The Akroan War
– Theros Beyond Death
January 21, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 3.17
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Judging by the actions the card has you take, the historic Akroan War seems to have been fairly similar to our Trojan War. It’s too bad the story seems to have been downgraded again – Chandra’s comic was apparently cancelled, and the Theros Beyond Death story was summarized in a single post on Wizards’ website. Something like the Akroan War would have been an interesting subject for a story or novella set in the past. Perhaps that just means we all have to step up and post to FanFiction.net or the like.
Each of the things The Akroan War does are interesting and have a use on their own, so saving deck space by having them all on one card is worth looking into. It takes a little more time than competitive decks often want, but it might have better prospects in multiplayer settings. The second chapter is likely to sow chaos among your opponents in conjunction with protective cards like Ghostly Prison and Sphere of Safety, and while the first chapter doesn’t let you keep the creature forever, it’s still longer-lasting than cards like Act of Treason. As such, I feel like The Akroan War will be better or worse depending on what you play alongside it and what you play it against, but it’s definitely worth experimenting with.
The Akroan War is a rather flavorful take on the saga of The Iliad: take the proverbial Helen of Troy, induce your opponents to attack, and then blow them up when they are inevitably tired. Four mana to remove an attacker/blocker is a pretty decent effect, though it should be noted that The Akroan War does not give the creature it absconds with haste, so you can only attack out of the gate if it already has haste.
The challenge is simple: survive their onslaught and kill them on the backswing, made a bit harder in mono-red of all colors, though a cute thing for larger tables is that The Akroan War forces every opponent to swing out with their creatures. The final part of the saga triggers on all tapped creatures, regardless of controller; they’ll likely get their creature back if it isn’t dead yet, since it untaps before the final part of the saga goes off, but there are ways to get a lot of value out of this effect.
That this is a longer-term steal effect in mono-red is interesting, and while it’s not mega-busted, there are ways to maximize what you get out of this effect. I think it’s ultimately decent, though more “cute” than outright powerful…though “cute” still has applications, and you can definitely figure out how to make the most of it.
Hello and welcome back to Pojo’s Card of the Day!
Todays’ card of the Day is The Akroan War, and quite possibly one of the most flavorful cards of the set. One thing I had noticed is that the bottom of the image of the card doesn’t contain the finished aspect of the Saga, it is an unfinished loom which can be a reference to Penelope from the story of the Odyssey, or my personal head canon, that this war is still being fought and the artisan who was crafting this piece had been conscripted for the war…
Notably this card starts off with a classic red ‘Threaten’ Ability, but unlike Threaten it doesn’t gain haste, instead sitting on your side of the field until the Akroan War is over. (Meaning maybe the father gets his daughter back and defeated the red-garment soldier in the first section of the Saga?)
The next turn you can swing with said creature, and then your opponents have to attack you back, not only does this set you up for an Alpha Strike in the following turn, but it has a nasty surprise which could most possibly be a board wipe. Each tapped creature deals damage to itself equal to its power, and since your creatures will untap by the time you draw you’ll probably have cleared their board. ..Sans the one creature that you’ll have to give back at the end of the war.
Flavor aside this card is fairly decent in limited, Control Magic effects can be incredibly potent, but being able to board wipe after a coerced attack can be game ending. Unless your opponent has a batch of tricks ready to wreck your day and make their attack step a double fake at the cost of your life total.
This is usually going to be a game ending kind of card, one way or another, you can use this to simply steal a blocker and get in for that last bit of damage. This is actually a pretty complex card for what is usually the ‘Bolt Color.’
This card is actually pretty flexible and I could see it as a ‘SURPRISE’ kind of card in Commander or Multiplayer because it forces each player into combat and while they might aim their spears at you they could possibly want to capitalize on the gosh darn Isamaru player that’s been pegging them with commander damage the whole time!
In Constructed I don’t foresee this doing much more than sitting in bulk binders and white cardboard boxes until it’s full enough to trade in bulk for some spare sleeves or a few booster packs.
In Cube? Nah. Too slow. Too clunky. Not enough of a payoff. Of course there are exceptions where this card can be cube-worthy but that’s true for almost every card. Heck, Storm Crow can be a bomb cube card if you fill your cube with nothing but ground pounders and equipment.
Constructed 1/5 – You’re better off taking your Johnny Skills to a certain blue devotion fish than trying to make this work at your FNM.
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