Welcome to Nyx! Kick off your shoes, grab a drink, and gather ’round to hear my story. It’s sure to be passed down through many generations of failed drafters and incompetent Magic players.

Because of coming exams, I haven’t drafted enough JOU to form an educated opinion about the new set. Fortunately, that’s never really stopped me before. But if you’re looking for pearls of wisdom and startling revelations about our newest Limited format, I’d like to direct you elsewhere. Like the rest of this column, this post is speculation and musing.

Drafting Born of the Gods felt like Theros-lite, the Magic equivalent of a $3.99 Sims expansion pack that lets you purchase twelve new poodles. Journey to Nyx’s drop shook up the format. Experienced players laud the set’s synergistic complexity. Mechanics like Constellation and Strive offer a whole new set of triggers and combat tricks to deal with. Aggro received a new suite of common rarity removal. Non-aggro is upgraded by cool midrange cards and cycle of uncommon Bestow critters. And Limited control decks get sheep, which is probably the best improvement of all.



My first Journey drafts were terrible. On my first attempt, I cobbled together a BW aggro deck, featuring Ajani’s PresenceFeast of Dreams, and Oppressive Rays from the new set. My creatures curved into Supply-Line Cranes (which I never drew) and Quarry Colossus, which was a stone bomb.

I had the standard suite of Akroan Skyguards and Elite Skirmishers, but no reliable Heroic triggers. At one point, I had to Oppressive Rays my own flier to punch in a few extra damage after drawing nothing but lands. It was the most useful thing the card did for me.

I was a few Ordeals short of stealing games before turn five. And my deck lacked the combat tricks needed to handle larger threats (ie. anything above three toughness that could shoot up).Without the constant supply of reliable white aggro cards from Theros, my draft deck suffered. I should have waited for black signal like Gnarled Scarhide before moving in.

Round 1 (2-0):

Opponent had Banishing Light and Nyx-Fleece Ram, and his general strategy was “sit around and gain life while my opponent fumbled for relevant threats.” In game one, I got there eventually with my fliers after topdecking an Excoriate to deal with a Bestowed Eidolon of Countless Battles.

Game two: somehow his Ram ended up with an Armament of Nyx and big Eidolon strapped onto it. Quarry Colossus‘s enter the battlefield effect helped me bury the sheep, and swung in for the victory a few turns after.

Round 2 (0-2):

Instead of rolling dice, opponent had cool rock-paper-scissors cards for determining play and draw. Paper Tiger looks pretty sweet. And the novelty of the experience made my ensuing loss much more bearable.


“How are your photos always blurry. Your subjects aren’t even moving.”

BR aggro is very good. I have yet to win a match against that deck in Theros Limited, and Journey into Nyx just made it even better. Forcing minotaurs every game, once a fringe strategy from Theros, has become very viable in this strange new world. To me, at least.

Notable additions to the archetype include Bladetusk BoarRouse the Mob, and Sigiled Skink, which did a surprising amount of work for a card named ‘skink’. In game one, I was mana-flooded while my opponent slowly built up his board. Game two was a bit more close, and I held down the fort after stabilizing with a timely Gray Merchant of Asphodel. My air fleet slowly assembled over the next few turns. But a fully Strive’d Rouse the Mob was enough to trample past my last few points of life.


Me, right after getting 0-2’d in five minutes.

There are a few takeaway lessons. Do your homework and learn the new bounce, removal, and mid-combat “holy shit did I just get 4 for 1’d” tricks that come with new formats. From what I saw, Journey into Nyx did a good job of balancing out the distribution of Limited decks. Fast aggro strategies are as explosive as ever. But a lot more games are going to seven plus mana, making cards like Quarry Colossus, which would probably be pretty mediocre in THS-THS-THS, relevant curve toppers. And as always, practice makes perfect. Although it will probably be around the time of next rotation before I nail this format down.


A minor speed lump on the road to Magic fame.

Bonus: after that draft, I spent the rest of the night teaching Magic to some friends.


“I play my minotaur in defense position!”

Tony is the Hipsters’ resident scrub. He mostly writes about Limited and spends way too much money drafting. Find him @holophr

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.