Spoiler Spotlight: Ob Nixilis, Live and Unshackled

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I've mentioned Ob Nixilis, Unshackled before, but I'm not going to stop just because the editorial staff at QS keeps begging me to.

"Jason," they say, "what more could there possibly be to say about this card?"

Well, I will tell you.

Let's start with a sample decklist for EDH.

General - Maralen of the Mornsong


1 Ad Nauseam

1 Sickening Dreams

1 Glacial Chasm

96 Leechridden Swamp


Boom. That's an actual deck. You win games with this deck.

How is this for a slice of fried gold?

General - Maralen of the Mornsong


1 Ad Nauseam

1 Sickening Dreams

1 Ob Nixilis, Unshackled

1 Glacial Chasm

95 Leechridden Swamp

This deck is clearly superior.

You don't even have to run a douchebaggy version of Maralen to benefit from Ob Nixilis providing them with the unflattering choice of "either lose 3 life and don't draw or Pay 13 life and sac a dude to get a card" each turn. That's durty. A Maralen deck with fewer swamps and more nasty cards like Polluted Bonds and Subversion is sure to mess people up.

What does his ability imply? A reprint of fetchlands coming soon? I wouldn't count on it, especially given the language Aaron Forsythe used on his Brainstorm Brewery appearance, but it may imply other sorts of fetching in Khans of Tarkir. This ability in the context of the current blocks is suspicious and it will get people thinking about what the future will hold.

This is a $4 preorder on Star City which implies that the foils should start around $10 if people are short-sighted. If you can get the foils for roughly twice the non-foil price before a foil price is established, you're lucky and I would do it. These aren't exactly foil Griselbrands given their lack of applicability in Legacy and probably Modern, but this is a big, sexy demon, and big, sexy demons go in EDH decks making the foils a commodity. I'd have liked to see this cycle of legendary creatures at mythic from a finance standpoint, but what can you do? Them's the breaks.

The real question is whether Ob is good enough for Modern. It's good combined with Ghost Quarter and Path to Exile. Is there perhaps a junk deck ready for him? Lotus Cobra can go a long way toward ramping him out quickly, but cobra wasn't surviving all that often. The Gifts Ungiven reanimator lists were running cards like Haakon, Stromgald Scourge and Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite which seem like solid choices. Is there room for Ob Nixilis in the 75 of a deck like this? Is it better than what we have?

Effects that prevent opponents from doing things are historically good when attached to creatures. Aven Mindcenser hit $12 as an uncommon while Mindlock Orb was a bulk rare. Is Ob a Mindcenser or and orb? Orb Nixilis? Only time will tell. All I know is that Kaalia of the Vast wants this, Maralen of the Mornsong wants it, and people who want to crack fetches, get their land from Path to Exile, Ghost Quarter or Expedition Map don't want this and, to quote Jason Lee in Dogma, "I'm a %&^(ing DEMON" and that has to count for something.

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