The Best and Worst of Journey Into Nyx

The Escapist Staff | 25 Apr 2014 16:00
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Justin says: Revoke Existence is already a card seeing play, either in sideboards or as a one of in the main. Even if your opponent never plays a single god, the density of enchantments being played is still enough to ensure it's not a dead card - even more so with all the enchantment creatures running around. Deicide is all but a strict upgrade, at least for Standard. What you lose in no longer being able to hit artifacts, not that there are really any seeing play that demand attention, is more than made up with the upgrade to instant speed. The god clause is just a nice additional layer of gravy on top, though don't value it that highly. Seeing their hand and potentially how they sideboarded is probably better than getting all of that god out of their deck when the god is question isn't some key combo piece. Deicide will see a fair amount of constructed play, certainly makes the maindeck of most sealed pools, but it's probably not that high a pick in draft.      

Josh says: No argument from me here. This is a great card, constructive, limited, competitive, or casual. Given how much fun it is to play Gods casually, and my personal valuation of Iroas, God of Victory, Deicide is going to be a must-have in a lot of situations.

Iroas, God of Victory

Iroas, God of Victory

Josh says: I'm confident that this will be controversial, but I have to say that Iroas, God of Victory is at the top of my list for most ridiculously powerful cards in this set. It might not be the Alpha and Omega of constructed play, but boy is this going to ruin some friendships in more casual environments. Let's face it, non-expert players love creatures. They love combat. They love attacking and blocking. That is, they would love it, if it weren't an entirely one-sided affair. Making your attackers de facto Indestructible is borderline evil. Boros decks will now invariably trump creature decks of all stripes, not only dominating casual tables, but keeping mid-range creature decks out of the competitive meta.

Justin says: It's good, but there are a few reasons I'm less excited for Iroas, God of Victory. For starters, it's basically a dead card against most control decks. They don't really care about hindering blocking, and they have enough removal to stop him from every becoming a creature. Certainly that's not reason enough alone, but I'm also not a fan of how it effectively works against one of its best enablers Boros Reckoner. Iroas, God of Victory wants to pair with an aggressive deck and I'd rather my four drop finishers ended the game right then.

Gnarled Scarhide

Justin says: Gnarled Scarhide might look pretty unassuming next to some of these other powerhouses, but a 2/1 for one should never be ignored, especially if it has upside. No, it isn't going to suddenly make tribal minotaur a real thing, but it does however combine nicely with Tormented Hero and Rakdos Cackler for the makings of a new version of the Mono-Black aggro deck that's been ever so close to playable. The big upside here as well is that it's a one drop that's still useful in the lategame, getting to effectively play it as a two power haste that persists through removal or as a Falter on a big blocker. With many decks playing upwards of eight come into play tapped lands, curving one of your 12 one drops into something like Spike Jester looks to be very strong. The bestow ensure that even a timely Supreme Verdict and such later in the game isn't always going to be enough to stabilize. A strong contender to help push black into the premiere base aggro color, unfortunately it's less exciting in limited where it's only a more efficient Nyxborn Eidolon with a pretty hefty drawback for those formats. 
Josh says: Not my favorite, obviously, but I'm not one to snub my nose at a 2 power for one mana. Whether it's a Gravecrawler or Rakdos Cackler, aggro decks love the discounted power. I still want to see Minotaur Tribal, though.

Hall of Triumph

Hall of Triumph

Glorious Anthem effects don't always make waves in the competitive scene, and the fact that Hall of Triumph doesn't add to your Devotion count won't help its case, but in a format where almost all of your creatures will share at least one color, this can be a very powerful effect. Throw in other effects like Archetype of Courage with some Vigilance creatures and you'll be sitting pretty during the combat phase. With Iroas, God of Victory out there, you'll probably be racing, and Hall of Triumph helps ensure that your critters hit harder than your opponent's.

Justin says: Not adding to devotion I feel is ultimately going to be the deciding factor for this card. It's still a sure-in for any limited format though.

Mana Confluence Take 2

Justin says: Just reprinting City of Brass would have been noteworthy enough - though it was just seen in Modern Masters and might have lore and flavor conflicts with Theros, but Mana Confluence suddenly became a chase card from the set if for no other reason than having a different name and slightly different text. In formats with access to both, decks can either upgrade cards like gemstone mine or swap out for whichever one suits them better. There are cases where life loss as a cost or as a damage trigger on the stack for tapping are preferable, like Lightning Bolting someone for lethal in response to the trigger when you're at 1 life. In standard there are plenty of decks that would gladly pay a bit more life for a smoother mana base, the GW aggressive decks have been continually plagued with having multiple one drops in split colors and nearly every two drop being green and white. We may even see a resurgence of decks like 4 color control, where the life loss is worth playing a more powerful suite of cards. This has always been one of the core of deck construction though, getting enough colored sources to be able to cast your spells on time.

Josh says: Couldn't agree more. This is spot on. I love Mana Confluence because I hate color screw.

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