JOU: Evaluations

This is an initial set of evaluations of the cards in Journey into Nyx. Here’re what my various evaluations mean:

  • Bomb (B): Will usually win the game if not dealt with and also difficult to deal with or play around, e.g., large flyers or mass removal.
  • Exceptional (+): A superior card that will turn the tide in your favor, e.g., most unconditional removal that isn’t overcosted or a 3/3 flyer for 4 mana.
  • Good (/): The bread and butter of most decks, e.g., a 2/2 flyer or a vanilla 3/3 for 3 mana.
  • Situational/Filler (~): Good in the right deck, filler in most others, e.g., a vanilla 2/1 in a deck that is not particularly aggressive.
  • Sideboard (S): Useful to have in your sideboard, but not usually playable maindeck, e.g., artifact/enchantment destruction or color hosers that aren’t good if you’re not playing against those colors.
  • Unplayable (x): Should not be played except in the right deck or under exceptional circumstances, e.g., a vanilla 1/1 for 1 mana. Some unplayable creatures can be sided in against the right deck, e.g., a vanilla 1/3 for 3 mana might still be sided in against an aggressive deck.
  • TBD (?): Requires more analysis or more experience with the format to evaluate, e.g., a card that depends on how many playable enchantments there are in the format.

The spreadsheet also has explanations for many of my evaluations. Here are some evaluations that are worth noting:

  • Akroan Mastiff (+), Pin to the Earth (/): can neutralize bestowed/monstrous creatures
  • Skybind (+): especially good in W/B due to enter-the-battlefield effects
  • Aerial Formation (/): good in W/U heroic
  • Battlefield Thaumaturge (+): W/U uses more bestow than instants & sorceries, but this makes the common strive spells that cost C+N(2C) cost just CC for 2 creatures
  • Crystalline Nautilus (/), Kiora’s Dismissal (/), Riptide Chimera (+), Triton Cavalry (?): potentially powerful in the enchantment reuse deck
  • Daring Thief (+), King Macar the Gold-Cursed (B): U/B has multiple ways to get these through
  • Sage of Hours (x): 1/1 for 2 mana whose “ultimate” won’t usually win you the game; you’re better off using your targeting effects on better creatures
  • Whitewater Naiads (+): defends well while enabling another creature to get through
  • Dreadbringer Lampads (x): B/X already has a glut of good 5cc spells
  • Feast of Dreams (/): can bestow an opponent’s creature if necessary and then use this
  • Nightmarish End (x): too likely to just give -1/-1 or -2/-2 (or have no effect at all)
  • Flurry of Horns (~): Minotaurs is not a viable archetype now that only 1 pack of Kragma Warcallers is available, and that is the last pack to be drafted
  • Lightning Diadem (~): 2 dmg often won’t be relevant that late in the game, so you’re paying 5R instead of RR for Giant Strength
  • Rollick of Abandon (/): potentially good in B/R Minotaurs or U/R spells since most of the creatures in those decks are X/3
  • Renowned Weaver (/): one of the few ways to trigger Constellation at instant speed
  • Satyr Grovedancer (/): especially good in G/U skies since it can pump a flyer and chump later
  • Solidarity of Heroes (~): potentially good in G/W heroic since it triggers heroic before doubling the number of counters
  • Spirespine (/): the disadvantage is irrelevant if bestowed, but the decreased flexibility means this is usually worse than Nyxborn Wolf (which also makes Raised by Wolves better)
  • Athreos God of Passage (x): B/W control doesn’t put much pressure on opponents, so they can usually afford the 3 life; also not a particularly good finisher
  • Pharika God of Affliction (~): the B/G graveyard deck doesn’t want to remove creatures from its graveyard, but this may have a place in B/G control
  • Chariot of Victory (~): first strike is really good with deathtouch, so this may have potential in B/G
  • Gold-Forged Sentinel (/): worse than Horizon Scholar, which already isn’t a particularly high pick in this format
  • Hall of Triumph (/): much worse than Spear of Heliod

And here are the cards that need additional analysis to evaluate:

  • Ritual of the Returned, Kruphix’s Insight, Strength from the Fallen: depends on strength of B/G graveyard, which also received Reviving Melody (~) and Nyx Weaver (/)
  • Thassa’s Devourer: depends on #/quality of mill cards
  • Triton Cavalry: depends on #/quality of enchantments/heroic triggers
  • Triton Shorestalker: depends on how aggressive the format is
  • Master of the Feast: depends on how many ways each color has to deal with a 5/5 flyer
  • Knowledge and Power: depends on #/quality of spells with scry
  • Pheres-Band Warchief: depends on #/quality of Centaurs

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