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Agents of Mayhem: Pride of Babylon
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Journey into Nyx First Impressions – Red, Green, Multicolored, and Artifacts

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Welcome back to Very Limited. Last week, we began exploring the Limited power of cards in Journey into Nyx by discussing the white, blue, and black cards. We’ll end up with better decks once we have a strong understanding of the raw power of each card in the set. Some cards may increase or decrease in value based on the other cards we’re able to combine them with, but baseline power interpretations are very important, especially in the first pack of a three-set Draft format. Today, we’ll be completing our analysis of the new set with evaluations of the red, green, multicolored, and artifact cards.

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

Red

Bladetusk Boar
Akroan Line Breaker isn’t very exciting. It’s a card that might make our deck some portion of the time, but the card is of reasonably low value even when we are able to trigger the heroic once or twice. One of the best parts of the heroic mechanic is the ability to swing combat in our favor and trade cards efficiently. Line Breaker wants us to trade cards and turns for medium-sized chunks of damage, which, while seemingly strong, is not how we want to be approaching our Limited games. 3

Bearer of the Heavens is pretty much impossible to cast, but when we are able to put it out, it gives our opponent an awesome avenue to avoiding defeat by turning the game into a raucous match of blindfolded Hungry Hungry Hippos. 1

Bladetusk Boar is actually quite good here. Red is easily the least-played color, and as a result, Miss Piggy is usually an unblockable, 3-power creature for 4 mana, which is a very good deal. Bestow being in the format only increases the power of the Boar. That being said, it dies to most removal in the format, and I’ve been lucky to dodge Magma Sprays and Pharika's Cures in the Drafts in which I played the Board. This number could go down as I get more Drafts under my belt. 5.5

Blinding Flare can finish some games, but it can’t trade for cards, and it doesn’t affect the board. I’d rather find twenty-three better things to be doing. 2

Cyclops of Eternal Fury comes down fast and makes our top-decks very exciting. This is definitely a very strong top end for most red decks, and it should encourage opponents to start operating defensively, even if he or she is currently ahead on the board. It’s not a first pick, but we should be happy to play it. 4.5

Flurry of Horns
Dictate of the Twin Gods creates a very powerful effect for both players at the cost of 5 mana and a card from us. This does not seem like something we want to be doing. 2

Eidolon of the Great Revel is probably going to be quite strong against a lot of the decks we might play against, especially if our deck is an eighteen-lander with a good number of cards that cost 4 and 5. This card is a big commitment to red, which is a bit risky, and it may end up being quite bad for us. The top end for value here may be very high, but we shouldn’t be picking it up early unless there’s nothing else. 3.5

Flamespeaker's Will isn’t very good. I could see this making the cut in a disastrous heroic attempt, but this is definitely not where we want to be. 2

Flurry of Horns is pretty good in most decks, but the card becomes significantly stronger if we end up having some type of Minotaur theme, which is definitely possible with all three sets. I wouldn’t mind taking this and valuing cowfolk much higher with my remaining picks. 4.5

Font of Ire is the type of card that would be sweet if we could guarantee picking up about fourteen of them. Unfortunately, we can’t, and it’s bad. 2.5

Forgeborn Oreads is the kind of card we can get behind. We have a 4-power guy for 4 mana, and we get free removal. We can attack 2/2s into 3/3s pretty liberally once this is on the table if our opponent still has a reasonable life total. People generally don’t like trading down. 6

Harness by Force
Gluttonous Cyclops is a card that makes our deck as a twenty-second or twenty-third card sometimes, but this isn’t the type of thing we should be using early picks on. There’s a lot of strong competition in the 6-mana department. 3

Harness by Force is a card that we should be happy to first-pick. Insurrection is pretty good. Harness by Force is especially good in the format in which bestow is a thing that everyone wants to be doing. When we’re spending 6 mana on this card, it’s usually winning us the game. 8.5

Knowledge and Power is a card that wouldn’t be played by the knowledgeable or powerful mages. 1

Lightning Diadem may look overcosted, but the card does a lot of work. It triggers heroic, makes a creature into a very real threat, and acts as a removal spell. I wouldn’t be first-picking this, but it’s going to be making our deck the majority of the time we’re red and have it. 4

