As I'm sure most of you have heard, Odyssey is bringing us two new mechanics: "Flashback" and "Threshhold." If a card has flashback, you can cast it from your graveyard by paying the flashback cost on the card and removing it from the game. This has obvious power, especially with removal.
The other mechanic, Threshhold, says that if you have 7 or more cards in your graveyard, the card gets a powerful effect. For example, Krosan Beast costs 3G and is a 1/1, but if you have a Threshhold it gets +7,+7. I'm kind of curious how these cards will be in limited.
Getting 7 cards in your graveyard is a hard thing to accomplish. How often have you seen Avatar of Woe cast for BB in limited? Usually people just payed the 8 if they hadn't died already. With Threshhold you can accomplish the task and dominate with your fat creatures, or you could die controlling a lot of weak creatures, but not having the threshhold you need.
It's hard to say how these cards will be in limited. I think it depends on how the card is without the threshold. Mystic Zealot is a 2/4 for 3W, and if you have threshhold it gets +1,+1 and flying. I see this creature as extremely good. It provides you an early defensive creature at a good casting cost, then later when you can get the threshhold a huge flyer that can take control. Another thing about it is that it's only a common, meaning you can get 2 to 4 of these often and then once the 7th card hits your graveyard, fly over with all your fat flyers.
I would, however, think of Krosan Beast less powerful than Avatar of Might. Both are active at around the same time in the game, the Avatar has trample and can't get messed up by cards like cremate.
The one thing I think I wouldn't do when building sealed or draft decks is use cards that take away card advantage just to get your threshold quicker. For example, Morgue Thrull (2B 2/2 sac: put the top 3 cards of your lib into grave) is rumored to be reprinted. I would build my deck thinking of it as nothing more than a grey ogre. Still, you decide for yourself and I'd like to know what you think!
It depends on the format as a whole, I think. If your playing sealed then your very likely to get 7 cards into the graveyard at some point, unless oddessy actually speeds things up even faster than now. If you have it in your hand, all of a sudden trading creatures 1v1 isn't as bad as before. It all depends on what the abilities are... a 8/8 for 4 mana that's splashable? I would play that. Of course, depending on it isn't wise either, but its akin to a high CC card. You play the most powerful of them because they are game breakers.
While you probably won't get cards like FoF and Probe in this set, there probably will be some synergy available.
The important thing is to evaluate them correctly. If your play UW control, then it may be incredibly good. However, if you have 8 2cc drops, then maybe your better off going on rush + removal. If you have tons of card drawing (cantrips) and very few flashbacks, then I would run the threshold and perhaps depend on them more. If I get multiple flashbacks (the green 3/3 and the shock), then I probably would rate the Thresholds lower.
I would only design a deck around them IF I had a lot of them. If I open 5 amazing thresholds, then I'm going to play morgue thrull for the synergy. Otherwise, your right... its wasteful playing bad cards for weak synergy.
Flashback is simply good. But, much the same thing, you don't want to play them if they are bad. So far they look like they are going to be really strong.
My guess is that threshhold will be more important than people realize. I could see Morgue Thrull being a highly valuable early drop. If only one player is able to obtain threshhold, other things being somewhat equal, he would be most likely to dominate the game. I don't think you will see anyone playing flashback cards until they are well over the seven, and the cards that remove things from graveyards will be important.
In limited threshold will be a consideration.
Avatar of Woe waits for 10 creatures. creatures and cards are very different ballgames.
Basically threshold lets them give you ultra-efficient beasties that are balanced for 2 reasons
a) they arent fast beasties without grave manipulation, just weenies or standard curve creatures
b) there is a hell of a lot of grave manipulation in the set. So if your opponent leaves your grave alone and you avoid flashback and regrowth cards (like gravedigger) then threshold is reasonable, but this limits your other options.
Where the balance of power lies will depend on how the set balances out. I'll know more once I've played it a bit.
The best of the threshold cards are the ones that are good before threshold and spectacular after. Comparing Crosan Beast to Avatar of Might doesn't get you anywhere, it just wastes your time because you're not going to see them in the same draft. You're right about the "mystic" critters, though. The commons are nifty and solid, and the rares are just friggin' amazing, in constructed as well as sealed. Remember Paladin en-vec? THAT good! I will also be jumping on the solid enchantments and the good white weenies. Lieutenant Kirtar and Pianna are amazing in a deck with the mystic dudes and the faster weenies. I suspect I will concentrate on Green and White for the game breaking rares in constructed (and some black), and definitely Black, red, and green in draft. those colors have so much removal and beef, sheesh.
Gary Wise gave a...wise advice: design your limited deck either for threshold OR for flashback because these effects are opposite.