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Pojo's Magic The Gathering Card of the Day
Daily Since November 2001!

Image from Wizards.com

Protean Hydra

Reviewed July 9, 2009

Constructed: 2.80
Casual: 3.80
Limited: 3.60
Multiplayer: 3.20

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

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Card of the Day Reviews 


Protean Hydra

My only objection with this card is how quickly they were willing to obsolete Feral Hydra. This card is absolutely nuts, especially if you run anything that can pump its toughness.

Constructed- 4.5
Casual- 4.75
Multiplayer- 4.5
Limited- 4.99

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Protean Hydra

This card is almost sure to be underestimated. You get a decent ratio of power to investment, and it's very hard to kill on top of that - outright impossible if you add Elephant Guide or Behemoth Sledge. Wonder if we'll get Hercules as a mythic rare in M11?

Constructed: 2/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 4/5
Multiplayer: 2/5




Protean Hydra


Constructed: Cut one head off two grow back, sounds like a bad horrow flick. My question is how is this going to work out with Wither?


Casual & Multiplayer: Going to make a new weed deck. I think I will us it with the Graft ability.


Limited: This can be a bet stick unless there is non-damage removal spell available. It make for a real good blocker too. Good thing it does not fly.


Overall a good card.


Costructed: 3

Casual: 3

Multiplayer: 3

Limited: 4





Magic The Gathering COTD: Protean Hydra

Welcome back readers today’s card just oozes with fantasy flavor, Protean Hydra is the epitome epitimy of the mystical hydra creature. Every head you manage to cut off is immediately replaced by two more heads. This hydra starts with X +1/+1 counters on it as it enters the battlefield, whenever damage would be dealt to it you remove that many +1/+1 counters and at the end of turn you put two on the hydra for each counter removed. An interesting affect attached to a mana intensive creature, a creature that for the most part can’t be dealt less damage than what would kill him unless an opponent wants to tangle with an even more frightening monster.

 In standard with the introduction of M10 I don’t predict Protean Hydra making much of an impact as its vulnerable to all spot removal that works on more commonly played creatures. In Extended and eternal formats it wont likely see play unless it’s in some bizarre combo deck. In casual and multiplayer creatures like Protean Hydra can become nearly unstoppable, ramping into the hydra of dropping it late game when most opponent’s removal is exhausted dropping this creature and giving it evasion allows you to keep fat on the board in one convenient creature. In limited its mana intensive but can survive and grow from combat, an interesting possibility but nothing immediately jumps out to me about its playability in limited. It’s great to see card designs like this from Wizards, flavorful and fun to play, an interesting addition to Magic 2010.

Constructed: 1.0
Casual: 3.0
Limited: 2.0
Multiplayer: 3.0

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno Today's card of the day is Protean Hydra which to me is the first real Hydra design. In mythology when you cut off one head of the hydra two more grow back. Wizards has brought this idea home with new +1/+1 counter mechanics. As a mythic rare you may not see too many of them the next two weekends, but if you happen to get one it is a limited bomb.

The two tricks here start with dealing damage to your own creature, which is easy enough with Red in Standard having cards like Prodigal Pyromancer or Pyroclasm. This is much like the old Fungusaur strategy and similar to the more recently released Spitemare, so decks that used them may enjoy the additional target. The more devious strategy is simply using any kind of toughness enhancement without a +1/+1 counter involved. This grants the hydra damage immunity as it prevents all damage received to remove counters instead. Note that it can and will die from zero toughness if all counters are removed without another effect in play keeping it alive.

Constructed could have some seriously fun decks built around this card, but it isn't really going to change the game. It is still vulnerable to most forms of removal and true protection requires an additional card.
Without any evasive skills or trample making it a direct threat Green has many other weapons in their arsenal that would press an opponent more effectively.

Casual is already warming up the Hydra decks to make a happy X mana cost home for this latest addition. It is a fun card to drop on the table and keep up with enchantments or Giant Growth.

Limited is where Protean Hydra will truly shine as there are fewer options to deal with it and it is costed quite low. Early on even at three or four mana it is a credible threat and as a late game draw it can hit the field at a truly impressive size. In booster draft if you open a pack with it, play the card, even if you haven't drafted Green it is worth the splash. In sealed it is almost an automatic inclusion in any build available.

Multiplayer is probably the worst place for the Hydra as it increases the odds of someone having an answer for it. It doesn't pressure multiple players at once and paints a giant target on your field as nobody will want to see it stick around long enough to bulk up.

Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 4.0
Limited: 4.5
Multiplayer: 3.0

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