A Synergistic Draft Review Of Odyssey, Part II: Red, Green, And Everything Else

Is it just me, or does everyone who look at this card just say,”Those losses aren’t acceptable” and pass it on? I’m pretty sure they do. Given the number of powerhouse sources in Odyssey, can be a very welcome addition to your deck. Replaying , , or can turn a game completely around, especially since…

Acceptable Losses

Is it just me, or does everyone who look at this card just say,”Those losses aren’t acceptable” and pass it on? I’m pretty sure they do.


Given the number of powerhouse sources in Odyssey, Anarchist can be a very welcome addition to your deck. Replaying Kirtar’s Wrath, Concentrate, or Shower of Coals can turn a game completely around, especially since the Anarchist produces a nice warm body that can be manipulated or utilised in other fashions.

Ashen Firebeast

If a card is going to cost you eight mana to lay down, it had better bring some serious punch to the opponent’s face. Does the Firebeast? Well, yes. Obviously, getting it into play is a tricky, and there are better creatures for less mana, but the Firebeast is a”deal with me or lose the game” sort of card. Sweeping the board of any opposition and then smashing the opponent in the face for six has to be one of the most satisfying things possible. Even if your opponent lays down a Kirtar’s Desire or Demises it, he will have likely lost something before pulling the necessary kill card.

Barbarian Lunatic

Although one can make very many unfair comparisons between the Lunatic and Goblin Legionnaires, the Lunatic is still a useful piece of burn or a useful creature. Three mana for a 2/1 isn’t the best of deals, but the ability to (with mana) take on a four toughness creature and kill it, or take on a two toughness creature and then use its ability to hit another creature does make it extremely useful as a threat. Your opponent is forced to watch the Lunatic very carefully.

Bash to Bits

If you need artifact removal and this is all you got, use it. If not, avoid it. As artifact removal goes, I’d rather run Demolish, which lets you blow up offending lands as well.

Battle Strain

I can’t see a usage for this card besides Seton’s Desiring a Dwarven Grunt and doing a couple points through the Strain then and there.

Blazing Salvo

The Salvo is cheap and powerful. It offers one of the best effects in Magic – that is, damage and lots of it. You have to realize when playing it that it’s always going to be the worst of the two: If your opponent has a lot of life, it’s five to the dome; if he doesn’t, it’s a dead creature. However, often enough your opponent will choose wrong, so I’m learning to love this card.

Bomb Squad

As rares go, this isn’t the worst one in the set. I have been put in situations – or put others in situations – where the Bomb Squad kills off creature after creature while waiting for some removal to show. When removal does show, it’s easy enough to kill, but it’s a significant threat should the opponent be unable to deal with it.

Burning Sands

If you had a lot of lands and a lot of removal, this card would help push your opponent very hard for every creature he lost. However, it’s safe to say the card only fits in a small number of decks.


The Flinger’s power is pretty obvious: It’s reusable direct damage, even if in the smallest of forms. What’s funny about him is that people seem to forget about his threshold ability, which gives you a reusable Shock. He’s also 2/2, making him a bit tougher than the average trick dork.

Chance Encounter

: Hint of Insanity


There are a couple of land destruction cards in Odyssey, and there isn’t a lot of mana fixers or good, low casting-cost creatures. You can’t do it in Rochester, but it is possible to draft a land destruction deck in Booster drafts. It’s a bit of a gamble, as you need to see a lot of Earth Rifts and Demolishes, and hope for a few of the rares as well, but it’s a very effective strategy to be able to cut an opponent off from one of his colours or even mana completely.

Dwarven Grunt

Mountain Goat as a Dwarf. Not quite enough Goaty goodness.

Dwarven Recruiter

There are a couple of decent dwarves in this set, but I’m not so sure they justify using the recruiter unless you’re looking to go Recruiter -> Bomb Squad -> Strike Force. Of course, you could always use it to put a grunt on top of your deck and cast Predict.

Dwarven Shrine

Just no.

Earth Rift

As land destruction spells go this one is pretty nice. Flashback works nicely with land destruction, obviously. As I said earlier, you can draft a working LD deck in Odyssey draft, but it’s risky and you need to see the right cards. The right cards would be four or five of these, but they often get passed around the table anyways.

Ember Beast

There aren’t a lot of four-toughness creatures in Odyssey, and there aren’t a lot of spells or effects that can handle an early 3/4, either. The Beast requires other cards to use, which can make it a dead card, so don’t draft it high and be sure you have the other creature to go with it. If you do, it’s nice.

Engulfing Flames

It can’t hit players, there aren’t a lot of regenerators in this set, and Afflict works better for killing one-toughness creatures. The flashback is expensive and still can’t hit players. The Flames aren’t bad, but there are better removal cards and better damage cards.


I have heard tales of people reaching threshold, floating three mana, dropping an epicenter and then following up with a massive Terravore to end the game swiftly. As bombs go, Epicenter isn’t one, but it does fit into a drafted land destruction deck as an additional land destruction card or as a red Armageddon.


Easily the simplest usage of flashback in the set, Firebolt is a high-quality, easy-to-use spell. The lack of instant speed is a bit of hindrance, making it less useful as a combat trick, but it’s obviously still a very powerful spell. Just as a reminder, keep in mind you can tap 4RR for a four damage hit on a larger creature if need be.

Flame Burst

The more I use this spell, the less I like it. It’s Kindle. Kindle was a fine enough spell, and I know Flame Burst is as well. It just comes off as generally less useful than Blazing Salvo or Firebolt. I would probably pick those two over my first Flame Burst – although as you accumulate Bursts, they become immensely better.

Frenetic Ogre

Expensive for a 2/3, the Ogre’s ability really shines in the late game, making it one of the scariest threats possible in Odyssey. In the late game, with three lands in hand, he can swell up to 11/3, for the meager mana cost of RRR. That’s not bad! I wouldn’t play more than one Ogre, but the Ogre may be the only creature in Odyssey to really love Touch of Invisibility.


