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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Commander Review: Theros – Chance of Tribal, Hythonia the Cruel

October 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Commander/General Ideas, Review

 Hello and welcome back to another Commander Review of Theros. Today we will be looking at what the R&D team of Theros called the Mum Mum Gorgon of Theros. A little design backstory for today review Commander; it was said that two of such Gorgons were designed. One of them is Keepsake Gorgon and the other is today reviewed Commander, Hythonia the Cruel. As both were top down designed cards, there are a lot of flavor in their abilities. First off both have Deathtouch to tie in to their Gorgon nature of the “stone gaze”, then it is follow by the Monstrosity of each of them which allow them to destroy Creature or Creatures when they become monstrous, although the Monstrosity of Hythonia was tweaked a bit away from flavor as explained that it would make her seems weak to be killed herself in the process of using her Monstrosity. Okay, now with the little history done, let us begin our review on the Mum Mum Gorgon.

 

Monstrosity Wrath of God…. Sort of……

Now as usual before we begin with our review, let’s have a look at Hythonia’s stats.

Hythonia the Cruel

Card Name: Hythonia the Cruel

CMC: 4BB

Types: Legendary Creature – Gorgon

Card Text: Deathtouch

6BB: Monstrosity 3

When Hythonia the Cruel becomes monstrous, destroy all non-Gorgon creatures.

P/T: 4/6

 

Hythonia Monstrosity is in some sense a mini Wrath of God. Although it spares her own tribe, it is to be noted that her tribe is also a very less played one due to the small numbers. An only exception maybe the new Gorgon from the same set Reaper of the Wilds for its ability to Scry 1 whenever another Creature dies. What Hythonia don’t kill with her Monstrosity can be handled by other spells in her color. Black is not short of Creature board sweep of its own with the likes of Damnation; Decree of Pain; Life’s Finale; Plague Wind; just to name a few. Hythonia’s Wrath is good that she spares her own tribe, most of who have Deathtouch or their own form of Deathtouch, and are also not small to begin with (most at least 4 or more toughness). One mana-intensive way to do a clean sweep is to use Equipments like Hankyu; Heavy Arbalest; Livewire Lash; Thornbite Staff; Viridian Longbow; to clear those remaining survivors. In fact, Thornbite Staff alone is a powerful enough combo for any Gorgon or Creature with Deathtouch to clear the board of selected targets for as much mana you could afford. Since the damage is Deathtouch, the Creature dealt damage will died and your Gorgon equipped with the Thornbite Staff will untap and be ready to do the deed again.

 

Unexpected Family Reunion

Keepsake Gorgon

“Come. Let us go to the family reunion.”

Another way to play Hythonia is to use her in her own Tribal deck. With the printing of Theros, there are quite a small number of Gorgons now which to make a mini Gorgon Tribal deck. Below table are the Gorgons printed till date.

Name

CC

Types

Abilities

P/T

Damia, Sage of Stone

4GUB

Gorgon Wizard

Deathtouch

Skip your draw step.

At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have fewer than seven cards in hand, draw cards equal to the difference.

4/4

Gorgon Recluse

3BB

Gorgon

Whenever it blocks or becomes blocked by a nonblack Creature, destroy that Creature at end of combat.

Madness BB

2/4

Hythonia the Cruel

4BB

Gorgon

Deathtouch

6BB: Monstrosity 3

When Hythonia the Cruel becomes monstrous, destroy all non-Gorgon creatures.

4/6

Infernal Medusa

3BB

Gorgon

Whenever it blocks a Creature, destroy that Creature at end of combat.

Whenever it becomes blocked by a non-Wall Creature, destroy that Creature at end of combat.

2/4

Keepsake Gorgon

3BB

Gorgon

Deathtouch

5BB: Monstrosity 1.

Whenever it becomes monstrous, destroy target non-Gorgon Creature an opponent controls.

2/5

Korozda Gorgon

3BG

Gorgon

Deathtouch

2, Remove a +1/+1 counter from a Creature you control: Target Creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.

2/5

Masked Gorgon

4B

Gorgon

Green Creatures and White Creatures have Protection from Gorgons.

Threshold – It has Protection from Green and White as long as you have Threshold.

