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Journey into Nyx First Impressions – White, Blue, and Black

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Welcome back to Very Limited. Last week, we discussed what I believe are the best commons, uncommons, rares, and mythics of each color in Journey into Nyx. This week, we’ll be taking a look at the white, blue, and black cards of Journey into Nyx. We’ll be discussing the potential Limited applications of each card and rating cards based on how highly we should value them in Draft and Sealed Deck.

We’ll be rating the cards on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best.

White

Aegis of the Gods may have some nice Constructed applications, but in Limited, it’s basically just a 2/1 for 2 mana with some occasionally upside. It’s a fine inclusion if we need more 2-drops in our Sealed deck, and we should be taking this when there’s nothing exciting when drafting. 4

Ajani's Presence has the ability to completely destroy an opponent. Combat was already confusing enough with cards like Dauntless Onslaught in the mix, but the indestructible granted by Ajani's Presence makes it pretty failsafe. This card should make our Sealed deck if we’re playing a decent number of creatures, and we should be taking it very high when drafting. 6

Aegis of the Gods
Ajani's Presence
Akroan Mastiff

Akroan Mastiff is a bit expensive for this ability and body. That being said, a Master Decoy is very strong in this Limited format. It isn’t unusual for players to create really big monsters with bestow, and Akroan Mastiff is a nice way to punish that. I’m going to assume that this card plays pretty well as a main-decked inclusion in the Limited format, but we should be quick to sideboard it out if our opponent’s deck has a lot of vanilla guys and no bestow. 4

Armament of Nyx may look versatile, but it’s not very exciting. Giving one of our enchantment creatures double strike might end a game out of nowhere, but it does little else than steal games we might already be winning. The damage-prevention side of the coin still leaves our opponent with a nice blocker. It’s probably worth a try in some decks, but I don’t think we should be taking this over actual playables. 2

Banishing Light is an extremely versatile removal spell. We should be first-picking this when drafting and always playing it in Sealed if it’s on-color—and sometimes if it’s not. 7

Armament of Nyx
Banishing Light
Dawnbringer Charioteers

Dawnbringer Charioteers is among the better cards in the set. Large, lifelinking flyers are very good in Limited. We’ve already been taking Insatiable Harpy very high, and this is very clearly a massive upgrade. This is one of the better rares in the set, especially in a deck that can take advantage of the heroic triggers. 8

Deicide is a 2-mana, instant-speed, enchantment-removal spell, which is pretty decent in this Limited format. As an added bonus, if we kill a God, we get a glance at our opponent’s deck and hand, meaning we’ll be able to play around specific tricks as the game progresses. I would happily main-deck this card, but there’s a decent number of cards that can do the same thing that we won’t have to spend a high-quality pick on. Just remember that it’s a decent Limited spell if you’re snapping up Deicide for its Constructed applications. 4

Dictate of Heliod is completely busted. It’s pretty similar to what Collective Blessing was, only it only marries us to a single color, is cheaper, and can be played as an instant for the windiest blowouts this side of hurricane season. 9

Deicide
Dictate of Heliod
Eagle of the Watch

Eagle of the Watch is exactly what it looks like. Cards like this are going to make our Sealed or Draft deck the majority of the time they’re on-color. 5

Eidolon of Rhetoric is a Horned Turtle that makes spot removal slightly better and pump spells slightly worse. Try not to pull the trigger with tricks before your opponent when you have Eidolon of Rhetoric on the table (or your opponent does). Acting second gives us a big advantage in the Arcane Laboratory situation. 3

Font of Vigor isn’t what we’re trying to do in Limited. 1

Eidolon of Rhetoric
Font of Vigor
Godsend

Godsend is a particularly unfair Limited bomb. A lot of the good Disenchant effects in the block only target enchantments, so Godsend will probably stick around for a bit of time once it’s on the battlefield. It’s pretty much impossible to tango with an active Godsend. Again, this is among the best rares in the set. 8

Harvestguard Alseids acts as a fine body. We’ve been happily playing Felhide Minotaur for months now. The triggered ability is rarely relevant, but it’s definitely all upside. This will make our deck the majority of the time we’re playing white. 5

Lagonna-Band Trailblazer is the absolute best thing at carrying an Ordeal we’ve ever seen. There’s only one pack of Ordeals now, but this card is definitely worth playing if our deck has enough tricks. It’s a great blocking body that often passively gains some power as the game progresses. I think this is a solid early pick in Draft, where we can dedicate ourselves to heroic, and we should be playing it in Sealed Deck when it fits our deck. 5

