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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Iroas, God of Victory
Image from Wizards.com

 Iroas, God of Victory
- Journey into Nyx

Reviewed June 6, 2014

Constructed: 4.07
Casual: 4.31
Limited: 4.62
Multiplayer: 3.75

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale:
1 - Horrible  3 - Average.  5 - Awesome

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Card of the Day Reviews 

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Iroas, God of Victory
Why is Iroas a centaur? No, seriously. Most centaurs in Theros are green or part-green. Iroas' colors specifically skip green. While it's cool and sensible that a world with so many non-human inhabitants would have at least some non-human-looking gods, I thought Wizards of the Coast had rules and practices and such that they were so proud of for some reason.
Iroas seems tailor-made for the Boros' battalion ability: when your creatures effectively can't die in combat, you can do pretty much go for the maximum battalion bonuses turn after turn. Of course, he doesn't do anything against the ever-expanding field of scarily efficient removal spells, so he might be best suited to matchups of similar decks. But, when he's good against a deck, he's really, really good against that deck.
Constructed: 3/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 5/5
Multiplayer: 3/5
Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Iroas, God of Victory which is a four mana Red and White god that is Indestructible, a 7/4 with Devotion seven, and prevents all damage to attacking creatures you control as well as requires two or more creatures to block them. For a Boros deck this is very impressive support for the offensive theme and even without Devotion can overwhelm an opponent with each attack. Cards with Vigilance are a huge benefit to the build and creatures with low toughness or forced to attack every turn are far less vulnerable.
Overall the low mana cost for the effects is worth it alone and this god will be a very frequent addition to Boros or Naya decks across multiple formats.

In Limited this should win almost any game in which it hits play and is a clear first pick in Booster either for your deck or as a hate and rare draft. There are no major drawback to running this aside from the two colors and needing creatures in play to take advantage of the effects.
In Sealed this should be splashed when running Red or White, though trying for both to aim for Devotion is recommended.

Constructed: 4.5
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 4.5
Multiplayer: 4.5


Deck Garage
Iroas, God of Victory
I guess I've played Magic long enough that not many new cards surprise me. Iroas, however, surprised me a little that Wizards would print a card with that level of sheer power. If you can get Iroas turned into a creature - and that shouldn't be too hard - then you have just presented a HUGE problem for your opponent. The best they can hope for is to repel your attackers since they can't deal damage to them. And with Iroas's 7 power, chances are they won't have something that can absorb that much damage. Combined with the Boros Battalion mechanic, you can put some major power on the board very quickly.
All cards have weak spots, but Iroas's is less of an issue than most. Even if you can't animate him, he still makes your creatures difficult to deal with in combat. The only time he's not very exciting is when you are having trouble getting other creatures out, and if that happens very often, you haven't built your deck to most efficiently use Iroas. You should be playing a creature each of the first three turns, then dropping Iroas on turn 4. Your opponent pretty much has to have dealt with one of your early threats, or they're in serious trouble.
I fully expect to get very tired of seeing this guy across the table from me. I may have to use the old maxim "If you can't beat them, join them."
Constructed: 5
Casual: 5
Limited: 4.5
Multiplayer: 4

Michael Sokolowski

Your creatures become unstoppable.

That's what Iroas, God of Victory might as well say. Because it's true. When you play this card, that's more or less what's going to happen.

It sort of takes a minute of looking at his ability to truly realize the potential of this power. At a quick glance, it might seem underwhelming. 4 mana, and all it does is force your opponent to double block? That's... relatively ho-hum. In a hypothetical situation where you each have a 2/2 and a 3/3 and you attack with them on turn 4, all this would mean is your opponent will double block one of your creatures at the cost of losing one of his own, and the other will get through for some damage.

But wait. Is that really what happens? Normally in a double blocking situation, you would at least lose the attacking creature that gets double blocked, right? Except now your attacking creatures take no damage. At all. From anything, at least while they're attacking. It's a form of mini-indestructible, you could say, that only works during your combat phase. But that's generally when you need it the most.

This is not me saying the first ability is boring, and the second ability is awesome. What I'm saying is they combine to form a theme. A theme that red/white is well known for being the best at: Constant. Aggressive. Attacking. This is a card for a very specific type of deck, a red/white deck that builds up an army and charges in with it as much as possible. You attack, you deal damage, you attack more, you deal more damage. That's red/white in a nutshell. It's not all passive and controlling like white/blue, or slow but lumbering and massive like green mana accel, or sneaky and tricky like black. Red/white is here to win. Plain and simple.

So how will your opponent respond to your army of nearly unblockable semi-indestructible creatures? Well most likely he won't be blocking much, unless he's got things with deathtouch or protection or indestructible himself. More likely though, it's going to become a race. You'll be alpha striking with all of your creatures because why not, but you'll be leaving yourself wide open for your opponent to respond in kind. So it becomes a question about who can win that race. If you're playing red/white, it's probably you, but don't underestimate your opponent just because you have the offensive advantage.

Another problem is the fact that you need creatures to make this strategy work. No problem, right? Your deck would have tons of good attacking creatures if you're running this. But with any creature-heavy focus, you're more vulnerable to removal, especially because Iroas doesn't do anything to protect your guys. Doom Blade, Lightning Bolt, Path to Exile, Banishing Light, and Day of Judgment especially can set you back a long ways. The final problem is that your creatures still come as-is. Meaning Iroas doesn't do anything to make them stronger either. No power boost, no toughness boost. No card drawing, no life gain. No getting back your dead guys, no removing theirs. You get better at attacking, but what you have to attack with is still your standard stuff.

So with all that said, is this a good card? Is it worth 4 mana, and a spot in your deck? If you're playing red/white with aggressive creatures, absolutely. Not taking damage when you attack when your win condition is attacking is just too good. Being able to attack and have your guy likely get through to the face is just too good. Use this power with things that like hitting the face. Perhaps something with double strike, or maybe something that draws you a card when it deals combat damage to a player. Also, remember inspired? The ability that's just too slow most of the time because your creature has to attack, not die, and then live to untap 2 turns after you've played it? Well guess what suddenly just became playable and really good in a deck with this.

This will see play in constructed. 4 mana with no immediate effect on the board isn't the greatest, but then you can say that about a lot of the gods. This 4 mana investment can help you establish board control and let your creatures do work and go to town. And hey, if you get a 7/4 out of it, even better. But never count on that happening. For casual this can still be fun, but it doesn't have the eye-catching big impact that casual loves. It's a surprisingly subtle piece of tech that gradually helps you win, and it's really good when you build the right deck with it. For limited, yes. Just... yes. You simply can't say no to making your creatures nearly unkillable in combat in a creature combat heavy format.

What more do you want me to say? It's the God of friggen Victory. If you can't be victorious with the God of Victory, what CAN you win with?

Constructed: 3.75
Casual: 3.75
Limited: 4.5
Multiplayer: 3.5

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