BNG: Reevaluating God-Favored General

In my evaluation of Born of the Gods, I’d listed God-Favored General as unplayable. I felt the 1/1 body was unimpressive, that it required other cards and significant effort to trigger the inspired ability, and that 2 1/1s was a paltry reward for that effort. Also, I’d determined that most of the enablers for the inspired deck were in blue and black, so I felt like a W/X would not have sufficient ways to trigger the ability.

However, the card has been quite good against me in recent weeks, and I’ve decided that I shortchanged it. I’d been treating the inspired trigger as a combat damage trigger, but really it just has to survive combat. On more than one occasion, my opponent has cast Divine Verdict on my blocking creature and gotten the inspired trigger even though no combat damage was dealt. Cards like Chosen by Heloid can also be quite effective, at least on turn 3, as they let God-Favored general survive combat.

So, while God-Favored General is rarely good on its own, there are enough things it is good with that I am willing to draft it higher now. In addition to spells that grant it evasion, it is also good with cheap Auras, removal, combat tricks, and tap effects. However, an 8-person draft will only have an average of 0.4 copies of it, so it won’t alter my draft picks much unless I have multiple copies of it. And even with multiple copes, I won’t draft/play cards like Ephara’s Radiance that are only good with a small number of other cards.

Here are the cards in each color that fall into the categories described above. The bolded ones have ongoing/reusable effects that allow you to trigger the inspired ability each turn.

  • White: Glimpse of the Sun God (average of 0.4 copies in 8-person draft), Nyxborn Shieldmate (1.3), Battlewise Valor (1.6), Cavalry Pegasus (1.6), Chosen by Heliod (1.6), Dauntless Onslaught (0.8), Last Breath (1.6), Leonin Snarecaster (1.6) = average of 10.5 cards in 8-person BNG/THS/THS draft, 1.6 of which are ongoing
  • W/U: Ephara’s Enlightenment (0.4) = 0.4, all of which are ongoing
  • Blue: Stratus Walk (1.3), Oracle’s Insight (0.4), Retraction Helix (1.3), Sudden Storm (1.3), Aqueous Form (1.6), Nimbus Naiad (1.6), Sea God’s Revenge (0.8) = 8.3, 4.9 of which are ongoing
  • Black: Asphyxiate (1.3), Bile Blight (0.4), Black Oak of Odunos (0.4), Grisly Transformation (1.3), Herald of Torment (0.2), Necrobite (1.3), Boon of Erebos (1.6), Hero’s Downfall (0.26), Mogis’s Marauder (0.8), Pharika’s Cure (1.6) = 9.16, 1.9 of which are ongoing
  • Red: Bolt of Keranos (1.3), Lightning Volley (0.4), Searing Blood (0.4), Coordinated Assault (0.8), Lightning Strike (1.6), Magma Jet (0.8), Titan of Eternal Fire (0.26) = 5.56, 0.26 of which are ongoing
  • Green: Karametra’s Favor (1.3), Boon Satyr (0.26), Feral Invocation (1.6), Savage Surge (0.8) = 3.96, 1.3 of which are ongoing (I’m not counting Boon Satyr and Feral Invocation here, even though they stick around, because there’s no guarantee that God-Favored General can survive another attack without additional help)
  • Artifact: Springleaf Drum (0.4), Fleetfeather Sandals (1.6), Prowler’s Helm (0.8), Witches’ Eye (0.8) = 3.6, all of which are ongoing

So, God-Favored General works better if you’re in W/U or W/B. Blue, in particular, offers a lot of effects that allow you to trigger the inspired ability each turn. Note that, even if you have multiple copies of these cards, God-Favored General is still a 1/1, so there are plenty of removal spells that can render all your efforts moot.

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