Harvestguard Alseids
Lagonna-Band Trailblazer
Launch the Fleet

Launch the Fleet can be a strong heroic enabler when we’re running an opponent over. There are a lot of Limited decks that I would play this card in, but I wouldn’t be trying to take this over solid creatures or removal. Too often, it will just do absolutely nothing. 3

Leonin Iconoclast is among the better uncommons in the set. There are a lot of enchantments in this block, and this card does a great job of punishing opponents for having decks full of enchantments. This can generate a lot of card advantage. 6

Oppressive Rays doesn’t actually deal with a problem. Sure, it may tie something up for a bit, but it’s nothing that can’t be waited out by the opponent. 2

Leonin Iconoclast
Oppressive Rays
Oreskos Swiftclaw

Oreskos Swiftclaw has a fine body for its cost. I like having a decent number of 2-drops, and 3 power is a pretty big game. 5.5

Phalanx Formation can be reasonable if we have enough heroic, but it’s hard to justify taking this over a playable creature when we’re still in the first pack. 3

Quarry Colossus is exactly what we want to be doing if we’re looking to play something that costs a million mana. We gain a 5/6 body, and we are able to pick off our opponent’s best creature. 6

Phalanx Formation
Quarry Colossus
Reprisal

Reprisal is a fine removal spell for this format. Everyone has targets, and we’re pretty much always gaining good value on this. 6

Sightless Brawler is a reasonable card in that it can trade with a lot of things on defense, and it lets us have really good starts if we have an aggressive deck. 4.5

Skybind might be a card that we can build our deck around in some cases, but this Limited format is quite fast, and I think it’s easy to be punished for having a cute deck even when the cogs are in place. 2

Sightless Brawler
Skybind
Skyspear Cavalry

Skyspear Cavalry can get very out of hand in this format. The card is obviously very strong with bestow creatures and good at ending games with pump spells. There’s enough going on here for this to be a reasonably high pick. 5

Stonewise Fortifier is basically a Traveling Philosopher with some happenstance upside. It’s a fine inclusion to our Limited deck. 4

Supply-Line Cranes are tremendously powerful. The card feels like an Air Elemental in a lot of ways. 6

Stonewise Fortifier
Supply-Line Cranes
Tethmos High Priest

Tethmos High Priest grows progressively better as our deck finds more 2-drops. The card is at its best when used alongside Sedge Scorpion or Pharika's Chosen to gum up the ground against decks without a lot of evasion. 5

Blue

I had a train wreck of a Draft on Monday evening, and Aerial Formation was probably the worst card. This has some potential in a deck with multiple copies of Staunch-Hearted Warrior, Centaur Battlemaster, and Setessan Oathsworn, but most decks won’t want to be playing this card. 3

Battlefield Thaumaturge is a fine 2-drop that makes our tricks and removal a bit cheaper. It’s a fine card that will make our deck the vast majority of the time we’re playing blue. 4.5

Aerial Formation
Battlefield Thaumaturge
Cloaked Siren

Cloaked Siren is everything that we wanted from Breeching Hippocamp. We should be happy to pick up efficiently-costed flyers, and this is a great start. 5

Countermand is a bit overcosted for a Cancel. It still might make the cut in a deck with multiple copies of Cloaked Siren or Horizon Chimera, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to grab this in a Draft. 2.5

Crystalline Nautilus is quite weak in this format. Opponents can simply cast their bestow creatures targeting this to kill it, or whatever it’s enchanting, in a pinch. We can combo this with a targeting spell or ability to deal with rough threats from the other side of the table, but that’s probably more effort than it’s worth. 3

Countermand
Crystalline Nautilus
Dakra Mystic

Dakra Mystic has a reasonably strong effect. I’ll have to play more games with this before I can definitively assess its power, but it seems to be a good one at first glance. 5

Daring Thief can be outright exceptional in a deck that has a lot of inexpensive creatures and ways to sneak the Thief through unscathed. It’s pretty easy to pick up these types of cards when we’re taking Daring Thief quite early. 6.5

Dictate of Kruphix might be reasonable in a Turbo Fog Constructed strategy, but this is Limited, and we’d be spending a card to make both players draw two forever. It kind of replaces itself, so it might be fine with a lot of deathtouch or removal, but this isn’t what we should be spending an early pick on. 2

Daring Thief
Dictate of Kruphix
Font of Fortunes

Font of Fortunes seems to be a very reasonable card-advantage spell that can combo well with the enchantment Raise Dead cards in the block. This isn’t something we should be taking early, but it’s a fine pick as a pack winds down, and it will make our deck a good portion of the time. 4

Godhunter Octopus is basically just a 5/5 for 6 that can’t attack sometimes, but there’s a lot of competition for the 5 and 6 slot in this block, and this doesn’t quite cut it. 3

