Category: Journey Into Nyx


Journey into Nyx Intro Pack - The Wilds and the Deep

The last of the Intro Packs we’ll be reviewing here at Win Target Game will be the blue/green deck: The Wilds and the Deep. It’s an interesting deck, focused around the Monstrosity mechanic and featuring Heroes’ Bane, a very solid Limited Bomb, and Arbor Colossus, a staple in Mono-Green Devotion.

To wit, the list:

Lands (26)

15 Forest
11 Island

Creatures (24)

1 Agent of Horizons
1 Arbor Colossus
1 Archetype of Imagination
1 Bassara Tower Archer
1 Cloaked Siren
2 Fleetfeather Cockatrice
2 Golden Hind
1 Heroes’ Bane
2 Kiora’s Follower
1 Nessian Asp
1 Nessian Courser
2 Nessian Game Warden
2 Ravenous Leucrocota
2 Sealock Monster
1 Swarmborn Giant
2 Swordwise Centaur
1 Triton Shorestalker

Other spells (10)

1 Defend the Hearth
2 Font of Fertility
1 Font of Fortunes
1 Hubris
1 Market Festival
1 Savage Surge
1 Thassa’s Ire
2 Time to Feed

Note the high land count. You’ll soon discover the reasoning behind it.

Heroes-Bane-Journey-into-Nyx Rare

Heroes’ Bane has the potential to become very, very big, and very scary. If it had Trample, it would be Constructed-playable. It does not, however. Still, it’s quite a threat that your opponent must deal with before it gets out of hand.

Arbor Colossus Theros Rare

Arbor Colossus is the better rare in the deck. Not only is he a 6/6 for 2GGG with reach, but his monstrosity ability makes him a 9/9 that destroys a target creature your opponent controls with flying. Paired with Heroes’ Bane, you have two very strong threats.

Another cool inclusion in the deck are two copies of Kiora’s Follower, the green/blue Merfolk that can tap to untap another permanent. This allows you to untap your big threats so that they can block, but could potentially lead to other shenanigans, as well.

Thing is, the rest of the deck has some vanilla creatures and a bunch of big creatures with Monstrosity. Sure, it has two copies of the mana dork Elk, Golden Hind, to help you ramp a bit. But this is a very slow deck. If you do build up your creatures enough and be able to make them Monstrous, however, they will be hard to deal with unless your opponent has the removal.

The deck’s non-creature spell line-up is mediocre. It does have two copies of Font of Fertility to go and seek out more basic land and put them onto the field tapped. Hitting your land-drops constantly is very important in this deck, as missing any one of them can put you on the road to being short the mana you need to drop your finishers.

Time to Feed is a really nice card in this deck, simply because your creatures will most often be bigger than your opponents’ making it almost a guaranteed kill and 3 life for you. Thassa’s Ire is a nice utility card that can tap or untap anything on the board for 3U. It belongs in Commander more than it does here, though.

All in all, thematically it’s a nice deck, but it’s a C for playability at best. It has 26 land to try and maximize the potential for hitting straight land drops, but mana screw is a very real thing and I see that being more often than not the case with this deck. It’s probably the weakest of the five Intro Packs from this set, but for Casual players that love to win with big creatures, it’s worth a shot.

Plus you get the two Journey Into Nyx packs and a shot at the 15 God packs. That’s never a bad lottery to play.

– Elspeth for the Win

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Pantheons-Power-Intro-Pack-Journey-Into-Nyx

The white/black Intro Pack for Journey Into Nyx is an interesting one, based around the new mechanic called Constellation. What this mechanic does: every time a creature with Constellation or another Enchantment enters the battlefield under your control, a certain effect occurs. It’s an interesting mechanic, and with the number of Enchantments flying around in the Theros block, it could be a very viable strategy.

Let’s look at the list:

Lands (26)
11 Plains
15 Swamp

Creatures (24)
2 Akroan Mastiff
1 Archetype of Courage
1 Archetype of Finality
1 Brain Maggot
1 Doomwake Giant
2 Dreadbringer Lampads
1 Eagle of the Watch
1 Fate Unraveler
2 Grim Guardian
2 Harvestguard Alseids
2 Nyx-Fleece Ram
2 Odunos River Trawler
1 Pharika’s Chosen
1 Rotted Hulk
2 Thoughtrender Lamia
2 Underworld Coinsmith

Other spells (10)
1 Armament of Nyx
1 Aspect of Gorgon
1 Banishing Light
1 Cast into Darkness
1 Font of Return
1 Font of Vigor
2 Nyx Infusion
2 Oppressive Rays

As I’ve said many times, Intro Packs are typically full of Limited all-stars. That’s no different here. Let’s take a look at the cover card: Doomwake Giant.

