TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Discuss our latest podcast about Magic: The Gathering.
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TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby Graham » 19 Apr 2014, 10:26

Recorded before the full set was released, some early impressions of JOU spoilers.
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby madman_oreo » 19 Apr 2014, 15:21

I looooooove me some nacatl war-pride, mix int some ogre battledrivers and champion of lambholt and you can pull some insane out of nowhere beat downs.
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby Dubious_wolf » 19 Apr 2014, 18:10

So I'm sure y'all have heard the better combo for Sage of Hours?
Vorel (doubles counters)
Ajani (3 counters)
All on Sage of Hours.
(6 counters)
And then you just need something that can attack and get through.
Take infinite turns.
Dome them out!

Also city of Brass is Waaaaaay better, if you are playing Darien, king of kjeldor in edh. ;)
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby swilensk » 19 Apr 2014, 22:22

Mana Confluence isn't necessarily better than city of brass, it really depends on the situation. I think you'll find that red decks or burn decks will tend to play City of Brass more than mana confluence because when you tap City of Brass you can respond to the damage trigger whir still using the mana so if you are at one life, you can win the game before taking the damage if you have the ability to do so. For Mana Confluence you have to pay the life to get the mana making it impossible to respond to while still having the mana. Both have their upsides, I think as a whole mana confluence is better because City of Brass is a bit more situational, but I would not be surprised if burn decks are still running City of Brass over Mana confluence for those types of situations.
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby Graham » 19 Apr 2014, 23:09

swilensk wrote:Mana Confluence isn't necessarily better than city of brass, it really depends on the situation.
Mana Confluence is strictly better than City of Brass, by the commonly accepted definition that specifically allows for "some situations".

In nearly every situation it's better, so it's Strictly Better™
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby tamaness » 20 Apr 2014, 00:19

Yeah, my Chromatic Lantern makes Confluence better, and doesn't change City of Brass. In most situations, though, I think they tie, with City eeking out the win because the damage is a trigger that can be responded to.

That said, I won't be able to tell the difference in 99.8% of situations.
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby Kapol » 20 Apr 2014, 00:46

Cam really should speak more into the mic. He is pretty hard to hear, especially since Graham is comparatively loud. He also had a lot of interesting stuff to say.

For the gods, I was super disappointed by Kruphix. His ability is fine. No hand size isn't relevant for most standard decks, but it's very strong in EDH. Mana storage is just too slow and means you aren't just casting stuff, so will only be really relevant for X costed spells in standard. But it's another that is really good there. He feels heavily pushed for commander and just durdly everywhere else, including limited. The only deck that really wants him in standard might be a bant control deck to keep building mana for stuff like Sphinx's Revelation. I honestly don't even want him in my bant prophet deck. Which is kind of like what Cam was mentioning with the U/G flash (which I'm surprised prophet isn't in for the untapping), except focused on using Prophet with stuff like Ephara to get all of the value. As a side note. She just seems better than Kruphix himself in most ways. Like, I think she's even better in commander.

I hadn't thought of Keranos that way until Cam explained his feelings. But I see where he's coming from. I just think his ability is, at worst, really neat. That's the problem I have with Kruphix and Karametra. Their abilities just kind of seem... meh. Kruphix is a battery and Karametra is really late ramp. Even Pharika's ability has some things you could abuse with it. Those two just feel eh to me.

I really would like it if Newjani was 2GW. Maybe that'd be pushing power levels, but they could likely Neff the counters power to 2 for it. Then I'd like him more. But I do like him. Giving 3 power and toughness forever is strong. Being able to, but not forced to, spread it over multiple creatures is stronger. And digging for stuff is always good (Bant Superfriends is going to get better with him I feel). But that ultimate... I find it hilarious, and it honestly made me laugh out loud. But now that it's worn off, if just feels boring. It doesn't help you really, like Kathleen's song basically said. But worse than that, it just feels flat-out lazy. It's like they said "Oh, we've given him two really cool abilities. Just throw lifegain on there cause it's G/W and call it a day. Oh, we already have two +1 abilities? Eff it. Have his ultimate be, like... gain 100 life."