One-toughness creatures are a finicky thing in Odyssey. The Halberdier, however, is pretty good for it. Yes, it’s true that a Halberdier can die to a Gift or a Flinger or a stray Afflict, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that three points of first strike damage is one of the most vicious defenses in Odyssey – and when combined with a Reckless Charge or some instant-speed burn in hand, he’s one of the toughest guys to block, as well. As red’s four-drops go, he’s better on the fourth turn than a Chainflinger and a lot better than a Pardic Firecat.

Impulsive Maneuvers

This card is cute, because, you could combine it with a Chance Encounter and an Escape Artist – and the Artist would probably still manage to kill your opponent before you won with the Chance Encounter. However, if you really wanted to, you could combine this with Chance Encounter. It would be, at least,”fun.”

Kamahl, Pit Fighter

Six mana for a 6/1 creature with haste is not horrible to begin with. Add in the fact that Kamahl hits the board and most likely immediately shoots off a Lightning Bolt, hopefully nailing an opposing creature before your opponent deals with him. Kamahl is easy to deal with, of that there is no doubt, but he’s also extremely powerful if he can’t be dealt with. If you do end up with him, it’s useful to have things around to prevent his demise, or things to bring him back after he’s died.

Kamahl’s Desire

If this desire was one mana, I might like it; at two, it’s too clunky to use. First strike and three power are potent abilities, but there aren’t many good targets for this enchantment in Odyssey.

Lava Blister

Non-basic lands are fairly common in Odyssey drafts. Is it worth using up a card to destroy them? It’s certainly not main deck, but if you were running land destruction and saw a lot of non-basics, it’s a worthwhile additional card to side in.

Liquid Fire

Five damage for six mana is about par for the course. If the creature you’re killing has less than five toughness, you can split off additional damage to its controller. Liquid Fire is slow, but it’s efficient and a lot of damage. Note that if your opponent makes the creature an illegal target for the fire, the spell fizzles and does no damage to the controller.

Mad Dog

Even if I was playing straight red, I wouldn’t play this creature. Stuff that kills itself just isn’t cool.

Magma Vein

A reusable but expensive Earthquake. Magma Vein isn’t bad – it’s ahead of Screams of the Damned in my book – but it’s not likely to see a lot of usage with the price you pay. Now, if it was”X, sacrifice a land,” I would really like it. It’s not.


You need a lot of sorceries, obviously, to play this guy and play him well. Four mana is will usually give you a 3/3 with ability, in this case you get haste. If you’re running a lot of sorceries, especially cheap ones like Innocent Blood or Firebolt, he’ll likely come out fair-sized and only get bigger as the game progresses. It’s obviously a creature that needs a certain deck to run well, but red does have a number of good sorceries, and so does blue or black.

Mine Layer

The Mine Layer is really, really slow – and if your opponent can get it out of play, its effect will have very slowly done nothing. I may be partial to the Bomb Squad because I’ve seen what they can do, but there’s a difference between blowing up creatures or having the potential to blow up land. The fact that your opponent can Aether Burst the layer to remove the counters don’t impress me very much.

Minotaur Explorer

Much like Zombie giant, it’s not really a 3/3 for two mana. The Explorer can be, but the draw back is pretty fickle. Three-damage spells aren’t immensely common in Odyssey, compared to Standard, but there’s really no overwhelming reason to play a 3/3 creature with no abilities and a drawback.

Molten Influence

This card is interesting. Instants and sorceries are consistently seen in Limited games and can often be the turning point in a game. The important part to note is that much like Blazing Salvo, the Influence is always the worst of its two effects. But really, who cares? A counter spell for 1R or four damage for 1R? That’s pretty nice stuff.


It’s three mana for an effect no one wants – without the words,”draw a card”? Yeesh. This is one of those rares that’s going to go down in history alongside Avoid Fate.

Need for Speed

It’s cheap and effective, but it costs lands to use. Is giving up a land in play actually worth haste? In the late game, sure – it might very well be. However, it seems to me like a waste of a slot.

Obstinate Familiar

I find it funny that I’ve actually been decked in Odyssey limited. The Familiar is actually an answer to a lot of decks, but none of them happen to be in Odyssey Limited.

Pardic Firecat

The Firecat works well in two situations: The first is a four drop following an Ember Beast. The second is with a lot of Flame Bursts in your deck. Otherwise, it’s moderate creature – not horrible, but nothing special or out of the ordinary. 2/3s are pretty tough in this environment, but they aren’t likely to win many games, either.

Pardic Miner

A 1/1 for two mana for a very narrow ability. I just can’t see this card as turning out well.

Pardic Swordsmith

I said that I felt the Frenetic Ogre wasn’t bad, but that has to do with the fact he’s not useless if you’re not discarding cards to him. The Swordsmith, on the other hand, is very over priced 1/1 with a weaker ability. I can’t see myself ever using this card.

Price of Glory

If your opponent tries to play a lot of tricks during your turn or use end of turn effects, Price of Glory pretty much shuts them down hard. Playing instants or end of turn effects becomes very difficult to do. I don’t recommend using it in main deck, but if you see a lot of combat tricks, the Price can frustrate your opponent.

Reckless Charge

The Charge works well in two kinds of decks: Decks with a lot of speed and decks with a lot of evasion. If you sense your deck will actively drop quick creatures, the Charge will do a lot of earlier damage that your opponent may never recover from. It’s hard to handle a pair of attacking Ember Beasts on turn 4, for nine points of damage overall… And then handle it again the next turn. With Evasion, Reckless becomes more of a late-game card for doing large amounts of finishing damage. It can be especially brutal if you actually get to use the haste ability on something like a Windreader and your opponent has no waiting blockers. Charges are a surprise, and they are also additional damage, often making them very useful (or useless) without creatures.


Recoup is a tricky, mana-intensive card. It also requires you’re playing sorceries that you’d like to replay or would have the mana to do so. Don’t expect to use this card in a deck which wins fast – you won’t see it shine – but that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. Cards of note to combine it with: Innocent Blood, Zombify, Diabolic Tutor, and Concentrate are all low-priced and likely to see pairing. Recoup has the ability to be used again, which is unlikely to occur – but if it does, you won’t complain.

Rites of Initiation

I thought this was a great little trick until I realised the discard is random. Ideally, you’d have a lot of creatures who are going to pass through unblocked or make positive blocks, and then pour the Rites on to soup up the damage dealing. With the discard being random, though, it’s a tricky card.

