Born Of The Gods Limited Review

In this week’s article, eight-time Grand Prix Top 8 competitor Sam Black discusses the cards from Born of the Gods in order of power level for Limited and sorted by color.

I once wrote a set review where I discussed the cards in order of power level sorted by color, which I think is a great way to do things that I don’t do often enough. Today I’m going to do that for Born of the Gods Limited. So as you’re reading, remember that the most important part is often the structure of the article rather than the words; reading this article in order will tell you which cards I like most.


Brimaz, King of Oreskos: This card is just not at a reasonable power level for Limited Magic. It was costed as a creature that was pushed for Constructed.

Eidolon of Countless Battles: This is another card that is roughly Constructed power level. It’s perfectly suited for Limited in general and this format in particular.

Hero of Iroas: Everything about this guy is awesome.

Ornitharch: Five mana for five power’s worth of flying creatures one way or the other is a great rate in Limited no matter how they split it.

Archetype of Courage: You have to be careful because it can be disastrous to lose this in combat, but as long as it’s in play, it’s extremely difficult for your opponent to attack and even blocking is a little tricky. If you have this, you should prioritize Gods Willing, as your opponent will often try to get you into a spot where they can blow you out with instant removal; counter that play and you’ll likely win on the spot.

Ghostblade Eidolon: The bestow cost is expensive but extremely powerful. What puts this guy over the top for me is the fact that the three-mana version is very good to bestow other creatures on.

Fated Retribution: This is an incredibly powerful card, and it’s possible that I’m underrating it. My concern is that it requires a heavy white commitment when there aren’t many white cards that support this kind of strategy.

Akroan Phalanx: A 3/3 vigilance creature isn’t thrilling, but it’s solid in Limited. The context of this set helps that baseline a lot since enchanting a creature with vigilance is a good way to get extra value out of your enchantments. On top of that, the red ability is outstanding. You really want this to be a powerful W/R card, but the fail mode when you play it in a nonred deck is far from embarrassing.

Akroan Skyguard: Overall, I like this card a little less than Wingsteed Rider. It’s nice to come out early, but a 1/1 creature has a much lower impact than a 2/2 if you fail to trigger it. Plus the one toughness makes it quite vulnerable before you get things going. Costing only a single white mana can make it a lot easier to use in some decks, but coming down earlier doesn’t really help if you’re planning to trigger the ability with bestow since that won’t happen until turn 4 or 5 anyway unless you’re W/R. Note that “a little worse than Wingsteed Rider” is an extremely soft indictment.

Vanguard of Brimaz: The combination of vigilance and making extra blockers make this an excellent creature to pile bestow creatures on. The WW casting cost is a serious concern, but the upside is definitely there.

Nyxborn Shieldmate: Cheap bestow creatures are at a premium in white heroic decks, and this card has solid numbers for its cost. But I’m not excited about it if I’m not heroic, and it’s a lot worse than something like Hopeful Eidolon.

Glimpse the Sun God: Even as a Gridlock, this gains scry 1 for free, but outside of the text box, it’s much better in context. The most obvious reason is because it’s a way to trigger all of your heroes with a single spell, but another good reason is because tapping creatures is particularly good in this format where building a single large creature is so much of what the games are about.

Acolyte’s Reward: This is an extremely powerful trick. It triggers heroic, saves a creature, and can kill another creature—even one that isn’t in combat—at a very low cost. However, the fact that you need at least a couple devotion to white to really make the card work is significant. If over half of your creatures aren’t white, there’s a very real chance that you’ll have a creature of a different color and want to use this. It’s outstanding in a white-heavy deck, and you can draft to make that happen once you have this. But if white isn’t wide open, you’ll have to give up on this card, which makes it a relatively risky early pick.

Silent Sentinel: This is another card that’s strong in white control decks but not really strong enough to justify the risk of taking a card that’s only good then.

Spirit Of The Labyrinth: Basically just a random body, but the ability does come up in this format mostly because of cantrip enchantments. Unfortunately, this often causes slightly awkward interactions for white heroic decks.

Oreskos Sun Guide: Nothing special, but white decks often want 2/2s for two. The ability also isn’t insignificant—this is a format where life gain is generally pretty good since games often come down to racing and blocking isn’t always the best option (in the face of such heavy rewards for playing tricks between scry and heroic).

