The new flip planeswalkers from the upcoming Magic Origins are some of the most difficult cards to evaluate I’ve seen in a long time. They have so many moving parts and it’s easy to envision them ranging from completely unplayable to super undercosted. If I had to pick one of them to succeed in Constructed, I’m most optimistic about Nissa, Vastwood Seer. Civic Wayfinder (and its cousin Borderland Ranger) have both been perfectly fine Standard playables at various times and Nissa does a pretty decent impersonation despite being unable to fix your colors for you.
The fact that the worst case for Nissa is a perfectly playable card means that every time you flip it is basically upside, and the planeswalker side is absurdly powerful. The +1 ability is better than drawing a card, and synergizes extremely well with Courser of Kruphix’s ability to clear lands off the top of your library. The -2 is pretty great at protecting Nissa as well, and the ultimate will probably win the game under most circumstances.
The first shell that I want to slot Nissa into is basic Abzan Control. I’m particularly interested in being able to return it with Den Protector, cast it and flip it all in the same turn in games that go long.
I was thinking of something along these lines:
Nissa, Vastwood Seer Abzan
Of course there’s more than one way to use Nissa, and the second option I have in mind is to use Explosive Vegetation to help flip Nissa early and enable some other huge spells. Unfortunately we don’t have any kind of 2-mana spell that helps put lands into play, but the strategy could have merit anyway. I was thinking of something like this:
Nissa, Vastwood Seer Ramp
This list is rough, but I think it’s doing some powerful things. It might be a quality ramp spell or two short of where it needs to be, but keep a lookout for any kind of Explore or Rampant Growth effect in upcoming sets.
I think Nissa will end up being a quietly powerful part of many green decks during her time in Standard. What do you think of the flip planeswalkers in general and how are you planning on flipping Nissa? Let me know in the comments!