Hour of Need seems to have the potential to win a game out of nowhere. It’s a very powerful effect that’s sure to be at its best in a deck with a lot of expendable 2-mana creatures. 6

Godhunter Octopus
Hour of Need
Hubris

Hubris is a lot like Voyage's End. We may lose out on the scry, but we gain a lot of tempo in situations in which Voyage's End wasn’t up to snuff. This is a very strong card for the format. 6.5

Hypnotic Siren is a Limited bomb that costs 7 mana. Sometimes, we might want to cast it on turn one because we have an Ordeal in hand, but usually we’ll be waiting until we have access to 7 mana so that we can steal our opponent’s best creature while making it bigger and better. Control Magics are extremely powerful in a format like this. 7

Interpret the Signs is similar to Thassa's Bounty. We never want to be playing more than one of this card unless our deck is comprised mostly of 2- and 3-mana removal spells. That’s pretty hard to pull off in this Limited environment. The first copy of this is probably fine though. 3.5

Hypnotic Siren
Interpret the Signs
Kiora's Dismissal

Kiora's Dismissal can be used to save our own creatures, Auras, or other enchantments or to bounce a whole slew of them off the opposing side of the table—often in a single swoop. This card can definitely be main-decked as a one-of. I’ve already seen it be a part of some strong plays. 4

Pin to the Earth is not very exciting. It may be a good sideboard card against green decks when most of our guys have evasion, but we shouldn’t be main-decking this if we can help it. 3

Polymorphous Rush would be a lot better if we target the opponent’s creatures, but it’s usually a fine spell, especially when our deck has a lot of inexpensive creatures. 2-drops become better with Journey into Nyx, and cards like this are a big reason for that. 5

Pin to the Earth
Polymorphous Rush
Pull from the Deep

Pull from the Deep seems to have a pretty high bar for playability in a format in which we usually want to be playing at least fifteen creatures. 1.5

Riptide Chimera is worth an early pick in a lot of spots. The card combos nicely with the cantrip enchantments and works especially well with those and another heroic creature, preferably a Wavecrash Triton. 5

Rise of Eagles is like a bad Horizon Scholar, which means it’s pretty good. 4.5

Riptide Chimera
Rise of Eagles
Sage of Hours

Sage of Hours is an Akroan Skyguard that doesn’t fly. I could see this making the cut in the most dedicated heroic decks, but it’s probably being picked early for its mythic rarity, and we probably don’t want to be the one spending a pick on it unless we need it for our Commander deck. 3

Scourge of Fleets has the best artwork ever, and it’s also a pretty awesome top end to any deck. A lot of the time, this is going to unsummon everything on the other side of the table. 6

Sigiled Starfish is a lot like a Merfolk Looter, which is great in Limited. The card becomes pretty absurd in a deck with more than one Flamespeaker Adept or other on-scry triggers. It’s always a fine card to have in our deck, and I would recommend picking it very high. 6

Scourge of Fleets
Sigiled Starfish
Thassa's Devourer

Thassa's Devourer gives us a cool alternate win condition on a reasonably-sized body. These start off okay, but their power increases if we’ve already pick one. This card has the most potential in a slow, controlling deck with a lot of toughness. 4.5

Triton Cavalry is a great 4-drop that fits the hard to fill role of strong heroic card our Journey into Nyx pack. 5

Triton Shorestalker can probably do some exciting things, but it’s still a 1/1 for 1, and there are a lot of games in which it simply won’t matter at all. 3

Triton Cavalry
Triton Shorestalker
War-Wing Siren

War-Wing Siren might be the best common in Journey into Nyx. This is first-pickable and shouldn’t be passed unless there’s a top-quality rare or uncommon in the pack. 6.5

Whitewater Naiads is a great 5-drop that’s especially strong alongside inspired triggers or green fatties. 6

Black

Agent of Erebos’s trigger is pretty close to nonexistent in Limited. 2/2s for 4 mana are generally frowned upon. 1.5

Whitewater Naiads
Agent of Erebos
Aspect of Gorgon

Aspect of Gorgon is like Necrobite, but it’s not an instant, and it opens us up to being blown out by any removal spell. 3

Bloodcrazed Hoplite is very good. 2-drops became a lot better with Journey into Nyx, and this does a lot of work on offense and defense in many situations. It’s definitely worth an early pick. 5.5

Brain Maggot gives us a body while also picking apart the opponent’s hand. This Limited format has a lot of games in which a single card matters a whole lot, so Brain Maggot will almost always make the cut if we’re playing black. 4.5

Bloodcrazed Hoplite
Brain Maggot
Cast into Darkness

Cast into Darkness isn’t what we’re trying to do, especially in a black deck. 2

Cruel Feeding is very good at swinging races into our favor. Again, we need a lot of creatures for this card to be at its best. 4.5

