Saturday, April 26, 2014

Journey Into Nyx: the Font Cycle

One of my favorite things to see in a new set is a cycle at Common that ties into the theme of the set. Journey Into Nyx actually has two such cycles: one, a cycle of one mana Instants that utilize the new Strive mechanic; and two, a cycle of Enchantments that mimic the effect of earlier spells at Common. Today I want to talk about the latter.

So here they are, in all their glory:

This cycle is a clever bit of design, although the Green one doesn't fit in perfectly. Most obviously, these are all 2 mana Enchantments with a sacrifice ability and an additional mana cost. They each also mimic a spell that has become a staple in their respective colors: Angel's Mercy, Divination, March of the Returned, Lava Axe, and Rampant Growth. Interestingly enough, the activated cost is one mana cheaper than the aforementioned spell, with the exception of both the Green and the Black, which have the same cost. It is also worth keeping in mind that all of these can be activated at Instant speed, whereas before these effects (with the exception of Angel's Mercy) were all Sorcery speed.

Unfortunately, only two of these effects typically see play. Font of Return seems playable, albeit expensive, if for no other reason than the potential for a three-for-one. But Font of Fortunes is arguably better, in that it doesn't require any particular game state to be good. Drawing cards is typically good - and drawing them at Instant speed is quite good. The only downside is the preponderance of Enchantment-hate in the format right now, requiring you to keep the activation mana up at all times if you don't want to lose the opportunity.

I wrote about the other cycles in my upcoming Standard Pauper Review of Journey Into Nyx, which will be available this coming Monday. Be sure to check it out! And thanks for reading.

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