Loyal Pegasus: You can’t play this guy in half measures. The Pegasus is most loyal to itself, and if you plan to play one, you want to start taking others aggressively. I’m most excited about moving into this plan if I already have Akroan Skirmishers that will help get them through.

Elite Skirmisher: This is a solid filler type creature. I’ll almost always play it in an aggressive white deck, but I’m not going to value it super highly.

Hold At Bay: This reads as an unplayable card, but it’s often a functional fog or a fairly reliable way to trigger heroic and save a creature. I started by siding it in, but I was impressed enough that I’ve started playing in the maindeck somewhat often.

Mortal’s Ardor: It’s a trick if you’re desperate, but +1/+1 doesn’t win that many fights. On the other hand, lifelinking a big hero can be a huge swing.

Excoriate: This card is horrible if you’re aggressive, which I usually am but don’t always want to be in white in this format, but if you’re playing a control deck, it’s a reliable removal spell that you can usually get late. Still, the majority of the time you get this in pack 1, it shouldn’t end up in your deck.

God-Favored General: This requires a lot of work to tap without getting it killed, and if you succeed, the payoff is pretty minimal. It looks like it could be awesome sometimes, and there are games that it can take over. But in general, I’m not excited about it.

Revoke Existence: This is a solid answer to enchantments but worse than Ray of Dissolution.

Dawn to Dusk: I’ve found this card to be a little disappointing. It looks like a sweet two-for-one, but you really need an unrealistic number of things to go right to get full value out of it. Again, I’d rather just have Ray of Dissolution.

Griffin Dreamfinder: In my first draft, I thought this card was good. In reality, it’s clunky to get value out of, and the value you get if you succeed is pretty minimal.

Plea For Guidance: It’s a good text box, but the cost is extremely high. I could imagine a controlling white deck with good targets playing it, but I’m not going to seriously consider picking it early.

Great Hart: Moo.

Ephara’s Radiance: This is a weak card in a weak cycle.

Sunbond: Just don’t bother.


Tromokratis: I think you really get what you pay for with this one. I do try to have a counterspell or other trick in my deck to save it for when I get into combat and it becomes vulnerable.

Arbiter Of The Ideal: It’s a big and powerful flier, but six is a lot of mana.

Aerie Worshippers: This is a solid defender that can attack pretty often and offers a solid reward for making it work. This is the best inspired card to build around the ability with cards like Springleaf Drum, Karametra’s Favor, or Black Oak of Odunos.

Meletis Astronomer: This is a pet card of mine. If you’re willing to draft around it, it can kind of let you go off and just chain enchantments on it, but you will have to go out of your way with some following picks to really bring it together. On the other hand, the fail state of a 1/3 that threatens to draw cards isn’t that bad.

Oracle’s Insight: if you’re controlling, this can take over the game, and even if your opponent has an answer, you can usually set it up so that you get your card out of it. This is particularly awesome on Wavecrash Triton or Meletis Astronomer.

Vortex Elemental: This is like a Sedge Scorpion, except the power to hunt a mark later in the game is very good.

Nyxborn Triton: Just a solid bestow creature.

Chorus Of The Tides: I personally never really like Snapping Drakes, but this is a pretty good one since it has an extra (fairly weak) ability and flying is at a small premium because of bestow, especially when the bestow creatures in this set only give power and toughness so naturally having abilities is important.

Perplexing Chimera: This is a hard card to rate. Even when you’re playing with it, it’s difficult to know how much the ability is messing up your opponent’s ability to do things. I know that it’s a five-mana 3/3 with a good ability, but I’m not sure exactly how to rate it beyond that.

Divination: There’s more good removal in Born of the Gods, and control decks are definitely in the market for Divination. The only thing that keeps it down is that some aggressive decks don’t want to play it.

Archetype of Imagination: This gives you complete control over the pacing of the game—if you want to race, they can’t block, and if you want to block, there’s not much evasion that will get them through. It’s not hard to find boards where this will win the game on the spot. However, it’s risky to go for it into open mana of any color, as you might be throwing your creatures away if they have a removal spell, and it’s a huge amount of mana for a very fragile body.

