Sunday, September 8, 2013

[JT] CGC: Highlight Spotlight #1: Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver

Jas gave me the idea a little bit ago of how I can stick to "CGC once a week" like I had originally intended it to be, and I loved the idea.  Basically, each week (or as close to it as I can) I will pick one or two cards and talk about it fairly briefly.  Because we are in the middle of MTG Theros spoilers, That's where these first few are going to come from (small side note:  when we are in spoiler season, I am just going to stick with cards that I can confirm have been officially spoiled by Wizards of the Coast or anyone they have given a spoiler too.  This is something that The Mana Pool does, and I really like this policy).  This week, we are talking about the newest planeswalker to join our ranks: Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver

Let's take a second and look at the glorious (and creepy) art a little closer...

Look at that, it's even posed like it wants to be in the spotlight.

It might just be because of my recent love of Esper, or it might be my burning desire to make a mill deck (it was the first type of deck I built before I fell in love with the moonfolk), but I was downright giddy for this card.  It comes down on turn 3 with basically 5 loyalty since there's no reason why you would activate it's middle ability.  This means that there are only a few scenarios where it will not survive to get at least a small creature with her middle ability to protect itself (most of these scenarios involve your opponent playing aggro/burn).

Ashiok makes me want to build a fun little deck I like to call "Esper Cast-All-Of-Your-Opponent's-Spells-So-They-Don't-Have-To", where you are also turning your opponent's cards into your own resources while you are depleting their library.  For example, Ashiok pairs really well with Nightveil Specter from Gatecrash.  I also want to add that Specter plays very well with the new Devotion mechanic... just saying.

There is another new card from Theros coming out that has the same feel as these two, but puts a new twist on these effects:  Daxos of Meletis.  The twist that he brings is that he allows you to cast the spells you exile them by paying their mana cost.  Up until this point, most of the effects like this have said "without paying its mana cost".  It's always great getting a free spell, however the "problem" (used loosely) came when the spell was an X spell.  Since you were not paying anything, X always equaled zero.  That's not so with Daxos and the newly spoiled Psychic Intrustion; he allows you actually cast the spells by paying the mana cost.  You do not get the benefit of a free spell, but you do get the benefit of, say, casting your opponent's Sphinx's Revelation.

 I'm going to give you a little bonus and give you a brief little thought about the new Scry lands (by the way, Scry might be my favorite mechanic in the game).  I am not going to tell you whether or not I think they are good or will see play, because the simple fact is I'm not sure (except super fast aggro decks...  they do NOT want these lands) and you've probably already heard a million other opinions.  I will however mention something I overheard at FNM this week that I believe is a really good way to view them: "They will make you more likely to keep a two-land opening hand."

There you go; my first entry in what I hope will be many more HL/SLs.  Let me know what you think of the new card(s) and what card that's been spoiled so far that makes YOU the most excited.  I'll see you again with the newest Theros card from the coming week that leaps out at me.

Until then, I'm shutting down this spotlight...

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