what Theros has and we know pretty well what’s good in the set.

So, first, the creature removal in Theros is pretty poor. Two key removal spells in this case are Rage of Purphoros and Lash of the Whip. They are key because all the others can either kill of these or none of these (well, not taking into account the color hosers or fight cards). These two can kill both the Eater of Hope and Forgestoker Dragon, except for the regeneration of Eater of Hope, which can save it from Purphoros, but not Erebos. Those cards are common, so they need to be taken into account.

Second, the difference between six and seven CMC might not seem like much, but it is. I’d much rather play a six drop than a seven drop, unless the seven drop brings something really, really big on the table. Eater of Hope is a really nice build-around card, but building around something in limited is very awkward. Silent Sentinel has similar problems, although in this block it might actually work. Actually, it could work very well. Still, its a seven mana card.

Third, evasion is always good. Nessian Wilds Ravager doesn’t have any, when all the others have flying. On the other hand, the Ravager can kick the asses of all the others and only die to Eater of Hope. Then again, 6/6 isn’t really that big in Theros limited, where I’ve regularly seen 11/11 Centaur Battlemasters.

Next question is which color has the best commons. This is important because those are the cards you’ll most likely get. The answer: Probably blue. Blue has Voyage’s End, Griptide and Nimbus Naiad. Both bouncers are just good when your opponent has those big creatures for which they need to use a lot of mana. Especially Griptide can set your opponent back, when they can’t draw that sixth or seventh land they so desperately need.

On the other hand, green has Leafcrown Dryad, Voyaging Satyr, Leafcrown Dryad and Nessian Asp, which all work well in a deck which is geared towards abusing your Nessian Wilds Ravager.

Of course, we shouldn’t forget everything we’ve learned from Theros limited in the past and those aggressive decks can still be great, but I’d go for either green or blue. I’ll probably go for blue and hope for fatties either from blue (pretty good chance of Prescient Chimera) or some other color. Even thinning your deck this way is good.

I think Arbiter of the Ideal is the best choice. Its the easiest to abuse and it probably comes with the best cards attached to its color. Of course you can always hope for something great in other colors (I had three Lightning Strikes in my Theros Prerelease deck). You never know. I went with blue.

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