The latest MTG set, War of the Spark, is set to drop on May 3rd. Wizards has graced us with a truly special 3 week spoiler season and every new card adds to the story. Rhonas is the second Mythic God-Eternal to join the fray, after Bontu was revealed earlier in the day.
Previously represented as Rhonas the Indomitable, he was the cobra-headed God of Strength on Amonkhet. Rhonas was slain by the Skorpion God during his Trial. Coated in lazotep and raised alongside a zombified Eternal army, Rhonas now fights in service to the God-Pharoah, Nicol Bolas.
Rhonas was revealed by Luis Salvatto on Twitter earlier today. This is a pretty straightforward green card. Deathtouch is a nightmare to attack into or block, and his enter-the-battlefield ability is likely to end the game on the spot from many positions. However, the real power of Rhonas lies in his second ability:
“When God-Eternal Rhonas dies or is put into exile from the battlefield, you may put it into its owner’s library third from the top.”
If you can resolve Rhonas, any removal spell pointed at him will only delay the problem for 3 draws. This is a powerful effect in games that go long, which often end up in both players being empty-handed and playing from the top of their decks. However, the effect is weak to counterspells and targeted discard effects, such as Absorb or Thought Erasure.
Rhonas is definitely a strong card. That being said, it’s tough to look at the current metagame and find a deck that really needs him. Gruul Aggro could certainly employ him as a top-end threat, but his lack of evasion makes for a tough sell in a deck that currently runs Skarrgan-Hellkite at the 5 mana slot. Selesnya Tokens could utilize him as a finisher, but I’m not convinced that his buff is better than the synergy that Trostani Discordant and Venerated Loxodon bring to the deck.
Rhonas may not have an immediately obvious home in the current standard format, but he is sure to get some love in War of the Spark‘s limited formats. He may still find a home in a constructed deck at some point.