It has everything a Hydra should have. It's an X/X for X+a modest
base cost, it has a means of putting on more
+1/+1 counters so you won't feel bad about
having to play it early (Though if my opponent
were in red or black I'd wait until I could get
it out as a 4/4 at least) and double strike is
quite a nice add-on, as it gets better the
bigger the creature it's on.
The problem is the same as every Hydra's problem-- no
interactivity. No evasion, no self-preservation
ability (unless increasing toughness counts),
just a big creature who attacks for a lot of
damage. Heck, it doesn't even have trample. And
considering how much mana you have to pour into
it, it's just not worth the investment.
I can't be the only one who's noticed how
many prominent cards from the Return to Ravnica
block portray creatures from Greek mythology.
We've seen powerful and eye-catching cards that
portrayed centaurs, minotaurs, gorgons,
sphinxes, dryads, and now a hydra. Yeah, you
could say the same about the original Ravnica
block too, but that wasn't in a year when people
were talking about Greek mythology. Surely I
can't be the only one who's noticed?
Either way, Savageborn Hydra is worth the
mana. Getting it to a high power and toughness
is mana-intensive no matter whether you do it up
front or in installments, but you're paying for
the hydra's ability to kill pretty much anything
that costs around the same as it does. If
Heartbeat of Spring was still around, this would
be a great card to pair with it (well, you can
do so in casual, of course, but it's not a
"thing" in competitive Modern. I hate
competitive Modern), and since they're not
likely to stop printing variants on carsd that
make you more mana or find you more lands, this
isn't going to be a card you're sorry to hold on
to. I think this monster is a little out of
Hercules' pay grade.
Today's card of the day is Savageborn Hydra
which is a one Red, one Green, and X 0/0 that
has Double Strike, comes into play with X +1/+1
counters, and for one mana and a Red or Green
gains another +1/+1 counter at sorcery speed. A
three mana 1/1 with Double Strike or four mana
2/2 isn't amazing, but add in the pump effect
and an external boost plus evasion or Trample
through an aura, equipment, or static effect and
you have a serious threat. This is a decent card
by itself that becomes a dangerous force with
even minimal support, which is enough to get
this played alongside Bloodrush in Gruul, Naya,
or Jund colored decks.
In Limited, with the frequent excess of mana
available, this is a major bomb and game-winning
threat that is easily pumped up. Getting
external boosts may be harder in the format, but
just repeatedly attacking with a hydra provides
plenty of pressure in just about any scenario.
An easy first pick and automatic Gruul
inclusion, though it is harder to splash unless
Red or Green are the dominant color.