Kiora Bests the Sea God
– Theros Beyond Death
February 7, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 3.38
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Considering how many times Theros’ gods have been bested by planeswalkers just in the four sets we’ve had so far, you have to wonder how they’ve lasted as long as they have. And I also feel like they’re probably lucky they never had to go up against pre-Mending powerhouses like Urza and Freyalise!
Kiora Bests the Sea God gives you a pretty decent taste of our merfolk planeswalker’s victory, with three abilities that could each win you the game on their own. It’s definitely a late-game card by cost, and it’s sometimes a little slow if you’re hoping to use all three abilities, but it’s also worth noting that a green deck might be able to ramp into it early. (This was the general strategy used by Kiora’s deck in Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012, and it was really fun to play; I still endorse the concept now and encourage trying this card there!) You can also use it on two or more different players if you have more than one opponent, and that kind of flexibility is often key to success in multiplayer settings.
If we ignore the mana cost of Kiora Bests the Sea God, the stirring tale of Kiora stealing Thassa’s bident during the events of Theros, it’s arguably the strongest set of abilities on a single Saga to date. You get a resilient 8/8, a freeze of your opponent’s board, and their best permanent over three turns! That’s a pretty nasty set of effects, especially when chained over three turns, and that’s more than the mana cost of this card alone.
As for the mana cost…that’s where things look less rosy, as seven mana is a lot, even if you get an immediate 8/8 with hexproof out of this. You’ll win the game eventually off of Kiora Bests the Sea God in most cases, because the worst-case scenario is still pretty good, but it’s a steep price to pat to end the game, and it struggles against slower decks (since blue isn’t as good at cheating on mana costs). It’s an undisputed draft bomb, and it’s still very powerful, but I’m not sold on it in Constructed yet.
Constructed: 2.75 (just a bit slow to really be a powerhouse)
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