Drunk On Journey Into Nyx Brews

Mark has already been hard at work brewing Standard decks with Journey into Nyx. Check out what he’s got so far and then share your own brews in the comments!



Finally we have the full spoiler of Journey into Nyx.

Without a doubt Journey feels like one of the best rounded sets to come out in recent memory, and I’m including the hallowed name of Ravnica on that list.

From top to bottom, each card seems to have been meticulously developed to maximize the potential of the set. With returning role players such as Magma Spray along with brand-new standouts like Mana Confluence, there is a lot of extremely interesting ground to cover when it comes to tapping into the power of Journey into Nyx.

One of my favorite things to do is when a new set is released is to start brewing right away. Sometimes I nail things down, like with Jund when Return to Ravnica came out or Master of Waves when Theros was spoiled. There have been stinkers, but occasionally I get things right.

First I want to try my hand at what might be my favorite card in Journey into Nyx, which is Master of the Feast.

Guy is bros.

Just look at it.

The fact that the drawback occurs on your next turn rather than allowing your opponent to draw a card on theirs is what draws me to it. As a 5/5 with flying this thing is tyrannical, and without an answer it’s going to end a game rapidly. When a deck can play Thoughtseize to make sure the Demon is almost always going to connect, it just seems too good not to play.

As a vehicle for Master of the Feast (aka Mr. Fogo because that’s where it gets its grub on), I think this shell serves to showcase the true power of Mono-Black Aggro going forward. Gnarled Scarhide adds an extra creature that can be played on turn 1, but aside from that the dimensions of bestow and making a creature unable to block solidify it in this archetype as a new lynchpin.

The game plan is as expected—kill them dead as heck.

What made this deck so potent a few months ago was that it was able to kill very quickly in a somewhat new format that was busy trying to do too many things, a trend that I fully expect to repeat itself.

Adding to the strength of Mono-Black Aggro is a toolbox sideboard to help you in different matchups, and one card that I’m very interested to try out is newly spoiled Brain Maggot. Mesmeric Fiend has seen play off and on over the years, and the almost identical Brain Maggot allows you to remove a problematic card while giving you a body that can attack. Against decks packing Supreme Verdict it’s another way to keep your creatures on the board, and the information it can provide will let you plan ahead for a few turns. You’ll know if you should commit your creatures to the battlefield with impunity or chip away at their life total with a smaller force. This is the kind of card that seems underpowered at first but could cause some real headaches for control and midrange decks.

Next up is a deck I can’t seem to quit.

U/W Control offers Sphinx’s Revelation, which is like the Wu-Tang Clan—ain’t nuthing ta @#$% wit.

When your deck plays the most polarizing and powerful spell in Magic, you always have a fighting chance to win whatever event you’re playing in. The rest of the typical role players are in action—Supreme Verdict; Detention Sphere; Jace, Architect of Thought; and Elspeth, Sun’s Champion—but there are some new toys joining this deck that just beg to be used.

Font of Fortunes might be one of the better cards in the deck, but I’m still trying to figure out how many of it the right number is. For now two seems okay. It’s entirely possible that three just might be better because this card is actually testing fairly well. Azorius Charm is a spell that a lot of people are on the fence about, so when I saw a card get printed that can fill that two-drop spot while also allowing you to cut Divination, I felt compelled to try it out.

Most of the time the “put target attacking or blocking creature on top of its owner’s library” doesn’t see use, and because of that the Charm is used as a cycling card that has upside.

Yes, occasionally you will use it to gain life.

Yes, occasionally you will put something on top of the attacker’s library.

The driving strength of Azorius Cham is that it cantrips you into land drops, which this deck needs to function and win. To that effect, Font of Fortunes can be played on turn 2 and popped as early as turn 3 to dig for lands if you’re still stuck on two of them. If not, you can leave three mana up and threaten Dissolve. If they don’t cast anything? Cool! Draw two cards on their end step. As good as cards like Divination are against decks like Mono-Black Devotion, a card like Font of Fortunes just might be better since it can allow you to leave your mana open and then sink it into a “draw spell” later if you want. Cashing it in is completely at your discretion.

