Welcome to the next installment of my Journey into Nyx set reviews! I’ll be going over each card for Limited this week, and follow that up with a Constructed review next week. That lets me get the reviews out before the prerelease, while also giving me more time to think about how Constructed will be affected.

If you missed my previous Limited reviews, check them out:

White and Blue
Black and Red

I’ll be using this ratings system:

Ratings System

5.0: The best of the best. (Pack RatUmezawa’s JitteGideon Jura)

4.5: Incredible bomb, but not unbeatable. (Polukranos, World Eater. Hypersonic Dragon)

4.0: Good rare or top tier uncommon. (Phalanx Leader. Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage. Chaos Imps)

3.5: Top tier common or solid uncommon. (Lightning Strike. Nimbus Naiad. Dreg Mangler)

3.0: Good playable that basically always makes the cut. (Leafcrown Dryad. Essence Scatter)

2.5: Solid playable that rarely gets cut. (Borderland Minotaur. Dead Reveler)

2.0: Good filler, but sometimes gets cut. (Savage Surge. Omenspeaker. Armory Guard)

1.5: Filler. Gets cut about half the time. (Pillarfield Ox. Tenement Crasher)

1.0: Bad filler. Gets cut most of the time. (Lost in a Labyrinth. Pay No Heed)

0.5: Very low-end playables and sideboard material. (Survey the Wreckage. Celestial Purge)

0.0: Completely unplayable. (Search the City. Pyxis of Pandemonium)

Let’s get to it!

Green

Bassara Tower Archer

Limited: 3.5

It isn’t a reach to say that you will always play this, mana cost permitting. Trading for a 2/2 flier is a nice option to have on your two-drop, and hexproof is a very powerful keyword in decks that are able to go big. I really like that you can take this early as a defensive low-drop and if you pick up good ways to make it enormous, great. If you don’t, you didn’t lose out, as the base card you are getting is more than worth it.

Colossal Heroics

Limited: 3.5

At least this Overrun isn’t a common, because it’s pretty savage. I like that you can just smash with the team, and if your opponent doesn’t block, they take a ton of damage and a bunch of your guys untap and are ready to block. If they do throw creatures in the way, you likely get to eat all of them, and either scenario puts you in a pretty good spot.

Consign to Dust

Limited: 2.5

I’m still happy to play about one Disenchant effect in my maindeck in draft, and up to two in sealed, especially if it’s an instant. I wouldn’t consign this to the sideboard most of the time, as the possibility of getting a 2 or 3 for 1 is enough incentive to run it in that slot.

Desecration Plague

Limited: 1.0

On the other hand, this Disenchant I’d avoid like the plague. Operating at sorcery speed and costing four mana makes this sideboard fodder at best.

Dictate of Karametra

Limited: 0.5

Unless you are going incredibly deep, there’s really no justification for spending five mana and a card to double everyone’s mana. I get that you are the first player to take advantage of this, but it’s still asking a lot to draw this in a situation where it ends up being awesome.

Eidolon of Blossoms

Limited: 3.5

I’m a big fan of drawing extra cards, and it really doesn’t take much to sell me on engines which allow me to do so. This is one such engine, and the fact that it’s a Striped Bears by itself makes it very attractive. Without doing much work you are going to have a bunch of ways to trigger this, and it can potentially draw you three or more extra cards over the course of a game. Once you do have this, picking enchantments higher

Font of Fertility

Limited: 2.5

I like ramping and I like fixing, and this is a fertile source of both. The fact that it costs three mana total does mean it isn’t an auto-play, as two color decks without a healthy (or maybe unhealthy) portion of 5+ drops will occasionally pass this up. If you don’t have a one-drop, this essentially costs two, and that combined with the overall utility of making sure you get to cast all your spells in a timely manner makes me a fan.

Golden Hind

Limited: 3.5

Much like Voyaging Satyr is the best green common in Theros, this looks like the best common in Journey into Nyx. It even has two power now, and still ramps you into your expensive spells while not being a dead draw later. I would rarely pass this, and imagine that you will regret it if you do. After all, hindsight is 20/20.

Goldenhide Ox

Limited: 2.0

Forcing your opponent to block one of your creatures is all well and good if you are dominating the board, but often this ability won’t be all that spectacular. Six mana cards are still a dime a dozen in this block, and this is exactly the kind that ends up getting cut due to a wealth of options.

