The Best and Worst of Journey Into Nyx

The Best and Worst of Journey Into Nyx

Josh and Justin share some thoughts about Journey into Nyx.

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HEY GUYS, RARES ARE GOOD AND COMMONS ARE BAD!

Oversimplifying, but you need qualifiers. You have all rares/mythics and 1 uncommon as "good", then a bunch of commons and a couple of rares as "bad". Of course they're not as good, they're commons. Is there some Escapist directive that everything has to be a linkbait list nowadays because that's what Buzzfeed does and Buzzfeed is popular?

I mean you don't even seperate limited from constructed in this list. Cards like Interpret the Signs are bonkers in limited (as 1-2 of in a proper deck of course) and you're underestimating Hypnotic Siren as an upgrade to Judge's Familiar in mono-blue.

I'm also more a fan of Athreos than Iroas. Orzhov Aggro has already been a thing in Standard, and having him out with Xathrid Necromancer is insane (you wrath my board and lose 9 life and I get 3 zombies, or your wrath does nothing and I get zombies anyway). Iroas is a curve topper at 4 mana that lets you push through creature decks, but the only creature decks left after this set are going to be the fast ones, the other decks will be playing tons of cheap removal, so he'll sit there doing nothing till he gets Deicide'd.

deth2munkies:
HEY GUYS, RARES ARE GOOD AND COMMONS ARE BAD!

Oversimplifying, but you need qualifiers. You have all rares/mythics and 1 uncommon as "good", then a bunch of commons and a couple of rares as "bad". Of course they're not as good, they're commons.

This is a really bad excuse for lazy set design choices on Wizards' part.

JonB:

deth2munkies:
HEY GUYS, RARES ARE GOOD AND COMMONS ARE BAD!

Oversimplifying, but you need qualifiers. You have all rares/mythics and 1 uncommon as "good", then a bunch of commons and a couple of rares as "bad". Of course they're not as good, they're commons.

This is a really bad excuse for lazy set design choices on Wizards' part.

Are you serious? OK, here's a couple articles to read that set it out better than I could:

Why there are bad cards: https://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtgcom/daily/mr5

Why commons are always more simple (and therefore generally worse) than rares: https://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/mm/172

For instance, look at Deicide, then look at Revoke Existence. The latter is a common, former is a rare, the latter is simple, the former is more complex. Even so, the former is strictly better than the latter. Rares have more room for complexity, which means they have more room to be good. Commons are always going to be simple, and that simplicity is the glue that holds many decks together, but RARES are what makes a deck run.

Look at the most recent winning GP deck:

Roleplayer uncommons, 6 commons, and the rest of the maindeck is rares and basic lands. Saying that rares/mythics being generally better than commons is a "lazy design choice" is so fallacious I can't even begin to describe it.

EDIT: That's most recent CONSTRUCTED GP, obviously a lot more commons get played in limited because access to rares are restricted.

I'm definitely with Justin on Godsend: It's six mana total to give one creature +3/+3. What deck runs this? The biggest aggro deck right now (Selesnya) would rather cast Loxodon Smiter or Brimaz and would much rather have the immediate impact of Spear of Heliod or Ajani than a card that requires them to spend their Advent of the Wurm turn suiting up one of their guys.

Setessan Tactics also seems questionable. The biggest Green decks right now are mostly Monsters buildings which have access to MizMor or are Jund decks with access to Putrefy and Dreadbore. I can't imagine they'll be thrilled to run removal that requires them to not only already have a giant beater on the table, but also give up attacking with said beater for a turn.

Hall of Triumph doesn't seem very good given that the RedWhite decks that could run it already have access to Spear of Heliod to do the same thing much better. Monoblue seems like the only deck that might want it, but that deck seems pretty tight right now, and as Justin points out, the Hall doesn't provide any devotion.

Also it's weird that you don't mention Athreos, given that he's probably the most hyped card in the set.

80% picked White for the pre-release party tomorrow, what a surprise. Going with Red, atleast I'll enjoy myself.

