Magic The Gathering: Journey into Nyx Intro Packs Review

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It’s been a while since Ben and I had a good Magic The Gathering session, but with Journey Into Nyx intro packs to playtest we couldn’t resist.

Presented in a rather nice purple variant of the Therox packaging design, Journey Into Nyx continues the epic saga of Theros and sees your Planeswalker raising the ire of the gods by encroaching upon their domain.

Nyx is the land of dreams, visited by mortals when they sleep on Theros, and is inhabited by the gods themselves who draw upon its power to appear to mortals and bestow godly gifts upon them. It’s this same power they draw upon to crush the mortal armies invading their domain, summoning mighty enchantment creatures to go toe-to-toe with the heroes of Theros.

Now you’d be forgiven for thinking a back-story as grand as this would find its way even into humble intro-packs, but I was quite disappointing to find these decks a little thin on the ground when it came to godly shenanigans. This is perhaps because we play-tested both Mortals of Myth and The Wilds And The Deep which, if the names don’t give you a clue, represent the mere mortal side of this epic battle.

Some interesting cards were to be had, however, with a particular favourite and commonly played example being [mtg_card]Fleetfeather Cockatrice[/mtg_card] an instantly-playable, flying pain in the behind.

The Wilds And The Deep, a blue/green deck, plays into the common theme of quickly building up mana and summoning large creatures. I’ve seen this time and again with decks I’ve reviewed and it often works pretty well for me. However, this particular play test left me beat again and again and although I stuck with the deck I was completely at a loss to deploy it effectively. The Wilds And The Deep makes extremely heavy use of the Monstrosity mechanic, giving you the opportunity to pay a premium and power up your creatures into hard-hitting behemoths. Both [mtg_card]Sealock Monster[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Nessian Asp[/mtg_card] can quickly become an 8/8 or 8/9 both at 2 more mana than their original cost to play. Combine either of these with [mtg_card]Savage Surge[/mtg_card] and you’ll have a pretty epic offensive on your hands. Get stuck playing defensively, as I so often do, and you’ll be hard pushed to recover, though.

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Now, Mortals of Myth. This green/white deck feels more flexible than The Wilds And The Deep and [mtg_card]Oppressive Rays[/mtg_card] became my best friend it what proved to be a night of very defensive playing and, admittedly, consistent losses.

I suspect I need to take more advantage of the Strive ability of, for example, [mtg_card]Ajani’s Presence[/mtg_card] and empower a strong offensive with +1/+1 and indestructible but my defensive play style left. Similarly, [mtg_card]Phalanx Formation[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Colossal Heroics[/mtg_card] sport this mechanic, and could potentially have granted me the ability to strike my opponent a devastating blow with multiple double-strike creatures.

Now, I had fun with both of these decks and there are some great cards and mechanics to be explored in them, but they don’t feel grand enough to do the epic tale behind Nyx justice. I think I need to get my hands on Voracious Rage or Pantheon’s Power to get a true feel for this expansion.