Doomwake-Giant-Journey-into-Nyx

Consider me a fan of Doomwake Giant. He’s a 4/6 for 4B, which makes him quite splash-able in Limited, with a very useful Constellation effect. Every time he or another Enchantment enters the battlefield, creatures your opponents control get -1/-1 until end of turn. That effect screams Commander bomb to me. I can see this guy being a big part of many Commander builds that heavily utilize Enchantments. Being a 4/6 himself doesn’t hurt. There are some Esper builds I’ve been brewing up in my head that could use and abuse this guy on a regular basis. In Constructed, he’s not really all that bad, as he does have an instant effect on the board-state. I like him, even if he won’t be a top-tier Constructed option, because he is a great card for Commander.

Fate Unraveler Born of the Gods Rare

The other rare in the deck is Fate Unraveler. I still believe this is going to be a very good card in Theros Block Constructed. She’s already a staple in Nekusar Commander decks. She’s also good in this deck, being an Enchantment, and putting your opponent on a clock each time he or she draws a card. She’s also been a bulk rare for quite a while, but she has potential in the future.

underworld-coinsmith

The best card in this deck is Underworld Coinsmith, a Limited all-star, and potentially a very solid Constructed card, as well. His Constellation ability gains you 1 life whenever he or another Enchantment comes into play. He also has the ability to pay BW, pay 1 life and each opponent loses 1 life. Late in the game, if the life differential is enough, you can pretty much drain enough life from your opponent to call it a game.

The other really good card in the deck is Brain Maggot. He’s a 1/1 Enchantment Creature for 1B that when he enters the battlefield, an opponent reveals his or her hand, and you choose a nonland card from it and exile that card. However, when Brain Maggot leaves the battlefield, that card returns to its owner’s hand. Still, it’s a very powerful effect, and it combos extremely well with Constellation.

The other notable creatures are Nyx-Fleece Ram and Archetype of Courage. The Ram gains you 1 life during each of your upkeep steps, and is a 0/5 for 1W that holds the ground. It also helps that the Ram is an enchantment. Archetype of Courage is an Enchantment creature that gives your creatures first strike, and denies your opponents from having first strike. Both are very playable cards. Grim Guardian isn’t bad either, with a Constellation ability that makes your opponent lose 1 life. The other creatures all have interesting effects, but are probably not worth their mana cost.

As for the non-creature spells. Armament of Nyx gives an Enchantment creature double strike, which is quite good. Aspect of Gorgon gives a creature +1/+3 and deathtouch, which isn’t bad, either. Banishing Light is plenty good for removal. Cast into Darkness and Oppressing Rays are pseudo-removal that help with your Constellation abilities. Nyx Infusion can work to either pump your Enchantment creatures or -2/-2 an opposing non-Enchantment creature. Also, while the two Fonts in the deck aren’t great, they do help with Constellation. A second Banishing Light and a second Armament of Nyx would probably be better, though.

To improve the deck, I’d focus on the Rams, Brain Maggots, Archetype of Courage, and Underworld Coinsmith, cutting the non-Enchantment creatures entirely. There’s a very interesting archetype brewing here, and with Athreos, God of Passage in Journey into Nyx, it could even be competitive in Standard in the near future.

– Elspeth for the Win

Find great deals on the “Pantheon’s Power” Intro Pack on TCG Player!

journey-into-nyx-mortals-of-myth-intro-pack

Born of the Gods offered some interesting Intro Packs, but this time around, Journey into Nyx has even more interesting starter product to choose from. Today we start with reviewing the White/Green Intro Pack: Mortals of Myth. Like all intro packs, you get 2 booster packs of the latest set, so $8 of your purchase (or more or less depending on where you live) is already covered. Let’s see if the included deck is worth the other $3.99 or so.

Lands (26)
11 Forest
15 Plains

Creatures (19)
2 Akroan Mastiff
1 Akroan Skyguard
1 Dawnbringer Charioteers
1 Elite Skirmisher
2 Golden Hind
2 Lagonna-Band Trailblazer
1 Oreskos Swiftclaw
1 Phalanx Leader
2 Pheres-Band Thunderhoof
1 Quarry Colossus
1 Skyspear Cavalry
2 Supply-Line Cranes
1 Vanguard of Brimaz
1 Wingsteed Rider

Other spells (15)
2 Ajani’s Presence
2 Banishing Light
2 Colossal Heroics
1 Consign to Dust
1 Font of Vigor
1 Nature’s Panoply
2 Oppressive Rays
1 Phalanx Formation
1 Raised by Wolves
1 Solidarity of Heroes
1 Spear of Heliod

Dawnbringer-Charioteers-Journey-into-Nyx

The cover card for the deck is Dawnbringer Charioteers, which was also the promotional pre-release card for those that chose White as their color. It’s a very good card in Limited, and definitely has its uses in Soldier-themed Commander decks. It’s border-line Constructed playable, though, but it’s not a terrible card. Having flying and lifelink, as well as the number of spells that will target this card, can make it fairly formidable in the late game.

spear-of-heliod

The other rare in this deck is a good one: Spear of Heliod. Not only does it give creatures you control +1/+1, but it also has the great tap ability for 1WW and a tap to destroy a creature that dealt damage to you this turn. Cards with Anthem effects that can do other things for you is always helpful, and the deck would do well to have a second copy put in, as well.