Imre Csete:
80% picked White for the pre-release party tomorrow, what a surprise. Going with Red, atleast I'll enjoy myself.

Yeah everyone is gunning for the arguable best promo card and Athreos is apparently the god that can come in the white promo-pack. Something about the first mana symbol in the cast cost determines it.

Slycne:
Yeah everyone is gunning for the arguable best promo card and Athreos is apparently the god that can come in the white promo-pack. Something about the first mana symbol in the cast cost determines it.

I know each place has its customs when it comes to Magic, but around here White gets played insanely lot, it's sickening. And this new release isn't going to help matters a lot, with this enchant madness especially. I've seen Ethereal Armor Thoughtseized from hand with Ajani and Archangel of Thune sitting next to it. ^^

Granted I play Standard only, can't imagine the madness unleashed in other formats next week.

Good gravy. Iroas is perhaps the best reward I could've asked for as someone who's stuck with a R/W Heroic since the beginning of Theros. Weenies, assemble!

Slycne:

Imre Csete:
80% picked White for the pre-release party tomorrow, what a surprise. Going with Red, atleast I'll enjoy myself.

Yeah everyone is gunning for the arguable best promo card and Athreos is apparently the god that can come in the white promo-pack. Something about the first mana symbol in the cast cost determines it.

I can't decide which colour to pick for the prerelease tomorrow. My first thought was Blue, for Scourge of Fleets' bounce bonus. But in Limited the Scourge is a late-game play that relies heavily on playing a lot of blue (another Limited problem, the chance of being unable to play the colours you want).

White does look rather tasty, especially for a chance at Godsend (never gonna happen, with my luck). Though Dawnbringer Charioteers is decidedly average to me - I never seem to be able to make heroic creatures work properly, never enough targeting spells - so if previous experience holds, it'll be a Seraph of Dawn that takes up my promo spot.

When I look at a new set in preparation for a prerelease, I look more to the commons than the rares... with that in mind blue might be the better choice for me.

CounterAttack:
snip

Honestly, I wouldn't fret over it too much. While the promo pack does usually weight you towards that color with a decent chunk of playables in the pool, you're still opening the vast majority of cards from normal packs. I've seen plenty of pools go in completely different directions. Also, there's something to be said about going with what you're comfortable with as well. I was slamming UG at nearly every pre-release through M14 and Theros just cause counterspells and big creatures was meshing well for me at the time. Basically, I don't think it's ever the wrong choice to not pick the "best" promo color.

Slycne:
-snip-

Fair enough. Playing what makes you happy is always good. Blue it is! =D

http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=380491

Interesting card; probably best for U/W heroic decks. Looks fun.

http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=380448

Best one drop for WW decks. Better than Favored Hoplite. Love the flavor text too!

deth2munkies:
For instance, look at Deicide, then look at Revoke Existence. The latter is a common, former is a rare, the latter is simple, the former is more complex. Even so, the former is strictly better than the latter. Rares have more room for complexity, which means they have more room to be good. Commons are always going to be simple, and that simplicity is the glue that holds many decks together, but RARES are what makes a deck run.

Deicide is not strictly better then revoke existence, Deicide cant kill artifacts. Right now any relevant artifact is also an enchantment (I think Godsend is just unplayable and just way to much mana investment on the equip cost vs the reward). It may come to a point where after ravnica rotation there are a few powerful non enchantment artifacts in next block and revoke existence is favored over deicide.

For the best card in the set in terms of standard play it is easily Banishing Light. For people who think its just a worse Detention Sphere you may wanna reread Detention Sphere. When Oblivion Ring and Detention Sphere were legal in standard together there were still U/W decks that played Oblivion Ring over Detention Sphere as a metagame choice because of one simple thing. Detention Sphere can not exile other Detention Spheres but Oblivion Ring can exile Detention Sphere. This also gives White non blue decks like Naya the ability to play real removal which has been hurting Naya because they had no real way to answer threats like Elspeth.

jp201:

deth2munkies:
For instance, look at Deicide, then look at Revoke Existence. The latter is a common, former is a rare, the latter is simple, the former is more complex. Even so, the former is strictly better than the latter. Rares have more room for complexity, which means they have more room to be good. Commons are always going to be simple, and that simplicity is the glue that holds many decks together, but RARES are what makes a deck run.

