Godhead of Awe is an awe-some card (pun intended) from Magic the Gathering’s Shadowmoor set. She was one of the first Magic cards I ever played with, and I actually opened her in the same draft as my first-ever rare pull, Augury Adept. The Godhead’s ability to make all other creatures into 1/1’s is extremely valuable, allowing her to simply take over a game by herself. Plus, with the enchantment Steel of the Godhead in the same set, this Godhead could deal some serious damage.
Steel of the Godhead obviously has its flavor tied to the Godhead of Awe. It costs 2 colorless and either a Blue or a White to cast. If the enchanted creature is white, that creature gains +1/+1 and lifelink. If it’s blue, it gets +1/+1 and can’t be blocked. Godhead of Awe is both white and blue simultaneously. This means that with the Steel of the godhead she became a 6/6 unblockable flyer with lifelink. Gaining 6 life every turn while dealing 6 to your opponent is pretty good.
Augury Adept is similarly both white and blue and could benefit from this card, as well. Going unblocked, the Adept could essentially draw me a free card every turn while potentially also gaining me life. With these three cards in my draft deck, I probably should have won more games than I lost. Alas, I drafted very poorly otherwise – as I had never drafted Magic before – and didn’t win too much.
I also didn’t have access to another Enchantment from Lorwyn called Battle Mastery.
Having double strike on a creature with an ability that triggers upon dealing combat damage is extremely powerful. Being able to grab two cards, while also having a Steel of the Godhead making it a 4/4 with lifelink that couldn’t be blocked was pretty sweet. Of course, with the Godhead of Awe on board the Adept would only be a 3/3, but you’re playing the Adept for the card draw (technically it’s not drawing cards as its revealing them and putting them into your hand, but it’s essentially the same thing), not the combat damage.
With Godhead of Awe, Battle Mastery helps the Godhead of Awe defeat pretty much anything that gets in its way, and if it were to also be unblocked, you would be dealing 8 damage a turn at the very least. With Steel of the Godhead, you’d be dealing 12 damage, plus gaining 12 life.
In Standard at the time, you had plenty of counter-magic and Ponder to help set up your draws. It’s hard to believe that a blue/white control deck didn’t ever pop up that took advantage of this combination, especially with all of the Merfolk that were around in Standard to complement the deck.
Yes, Godhead of Awe decks were relegated to the casual scene. The Godhead sees play in five-color Commander decks, and has also made appearances in Oloro, Ageless Ascetic lists. But she’s never become part of any top-tier competitive control decks. Why is that? Unfortunately she’s just outclassed. Augury Adept suffers from a similar issue. People would rather play Geist of Saint Traft for 3 mana, and there are 4 drop creatures in Modern that people would rather play over the Godhead.
Yes, the Godhead’s effect is pretty awesome and it would probably play fairly well in the right control shell. The trick is covering those 5 mana symbols, and white/blue decks struggle consistently without having a third color to support them in Modern. White-blue decks work in Legacy, but the only 5 drops they want to play are Force of Will.
I found later that a lot of cards that I loved from Shadowmoor never really saw competitive play. Two others that I really loved: Kitchen Finks andBloodbraid Elf from my first ever Red/Green deck turned out to be decent cards, though.
A control deck based around the Godhead is certainly possible, though. She has an amazing combination with Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, who gives all of your opponent’s creatures -2/-2 and your creatures +2/+2. Even though she herself would become a 1/1 thanks to the Godhead’s effect, your opponent will never have any creatures again as long as the Elesh Norn remains on the board.
There is potential for a Godhead of Awe deck to work in Modern. You have Mana Leak and Remand to hold people back for a turn. Remand draws you a card, as well. You have the Geist of Saint Traft, too, but the Geist doesn’t really work so well with the Godhead – however, the Steel of the Godhead still functions. The problem is figuring out the synergies to make it a well-tuned control shell. It’s still a challenge I will take on one day.