Sudden Storm: This is an excellent set for this effect.

Nullify: A solid card if you’re heavy blue.

Fated Infatuation: UUU is a difficult casting cost, but the effect is very strong.

Stratus Walk: In general, I like cantrip enchantments a lot. This one is great because evasion is a powerful ability on a cantrip enchantment, but it’s a little awkward because the drawback can definitely be a real problem when you’re behind and just want to cycle to catch up.

Flitterstep Eidolon: I like this as an early creature to bestow others on, and at the end of the game, it can be lethal on the spot somewhat often. But ultimately, it’s not clear that this isn’t just a worse Aqueous Form.

Retraction Helix: When I read this card, I had high hopes: one mana to trigger heroic and bounce the opponent’s creature. But it’s just not that simple. The fact that you need an untapped creature that doesn’t have summoning sickness that you don’t want to attack with is a really serious cost that turns an effect that’s normally strong because it’s so flexible into a very narrow ability.

Siren Of The Fanged Coast: This is almost always going to be an Air Elemental. But you can’t cast it unless your opponent controls a creature, and sometimes if an Air Elemental would be a problem, that won’t work. Overall, I think it’s worse than Prescient Chimera, which I see as a serious criticism.

Floodtide Serpent: A little clunky, but if you have three or so cantrip enchantments, it can be a reasonable engine.

Kraken Of The Straits: It’s an effective finisher if you need one, but the rate’s nothing special.

Eternity Snare: It’s a lot of mana, and you only want it in very controlling decks. But you do get a lot of value when you shut down a creature that is bestowed and draw a card.

Deepwater Hypnotist: This is a solid attacker if you’re playing an aggressive deck. If your opponent can’t block it the first time, it makes it easier to keep small attackers coming early, but it’s still a low-impact card. It’s incidentally nice with things that untap it in combat, but I wouldn’t go too far out of my way to put that combo together.

Whelming Wave: I’m not generally looking to play this, but you can potentially build a deck to take advantage of it. Outside of the named creature types, I strongly recommend Mnemonic Wall.

Crypsis: This is a playable trick, but I generally like it less than Savage Surge.

Thassa’s Rebuff: Definitely more situational than I’d like.

Sphinx’s Disciple: This is just too slow and bad.

Mindreaver: The payoff for targeting this is basically negligible, and UU isn’t a desirable cost. This is a bad Deepwater Hypnotist.

Evanescent Intellect: This cycle is really bad.


Herald of Torment: This card is ridiculous. It has two modes that are both outstanding. It’s the kind of card where you expect “my opponent played Herald of Torment” to be a sufficient bad beat story.

Gild: This is the best removal spell in the set and second only to Hero’s Downfall in the block.

Fate Unraveler: I might be overrating this or underrating premium removal, but it’s just a great ability and a great rate. The vulnerability of being an enchantment is a problem, but the upside strongly outweighs it.

Bile Blight: This is a Constructed-playable removal spell in a format full of unusually clunky removal for Limited. This creates situations that most decks just aren’t really prepared for because it’s so efficient.

Spiteful Returned: An awesome aggressive creature that offers really serious reach.

Asphyxiate: This is a great removal spell compared to the alternatives in this format.

Pain Seer: You’ll often be able to get a card out of this, and then your opponent will have to play differently to stop you from triggering it again by attacking. Additionally, sometimes you’ll be able to take advantage of it with other ways to tap your creatures.

Eater of Hope: This is another clunky control creature. You can play it in an aggressive deck in case things go wrong, but if I’m going to play a seven-drop, I’d generally prefer to do it in a deck that’s looking to play the long game. This will take over games that stall out.

Fated Return: I think this is a worse finisher than Eater of Hope because it requires some setup, but the fact that it’s hard to answer is a real strength.

Drown In Sorrow: This is going to be great in some matchups and bad in others. You’ll have to draft around it if you really want to maximize it, but the upside is very high.

Servant of Tymaret: This is a surprisingly solid creature no matter what you’re doing.

Champion of Stray Souls: This guy is weird. It’s slow and clunky, and you have to draft around it to get the most possible out of it. But when everything goes right, the card can take over long games in very impressive fashion.

