Under The Raven’s Watch

The raven watches the god forsaken world
Perched on the branch of the tree of the dead
With jade eyes and wings as black as the void of the universe
It patiently waits for spoils of men’s wars

It watches as men devour each other
For earthly matters like wealth, power and love
Awaiting for one to fall to the depths of despair
Only will it will then fly off
To gnaw on the spirit of the fallen

The raven will forever watch
This heaven-scourned piece of earth
With jade eyes that has seen endless despair and suffering
And will continue to patiently wait
Until the sleeping god awakes
to make its inevitable black judgment

Journey into Nyx Standard Spoiler Season: Iroas, God of Victory

A few days ago, I was speculating what kind of abilities the new gods from Journey into Nyx would have. I initially imagined that Iroas, the red white god would have an ability which would grant creatures you control first strike or maybe even haste.

Suffice to say, my guess was very far off from what Wizards had in mind:

1.	Journey into Nyx Standard Spoiler Season: Iroas, God of Victory

Like with planeswalkers, evaluating gods can be a real challenge. A god may primarily appear overpowered on paper but may prove to be less as time passes by. On the other hand, I actually like Iroas for the reason that he only costs 4 and has immediate board impact, provided that you have creatures on the battlefield. In addition, Iroas, God of Victory also benefits from his own static ability and has enough power to beat the lights out of your opponents.

Just imagine this sequence:

T1: Soldier of the Pantheon

T2: Precinct Captain/Ash Zealot/Burning-Tree Emissary

T3: Hammer of Purphoros/Chandra’s Phoenix

T4: Iroas, God of Victory

Obviously, this is a magical Christmas land scenario but then again, draws like this happen on occasion if not often. And even if the God of Victory doesn’t awaken the turn it comes into play, having him on the battlefield ensures that your creatures will get through the red zone unopposed.

I honestly think that the centaur god will be generally good against decks that are brimming with creatures, particularly against Selesnya or Red/Blue Devotion decks but I am imagining that this is a dead card most of the time against decks packed with removals like Monoblack Devotion and most control decks.

The thing is that the ability that it grants your creatures against an online Elspeth, Sun’s Champion might be neat but you’re probably already losing at such a time. In addition, Iroas’ abilities clearly require the deck to be creature dense if a player expects to effectively utilize him. Not to mention, creatures that lives to tell the tale before Mogis’ twin enters the fray.

Journey into Nyx Standard Spoiler Season: Iroas, God of Victory

With the current metagame leaning towards control-based strategies like Monoblack Devotion as well as Esper, I don’t expect Iroas to make much of an impact. Besides, if I am playing a boros color-based deck, I’d rather leave mana up for a Boros Charm to keep my creatures from being decimated mercilessly by a Supreme Verdict. Tapping out to play Iroas only for the opponent to completely sweep your board is a total blowout.

Overall, I like Iroas, God of Victory in a vacuum but as long as the metagame is filled with control decks, I highly doubt that Mogis’ twin would be seeing play anytime soon. How about you? What are your thoughts about Iroas?

Thanks for reading,

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

Journey into Nyx Standard Spoiler Season: Iroas, God of Victory

Standard Journey to Nyx Spoiler Season: Hall of Triumph

It’s the first week of Journey to Nyx’s spoiler season and boy did we get a treat from the first batch of cards that were spoiled.

Standard Journey to Nyx Spoiler Season: Hall of Triumph

“That’s Elspeth wielding Godsend illustrated in the mural”

A lot of people were excited to see this the first time it was spoiled, me included, and one of the first things that people realized is that this artifact can complement Master of Waves.

One of the common problems that the merfolk wizard have is that if the opponent has spot removal for him end of  your turn, then it can be a total blowout since the tokens he produces dies along with him while you’re tapped out and defensless. However, having a Hall of Triumph on the battlefield will keep the Master of Waves tokens from dying in the worst case that their master dies.

Standard Journey to Nyx Spoiler Season: Hall of Triumph

Here’s a list that I made yesterday because yeah, I am damn excited to try this:

Monoblue-Devotion

Main Deck: 60

Lands: 24

21 Island

3 Mutavault

Creatures: 30

4 Cloudfin Raptor

4 Frostburn Weird

4 Judge’s Familiar

4 Master of Waves

4 Nightveil Specter

2 Sigiled Starfish

4 Thassa, God of the Sea

4 Tidebinder Mage

Spells: 6

2 Bident of Thassa

2 Hall of Triumph

2 Rapid Hybridization

Hall of Triumph seems good in this kind of list and if only it wasn’t legendary like Heliod’s spear, it would’ve been better. Another inclusion I made was this:

Standard Journey to Nyx Spoiler Season: Hall of Triumph

I personally find starfish in general cute even though I haven’t seen or touched one in real life. Then again, this would be the first starfish that I’d be touching, even if it’s only on cardboard. I only included two copies of the echinoderm because drawing more than one copy in the mid to late game is not really something I’d want.

