Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Top 20 Journey Into Nyx Cards

I am a little late on this set. The summer is here and we've already had Conspiracy pass us with M15 on the horizon.  I did make a M14 list, so I will try to get that out at least before the next set.
I get the two sets Journey Into Nyx and Born of the Gods mixed up. I can never remember which is which. Theros was an easy name to remember, but these just seem interchangeable. I managed to make BotG into a top 40 card thing which just seems completely unreasonable now. This is a better set than last time, I think that can be universally agreed on. It's probably not as powerful as Theros, but it's at least a discussion.

This set has enough junk in it that it was hard to make a bottom 5 list. I did one, but there were some close contenders for cream of the crap.The bottom 5 of my bottom 10:

Mortal Obstinacy - A small stat boost for a card is not worth it, there are plenty of enchatments though.

Thassa's Devourer - 5 mana for a boring 2/6 is worthless without Phenax.

Font of Ire - 5 damage for 6 mana is very bad. Especially when it can't hit a creature.

Starfall - Lightning Bolt? Searing Blood? Magma Spray? Shock? It's all of them! Well all the cost of them.

Gluttonous Cyclops - 6 mana for a 5/4 is not what dreams are made of. 13 mana for a 8/7 isn't much better. Hunding Gjornersen is one of the worst creatures of all time. And this reminds me of it.

 photo MortalObstinacy_zpsfd3da126.jpg photo ThassasDevourer_zps134d7850.jpg photo FontofIre_zpsbb9266e9.jpg photo Starfall_zpse300afe4.jpg photo GluttonousCyclops_zps97353c0a.jpg

Bottom 5:
5. Deserters Quarters
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8 mana to tap a creature is crazy expensive. Sure it can hold a creature down, but to repeat that effect just twice you will have paid 14 mana.

4. Flamespeakers Will
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The even worse Mortal Obstinacy. It's totally unplayable in constructed, very limited sideboard in limited. Only 5% of the cards in the Theros block are artifacts. There are 5 common artifacts period in the whole block. Probably only 8 of them are even worth blowing up.

3. Knowledge and Power
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A 5 mana enchantment that doesn't affect the board is awful. If you didn't have to pay 2 mana every time to use it, it might be fringe playable - just add it to your Thassa deck. But what is 7 mana to do 2 damage. 9 mana to do 4 damage. You get the idea. Boulderfall never looked so good.

2. Lightning Diadem
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Shock is 1 mana. Giant Strength is 2 mana. Lets add another for combining them. This costs 4 mana. Oh wait.

1.  Font of Vigor
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5 mana to gain 7 life. Huh. Congregate didn't cost this much and was likely going to gain you much more life. But it's an enchantment! Keep drinking whatever it is the flavor text is telling you to.

Okay, onto decent cards!

Honorable Mentions: (No particular order - except alphabetic)
Cloaked Siren
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Probably over costed or a toughness shy from being crazy awesome, this thing is still solid. In the perfect world you are killing a tough flier or a weak attacker and hitting for 3 the next turn.

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Sure it's only a sideboard card, but oh what a sideboard it is. Not a Modern card per-say, but in standard, it's clutch.

Eidolon of Rhetoric
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This goes into some deck, even if it's a sideboard only one. I can't say for sure exactly where it goes, but it does work.

Fleetfeather Cockatrice
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Adding another green mana onto that Cloaked Siren gives you that extra point of toughness, deathtouch and a possible Monstrosity. I feel the same as I did the other - one mana too much, but clearly solid.

Hall of Triumph
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Now this is an easy one to see where it goes into. A Glorious Anthem for all colors. Again a good card, too expensive to be too amazing outside of limited.

Heroes Bane
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I wish it had haste a'la Mistcutter Hydra. 5 mana for a 4/4 isn't too great. 9 mana for a 8/8 is better. It just takes too much time to effect the board in a meaningful way.

 photo Hubris_zps40d758c5.jpg
A bounce spell that can take out other Auras. This might be a benefit to you in additon to being able to kill your opponents temple. Though it's not as crazy as this next card....

Scourge of Fleets
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This is a very dumb card. It can just wipe an opponent out for a couple turns if played correctly, or simply win the game. It's easy to see why it's not constructed playable, but crazy great in limited.

Setessan Tactics
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This one has taken me some time to warm up on. You need it to be played against you to truly see how powerful it is. In a late stall game this can take out 2+ creatures no problem. The beauty of it is that the Strive only costs 1 more per creature which is

 photo Twinflame_zpsb509a167.jpg
This Strive is quite a bit more. 5 mana for a copy of 2 of the best creatures isn't a terrible plan. If you can get to 8 and you have some big creatures it is a good limited finisher. It's too expensive and limited(targeting only your own creatures) to be constructed playable.