Deicide is not strictly better then revoke existence, Deicide cant kill artifacts. Right now any relevant artifact is also an enchantment (I think Godsend is just unplayable and just way to much mana investment on the equip cost vs the reward). It may come to a point where after ravnica rotation there are a few powerful non enchantment artifacts in next block and revoke existence is favored over deicide.

For the best card in the set in terms of standard play it is easily Banishing Light. For people who think its just a worse Detention Sphere you may wanna reread Detention Sphere. When Oblivion Ring and Detention Sphere were legal in standard together there were still U/W decks that played Oblivion Ring over Detention Sphere as a metagame choice because of one simple thing. Detention Sphere can not exile other Detention Spheres but Oblivion Ring can exile Detention Sphere. This also gives White non blue decks like Naya the ability to play real removal which has been hurting Naya because they had no real way to answer threats like Elspeth.

I could be cool and say I was referring to the current state of standard (where Deicide is strictly better) but it's been so long since SOM I just forgot the other half of revoke :P

But yeah, I've been wanting a fixed O-ring and I thought it'd be in BNG, so it's FINALLY here. To see what's wrong with the old O-ring, look here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGXG5rNe_tI

Oh and for the record: you want to be playing Black for this pre-release...or white, close second.

dharmaBum0:
http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=380491

Interesting card; probably best for U/W heroic decks. Looks fun.

http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=380448

Best one drop for WW decks. Better than Favored Hoplite. Love the flavor text too!

You can use the link-image trick using mtg_card=card name (in brackets, of course)

Sage of Hours is definitely one to watch, and has some interesting infinite-turns combos in Bant as early as turn 5, alongside Ajani, Mentor of Heroes and repeatable counter-doubling effects like Vorel of the Hull Clade or Kalonian Hydra. It's risky, like any combo deck reliant on creatures, but certainly worth building around to see how it plays. I, for one, will be building a Simic-splash-White "counters matter" deck with the Sage as one win condition. ...maybe a few other odd ducks for funzies, like Gideon, Champion of Justice, or Biovisionary, or Azor's Elocutors.

I would also like to remind everyone that Ajani's Chosen still exists. Probably not going to win any tournaments, but still... makes big 5+ Auras a little more playable. Not good, but playable. Also, they plus Brimaz, King of Oreskos and Ajani, Caller of the Pride = Kitties for days! (Pity White Sun's Zenith isn't available in standard...)

I hereby vow that I will be the guy to ulti Ajani Mentor into ulti Ajani Caller for 100-ish kitties. If it can be done, it will be me.

2xDouble:
I hereby vow that I will be the guy to ulti Ajani Mentor into ulti Ajani Caller for 100-ish kitties. If it can be done, it will be me.

With the new Planeswalker Legendary rule that will still take a while. :)

I got tons of cards for a tribal Minotaur deck now, I'll give it a whirl. The new token minotaur sorcery won a few rounds for me today on pre-release, I want to know what will they do with Deathtouch, +3/1 and Trample aswell.

I've seen people do really well with two color and a splash. It's less about what you pick and more about good deck-building in limited. I think black is overlooked in Journey into Nyx, it's not to be sniffed at. Neither is green, actually i think green might have the highest number of playable commons/ uncommons in some parts of the block, it's just solid.

The cards you described as 'bad' were mostly overcosted. There are also bad cards that are very situational or simply don't have a good enough effect to take up a card in your deck.

