– Theros Beyond Death
February 25, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I would actually be quite interested in Purphoros even if he were “just” a Fires of Yavimaya variant. Five mana is fairly high for that kind of effect, but not out of the question if your deck is planning on ramping past that point. His ability to potentially become a creature too adds to that appeal. Of course, many of us are here for that ambush effect, and it’s a particularly effective one. The restrictions keep it from being as purely devastating as the original Sneak Attack – no Eldrazi or Griselbrand, for one – but there’s a lot of applications in casual play within its parameters. There are undoubtedly some decks out there to be built around throwing dragons at people turn after turn. And note that it doesn’t even have to be used on your own turn!
Hello, Sneak Attack. Kinda. Given that Sneak Attack is sort of on the “very powerful” end of the spectrum, a weaker one still has room to do things. And that’s where Purphoros 2.0 comes in.
Five mana gives you an enchantment that gives all your other creatures haste; note that Purphoros himself can’t have haste innately, but this is still a pretty decent effect! The conditional 7/6 indestructible body isn’t too bad, either, though it’s probably not something worth relying on. Five mana is starting to get a bit high for this effect, so it’s not without its downsides, but haste is still nice, particularly with his other effect.
And the other effect is a limited Sneak Attack. You can only cheat in artifact and/or red creatures with it, and it is three mana for a shot, but Sneak Attack is Sneak Attack, complete with haste and everything. Of note is that Ilharg, the Raze-Boar can pair well with Purphoros, since you can cheat in the boar god and then put in another creature on top of it.
I don’t know if this Purphoros will make it, because 8 mana for Sneak Attack is a bit much. There’s a fair bit to be intrigued by, though, and I suspect he’ll be a top-tier Commander pick and a rogue staple for a while even if he doesn’t find consistency at the top tables.
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