June 23, 2015

A Sky Full of Stars

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Remember Nyx?

It seems like a while ago now, but it was a key place in the Theros storyline. We even took a Journey there. And now, for a brief moment, we're back!

Magic Origins focuses on the origin stories of our Planeswalkers, each represented by two different planes. And in this case, we're taking a look at the plane where the young Gideon Jura got his kicks: Theros.

And how convenient, with all of these Theros cards still in Standard.

So let's talk about something different: Opalescence.

A card that has been known to make judges quiver at its mention, Opalescence animates all of your non-Aura enchantments. You can kill opponents out of nowhere by turning a bunch of random enchantments into a completely lethal threat. You could build decks composed of mostly enchantments and still have a way to off most of your enemies.

But that was a card for Urza's Destiny, a set in one of the most broken blocks ever. That was a card for a different time. Surely we wouldn't bring that back, right?

Introducing Starfield of Nyx:

The stars are out—out to war, that is!

Let's go through this card real quick.

For a five mana enchantment that may not immediately impact the board, it needs to do something remarkable for me to consider it.

Fortunately, it does! It generates an immense amount of card advantage, returning enchantments every turn of the game and entirely skirting their costs. Normally, I'd expect it to return an enchantment from your graveyard to your hand. This puts it straight onto the battlefield! That provides such major inevitability.

But then, it's not just a card advantage spell: it's a card advantage spell and a way to turn the corner all in one! Once you hit critical mass, you can start just attacking and kill your opponent under the weight of your enchantments.

There are so many applications and fun decks for this kind of card. So, how about I dive right into some of the options for Starfield of Nyx?

Starring: Creatures

I don't know about you, but one of my first questions with this card was, "So…how does this work with enchantment creatures?"

After all, naturally it makes sense as a place to go. If you can bring back a creature every turn with the Starfield, that's going to give your major inevitability—it is a huge inevitability engine.

The answer? Starfield of Nyx's second ability overwrites the power and toughness of enchantment creatures. So, for example, Brain Maggot is now a 2/2. Ghostblade Eidolon is a 3/3 that still has double strike!

This can be a pretty big jump in many cases, turning the Starfield into not just a major force in your strategy but also as a sort of Glorious Anthem for your enchantment creatures! Awesome.

So, what about something like this?

Gavin Verhey's Enter the Abzan Starfield

The board states you can set up with a deck like this are crazy! Eidolon of Blossoms and Doomwake Giant both especially work well with Starfield of Nyx, triggering constellation over and over again. (Plus, the Eidolon is a 4/4 once you have five enchantments on the battlefield!)

Nyx Weaver is an especially great card here: it can dig you toward a Starfield, dump enchantments into your graveyard for once you do have one, and then even picks up an extra point of power once the Starfield is fully active. Perfect!

One of the great things about Starfield of Nyx is that multiples aren't redundant. It just means you can return even more enchantments each turn, and then have an additional 5/5 when it's time to start attacking! It's going to be hard for any opponent to win when under the presence of double Starfield.

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 "isn't a creature" wording takes precedence over Starfield's "is a creature."


Starring: Spells

Okay, so that was a look at a creature-focused version. Those are enchantments that naturally enter the battlefield and die. But what about a version that's a control deck? What can be done there?

Quite a bit, as it turns out.

Control is where this card might actually shine the most. Since it's a source of inevitability and a win condition all in one, it means your control deck can load up on effects it already wants to play—Banishing Light, Suspension Field, and so on—and then use that overload of enchantments to kill off your opponent when it's finally time. Many enchantments help you lock down the game, which feeds into a control deck well.

Additionally, it just generates plenty of extra mana and card advantage for you by way of reusing enchantments. As long as you can return something each turn, you are generating a huge advantage with this card.

Here's a starting point to try out:

Gavin Verhey's Starfield Control

This deck sets up a bunch of enchantments that control the game on the battlefield, and then eventually attacks your opponent to death with them. Bam!

One of the key cards in this deck is actually Monastery Siege. Letting you draw and discard every turn not only brings you closer to Starfield, but also fills up your graveyard with all kinds of tasty Starfield targets. Font of Fortunes also serves as a self-sacrificing enchantment that you can loop with Starfield, netting you two cards every turn!

This deck is a good core to start with. You may also find you want some countermagic as well. The largest hole with this deck is noncreatures, so Negate could be a good addition and potentially Dissolve as well.


Starring: Modern

Could this card have Modern applications?

Well, looking through every enchantment in Modern, a few enchantments are just out of our reach. For example, Solitary Confinement would make for an excellent card to loop with this…but then you're back in Legacy.

If you want to simply put on a show, you can always try and built a deck that enchants Doubling Season with Followed Footsteps. After five turns, you end up with over a googol 5/5 copies of Doubling Season on the battlefield! But that's a bit ridiculous.

However, what about all of those free enchantments? You know—the Leylines.


These are enchantments that enter the battlefield for free if you draw them in your opening hand. Surely that should do a pretty good job of stocking up the board so that Starfield can kill your opponent!

Here's a stab at it:

Gavin Verhey's When Leylines Attack

If you've ever wanted to kill your opponent with a bunch of Leylines in Modern, here's your chance! (Okay, you've probably never "wanted" that before. But here you go anyway!)

Abundant Growth, while it doesn't become animated by the Starfield, is there to help hit the five threshold. Often you'll start the game with two or three Leylines on the battlefield and will need a little extra to hit five.

While I wouldn't expect this to tear up Modern or anything, it's certainly a fun take on using a new card. Give Starfield of Nyx a try!


Starring: You

Magic Origins is one of the most unique sets we've ever made, featuring ten planes and five key Planeswalkers that traveled between them. As a result, there are definitely a few more "out of place" cards than you would normally find in a set that comes out this time of year…and I love it! It's an exciting time for deck building. Definitely keep your eyes glued on DailyMTG.com as previews continue!

And speaking of previews, what can you come up with using some of these new Origins cards? Show me what you have!

Format: Magic Origins Standard

Restrictions: Your deck should use at least one Magic Origins card

Deadline: Tuesday, July 30, at 6 p.m. Pacific Time.

Submit all decklists by emailing me at reconstructeddecks@gmail.com.

Decklists should be submitted with YOURNAME's DECKNAME at the top. Underneath should be one card per line, with just a leading number. For example:

12 Mountain

4 Satyr Firedancer

3 Ash Zealot

4 Lightning Bolt

…and so on. Please don't use anything but a space to separate the card numbers and names—don't write "4x Lightning Bolt," for example. Well-formatted decklists have a much better chance of being read and making it into the column. Poorly formatted decklists are more likely to be ignored. (If I can't read your decklist, I certainly can't talk about it!)

I'm excited to see what you've come up with using what Origins has to offer! Also note that you have until next Tuesday to send in decks, so if you want to take some time and see what else is previewed that inspires you, feel free—there's plenty more good stuff to come!

In the meantime, if you have any thoughts or comments on this article, please send them my way! You can always message me on Twitter or ask me a question on my Tumblr and I'll check out what you have to say.

I'll be back next week with another preview card! Until then, may you have fun attacking with enchantments.

Talk with you next week!

Gavin

@GavinVerhey

GavInsight



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