Magma Spray is efficient, instant-speed removal. Just say no to Wingsteed Rider. 6

Mogis's Warhound is basically a fixed Griffin Guide in red. Anyone who played with Griffin Guide is familiar with how unfair of a Limited card it was. Sure, this isn’t quite that good, but it’s still pretty awesome and should be taken very highly. 6

Pensive Minotaur acts as a fine body that’s going to make our deck a good portion of the time. This obviously becomes better if we’re attempting to force a Minotaur theme. 3.5

Prophetic Flamespeaker
Prophetic Flamespeaker has the potential to take over a game by itself when bestowed by basically anything. As if it weren’t already good enough, it also draws us free cards when we’re ahead, pretty much ensuring that we win the game. It’s a big commitment to red, but I think I’d still be taking this over Banishing Light. 8

Riddle of Lightning was once a very high-quality, spot-removal spell. It’s still good, but I would definitely be taking a good bestow creature over this, especially early on. 5

Unfortunately, Rollick of Abandon is a sorcery. I could see this card doing a lot of exciting things as an instant, but as it stands, it’s basically a very live sideboard option and little else. 2.5

Rouse the Mob can be a nice game-ender for the dedicated heroic strategy. I wouldn’t spend an early pick on this, and it wouldn’t be in my main deck unless I was very aggressive with a lot of guys or had a couple first strike or double strike dudes. 2.5

Satyr Hoplite is actually pretty good in a red deck. There are a lot of very cheap bestow creatures in the first two packs, and we can pick up cards like Coordinated Assault in Theros. We can actually run people over now, and it’s definitely quite good. 5.5

Sigiled Skink
Sigiled Skink is a very nice 2-drop, especially on the play. There are a lot of hands with which this card can be a route victory by itself if we have the removal-laden red deck. It’s just a random 2-drop, but it plays quite well. 5

Spawn of Thraxes is a Dragon that kills something, maybe the opponent, when it comes into play. The card is a bomb, but it’s not splashable, and it’s very expensive. 6.5

Spite of Mogis will do nothing a pretty significant portion of the time we’re playing Limited. We can’t rely on cards that may not actually do anything. Sure, it’s making the deck most of the time if we have ten or more spells, but that usually means we have a pretty bad deck in this format. 2.5

Starfall is some reasonable instant-speed removal. It’s not worth an early pick, but it’s definitely making the deck the majority of the time. 5

Twinflame is the type of card that people see and become pretty excited about. Unfortunately, it doesn’t play as well as some might expect. 3

Wildfire Cerberus is a lackluster body for 5 mana, though it’s still reasonable. Fortunately, the monstrosity trigger on this thing is absurd. 5.5

Green

Colossal Heroics
Bassara Tower Archer is a fine man as a 2-power 2-drop that can trade with flyers. The hexproof can be extremely relevant here for decks with a reasonable number of pump spells, bestow cards, and/or Auras. 5.5

Colossal Heroics is an awesome pump spell that might just be a Plague Wind. It’s definitely worth an early pick, which is rare for a noncreature in this block. 6

Consign to Dust is actually just going to be a blowout a decent portion of the time. The card is very main-deckable because of how hard it can swing a game. Normally, I like having no more than one Disenchant effect in my deck. This is going to make the cut basically every time because we might pick up two-for-ones—or even the occasional three-for-one—with it. 5

Desecration Plague isn’t exciting; being a sorcery is pretty rough for a card like this. 2.5

Dictate of Karametra can do very exciting things . . . in Constructed. We should absolutely avoid this card unless we need a copy for our Standard deck. 1

Eidolon of Blossoms can conceivably draw us a lot of cards. In fact, an opponent without a hyper-aggressive start is going to be very happy to spend 5 mana and a card to take this off the table even though it already netted us a card. That’s a great trade, and if the opponent doesn’t have the removal spell, we probably will be able to draw three more cards before we win. 7

Golden Hind
Font of Fertility is a fine piece of ramp and fixing in a deck that’s trying to go big. I generally like these types of decks, and there’s a lot to dump our mana into with monstrosity and bestow in the format. 4.5

