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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Commander Review: Born of the Gods – Release Tromokratis

September 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Commander/General Ideas, Review

Born of the Gods Spoiler Art

Rising to Godhood

Greek Anthology, the setting of the Theros block, is a place of legends. With it came many Commanders we could use. Except for Kamigawa block and the Legends set, Theros is of late another block with tons of possible Commander Candidates. It really took us a while to digest all of them. Continuing from the previous set, Theros, we go into the small expansion of Theros Block, Born of the Gods, where the story had gone on with more Legends added to the ranks. So without further ado, let us introduce you to Tromokratis, one of the possible Commander from Born of the Gods expansion.

 

Release the Krakens!!!!

Clash of the titans Kraken

Shit just real, real big…

For most that had seen the movie “Clash of the Titans”, the above title is not unfamiliar. That is exactly what Tromokratis is, a Kraken. The Kraken race of MtG is a small group of Creatures with huge Power/Toughness rival mainly by the Leviathans. Both races are depicted as deep sea monstrosities with high cc. In fact the first Kraken, Polar Kraken, was once the largest Creature at 11/11 in MtG winning the 10/10 Leviathan then. Following that, the next two printed Krakens, Tidal Kraken and Deep-Sea Kraken, were both given an unblockable ability. The two similarities may not be so much of a surprise since Deep-Sea Kraken was from Time Spiral, a set with many throwbacks to older cards, and Deep-Sea Kraken was in fact reference to Tidal Kraken by Name; ability; artist; and power/toughness. Then along came Isleback Spawn, a Kraken from Shadowmoor which was the Blue part of the Hideaway Lands cycle sleeping as the Shelldock Isle in Lorwyn. It is a bit different as compared to the previous two Krakens as it has no unblockable ability but instead comes with Shroud and grows bigger when there is a library with twenty or fewer cards in it. Finally came the last two Krakens, Kraken Hatchling and Wrexial, the Risen Deep, from Zendikar and Worldwake sets respectively. There were no more Krakens printed since then until Theros block.

Polar Kraken

First doesn’t always means the best….

 

Krakens have received a small boost in their numbers, though still lingering on the high cc side. Among them, from Theros set, is Kraken of the Straits which continues the unblockable ability of past Krakens by disallowing Creatures with power less than the number of Islands you control to block it. The other Kraken from Theros set is the Shipbreaker Kraken, which can tapped down up to four Creatures when it becomes Monstrous. It is also has a reasonable 6cc with a body of 6/6, which can be further improve to 10/10 with its Monstrosity activation. Another Kraken was also printed in Born of the Gods. This Kraken, called Scourge of Fleets, has an enter the battlefield effect which bounces your opponents’ Creatures whose toughness is equal to or less than the number of Islands you control. Last but not least the last addition to the Kraken family, also from Born of the Gods set, is today topic Commander, Tromokratis.

Shipbreaker Kraken

Ships for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner…… And Supper too….

 

Humongous Calamari

Since Theros is based on Greek Anthology, and Theros is all about top-down design, Tromokratis is very much a reference to the Clash of the Titans Kraken. Now before we move on, let us have a look at Tromokratis’ stats:-

 

Tromokratis

 Card Name: Tromokratis

CMC: 5UU

Types: Legendary Creature – Kraken

Card Text: Tromokratis has hexproof unless it’s attacking or blocking.

Tromokratis can’t be blocked unless all creatures defending player controls block it.

P/T: 8/8

Tromokratis is pretty huge at 8/8 and comes with an in-build protection in the form of Hexproof as long as it is not in combat. That is pretty handy in protecting itself, a very welcome ability for a Commander. Next is its evasion ability of sorts which makes it unblockable if the defending players do not throw his or her entire army at it. That is to say that even if one Creature on the defending player’s side is tapped down and not able to block Tromokratis then Tromokratis goes through the defenses. Tromokratis is a very powerful late game play in that with its two abilities; it is able to protect itself and also kill your opponents.

 

Commander Potential

Tromokratis is mono Blue, thus needless to say if chosen as a Commander your deck will also be mono Blue. Considering the abilities of Tromokratis, it is not entirely impossible to make an EDH deck. There are already many shells of mono Blue EDH decks out there that could be used to house Tromokratis as the Commander. Blue offers a lot of countering, card draw and control to make protecting you till Tromokratis hits the battlefield possible. What is even better is that as long as Tromokratis does not engage in combat, spot removal cannot touch it which saves you from the need to protect it. Anyone who wants to get rid of it needs to clear the board, this could also be stopped by countering (except for Supreme Verdict) if you do not want it to happens. Another interesting fact about Tromokratis’ unblockable ability is that even if one of the defending player’s Creatures is tapped for whatever reasons resulting in it not being able to block, then Tromokratis will be unblockable. Thus utilizing the use of various Artifacts; or Creatures and Enchantments in Blue, you could render your opponent’s defense line useless by tapping just one of his or her defenders, even when they had left the whole army to block it. Below are some of the ways which you could consider for this purpose.

