Of all the Tribute cards, this is probably the
best one... mainly because both forms are so
similar that it doesn't really matter which
option your opponent picks. Either way, you get
five power's worth of fliers for five mana.
Still, any savvy opponent will pay the tribute
if he has a kill spell, but you can't use "it
dies to removal" as a valid argument against a
creature. It's fairly costed and it'll end a
game right quick if it isn't killed right away,
and that's about the best you can ask for from a
There's parts of Theros that impress me and
parts of it that - let's say impress me less.
For example, there are cards in the block whose
names are either based on real Greek words or
are invented but suitable Greek compound words
(cf. this card, Tromokratis, Erebos, Heliod,
Xenagos, etc). There are five nymphs, one in
each color, and each one is the type of nymph
that you would expect to be in its color. But
then, they barely adapt the style of things like
armor, weapons, and chariots at all - just show
them being used by magically-inclined people. Is
it very likely that there would be no different
styles of armor in a world where a polis'
militia also includes spellswords? There's
really no way to draw equipment in the style of
ancient Greece, but which is intended for
fighting underwater or high in the air?
In any event, when I look at this card's game
text, I think back to cards like Cloudgoat
Ranger. Of course, if what your deck is aiming
for is lots of tokens, Ornitharch is not the
most reliable way to get them. In fact, you'll
often get whichever "mode" your opponent is
confident they can deal with right now. That's
not automatically a bad thing, since both modes
are quite threatening in themselves, but it is
probably going to scare people away. To be fair,
there are times when the consistency of
something like a Serra Angel will be preferable,
but you can also engineer situations where your
opponent has no good choices regarding an
Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno
Today's card of the day is Ornitharch which is
a five mana White 3/3 with Flying and Tribute 2
that either gives it two +1/+1 counters or you
get two 1/1 White bird tokens with Flying.
Either way you have five power with evasion for
five mana which is quite playable, though giving
the opponent the choice of a single large target
or three smaller ones depending on their own
options is a notable mitigating factor.
For the same cost you can play Serra Angel which
is 4/4 with Vigilance or Celestial Archon at 4/4
with First Strike. The one less total power
grants combat effects and the consistency of a
4/4 body that Ornitharch lacks and any time the
5/5 would hold up better than a 4/4 the opponent
would likely just choose the 3/3 and 1/1s.
Overall this isn't a bad card and some may
prefer the raw power it offers, but White's
other options are likely to remain more popular
in Constructed formats.
In Limited this is a great early pick in Booster
as an evasive threat that stands out well with
whatever choice the opponent makes.
There's no major drawback to including it in a
deck with more than a splash of White and it is
a welcome sight in Sealed that makes for a great
topdeck or finisher.
Ornitharch is a solid uncommon card that is
actually very playable. You can either get a 5/5
flyer or 3 flying creatures for five mana. If
you are awesome and decide to play Ornitharch
with Purphorous, God of the Forge then you will
always get a 5/5 flyer! There are a lot of token
generators in Standard right now but most of
them produce ground walkers. In a limited
format, Ornitharch can give you an advantage in
the air. A 5/5 flyer is nothing to sneeze at in
any format, but I could see Ornitharch being