I like the dictates. I REALLY hope I can get my hands on a playset of the promo Kruphix Dicatates.

Other than that, it just feels like Journey is going to be a fun set. Which is a relief after how dull Born was.
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby Jenelmo » 20 Apr 2014, 01:05

Graham wrote:
swilensk wrote:Mana Confluence isn't necessarily better than city of brass, it really depends on the situation.
Mana Confluence is strictly better than City of Brass, by the commonly accepted definition that specifically allows for "some situations".

In nearly every situation it's better, so it's Strictly Better™


I would flip that around and say that City of Brass is Strictly Better than Mana Confluence in formats other than Commander
As the fact that it is damage and not life loss (As Damage can be prevented life loss can't) and the fact that you can use the mana with the trigger on the stack is more important than the fact that you take damage when it is tapped, something that is only relevant with cards like Chromatic Lantern and Rishadan Port.

In Commander/EDH were Chromatic Lantern sees more play I would agree that Mana Confluence is the better card but in other formats City is better
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby iamafish » 20 Apr 2014, 01:42

I feel like they missed a trick with casting the gods. Keranos and to a less extend kruphix would be much better if you could get them out earlier in the game. If they were 3 drops, you use your whole turn getting them of curve, but the card advantage of Keranos on turn 4 would be really relevant, and being able to use up your manna on turn 4 even if you don't have a 4 drop and save it for later would be useful too. As it stand, those abilities are less exciting on turn 6.

Whereas Athreos could be more expensive, because even if you play it pre-combat on turn 5 (as a 5 drop), you can still attack really aggressively, knowing that your opponent will have to pay life to kill one of your creatures for good.Likewise Iroas, the benefit of which you get the turn it comes down if played pre-combat.

Pharika is probably the most reasonable costed of them - a relatively weak (although still pretty kool) ability that can either be relevant the turn you cast it if you cast it off curve, or starts be become relevant turn 4 if cast on curve. It just looks bad compared to the really OP Athreos.

I think Ajani's ultimate is really boring and off-flavour. The other two are him giving something to the creatures on the board, or the player (extra P/T or more things to cast), whereas the 100 life doesn't really do that in an interesting way, it's jsut 'here, have a shit-ton of extra life so the game now goes really long'. fair enough, it really boosts your chances of winning and allows you to attack without worrying about crackback, but it's not interesting.
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby deathjavu » 20 Apr 2014, 04:35

I was really hoping you guys would open a Nessian Courser in future sight, just for the "huh??" value. Yep, Nessian Courser was a reprint from Future Sight. Also, Luminescent Liminid,the first enchantment creature! They should've reprinted it in Theros, even though it's not all that good. Nacatl War pride is no Goyf value, but it is pretty much unbeatable in draft though.

I want Iroas to work so badly, I tried to make a R/W devotion deck before Iroas was available just because I thought the interaction of Brimaz and Purphuros was too great to pass up. And yeah, Iroas is minotaur bottom, Mogis is minotaur top. Alex was joking, but that's the truth.

The bestow creatures have negative effects this time around because the gods (enchantments) are at war with the normal inhabitants of Theros (creatures). Constellation is the gods mechanic, favoring more enchantment use, while strive is supposed to be rewarding multiple heroic creatures, the human side of the equation. Interesting stuff.

The "skullcrack in response to Ajani Ult" joke came pre-dead though, it was literally the first thing I heard in response to Ajani's ultimate. :? Sorry Cam.
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby Spartacus1209 » 20 Apr 2014, 06:00

FYI - scry first appeared in Fifth dawn circa 2004. Magma Jet was reprinted in Theros from 5D.
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby swilensk » 20 Apr 2014, 08:51

Jenelmo wrote:
Graham wrote:
swilensk wrote:Mana Confluence isn't necessarily better than city of brass, it really depends on the situation.
Mana Confluence is strictly better than City of Brass, by the commonly accepted definition that specifically allows for "some situations".

In nearly every situation it's better, so it's Strictly Better™


I would flip that around and say that City of Brass is Strictly Better than Mana Confluence in formats other than Commander
As the fact that it is damage and not life loss (As Damage can be prevented life loss can't) and the fact that you can use the mana with the trigger on the stack is more important than the fact that you take damage when it is tapped, something that is only relevant with cards like Chromatic Lantern and Rishadan Port.