Savage Firecat

7/7 tramplers are 7/7 tramplers. 7/7 tramplers for five mana are going to hit the table early and cause your opponent some problems. Either the Cat is going to die, or the Cat is going to kill your opponent; I can’t see things working any other way, unless they have a huge pile of regenerating blockers. For extra points, have six mana, float one extra, and Reckless Charge the cat. 10/7 hasted tramplers are great fun.

Scorching Missile

The Missile does four damage to an opponent for four mana. The likelihood of flashing the Missile back is quite low, making the spell four points of damage off one card, with no effect on board position. On paper, the Missile should be a good enough to play card, but I personally have had very negative experiences with it. If it was able to target creatures, I would love it, but it can’t – and it isn’t an instant.

Seize the Day

I would laugh very hard if someone, one day, managed to finish an opponent off with a double-Seized Escape Artist. It’s rare, so it doesn’t turn up much. The question is: Is it good? Unlike Relentless Assault, you only get one additional attacker – but, as with the Assault, you can attack with different attackers that just didn’t attack. You can pull off repeated attacks, or even use the Seizing as an untap effect. I’m not sure.

Shower of Coals

They should have named it”Shower of I Win”…. Because if you’ve hit threshold and you play this card, you’ve most likely won the game. Taking out their two better creatures and smacking the dome for four, or three creatures is a very powerful effect by any means. Even if you haven’t hit threshold, it’s nice. Of special notice is Recouping a Shower; that’s just downright mean.

Spark Mage

As far as I’m concerned, the Spark Mage King Of The One-Drops, barring the rare Devoted Caretaker. The Spark Mage has a”need to hold back a blocker,” especially for the Mage, which is nice for a one drop. I’m not a huge fan of one drops altogether, but this is my favourite in the set. The Caretaker is obviously better, but the Mage is more fun. Be sure to use the Sparky to force your opponent into ‘no win’ situations.

Steam Vines

Assuming you constructed a deck with a lot of cheap creatures/kill and a few pieces of land destruction, the Vines would function as a punishing effect to an unprepared opponent. However, it’s a risky bid and not likely to pay off results. I would generally avoid this card.

Thermal Blast

It’s five mana for an effect that once cost one mana. Its threshold effect is more in line with the casting cost, but before threshold it’s very overpriced. Still, Thermal Blast is an effective piece of burn at instant speed and capable of dealing out enough damage that it will matter. Not a high pick, but a useful card nonetheless.


Raze was one less mana, cost you a land, and let you pick the land you wanted to take out. Tremble is more, but you don’t have to give up a land… Assuming you don’t have any land to sacrifice. Lastly, your opponent gets to decide which land he wants to give up. Avoid this card.

Volcanic Spray

If you don’t have a lot of one toughness creatures in your deck, feel free to run this. It can knock off some 1/1s, or take out two toughness creatures for twice the mana. It’s generally quite useful if you don’t have a lot of ground pounders.

Volley of Boulders

This card looks really bad when you compare it to Liquid Fire – but hey, this card looks really bad, no matter how you look at it. Nine mana is just too much mana for an effect which isn’t necessarily going to win you the game, or even come close. The flashback effect is powerful, but when you consider that Shower of Coals can do the same net amount of damage (twelve) as two casting of Volley of Boulders for half the mana for the first casting, the Volley looks really quite bad.


Four mana for a 1/1 is always a tricky concept. Without other cards, the Keeper is quite poor. However, the ability to flat out double damage is pretty potent. You need a lot of burn spells that target creatures (or Chainflinger) to make it work, but the ability to double a Flame Burst or Engulfing Flames makes those spells much more powerful. Of course, you can also use it as a combat trick however you please.


The ‘Scape is pretty comfortable as enchantments go. The effect it uses is contrary to threshold – however, not every green deck needs threshold to function. Your reward? Every two lost cards provides another grizzly bear, at standard grizzly bear price and standard grizzly bear power. I can’t complain about this card; it won’t win games on its own, being too slow and too weak, but the additional creatures work very well with Overrun or Rites of Initiation.

Beast Attack

Boom. 4/4 in your face. Boom. Another one. The threat of its activation from the graveyard will leave an opponent constantly guessing if you don’t immediately pull another 4/4 up. The first one will likely savagely maul an attacking creature, and then become an offensive force on its own. The three green is harsh, but it’s an instant speed 4/4 for a fair price: How cool is that? And then it makes another one. Heck, you can even get a third beast out of a scrivener. This is my favourite of the flashback beast makers, by far, Call of the Herd doesn’t have the”Beast comes out of frickin’ nowhere” factor.

Call of the Herd

Okay, so it’s not as fun as Beast Attack – but it is the better card in Constructed. In limited, I’d pick the Beast Attack over the Call, but that’s not to say the Call isn’t a great card. One 3/3 creature for three mana is a fair priced; two for seven mana over two turns is great. Call isn’t a bomb rare, but it’s the kind of quality green wants to build its decks around.


It’s important to look at the grapher not as a 2/2 creature, but as a reused land or a 2/2 creature. If you reach threshold and use a Garden, Ring, or Pit effectively, the Grapher allows you to reutilise that land. If you drop it that late, the 2/2 body isn’t going to be monstrously useful; most likely a chump blocker. If it lets you kill multiple creatures with your Pit or Ring, it’s nice, but only play the ‘Grapher in a deck where you’re lacking early critters.

Chatter of the Squirrel

I think, no matter what, my favourite moment throughout all of playing Odyssey limited will be first-turn Chatter, second-turn Reckless Charge the squirrel, and then screaming,”CHARGE THE SQUIRREL! CHARGE THE SQUIRREL!” over and over again until the squirrels managed to finish off my opponent. Two permanents out of one card is very functional alongside Braids, Hypnotist, or – if you really need it – Wayward Angel food. Also, it’s not a bad one-drop if you don’t have those cards.


The ‘phant is noticeably slow, but it grows fairly rapidly, especially after you’ve hit threshold. It’s not a bad creature, with the potential to grow gigantic in the late game, but it isn’t a first pick rare either. The mana cost is tough, but it’s probably worthwhile anyway.