Weight Of The Underworld: This is a relatively weak removal spell, but it gets the job done more often than not.

Necrobite: This card is a lot better than it was in Avacyn Restored. You have more time, and it just does what you need to do in this format.

Odunos River Trawler: When you get value out of this early, it’s awesome, but you have to draft around it very strongly or things have to work out really well to have a deck where you can reliably expect to trigger the ability consistently. If you do have enough enchantment creatures, I don’t think it’s terribly important to have access to the white ability.

Nyxborn Eidolon: I love bestow creatures, but the rate on this card in either mode is solidly mediocre. The real problem is that you generally want to bestow your bestow creatures and this just offers worse numbers than the green or blue common bestow creatures.

Black Oak of Odunos: This obviously isn’t a card you want in a beatdown deck, but it’s remarkably hard to attack into or kill and lets you take advantage of all your heroic creatures while providing a black mana symbol for your devotion, which seems to be most of what you’re looking for out of three-mana black creatures in this format.

Forlorn Pseudamma: Four is a lot of mana for a 2/1, but a lot of decks won’t be able to stop it from getting through, allowing you to use the ability. It’s neither fast nor reliable, but it can be a tool to take over the game.

Shrike Harpy: This falls into the same trap as Siren of the Fanged Coast. You won’t be happy playing it if your opponent has no creatures, and it will be very weak if your opponent has a weak creature that doesn’t matter in play, which is fairly likely.

Archetype of Finality: This is a solid ability but a very small body for the cost. It’s playable, but you have to have a deck that wants to keep playing after hitting six mana.

Ashiok’s Adept: Black isn’t the best color for heroic decks, but that also means that the black heroic enablers are easy to pick up. If you can target this guy multiple times quickly, it will really put you ahead.

Marshmist Titan (Marshmallow Titan): You’re never really going to play this before turn 5, and a 4/5 on turn 5 is fine but not all that impressive. It will be nice to play later in the same turn that you play something else, or you may be able to play it when you’re stuck on four lands. But other times you won’t even be able to play it on turn 5, so it’s solidly mediocre even when you’re really working for it.

Grisly Transformation: This would be a lot better if black heroic was more of a deck, but it’s still a card that will sometimes have a high impact and always cycle. The cost is a little high though.

Felhide Brawler: This is a narrow card, but if you’re taking advantage of the creature type, it can be a solid aggressive card.

Eye Gouge: There are more good one-toughness creatures now than there were, so this is better than it would have been in Theros only. It’s still not great, but it’s not embarrassing to have in your maindeck. And there will be matchups where it’s great.

Warchanter of Mogis: This is just a relatively weak card, but sometimes you’ll want it when you’re in the market for a BB casting cost or another Minotaur.

Forsaken Drifters: I suppose it’s a playable body if that’s what you need, but I really don’t like the rate. This is the kind of card for sellouts.

Claim of Erebos: Better than most of this cycle. It will actually win if you need something to do that on a stalled board. That said, I generally avoid playing it.

Sanguimancy: This aspires to be a Thassa’s Bounty that hurts you instead of costing an extra mana, but if you have too much or too little devotion to black, you just can’t cast it.


Flame-Wreathed Phoenix: This card is pretty unreasonable in Limited.

Forgestoker Dragon: This is a bomb, but you have to pay full bomb rate for it. It’s good, but you’ll have to go a little out of your way for it in many red decks.

Akroan Conscriptor: The effect this creature generates is completely absurd, and the mere threat of the ability can dominate the game even if you don’t have enough ways to target it. On the other hand, it’s an expensive and fragile creature that requires some amount of work to take full advantage of.

Everflame Eidolon: This guy is outstanding. It’s cheap with a good ability.

Fall Of The Hammer: Cheap instant that can kill big creatures in red if you have a powerful creature or a creature with deathtouch. You have to be careful since it does fail if the creature you’re using is removed in response, making worse than other removal because you have to have a creature in play, but the upside is very high, particularly with heroic.

Felhide Spiritbinder: This is a solid body with a good ability but not really a bomb.

