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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Tethmos High Priest
Image from Wizards.com

 Tethmos High Priest
- Journey into Nyx

Reviewed May 28, 2014

Constructed: 2.60
Casual: 3.60
Limited: 3.10
Multiplayer: 2.80

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

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Card of the Day Reviews 


Tethmos High Priest

Theros block has a lot of 2/3's. Like, enough that any Limited player is going to start wondering if 2/3 is a reference to some Greek myth, or if WotC wanted to make sure that Theros limited had a lot of creatures swinging and bouncing off each other. Maybe they wanted to tempt people into actually blocking with creatures, so all the combat tricks that make Heroic work would pay off?  Maybe. But if you're running a Heroic deck, chances are you don't really want to aim your spells at Tethmos High Priest. In combat, he's a waste of pump spells. As a card advantage engine, he's a washout too-- you're spending a card to get a card back. I like that he can retrieve some solid Heroes like Akroan Skyguard, Battlewise Hoplite, Hero of Iroas, and Phalanx Leader, as well as some of the smaller Bestow creatures that can trigger Heroic, but he's still kind of disappointing compared to all the other juicy targets you've got for your spells. If you're running plenty of multi-target spells like Triton Tactics, or if Shimmering Wings gets reprinted in M15 (not likely) then it'll be a good investment, but if you're worried about running out of little creatures to aim your tricks at, you're probably running too many tricks and not enough creatures anyway.

Constructed- 2
Casual- 3
Limited- 2
Multiplayer- 3

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Tethmos High Priest

Don't you love the way people make up supposedly original fantasy names for their worlds? The majority of them tend to end up sounding explicitly like Greek ("Paksenarrion"), explicitly like modern English ("Rosette"), or like random strings of letters (everything by R. Scott Bakker, none of which I intend to even try and recall here). At least Theros actually is a Greek block, so I don't have a problem with this card's name.

For that matter, I don't really have a problem with this card's game text either. Doesn't it remind you a little of Reveillark? I still have nightmares about that deck. This requires extra cards and is somewhat more fragile, so it's not likely to be as big a monster. You don't get a bunch of dangerous creatures back when the High Priest dies, which was one of the things that made Reveillark almost unstoppable, but this type of effect has always been one of the most dangerous in all of Magic, and so this card must be respected.

Constructed: 2/5
Casual: 3/5
Limited: 3/5
Multiplayer: 2/5

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Tethmos High Priest which is a three mana White 2/3 with Heroic that puts a two mana or less creature from your graveyard into play. This is an excellent card to use alongside a low cost aggressive deck that are popular for mono-White or even multicolor decks like Boros or Orzhov. The 2/3 body is sturdy enough to survive basic blocking, attacking, or burn situations and it turns combat tricks or auras into a two for one play if cards are in the graveyard. A deck using this benefits from early and aggressive attrition of your own units to make the most use of the effect. Overall this is a card that will see play in all current formats and will likely be part of at least some competitive builds.

In Limited the card advantage this offers in a block built to support Heroic is only held back by the availability of one or two mana creatures to target. That drawback weakens the card considerably, but a
2/3 for three with only one mana of a specific color in the cost is very playable in the format. A reasonable second or third pick in Booster, which should add even higher priority on low cost creatures, and an automatic inclusion for White in Sealed even with little or no potential targets for the effect.

Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 3.5
Multiplayer: 3.5


Deck Garage

Tethmos High Priest

Some cards are great in a vacuum. They don't need anything else to be good. This is not one of those. The payoff is that when you do have the correct pieces with it, the effect can be very powerful. The first thing you need to make the High Priest good is an instant or sorcery to target it. There are a lot of good spells that target, so this shouldn't be a problem. Second, you need something in the graveyard to bring back after you target it. There are plenty of good 2 mana or less creatures to target, so this shouldn't be a problem, either. But can you reliably do both at the same time? That's the challenge in building your deck.

There is a lot of potential in this card for combos, or for gaining a lot of advantage. Remember, though, that you have to spend a card (the instant or sorcery) to get a card from the graveyard, so you're not really gaining - only trading. It's up to you to make sure you're making a good trade. I'm yet to find a constructed combo with this that would make it good enough to play, so I'm not sure if that's where it fits. Where this is going to be popular is in casual games, where crazy combos rule. Someone's going to find some really fun interaction and build a fun deck around the High Priest.

In limited, you mainly play this guy for his reasonable body, and if you can get something back once or twice, all the better. Certainly a good card to include in your deck, though not likely to be the build-around card it might be in a casual or constructed deck.

Constructed: 2.5
Casual: 4.5
Limited: 3.5
Multiplayer: 2.5

Michael Sokolowski

Magic sure does like its cat people. And white decks sure will love Tethmos High Priest.

It's a pretty interesting contrast to yesterday's card, isn't it? Dictate of Erebos was all about creating more death. Tethmos High Priest is all about creating more life. A 2/3 for 3 mana is a sturdy, if non-aggressive, body. The heroic trigger however belongs best in one very specialized deck type.

White weenie.

For those who may not know, white weenie is a deck archetype where you have a lot of low-cost white creatures that you try to bring out en-masse, in order to overwhelm the opponent before they can even get their feet off the ground. Your opponent's 4/4 or 5/5 may look impressive on turn 4, but if you've got three 2/2's and a kill spell, guess who's dealing more damage per turn? The idea is to put your opponent on a clock, take him down before he can get to his best stuff. If you have five 2/2's and your opponent has two 8/8's, but only 6 life left, you've won the game regardless of who he blocks.

So that's white weenie, and this card find a nice home in there. That's because our cat cleric friend needs you to actually be running a bunch of creatures with converted mana cost of 2 or less for there to be any benefit, and for some of those creatures to have died. So you want to stack the odds in your favour to get the most value out of it. But wait, I think we can make it even better still!

If you read yesterday's review, you might know what's coming. What type of creatures are best to run in a white weenie deck that has Tethmos High Priest in it? If you said ones with "enters the battlefield" abilities, you're right! It's all about value, folks. Getting the maximum amount of value out of all your cards, using them to the very best of their abilities, playing one card's strengths off another card's strengths. And Tethmos High Priest enables you to do that in a very real way for certain white decks.

Most cards that return things from the graveyard send them back to your hand, but our High Priest seems to be very good at their job to bring them right back into the battlefield. What are some good creatures to run alongside this? Well there are honestly many, but I'll throw out a few suggestions for you. There's Azorius Arrester, Inquisitor Exarch, Kazandu Blademaster, Kinsbaile Skirmisher, Knight of the White Orchid, Kor Outfitter, Leonin Relic-Warder, Meddling Mage, Snapcaster Mage, Tidehollow Sculler, Wall of Omens, and/or War Priest of Thune. Those are just some suggestions, check them out and see which one's you like. Some work better than others. This is essentially how you would have to play this card, though. In any other deck it just wouldn't do enough. You'd need a deck specialized in low-cost creatures and low-cost heroic triggers to make the most of the High Priest. But it could work.

So how good is this card? Alone, not very. But as part of an army? Well, every army needs a medic. Someone to take the wounded and return them to the front lines. So if you feel like running a deck that's basically an army, give this one a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Constructed: 3
Casual: 4
Limited: 3.5
Multiplayer: 3

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