Crashing Centaur

Before threshold, it’s a 3/4 that can get trample. It’s expensive, but it’s pretty big body for Odyssey. Post-threshold, the Centaur is simply a beast. The ability to reach threshold in response to something targeting the Centaur and then fizzling it off is really useful and a lot of people underestimate this card. 5/6 tramplers are good, I tells ya, especially untargettable ones.

Deep Reconnaissance

My experiences with this card have been generally positive, allowing me to fix my mana in a three-colour deck or just generally speed up and improve my draws by thinning out land. The card alone does nothing, but having the mana you need – both in colour and quantity – for one card is a useful ability.

Diligent Farmhand

My, my how much can you wrap into one little 1/1 creature? The sacrifice is instant speed – so as you know, you can do it after the Farmhand has blocked an attacker or been targetted by an effect, and then pass him on to search for a land. Once in the graveyard, he is an additional card towards threshold and an additional point of Muscle Bursty goodness. Like Call of the Herd, the Farmhand is not great and it alone won’t win you games, but he helps push towards victory.

Druid Lyrist

There are a number of strong enchantments in Odyssey, and then a lot of nothing. Like Cloudchaser and Tattoo Ward, I favour this card because it allows me to run or draft enchantment kill that won’t be useless in a game without enchantments to kill.

Druid’s Call

I’m undecided on this one. If you have something like a Dirty Wererat, or Angelic Wall, the kind of creature which will get in a lot of fights that it will survive, the Call could become a source of a lot of squirrels. If your opponent isn’t running any non-damaging removal, you will get squirrels out of this card, but it’s up to you whether or not this goes against the card advantage of having an otherwise useless enchantment sitting around. I’d side it in if I went through a game one where I didn’t see an Ghastly Demises or Second Thoughts and did see a lot of combat.

Elephant Ambush

The flashback isn’t likely to get involved in most games you play… So you have to judge the Ambush by the fact it’s an instant 3/3 for a fair price. I like the card, as 3/3 is big enough to matter and it’s likely to kill an attacker, but I wouldn’t draft it over better creatures or spells.

Gorilla Titan

A 4/4 trampler most of the time, and an 8/8 trampler on the occasions where you either don’t have a graveyard yet or have been able to use up it’s contents out with something like Bearscape or Painbringer. 8/8 creatures tend to end the game very, very rapidly, especially when they trample and hit the board early, so you can force your opponent to do something hasty to get rid of another one of your permanents, or die to the Titan.

Ground Seal

Totally sideboard, use this if you see your opponent using a lot of Steamclaw, Awakenings or active recursion like Anarchist/Recoup. It’s cheap and a cantrip, so you’re not likely to mind siding it in if it messes him up.

Holistic Wisdom

There’s a lot of power hiding in the Wisdom, but you need to have cards which suit being reused and many card that share its type. A prime example would be reusing Shower of Coals, Beast Attack, or Second Thoughts to essentially beat your opponent upside the head with card superiority until his deck can’t handle what you’re doing any further. This requires reaching the midgame and maintaining a fair number of cards in hand – in addition, cards ‘lost’ to the Wisdom don’t count towards your threshold count, which can be damning in some midgames.

Howling Gale

There are not many one toughness fliers that cause problems in Odyssey, but there are many two-toughness ones that can cause problems for you. I would not main deck the Gale, as doing two damage to you and your opponent with no fliers in play is not something you would ideally do… But it’s worth drafting for the side if you don’t have a lot of fliers going into your deck.

Ivy Elemental

I’m not a big fan of this card. It’s size follows the basic curve as creatures go, 4 for a 3/3, 6 for a 5/5, 10 for a 9/9 and so on. The problem is, that’s all the Elemental ever is, just a big fatty that eats all your mana in the making. No regeneration, no evasion – just large unwieldly fat that isn’t very fat unless seen in the mid to late game. If you need fat, draft it, but Odyssey green isn’t exactly hurting for better fat.

Krosan Archer

It might sound odd that I do, in fact, favour this card. Four for a 2/3 is fair enough… But the real point is the ability to pull enemy fliers into melee combat which is crucial for green decks to do sometimes. The Archer alone can’t kill many large fliers, but at least he can get them into a position where your opponent has to consider what’s in your hand and whether or not to attack.

Krosan Avenger

Three mana for a three-power creature is good. The Avenger won’t do a lot without back up or luck, but there are situations where you will drop a fast Avenger and whack your opponent upside the head a few times before they manage to put a solid blocker in the way. In the late game she adds regeneration which makes her even nicer. Draft Avenger if you’re fast (Reckless Charge especially), have a lot of removal or a lot of pump (like Muscle Burst).

Krosan Beast

Cards which are useless pre-threshold are generally bad picks and just bad cards. The only thing which saves the beast is if you’re playing Blue alongside Green, and have the capacity to get to threshold easily enough – at which point, he’s playable. Cards like Cephalid Broker, Think Tank, and the like. Otherwise, don’t play him.

Leaf Dancer

2/2 for three mana isn’t bad. It’s not going to win you the game if it doesn’t have back up or the opponent has forests, but green is fairly common in Odyssey limited anyways.

Metamorphic Wurm

In situations where you do not have or can not get threshold, the Wurm is still fair at 5 for 3/3. It’s a vanilla creature, which works against it, but unlike the Krosan Beast it’s not entirely useless should you be unable to reach threshold in time. Also, it’s an elephant which turns into a wurm: Does this bother anyone else, either? I mean, you know, Elephant turning into a giant Wurm…

Moment’s Peace

A double dosage of Fog from one card. Fog can be a useful combat trick when facing an opponent who attempts a lot of combat tricks or when you’re looking to shelter yourself from the early damage when facing a faster deck. Moment’s Peace does it twice, so if you were to want a fog in your deck you’d probably want the Peace a little more. Assuming you’d want a fog in your deck, of course.

Muscle Burst

It’s a giant growth that gets better as you draft more and more Diligent Farmhands and Bursts into your deck. Like Aether Burst and Flame Burst, the card is useable alone in the deck, but only really shines when you have the ability to consistently put more and more Burst /Farmhands into your graveyard. Muscle Burst is nice for this, as its early game effect is often the correct usage: Early damage to your opponent.

