The Heretic's Sermon
into the Mechanics of Odyssey,
we are a mere three or so weeks from the release of
Odyssey, and quite frankly I’m not sure I’m going to
be happy. Why? The set is new, with all new
stuff to get and trade, play, etc, etc.
What bugs me it the fact that I’ve got to find all new
replacements for all the Masques in all my Type II decks,
and replace them with either 7th, Invasion
Block stuff, or find a spoiler and replace them with
Or I can just not do any of that and wait and see what’s in
I do know this much, the two new abilities look promising,
but will suffer from stupid holdbacks that will make them
The fist ability is Flashback, which looks like the better of
the two, and technically it is. It allows you to
play a card from your hand, then pay a Flashback cost to
put a copy of the spell on the stack at any time.
Then the card is removed from the game.
Sounds good, but the key thing is the price. Yes, the
price. It’s merely not worth it! Flashback
tends to cost way too much. Here’s an
Fireboltis cost R for two damage.
flash it back will cost 4R. Do the math people, will
it be worth it?
For two damage, probably not. To get rid of that pesky
bear, maybe, we’ll just have to see how it pans out.
Firebolt is not the only one like that - all the flashback
costs seem to be unreasonable and otherwise pointless.
Due to this, an alternate mana source, like Birds, Llanowars,
and Tree, will become premium, as will ways to get those
little buggers out of play all at once, like Wrath and
Another thing that will become good will be some of the
dumbest cards - namely Cremate. Cremate, and I
guarantee this whole heartedly, will become a main stay in
every deck that runs black.
The next ability was poorly timed - Threshold.
the damn times for Spellshapers to be gone!!!!!!!
These stupid little 1/1 and 2/2’s were tailor-made for a
special ability like this one.
Threshold gives certain spells and creatures a specific perc
when you have seven or more cards in your graveyard, which
again will atribbute to to the rise of Cremate.
This abiltiy will pan out more than Flashback, because the
number of cards in the graveyard is constant - 7.
The interesting thing that could happen in type II is how
people play their cards. Players might opt to take a
pile with one or two cards over the pile with the
majority, just to reach the seven cards.
Still, both abilities will have a profound effect on limited,
Flashback surprisingly more than Threshold. Why?
That’s a simple question.
Because, and this is going by the way they’ve done things
in Invasion, Masques, and Saga, will have Flashback
creature removal. With your deck typically being
half land or so, Flashback will be easy to pay, and easy
to do. Stupid cards that would otherwise be over
looked like Fireshot will become gold, as will what ever
their “destroy target non black creature, it can’t be
Removal will be even more powerful in Odyssey. No
creature will be safe.
WotC also brought back the Atogs in Odyssey: Psychatog
(Black/Blue), Phantatog (White/Blue), Lithatog
(Red/Green), Sarcatog (Red/Black), and Thraumatog
Each one has two certain, yet stupid, ability that allow it
to get bigger.
Fine, but the problem is the catch.
Each one of the abilities is color coordinated, and I’ll
show you how it works:
White = Sacrifice an Enchantment
Green = Sacrifice a Land
Red = Sacrifice an Artifact
Black = Remove two cards from the game
Blue = Discard a card from your hand
Now, and I must be seriously honest with you because I
wouldn’t lie to you, and I hope likewise: All
these cards suck major butt.
This is where the “Why bother?” factor plays in. So you
can get the Atog bigger, and kill your opponent?
Well, first of all, you wouldn’t have enough artifacts
around to make a difference, discarding cards for blue
goes against everything that blue goes for, shooting cards
in your graveyard goes against the two major abilities,
Land sac’ing in constructed isn’t all that bright, and
you probably wouldn’t want to loose an enchantment that
you play main deck, because it’s usually very good.
Now, on the beauty contest. No, I don’t mean the art,
but how good these things are.
As I said, all of these little devils suck, because their
abilities are lack luster for constructed, and they
aren’t even good three drops!!
Still, the verdict is in on my behalf - The best Atog from
Odyssey is Phantatog. Why? While he has no
place in the respective decks of his colors, he still
impresses me. Cards are expendable, which makes one
of his abilities semi-useful at best. The
enchantment sac will probably not be used, so I didn’t
judge that very high.
The worst one is clearly Sacratog. Again, he has no
place in any of the respective Red/Black decks, and his
two abilities are the two worst.
Now, here’s my reasoning behind this - Think Flashback and
Threshold. Say you have six flashback spells in your
graveyard, and seven cards in total (This is on an
incredibly rare occasion). You have threshold, and
you have a Sacratog or a Psychatog in play. Why
would you shoot two of those cards and get rid of your
Threshold and one spell that you could otherwise
So the black ability is the worst. Even in draft
it’ll be really bad. Same in sealed deck.
In draft, though, the strength of abilities switches to
green. With your multitudes of land, sacking them to
kill an opponent is okay, because you should have the land
to do that.
<By the way, If you happen to read this Darren, the Atogs
are not good (Darren is one of my friends who don’t
Well, I guess that gives you a basic overvue of what exactly
will be in Odyssey, and what to expect. Over all, it
looks to be a.... well, mediocre set at best, because so
many of the cards are sorceries. Flashback is
literally going to force you to play half your deck land
to be remotely effective in Odyssey Block when it finnally
comes, and most of the Flashback spells are too expenive
to make it outside of limited.
Well, that’s all I have to say. Remember that it’s
just a game, and to have fun with it.
John “The Happy Heretic” Hornberg
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you want to talk with me.
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