Heroes’ Bane

Limited: 4.0

This is no Kalonian Hydra, but it still is almost impossible to beat in a fight. You don’t even need to spend the mana if you don’t want to, and it doesn’t take long before your opponent is in chump block mode regardless of how many times you’ve pumped this. It is still a vanilla monster at the end of the day, so there are plenty of games where it won’t be significantly better than a random large creature without evasion, but the games where you drop this early it definitely will feel different than whatever other creature you could have played.

Humbler of Mortals

Limited: 2.0

The parade of 6-drop continues, as we have another beast with a minor ability. Trample is nice, but what green doesn’t really need is help winning when it gets to attack with its 5+ power creatures, it’s surviving long enough to do so in the face of heroic decks. Because there are so many cards like this, their value goes down across the board, and I wouldn’t be in hurry to fill this slot.

Hydra Broodmaster

Limited: 4.0

At least this six drop spawns a whole mess of Hydras if you ever get to untap. Realistically, this is better than Heroes’ Bane, but unless I want to go nuts and give Heroes’ Bane a 3.75, they will technically remain tied. Either way, this is the way you want to finish out the game, and if you have a chance to master a brood, I’d take it.

Kruphix’s Insight

Limited: 1.5

A Divination you have to work for is no Divination at all, and unless you have some wild number of enchantments (12-13+), this doesn’t really seem worth it. There are vague graveyard shenanigans in the set, but I haven’t ever seen a deck that’s in that much of a hurry to mill itself unless it contains Whip of Erebos (which this conveniently finds).

Market Festival

Limited: 2.0

Now this is how you go big. The decks that want such powerful ramp are even fewer in number than those that want normal ramp spells, but they do make better use of it. Once you have a few Market Festivals, there’s no restriction on what colors or costs of cards you can take (at least that’s going to be my philosophy until proven wrong). Dawn’s Reflection enabled some crazy stuff in MD5, and even though we don’t have sunburst as a carrot this time around, there’s still deepness to be had.

Nature’s Panoply

Limited: 3.0

Battlegrowth has never had it so good. All these strive cards just seem awesome to me, though I do suspect that there are so many that it’s going to be harder to catch people unawares. Once it becomes right to play around tricks at an incredibly high rate, all the tricks get a little worse. I do think this is still great, because every time you save a creature you end up with a permanent bonus, but don’t go nuts in drafting all the strive cards.

Nessian Game Warden

Limited: 3.0

Just think of this is a giant Mulldrifter. Yeah, that’s it.

Ok, this may not exactly be a Mulldrifter after all, but it’s still a big game. A 4/5 for 5 is decent already, and it will draw you a good card a reasonable amount of the time, definitely enough to justify running it.

Oakheart Dryads

Limited: 3.0

I like the aggressive bent of this card, though it doesn’t fit into every green decks. I assume most decks are going to have enough enchantments to keep this going at a fine clip, so it really comes down to how much you want to be attacking in the first place.

Pheres-Band Thunderhoof

Limited: 2.0

I was worried green was going to run out of big creatures, but this guy saved the day. He’s no Centaur Battlemaster, but there’s nothing wrong with hedging your bets a little and settling for a better initial body with a worse long-term outlook.

Pheres-Band Warchief

Limited: 3.5

A 3/3 vigilance trample for four is already enough to be worth your while, just because of how good it is to enchant it. It can’t be chumped and pulls blocking duty as well, with the side effect of making any Centaurs you have lying around into (slightly bigger) monsters. I would draft Centaurs a little higher if I had the Warchief, but again, he’s good enough that you don’t have to worry too much about it.

Ravenous Leucrocota

Limited: 3.0

Monstrosity cards are still really hard to cut, given that they give you good value at most points of the game. I want to cut this from my draft decks just so I don’t have to say the name when recording a video, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Renowned Weaver

Limited: 3.0

I’d be hard-pressed to find a green deck that didn’t need a Canopy Spider, even if I have to pay a one mana surcharge up front. There are some neat tricks you can do with this, from triggering constellation at instant speed to just blocking a 5/5 and making a spider, so overall I’ll call it a wash. This does get worse in multiples, as there are only so many slots you have for small reach creatures.