Nantuko Disciple

As effects go, a reusable, cheap +2/+2 is huge in limited, allowing you to fudge your opponent’s combat math, deal extra damage, or save creatures from burn spells. The Disciple rapidly becomes a nightmare in green/blue, getting untapped by Puppet Masters, boosting evasion creatures, and saving them as well from burn. As well, the Disciple as the more solid 2/2 body, making it a very good card.

Nantuko Elder

I talked about how much I liked Deep Reconnaissance, so you’d assume that I would like the Elder as well – but I don’t. First off, the Elder can’t fix my mana. In fact, it can produce mana I may not be able to use, which finding basic lands will never do. Drawn in the late game, the Elder is just an overpriced 1/2 creature with no useful abilities. The Reconnaissance will pull more lands out of your deck, improving your late game draws.

Nantuko Mentor

Any 1/1 for three mana had better have a very strong effect to be playable. The Mentor allows you to essentially double the size of your creatures for three mana. As strong effects go, that’s pretty far up there. He’s slow to become useful, of course, but double-sizing your creatures is always useful.

Nantuko Shrine

I could, actually, see myself playing with this shrine. If I had a lot of duplicate cards and my opponent didn’t, this shrine could be utilised to flood the board with a literal wave of squirrels. Squirrels for everyone! Extra points if you drafted a Squirrel Mob as well, allowing you to produce one gigantic megasquirrel to crush all opposition.

New Frontiers

This card is amazing. For a very fair mana cost, you can almost be assured you’ll strip your deck of all the land cards and immediately drop them into play. Wow. Talk about your powerhouse effects – oh, wait, it works for your opponent as well.

Nimble Mongoose

It’s hard not to love this little guy. He’s one mana and he’s likely to stay on the board until you reach threshold, either scoring one or two little hits and then later on becoming a problem, or just becoming an early problem. As one-drops go he’s keen, there are better cards but he’s likely to be fairly useful if you’re in need of creatures and have the ability to get threshold.

Nut Collector

Six mana for walking squirrel factory. The squirrels are free – and, if you somehow manage to keep the Collector alive long enough to reach threshold and attack, the squirrel become a mighty legion of hill giants who will rapidly overrun your opponent and beat them senseless. The card is perhaps playable on its comedy factor alone. Especially nice to combine with Braids, Cabal Minion or Sadistic Hypnotist.


Speaking of Overrun, apparently someone decided to reprint this. Of all the cards they could have reprinted from Tempest block, we got Overrun. What, do I even need to comment on this card? It turn your army of squirrels and nomads into a squadron of psychopaths, hell-bent on smashing the crud out of everything in arm’s reach. It’s the thinking man’s way of winning Limited games. Really.

Piper’s Melody

Somewhere, some day, someone will draft this and Traumatise, and use it to improve their card drawing immensely. And somewhere, some day, I will be on the other side of that player, and I’ll cast Overrun after playing a couple of squirrels. Then my opponent will reach across the table and hit me. Until that day, I’m never going to play this card, and I doubt I’ll ever get to see it played.

Primal Frenzy

If this did as much as add +1/+1, I would probably use it. Trample can be useful, of course, but it’s hard to justify playing it. There are creatures it works very well with, like Ivy Elemental or Rapid Elephant, but it’s just not enough to justify playing it.

Rabid Elephant

The Elephant is expensive for a 3/4 creature. It’s only got one G in the cost, though, so it’s splashable if you’re playing three colours. What’s good about the Elephant is its reasonably high toughness and the extreme difficulty in blocking it. If undealt with, it will tend to deal three a turn or kill a blocker. It also combos well with Seton’s Desire, allowing you to pin down any of your opponent’s”non-trick” creatures and beat them up.


Green’s version of Shelter is definitely the weaker of the two, but Refresh is a useful card nonetheless. It’s basic purpose of saving a creature is about as good a cantrip as you’re going to get. It can’t save a creature from Afflict or other black toughness reduction, but keep in mind it can save a creature from Ghastly Demise, as the Demise is only a destroy effect.

Rites of Spring

The Rites is straight up card disadvantage, but unlike the other Rites it actually gets you something in return for the lost cards. This allows the Rites to be a useful threshold effect or mana fixer when it doubt. In the late game, discard extra land cards to reach threshold and pull more land cards out of your deck, improving your draw quality. The card is therefore not useless, as it’s a good card in a deck that otherwise lacks the ability to reach threshold and wants to.

Roar of the Wurm

Seven mana for one 6/6, and four mana for another 6/6. You’ll often want to discard the Roar to play an early wurm, but keep in mind that the greatest power of the card is it’s card advantage, combined with the difficulty of dealing with it. If you believe you’ll be able to play it in the first ten turns, be careful about discarding it; two wurms are better than one. Otherwise, standard tricks apply, like discarding the card to Wild Mongrel, Looters, or Overeager Apprentice in order to drop an early 6/6.

Seton, Krosan Protector

If you have a lot of druids and Roars in your deck, and want to be able to cast them early, I suppose the Protector isn’t that bad. Otherwise he’s just horrible. His effect is pathetic for the casting cost, seeing as you probably already have four or more lands once you’ve got GGG. A frustrating card.

Seton’s Desire

In some decks, the Desire is extremely useful, allowing you to enhance your early game damage output or put your opponent away rapidly. Be wary of playing it, of course, but if you go turn 2 Wild Mongrel, turn 3 Seton’s Desire, it may be a while before your opponent can deal with the 4/4 mongrel – and by the time he does, it may have already done too much damage. Be careful with it, obviously, but keep in mind that +2/+2 is sometimes a lot better than another 2/2.


When you absolutely need enchantment destruction, side this in. It’s pretty bad at what it does though, being untargetted and forcing you to destroy one as well. If it kills the Caustic Tar that was going to kill you, I suppose it’s good, but otherwise don’t play it. It’s cheap, though, but Lyrist is a lot better for the same price.


