In this new section, I’ll be talking about how Reddit is reacting to particular cards, and whether or not I agree with them, as well as adding my own opinion. One card that sparked my interest is Nissa, Worldwaker.
Now, this card has ranged from being called terrible, to being the Green Koth, to being a fantastic card. So what’s the actual verdict?
So, without further ado:
Nissa, Worldwaker is a 5 drop planeswalker, at 3GG, and starts at 3 loyalty. While this is somewhat low for a 5-drop planewalker, it’s fairly reasonable with her own abilities. And, as one user on reddit mentions (/u/ChaosOS), she passes several of the common tests done to planeswalkers. She’s out of burn range (3 damage or less). Due to the way priority works, she’ll be at 4 loyalty before a player can target her with a burn spell. She also protects herself. She creates a 4/4 elemental to defend her, with her +1. To recap:
+1: Target land you control becomes a 4/4 Elemental creature with trample. It’s still a land
While this doesn’t untap lands like Koth of the Hammer +1 does, it also isn’t until end of turn like Koth’s ability. That land is now permanently a 4/4 elemental creature with trample that is also a land. Now, this also puts a land at risk of getting killed as easily as a creature. One good thing to note is that she can animate any land, not just Forests. Again, this is different from Koth – Koth could only untap and animate mountains. Luckily, we have one lucky little land in the set that just got reprinted:
Darksteel Citadel is in fact back in M15, though without its other affinity-loving friends in the cycle (notably, it was also moved from common to uncommon in this set). As the card itself is indestructible, it stays indestructible even after Nissa turns it into a 4/4 elemental with trample. Sadly, this does open it up to removal like revoke existence. The upside is that most control players switched to Deicide, but if this becomes prevalent it isn’t unlikely they’ll make the switch back. The citadel is a fairly good option with Nissa’s first +1, and a mono-green deck doesn’t mind using a few land slots for 4 of these and 1 or 2 Nykthos.
And yes, I said first +1. She has two of them, but we’ll get to that in a sec. This +1 is also what I think may make her see play outside of just standard.
While not in Standard, Inkmoth Nexus is alive and well in Modern, and is a force to be reckoned with – well, once at least. One redditor (/u/ReNoLuK) explains it fairly well.
It always loses Flying and Infect at end of turn, because the Inkmoth’s activation ability only lasts until then. However, its size is determined by the order of abilities. If you activate it, then Nissa it, it’s a 4/4. If you Nissa it, then activate it, it’s a 1/1 until end of turn, at which point it becomes a 4/4.
Due to the way layering works, you can first activate the nexus, creating a 1/1 with flying and infect. Then, you can use Nissa’s ability to make it a 4/4 with trample. As Nissa’s ability doesn’t remove any of the previous abilities, it is a 4/4 with flying, trample, and infect until end of turn. After that, it ceases to fly or have infect and becomes just a 4/4 land. Each activate after that, unless her ability is reapplied to that particular land, will be a 1/1 flying with infect again as it overwrites the power and toughness.
Most of the infect decks that I’ve seen in modern are mono-green or green/blue, using Pendelhaven with creatures like Ichorclaw Myr and Blighted Agent to quickly build up 10 infect counters, but I feel that a mono-green build with Nissa may be viable. Now, on to her second +1, that makes her truly green.
+1: Uptap up to four target Forests.
This particular ability is very reminiscent of another planeswalker we used to have in the core set: Garruk Wildspeaker (who, as of this set, is going around murdering people), whose +1 read like this:
+1: Untap two target lands.
Which is an extent is better – any two lands rather than four specific lands? This leads me to my next point about Nissa: her usability in Commander/EDH.
Omnath, Locus of Mana is a strong Mono-green Commander, that gets +1/+1 for each green mana in your mana pool – which never empties as long as you control Omnath. Untapping 4 forests for an additional 4 green mana is fantastic, and brings Omnath one step closer to wrecking face with another +4/+4. Namely, Omnath is the one commander I see most people talking about when it comes to Nissa. There’s also the plus that it simply says forests – Nissa is able to untap non-basic forests, such as Shocklands. But finally, is her ultimate.
-7: Search your library for any number of basic land cards ,put them onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library. Those lands become 4/4 Elemental creatures with trample. They’re still lands.
Sadly, as she starts at 3 loyalty, she does not combo very well with Doubling Season, still taking several turns to ultimate. The upside is that she searches every basic land in your deck out. Now, this gets a little less effective in Commander, as people tend to play less basic lands and more duals and utility lands. That being said, mono-green is once again a fantastic option. At worst, the fetched basic lands are destroyed and the rest of your deck is actual cards instead of dead land draws. This ability also bypasses the brand new Aggressive Mining, which you can find here, letting you pull out a ton of lands to sacrifice.
Other minor mentions:
One of the funnier things you can do with Nissa is fetch up all of those lands and quickly make them indestructible with Terra Eternal. It does require you to play white, but at a single white it’s fairly manageable.
While not particularly relevant, Master of Waves does give your lands +1/+1 after they become elementals. Maybe some sort of blue/green deck could make use of the two cards together. 3U for 2 2/1s plus buffing all of your elemental lands is fairly decent.
Also, the art by Pete Mohrbacher is fantastic, especially with the hedrons in the background.
Overall, the new Nissa has gotten a decent reception so far, and I’m excited to see what she can do in Standard, Modern, and Commander.
Tell us what you think Nissa is going to do in the comments below. Until next time,