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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Ornitharch
Image from Wizards.com

 Ornitharch
- Born of the Gods

Reviewed March 5, 2014

Constructed:3.25
Casual: 3.63
Limited: 4.13
Multiplayer: 3.38

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale:
1 being the worst.  3 - average.  5 is the highest rating

Click here to see all of our 
Card of the Day Reviews 

BMoor

Ornitharch

Of all the Tribute cards, this is probably the best one... mainly because both forms are so similar that it doesn't really matter which option your opponent picks. Either way, you get five power's worth of fliers for five mana. Still, any savvy opponent will pay the tribute if he has a kill spell, but you can't use "it dies to removal" as a valid argument against a creature. It's fairly costed and it'll end a game right quick if it isn't killed right away, and that's about the best you can ask for from a creature.

Constructed- 4
Casual- 4.5
Limited- 4.5
Multiplayer- 4.5


David Fanany

Player since 1995

Ornitharch

There's parts of Theros that impress me and parts of it that - let's say impress me less. For example, there are cards in the block whose names are either based on real Greek words or are invented but suitable Greek compound words (cf. this card, Tromokratis, Erebos, Heliod, Xenagos, etc). There are five nymphs, one in each color, and each one is the type of nymph that you would expect to be in its color. But then, they barely adapt the style of things like armor, weapons, and chariots at all - just show them being used by magically-inclined people. Is it very likely that there would be no different styles of armor in a world where a polis' militia also includes spellswords? There's really no way to draw equipment in the style of ancient Greece, but which is intended for fighting underwater or high in the air?

In any event, when I look at this card's game text, I think back to cards like Cloudgoat Ranger. Of course, if what your deck is aiming for is lots of tokens, Ornitharch is not the most reliable way to get them. In fact, you'll often get whichever "mode" your opponent is confident they can deal with right now. That's not automatically a bad thing, since both modes are quite threatening in themselves, but it is probably going to scare people away. To be fair, there are times when the consistency of something like a Serra Angel will be preferable, but you can also engineer situations where your opponent has no good choices regarding an Ornitharch.

Constructed: 3/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 4/5
Multiplayer: 3/5

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Ornitharch which is a five mana White 3/3 with Flying and Tribute 2 that either gives it two +1/+1 counters or you get two 1/1 White bird tokens with Flying.  Either way you have five power with evasion for five mana which is quite playable, though giving the opponent the choice of a single large target or three smaller ones depending on their own options is a notable mitigating factor.  For the same cost you can play Serra Angel which is 4/4 with Vigilance or Celestial Archon at 4/4 with First Strike. The one less total power grants combat effects and the consistency of a 4/4 body that Ornitharch lacks and any time the 5/5 would hold up better than a 4/4 the opponent would likely just choose the 3/3 and 1/1s.  Overall this isn't a bad card and some may prefer the raw power it offers, but White's other options are likely to remain more popular in Constructed formats.
 
In Limited this is a great early pick in Booster as an evasive threat that stands out well with whatever choice the opponent makes.  There's no major drawback to including it in a deck with more than a splash of White and it is a welcome sight in Sealed that makes for a great topdeck or finisher.
 
Constructed: 3.0
Casual: 3.0
Limited: 4.0
Multiplayer: 3.0


Skid Rambo

Ornitharch is a solid uncommon card that is actually very playable. You can either get a 5/5 flyer or 3 flying creatures for five mana. If you are awesome and decide to play Ornitharch with Purphorous, God of the Forge then you will always get a 5/5 flyer! There are a lot of token generators in Standard right now but most of them produce ground walkers. In a limited format, Ornitharch can give you an advantage in the air. A 5/5 flyer is nothing to sneeze at in any format, but I could see Ornitharch being overlooked.

Constructed: 3
Casual: 3
Limited: 4
Multiplayer: 3


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