The Best and Worst of Journey Into Nyx

The Escapist Staff | 25 Apr 2014 16:00
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The Bad

Hypnotic Siren

Hypnotic Siren

Josh says: I'm not strictly opposed to things that cost seven mana. Angel of Serenity clears the opponent's board and/or gets a value creature out of my graveyard. Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite wipes the opponent's smaller creatures and buffs my whole squad. Karn Liberated immediately exiles an opponent's creature and eventually lets you restart the game with it. Platinum Angel says "You can't lose the game." Spirit Away gave +2/+2 and was still unplayable. Hypnotic Siren is even worse, with the minor upside of being a chump blocker in the likely scenario that you can't get to seven mana in time to actually steal the opponent's bomb. While an argument for Limited can be made, I'd rather have an actual bomb in my Rare slot than something that will occasionally allow me to steal a bomb, but will typically have me stealing a mediocre creature, just to keep it from bashing into my face.

Justin says: Mind Control no matter how bad or overcosted is still Mind Control. It's one of the best plays possible, especially in limited, by trading your 1 card for both removing their best creature and you gaining a new awesome creature. That 2-for-1 advantage is often enough to swing games. That you still have the option of playing this one Turn One into an ordeal or if you desperately need a chump blocker in the air just sweetens the deal. It might see play in the Mono-Blue devotion deck and it's a strong pick in limited.


Justin says: I'm sure there's probably some way to break this in formats like EDH, but for everything else Skybind seems just plain bad. I fail to even see what this cards intended purpose in the set is since it can't even help with bouncing your better Constellation creatures. There's just so many conditions tacked on to this card to do much of anything, you'd be hard pressed to get a card's worth of value out of it. Maybe if the card was cheaper I could see trying to craft a deck out of incidentally getting to reuse cards like Gray Merchant of Asphodel, but that's a big reach and operating under ideal circumstances, if your expected targets get removed or enablers stripped with sidecard you've then played out a useless card. If you're interested in the kind of effect then Flickerwisp puts on a relevant body and Conjurer's Closet is available at the same cost to any color. 

Josh says: The worst part about this card is that it's going to take up the rare slot in some of my booster packs. Conjurer's Closet wasn't all that playable (that didn't stop me, though!), and it seems to be a much better flicker effect. Setting up end-of-turn flickers seems like a lot of work for a non-flicker-focused set.

Rise of Eagles

Rise of Eagles

Josh says: Talrand's Invocation cost two mana less and still wasn't that great. Sure, Rise of the Eagles lets you Scry 1, but that's just not enough upside for a two-mana cost difference. I want my token generators to be efficient, like Lingering Souls or even the instant-speed Midnight Haunting. This is neither instant nor efficient. Let's be fair. This wouldn't even be good in a Bird Tribal deck.

Justin says: Every set has it's purely limited cards, so I think it's a little unfair to compare Rise of the Eagles up with the uncommon Talrand's Invocation. Theros block already had us paying six for 4 power in the air with Horizon Chimera and sometimes having that power split up is beneficial. Not a strong card that you're every first picking, but it's likely always going to be that 22nd or 23rd card in your limited decks.

Interpret the Signs

Justin says: There are a lot of cards in Magic that ask you to effectively take a turn off. You might not be impacting the board in a meaningful way, but the hope is set-up something that much more powerful or have more resources for the next several turns. However, not many of them ask as much or can fail as spectacularly as Interpret the Signs can though. At 6 mana sorcery Interpret the Signs is already pretty glacially slow with sorcery ensuring there's not even the ability to hold up other spells for end of turn like Sphinx's Revelation or Opportunity. This likely puts it right out of playable in any constructed format. Even if you're in the market for an expensive draw spell there are better options. In limited Interpret the Signs scares me even more to run. While Scry 3 does let you see pretty deep into the deck, land, three drop and another land is a perfectly reasonable selection of cards to see off the top of your deck in sealed or draft. Do you gamble on the 4th card, if it's a land you're pretty boned, or take your three? There's certainly upside here, in a late game situation you can potentially draw a ton and clear lands off the top, but the downside of this card are about as low as it can get. 
Josh says: I was actually fairly excited when I saw this card spoiled. Then I Pondered it a little more and came to a very similar conclusion. If I'm spending six mana, I may as well just cast a Sphinx's Revelation for three at instant speed and gain some life in the process. Sure you might Scry into a 6-drop. But you won't.

Lightning Diadem

Lightning Diadem

Josh says: I'm all about some Auras with upside, like some of the Bestow creatures out there. Like any sane person, I hate getting 2-for-1'd by spot removal. Sadly, Lightning Diadem doesn't really help with that, since it will fizzle if its target gets removed. Given that Volcanic Strength is a two-mana spell that isn't amazing, a six-mana Volcanic Strength with a Shock built in just won't ever measure up.

Justin says: Agreed. It's not a great card, but six mana for essentially two power haste, a two point ping and a heroic trigger is starting to approach not being the worst card ever. You'd rather just have red bestow to top off your curve in a limited red-based aggressive deck, but I think it's got a better chance of making a Theros block limited deck than say Primal Visitation did during Gatecrash.

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