Bounty of the Luxa

Posted in Card Preview on April 7, 2017

By Quinn Murphy

Quinn has been fascinated with Magic ever since Revised Edition. When he is not spending time with his lovely wife and amazing son, he's constantly brewing decks for, playing, and writing about Magic.

My favorite cards in Magic are those that appear to be simply casual, but possess some special context where they become very powerful. Sometimes there is a drawback that you can manipulate to your favor. Often, there is a specific card combo or set mechanic that makes such a card relevant. A very good example of this in recent times is the Harmless Offering and its best pal, Demonic Pact. Harmless Offering being a red Donate doesn't do much for you in Standard, but when it could pair up with Demonic Pact, offering your opponent a game loss wasn't so harmless.

If there is a complaint I'd level at these cards with hidden power, it's that unless you find ways to unlock them, there often isn't much to draw from them in terms of flavor. It's either extract a very powerful use from the card or do little else with it.

I'm not picky; I'll even take a card with cool flavor that I can use for a theme deck of some sort.

My preview card does not skimp on flavor, and its effect has a lot of promise. It also has me speculating if there are any synergies that will allow it to create even stronger synergies and effects in Amonkhet.

The first thing that I want to say about this card is the mechanical flavor of it is off the charts. The card simulates the ebb and flow of flooding rivers and how that would benefit people living along that river. I can only assume that the Luxa is as important to the people of Amonkhet as the Nile is to the people of Egypt.

You alternate between drawing a card and getting three mana, which is a perfect blend of blue's progress and development and green's growth and fertility. Bounty of Luxa feels like a perfect green-blue enchantment from a flavor perspective . . . but how does it perform?

It's hard to complain about drawing an extra card or getting extra mana, but I could see times when not controlling when you get the effect could be problematic. Spending four mana and not getting the ramp until two turns later seems too slow. Conversely, getting a card is great, but why not get an extra card each turn?

There is potential that Bounty of the Luxa gives green-blue fans like myself that rare opportunity to deploy threats while being able to easily protect them. You can keep up your cards in hand during "low tide," and you can cast powerful threats like Tireless Tracker for "free" while keeping mana available for a Disallow. In the middle and late game, Bounty's ramp makes casting big spells like Nissa's Renewal and Part the Waterveil easy.

What I like about Bounty of the Luxa is that it becomes more powerful in multiples. Having two of this enchantment either ensures you get each effect every turn (if you cast an additional Bounty on a "low tide") or double the effects (if you cast during a "flood").

In Commander, I think I will just play this card in all decks that I can use it in. It's a card with great flavor and nice effects. You can use it as part of a "flooding" sub-theme in your deck:

In Standard, I think the only problem will be how much pressure Amonkhet brings in the early game. Taking off turn four to only draw a card the next turn might not be a thing that a competitive deck can do. If it is, I think Bounty of the Luxa will power some pretty crazy decks. I can see this enchantment backing Sultai (black-green-blue) and Bant (green-white-blue) control and midrange decks. Sultai can stall the early game with removal and countermagic until it takes over with threats, while Bant midrange will curve out to increasingly strong threats, backed up with strong tempo and card advantage cards like Tamiyo, Field Researcher and Spell Queller.

Overall, I think that Bounty of Luxa that will likely take some time to get used to, but is potentially a real powerhouse in Amonkhet Standard. Even if it doesn't take off, it is still a very evocative and flavorful card that I'm glad to see.

You can check out Bounty of Luxa for yourself, along with all the other great new cards, when Amonkhet Prereleases begin on April 22!

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