Saturday, February 1, 2014

Are These Auras Born of the Gods?

The full spoiler for Born of the Gods was released late last week, and as a result I am hard at work on my full review of the set for Standard Pauper. In the mean time, all this week, I will be bringing you previews from my article, which should be up soon on

Today I want to talk about the other Common cycle of cards from Born of the Gods. The first, of course, was a new cycle of Bestow creatures, which I wrote about earlier this week. Interestingly enough, the second cycle are all Enchantments as well. However, in this case, they are Enchantment Auras specifically designed to enable the Inspired mechanic, which I also wrote about this week. In case you aren't familiar with them, here they are:

A quick scan should make it obvious why these are Inspired enablers, as each of them grants the enchanted creature the ability to tap to produce a certain effect. This gives you the ability to tap the creature without having to send it into combat, and hopefully allow it to survive to untap at the start of your next turn.

Unfortunately, I don't think any of them are good enough to see widespread play. Here's why:
  • All of these effects are slow, grindy effects that do nothing to impact the board. 
  • These Auras do nothing to prevent your opponent from simply destroying the creature, either before the Aura resolves or sometime afterwards. Either way, you've given your opponent a 2-for-1, and gotten very little gain out of the deal.
  • None of the Common Inspired effects are good enough to warrant building around them with what are otherwise weak cards.
  • These Auras also fail to do anything to mitigate the other weakness of the Inspired ability word, which is the fact that it takes almost 2 full turns after you cast the Inspired creature to get any value out of its ability.
I also mention in my article how the best way to account for these liabilities is to cast these Auras on a Hexproof creature and forget about Inspired creatures. Problem is, in a dedicated Hexproof deck, you typically have better things to do than tap them for a marginal effect.

Honestly, I like the idea of Auras that give creatures an activated ability. If these cards granted abilities like dealing 1 damage, or returning a card to its owner's hand, or untapping a creature, those might be worth the risk. But as is, there are few, if any, compelling reasons to cast these Auras.

What do you think?

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