I like this little dork. Two mana for a 1/2 is a fair price, and green decks often have problem dealing with their opponent’s fliers. He can block earlier fliers, then blow a larger attacker or blocker out of the sky. A foolish opponent might one day use a threshold trick to launch a Mystic into the air during combat, then forget that the Shooter’s there when that happens! Also, the fact his ability has no mana cost makes him extra useful. I wish it was just target flier and not ‘target attacking or blocking…’, but that doesn’t take away from his usefulness.

Spellbane Centaur

3/2 for three mana is all right. His ability is not likely to often come into play in normal matches, but he’s playable simply as a cost0efficient 3/2 creature. If his ability does come into play, it will nullify your opponent’s Aether Bursts, Repels, and other blue tricks from the minute he hits the table – but unfortunately, this ability isn’t great in an environment where Opposition isn’t and Aboshan is.

Springing Tiger

A great threshold card, the Tiger is perfectly priced when he hits the table and gains a decent sized bonus in the late game from threshold. Much like many of green’s other cards, it’s the kind of quality that gives your deck consistency and allows it to deal out damage at an efficient rate. Also makes a painful mana curve with Wild Mongrel/Krosan Avenger before it.

Squirrel Mob

Three mana for a 2/2 that gets bigger if you have other squirrels or if your opponent does; clearly, you will need to be playing squirrels for the mob to function ideally, but there are a lot of good squirrels in Odyssey. Of note is how it works with Chatter, giving you a 4/4 that might get bigger later on, on turn 3. 4/4s are awfully hard to deal with that early in the game.

Squirrel Nest

Now, if you have a Nest and a Mob, your opponent is going to get a headache. Nests are one of the prime reasons I always try to run some way to get rid of enchantments in Odyssey limited: The card is a huge hassle if it’s seen on the other side of the table. It functions as Chatter does, giving you access to lots of chump blockers or sacrifices if you need them, or just giving you some nasty little tree-dwellers to hit your opponent over the head with.

Still Life

Three mana for an enchantment which can become a 4/3 when you need it. It’s not quite the same coolness factor as Mishra’s Factory holds, but it still has many of the same advantages and disadvantages. The Life can not be easily killed by sorcery-speed effects – also, it’s only a creature when you want it to be one. If you cast a Kirtar’s Wrath or a Innocent blood, the Life will survive those effects as long as you’re careful. 4/3 is also pretty large – not unstoppable, but worth the mana input. It can also, as an enchantment, be brought back with Auramancer.

Stone-Tongue Basilisk

The Basilisk is big and hard to deal with. At seven mana, he will likely see play in Odyssey, and his power/toughness paired with his stoning abilities means that he will have an effect on the game once he hits the table. I am not, despite all things, a fan of his threshold ability, as it’s a shaky trick to use, but the ability to mass clear all your opponent’s non-trick creatures is obviously good.

Sylvan Might

For the same price as Muscle Burst, you get an effect which can do less or it can do more. If you have many big creatures but your opponent is putting up solid barriers to them, the Might will allow you to bust on through and deal some trampling damage while you’re at it. If he’s not defending well, the might will do less. On its own – i.e., without other Bursts or Farmhands in the deck – the Might is clearly better. The flashback effect is nice but not a big deal; at four mana it’s a bit pricey.


It’s unusual for the terravore to really”work” with its casting cost, coming out too early to effectively use thanks to the fact that its based on lands. Lands do, however, tend to end up in the graveyard in Odyssey games, with the sacrifice lands (both common and uncommon) and creatures like Cephalid Looter/Scout hanging around. In the right deck, the Terravore will reach a fair size and deal out some hurting, but in the wrong deck he will be an under-sized creature. It punishes your opponents for using lands to get to threshold, though, which can really mess with their head.


The ‘walker is an amusing beastie. It’s a 2/2 with the ability to activate a Symbiosis on demand. It shares the same advantages and a few disadvantages; the walker can fudge up a Shower of Coals, but won’t be able to surprise your opponent. The card is powerful and requires working around, but most people can manage it.

Verdant Succession

It’s hard to get this card working, but it could work. If you had a lot of creatures suited to the Succession, like Diligent Farmhands, Aven Fishers, or Gravediggers, the succession can be used to form a sort of ‘chain cast’ situation. The problem is you need to draft a lot of duplicates to use it successfully. If you did, though, you could have a lot of fun with the effects of the card, assuming you drew it early on. The card most likely wouldn’t work in other limited spheres.


It’s a cantrip and it has much the same benefits of Elephant Ambush. Most likely, you’ll be able to trade the card alone for an attacker; occasionally, you’ll have to give up the land to put it down as well. Vivify is useful for a brief sneak attack, as well as tripping up foolish early attacks, but it’s not exactly a high-pick card. It is a cantrip and it does put a card in the graveyard, though, so don’t underestimate it.


It’s a 1/1 with mana acceleration, and later on it turns into a 4/4 creature. As threshold creature go, I don’t rate the Werebear highly, as late-game 4/4s aren’t exactly domination… But the Werebear’s mana acceleration is sorely needed by many green decks, especially with cards like Overrun and Beast Attack needing triple green mana. A turn earlier creature is a turn more of quick beats, as the saying goes. (There is no saying, is there?)

Wild Mongrel

The Mongrel has been hailed repeatedly as the”best bear ever.” I’m not sure it is, but the Mongrel is a versatile and useful card, fitting into Odyssey very well. You can discard to reach the threshold, beat your opponent down hard, swap colours to block an unblockable, or increase its toughness to survive a burn spell. He requires cards in hand, of course, but he’s definitely one of the best creatures in the set and the best two-drop I can think of, far outshining the other dogs (Patrol Hound, Phantom Whelp, Filthy Cur, and Mad Dog).

Woodland Druid

It’s like a Devoted Caretaker, but without the cool ability. Not hideously bad, but it’s a real shame Seton doesn’t tap druids for anything all that useful.


I’m a big fan of this card in certain decks. It’s true that he may accidentally mill useful cards off the top of your library, so don’t play him if you don’t want to lose your trick spells. A great moment in my playing history was my opponent holding me back with the threat of removing my large creature from the game with a Kirtar. Since I had no fliers, he was also beating me down with Kirtar, two points at a time. I activate Zoologist one attack, top deck a Dusk Imp and the two tango in midair. Instant creatures, or just the threat of them, can boggle a novice opponent.


