Hexproof
The Best and Worst of Journey Into Nyx

The Escapist Staff | 25 Apr 2014 16:00
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Riddle of Lightning

 

Justin says: See much the same as above with Interpret the Signs, five mana prices this out of most constructed decks and on top of all that Riddle of Lightning tacks on another variable to complicate matters. You're forced to make decisions before even knowing the contents on the top of your deck. You might need to kill some big bomb, but do you risk not being able to reliably pull say four or five damage out of your deck? Whiffing on this is going to put you even further behind, and if all you can realistically aim this at is smaller creatures you're not getting a good value on your five mana investment. Again, the upside is potentially there. As a red based aggressive deck in limited being able to peel the next few lands off the top and draw you into pure gas is pretty enticing in the right circumstances, but having your premium uncommon removal spell be so unreliable is pretty bad.
  
Josh says: Riddle of Lightning and Starfall were neck and neck. At least with Riddle of Lightning you could potentially kill a 4-toughness creature. Make no mistakes, though; they're both terrible.

Starfall

Starfall

Josh says: Starfall falls into the same category as Lightning Diadem, really. It's a five-mana Lightning Bolt with dubious potential upside. In an ideal world, sure you can get your Chandra's Phoenix back from your graveyard, but you sure won't be able to cast it again this turn unless you're sitting on a veritable mountain (ha!) of mana. Maybe if you could direct the extra damage to another creature... who am I kidding, it would still be bad.

Justin says: From a purely constructed view, I agree, but from limited sometimes you just need to run the removal you can get your hands on. Yeah, you'd rather have Lightning Strike or Bolt of Keranos, but you're seeing less of those packs in your sealed and draft pools.

Tormented Thoughts

Justin says: Tormented Thoughts is an excellent example of how a single word can make all the difference. Cards like Perilous Research and Altar's Reap are not getting added to any ban lists, but they look a lot better when cast in response to removal. That creature's dying regardless, might as well get some value out of it and sometimes this can be important for interacting with Detention Sphere and such. The key is being able to respond, something that Tormented Thoughts can't be used for. You're sacrificing a card from your hand and some of your boardstate in order to strip their hand, and it probably need to be something pretty decent in order to get their whole hand. It needs to be at least three power to start getting ahead on the exchange - your two cards for your opponents three. Your best cases for this card are late game cashing in a uselessly small creature during a stalled board state for the last few cards in their hand, hopefully a bomb or two, or getting some additional value from a creature that has an affect when it dies. Everything else is kind of downhill from there.  

Josh says: I tend to like this card, actually. In Rakdos colors, you've got the Firebreathing option. Swing with a pumped creature like Everflame Eidolon or Gateway Shade, then sac it after combat to strip your opponent's entire hand. I'm a sucker for discard, though, so I may have rose-tinted glasses on this one. It's no Hymn to Tourach (my all time favorite discard spell), but it'll do in a pinch.

Revel of the Fallen God

Revel of the Fallen God

Josh says: Revel of the Fallen God is admittedly the best of The Bad here, but at seven mana, it's still fairly awful. Ultimately, it's an inefficient token generator. Just look at Advent of the Wurm for an example of how to do tokens. Four mana for a 5/5 at instant speed is good. Seven mana for 8 power at sorcery speed is not. The only decks that can consistently rely on getting to seven mana are control decks, and Gruul control just ain't what it used to be. I'd value this quite a bit higher than the also-seven-mana-rare Hypnotic Siren, but I don't expect to see much of this out in the wild. Maybe if they were Enchantment Creatures that would proc Eidolon of Blossoms... nope, still no.

Justin says: Eight hasted power is still nothing to wave your hand at. Yeah it's expensive, and the double red and double green is awkward, but even outside limited is not a bad Ruric Thar, the Unbowed-esque card to have against say a control deck. You get your damage in either way.

Godsend

Justin says: Yep, we're going there, because where would a Magic card summary be without ripping on a controversial card? While I think it's unfair to call Godsend a bad card, I do think it's much worse than is initially apparent. First the pros, good equipment is almost universally playable. Being able to make any of your creatures into a decent threat is usually well worth the card, from limited mainstays like Bonesplitter to constructed monsters like Sword of Fire and Ice. As long as you're getting favorable returns on your mana and the equip cost isn't too expensive, you're generally going to sleeve it up, especially for limited formats. At three mana to cast three to equip and giving the creature +3/+3 Godsend is decent though not exciting. So it really comes down to the other abilities to make up the difference, it is a legendary mythic weapon after all. Godsend has a bunch of wordy text that basically reads, this creature is unblockable until it matters. Vigilance or having enough mana to move it around can begin to complicate matters, but in a vacuum this card simply reads as "don't block me, but PS if it's that or lose then you still have the option to block." You might live the dream and exile a Progenitus with this, and yes due to the wording that does work, but it's only ever going to be on your opponent's terms. In the immortal words of a certain admiral, "It's a trap."

Josh says: I was only lukewarm on Tormented Thoughts, but this is just crazy talk. For a paltry three mana each turn, you can basically prevent your opponent from attacking or blocking. It sticks around through removal, and it's brilliant on anything with Vigilance. I mean, come on, who doesn't want to equip Brimaz, King of Oreskos with this thing?  Or Aurelia, the Warleader. Or anything at all if you're running Heliod, God of the Sun. The options are limitless and hilarious.

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