Fated Conflagration: The cost is a serious problem. It will be bad in a lot of red decks, but the upside if you’re heavy red is a great removal spell.

Satyr Nyx-Smith: There will be games where you can’t get through and this doesn’t do anything, but I think it can sneak in a hit more often than not. Plus you get a great rate on the creature you make the following turn. If your opponent stumbles, this steals the game very quickly.

Bolt of Keranos: This is a solid removal spell, but it’s nowhere near as good as Lightning Strike. The fact that it’s a sorcery and costs an additional colored mana is a huge problem.

Kragma Butcher: A great man.

Searing Blood: This is a great removal spell if you’re a red-heavy aggressive deck. But RR isn’t easy, and two damage really only kills little creatures.

Archetype of Aggression: This is a solid creature with a reasonable ability but nothing special.

Thunder Brute: It costs a lot of mana for a red deck, but trample is the exact ability a big tribute guy needs to put it over the top.

Pinnacle of Rage: This is a clunky spell, but if you’re playing a removal-heavy control deck, it’s a good way to get ahead on cards, which will certainly be important.

Stormcaller of Keranos: You only want to play this in R/U, and it’s not going to be impressive most of the time there. But it’s very good if the game goes long, and it’s awesome with Flamespeaker Adept.

Rise To The Challenge: This trick has been pretty good for me. It tends to live up to its name. I have no idea if it’s better or worse than Nyxborn Rollicker.

Nyxborn Rollicker: A great way to trigger heroic, especially in W/R. Outside of that, it’s marginal but generally playable. It might be worse than Fearsome Temper.

Fearsome Temper: You can only play so many cards that depend on creatures, but this enchantment creates a very serious threat.

Oracle of Bones: This is a pretty weak card. Sometimes it will do great things, but I wouldn’t expect that when I’m drafting it and wouldn’t feel bad about leaving it out of my deck.

Thunderous Might: It’s really narrow, but it can be very powerful in some decks and is especially good with Two-Headed Cerberus.

Pharagax Giant: This is usually going to be a big guy, but if you’re behind, it won’t be. Plus red doesn’t really want a five-drop. It’s roughly as good as Wild Celebrants.

Reckless Reveler: Filler guy.

Cyclops of One-Eyed Pass: Filler guy.

Scouring Sands: There are more one-toughness creatures now than before, and sometimes you’ll catch a few of them. Often a sideboard card, but you can definitely get paid for putting it in the maindeck.

Lightning Volley: This looks like a card that might be powerful, but the set is horrible for it. You and your opponent are both much more likely to have one or two huge creatures than many little creatures.

Impetuous Sunchaser: There might be times when you want to play this guy to have an evasive creature to enchant, but it’s very weak.

Epiphany Storm: This card isn’t good, but I don’t think it’s embarrassing under the right circumstances.

Satyr Firedancer: I’m sure there will be people who have stories about things this card did for them, but it just isn’t an effect you care about in Limited.

Whims Of The Fates: No.


Courser of Kruphix: Great body and ability for a low cost.

Nessian Wilds Ravager: This is a huge monster and outstanding card.

Hero of Leina Tower: You have to have the right cards to really take advantage of it, but it can get really huge reasonably quickly.

Hunter’s Prowess: It’s a lot of mana, and you can get blown out if you’re not careful and can be too far behind to spend time on it. But when it works, the payoff is huge, and it will usually work.

Raised By Wolves: This is a lot of power for the mana.

Noble Quarry: This card has moved down a little in my estimation because there are times when it won’t be what you’re looking for, but getting most of your creatures through twice in a row or eating a handful of blockers is very powerful. This will win games that nothing else could.

Nyxborn Wolf: Solid bestow guy.

Graverobber Spider: This is another creature that has a very respectable fail state and an ability that’s extremely powerful if you’re really taking advantage of it. Just a good man.

Fated Intervention: It’s a lot of green, and even if that isn’t a problem, the payoff is likely worse than Nessian Asp. Sometimes you’ll get a good ambush out of it. It will be good in a heavy green deck, but I don’t think it’s anything special.

Scourge of Skola Vale: I don’t think this card is anything too special, but it does have some good interactions with pump spells or creatures like Pheres-Band Centaurs. It’s nice to have trample to bestow other things on, and it’s also good with bestow creatures on other guys. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work well with Nyxborn Wolf in this way.

