Lore Seeker – Beautiful Destruction

(Hedonist’s Trove | Art by Peter Mohrbacher)

Prologue

Hello and welcome to another installment of Lore Seeker, an article series devoted to the legendary creatures to whom Wizards of the Coast forgot to give a story. I’ll guide you through each fragment that makes up a legendary creature and finally give them a little extra background love. In this installment, we’re breaking down the ever-charming Oros, the Avenger.


Story Cricle

Oros has the least amount of lore I’ve encountered to date. The only glimpse of background information comes from an article by Blake Rasmussen describing the artist prompts for the Dragons of Planar Chaos. Oros is the primarily white-aligned Dragon from the set, having a white triggered ability. He is obsessed with both beauty and cruelty, and his scales shimmer with a golden pearlescence.

Though the information is limited, there is still plenty to work with here. First off, he is aligned with white, right down to his rules text. Second, he is obsessed with beauty, even to the point of being covered in jewelry in his artwork. Finally, he is quite cruel, and that in particular has me excited. In these colors, we have access to some truly brutal cards that are often hated and can potentially cause some tilt at the table. If we’re going to truly evoke the spirit of this commander, we can’t phone it in; we have to commit to that cruelty. This should come as no surprise: we will be running mass land destruction. I’ve limited it to just Armageddon and Cataclysm, but have also added some extra land hate in the form of Blood Moon.

We’ll take all of these aspects of Oros’s personality and run with them to fill out a thematic commander deck. Let’s see which other clues on his card will help guide our card choices.


Card Analysis

Name:

Avenge: to inflict injury, harm, humiliation, or the like, on a person by another who has been harmed by that person.

Who or what is Oros avenging? Planar Chaos is an alternate reality set, so it is possible that the older generation of primeval Dragons took these new Dragons under their wings. Then, once his mentor was destroyed, it is possible that Oros took it upon himself to avenge his fallen predecessors. Continue reading to discover more about the previous generation of primeval Dragons!


Mana Cost//Color Identity:

White: White controls the environment. It takes a defensive stance and then uses the tools at its disposal to stop the threats of the enemy. White believes in equality for all (symmetrical effects such as Armageddon exemplify this in a mechanical fashion).

Black: Black is amoral and capable of quite some cruelty. Being controlled and calculated in its hate, black forces opponents to submit.

Red: Red embodies all emotion. Red can be wild and reckless or honed and disciplined.

Oros wields anger and hate to exact his vengeance indiscriminately. His anger is tamed by a high degree of intelligence and the desire to see his task through. Having a primarily white alignment makes me believe that he will use his mind before he uses brute force, though there is no way to escape his wrath if you get in his way. The only way out is to provide tribute.


Art:

A golden/pearl colored Dragon with black and red accents sits atop a large boulder, a flock of birds providing scale for this youthful-looking Dragon. Charms and jewels adorn his arms, neck, horns, and wings.

Dragons are traditionally obsessed with gold and jewels, so it is no real surprise that Oros’ affinity for charms has consumed a piece of his personality. Due to this affinity, I’ve added a number of charm spells. These modal spells provide useful options and utility while adding much-needed glitz. On the subject of glitz, when assembling this deck, I would look for any and every foil version; Oros demands it.

On top of draping our Dragon commander in charms, we will be adding a number of Treasure and Gold cards. Revel in Riches gives us a win condition to exploit with our Treasure, and the recent white staple Smothering Tithe feeds into that strategy perfectly. Greed, Aurification, and Hedonist’s Trove also give Oros a pile of nontoken treasure to lord over.


Type Line:

As part of a cycle of Dragons from Planar Chaos, it may benefit us to look into the original story. For those of you who don’t know, Planar Chaos is a set that bends the true timeline and general color pie of the game. The story focuses on alternate realities as the temporal fabric of the plane of Dominaria has been sliced in twain. A number of the cycles within the set are color-shifted versions of cards that have existed previously, such as Prodigal Sorcerer shifted to red as Prodigal Pyromancer. They also created alternate versions of major characters in new colors, such as Braids, Cabal Minion and Braids, Conjurer Adept. In the case of the primeval Dragons, totally new characters were introduced. This discrepancy supports our theory that Oros is avenging his fallen brethren.

The original and canonical primeval Dragons were the second generation of elder dragons. Their names were: Darigaaz, the Igniter, Rith, the Awakener, Treva, the Renewer, Dromar, the Banisher, and Crosis, the Purger. They were self-proclaimed gods with immense power and were considered to be the spirit of The Ur-Dragon, each primeval embodying a specific facet of the soul of Dragon-kind.

From this story we can infer that the cycle of Dragons from Planar Chaos are primeval Dragons as well. Oros, the Avenger, Intet, the Dreamer, Teneb, the Harvester, Numot, the Devastator, and Vorosh, the Hunter follow the same formatting as the older cycle of Dragons. As we explored before, it is possible that this generation of Dragons was raised by the previous to take their places as supreme rulers of Dominaria.


Rules Text:

The ability to deal damage to nonwhite creatures exemplifies Oros’s strong alignment with white, especially since it is a symmetrical effect. This also gives us a deckbuilding restriction; the fewer nonwhite creatures in the deck, the more we can abuse that ability. At six mana, and a triggered ability that costs three more, Oros will not necessarily be active too often. By the time he comes out, we’re hoping to destroy a large amount of the board. To ensure he will do some damage, I’ve added Sudden Spoiling and Overwhelming Splendor. If that is not enough, Mass Calcify (along with a couple other board wipes) should do the trick.


The Deck

This deck plays out rather slowly, but runs a ton of interaction to keep you in the game and is best suited for a pod of four or five players. Having more people in the game will draw attention away from you until you have a chance to set up your board. More people also means more nonwhite creatures on the board, and that is a huge plus for Oros.

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Epilogue

The primeval Dragons have been at the helm of many a commander deck over the years. It is a shame that the Planar Chaos cycle have minimal backstory, but I think we’re headed in the right direction. In future articles, we may follow up on a couple of the other Planar Chaos Dragons, and maybe even one or two on the Invasion Dragons as well, to give them a deck that befits their magnanimity. As always, let me know which legendary characters you’d like to see get the story spotlight in the future!

Eric is a professional hobbyist and nonprofessional game designer; a promoter of mass land destruction and legitimate MTG addict. He can be found... somewhere in Minneapolis usually.