David Lee is back to give you an introduction to the ManaDeprived.com spoiler for Journey into Nyx!
This turn around, we have our favourite duo Chris Lansdell & Jay Lansdaal giving you the Constructed potential of our spoiler.
Lansdell: In any other block, bouncing a ton of enchantments for a ton of blue mana would earn a giant “MEH” from me. This block, and this Standard environment, certainly lend themselves to a lot more applications than one would typically expect from a narrow [card]Boomerang[/card]. For one thing, bouncing opposing Gods is about the only way to deal with them in blue. Sure there’s [card]Curse of the Swine[/card], but Kiora’s Dismissal is an instant. That it scales for every blue mana you have is even better, especially against something like the mono-black aggro deck that is making…well I was going to say waves, but the blue decks are the ones doing that. You know what I mean. Bouncing a [card]Herald of Torment[/card], a [card]Nighthowler[/card], a [card]Spiteful Returned[/card] or the new Gnarled Scarhide can allow you to win a combat out of nowhere. And that’s before we event start talking about constellation.
Lansdaal: I don’t really see myself bouncing my own board for some constellation triggers, unless some really good ones come along. Sadly enough, I imagine the new “enchantress” (the green 2/2 that draws cards for every constellation trigger – Eidolon of Blossoms) being one of the best of them, and spending U plus whatever your enchantment costs to draw a card does not excite me.
What *does* excite me is the fact that so far, this card scales a lot better than the other Strive cards. One U per extra target on a card that costs a single U is a lot better than 2W per extra target on a card that costs one W, like Ajani’s Presence. This means that the card is very flexible, and it will be easy to get extra use out it. Can you imagine playing this in Mono Blue Devotion, and at the end of your opponent’s turn, bouncing the three [card]Detention Sphere[/card]s that were locking away a Thassa and the devotion necessary to animate it. Untap, swing for lethal? That play was available already with [card]Cyclonic Rift[/card], but that cost seven- not three.
Another scenario that could very well come up in Standard is bouncing an [card]Underworld Connections[/card] in game one versus Mono Black Devotion. It is often already costly for Mono Black to play the enchantment early against Mono Blue, and making them basically skip another turn trying to recast it…
Or how about this one: you with Mono Blue versus RG Monsters; your opponent just spent his turn casting [card]Courser of Kruphix[/card]. You don’t have a Thassa in hand (which you can also bounce in the mirror), but you do have a second two drop. Instead of wasting a mana, you can cast your [card]Frostburn Weird[/card] and bounce the 2/4, letting you attack with your other two drop.
There are plenty of scenarios in which this card proves to be very useful in Standard.
Lansdell: Ahh, young padawan. You do not see because you choose not to see. Eidolon of Blossoms is by far the most exciting constellation card revealed SO FAR, but what if there is one that deals damage? Makes tokens? Fetches lands into play? I can foresee plenty of situations where I would want to bounce my own enchantments there. An end-of-turn Dismissal for 3 or 4 mana that nets you 3 or 4 more cards, some damage, some tokens or whatever for the cost of one card seems like the kind of investment I can get behind as long as we aren’t bouncing expensive things.
I do agree with the strength of this card being the low cost to scale. That’s probably why I mentioned it already. Trust Jay to mooch off my hard work. Game-ending plays like the one he described are an excellent way to beat UWx Control, especially if they don’t see it coming with only UUU untapped and no obvious path to victory the next turn. I also see the value in using this as a tempo play against decks that tap out early for something like [card]Courser of Kruphix[/card], though Blue Devotion hardly needs help in that matchup.
Not so sure about the [card]Underworld Connections[/card] call though. I can’t see Devotion decks playing this in their main, and Connections is often shaved down against Blue Devotion from what I understand. The real strength of Kiora’s Dismissal will be in its sideboard applications. At least, in constructed it will.
Lansdaal: While I agree Kiora’s Dismissal will mostly be used as a sideboard card in constructed, what I was trying to show was that it’s possible to have it as a one or two-of in the main. Just about every major deck plays enchantments that cost a lot more to cast than this bounce spell. As for the constellation cards: I think you forget that bouncing three of your own enchantments cost UUU, which means you are in heavy blue. The best blue ability has often been card draw, and that’s already on a creature that costs 2GG. That mana base will definitely need some stars to align…
In Block Constructed, I do expect it to see a lot of play. Every current deck has some great targets, but there is still one question left unanswered: Will a good blue creature-deck pop up? Being a bounce spell means Kiora’s Dismissal is generally good when you use it as a tempo play, but if you don’t have a way to take advantage of the tempo you generate, it’s nearly worthless. Currently in Block, blue is only played in control decks: UB and Esper, to be precise.
