Earlier today, I published a video review of the first ever Clash Pack product released by Wizards of the Coast. This first release is for the Magic 2015 Core Set, and will be replacing the Event Decks every other set going forward. It’s a fascinating product that is definitely a step up from intro packs and has some very useful, and some rather valuable, cards within them.
Here’s my video (25 minutes):
For those that don’t want to sit and watch a 25-minute video, here’s a quick rundown of the deck lists and my quick thoughts about the construction.
CLASH PACK DECKLISTS
1 Prognostic Sphinx (Foil)
1 Prophet of Kruphix (Foil)
1 Hypnotic Siren
2 Leafcrown Dryad
3 Kiora’s Follower
2 Frost Lynx
2 Nimbus Naiad
2 Thassa’s Emissary
3 Horizon Chimera
Thoughts on the Creatures of “Fate”:
- Prognostic Sphinx was a beast in the Theros Block Constructed Pro Tour and could be a decent card in Standard at some point. Plus, great new art on the foil promo.
- Prophet of Kruphix gets gorgeous new art. Will she see more than fringe Standard play? That remains to be seen, but a Seedborn Muse that gives all of your creatures Flash is just so good!
- Hypnotic Siren is meh, but it fits with this decks Bestow theme. Leafcrown Dryad, Nimbus Naiad, and Thassa’s Emissary all support that theme.
- Kiora’s Follower is a card that has an infinite combo in Standard, albeit not the easiest one to pull off, with Illusionist’s Bracers (one such deck list here). It’s a great card in Commander, too. Un-tapping important permanents is just super awesome.
- Horizon Chimera is a card I raelly like. It has flying, trample, and flash, and gains you 1 life each time you draw a card. Not exactly the most Standard-playable card, but it’s extremely strong in Limited and has a place in Commander where you tend to draw tons of cards.
Thoughts on the Non-Creature Spells:
- There are some decent tempo cards in here. Negate is a pretty catch-all counter-spell. Pin to the Earth is pseudo-removal. Voyage’s Eye, Griptide, and especially the M15 new-comer Aetherspouts all severely disrupt opponent’s tempo.
- Jace’s Ingenuity and Divination are decent card draw, giving you the ability to continuously have answers.
- Curse of the Swine can offer fairly effective removal for big problem creatures
1 Temple of Mystery (FOIL)
That Temple of Mystery is pretty!
Overall, “Fate” is not a bad blue/green tempo deck with plenty of evasion. It’s definitely a step-up from most Intro Packs, and Prognostic Sphinx, Prophet of Kruphix, and Temple of Mystery are all Constructed playable cards that players will be happy to add alternate art versions of to their collections.
1 Hydra Broodmaster (FOIL)
4 Elvish Mystic
2 Generator Servant
2 Voyaging Satyr
1 Nessian Courser
2 Reclamation Sage
1 Courser of Kruphix
2 Ill-Tempered Cyclops
3 Karametra’s Acolyte
3 Nylea’s Disciple
3 Nessian Game Warden
1 Arbor Colossus
2 Nemesis of Mortals
1 Genesis Hydra
Thoughts on Fury’s Creatures:
- Hydra Broodmaster is a fun little card. It can get big in a hurry, especially in a deck based around Green Devotion.
- Four copies of Elvish Mystic is just always a plus.
- Generator Servant could be one of the best commons in Magic 2015. It’s super good in this deck, helping you ramp into your bigger creatuers and giving them haste.
- Voyaging Satyr helps you ramp by helping you untap lands.
- Nessian Courser is a vanilla. It’s too bad they didn’t include the original full art version from Future Sight!
- Reclamation Sage is a strictly better Viridian Shaman in Legacy and is even slightly better than Harmonic Sliver is in Modern Pod! Oh, and it’s good in Standard, too. And Commander. It’s just a really good removal card.
- Apparently, Courser of Kruphix is pretty good. 2/4 are good stats for a 1GG. It gives you 1 life every time you play a land. It lets you play a land from the top of your deck. It does reveal information aboutIll the top card of your library and it is an enchantment. But those upsides definitely outweigh the downsides. It may be the best card from the entire Born of the Gods set. Super Constructed-playable in every format.
- Ill-Tempered Cyclops is a big trampling brute that can gain Monstrosity. There are better creatures out there. More of a Limited card.
- Karametra’s Acolyte is a solid mana producer in a mono-Green devotion deck. But at 4 mana, you’re better off playing Sylvan Caryatid. Obviously, you won’t have three copies of Caryatid in a Clash Pack, but just saying.
- On the other hand, Nylea’s Disciple has seen some Mono-Green Devotion Standard play due ot the fact that she can gain you a ton of life equal to your devotion to Green, including her own two Green mana symbols.
- Nessian Game Warden is good at searching out creatures from your deck. Not the strongest Constructed card, but it’s very good in Limited and has some Commander uses.
- Arbor Colossus is a 6/6 for 2GGG with reach, and a pretty sweet Monstrosity 3 ability to destroy a target creature with Flying. Definitely a fan. I’ve seen what it can do in Standard. Solid mono-Green inclusion.
- Nemesis of Mortals is pretty scary in Dredge decks, that is, decks that end up putting a lot of its creatures in the graveyard. Getting a 5/5 for potentially only 2 green mana is pretty scary, and its Monstrosity ability looks expensive until you realize its cost is reduced by the number of creatures in your graveyard, as well.
- With enough mana, Genesis Hydra can drop one of your big creatures onto the board for free. Plus it has excellent synergy with Generator Servant.
The creature line-up isn’t the best ever, but it has tons of solid inclusions.
2 Lightning Strike
1 Font of Fertility (FOIL)
1 Fated Intervention
- Lightning Strike is pretty basic removal. Plummet is awfully specific for its matchup with its Clash Pack counterpart. Boulderfall is a similar inclusion – not something you’d typically see out of Limited.
- Font of Fertility, besides having a very pretty alternate art version, is sort of a mediocre ramp card in this build. It’s better in a deck that utilizes Constellation, in which case it’s actually fairly strong.
- Surprise Centaurs! Fated Intervention isn’t as good as Advent of the Wurm, but it’s not a bad card. You’re usually going to play it on your opponent’s turn, though, so the Scry 2 may not be super relevant. Love the alternate art, though.
This is an aggro build, so not a surprise not to see many non-creature spells.
1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
That Nykthos and all those green mana symbols, though…
Overall, “Fury” looks like the stronger of the two decks on paper. Value-wise, it’s not even close. But I could see the “Fate” deck keeping decent tempo advantage over “Fury” if the red/green deck stumbles in the early going and can’t ramp up into its finishers before the fliers finish them off. Also, remember Prophet of Kruphix is pretty good.
All in all, I’m happy with this first Clash Pack. Apparently, the MSRP for this product is $29.95 USD, but I’ve seen mentions of $24.95 USD other places. It’s a bargain at $25, and still worth the value at $30 if you’re looking for a couple of Standard decks to play and tweak.
I’ll be going over ways to improve upon these Clash Pack decks in the near future. I think these offer great skeletons to work from for players new to the game or returning to Standard. The alternate art foils are all attractive pieces that will be sought after, although perhaps not the Font of Fertility or the Fated Intervention quite as much. It’s worth the value, but I wouldn’t buy it just for the Courser of Kruphix. However, 2 complete decks with 12 rares between them is not a bad place to start.
What do you think of this Clash Pack product? I’m looking forward to future incarnations.
– Elspeth for the Win