Purphoros’s Intervention resembles a watered-down Banefire in Theros: Beyond Death

A third Intervention from the Theros: Beyond Death cycle revealed Purphoros’s Intervention, a Sorcery spell that should have been an Instant. 

Banefire was once the go-to game finisher in the MTG Standard format because it couldn’t be countered when “X” was five or more. Revealed today during the Theros: Beyond Death (THB) spoilers, Purphoros’s Intervention is similar to Banefire but lacks Instant speed in exchange for susceptibility to counterspells. 

Like the other THB Intervention cycle cards that have been revealed, Erebos’s Intervention and Nylea’s Intervention, players can choose one of two options when casting Purphoros’s Intervention:

  • Create an X/1 red Elemental creature token with trample and haste. Sacrifice it at the beginning of the next end step.
  • Purphoros’s Intervention deals twice X damage to target creature or planeswalker.

The first option fits well into an elemental tribal theme deck, triggering Risen Reef while attacking with trample and haste. But with a defense of one, it can easily be removed with Shock or Drag to the Underworld. And the second option is a Banefire look-a-like that deals twice X damage. But it’s at Sorcery speed and is susceptible to a low-cost counterspell like Negate or Quench.

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