In addition, the starfish generally serves only as a blocker and doesn’t contribute in killing your opponent. However, being able to filter your draws more in addition to what Thassa provides during your upkeep is something I find very exciting. On the other hand, I am imagining most control decks would want 3-4 copies of these cute sea creatures in their lists in addition to the 12 temples that they utilize.

On the other hand, there’s also this list:

UW Devotion

Main Deck: 60

Lands: 24

1 Azorius Guildgate

1 Godless Shrine

4 Hallowed Fountain

11 Island

3 Mutavault

4 Temple of Enlightenment

Creatures: 30

4 Cloudfin Raptor

2 Ephara, God of the Polis

4 Frostburn Weird

4 Judge’s Familiar

4 Master of Waves

4 Nightveil Specter

4 Thassa, God of the Sea

4 Tidebinder Mage

Spells: 6

4 Detention Sphere

1 Hall of Triumph

1 Spear of Heliod

Wouldn’t it be great if you have two Glorious Anthems on the battlefield? Not to mention that the spear adds towards Ephara’s devotion. As much as I want to add Sigiled Starfish here, there’s not much space to fit it in.

Standard Journey to Nyx Spoiler Season: Hall of Triumph

How about a white-based aggressive deck utilizing Hall of Triumph?

Mono-White Aggro

Main Deck: 60

Lands: 22

4 Mutavault

18 Plains

Creatures: 28

2 Banisher Priest

4 Brimaz, King of Oreskos

4 Boros Elite

4 Daring Skyjek

4 Dryad Militant

2 Imposing Sovereign

4 Precinct Captain

4 Soldier of the Pantheon

Spells: 10

2 Ajani, Caller of the Pride

4 Brave the Elements

2 Spear of Heliod

2 Hall of Triumph

This is basically your standard mono-white aggressive shell which includes the King of Oreskos plus the possibility of having two anthem effects to pump your swarm.

Here’s another list but with a lower curve:

Mono-White Blitz

Main Deck: 60

Lands: 22

4 Mutavault

18 Plains

Creatures: 30

4 Boros Elite

4 Cavalry Pegasus

4 Daring Skyjek

4 Dryad Militant

2 Imposing Sovereign

4 Loyal Pegasus

4 Precinct Captain

4 Soldier of the Pantheon

Spells: 8

4 Brave the Elements

2 Spear of Heliod

2 Hall of Triumph

This take on the white weenie archetype doesn’t rely on Brimaz’s board presence but attempts to take down the opponent as fast as it can before the opponent has a chance to build a strong board presence. Cavalry Pegasus ensures that all your creatures, which are mostly humans gets through for a beating. Having 16 one drops makes sure that your turn two is filled with cheaply costed creatures that can be powered up by either the spear or the hall.

Standard Journey to Nyx Spoiler Season: Hall of Triumph

Mono-Red Aggro

Main Deck: 60

Lands :22

18 Mountains

4 Mutavault

Creatures: 32

4 Burning-Tree Emissary

4 Chandra’s Phoenix

4 Firedrinker Satyr

4 Firefist Striker

4 Foundry Street Denizen

4 Gore-House Chainwalker

4 Rakdos Cackler

3 Rubblebelt Maaka

Spells: 7

3 Hall of Triumph

2 Mizzium Mortars

2 Searing Blood

This is basically Patrick Sullivan’s mono-red aggro list with the minor adjustment of replacing mainboard shocks with Hall of Triumph and I am not sure if putting three copies in the main is the right thing to do. I am sure Patrick Sullivan has the best answer to that.

Mono-Green Aggro

Main Deck: 60

Lands: 23

18 Forest

2 Mutavault

3 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

Creatures: 30

3 Boon Satyr

4 Burning-Tree Emissary

3 Courser of Kruphix

4 Elvish Mystic

4 Experiment One

4 Kalonian Tusker

2 Nyea, God of the Hunt

2 Polukranos, World Eater

4 Sword-wise Centaur

Spells: 7

2 Garruk, Caller of Beast

2 Hall of Triumph

3 Pit Fight

Green isn’t really my specialty but here’s what I was able to cook up but I am sure seasoned green mages out there would be able to cook up something better than what I have.

Overall, I am interested in how mono-colored based aggressive strategies will adapt with Hall of Triumph now available for them to utilize. Though there are people who are skeptical of this not with Spear of Heliod marginally seeing play, the possibility of having two anthem effects is not far off.

Right now, I am happy that Monoblue Devotion has a tool that it can potentially use. Also take note that it’s just the first week of Journey to Nyx spoiler season so I am hoping that it doesn’t stop here. So far, what cards are you finding interesting?

Thanks for reading,

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

imagecredit:
gatherer.wizards.com
wizards.com/magic

Standard Journey to Nyx Spoiler Season: Hall of Triumph