Assuming you could somehow cast the King ‘tog on the fifth turn, he wouldn’t actually be all that bad. I don’t see five colour decks being all too likely to work too well in Odyssey, and vanilla 5/5 creatures certainly aren’t a big deal. Would have been nice, as well, if he read ‘sacrificed Atog’s toughness’… But whatcha gonna do?


It’s possible that you could see all four permanent types in a sealed game. If you did, then this card would be a royal kick in the pants for your opponent. This is highly unlikely, but if you end up drafting it as a”dud” pick and see your opponent playing all four card types, who knows? It might just work.

Iridescent Angel

A 4/4 flier that seems to a lot of people to be unkillable. This is mostly true. She’s seven mana, but she either puts your opponent on a swift clock or puts up a rock-solid wall. I’d rather open an Amubaga as a matter of personal experience, but she is very, very hard to deal with, with only a combo’d Chamber of Manipulation, a lucky Innocent Blood, or the obvious Sandstone Deadfall being able to effectively deal with. You can kill her with a double Cabal Pit/Barbarian Ring, of course, if you need to.


There aren’t a lot of artifacts you want to sacrifice and nothing to produce them or artifact tokens. The green ability, sacrifice a land, is very useful as abilities in Odyssey limited go, though.

Mystic Enforcer

Black isn’t the strongest colour to fear in Odyssey, but protection from black isn’t bad on a 3/3 creature. Once you hit threshold, he bursts into the sky as a mighty 6/6 – one of the largest and hardest to kill things you can see in the skies of Odyssey. I’m a big fan of this card, although I’ve never been able to effectively play it.


The white ability might come into play once or twice; the ability to sacrifice an enchantment is not wholly negative, with the Auramancer hanging around to let you move a Kirtar’s Desire around through the ‘tog’s appetite. The blue ability, of course, is just excellent.


Now we’re cooking. U/B doesn’t really need to care about threshold, and this atog knows it. It’s pretty obvious that you can drop two cards from hand to give the ‘tog +3/+3, but his potential is quite great. If you do use threshold, he can still be useful, allowing you to drop cards out of the graveyard to lose threshold, declare blockers with some of blacks no blocker threshold creatures, and then drop another two cards to return to threshold, pumping up those blockers. That he can do that alone is a real nice addition.


The graveyard removal effect isn’t quite as powerful when paired with the artifact-eating skill, but the Sarcatog isn’t bad in red/black’s usual decks. As combo abilities go, the fact he can’t perform discards means he can’t work like a threshold on/off switch.

Shadowmage Infiltrator

I need not point out that the Infiltrator is one of the strongest constructed cards in the set. Given black’s overall weakness and the general lack of quick early burn, he will most likely score you at least a few draws or win you the game completely with overwhelming card advantage. If you’re playing one of the two colours, do consider splashing him and using the sacrifice lands or eggs to get him on the table. He’s just too powerful – well, except against red or Wild Mongrels.


Much like Lithatog, the land eating abilities vastly outshines the other, underpowered enchantment eating ability. As I said with the Phantatog, you can use him to move an enchantment around with an Auramancer, if need be.

Vampiric Dragon

Eight mana for a 5/5 flier. Does he rock? Yes, most likely he will get on the board and then spend the next few turns firing potshots at your opponent’s weenies to swell in size. Assuming you can get him on the board, of course, and given that Black/Red doesn’t exactly have the best of mana acceleration in this set. Perhaps the best argument for running an Overeager Apprentice.

Catalyst Stone

I can’t generally see this in the same light as I saw Exodus’ Memory Crystal or Urza’s Saga’s Fluctuator. It’s a hard-sell in limited, and I’m just not buying unless I’m running a lot of Flashback spells – which is fairly rare, as Flashback cards are generally drafted pretty highly. The fact that it affects the spell only when they are flashed back is what makes the card bad.

Charmed Pendant

Okay, this is twice the mana to play as Millikin, and the mana is based on the colours of the cards lost? Most often, this card will only”help” you by sifting through land or providing one or two coloured mana. At four to cast, it really doesn’t count as acceleration, unless you’re eager to get a Vampiric Dragon in play. Judge the card based on its ability to help you obtain threshold; if you really want to, it might work. Most likely, you’ll do what I do and pass.

The Eggs

Taking a break from reviewing cards piece by piece, I’ll deal with the Eggs all at once. The eggs are best when you can utilise their mana-fixing abilities, which should be very obvious. The cantripping ability requires actually casting something, unless you like two-burn, but you can usually do this on turn two or so onwards. I’ll play eggs in my deck as a general point, Odyssey decks are 75% worthwhile cards and then a few not so good cards that I’d rather skip.”Has your peaceful nature lead you on a crusade?”

Junk Golem

I believe, through staring at this card, there may be something breakable about it that I am simply not figuring out. The Junk Golem falls apart, which is a negative, and you can’t remove the counters to provide any useful effects, but it’s well and away possible that somewhere, someone will win a game by dropping a golem and powering it up, then Reckless Charging it into their opponent’s face.

Limestone Golem

Creatures with power three and toughness four come at about four mana – often a little higher. As the golem is an artifact creature and has a useful ability (cantripping, if at a cost) it’s not a bad creature to add if you deck could use a little fat to throw around. Six mana is a lot for a 3/4, but at very worst he’ll attract a removal spell before you have the two mana active again.


The need for mana acceleration makes his ability desirable. The presence of threshold means his ability becomes extremely justified. The addition of flashback makes his ability into a strange manner of card-drawing. In any other set, the Millikin would look rather odd and perhaps even be quite useless; in Odyssey, he fits right at home. He works best in your deck if you have a lot of threshold and flashback to benefit from, obviously, but he’s just fine if you have big spells you want to cast earlier on. And if nothing else, he’s a chump blocker.