20. Brain Maggot
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Not quite Thoughtseize, Brain Maggot does work really well in conjunction with it though. A slightly different approach with this, you grab not the worst card in hand necessarily, but the one that disrupts their early plays the most. Grab that Sylvan Caryatid, Cloudfin Raptor or Young Pyromancer.

19. Battlefield Thaumaturge
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Obviously a play around card. A 2/1 for 2 is a decent start. Being able to combo this with your favorite Strive card is what gives this it's power. Oh I don't know, this comes to mind -

 photo HourofNeed_zpsa829ec60.jpg

18. Eidolon of the Great Revel
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Another card I haven't quite figured out. Does it go in a constructed burn deck? I don't know, I would just have to see it. I guess in limited it could be a replacement for something, but not a modern card, right?

17. Doomwake Giant
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All the promos were decent this time. This guy essentially pumps your team for every enchantment you play. It can also kill the occasional weenie. 5 mana for a 4/6 isn't the worst of deals by itself either.

16. Aegis of the Gods
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Sideboard against burn, storm or any deck which uses the awful Font of Ire. It's a new and improved take on True Believer. For constructed it can go in the aggro Hatebears deck.

15. Dictate of Heliod
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One of the better Dictates. Pumping all your creatures for +2 at Flash should kill somethings, though your opponent should get suspicious of you holding back all that mana.

14. Hydra Broodmaster
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6 for a 7/7 is on the good side value, compared to the other 4/4 for 5 hydra. It can't grow like the Heroes Bane, but it can bring in 3 3/3 friends for 7 mana.

13. Extinguish All Hope
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Black doesn't get many board wipes. This one is just as expensive as some of the others, but this one can gain you mucho card advantage if played around. I also really love the Gods art and flavor text.

12. Temples
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I had the Temples at 7 in Born of the Gods. That about sums up my feeling on the power level of the cards. They clearly ran out of names with Malady. A tip of the hat to you.

11. Eidolon of Blossoms
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It might as well have no power and toughness at all. You aren't going to be attacking with this Spirit very often. No, what it is is a card that will hopefully draw you 3-4 cards during the course of the game. It should be dealt with quickly, or you get what is essentially a Harmonize with an upside.

10. Master of the Feast
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I just really want to build a deck around this guy. It might be very bad, I don't know, but put it in a Red deck and just try to wail on your opponent. It might work, it might fail miserably and cost yourself a card. I'm sure it is fantastic in limited. It doesn't get any standard love.

9. Dawnbringer Charioteers
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An amazing limited card, but Baneslayer Angel it is not. Heroic can't be overlooked, but the real value of this is a lifelinker that has a high toughness and evasion. That's just a great combination for 4 mana that has ended many a game. It's not constructed playable, but that is pretty funny. You can't make it cost 3...

8. King Macar, the Gold-Cursed
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If you can just get this to untap once, you have received your reward of 4 mana and a card. If you can somehow get this to happen twice? Then you are probably winning the game. It is basically a free Path to Exile that gives you the land. The trick is getting this to tap consistently.

7. Godsend
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The equip cost is what separates this from the other AMAZING Swords that we were previously used to. 3 mana is pretty expensive if your creature just gets blown up. That can cause some major tempo issues. +3/+3 is very good though and your opponent not being able to cast a card again is kind of a great side ability which makes this card itself great.

6. Silence the Believers
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Kind of an anti Bestow card. It's thankfully an instant which makes this just as powerful as Go For the Throat or Doom Blade. While it does cost 2 more, being able to exile in this set is useful with graveyard love around and being able to target any creature gives it an appropriate cost. 3 would be broken. 7 mana to take out multiple creatures and exile their auras is super great.

5. Prophetic Flamespeaker
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3 mana for what is a 2/3 trampler is fringe playable. Pumping this Shaman seems like a very great idea. Double Strike and Trample is a very lethal combination. It also creates card advantage making this one sick puppy. More of a play-around than the cards above it, but it has true value.

4. Dictate of Erebos
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More splashable than Gravepact, more of a surprise, much cheaper price-wise - all gravy if you ask me. 5 is still quite a bit to hold on to, but late in the game it might take a creature or two by surprise. The real value is in multiplayer where you can wipe multiple boards much easier.

3. Oblivion Ring
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While it can't target your own things, it doesn't allow for the shenanigans where you could exile something forever.

2. Gods
I had the Gods at 7 in my Theros list, again kind of an indicator as to how powerful I feel the set is compared to that one. Kind of a cop out once again, but this is truly where I think these belong. Top 3 or 4 for sure.

E. Kruphix, God of Horizons
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Not the worst God...poor Karametra. A 4/7 for 5 is not very whelming. It does have two abilities. The first one is practically useless. The second could be played around, but rather limited.

D. Pharika, God of Affliction
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3 mana is perfect for a 5/5. It's ability isn't bad even if it isn't super powerful like the next three.