Reviving Melody

Limited: 1.5

I swear we have like five different Raise Deads now, some for creatures, some for enchantments, and some for both. That’s fine, but I’m not overly excited to play any of them, even potential 2 for 1’s. This can definitely go up in value if you draft the right deck, but it’s not the sort of thing green usually wants.

Satyr Grovedancer

Limited: 2.0

This being a 2/2 for 2 at worst makes it a reasonable card, though it’s not super exciting at any point.

Setessan Tactics

Limited: 4.5

It does not seem hard to figure out how to win games if you draw this. If your creatures are bigger than your opponent’s, you murder all of them. If your creatures are close in size, you murder some and trade for some. If your creatures are smaller, you did not do a great job of drafting green, and you still don’t just lose. You end up trading multiple creatures for their bigger creatures, but that still ends up being decent. All this asks is that you have three or more creatures out and it does impressive work, and that’s not that hard a win condition to strive for.

Solidarity of Heroes

Limited: 1.5

I like winning, but am less a fan of winning more. This can be a big swing, but how many times do you need to double 5 +1/+1 counters over multiple creatures before you realize you would have won most of those games already? It’s a good enough heroic enabler that it will see some play, but I’m hoping not to have to run this over any of the good strive cards.

Spirespine

Limited: 3.0

Who gets +4/+1 and stays untapped to block? Plus, even if for some reason you do have to stay back, this still lets you block, even though your opponent can send in a 1/1 deathtouch or the like and you will be force to battle it.

Strength from the Fallen

Limited: 1.5

The amount of work this takes to be awesome is a bit more than I’m willing to invest in the average draft. I will admit that there are some decks where this can be semi-busted, or brokenish, but most decks aren’t going to be interested.

Swarmborn Giant

Limited: 1.5

The drawback on this seems very real. It’s obviously aggressively costed, but one hit from anything and it just vanishes, which seems dicey at best. I’d be more interested in siding this in against a creature-light or slow deck than I would running it and hoping it works out.

Top 3 Green Commons

3. Renowned Weaver

2. Oakheart Dryads

1. Golden Hind

Green’s best common is head, shoulders, and antlers ahead of the rest, and I can’t really imagine ever passing Golden Hind for any of the other commons in green. As for the rest, Oakheart Dryads, Renowned Weaver, Ravenous Leucrocota, and Font of Fertility are all very close, and I could see many permutations of them being 2nd/3rd after more gameplay. Losing another pack of Nessian Asps hurts green’s ramp decks, and the 5+ cost cards in Journey into Nyx don’t really make up for that. I still expect green to be decent, but potentially more aggressive due to all the pump spells and Oakheart Dryads. There may also be a five-color deck here, given Font of Fertility and Market Festival, which would be sweet.

Multicolored

Ajani, Mentor of Heroes

Limited: 4.5

Ajani is above average just for planeswalkers, which makes him absurd when compared to the mere mortals that are normal cards. If you have just one creature in play, Ajani makes it huge and more than capable of protecting him, and he does a good job of finding more creatures if he’s not directly threatened. The ultimate is even relevant, though if you’ve Impulsed too many times your opponent may just try and deck you instead.

Athreos, God of Passage

Limited: 4.5

As with most gods, Athreos’s value fluctuates drastically depending on how likely he is to be active. Either way, his passive ability is very good, and punishes the opponent every time any sort of fight happens. If you do end up with this, definitely try and draft an aggressive deck so you can take advantage of the life loss.

Desperate Stand

Limited: 3.0

Even if the opponent sees this coming, there’s not much they can do about it. They will likely end up doing some chumping, taking some damage, and not really having great attacks into your untapped forces. This is strictly a finisher, unlike all the other strive tricks, so don’t include it in decks that don’t need finishers (though R/W will almost always want this).

Disciple of Deceit

Limited: 3.0

I don’t mind 1/3’s for two most of the time, and this ability is very relevant. It does make you keep track of the contents of your deck, so if you have a Disciple you should be very aware of what you have at each cost.

Fleetfeather Cockatrice

Limited: 4.0

There’s a lot going on here, and all of it’s good. This is an evasive threat, trades for anything, and has the capability of eating a free 2/2 some amount of the time as well. Once you untap, it even grows into a 6/6 flier, which is a whole lot of action in just one card.