Some of the most powerful of cards require that you have elements in your deck which allow you to reutilise them. Mirari is one of those cards: It obviously does next to nothing for you alone, being nothing but a very expensive paper-weight. However, once combined with a fair crop of cheap instants and sorceries, Mirari really shines. It’s especially good in blue, where you can use natural elements of card drawing or bounce twice as much. You need to draft a specific deck to use it; it doesn’t work, obviously, if your sealed deck only has one playable instant.

Otarian Juggernaut

As things go, the Juggernaut is a weird reprint. When the original juggernaut was around, did people play walls? Maybe this guy belongs in Tempest block, facing off against the endless legions of Blossoms. Anyways, it’s a 2/3, which then becomes a 5/3 slightly later on. Not exactly an amazing card, but the Juggernaut can do some damage and will likely kill something as it mindlessly crashes into the enemy lines. Probably a lot better in sealed deck than other limited formats.

Patchwork Gnomes

Well, they’re 2/1, colourless, with a decent ability for their three mana cost. Discarding a card is a bit tricky, of course, but I spent lots of time explaining and discussing all the fun threshold tricks a player can pull off with a free discard effect. The gnomes are a reprint from Tempest, which should say something for their relative power level, right? 😉

Sandstone Deadfall

Okay, it’s card disadvantage. Check. It’s only on attacking creatures. Check. It can’t kill regenerators. Check. Well, despite those three drawbacks, the Deadfall fits into a lot of decks. The prime effect it produces costs no mana and no activation – that is, your opponent must consistently puzzle over whether or not you’ll Deadfall his creatures as they attack. Also, the deadfall is cheap – three colourless – which is not important when you consider the activation cost, really, but it’s fair. The card is worthwhile on the most part; if I was running seventeen lands and didn’t have any removal in my colours (green and blue, anyone?) I would be much happier to see it, but it’s still not bad.


When you compare this thing to Phyrexian Furnace, yeah, it’s not quite as good. The ‘Claw isn’t bad, though, I’ve heard many people state they would always main deck it, so powerful is threshold and flashback – although I wouldn’t always myself. Keeping your opponent from threshold is often worth putting the mana down, and if you see a fair number of powerful threshold effects, slide it in for the second game. You won’t regret it. (Okay; maybe you will, but don’t blame me.)

Tap sack lands

The tap sack lands (comes into play tapped, sack for any colour mana) are very nice lands in Odyssey. The comes into play effect isn’t a big deal, but the ability to give you the mana you need and push towards threshold at your discretion makes it nice to have a few of these in your deck. I wouldn’t recommend these as working with Cartographer, though.

The filter lands

As”new” dual lands go, the filter lands are close to what I feel is an ideal legacy for the original dual lands. I’m not a big fan of painlands; somehow, impaling yourself on sharpy point bits has never been a favourite of mine. The Filter lands give you both types of mana, at once, whether you like it or not. They’re useful in limited – certainly not a high pick, but it’s nice to have these things floating around in your deck. The drawback rarely comes into play in limited.

Barbarian Ring

The Ring is definitely useful; as many people have said, it allows you to look at your opponent’s life and say,”He is two less than that”. Land-based damage is bloody hard to protect yourself from. The Ring will usually end up dealing the damage you need it to do at a point in the game when you want it to.

Cabal Pit

The Pit is simply very nice because toughness reduction is so useful. It’s true that it can not be targetted as universally as the ‘Ring can, but the Pit can ironically function to save a creature from a larger blocker or kill a Hallowed Healer/Master Aothecary off, which the Ring can not do at your leisure.

Centaur Garden

The Garden is even more selective than the previous two cards in application – but in return, the damage is a bit larger. The Garden ideally functions on an attacker which has broken through to do the last few points of necessary damage, or to kill a larger blocked/blocker by pumping it on up. The Garden has no element of surprise, but the effect is powerful and I’ve won a few games because of Gardens.

Cephalid Coliseum

The coliseum is openly regarded as a paradox of sorts: Its effect would be amazing towards threshold, but you have to have reached threshold in order to use it. The Ring, Pit and Garden all make clean trades as card advantages goes and have effects which will help you win the game. Does the Coliseum? Frankly, after playing this thing a few times, I’ll tell you this: I won’t play it anymore. I’m big – huge, really – on the Looter, Broker, and Scout, but the Coliseum doesn’t work when those guys do, doesn’t help me get to threshold, and stings me for using it for mana. Blue is an intensive-mana colour, and the coliseum simply does not fit in it, to me.

Nomad Stadium

Much like the Coliseum, the Stadium exhibits a bit of a paradox : In using it, I lose life – and then I gain life? What an odd card. Of all the effects I would have put on this land, four life is not one of them. Prevent four damage or gain four life? The card would be amazing! But no, no fantasies for me, this card is … Well, it’s something. Personally I admit, yes, it looks bad on paper, and it might very well be bad, but I won’t denounce it completely until I’ve played it a few times.

Crystal Quarry

Draft this with Atogatog. Turn five Atogatog … No, wait, for some reason it rids ‘five, tap’ and not ‘four, tap’. Hi, guys, it’s a land, I don’t want to pay six mana for five mana. I don’t care if I just converted mana to do it, give me my damn five mana for five mana! Curse you!

Deserted Temple

I know, I know, you’re look at this and thinking,”Woo hoo! I can untap lands!’ It’s just like Crystal Quarry, you can do some fun”pay an extra mana to convert mana” effects. Very true! However, the Temple has two cards which is was born to work with: Squirrel Nest and Caustic Tar. Hey, if three life a turn is good, then six life a turn must be”good good,” right?

Petrified Field

As it stands, this card would be good if you drafted a lot of easy to cast (low symbol count) cards and a lot of the thresh-sack lands to use it on. It’s unfortunate that it is, in fact, a rare and so probably won’t be seen too often, but if you have the cards to work with it, replaying effects like Shock, Giant Growth, or Enfeeblement is nothing to sneer at. Problem is, of course, getting to that point …

Tarnished Citadel

It’s great fun looking at a card and thinking”dang, if only…” it was just a little less or a little more. In the Citadel’s case, I strongly feel that three life is too high a price to pay for a mana of any colour. Three life is more along drawing a card or killing a creature region than fixing mana. Maybe if you didn’t need to tap the land, or if it was two life per mana, or…

Iain Telfer (Taeme on IRC)