Polukranos, Unchained may be best legendary in Theros: Beyond Death

Massive power in Constructed and Limited.

Hydra in Green MTG Core Set 2020 Limited Draft
Image via Wizards of the Coast Magic: The Gathering

Hydra power increases in Standard with the addition of Polukranos. Unchained, a Theros: Beyond Death spoiler from today. 

Hydra Commander players can rejoice with the reveal of Polukranos, Unchained. It’s a legendary hydra zombie that’ll wreak havoc in Limited when drafted and has massive potential in Constructed. With numerous abilities, Ploukranos, Unchained may be the best legendary creature in Theros: Beyond Death (THB). 

  • Polukranos enters the battlefield with six +1/+1 counters on it. It Escapes with twelve +1/+1 counters on it instead.
  • If damage would be dealt to Polukranos while it has a +1/+1 counter on it, prevent that damage and remove that many +1/+1 counters from it.
  • 1BG: Polukranos fights another target creature.
  • Escape—4BG, Exile six other cards from your graveyard.
Polukranos, Unchained THB MTG
Image via Wizards of the Coast Magic: The Gathering

Plukranos starts as a 6/6 upon entering the battlefield and if it’s cast using the new THB Escape mechanic, it returns as a 12/12. It can survive Deathtouch and with a low mana cost ability, the zombie hydra can fight another target creature.

Pulkranos also has deadly synergy with Gargos, Vicious Watcher from the M20 set. Gargos reduces the mana cost of hydra creature spells by four, and this includes the cost to Escape Plukranos from the graveyard.

The overpowered hydra can drop on the battlefield as early as turn three with ramp and its counters can increase with the Proliferate mechanic. But because it has counters, Pulkranos is extremely weak against a creature like Blightbeetle.