Of course, if Thassa does get some help and becomes playable in Block, I look forward to bouncing some Bestow creatures mid-combat while eating the bestowed ones with my blockers, or bouncing a [card]Whip of Erebos[/card] to suddenly turn a race you were going to lose due to lifelink into a suicide attack from your opponent.
Do you see any uses in other formats? I don’t really see anything happen in Modern, but could it do something in the Legacy UG Enchantress deck perhaps? Perhaps there resetting some [card]Wild Growth[/card]s is actually worthwile.
Lansdell: I mean, fringe use in Modern against Zur and Bogles maybe? KYT would be the one to ask about that, he loves dumb uninteractive decks. Could it be used in combo decks to bounce hate pieces like [card]Rule of Law[/card], [card]Stony Silence[/card] and the like before going off the next turn? Most enchantments seeing play in Modern are of the sideboard variety, so if there is application that’s where I can see it.
Block Constructed is indeed where I think we’ll see the most of this, though I’m not sure a control deck can’t make use of it. There’s also the possibility that a UW Heroic deck takes form over the next few weeks, so maybe it pops up there. A solid sideboard role player with the potential to break out and do some truly lovely things? Don’t dismiss this baby too soon.
Once again, our Limited breakdown is brought to you by our video producers, Semulin and FlamingSheep!
Sheep: Semulin and I are both excited to be previewing yet another Magic card! So Sem, what do you think of Kiora’s Dismissal?
Semulin: It seems great! I can bounce all the things!
Sheep: ALL the things? I don’t know about that… I’m not even sure I’d maindeck this card.
Semulin: I would! There’s so many enchantment dudes in Theros block. Imagine bouncing them mid-combat? Let’s say my opponent attacks me with a [card]Nessian Courser[/card] that has a bestowed [card]Nimbus Naiad[/card] on it. He’s built his own dragon! EEEK! All I have to do is bounce the Naiad, block it with my [card]Shipbreaker Kraken[/card] and we get to eat the centaur! NOM NOM NOM!
Sheep: I personally find Centaur meat too gamey. Minotaur, on the other hand, is my kind of steak. Frightening mythological food preferences aside, the way I see it, [card]Voyage’s End[/card] is my benchmark for bounce-related goodness in Theros Block. When I look at Kiora’s Dismissal, I ask myself if I would want this more or less than a [card]Voyage’s End[/card]. Sure, Dismissal has a high ceiling (there is a beautiful clearing in Magical Christmas land dedicated to battles where I face an opponent with all enchantment creatures, and I basically [card]Cyclonic Rift[/card] him or her with this card). Unfortunately, this will be done for the low, low cost of UUUUUUU. That’s a pretty rough mana cost.
Semulin: What about the abuse potential with cantrips and heroic? I can bounce my own card drawy enchantments and draw more cards! What’s better than one Fate Foretold? How about two? What’s that, Mr. Rider, first name Wingstead? You would like that [card]Fate Foretold[/card] again? By all means, go nuts. What’s not to love?
Sheep: Sure, you can go deep with cantrips. But how great was [card]Floodtide Serpent[/card] + Stratus Walk? A cute trick, but not a top tier limited strategy. The other problem I foresee is the number of games where my opponent is on mono-nonenchantment beatdown (c.f. Minotaur aggro or any deck with [card]Nessian Asp[/card]). In those situations, Kiora’s Dismissal will be stranded in my hand and will likely be the card I use to scoop up my board before shuffling for game 2. Also, how miserable is it when your only target for this card is your opponent’s [card]Dragon Mantle[/card] attached to an Akroan Skyguard?
Semulin: Ok, ok, perhaps it’s not a first pick, but we do have some fringe uses. Sometimes your opponent will bestow guys on top of bestow guys. A giant bestow orgy, or bestorgy if you will. In the good old days, if you [card]Voyage’s End[/card] the recipient of the bestorgy, 3 or 4 other guys tumble out, which can be even more difficult to deal with than the original giant thing! With Dismissal, we can bounce them all. No more orgies on my watch! Or, perhaps I bounce my own enchantment when my opponent tries to destroy it. There is plenty of enchantment removal in this set, so I could save my Nyxborn Trition and bounce my opponent’s [card]Fate Unraveler[/card], burning only one card and allowing me a future bestow with the Triton. It does also give blue a way to deal with enchantments, which we’ve been lacking before now. So if I have to, I can bounce your Erebos and counter him on the way back down.
Sheep: No! Not my Erebos! Poor, innocent Erebos… he never hurt anyone (but myself when I draw cards, and jerks who play with Sphinx’s Rev). He deserved a better end than being dismissed by Kiora!
Semulin: So I think the final word on Kiora’s Dismissal is that I’m not going to pick this highly. I’m occasionally going to get blown out by it, and start to think it’s good, but I’ll never know how many times my opponents died with this in their hands.
Sheep: I’m guessing the number is somewhere in the neighborhood of “a lot.”
Semulin: Final verdict: Needs more cats.