In Commander/EDH were Chromatic Lantern sees more play I would agree that Mana Confluence is the better card but in other formats City is better


I don't think it is possible to say whether or not one is strictly better. I think both cards are very good and each have their merits but I would say that they are both on the same level of awesome. Each setback from each card is situational for when it'll be better and most of the time you won't be able to tell which one is better so I do not believe one is strictly better than the other. If they were trying to fix City of Brass, it would have to be "whenever City of Brass is tapped for mana, it deals 1 damage to you."
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby Utilitarian » 20 Apr 2014, 09:21

Actually, there's an infinite turn combo with only Sage of Hours and 2 other cards, and it's purely in blue.

You need an Elite Arcanist encoded with Triton Tactics. Every time you spend one colourless mana, you get to cast (important) a copy of Triton Tactics, which lets you target and untap two creatures. You target Sage of Hours and Elite Arcanist, putting a counter on the Sage and untapping the arcanist, allowing you to do it again.

You need 5 mana (so you play the Arcanist on 4 and then untap and play a mana, or ideally flash the arcanist in EOT with Prophet of Kruphix) Sure your initial turns don't involve doing anything but drawing and playing lands since you are using 5 mana a turn, but with infinite turns, it don't matter ^_^
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby Graham » 20 Apr 2014, 21:49

Sorry, again, there is a specific definition of "strictly better" as it pertains to MTG.

I posit that the situations where being able to respond to City of Brass' ability are so narrow that you cannot make that claim.
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby Graham » 20 Apr 2014, 21:59

Okay, an example: Counterspell is better than Cancel.

- Unless your opponent has Spell Snare in hand.
- Unless there's a Chalice of the Void on 2CMC.
- Unless your opponent has a 2CMC spell on their deck, with Counterbalance in play.

Those are all relevant, cute situations but that doesn't change that Counterspell IN A VACUUM is better than Cancel.

It is "Strictly Better".
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby zombub » 21 Apr 2014, 00:36

Seriously, I love Cam, but somebody needs to attach his mic to his head somehow, he so often talks too far away or off to the side and we keep missing his awesomeness :(
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby tamaness » 21 Apr 2014, 01:26

I'll agree to disagree on the "strictly better than City of Brass" point, as the situations where it differs from Mana Confluence are so few and far between. I prefer City, but I'll be picking up as many Confluences as I can get my hands on.
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby Utilitarian » 21 Apr 2014, 10:01

new Ajani plus Corpsejack Menace also works, but that does put you in 4 colours o_O. Then again, with Mana Confluence maybe that won't be a problem? -_^
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby swilensk » 21 Apr 2014, 13:23

I understand the definition of "strictly better," if you look at the situation with lightning bolt and shock, it is always better to have lightning bolt than shock except for very niche situations. I agree with your counter spell example, counter spell is indeed strictly better same as lightning bolt over shock. At least that is my understanding of the term "strictly better."

I don't believe it is ALWAYS better to run Mana Confluence over City of Brass. Both situations where one is better over the other are very niche situations and the argument can be made for both being better than the other (personally, like the ability to play around the damage trigger for city of brass and I think it is better than mana confluence). They are both great cards with very similar power levels yet I don't think there is a case where you ALWAYS want to run one over the other. There is not a significant upgrade like in the examples given. A comparable pair of cards would be Red Elemental Blast or Pyroblast. There is not a big enough gap between the two to warrant one ALWAYS being played over the other so there isn't really an argument to only play Pyroblast or only play Red Elemental Blast except for very niche situations for either card. so I don't believe you can say one is strictly better than the other.
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby notaballoon » 21 Apr 2014, 19:41

"Strictly better" means that the card is identical in almost every way, but has additional effects or a cheaper cost. For example, Dissolve is strictly better than Cancel because for the same cost, you an get the same effect, plus the additional scry. Counterspell is strictly better than Cancel because the cards have the same effect, but Counterspell costs less. However, cards with different effects cannot be said to be strictly better or worse, because in some situations you want the different effect. Think of it in terms of creatures: a grizzly bear is strictly better than a grey ogre, but a grey ogre with any text on it means you can't make that comparison: no matter how marginal, or even detrimental the effect is, the fact is some situations the effect may be beneficial. A grey ogre with a detriment is obviously strictly worse.