Iroas, God of Victory

Limited: 4.0

Making it so you can turn your creatures sideways with no fear (and likely no blocks), Iroas definitely pushes RW beats. More than most other gods, you really need to be doing the thing Iroas wants you to do or he’s useless, so keep that in mind.

Keranos, God of Storms

Limited: 4.5

I can’t imagine it takes long to win with free Lightning Bolts and cards flying out of the heavens, though UR really needs the help. As PV was recently lamenting on Twitter, it is the worst color combination by a reasonable margin, and it will take something as good as Keranos before I look to draft it.

Kruphix, God of Horizons

Limited: 1.5

If you have a reasonable shot of animating Kruphix, he’s definitely playable, but the ability isn’t exactly built for Limited (and possibly not even Constructed). It just isn’t worth this much mana to be able to pool your extra mana later, and the odds that Kruphix becomes an actual creature are not super high for most decks.

Nyx Weaver

Limited: 3.5

I like the stats on this, and the ability to cash it in for something better is very nice. It’s also necessary, as some games you are going to sacrifice this just so it doesn’t mill you out.

Pharika, God of Affliction

Limited: 4.5

The gods in this set seem very strong (sorry, Kruphix), and Pharika is no exception. Even just getting a 1/1 deathtouch for every one of your creatures that dies is awesome, and Pharika does more than that. She sometimes will become a 5/5, and very rarely will disrupt the opponent’s graveyard plans (at the cost of giving them a 1/1).

Revel of the Fallen God

Limited: 3.0

Even though this costs seven, 8 power worth of haste Satyrs is powerful enough to justify the cost. Most red-green decks will be able to afford this and will want it, though I’d never take this too early just because of how restrictive the mana cost is (both in amount and type).

Stormchaser Chimera

Limited: 3.5

A 2/3 flier for four that lets you improve your card quality is nice, and a 2/3 flier that sometimes becomes an 8/3 flier is even better. I like the trend of UR getting the good gold cards, for the reason I mentioned above.

Underworld Coinsmith

Limited: 3.5

Free lifegain is nice, and even nicer when attached to a legitimate win condition and a 2/2 body. This is good at all stages of the game, and the abilities mesh very well.

Artifacts

Armory of Iroas

Limited: 1.5

I like value more than most, but slow accumulation of +1/+1 counters at this cost doesn’t thrill me.

Chariot of Victory

Limited: 1.5

All these abilities are neat, but they require a reasonably powerful creature to give real value, which is a condition I don’t like attached to my creature-boosting card. I’ve said this before, but all the awesome bestow cards and strive tricks make it a tough world for the weaker creature enhancers, and I’d put this in that category.

Deserter’s Quarters

Limited: 1.5

The callout to the Brazen Bull is cool, though I highly doubt anyone ever got out of that thing alive. The card itself is decent too, and will remove almost anything that troubles you, for a steep price. I also don’t like that artifact removal is often free in this format, as it’s tacked on to various enchantment removal spells, which makes this much more vulnerable than it would be otherwise. Getting your artifact blown up that you sunk 8 mana into is really bad for you, and even worse if it leads to an unexpected untap of a giant monster.

Gold-Forged Sentinel

Limited: 2.5

Paying one extra for a colorless Air Elemental seems more than fair to me.

Hall of Triumph

Limited: 3.5

This is an early pick, which conveniently enough lets you draft a deck around it, or at least with it in mind. Once you’ve picked up enough cheap creatures of the same color, it should be easy enough to triumph.

Mana Confluence

Limited: 1.0

I don’t want to say that you should never play this card, but you really shouldn’t unless things have gone horribly wrong. Fixing your mana is just not worth losing a bunch of life, and if you have to play this as your third land, you will lose a ton. The decks that need color fixing the most are the decks that least want to pay life, and unless you are forcing 3-color aggro (note: do not do this), it takes a real confluence of bad picks before this makes the cut.

Temple of Epiphany / Temple of Malady

Limited: 3.0

Temples are great, as before, and I’d play them even if I was only one of the two colors. They aren’t early picks, but I’m always glad to see them.

I hope everyone enjoys the prerelease, and I’ll be back next week with my Constructed reviews!

LSV