Another card I’m really stoked to try out is Deicide. When a card like Erebos, God of the Dead or Thassa, God of the Sea starts getting you down, Deicide gives you a permanent answer from whence they will never return. Underworld Connections? Get outta here! Courser of Kruphix? Die! Xenagos, God of Revels? No trigger for you! This card is going to have a huge impact on Standard and I suspect an even bigger one on Block. Get your set now!

Lastly in the maindeck we have Oblivion Ring impersonator Banishing Light. Detention Sphere is awesome folks, so don’t misunderstand me when I say Banishing Light might be one of the Top 3 most important cards to come out of Journey into Nyx. This is the card aggressive white decks have been begging for, but luckily it also has a home in U/W Control. The versatility of being able to hit anything on your opponent’s side, including their own Detention Sphere, is going to cause a lot of headaches for whoever you’re playing against. It slices planeswalkers. It dices big creatures. This card is a huge boon to this deck.

The sideboard is a lot of what you’d typically expect from a deck like U/W Control, but Reprisal is the card that gives me the most hope. Let’s face it—no matter how well you play this deck, a resolved Obzedat, Ghost Council almost always feels like game over. However, Reprisal gives you a cheap and instant answer to Ghost Daddy. He can’t even regenerate! This card is hateful.

Not only Obzedat, but remember when you were killed by that ridiculously big Mistcutter Hydra? Not anymore! Reprisal is going to kill a lot of those too.

The final deck I want to explore is one that I feel is made miles better by the inclusion of Mana Confluence. That deck is W/B Humans.

At one time this deck was a premier aggro strategy, but it has since fallen out of favor. Now it’s packing a superior mana base, an on-color God, and a few new toys to battle with.

As I said earlier, Banishing Light is going to give this kind of deck a lot of reach. Being able to remove an imposing Polukranos, World Eater or exile a planeswalker is going to be a pretty big tempo boost, which usually translates into dealing more damage and making your opponent dead quicker. That’s always a good thing.

Newcomer Underworld Coinsmith is also pretty boss because each copy is going to let you gain life, not to mention that you’re also playing Spear of Heliod; Athreos, God of Passage; and Banishing Light. Conveniently, those are all enchantments.

One neat thing to remember about Coinsmith is how relevant the drain is because with spare mana and a life lead, you can start taking two or three points of life away from your opponent to close out the game even faster. A deck this aggressive shouldn’t have much trouble making that magic happen.

The last creature to make the cut is Athreos, God of Passage. He pretty much passes the test of being a threat to your opponent. In a deck with this many creatures, having the option to buy back a threat that has died lest they take three to the dome seems outrageous. Imagine casting this with a Xantid Necromancer in play. Supreme Verdict or Drown in Sorrow never looked so childish!

Athreos isn’t even remotely hard to have active in a deck with cards like Brimaz, King of Oreskos; Spear of Heliod; Precinct Captain; and Sin Collector. That means your opponent can have a 5/4 indestructible creature swinging at them (possibly pumped by Spear of Heliod) that if they try to kill something to lower his devotion, you’re either going to get back or shoot them for three. That card might be what puts this deck over the top.

The mana base is wrapped up by a set of Mana Confluence, which might seem a bit overboard, but I’m really expecting this card to tie the package together. Each time it’s in your opening hand you have a vastly superior chance to be able to cast every spell in your grip, and that was the problem the original version of the deck seemed to have most. How often could you bank on being able to drop a Precinct Captain on turn 2 and follow it up with a Lifebane Zombie on turn 3?

Now with just a Temple, Godless Shrine, or Guildgate on turn 1 followed by a Mana Confluence, you’re able to completely maximize the power of your cards. One life per spell seems trivial to have that kind of consistency. Is it your best friend when playing against hyperaggressive decks? Probably not, and it’s certainly worse in multiples. But I can’t see myself not wanting to always be able to resolve everything I play without it sitting stranded in my hand.

These are just a few of the ideas I’ve been working on, and as always I urge you to share your Journey into Nyx brews so we all can get a good look at them.

I think the best way to break this format is by coming together and working as a team to innovate the next big piece of technology.

Remember dear readers—I am nothing without you.

Now let’s see what you got. I anxiously await your input as usual.

Let’s get brewing!