Every spoiler season there are a handful of cards I’m excited to play with. When I first saw Crux of Fate, for example, I was excited by the prospect of a sweeper that allowed you to forgo white and play UB Control. When I saw the Origins spoiler for Languish, my interest was piqued in a similar manner; I like playing control strategies and a four mana sweeper, even a conditional one, appeals to me. However, seldom is there a spoiler for a card that I feel was made specifically with me in mind. I can’t remember the last time it happened.

Then last Tuesday I got a text with a picture of Starfield of Nyx and the caption, “Is this real life?”



So let’s break this beauty down shall we?

  • “At the beginning of your upkeep, you may return target enchantment card from your graveyard to the battlefield.”
    To make the most of this, we want a deck full of enchantments, preferably with a way to get them in the graveyard. The first thing that came to mind is to have lots of Oblivion Ring/Detention Sphere effects with a way to sacrifice them to permanently exile the permanent they are targeting. In my Hanna, Ships Navigator EDH deck, I play a Claws of Gix (with a Tolaria West/Trinket Mage package to retrieve it) in order to stack the “leaves play” trigger above the “comes into play” trigger and then recur the enchantment with Hanna/Replenish the following turn.
    While this is cute, I don’t imagine people will be clamoring to jam Claws of Gix into their Modern decks. Aside from novel EDH interactions, I see this card being the engine of a deck that has a critical mass of enchantments and a way to get them in the graveyard. In Standard, the first thing that came to mind is a GWB Constellation deck with Satyr Wayfinder  to fill up your graveyard. Something like this:

Starfield Constellation

LANDS (23)
Llanowar Wastes
Temple of Malady
Windswept Heath
Sandsteppe Citadel
Temple of Silence
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

Eidolon of Blossoms
Satyr Wayfinder
Courser of Kruphix
Sylvan Caryatid
Doomwake Giant
Tasigur, the Golden Fang
Sidisi, Undead Vizier
Den Protector

Hero’s Downfall
Murderous Cut

Banishing Light
Starfield of Nyx
Whip of Erebos

I took the shell of a GB constellation deck and shaved down some of the instant speed removal and higher end threats for Banishing Light and Starfield of Nyx. While this deck had inevitability before in Whip of Erebos, Starfield of Nyx fulfills a similar role while not making you pay mana to recur a threat every turn. Though Starfield doesn’t return Hornet Queen to play or pad your life total via lifelink, it does allow you keep the constellation chain of card advantage going and threaten to end the game when you have several enchantments in play. I’m already daydreaming of 4/4 Eidolon of Blossoms crashing into my opponent. I’m tempted to try to fit some of the Born of the Gods Fonts in this deck (Font of Fertility/Font of Return) as they interact favorably with Starfield but I don’t think they quite make the cut.

This seems a good a place as any to discuss the second line of text on Starfield of Nyx.

  • “As long as you control five or more enchantments, each other non-Aura enchantment is you control is a creature in addition to its other types and has base power and base toughness equal to its converted mana cost.” This line of text simultaneously makes the card a powerful finisher and vulnerable to creature based removal which it  wouldn’t be otherwise. Consider Starfield of Nyx in Travis Woo’s mono white enchantment based deck in Modern:

Starfield Prison

Land (24)
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
21 Plains

Other Spells (33)
Banishing Light
Ghostly Prison
leyline of Sanctity
Oblivion Ring
Porphyry Nodes
Rest in Peace
Runed Halo
Sigil of the Empty Throne
Sphere of Safety
Starfield of Nyx
Suppression Field

Instants and Sorc. (3)
Idyllic Tutor

The good news is that Starfield can recur threats your opponent was actually able to deal with and that you can slam it at some point in the midgame and just overrun your opponent with enchantment creatures. The bad news is that Starfield opens your enchantments up to Terminate, Path to Exile, Murderous Cut, Lightning Bolt, Dismember, and worst of all, Supreme Verdict and Damnation. While I don’t like turning on otherwise dead removal, I think that Starfield is too powerful not to run, though it is possible that you don’t want the full set in the main deck.

Before I wrap up it’s also worth noting that like Opalescence, Starfield of Nix is a bit of rules nightmare due to layering effects. If you’re playing Starfield alongside some of the Theros gods for example, it can be pretty confusing. I’m just going to quote Gavin Verhey from his article “Sky Full of Stars”: “One thing to keep in mind is that Gods are special. Well, they’re special anyway, but when it comes to playing them in conjunction with Starfield, it all comes down to which was on the battlefield first. If Athreos was already on the battlefield when Starfield is cast … when Starfield activates, Athreos automatically becomes a 3/3 creature no matter how many white and / or black mana symbols you have on the field! But if you cast Athreos from your hand (or use Starfield to return him from your graveyard) while a Starfield is on the battlefield, the “is not a creature” wording takes precedence over Starfield’s “is a creature.”

Isn’t layering fun? After years of playing Humility I still find myself needing to google the endless questions on layering almost every time I play it. I really need a judge on speed dial.

Feel free to post any Starfield of Nyx brews or interactions I missed. This card is awesome.

At age 15, while standing in a record store with his high school bandmates, Shawn Massak made the uncool decision to spend the last of his money on a 7th edition starter deck (the one with foil Thorn Elemental). Since that fateful day 11 years ago, Shawn has decorated rooms of his apartment with MTG posters, cosplayed as Jace, the Mindsculptor, and competes with LSV for the record of most islands played (lifetime). When he’s not playing Magic, Shawn works as a job coach for people with disabilities and plays guitar in an indie-pop band.

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