 

Aboshan, Cephalid Emperor A mini tribe theme of mixing Octopi (Cephlid) with Squids (Krakens). Aboshan could be used to lock down on an opponent; and its tap down of non-Flying Creatures could also be used as set up for Tromokratis’ attack.
Amber Prison Permanently lock down an Artifact, Creature, or Land for as long as Amber Prison is tapped.
Aphetto Grifter Similar to Aboshan but uses Wizards instead.
Cyclopean Snare 3, T: Tap target Creature, then return Cyclopean Snare to its owner;s hand.
Flood Tap down non-Flying Creature. UU for each Creature.
Frost Titan Tromokratis best attacking partner.
Icy Manipulator 1, T: Tap target Artifact, Creature, or Land. First of its kind.
Jolting Merfolk Fading 4. Uses its Fade counters to tap Creatures.
Leonin Bola Equipment. Equipped Creature has “T, Unattach Leonin Bola: Tap target Creature.”Can be equipped on Tromokratis to set up the attack.
Opposition Another good Enchantment to use for locking opponents with your Creatures. Can also use Tromokratis to set up its own attack.
Ring of Gix 1, T: Tap target Artifact, Creature, or Land. Reprinted Icy Manipulator with Echo 3.
Staff of Domination Combo stick with many activated abilities. Mini draw engine.
Trip Noose 2, T: Tap target Creature.
Tumble Magnet T, Remove a charge counter from it: Tap target Artifact or Creature. Comes with three charge counters as it enters the battlefield.

 

Tidal Kraken

“Ain’t no one blocking us when we attack!!!”

If there is any reason to choose Tromokratis as a Commander, it is its Hexproof ability. A Commander who protects itself is a bonus in itself. Due to its Hexproof when not in combat ability, you could be power it up before you are ready to send it in for the alpha strike. If you feel unsafe to attack with Tromokratis, then don’t. There are Equipments you could use to kill with Tromokratis without attacking. One such Equipment is the Surestrike Trident, which allows the equipped Creature to tap and unattached the trident and deals its power to target player. That is a total 8 damage by itself. With some power enhancement, you could use the combo to kill off an opponent without even attacking.

 

Another reason which I see Tromokratis as a good Commander choice is its evasion ability. Since it takes the whole army to block it, by using any of the methods mentioned earlier, you could ensure Tromokratis will get through. Then you can simply equipped Tromokratis with Grafted Exoskeleton and kill that person off. Some EDH play group had abandoned the Commander Damage rule, to make the game last longer and more fun. At least for my play group we are adopting that rule. But Poison counter win is still pretty much the same win for some play groups; 10, or to some 20, equals to game loss. Combo with Grafted Exoskeleton that is exactly 10 power for Tromokratis, a total of 10 Poison counters with each attack. If any of the defending player’s Creatures is tapped, that is game over or nigh for him or her.

 

Family Reunion – Mini Tribal Theme

Scourge of Fleets

“He said he was going for the big fish.”

Tromokratis could also make a good attacker in a Kraken Tribal theme deck. A suggestion for a Commander for this Tribal theme deck would be Wrexial, the Risen Deep. It would be quite a mini Tribal theme since there are only nine Krakens, including Wrexial, available, and Polar Kraken is rather unusable for its setback. Wrexial is a good choice as a Commander for a Kraken Tribal theme due to its color identity having Black. Black opens up access to graveyard reanimation which allows you to skip the high cc of the Krakens. You could check out our article on Reanimation theme for ways to reanimate the Krakens. Besides graveyard reanimation, there are also a couple of other means which allows you to put Creatures directly from your hand onto the battlefield. These methods help not just in a Kraken Tribal deck but also if you need ways to cheat big Creatures onto the battlefield. Below are a few ways you could use for Wrexial and gang.

Ætherplasm Except for an attacker with Deathtouch, most Krakens are big enough to block and kill the attacker.
Deathrender One of the best Equipment. Comes with small boost and exchange the equipped Creature when it dies with another one from your hand. A personal favorite.
Quest for Ula’s Temple The Quest Enchantment seemingly made for the deep sea terrors Tribal theme consisting of Krakens, Leviathans, Octopi and Serpents.
Quicksilver Amulet Everyone’s favorite Artifact for cheating in big Creatures. At Instant speed too.
Shifty Doppelganger Cheats in Krakens and sets them up for reanimation at a later time.

 

Quest for Ula’s Temple

The big ones always dwell in the deeper realms.


 

Once you go Blue, you never go Back

Tromokratis

“I’m safe as long as I stay put, right?”

In conclusion, I think Tromokratis makes a very good Voltron Commander because it protects itself and comes with its own evasion ability all without exterior help. Its color identity also provides the necessary protection if needed. It may not be as powerful as compare to other Blue Commanders (Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir as Control style & Thada Adel, Acquisitor or Memnarch as Steal style) but if you are looking a Voltron Commander, it proves itself pretty much, for it protects itself when not in combat, staying out of harm’s way till you have powered it up enough to kill. An interesting way I found from my play group mates who was playing a mono Blue deck is the use of Quicksilver Fountain to control non-Blue players. This Artifact slowly turns one Land into Island at each player’s upkeep until all Lands are Islands and then starts over again. This could hinder non-Blue players by screwing with their Land mana base, definitely a good choice to include into the deck. Also this provides an avenue for Wrexial to Islandwalk in for the kill too. If we have left out any other interesting ways to play Tromokratis please do share with us in the comments box below as sharing is good. Thus till the next Born of the Gods Commander review…

 

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

:D~

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