Golden Hind is awesome like Voyaging Satyr. While it can’t make double of a nongreen color the way its Theros counterpart can, it can actually attack for 2 or trade well when the ramp becomes irrelevant. This is a very nice early pick. 6

Goldenhide Ox has to compete with a lot of other things at 6 mana. The ability can be very strong if we’re ahead, and I can see this card taking over some games. Still, it’s probably only making the cut a little over half the time. 4

Heroes' Bane becomes really big really fast, and it makes opponents really dead. 7.5

Humbler of Mortals is another 6-drop in a block in which we already have a bunch. It’s a card that’s making our deck sometimes, so we should be taking it when it’s on color and there’s nothing else, but we shouldn’t be too excited. 4

Hydra Broodmaster is 7/7 for 6 mana with a very high-quality uncommon just tacked onto it if we ever are able to untap. Seems reasonable. 7.5

Kruphix's Insight is good if you are actually Kruphix and you have the insight to know that you’ll be drafting B/G and will be opening and being passed a pair of Whip of Erebos. Otherwise, this seems like a Divination that doesn’t actually work some of the time. 2

Nessian Game Warden
Market Festival lets us go huge. It’s hard to be a deck that wants to go that big while also being able to survive the snowball effect of Theros block Limited. That being said, this is great in the decks that actually want it. 3

Nature's Panoply is a great trick, especially in the more aggressive strategies with a lot of inexpensive and heroic creatures. 5

Nessian Game Warden is a 4/5 for 5 that gives us a free creature card a decent portion of the time. That’s pretty awesome. 6

Oakheart Dryads is an awesome 3-drop, especially in aggressive decks. 5.5

Pheres-Band Thunderhoof is slightly worse than Centaur Battlemaster. Or is it slightly better? Either way, it’s a fine heroic guy that’s making our deck the majority of the time. 4.5

Pheres-Band Warchief lets us value Centaurs, which are plentiful and usually playable, a lot higher. When we have the right deck, this has the potential to win the game by itself. That’s a very nice lordship this gentlemanhorse has established. Also, it’s a 3/3 vigilance trampler for 4, which would already be pretty insane in this format. 7

Ravenous Leucrocota is impossible to spell; I messed it up like four times. That being said, 2/4 is a nice combination in this Limited format. Vigilance combos nicely with bestow, and monstrosity creatures are great excuses to shove eighteen lands into our decks so we can blame our losses on flooding. 5.5

Renowned Weaver is pretty cool. I’d be happy to have a 1/3 reach for 1g in this format, and we can do fun things like block a big dude and sacrifice this. Definitely worth the slot every time, especially if we’re lacking early drops. 5

Reviving Melody isn’t great. There’re already a lot of ways to achieve the doubled Raise Dead effect in this format, and they’ve proven themselves to be pretty bad in main decks. This is a decent sideboard option against decks with a lot of removal or when we have a lot of deathtouch in a matchup without a lot of evasion, but I don’t think we want to be spending real picks on it or running it in the main deck. 2.5

Setessan Tactics
Satyr Grovedancer is, at worst, a 2/2 for 2. It’s rarely incredible, but it’s a solid creature that should be making our deck the vast majority of the time. 4.5

Setessan Tactics is a card that rewards some, but it should be pretty easy to engineer a board state on which this card is a blowout. It doesn’t really get much better than this. 8.5

Solidarity of Heroes seems to be a pretty unimpressive card. 1.5

Spirespine is a very nice bestow body, especially if we’re putting it on something with evasion and attacking repeatedly. It’s generally not good to be playing this as a block without a trick in hand, but like all reasonable bestow creatures, I like this card a lot. 5.5

Strength from the Fallen requires us to jump through a lot of hoops, which is what we want to do if we’re a dog at a dog sporting competition, not a human at a Magic competition. 2.5

Swarmborn Giant seems to be a powerhouse of a card that actually does absolutely nothing a pretty significant portion of the time. I really wouldn’t want this in my main deck unless I had around fourteen creatures that cost 3 or less and if a lot of them had flying or reach; even then, we’re giving away a lot of free value by playing this card into pretty much any sort of trickery. 2

Multicolored

Ajani, Mentor of Heroes
Ajani, Mentor of Heroes is an absolute bomb. It pretty much always absurd. Planeswalkers are generally busted in Limited, and this is very much on the high end of that. I’m not usually down with taking multicolored cards first pick in pack one, but this thing is enough for me to force G/W with reckless abandon. 9

