We’re just hours away from the Journey into Nyx Prerelease! Today, we’ll be taking a look at the new set in an effort to maximize our chances at this weekend’s events. We’ll talk about which path we should choose for this quest of the Hero’s Path, and discuss the most powerful commons, uncommons, and rares of each color in Journey into Nyx.
The first thing we’ll need to do for the Prerelease is choose what color our fate shall be forged in for our Hero’s Path quest. What does this mean? We’ll be given a pack that’s stocked with goodies of a particular color of our choice. Each of the five quest packs contains a guaranteed promotional card and an assortment of other commons, uncommons, and rares of that color. Which path should we take?
Dawnbringer Charioteers. Essentially, we’re given a bonus Baneslayer Angel to add to our sealed pool. White also happens to be very deep in all three sets of the block, making Forged in Glory the most powerful choice for the prerelease.
Forged in Intellect is the Blue path. Here, we’re given Scourge of Fleets, which is a very powerful Limited card despite its prohibitive mana cost. Blue is easily the best color in Theros, and one of the better colors in Born of the Gods and Journey into Nyx. I find that my win percentage is drastically better with Blue than other colors when playing BTT.
Forged in Tyranny is the Black path. Here, we’re given Doomwake Giant, again a Limited Bomb. The strong Black Limited cards may not be as plentiful as White, Blue, or Green, but the cards that are good happen to be even better in Sealed. Forged in Tyranny is a very reasonable choice.
Forged in War is the Red path. Here we’re given Spawn of Thraxes, a game-ender or massive Flametongue Kavu that’s pretty bombtastic. Red is very weak in Theros, but quite strong in Born of the Gods and Journey into Nyx.
Forged in Pursuit is the Green Path. Here we’re given Heroes' Bane, a massive body that, while not as strong as the other potential promos, is still a bomb that will make our deck 100% of the time. A lot of players prefer Green strongly in this format and the promos aren’t too different in power level (except Dawnbringer Charioteers) for us to discount Green based on its guaranteed promo.
The Verdict? Forged in Glory gives us the best promo card to play with. White also gives us access to the very deep cardpool of White in all three sets. This is definitely the strongest choice for the Journey into Nyx Prerelease.
Once we’ve chosen a path, we’ll be given our Sealed Deck. Things will need to go very wrong for us to not be playing the color of our path, so we’ll probably already be locked into a single color the vast majority of the time. Let’s discuss the best commons, uncommons, and rares of each color so that we can better understand what our second color should be.
Best Rares:Godsend: This card will make the game nearly impossible for our opponent, especially if we’re able to equip it onto something with vigilance. It makes blocking and attacking a nightmare for the opponent while drastically improving our clock. Auto-include in Sealed Deck, auto-pick in draft.
Dictate of Heliod: Again, one of the best Limited cards in the set. This card would be absolutely busted if it didn’t have flash, but now it’s basically a source of card advantage that leaves us with a double anthem. This and Godsend are probably the best rares in the set.
Dawnbringer Charioteers: The promo card we receive for being Forged in Glory is probably the best Limited creature in Journey into Nyx. The card is very difficult to race and should be treated with care. There are a decent amount of cards that can kill Dawnbringer Charioteers when it has four toughness, try to slowroll it so that it can be protected by a pump spell or something like Ajani's Presence or Gods Willing if you suspect a removal spell from the opponent.
Banishing Light: Probably the most versatile piece of removal available in the block. Should be played 100% of the time we’re White in Sealed and picked over everything but very high-quality rares in draft.
Tethmos High Priest: This card ranges from OK to incredible depending on the number of one/two-mana creatures in our deck. The card combos nicely with Sedge Scorpion and Pharika's Chosen, especially against decks without a lot of evasion.
Leonin Iconoclast: This card has the potential to take over a game. Each of our pump spells or tricks has the ability to become a removal spell or haymaker combat trick with this on the table.
[cardimg]Ajani's Presence[/cardimg]Ajani's Presence: This card should lead to a back-breaking turn when drawn in the right situation. We shouldn’t be afraid to trade it for a single card, especially if pumping a Heroic creature.
Supply-Line Cranes: This is pretty close to Air Elemental in a lot of situations. We can essentially cast this as a 3/5 flyer for five, which is amazing, but it can be much better in many situations.