C. Keranos, God of Storms
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5 is a ton for what amounts to colors that are harder to devote to. But what this lacks in being a creature, he makes up for in one of the best abilities you could ask for on a card - A free card or a lightning bolt every turn.

B. Iroas, God of Victory
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4 is a great cost on a 7 power indestructible creature. It shouldn't be hard to devote to this guy with these colors. It also has two stupid abilities if what you are doing is attacking. Combat will become a nightmare for your opponent.

A. Athreos, God of Passage
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Similar cost to P/T ratio as Phareka. This ability is much better to me. Orzhov can just churn out creatures plentiful and quickly. Board wipes, pyroclasms? Mehh. Do you want to take an additional 9 life. How much damage does a card have to do to be worth it for 3 mana? 12 would be 4 creatures, shouldn't be too hard to do.

1. Ajani, Mentor of Heroes
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I love Planeswalkers, even 5 mana ones. The consensus on him is that he is generally too expensive, but look at those abilities. Essentially draw a card or 3 +1/+1 counters every turn. Kitty doesn't need to make it to 8 loyalty to completely dominate a game.

Check out my other posts:
The Top 10 Planeswalkers
The Top 20 Land Cards
The Top 20 Theros Cards
The Top 20 Dragon's Maze Cards
The Top 20 Common Cards
The 30 Coolest Dragons
The Top 40 Born of the Gods Cards
The Top 40 Black Cards
The 80 Worst Creatures
The Top 100 One Drop Creatures
100 Unique Creatures
The 100 Worst Cards

Sunday, June 1, 2014

My Top 100 One Drop (CC) Creatures (20-1)

My Top 100 One Drop (CC) Creatures (100-81)
My Top 100 One Drop (CC) Creatures (80-61)
My Top 100 One Drop (CC) Creatures (60-41)
My Top 100 One Drop (CC) Creatures (40-21)

20. Vexing Devil
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Giving an opponent a choice is never a good idea. However I really feel like it's win win here in the aggressive deck. A 4/3 for one will almost always be worth a card. So the real question is - is it worth a card to deal 4 damage for a red? It's not quite Flame Slash good in a control deck, or as great top deck as Thunderous Wrath but better than Thunderbolt or Lava Axe.

19. Scute Mob
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Not a true one drop. But by turn six hopefully you are going get a hydra-like insect that will quickly get insanely huge if not dealt with. My biggest issue is that it doesn't have trample. It's still a great costed creature that can do some work if unchecked. There are lots of ways to give it Trample in Green not named Rancor.

18. Dragonmaster Outcast
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And yet another non-true one drop. If you can stay alive until six lands and this sticks you will slowly gain an army of dragons that will be unstoppable. You can get this into play before turn 6 without too much work, though might require a Green splash. If you are doing that you can throw in Fires of Yavimaya and do all kinds of fun things.

17. Loam Lion
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When is a Kird Ape not a Kird Ape? When it's a Loam Lion! A 2/3 in a Selesyna deck is infinitely better than the amazing Savannah Lion. To determine if it's better than Kird Ape you must determine if the GW color combination is more aggressive than GR. It might be, it really might be. Works well with other quick two drops - Qasali Pridemage, Voice of Resurgence and Fleecemane Lion.

16. Kird Ape
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When is a Kird Ape a Kird Ape? When it's a Kird Ape! Play with the Tiaga dual land and drop a 2/3 on turn one. Biggest issue is that it is a terrible top deck.

15. Weathered Wayfarer
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The Land Tax on legs. Not quite as broken as that and does require you to have an open white every turn, doesn't do anything for blocking or on turn one. But the ability to thin your deck out can't be understated. Drawing two cards essentially a turn will take you many wonderful places.

14. Soldier of the Pantheon
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Strictly better than the Savannah Lion or Elite Vanguard. It really is a good hoser against Multicolor cards. Theros also made a better version Jackal Pup and Watchwolf which is awesome. Oh yeah it's also a soldier and a human. Very relevant types. It came out in the wrong set - Dragon's Maze was the place for this guy.

13. Figure of Destiny
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A mana sink, but as a one drop it does count. You will never be sad about top decking it. Quite a bit like the level up cards. You are paying eleven total mana for an 8/8 Flying, First Striker, which sounds like a meh idea but being able to do this in pieces - especially in the early turns can't be underestimated.

12. Disciple of the Vault
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I've never saw this thing in action 1vs1, but it looks pretty fantastic. Being able to drop 5+ damage at instant speed is quite the threat. Obviously it's a play around card - as only works in the Affinity deck, but we will see a couple more of these work around cards that are awesome coming up on this list. I also heard he's dating Arcbound Ravager.