Athreos, God of Passage is pretty good. I’m not the biggest fans of the Gods in Limited, but the ability on this one is pretty good in aggressive decks, and if it ever turns on, well, then it’s an active God, which is obviously completely busted. 5.5

Desperate Stand is a nearly-impossible-to-play-around pump spell that, while hard to cast, is exceptionally strong in the right deck. Don’t force R/W because of it, but we should be ready to hop on the Boros train if we see this late and already have mostly red and/or white cards. 6

Disciple of Deceit has been ridiculous for me. I was able to grab a Pharika's Cure against a freshly Ordealed Vaporkin. I searched up Dictate of Erebos in most games. It’s generally just a reasonably-costed 1/3 that gives us relevant tutoring ability whenever we can attack with it. 6

Fleetfeather Cockatrice is a removal spell, a great threat, and a trick—it’s basically just the most awesome thing there is. We should be taking this very highly. 7.5

Iroas, God of Victory is the type of god we can get behind. Our creatures become really hard to block, and we can basically shove forever with this in play. It’s absurd if it ever becomes a creature. 7

Keranos, God of Storms
Keranos, God of Storms is easily the best God in Limited. We get a free card every turn. (I count 3 damage as a card—Lightning Strike is generally a good card.) It’s going to be very hard for an opponent to win if he or she can’t either do it right away or exile Keranos, God of Storms. 8.5

Kruphix, God of Horizons is not quite as exciting. It might be okay if we end up with multiple Kiora's Followers or something like that, but it’s generally just a maybe-gigantic creature, but it’s probably just a cool-looking thing that sits on the table while giving us a massive amount of mana that we probably can never use once the game is on its last legs. 3

Nyx Weaver has a nice reach body for its cost, and it can even help us find the card we need to draw at a particular point in the game if it sticks around. It’s definitely a high-end, solid card if we end up B/G. 6

Pharika, God of Affliction
Pharika, God of Affliction is pretty hard for decks without a lot of evasion to beat. The Snakes having deathtouch is super-awesome. We’ll rarely be targeting the opponent’s graveyard, but when we do, the Snake is probably much less problematic than whatever the opponent might be trying to reanimate. 7

Revel of the Fallen God may cost a lot of mana, but 8 power worth of haste is pretty exceptional. It’s hard to cast and shouldn’t be a first pick, but if R/G is your thing, this is a very nice pickup. 5.5

Stormchaser Chimera kills people pretty quickly once we run out of other gas. I like playing this as my last when I’m developing and have options at 4 or 5 mana. 6.5

Underworld Coinsmith gives us a nice 2/2 for 2 mana with some free upside that can be pretty relevant in a race-heavy format like this one. 5

Artifacts

Chariot of Victory
Armory of Iroas requires a lot of investment for the first +1/+1 counter. It could be good in some games, but I don’t think I’d be happy about this making my main deck. 2.5

Chariot of Victory can be a reasonable one-of in a lot of decks, but it’s generally bad in heroic decks, and it’s easy to pick up late if we’re the deck that wants it. 3.5

Deserter's Quarters requires a whole lot of investment for a removal spell that might end up being blown up by a random, main-decked Disenchant effect. 2.5

Gold-Forged Sentinel is a very reasonable 4/4 flyer for 6 that can be cast by any deck. I like taking these early when there’s nothing too exciting in the pack because it’s making my deck pretty much every time. It’s a 6-drop, but a 4/4 flyer is generally above the curve in that department. 5

Hall of Triumph is conveniently in the first pack, so we can draft our deck with mostly creatures of the same color. It’s pretty good when we have the right deck, and it’s still pretty strong when our deck is somewhat evenly split between two colors. 6

For lands, Mana Confluence is bad in this Limited format unless we’re Chromanticoreing or something, and Temples are awesome.




We’ve successfully evaluated every card in Journey into Nyx for Limited. With this knowledge, we should be able to adapt our Draft strategies from BTT to the new Limited format. Next week, we’ll explore the Draft archetype that I believe received the biggest boost from Journey into Nyx: U/R.


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