Dictate of Erebos makes the game a nightmare for our opponent. I was lucky enough to open this in a Draft the other night, and it singlehandedly won me multiple games. It’s easily one of the best rares in the set. 8

Cruel Feeding
Dictate of Erebos
Doomwake Giant

Doomwake Giant does a whole lot without a lot of investment. It’s basically an anti-Anthem that has the potential to be much more. 8

Dreadbringer Lampads are like really bad Whitewater Naiads, which has them at solid, but not great. 4

Extinguish All Hope is a Wrath effect in Limited. It never gets old. 7

Dreadbringer Lampads
Extinguish All hope
Feast of Dreams

Feast of Dreams is an incredibly efficient and versatile removal spell. 7

Felhide Petrifier is a 2/3 deathtouch for 3 with occasional upside. We’d already be happy to have the 2/3 deathtouch, but the happenstance lord effect can do some really nice things in this format. 5

Font of Return can be difficult to gain full value out of, but I can see this being an awesome sideboard card in the grindier matchups. I wouldn’t want to main-deck it, but worse things have definitely happened. 3

Felhide Petrifier
Font of Return
Gnarled Scarhide

Gnarled Scarhide is probably awesome in Constructed, and there are many Limited decks that want this guy, especially Minotaur-centric ones. That being said, for most decks, there isn’t a lot here to be impressed with. 4

Grim Guardian is a pretty good Horned Turtle. 4.5

King Macar, the Gold-Cursed is King Midas. He turns the opponent’s creatures into gold, and we love gold. This thing is obviously busted beyond belief. 8.5

Grim Guardian
King Macar, the Gold-Cursed
Master of the Feast

Master of the Feast is pretty difficult to beat for a lot of decks, even if the opponent is able to draw a bunch of extra cards. I’m interested to see where this settles (it may change a lot) after I have a chance to play with it, but for now, I’m valuing it quite highly. 6

Nightmarish End can be an awful top-deck, and its reliability is questionable, but it’s a defensible main-deck inclusion in most cases. 3.5

Nyx Infusion is a fine card that deals with a lot of threats while also being useful as a good Aura in a lot of spots. 4

Nightmarish End
Nyx Infusion
Pharika's Chosen

Pharika's Chosen is awesome in this format. We’ll happily play a bunch of these if we can find them. I like taking these pretty highly. 5

Returned Reveler is a pretty lackluster 2-drop. This can be a fine sideboard inclusion if the opponent’s deck has a lot of 2/1s, 1/1s, or 2/2s, but we probably don’t want to be stating this. 3

Ritual of the Returned is extremely situational and almost always quite bad on the fourth turn. It’s definitely not worth an early pick. 3

Returned Reveler
Ritual of the Returned
Rotted Hulk

Rotted Hulk has some very reasonable stats for its casting cost. It’s not as good as it might be in some other formats because of bestow, but this is a reasonable main-deck inclusion in most cases. 4

Silence the Believers is another powerhouse rare. 8

Spiteful Blow may just seem like Sip of Hemlock, but destroying a land can be very relevant in this format with monstrosity and bestow being big factors. I like this card a lot and will be taking it pretty early in the beginning. 5.5

Silence the Believers
Spiteful Blow
Squelching Leeches

Squelching Leeches is obviously absurd in a mono-black deck, but it’s significantly worse in the decks we actually are able to play with. Mono-black can happen, but it’s not likely. I wouldn’t use an early pick on this one. 3.5

Thoughtrender Lamia seems a lot better than it reads on paper. This format encourages players to have a one or two big spells left in hand when Thoughtrender Lamia would be coming down. This does a nice job of sealing up a close game. Don’t get me wrong—it’s not very good, but it’s definitely playable. 4

Tormented Thoughts is a card that I haven’t been able to play with yet. It seems that it would be a lot of work to make this happen how we want to, but I feel it can be a blowout against some decks if we’re able to hit an opponent for four or five cards. Still, I wouldn’t main-deck this unless there were some strange circumstances, and I definitely won’t take it early. 2.5

Thoughtrender Lamia
Tormented Thoughts
Worst Fears

Worst Fears is a nice finisher, but it’s really expensive, and it’s not very good if we’re way behind. I’d play this a lot of the time, but I would never be too excited about it. 4.5




Next week, we’ll continue our exploration of Journey into Nyx in Limited by analyzing the red, green, multicolored, and artifact cards in the new set. This means we’ll have discussed the set in its entirety before we need to play in a Pro Tour Qualifier or in a Grand Prix with the new cards. The format is still very young, and everyone has an opinion. Let me know if there are any evaluations that strike you as wrong upon first glance!


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