To those who say "Rares are just good, commons are just bad. This is lazy design" You obviously have no idea how magic the gathering works in any format or the design behind it. This is why, in limited, there are many commons which is first pickable or exceptional performers in your limited deck and a bunch of dead rares. There is a reason people run Hopeful Eidolon, Fall of the Hammer, Akroan Skyguard and Gray Merchant of Asphodel over Pyxes of Pandemonium, Akroan Horse and even Colossus of Akros

I shouldn't have to explain why something like Lightning Bolt or Ponder or brainstorm is better than most rares and that this reflects the design of cards at all rarities. Commons even in modern sets are sometimes so powerful they require banning, like in the case of ponder.

deth2munkies:
HEY GUYS, RARES ARE GOOD AND COMMONS ARE BAD!

That's not true in the slightest, A good quote I like to take out is "commons form the back bone of any solid deck". usually(emphasis on usually) the more rare a card is is the more complicated or specific it's function is. Not always the case but if a deck of all rares is always the best deck than the game is just a flat pay to win game. Which is most cases magic is designed better than that.

deth2munkies:
HEY GUYS, RARES ARE GOOD AND COMMONS ARE BAD!

Not really, some decks run almost entirely commons and uncommons. For instance you can build a very good aggro deck in pretty much any mixture of 3 colours at the moment without using rares. Sure, the rare lands help but they aren't necessary.

OT: My standout card from the pre release was Armament of Nyx for doubling up as pacifism and double strike enabler in the B/W constellation build.

Hypotic Siren

(...)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.

If Mono Blue devotion manages to stay alive without all of the semi-mandatory cards from Gatecrash/Return to Ravnica(which I believe are going out of the Standard rotation), Hypnotic Siren is probably going to be one of the onedrops in the deck. It won't be as good as Cloudfin Raptor when it comes to curving out, but it's still a flying one-drop that gives devotion, and the bestow could make the card useful beyond being a turn 1-2 play.

ForumSafari:
My standout card from the pre release was Armament of Nyx for doubling up as pacifism and double strike enabler in the B/W constellation build.

I ended up coming second at my prerelease yesterday, three wins to one loss. Beat the guy in first place in the last round, but he won overall 'cause his other opponents had more wins than mine. My standouts were Dictate of Heliod - best of the Dictates, in my opinion - Battlefield Thaumaturge and Hour of Need.

(Special mention goes to Triton Shorestalker for the three copies that dealt the majority of damage in most of my games.)

CounterAttack:
(Special mention goes to Triton Shorestalker for the three copies that dealt the majority of damage in most of my games.)

This as well, it was amazing how few answers there were to an unblockable creature in that sealed.

I think that Interpret the Signs is potentially backbreaking in Draft and Sealed. Yeah I would side it out against W/X heroic and other hyper aggresive decks, but against most draft decks it'll be a good amount of card advantage.

Setessan Tactics makes me wonder; can you use Strive to target the same creature multiple times? If so, it's a phenomenal heroic trigger.

Souplex:
Setessan Tactics makes me wonder; can you use Strive to target the same creature multiple times? If so, it's a phenomenal heroic trigger.

There is not a card in NYX that lets you use strive to target the same creature more then once. Even if a spell targets a creature more then once (example common bond from RTR could do that) the heroic trigger only cares that the creature was targeted by a spell you control and not by how many times that spell targeted it so only one heroic trigger.

Setessan Tactics doesnt need that either to be insane as it is already a blowout in limited. +1/+1 to your whole team, giving any heroic triggers and easily wiping your opponents board is pretty good. Also pushing on constructed at least as a sideboard card vs mono blue and other creature decks (sylvan caryatid killing a master of waves is amazing).

CounterAttack:

(Special mention goes to Triton Shorestalker for the three copies that dealt the majority of damage in most of my games.)

Aaaaand we have a card that's going right into mono blue devotion, provided the deck still proves viable after rotation.

I'm suprise there is no joke with "NyxNyxNyx", aka the Dota 2 hero Nyx Assassin who is fanatical about his goddess Nyx. He often says "Nyx" sometimes in rapid succession.

 

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