Swordwise Centaur: Very good if you’re an aggressive green-heavy deck. Somewhat awkward otherwise.

Satyr Wayfinder: The amount that you need this changes radically depending on what you’re doing, but there are a variety of decks that can be drafted around it. Even if that isn’t happening, it’s still a good turn 2 play.

Pheres-Band Tromper: Solid body.

Setessan Oathsworn: This requires more work than other heroic creatures because the starting body is so small and the GG casting cost in inconvenient, but it’s good when you have all the tools for it.

Karametra’s Favor: This card has a little something for everyone, but it’s not a great rate if you’re just trying to trigger a hero and don’t plan to care about the mana. It’s at its best if you have creatures with inspired that you want to tap and more than two colors in your deck. A lot of decks would rather have it than not, but most could take it or leave it.

Nessian Demolok: I might be underrating this guy, but I’m just not that impressed by midrange tribute creatures.

Snake Of The Golden Grove: Above average filler guy.

Pheres-Band Raiders: This will often be worse than Vulpine Goliath, but it will take over some games.

Mortal’s Resolve: A good trick. It’s worse than Gods Willing, but that’s a high bar. This triggers heroic while saving your creature from a removal spell or in combat, and that’s generally good enough.

Unravel the Aether: This is a relatively good disenchant but still worse than Ray of Dissolution.

Setessan Starbreaker: I generally like to play one of these in my maindeck if I don’t have other enchantment removal, but I don’t think it’s anything special.

Aspect of Hydra: This is a narrow trick that you won’t be able to play in every green deck, but it’s incredible at its best.

Peregrination: You have to be desperate for fixing. Sometimes that happens.

Mischief and Mayhem: At its best, this is a huge amount of damage. Realistically, I think this card is too situational.

Skyreaping: This is a solid sideboard card but more narrow than Shredding Winds.

Archetype of Endurance: This card is very bad. I can imagine siding it in against a very slow deck with a lot of removal.

Culling Mark: I just don’t see it. Too clunky and conditional.

Charging Badger: I’ve never seen a deck where anyone would be tempted to play this, but I can almost imagine one.


Phenax, God of Deception: This is likely the best card in the set.

Kiora, the Crashing Wave: You’ll generally use the defensive ability for a few turns and then ultimate, but that’s fairly easy to do.

Ephara, God Of The Polis: Good color combination, cost, body, and static ability.

Chromanticore: You really have to work for it, but the payoff is definitely there.

Xenagos, God of Revels: I haven’t seen this in play yet, but the ability looks very good to me.

Kiora’s Follower: This is a great mana accelerator and early body, and later in the game it gives your big creature functional vigilance. Always outstanding.

Fanatic of Xenagos: The color combination isn’t great, but this body is very aggressive.

Reap What Is Sown: This is a great trick, but it can be hard to get full value out of it.

Ephara’s Enlightenment: This is an excellent engine for U/W Heroic.

Mogis, God of Slaughter: This is a good aggressive card that’s great in R/B Minotaurs, but it only does one thing. So if you’re losing the race, this just won’t be a good card.

Siren Of The Silent Song: Easy to get it through, and the ability conveys real material advantage.

Karametra, God of Harvests: This is solid but nothing special.

Ragemonger: This is a solid body in any R/B deck and nice with other Minotaurs, but where it really shines is if you have other Minotaur lords to make it good rather than counting on it to justify the other Minotaurs you’re playing.


Pillar of War: I only really want to play this in defensive decks, but it’s often pretty easy to attack with. The more actual heroic creatures you have that you want to target instead, the worse it gets.

Springleaf Drum: This is only good in very specific decks (decks with a lot of colors and consistent early creatures in a primary color or a lot of bestow creatures).

Astral Cornucopia: Only good in a many color green decks.

Gorgon’s Head: This doesn’t play that well.

Siren Song Lyre: I haven’t seen it played yet, but in theory it can be a good way to use inspired.

Heroes’ Podium: If this somehow makes your deck, I guess you’re probably winning the draft.

There are also three scry lands. They don’t fit well within this structure.