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Magic: The Gathering Theros and Manipulative Monstrosities Intro Pack Reviews

MTG- Theos- Manipulative Monstrosities Intro Pack Magic The Gathering- Theos Booster Packs

The new “Magic: The Gathering” expansion “Theros” offers up some exciting new gameplay mechanics.

As of today (September 27th, 2013), the first in a brand new “Magic: The Gathering” expansion block has officially been released. I am, of course, referring to the Greek Mythology based “Theros.” In this set, MTG players will have a wealth of Gods, temples, warriors, enchantment creatures, monsters, sea beasts, giants, and various mythological beings to choose from. On top of that, this set introduces 4 NEW gameplay mechanics and sees the return of an old favorite.

As I’m sure many fans are salivating at the thought of new mechanics, I’m not going to waste any time here by getting into them. First up is the ‘Heroic’ mechanic which allows you to put a counter on a creature whenever you cast a spell that targets that creature. In other words, this is a handy way of leveling up a creature in one move.

Next up is the return of ‘Scry’. As you may recall, ‘Scry’ allows you to look at the top x number of cards of your library. You may then put x number of cards on the bottom of your library. X (the number) varies from card to card. In a game where you are at the mercy of your deck, this can certainly come in handy if you want to know what card (or cards) are coming up in future draws. If you don’t like what is coming up, you can always put it on the bottom of the library.

Another new term is ‘Bestow’ which states: “If you cast this card for its bestow cost, it’s an Aura spell with enchant creature. It becomes a creature again if it’s not attached to a creature.” ‘Nuff said.

The third new mechanic here is ‘Monstrosity’ (which is another form of leveling up). This ability allows you to put x number of counters on it for it to become monstrous (the monstrosity number varies by card). If you have a powerful creature like a 5/4 Stoneshock Giant, the monstrosity ability can make it an 8/7. Sure, the cost may be high (5 to cast Stoneshock and 8 to make it monstrous), but if you have plenty of mountains and land laid out, you can dominate.

Last, but not least, there is ‘Devotion’ which is a strategy that correlates to a certain color symbol. ‘Devotion’ can benefit gamers in a variety of ways depending on the card. Sometimes this mechanic can allow you to put down additional tokens or gain extra life and in other cases you can cause your opponent to discard cards.

As with every new expansion release as of late, there are new intro packs (5 to be exact). Among these intro pack releases is one dubbed “Manipulative Monstrosities” which features a 60 card blue/red deck and 2 “Theros” booster packs. I wish I could say this pack is a must buy, but alas it’s a pretty mixed bag. First off, I found it absolutely aggravating that 10 of the 60 cards aren’t from “Theros” but rather the “MTG 2014 Core Set”! The folks are Wizards of the Coast should realize that people buy these intro packs for new “Theros” cards and not MTG 2014 cards. There are specific MTG 2014 intro packs for that purpose. If you can get past that, however, you’ll find that this deck can be a heavy hitter. ‘Monstrosities’ is loaded with giants and sea beasties, damage dealing actions, as well as cards utilizing the scry and monstrosity mechanics. As with the last intro pack I reviewed (“Fire Surge”), ‘Monstrosities is oddly unbalanced. This is a much more blue centric deck as it contains 16 islands, 7 blue spells and 13 blue creatures. On the red side, you get 4 red creatures, 10 mountains and 9 red spells. Granted, much of the red spells are effective damage dealing cards, but you’d think whoever created this pack would have included a few more red creatures.  

The centerpiece of this particular deck is the Shipbreaker Kraken foil card which has a monstrosity 4. As an added bonus, when the Kraken becomes monstrous, you can tap 4 target creatures. Those creatures don’t untap as long as you control Shipbreaker Kraken. Not bad, eh?

Overall Thoughts: “Theros” is a very thematic and intriguing new expansion release. I am already looking forward to creating new strategies and decks with the new gameplay mechanics. The 2 other sets from this block (“Born of the Gods” and “Journey Into Nyx” both due out in 2014) can’t come soon enough.

September 27, 2013 - Posted by | Game Review | , , , , , , , ,

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