5/5

Pharika’s Mender

3BG

Gorgon

Whenever it enters the battlefield, you may return target Creature or Enchantment card from your graveyard to your hand.

4/3

Reaper of the Wilds

2BG

Gorgon

Whenever another Creature dies, Scry 1.

B: It gains Deathtouch till end of turn.

G: It gains hexproof till end of turn.

4/5

Sisters of Stone Death

4BBGG

Gorgon

G: Target Creature blocks it this turn if able.

BG: Exile target Creature blocking or blocked by it.

2B: Put a Creature exiled with it onto the battlefield under your control.

7/5

Visara the Dreadful

3BBB

Gorgon

Flying

T: Destroy target Creature. It can’t be regenerated.

5/5

Xathrid Gorgon

5B

Gorgon

Deathtouch

2B, T: Put a petrification counter on target Creature. It gains defender and becomes a colorless Artifact Creature in addition to its other types. Its activated abilities can’t be activated.

3/6

 

Damia, Sage of Stone

“Yes? You got a question?”

As can be seen above, to fully use all the Gorgons, Damia, Sage of Stone is the best choice. An alternate option would be the Sisters of Stone Death. Using Damia opens some options from Blue, which my friend Manfred always emphasized is the strongest color in EDH for all its countering, bouncing, and card draw abilities. If you do not want too many colors for your deck then using the Sisters of Stone Death is good enough as all the Gorgons are within her color except for Damia. Black and Green is actually a control color combination. Black provides most of the Creature removal and hand disruption with Green providing the ramp and removal for what Black cannot remove. The wonders come when the two colors combine. Cards like Pernicious Deed and Gaze of Granite are both powerful sweepers which allow you to choose what range you want to sweep. Putrefy deals with pesky Creature and Enchantment. Abrupt Decay a bit limited with its target range could deal with any permanent with 3cc or lower which it could target. And if Planeswalkers are the problem to you, both colors are not short of solutions for them too with a wide array of spells like Bramblecrush; Chain of Acid; Hero’s Downfall; Mold Shambler; Rootgrapple; Sylvan Primordial; Terastodon; Woodfall Primus to deal with them. Also due to the color combination, you also have a lot of retrieval to choose from for your deck. Some such examples are Deadbridge Chant; Eternal Witness; Praetor’s Counsel; Regrowth; Restock; and Treasured Find. Even one of the Gorgon, Pharika’s Mender, is in fact sort of a retriever herself.

As most of the Gorgons have Deathtouch, the aforementioned Thornbite Staff could make a good combo to sweep your opponents’ defenses or open a way for other opponents to the strongest opponent of the table. You could also play along with the Gorgon Tribal theme and add in Basilisk Collar and Gorgon Flail for more Deathtouch action. And last but not least, the Gorgons even have their own Planeswalker in the form of Vraska the Unseen.

Vraska the Unseen

Leading the Tribe like a boss.

 

To Lead or To Follow the Family

Hythonia the Cruel

“Come my children. Follow my lead.”

Hythonia seems like a viable choice as a control element for her own deck. Black may have many tutors to search for their board sweep but drawing into those tutors could also be a problem if they don’t come timely. Hythonia being the Commander would make things easier as she will be in the Commander Zone if you need a board sweep, though the cost will be super high (6cc + 8 to activate Monstrosity). You will need Cabal Coffer ASAP to truly abuse her or at least make casting and activating her easier.

If you do not want her to lead your deck, then a good recommendation will be to use her as a support Creature in a Sisters of Stone Death deck. There she will support the Sisters and be your Board Creature sweeper, sparing the rest of the family. If anything good about these Gorgons is that most of them have Deathtouch and could deal with your opponents Creatures when they try to recover. Combo with Thornbite Staff, that would be a 2, tap to destroy one Creature.

Sisters of stone death

Family who fight together stay together.

There are many ways to use Hythonia, I am not sure if I have covered enough of her as she is still not used so much in our play group much less the Normal variant here. Maybe you have some ideas that I had missed out, do share it in the comment below. I would like to see how much more potential Hythonia has. For now we are done with Hythonia, so till the next Theros review…

 

This is yours truly, Edward “Reaper King” Leong, signing off.

:D~

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