Gideon of the Trials from Amonkhet
First of all, it is only three mana. Like Jace Beleren and Liliana of the Last Hope before it, Gideon is likely going to find a way into appropriately-colored decks, just because it is so cheap. Conveniently, all three of Gideon’s abilities are meaningful and worthy of discussion.
[+1]: Until your next turn, prevent all damage target permanent would deal.
This is Mike’s favorite ability on the card.
Gideon of the Trials can completely shut off threat-poor decks; it is in fact outstanding against one threat at a time.
In addition, the [+1] is, in a roundabout way, a source of card advantage. You can force the opponent to play multiple threats by neutralizing the first one. He can be stuck losing an extra card to Fumigate, only to be stuck again a threat-and-a-half later.
This ability is also great against Heart of Kiran. Not only can you shut it off damage-wise (no matter what mode it is in), the fact that Heart of Kiran is Legendary means that you effectively shut off all the copies that are stuck in the opponent’s hand.
: Until end of turn, Gideon of the Trials becomes a 4/4 Human Soldier creature with indestructible that’s still a planeswalker. Prevent all damage that would be dealt to him this turn.
If Gideon of the Trials only featured the middle ability, it would be comparable to True-Name Nemesis… a 4/4 “basically unstoppable” 4/4 for only three mana (but doesn’t play defense)? Pretty solid!
This is the most straightforward of Gideon’s three abilities. It’s basically always good any time you don’t want to be using the [+1].
: You get an emblem with “As long as you control a Gideon planeswalker, you can’t lose the game and your opponents can’t win the game.”
Gideon’s emblem is a little tricky. It basically is an emblem that makes present or future Gideons into Platinum Angels. This can be powerful — For example you can lock out (or at least buy a turn from) certain combo decks. But most conventional decks that attack to beat you can attack Gideon instead. Not awful by any means, but not decisive generally, at least not in Standard.
All-in-all, Gideon of the Trials looks like the most powerful white card we’ve seen so far from Amonkhet.
There are lots of other cards discussed, as well, in this week’s episode! Give it a listen:
Oh… And bonus episode tomorrow!