As we strive to figure out all the sweet things we can do with the new Journey into Nyx cards, it’s nice to see some clean, powerful removal spells. The card I have the pleasure of previewing here reminds me very much of Sever the Bloodline, which was a niche Standard playable while it was around. While Sever would be kind of interesting against Pack Rat, there aren’t that many tokens running around these days. Bestow creatures, on the other hand, are starting to make an appearance, notably in the BG Dredge deck, but also in Mono-Black Aggro and White Weenie (Herald of Torment and Eidolon of Countless Battles, respectively).
Today’s card effectively gets rid of bestow auras, exiles even the most powerful of Gods, and can even hit multiple creatures once you ramp up to enough mana. Let’s take a look at Silence the Believers:
You don’t often see rares that have such simple functionality, but there’s a lot going on here that makes this interesting. Let’s start at the top.
1) It kills anything dead at instant speed
This is huge. There are so many removal spells fighting for spots these days, and as nonrestrictive as possible goes a long way. Silence doesn’t care about how big creatures are, what colors they are, or anything else besides the fact that they are a creature. It’s also an instant, which helps make its cost more palatable. Not having to commit to casting this on your turn gives you the option to use it on a better target, and if you aren’t Silencing something good, you are overpaying.
2) It exiles
Mono-Black’s biggest problem in the Mono-Blue matchup is Thassa, the indestructible threat. Having a way to slay Gods is huge, and will definitely help black deck diversify their set of removal spells. No longer can Mono-Blue (or any other deck that plays Gods) toss out a God and feel completely safe, which is also very relevant in the mirror, where Erebos is a huge threat.
3) It can kill multiple creatures
It might be pricey, but having the option to pay seven or ten mana to up the number of victims is very relevant. Even if the majority of the time you can only silence one believer, the times you do hit multiples it’s going to be awesome. It makes it so when you are very flooded, or the game goes super long, there’s always something absurd you can topdeck and be right back in it.
4) It gets rid of bestow
Bestow isn’t a huge part of Standard, but it’s definitely a part of it, and that part will grow with Journey into Nyx. Sniping both a creature and the Nighthowler or Herald of Torment that’s riding on its back is a big swing, and if Mono-Black does play 2-3 Silences between main deck and sideboard, Dredge is going to be in a tough spot.
Four numbers of advantages is a lot, and adds up to something that is going to see play. Silence is expensive enough that it’s unlikely to be a 4-of, but I can definitely see this impacting how Mono-Black is built, given how it shores up a few of the last remaining weaknesses of the deck. It doesn’t even just fit into Mono-Black, as any sort of GB deck with mana ramp might be interested as well, and I suspect it will definitely be a player in all kinds of Block Constructed decks.
I like having a lot of options for creature kill. Not only does that let you protect yourself against the threats you expect to face, it rewards you for making the right picks, instead of just playing 4 of all the best removal spells. Silence the Unbelievers is a welcome addition to the pantheon of removal, and one I expect to see a good amount of.