Saturday, 7:26 p.m. – Journey into Nyx and Modern

Posted in Event Coverage on May 10, 2014

By Nate Price

A longtime member of the Pro Tour and Grand Prix coverage staff, Nate Price now works making beautiful words for all of you lovely people as the community manager for organized play. When not covering events, he lords over the @MagicProTour Twitter account, ruling with an iron fist.

It's rare a single set can upend an eternal format, but it's just as rare a few cards don't shuffle the expectations around. Journey into Nyx may not have shaken the core of Modern but there are a few cards standing out in a sea of options.

Whether you call it a Rule of Law or Arcane Laboratory with legs, Eidolon of Rhetoric has been flying into the hands of players from dealers. Pro Tour Born of the Gods winner Shaun McLaren expects it to stay around for awhile. "It's perfect because Storm is a little bit oppressive and difficult for decks to deal with," McLaren said earlier, "so it's nice to have a little more hate for it if Storm becomes a problem."

Stymying Storm is more than simply limiting spells cast to one each turn. David Ochoa explained how. "It's much more resilient against Storm because it counteracts bringing in Ethersworn Canonist and Lightning Bolt," he said. "It has more toughness with makes it tough to kill, and any midrange deck can play it: Birthing Pod, equipment, Gavony Township – anything that can pump it up more than 1/4."

Another card that's caught the eye of Ochoa is Eidolon of the Great Revel. Two mana for a 2/2 isn't a terrible deal, though the reason red-based Burn decks have picked it up for this weekend is simple: In Modern, here are far more cards with converted mana cost three or less than four or more. Playing multiple copies ensures that every Tarmogoyf, Snapcaster Mage, and nearly every removal spell in the format will put in work against the opponent's life total.

"Generally, it's going to be more than Lightning Bolt," Ochoa explained. "If it does more than 3 damage it's done what you're looking for."

David Ochoa is as fierce a Grand Prix warrior as Nissa Revane had ever seen.

Ochoa isn't playing Burn, but he did have an interesting experience playing against it.

"I'm playing against Burn," Ochoa began. "He wins the die roll and starts smashing my face in with Goblin Guide. I get down low on life and kill that off, then he plays two Eidolon of the Great Revels. I've got a Spellskite and Noble Hierarch in hand – but there's double Pyrostatic Pillar in play. Taking 4 damage isn't something I want to do against a Burn deck."

"I do have Gavony Township in play," he continued, "and cast Restoration Angel at end of turn. My Township starts pumping up the board so that he can't attack through as the Angel whacks in. He has to play Goblin Guide – and take 4 damage – to attack, and ended up locked under the Eidolon at 1 life. Usually it's the other way around."

Patrick Dickmann shared Keranos, God of Storms has a home in his sideboard this weekend. However it, and all the others Gods of Journey into Nyx, haven't yet been seen among the top tables. While the Gods haven't been moving from the dealers as well there is another enchantment creature that had: Eidolon of Blossoms. Sold out at multiple dealers, the implication is that is somewhere among these hundreds of remaining decks.

While commentator Randy Buehler claims to have seen the card drawing Eidolon in the wild, scouting across dozens of top tables turned up nothing. We'll be keeping a sharp eye out to find where all these Eidolons have been hidden away, and for other Journey into Nyx treasures that may yet appear.

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