Cards that have different effects for the same cost cannot be said to be strictly better or worse: Lightning Bolt cannot be said to be strictly better than unsummon, for example. This can get confusing when the cards have similar effects, or when the differences in effects are weighted more in favor of one card. Take for example Psychic Strike and Dissolve: both are 3 mana counterspells, however Dissolve lets you scry, which is regarded universally as more powerful than mill. However, scry is not OBJECTIVELY more powerful than mill: for example, in a dedicated mill deck. The only thing scry is strictly better than is NOT scrying.

The definition's mention of "certain specific situations" does not mean how many situations you are likely to encounter making one card favorable over the other, because that's meaningless: it depends on the format, the deck, your opponent's deck, the metagame, your hand, the board. A situation can be made more common or less common artificially. (It's worth noting that of the situations that make Confluence better, only two are present in Theros--land animation and land enchantment--and are far more rare than the situations in which CoB is better) It means situations that change how the game works. An effect that causes you to shuffle your library every turn on upkeep makes Dissolve strictly worse than Counterspell. It ISN'T, but in that situation the game state has changed such that scry is meaningles. In a vacuum, scry is good. Strictly better is not a matter of quibbling over card evaluation: some people might argue that the extra mana you pay for Dissolve is not WORTH the scry, but that's a matter of card evaluation, and though the argument could be made, you can't PROVE it objectively. That's the difference between Counterspell being a "better" card and being a "strictly better" card. You don't need to evaluate a card that is strictly better, it just IS better, always. You always want Dissolve in your deck over Cancel; you always want Daggerdrome Imp over Bog Imp, you always want Favored Hoplite over Volunteer Militia.

So Confluence can't be said to be strictly better, because its effect is different. You might argue that paying life as a cost for activating an ability is BETTER than taking damage from a trigger in response to a cost, but not STRICTLY better
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby phlip » 21 Apr 2014, 20:19

Graham wrote:Mana Confluence is strictly better than City of Brass, by the commonly accepted definition that specifically allows for "some situations".

In nearly every situation it's better, so it's Strictly Better™

Not really, though... in nearly every situation it's identical... there's just certain cases where it's better (Rishadan Port, Chromatic Lantern/Nylea's Presence/etc), and certain cases where it's worse (Angel's Grace/damage prevention/etc, responding to the trigger). Yes, the latter are rare edge cases, but so are the former. If anything, to use the Magic R&D definition of "strictly better", it's "strictly" identical to City of Brass, since it's only different either way in edge cases.
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby Clypheous » 22 Apr 2014, 10:01

Loading Ready Run is Strictly Better than the desire to be right on the internet.
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby Kaziel » 23 Apr 2014, 10:19

Probably the best Sage of Hours super combo I can think of is:

First get Ajani, Mentor of Heroes up to 8 Loyalty, with a Sage of Hours in play. Cast Sunbond on the Sage, then Ultimate. 100 life = 100 +1/+1 tokens on the Sage for 20 extra turns!

Yeah, it'd require a Bant, or at least W/U or W/G with a splash of the other color to make it work, but such a combo. The Johnny in me is giggling at the thought!
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby BenMarc » 01 May 2014, 04:37

You can totally convoke a kicker cost. That was the whole point of Kavu Primarch. One of the things they did in Future Sight is combine old mechanics that had synergy on the same card. (e.g.: Marshaling Cry having both cycling and flashback.)

Also, Transguild Courier from Dissension was the first colored artifact.
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Impressions

Postby Graham » 01 May 2014, 11:16

BenMarc wrote:Also, Transguild Courier from Dissension was the first colored artifact.
Ok, Captain Technicality :)

Artifacts with coloured casting costs didn't come around until Shards Block though. Right? Except Sarcomite Myr, obviously.
Right?
I think.

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