Hypnotic Siren: This can carry an Ordeal to victory in a lot of games, but it’s actually one of the best possible topdecks in the later portions of the game. Giving the opponent’s best creature +1/+1 and flying and then taking it for our own enjoyment is going to be a blowout in most situations.
Daring Thief: This card can be extremely powerful in a deck with a lot of inexpensive creatures and tricks to make attacking profitable.
Scourge of Fleets: If we’re playing enough Blue, this can be a game-ender, seven mana can be a big commitment and we aren’t given other options here, but the option we have is a pretty good one.
Whitewater Naiads: Here we get a very reasonable 4/4 body for five mana that allows us to engineer a winning race in most situations.
Triton Cavalry: There are enough Enchantment Creatures and big Bestow costs in this block for Triton Cavalry’s Heroic Trigger to be worth a full turn the majority of the time. We should be taking this very high when drafting and playing it in Sealed as long as we have even a small amount of ways to trigger heroic.
Best Rares:Dictate of Erebos: Grave Pact was always busted in Limited, unfortunately is was also impossible to cast a lot of the time. This has flash, is pretty easy to cast, and will probably make the game impossible for our opponent.
King Macar, the Gold-Cursed: This card has the most impressive Inspired trigger we’ve seen. Having this card makes combat tricks and bestow creatures a lot better.
Silence the Believers: This is the best removal spell in the set and it only gets better as the game progresses. It’s probably wise to save this until it can be a two-for-one. We can happily cast the card for four mana if our opponent goes for a trick and presents us with an earlier opportunity to pick up said two-for-one.
Doomwake Giant: This should make combat a nightmare for the opponent. We can hold enchantments in our hand for a big turn or cast them after combat to change the math drastically.
Spiteful Blow: This is a solid removal spell that can mess with an opponent’s mana. There are enough good sixes, sevens, and monstrous activations in the block to make the land destruction on this relevant. We should think about this card as a slightly better Sip of Hemlock.
Felhide Petrifier: A very strong Limited body for the cost that has the potential to make a lot of our other cards stronger.
Bloodcrazed Hoplite: An excellent aggressive Heroic option that punishes opponents for being on a heroic plan.
Feast of Dreams: A solid removal spell.
Pharika's Chosen: We’ve always been big fans of Sedge Scorpion and this happens to be the same card in a better color for the effect.
Prophetic Flamespeaker: This has the potential to generate a lot of card advantage and it’s also the best Red bestow target in the known universe.
Spawn of Thraxes: Giant flying body, removal spell, and the ability to win the game out of nowhere. Where do we sign up?
Mogis's Warhound: One of the most efficiently costed bestow creatures we’ve seen. This is a first-pick quality card, especially if you’re into decks like Red/White heroic.
Riddle of Lightning: Card selection tied into a nice removal spell.
Forgeborn Oreads: We get a four-power body for four mana that pings opposing creatures passively while we play out our hand.
Bladetusk Boar: Red is usually the least drafted/played color, making this an unblockable three power creature for four mana in the vast majority of matchups.
[cardimg]Eidolon of Blossoms[/cardimg]Eidolon of Blossoms: Instant card advantage that has the potential to take over a game if left untouched.
Hydra Broodmaster: We’ve been loving slime since Ghostbusters. Oh, they’re Hydras? Isn’t that even better?
Pheres-Band Warchief: There are plenty of Centaurs in this block and this is certainly one of the better lord effects available.
Setessan Tactics: If the game is close, it’s not anymore.
Nessian Game Warden: Card advantage and a 4/5 for five mana.
Goldenhide Ox: This will usually be a removal spell the turn we play it, and it will often force a race.
Colossal Heroics: A very impressive pump spell that has tremendous potential to “get” people, especially in the very late stages of the game where both players are trading blows.
Golden Hind: There are a lot of good five drops, and we’d very much enjoy casting them on the fourth turn.
Oakheart Dryads: Comes down and gives us a free attack with our two drop and continues to make race math difficult for the opponent as the game progresses.
The Best Gold Card:
Ajani, Mentor of Heroes: Planeswalkers are unfair in Limited. Especially if they’re armored cats that make our team perfect against the opponent’s board and fill our hand with goodies every turn forever.
The Best Artifact
With this knowledge, we should be well-positioned to dominate our Journey into Nyx prerelease. Join me next week as I begin to rank the cards of Journey into Nyx for Limited. Until then, enjoy drafting with all the packs you win at the prerelease and let me know what your favorite archetypes in JBT are.