War of the Spark spoilers season kicked into high gear today with our first look at the new Mythic Amonkhet God cards. The day began with a spoiler reveal of “Enter the God-Eternals”, a Sorcery card that perfectly sets the stage for this epic storyline. Now, we have a look at the first real zombified God-Eternal himself: Bontu, courtesy of our sister site, Destructoid!
Last time around, the Gods were terribly hard to remove in Amonkhet. Any time one was destroyed, it would return from the graveyard to its owner’s hand. Those cards had a very large impact on the Standard Constructed metagame of Magic: The Gathering. The newest versions seem to continue this trend. Let’s break it down.
This is a beast of a card. A 5/6 body with Menace for only 5 mana is a good deal in itself. Board states in Standard stall up rather quickly between the various decks and Bontu having Menace guarantees that your opponent won’t be able to chump block for eternity. Each attack gives you at least a 2 for 1 as Bontu must be blocked by more than 1 creature. It also stops decks that rely on 1 creature to hold the board as Bontu passes right by them.
Bontu’s ability to sacrifice permanents and draw cards is a little bit harder to unpack. While you can give up any useless permanents for extra cards, how many useless permanents are you going to have sitting around? In a fair deck, you’re going to be giving up your creatures or lands for cards in hand. That’s not always a great trade-off. The real power in this ability is when you start creating multiple permanents with a single card. Any card that can produce tokens, whether it makes 1/1 Soldiers or Treasure tokens, gains a lot of traction because you’re essentially giving up 1 card for 2.
Lastly, when God-Eternal Bontu dies or is put into exile from the battlefield, you may put it in your library third from the top. While this may seem less damaging then Amonkhet’s return to hand, the big difference is coming back from being exiled. In previous Standard formats, your only real answer to the God cards was exiling them. This would keep them from returning to their owner’s hand at end of turn. Now, no matter how you remove Bontu from the board, he’s going to end up back in your deck. While you may have to wait a few turns to get it back, the new ability ensures that your Bontu will return for lots of reckoning.
War of the Spark is definitely going to shift how Standard plays out. We’re incredibly excited to see it all unfold.