Tuesday, January 14, 2014

To Tap or Not To Tap

It's spoiler season again, this time for the forthcoming Born of the Gods. As always, the early spoilers mostly consist of rares and mythic rares, with only a handful of commons to illustrate some of the new mechanics.

Today I want to talk about the first Common spoiled for this set: Oreskos Sun Guide. For the most part, it's not particularly interesting. It's a 2/2 for 1W, which is found in almost every recent set in either White or Green (or both). However, as is also customary, it also includes one of the new mechanics: Inspired.

Inspired is a fairly simple keyword ability. Whenever the creature gets untapped, a particular effect goes on the stack.

In this instance, whenever this Cat Monk untaps, you gain 2 Life. Obviously, for a creature to untap (which typically takes place at the start of your turn), it must first become tapped. While the most common way for this to occur is by attacking, other options certainly exist. In the existing cardpool, this includes White creatures with a tapping activated ability, regeneration effects, and Hidden Strings. Similarly, cards like Act of Treason or Savage Surge which untap a creature directly, although this still requires the creature to be tapped beforehand.

It is also worth pointing out that tapping the creature doesn't guarantee you'll get the effect. The creature has to actually survive until the start of your next turn before it untaps as thus triggers the effect. This is pretty key to understanding this effect.

The most recent analogs to this card include Cathedral Sanctifier and Lone Missionary. The latter saw frequent play, while the former did not. In my estimation, the difference was probably the Missionary's Power and Toughness, which certainly bodes well for Oreskos Sun Guide. On the other hand, the fact that you have to go through extra steps to gain the Life, rather than just receiving it upon entering the battlefield, makes this a tougher sell. Of course, the fact that you could potentially gain the Life multiple times certainly mitigates this extra work.

I will hold off making a final evaluation until the rest of the cardpool is spoiled. If there is a reasonable, repeatable way to tap your own creatures at Instant speed, this could end up being pretty good. If not, I am uncertain as to how much play it will see.

What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. "Epiphany Storm" cast on it in a Boros Build could be cool, if opponent board presence prevents one from tapping the cat for attack. Can't wait for the spoilers to complete !
    I think it will see play anyway, as having him in multiples on the battlefield can be good when it comes to life points race. Inspired is a great mechanic, just don't play your fav' Observant Alseid on it though !