11. Grim Lavamancer
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It's always been underwhelming for me. I think it requires a straight burn element to really work. It can't kill anything worth killing(this list not included), doesn't quite do anything on turn two. But as extra fuel for the burn deck it clearly works. I think if I saw an opponent playing this, I would be very concerned and want it dead quickly.

10. Signal Pest
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One of the main pieces that makes the Affinity deck a thing. It turns your 0/2 Ornithopters into 1/2 Ornithopters of death! Works great in multiples, Memnites or any aggressive deck really. Doesn't kill on turn one, but as a one drop it's solid. Decent evasion, hopefully by the time they can block it they are going to be taking too much damage to focus on it.

9. Jace's Phantasm
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The Flying Men is already a decent card. In the dedicated Mill deck, it should be real easy to get to ten cards in the graveyard. There's no reason by turn three or even turn two you couldn't get this puppy down as a 5/5. Works well with any other card named Jace.

8. Mother of Runes
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Such odd art. It looks like a regular woman just drinking tea. You would almost feel bad for your Phyrexian Obliterator chewing on the elderly. While it doesn't do much against that card, it does wonders for practically any other situation that may arise. It can be real hard to take this thing down or other creatures of your opponents with this in play. It's just potential card advantage. It blocks well, stops spot removal. It's almost broken, so how do we go up from here...

7. Noble Hierarch
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Another Human archetype. This one comes with double abilities which are both useful. Exalted decks are a thing and this one can do some damage in late games. It can even attack in early games assuming you don't need this other ability. This other ability which lets you tap for all sorts of types of mana. It doesn't have flying like another to be mentioned card, but it does fix mana issues in many decks. It can't block a simple 1/1 though. That's about the only thing separating this thing from....

6. Llanowar Elves
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So many elves that are all the same. Why do you do this to us Wizards? So we can play twelve of these things in our decks? I don't know the real reason there are three of them, but I do know how powerful mana ramping is. Moxen, Sol Ring, Elvish Mystic - these cards allow you to get to mid game faster than your opponent which is always a good thing. The art doesn't match the name, but it's been the second best one drop since the early days of Magic.

5. Wild Nacatl
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The card was banned in Modern. If that isn't a decent start I'll say that it's essentially the Loam Lion and the Kird Ape put onto one card which are both in my top twenty. It made all decks use the same three lands. It can go into many types of decks though zoo made it popular. One of the best Naya creatures. There could be a scenario where you are swinging for three on turn two.

4. Serra Ascendant
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Actually quite a bit like Jace's Phantasm. In the right deck - aka Soul Sisters this card hits hard. A 6/6 Flying, Lifelink for one is just silly. Obviously it's more of a work around card like Disciple of the Vault or Grim Lavamancer, but the difference with this one is that once it's second ability is triggered, it's game over unless you have straight up removal. It's also not banned in EDH which is mind-blowing.

3. Goblin Guide
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He's guiding you to victory! Terrible joke, terrible flavor text, terrible art, awesome card. Hitting for two mana on the play is oh so crippling. You need to come up with a response to this quick or find your life in serious peril. Sure he has a drawback, but it's more than acceptable trade for two points of combat damage. If it isn't a land, you get to see the top card of your opponent's library. That's almost another ability opposed to a drawback. It's a Goblin type on top of everything which almost seems unfair. You can sack him to a Goblin Grenade in late game if you don't want to be creating card advantage.

2. Birds of Paradise
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A land that block fliers, doesn't count towards the one land per turn limit and can tap for any color mana? It's only cost is one Green mana. Done and done. The single best mana fixer creature in the game. It used to be a summon mana birds. I actually went to a museum last summer which had an entire exhibit on actual Birds of Paradise. They actually look just like this. It's a very timeless card, reprinted eleven times and loved by most people. It's probably one of the most Lighting Bolted creatures in history.

1. Deathrite Shaman
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The most recently banned card is also the most powerful one drop creature in the game. Three abilities on one card is broken. Check list: mana ramper - check, splashable - check, repeatedly Syphon Souling your opponent - check, Elf archetype - check, Lifegain - check. Oh and they had the cojones to make him a 1/2 on top of everything.

One drop list is complete! Let me know what you think. I'll probably do Journey into Nyx next, though I want to revisit Planeswalkers at some point. Artifacts, M14 and non-creature one drops are all lists that will probably be coming before I run out of ideas and run back to movies. Though revisiting old sets sound fun and four sets a year will keep me busy for the foreseeable future. Wizards just cranks this stuff out.

Check out my other posts:
The Top 10 Planeswalkers
The Top 20 Land Cards
The Top 20 Theros Cards
The Top 20 Dragon's Maze Cards
The Top 20 Common Cards
The 30 Coolest Dragons
The Top 40 Black Cards
The 80 Worst Creatures
100 Unique Creatures
The 100 Worst Cards