Stidjen's Magic

Anything I want to say about Magic

A Johnny’s Paradise

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Journey into Nyx just hit the shelves and I’ve been dying to write about Magic again, trying for once to limit myself to less than a 1000 words. Which means there is not a single word is to waste. So let’s get to it!

The first set I thought of when I was scouring over the Journey into Nyx spoiler was Dragon’s Maze. That set contained various goodies for deckbuilders to drool over. The set was full of build-around-me’s, which is paradise for a Johnny like me. Journey into Nyx is of the same caliber, at first glance at least. Today I want to run down some cards that caught my eye and try to get the ideas flowing.


Ajani, Mentor of Heroes – Let’s just get the big elephant cat in the room out of the way. Of course I like Ajani. He draws cards! Oh yeah, and he turns your creatures into threats. Ajani is also one of the first cards to ever make me laugh out loud – courtesy of his ultimate. I don’t have any current plans to do something with Ajani, but any plans I would have are delayed due to his price tag. Maybe if he doesn’t turn out to be a constructed all star, I might start trading for him.

Athreos, God of Passage is another possible playable mythic, which translates to ‘ka-ching‘! Just like Ajani, I don’t want to have him right now, and I don’t have any real plans. Let’s wait until the Pro Tour to find out which cards are the real deal. If Athreos isn’t, and his price will drop as a result, I might look into casting evoke critters with him around. As if I needed another excuse to play Mulldrifter and Shriekmaw.

My friend Rick came up with that idea. Another card he is excited about is High Priest of Tethmos, which is also on my watchlist. This just begs for some sort of abuse. I’m not sure how (maybe Hidden Strings again, combining things with other heroic value cards like Meletis Astronomer?), but I like the prospect. The same goes for Battlefield Thaumaturge, another card Rick has in his crosshairs. I was kind of surprised his heroic trigger grants him hexproof, which is insane. Brian David-Marshall mentioned this card and Aurelia’s Fury together on Twitter, an idea I might turn into a real deck soon.

Come to speak of Hidden Strings, we have Heroic and Inspired to work with it. My first deck with the combination was unsuccessful, but maybe I can split things up. One heroic deck, one inspired deck. The card to make the inspired deck work is Sky Hussar! I saw this card in one of Travis Woo’s decks and the gears started turning. Again, no concrete plans here – just miles of options in the (distant) future.


Click me! No, really.

Sticking to blue, next up is none other than Patrick Scryfish: Sigiled Starfish! Should I ever play this guy, I’m getting myself a playset of alters, that’s for sure. He was way better than I expected at the prerelease and I wonder if it’s good enough for kitchen table Magic. Perhaps Hidden Strings would like to have a word with a certain Bikini Bottom resident…

Remember Esperzoa? I sure do! And by the looks of it, so does Riptide Chimera. Gosh, I just love cards like this, and I’m looking forward to building a Riptide Chimera-deck one time. I expect to draw lots of cards, attacking with my undercosted flyer, and dying a lot because I’m doing nothing else.

The next Chimera on my list is Stormchaser Chimera. As an aside, I would like to say I just love those creatures in this block. I’m happy playing Horizon Chimera (Tezzeret’s Gambit, zoinks!) in my evolve-deck and still need to find a home for Spellheart Chimera. Stormchaser joins the bench right next to him.

Next up are a few more gold cards. Like Keranos, God of Storms another God (Pharika appears later on in this article. Sorry, no love for you, Kruphix and Iroas.). I like him as a controlling card, which is kind of weird because you need to put permanents (mana-symbols, actually) into play to turn him into a creature, which isn’t the best forte of any control deck.

Fleetfeather Cockatrice deserves a mention because I like deathtouch, flyers, and flash. Disciple of Deceit is a possible part in an intricate puzzle that’s building in my head. Think about this: you tap Disciple with Hidden Strings or whatnot. He untaps, and you discard a creature. A creature that Tethmos High Priest brings back. The glue that holds all together is Tallowisp, which is fueled by Spirits with bestow, like Eidolon of Countless Battles and Hopeful Eidolon. I’m all giddy inside for all those sweet interactions. A deck can’t be that far away, since I have a failed heroic/inspired Esper deck to start from.


(Remember when I said I wanted to try to stay below 1000 words? … 884 and counting.)

Back to them cardz. I have a few grouped together for a deck that’s well on its way towards reality, but I’m saving that for the end of my article. Right now I would like to shine the spotlight on Daring Thief, the MVP of my prerelease. And if it wasn’t for an article I read before, I probably wouldn’t have played it. But when I found out I can grant my opponents control of aura’s on my creatures while I get their enchantment creatures, I was sold. it led to a few great games, some of which I probably would’ve lost if it wasn’t for that sneaky thief. Best card to combo with? Aqueous Form. Forgeborn Oreads is another card I had in my prerelease deck, and while it wasn’t very showy, it was still very decent. I might casual it up with the Oreads sometime.

One enchantment I would’ve glady taken control of was Dictate of Erebos, a card I was on the receiving end of only once, but that was enough to show its power. Nabbing a creature in response to one of your guys getting killed is so good! I should probably secure a playset soon, since this card is bound to be a casual staple for years to come.

King Macar is not a powerful card, but a flavorful and fun one nonetheless. My current (failed) Heroic/Inspired deck is just the Esper colors, but I still want to make a deck that blatantly plays 5 colors on the back of Springleaf Drum and Paradise Mantle (and Ral Zarek! Ding ding, value!). Like proliferate, the possibilities with these new mechanics are nigh endless. I’m still enjoying proliferating very much,

For the prerelease, I wanted to play white and open a Godsend. I couldn’t, and I didn’t. It seems like such an utter bomb. The current price reflects this, but I think it might start going down. I don’t see the pro’s playing this, but maybe Pro Tour Journey Into Nyx will change that. Speaking of which, I think that’s the litmus test for Prophetic Flamespeaker as well. There’s been much speculation going on and I wonder if he will live up to the expectations. The prospect of drawing two cards extra per turn is just too good, even if you have to cast them. Boohoo, #firstworldproblems, etc.


For this final segment I want to go over all the goodies this set has for my upcoming Pharika-deck. Pharika, God of Afflictions. What a beautiful card. *sighs* Gorgeous artwork and a fantastic ability for a graveyard-deck. That’s a kind of deck I like to build: a midrangey build that slowly builds up card advantage and gains inevitability that way. You could say I like The Rock-decks, which fits the description. Anyway, on to the deck (to be)!

So, Pharika wants cards in the graveyard. How do we accomplish this? The accepted methods of Grisly Salvage and Commune with the Gods are supplemented by Kruphix’s Insight and Nyx Weaver. I just gotta say, I love Nyx Weaver. It’s a little combo all by itself. I like cards like that. Reviving Melody becomes a strictly-better-Divination when you’ve got a stocked graveyard.

pharika__god_of_affliction_by_petemohrbacher-d7ctt5fWhen I first saw Pharika, I was dead set on combining her with constellation cards. I still am, since my favorite is (of course) the green Enchantress that even draws a card off of herself: Eidolon of Blossoms. At the prerelease, Doomwake Giant also impressed me. You’ve got a great blocker in Grim Guardian, which silently leeches life off of your opponents. Renowned Weaver can trigger constellation at will and provides fodder for Pharika, too. Brain Maggot is the enchantment glue that holds the deck together, stalling the opponent by detaining a card until he can remove the maggot. Of course, being a green-black recursion deck, there’s a good chance he’ll just come back again later on.

That’s all I have for today. Did any of this resonate with you? Did I skip over your favorite card from the set? Let me know!

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