Three Cards Deep: The Good, The Bad, and the EDH Ugly

We’re returning for the second half of TCD Season Two with something slightly different. Tonight we’ve got a two-parter – Gods and Marquee Cards of Set Mechanics. The format is Hit, Miss, Quit and this week it’s all about Journey into Nyx.

Here’s how it goes for new readers. I talk about three cards. Each one is one of the following:

  • Hit: Sweet card that I think will be fun to play with and to some degree against, even if it does smash my face in.
  • Miss: A whompy flop that looks like someone didn’t do a good job making a card for EDH to care about.
  • Quit: Try it for sure but then quit it for being a bore. These are the meanies of the set.

(Bummer side note: The Gatherer card image gallery that everyone uses for their databases doesn’t get updated for a while, probably until Monday, so card tags don’t work. We’ll have to settle for archaic links for now. Sorry.)

Obviously this is all hypthetical but whatever. My mouth – OK, fingers – are running and I ain’t gone stop ’em.

Firstly, some gods

Hit – Athreos, God of Passage

I am among many who are excited by The Riverman, who also looks like the most metal bass player the pantheon has ever seen. Oddly, I see about a bajillion decks that want him as one of the 99, but few builds that are best with him at the helm. Put together a sacrifice-matters or Wrath-heavy deck, maybe incorporate a ton of incremental life loss, and then celebrate the icing on your cruel cake when you draw Athreos. Bonus points if you always pick the player who can least afford to pay because there are no politics involved when the crossing of the River Styx.

Also, just in case you didn’t notice, he’s white and costs three mana. Sun Titanable!

Miss – Pharika, God of Affliction

Again, this is a bit of an echo chamber, but seriously, this guy is soggy bread. You finally settle on a cheese sandwich cuz cooking sucks and your fridge is relatively empty, only to realize your bread is soft and mildly damp. And you still choose that over any deck including Pharika. Seriously, his avatar is a snake-loving, sickness-wielding mad cleric. Pre-spoiled, you couldn’t find a Rock player who wasn’t psyched. Now we’re all in the same boat; “Why would I ever build a B/G deck that wanted to eat it’s own creatures? Why would I want to use a three-mana permanent to work on someone else’s yard at two mana per shot when it also gives them a d-toucher, instead of just running Scavenging Ooze or one of a jillion other options?”

And you know what? I want out of this boat and back in that sweet boat piloted by the glowy green bass player guy with the metal hair.

Quit – Kruphix, God of Horizons

Kruphix has been the God of Doing Busted Things in EDH from basically day one. We’ve been groaning about Prophet of Kruphix, or as I call him, Teferi-born Muse,(and still running him bashfully in my case) since day one of Theros. Obviously, his (her? its?) actual godly form is pretty powerful. Cast on turn five and just durdle, assuming you probably correctly choose to play your permanents in such a way that daddy K stays a not-creature so you can abuse the static ability.

But the second you untap, you have just-marginally-weaker-Omnath, Locus of Mana, weaker because the mana becomes colorless. However, KrunkFix has one huge advantage – it’s blue. This is why I’m gonna want to play with or against TheKruphixDeck approx once. After drawing all the cards, abusing his Prophet, and taking another 27-teen turns, playerK will be doing something and I’ll be asleep.

Mechanic Marquee Cards

X = Number of Lands
Hit – Scourge of Fleets

To be fair, I was also nuts about Tromokratis and Colossal Whale, so I clearly have an affinity for large, smashy sea life. That being said, I consider the “x=number of a specific basic land” cycle to be a sub-mechanic for the set, and the Scourge was the first previewed, so he counts as marquee. It’s a hit because it’s weirdly narrow bounce – toughness… huh? – for seven mana. I don’t hate Cyclonic Rift or Whelming Wave (can you say synergy????), and those are both much more powerful. Plus, he leaves you with a little guy to scourge-ify any ships people put into play the turn before he can attack. Weeeee!

Miss – Launch the Fleet

In general, Strive feels like a miss for the format, but that’s more due to the effects and costs they chose, which are pretty weak (almost certainly deliberately so they don’t accidently break standard). That being said, I love me some Silence the Believers, but think Launch the Fleet is closer to the mechanic’s marquee card, and it’s bad.

Quit – Battlefield Thaumaturge

Let’s be clear. This card is a hit. It is powerful and interesting. It only took one moment of me thinking about the world where you have this guy in play and then cast Comet Storm to realize you don’t have to work too hard to bust him open. Targeting isn’t super common in EDH, but when you do it, you are either casting Return to Dust and calming things down, or pretty much running combo. Thaumaturge only needs a few people to think about it until they rip it in half, and then I’ll be done seeing it.

Thanks for tuning back in homies. It’s been fun. This could have been way longer. New shineys = new things to love and hate. So hit up the comments!  What are your hit/miss/quit cards from Journey?