Insider: The Gods Must Be Crazy III

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(Journey Into Nyx Edition)



After weeks of waiting, lots of thought being put into just what we will see. We now have our new Gods! Unlike some, I'm not sure what prayers have been answered. At the beginning of this block, I was sure that the Gods would break open this format from head to toe. It felt like the flavor, abilities, attributes and just the fact that they are all inde-freaking-structible would have a huge bearing on where this format could and would go. I'm not so sure this hasn't come true.


Looking over the New Gods, I just keep coming back to Wizards design policy. One that I feel warrants repeating here. Now keep in mind this is one man's feel of a situation, but I can't help but appreciate Wizards of the Coast's constant awareness of "Once it's out there, you can't put it back." This goes back to not only the new cards being released, but also the amount, the power, the new mechanics, etc. etc. I will backpedal slightly, though: It's still obvious Wizards doesn't test everything, but there's a general, solid sense of the fact. Pandora's Box is truly a scary thing, and once it's opened......




1) Kruphix, God of Horizons

Kruphix highlights the changes that have become inherent in the New Age. More cards are popping up with multi-format usage. This is one of the purest examples of a Commander All-Star that I have seen in a while. While the card itself may not see much fluctuation or play in Standard, I envision the popularity of Commander alone will drive this card's price, especially Foil.

While I am on this, if you haven't already notice the disparity between Foil & Non-Foils, I suggest you take a long hard look. Commander is doing nothing but gaining momentum and it effects Foils & Non-Foils that many would have ignored before. It's here to stay and is effecting more and more singles, design philosophy, and pricing.

Kruphix, God of Horizons' future (3 Months) stable value is estimated at $7.00.


2) Keranos, God of Storms

I went over Keranos in depth last week, but some of my thoughts there deserve reiterating. Out of all of the Gods revealed - Keranos is truly the only one that will stand on it's own. Keranos would love to be a creature, but the two abilities he has can just take over. Who cares if he ever activates? He feels very close to a Planeswalker in power, and I'm unsure if the mana cost is actually not high enough. Obviously play and testing will truly decide his fate, but I think at this moment his late game applications are just way too potent. This will still limit the number of copies that will be played per control deck, but I'm just not sure the price point he's currently floating at, $15, is anywhere near his ceiling. $25-$30 in the mid, $15 in the long feels more correct. There are 2.5 Gods that I feel will really impact Standard. Keranos, God of Storms is one of them.

Keranos' future stable value is estimated at $20.00.

3) Iroas, God of Victory

Inherently, all of the Red or Green base Gods get a shot in the Standard realm because of Burning-Tree Emissary. Burning-Tree's ability to power up the Gods cannot be overlooked. Just like Nightveil Specter. On the other hand, I believe Iroas' abilities are an uncertain mixture. You want to play him with Boros Reckoner - yet, half of what Reckoner does is the ability to wipe out the other team. Testing and tournament results will really determine how much impact he has on Standard, but in older formats he just doesn't seem to be good enough. Possible Foil implication in Commander, but don't expect too much.

Iroas, God of Victory's future stable value is estimated in the mid $9.00 range.

[cardimage cardname ='Burning-Tree Emissary'] [cardimage cardname ='Nightveil Specter']


4) Pharika, God of Affliction

Now, we come to the interesting parts of the Journey Into Nyx Gods. Pharika's ability is primarily a sideboard effect, in and of itself. There's potential for the 1/1 snakes to be important against an aggressively offensive deck. This will take having contribution to G/B that I just don't see in Standard. The targets are there, but with only 4-5 month's to take advantage - they should have already been targeted, so that quick movement is capable in the upcoming weeks. There's been a number of heavy black creature based decks in Modern, that have been performing at a Tier 2 status. I'm not sure if this is the card to truly push it over the edge, but possible targets such as Bloodghast, Geralf's Messenger, & [/card]Phyrexian Obliterator[/card] have benefited from Pharika being printed. Black creatures will continue to be popular, and the ability to effect actively a strategy that G/B has tools against, but are singular in purpose - will push G/B to hit harder and faster. I feel like Pharika is one of the afforementioned 2.5 Gods that will have great effect.

Pharika, God of Affliction's future stable value is estimated in the mid $8.00 range.

[cardimage cardname ='Bloodghast'] [cardimage cardname ='Geralf's Messenger'][cardimage cardname ='Phyrexian Obliterator']



5) Athreos, God of Passage

Again, one of the Gods that does care about the board state at hand. On this hand though, he protects you from over committing to it. On the other, he punishes your opponent if they DO attempt to wipe the board. The crux is that window it takes to redeploy. That makes all the difference! The inherent problem with committing so much to the board, is that most decks do this in the form of creatures. Permanents of other types just don't come up as often. For whatever reason, even with a plethora of good colored artifacts, non-creature enchantments, or planeswalkers, we just haven't gotten the right combination of cards to really want to care about activating a God outside of creatures. This leads me to feel that sweepers, although common now - won't be in upcoming months. Many of them are moving to 6 CMC but it's the 4 CMC that rule the format currently.

Athreos, God of Passage's future stable value is estimated in the mid $28.00 range.


In Conclusion

There does not feel like one God over another that will create a new format all itself. It feels like they are all role players that will fit snugly into that 2-3 copy range. Although Pharika and Athreos could easily break out into the backbone of an aggressive strategy in both Modern or Standard, I envision Atheros being the chase God of Journey Into Nyx. Also, the other effect that could impact all of the Gods' usage: What true usage do we get out of Bestow. Bestow lets you commit multiple late game draws to power up early game creatures, while also triggering the Gods into their creature form. We haven't yet seen all of the Journey Into Nyx spoilers, but I have a feeling Bestow itself will change how most of the Gods are looked at. Keep a close look on their value as the format changes with such a striking mechanic being so pivotal to the Gods themselves.


-Until Next Time

2 thoughts on “Insider: The Gods Must Be Crazy III

  1. That’s a horrible example, and a complete apples to oranges. The ability to subsequently kill your opponent or their creatures with 3 damage a piece, with no additional activation compliments the backbone of the UWR and how it’s built right now. Staff’s Mana cost is higher, comes on line the same turn, and deals less damage.

    UWR needs more more copies lightning bolts & lightning helix’s to power through most matchups. Have you tested the application or are you strictly speaking from at first blush perspective?

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