The rest of the deck actually has a pretty solid creature line-up including Akroan SkyguardPhalanx Leader, Vanguard of Brimaz, and Wingsteed Rider. There are also two new notable cards from Journey into Nyx. One of them is an Elk called Golden Hind for 1G, which can tap to give you Green mana. The other is a one-drop 0/4 called Lagonna-Band Trailblazer, which has the common Heroic effect of gaining +1/+1 counters whenever you target it with a spell. The Trailblazer is really good, and while the Elk might be a bit out of place, it’s still a useful mana “dork.”

As far as the non-creature spells are concerned, there are plenty of useful pump cards from Journey into Nyx with the Strive mechanic, which allow you to activate multiple Heroic triggers at once. Some are obviously better than others, but overall it’s a pretty good package for an Intro Pack. Ajani’s Presence, Colossal Heroics, Nature’s Panoply, and Phalanx Formation are all quite playable Strive cards.

Other notable new cards to mention would be Banishing Light and Oppressive Rays. Banishing Light is basically Oblivion Ring, but it can only target your opponents’ permanents – which most of the time is what you would do anyway. Also, Oppressive Rays is very much like Pacifism, except that the enchanted creature can attack or block or use its activated abilities, but at a cost of 3 colorless mana. For a single white mana, however, it’s not bad, although Pacifism is easily worth the extra mana. Functionally, however, it’s pretty much the same.

The obvious way to make this deck better is to include some more powerful Heroic creatures. Hero of Leina Tower would be the cheapest way to go, as a play-set of her is relatively inexpensive and works well in this build. Hero of Iroas is great if you want to shift to a more Aura-based build. Maxing out the Trailblazers, Phalanx Leaders, and Vanguard of Brimaz while also trimming some of the less cost-effective creatures is also a good idea. Also, Launch the Fleet, a rare from Journey Into Nyx, is a fantastic inclusion for this deck. If you want to add a third color, you’d want to choose blue to be able to play Battlefield Thaumaturge to make your Strive costs far more palatable, but in that case you’d be better off either going white/blue (a good idea) or blue/green (a bit more difficult).

All in all, this is a very good deck to use as a shell for a green/white Heroic deck and there are plenty of inexpensive cards available in the Theros block to make it a fun, if not incredibly competitive, deck to play.

~ Elspeth for the Win

 

bearer

Bearer of the Heavens is an interesting card to say at the very least. For 7R, you get a 10/10 that pulls a straight-up Nevinyrral’s Disk” on the entire board. Personally, I love the flavor of this card. You kill him, and he drops the world and everything breaks.

Sadly, mechanics are much more abuse-able than that. One combo I quickly saw on Reddit was this guy plus Rescue from the Underworld.  You can sacrifice the Bearer using Rescue (during their turn), and at the end step, destroy all permanents. The next turn just have the Bearer come back into play and you pretty much have the game won at that point. It’s also possible to use this combo to get another creature off of the Rescue from the Underworld, but the Bearer is the best target to get this way. In Limited, it’s a solid win condition.

Aside from silly things like that, however, he is not going to see a lot of play. At 7R, it’s far too much mana for Standard, Modern, Legacy, etc. This card is clearly aimed towards Limited and casual players, and he may find a place in a funny Commander deck at some point.

– SolemnParty

twinflame

Twinflame is an interesting card to say the very least. At 1R, it allows you to make a temporary hasty clone of a creature you control. This can honestly be quite a powerful effect – copying something like Blightsteel Colossus or Wurmcoil Engine can be terrifying, especially with haste at only 1R. The only real downside to this card is that it is only at sorcery speed, so you can’t make instant speed clones for blocking.

Now, the interesting part about this card is the Strive cost, which allows you to play an additional 2R per additional target you want to copy. Essentially, if you have the mana for it, you can clone your entire board and swing with twice as much power as you had before. At the moment, the card is selling for around a dollar, so it may be a good time to get these now. It isn’t as broken as Splinter Twin, of course, but it is still a fairly impressive card. This also means that Battlefield Thaumaturge makes these clones cost even less.

As a Commander player, I really like this card. When I’m playing a deck like Sedris, the Traitor King, being able to copy my entire unearthed board isn’t too difficult and changes the game entirely, making it much easier to swing out and kill another player with creatures like Wurmcoil Engine, Inferno Titan, Grave Titan, etc.

– SolemnParty

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