Daily Dose of Amonkhet – Breaking it Down – Gods Edition
Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Amonkhet, where today I’m going to break down the five new gods. Each of the new god creatures you will see are very powerful, as they should be, but are they powerful enough to see play in Standard soon? I’m going to break down each of the five gods into four categories:
1) How are its creature stats and base abilities? - How is it as just a creature without any secondary abilities? How much of an impact will it have attacking or blocking?
2) How easily can it attack or block? - It’s great if you have this all-powerful god on your side of the battlefield, but if it never gets to attack or block, how good is it?
3) How good is its secondary ability? - While it's waiting to attack or block, can it still make an impact while on the battlefield?
4) Will it make an impact on Standard? - Here I’ll look at the overall picture, and if each god will be seeing Standard play once Amonkhet makes an appearance on April 28th.
Oketra the True
How are its creature stats and base abilities? – At 3/6 it has the lowest power of any of the Gods, but thanks to having double strike it's basically a 6/6 creature. If you can pump this up with cards like Always Watching then Oketra's double strike will truly start to shine. When it comes to creature combat, the double strike won’t come into play that often, since it is Indestructible it’s not going to die if blocking or being blocked anyway.
How easily can it attack or block? – White is a color which produces a lot of creatures, whether it be conventional, as tokens, or even as Planeswalkers like the new Gideon of the Trials. But even with this, having three other creatures on the battlefield at the same time as Oketra the True won’t be an easy task thanks to all the removal cards currently in the format.
How good is its secondary ability? – Oketra the True could be great in a Control deck where it can hold up mana for counterspells, but could also be a mana sink if you have nothing else to do with your mana. It can then create enough 1/1 Warrior tokens to be able to attack. When in doubt, making creatures is always good.
Will it make an impact on Standard? – This could see play in a Green/White creature base deck that plays upwards of 25+ creatures in the deck to begin with. As mentioned above, it could also see play in a Control build that takes advantage of being able to pump out tokens every turn.
Kefnet the Mindful
How are its creature stats and base abilities? – At three mana you'll able to get this onto the battlefield quickly, which is nice. Kefnet the Mindful is smaller in attack power as a 5/5 when compared to other Gods, but it has the best evasion out of them all thanks to having Flying. Being able to block Heart of Kiran and other flying threats will make it good on both defense and offense.
How easily can it attack or block? – This is probably the hardest of the Gods to make attack or block. Getting seven cards in your hand can be quite difficult to do in the mid-to-late part of the game when you will need them, and you can’t have eight cards in your hand at the end of your turn or you'll discard. If it goes to your opponents turn, they can always force a counterspell out of your hand before their attack phase, basically turning off Kefnet the Mindful.
How good is its secondary ability? – Drawing cards is always impressive, and this can when needed, draw you two cards. I love the fact that returning the land to your hand is a may ability, so you can use it when it's helpful, or keep your land in play if needed. It’s also nice that this can be used multiple times in a turn if you have enough mana to activate it twice or more, so if needed you can get four cards into your hand and give it a better chance to be able to attack or block.
Will it make an impact on Standard? – If this does see play in Standard, it will be used mostly for its ability to draw multiple cards and not because you hope to attack or block with it consistently. Getting seven cards is very hard to do, as you will want or need to use your cards.
Bontu the Glorified
How are its creature stats and base abilities? – Starting off as a 4/6 creature for three mana is one of the best power/toughness stats of the Gods. What makes this God be one of the best attackers of the bunch is that it has Menace. Menace means that they can’t chump block with only one blocker each time to prevent damage from going through. They will have to sacrifice two creatures just to stop Bontu the Glorified.
How easily can it attack or block? – Bontu the Glorified is one of the hardest Gods to activate into an attacker or blocker as very often you won’t want to sacrifice your own creatures. It makes more sense as a blocker, where it stays back as a threat, and you must only sacrifice a creature if you really need to block. Losing a creature every time you want to get four damage seems a bit too much of a sacrifice.
How good is its secondary ability? – Being able to scry is always powerful to help card selection. Draining your opponent for one life each time will add up, but overall this ability is lacking power compared to the other gods. Most often you will use it against your opponent’s removal to get value out of your creature before it dies, but even then you must have two mana up for it to work.
Will it make an impact on Standard? – I just can’t see a scenario in Standard where you can afford to constantly sacrifice your own creatures so that Bontu the Glorified can attack and block. Its ability just isn't strong enough on its own to warrant not being able to get into combat often.
Hazoret the Fervent
How are its creature stats and base abilities? - Being a 5/4 for four mana is on the lower end of the power curve compared to the other Gods, but Hazoret the Fervent has a certain keyword that makes it that much more powerful, haste. Being able to attack for five damage out of nowhere to get in those last points of damage, or to take out a Planeswalker is very powerful.
How easily can it attack or block? – Getting down to one card for a red deck of any kind isn’t that hard. It already has lots of cards that make it discard, and if you combine it with Black, you should be down to one card or less even on the turn that you cast it. Discarding cards to Haunted Dead or Lightning Axe will help you lower your hand size in no time.
How good is its secondary ability? – The fact that it costs three mana on top of discarding a card to deal two damage will make it difficult to use cards with madness. I really wish that its ability could also deal two damage to a creature, as that would have put it into the next tier. Dealing two to the face isn’t the worst thing that could happen though, as it does allow you to redirect that damage to a Planeswalker if needed.
Will it make an impact on Standard? – I believe that Hazoret the Fervent will see play in an FNM near you. Players love aggro decks and this fits in well with an aggro strategy, whether it be a Mono-Red deck or Black/Red Zombies. Being able to kill off Planeswalkers like Gideon, Ally of Zendikar will help it find a place in a Standard deck for sure.
Rhonas, the Indomitable
How are its creature stats and base abilities? – Being a 5/5 creature for three mana is great and can put a serious clock on your opponent if it can get into attack. Having deathtouch on a god seems like a little bit of a waste as most creatures that block it or are blocked by it will be dead anyways. Plus it has indestructible, so blocking it with multiple creatures just don’t make any sense. I would have preferred having trample instead of deathtouch.
How easily can it attack or block? – We have seen this exact attack condition before on Lambholt Pacifist and if that's any indication it will be easy to have another creature with power 4 or greater. Green has plenty of big creatures and ways to pump its creatures that you should be able to attack and block quite often with this god.
How good is its secondary ability? – Giving it the ability to pump up other creatures so that it can attack is great. Throw in the fact that it gives that creature trample as well, and you'll be able to get in for some extra damage on top of being able to attack with Rhonas, the Indomitable.
Will it make an impact on Standard? – I think that this will see an impact in both a Black/Green constrictor deck and in a Green/White creature deck. Getting four power in a Constrictor deck is quite easy thanks to cards like Winding Constrictor and Verdurous Gearhulk.
Which is your favourite god going into the new Standard season? I think that we'll see plenty of these gods on the battlefield in the coming months, but it’s hard to say which one will have the biggest impact on the format. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Amonkhet, and join me tomorrow as I continue previewing and analyzing the newest cards from Amonkhet.