SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review….Magic Origins “Take to the Sky” Intro Deck

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I thought the “Demonic Deals” deck was pretty terrific, for an intro deck.  Today I had the hankering to get some new cards, and almost purchased two booster packs, when I saw that it was only a “tiny bit more” to get an intro deck, (which comes with two boosters.)  So is this deck as good as its swampy cousin?  Keep on reading!

“Take to the Skies” comes in this box.  You can see the special foil art of Alhammeret, High Arbiter on the front.  Sorry, I neglected to photograph the back!  (Forgive me!)

Opening the package, you get this.

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Really not any different than the other deck, or any of the intro decks I have reviewed.  I’m tossing the papers, but just so you know in case you haven’t read my reviews, the white one is really just propaganda, (pictured below.)  The back of the white one does have the decklist and some light instructions to running the deck.  The Rules Reference Card is a quick guide for new players.  This product is designed especially for new players, so this is essential for that purpose.  Magic is quite a complicated game.  (The world’s most complex game, it is said.)

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Quite notable, War Oracle is mentioned here.  A card I hadn’t noticed before.  It has Renown.  So it’s not in this deck.  (There is another intro deck designed to feature that mechanic.)

The way you are told to play this deck is “play flyers early.”  This is a flying aggro deck.  Not a control deck.  (What white and blue normally is.)

What’s In this deck?

The top two cards are both rare.  I noticed this about the “Demonic Deals” intro deck.  This time, we get “Alhammeret”, and also Soulblade Djinn.

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Soulblade Djinn…an incredible card that gives all of your creatures Prowess.

Nice flavor text too.  Did you know that a Djinn is basically a Genie?

Next the common and uncommon creatures.

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I’ll admit, when I revealed these for the first time, I did a major EYE ROLL when I saw Yoked Ox.  This is supposed to be a deck based on flyers, right?  And really, there should be four copies of Faerie Miscreants instead of three.  The starfish is nice.  Watercourse…Isn’t that card only for draft?  You get a couple of big blockers, and NOW WE’RE TALKING, Thunderclap Wyvern.  I never really appreciated the Totemguide Hartebeest before, but he serves a pretty good function as we’ll see, and last is the Aven Battle Priest, a flying white weenie.

Nothing very notable about the lands.

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I remember my early days of playing Magic.  We had “Terramorphic Expanse.”  And we argued about it.  WHY?   We were so puzzled.  Now, several years later I get it and laugh about those good old days.  The lands here are pretty good.  But I think instead of relying on the starfish, we might rather play “Temple of Epiphany” to get to scry.  Maybe I’m wrong.  This IS an aggro deck.  (The starfish IS a sizable blocker, and scrying is really just icing on his fishy cake.)

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And finally the non-creature non-land cards.  What really makes this deck work sin’t any of this stuff.  It’s nice to draw a card with Stratus Walk and Hydrolash.  It’s nice to gain life with Healing Hands.  The main function of these cards is to control your opponents creatures.  These aren’t the best…I mean Suppression Bonds may as well be pacifism and cost less.  Turn to Frog is maybe an unexpected ability.  A single copy of Negate?  You COULD negate the one planeswalker in your new-player opponent’s deck.  Or it could be useless because everyone at that level seems to want to play creatures.

Playing the deck.

I heeded the advice of the poster guide.  I mulligan each time I didn’t have a cartable flyer.  Which means maligning quite a bit.  Your only early game flyer is Faerie Miscreant.  You can squeak by with he starfish and the ox.  But they can’t attack, and then you’d better hope you draw a four drop flyer.

When things go perfectly, you get out a couple of Faerie Miscreants, and then follow them up with Thunderclap Wyvern.  This allows them to swing for +1/+1.  Start pecking away and hope they don’t have a sweeper.

And all around, the deck works pretty good!  You need the Totemguide Hartebeest to get out Claustrophobia and Suppression Bonds.  I learned quickly not to put Stratus Walk on the Hartebeest.  Then he can only block flyers!  (A great card to put on one of your opponents flyers.  And you get to draw a card!)

I like this deck all around.

Let’s see what’s in the booster packs!  Last time, I got some pretty sweet cards to enhance my deck.

Pack One.  The one with Liliana on it.  Maybe I’ll get a foil Liliana, Heretical Healer.

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The commons.  You could use Celestial Flare or Stratus walk.  The Ringwarden Owl isn’t very good, so AVOID.  Artificers Epiphany wouldn’t be too good in this deck because there are NO ARTIFACTS.

The other cards aren’t in the right colors…

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The uncommons.  We get another Sigiled Starfish.

What rare?

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Herald of the Pantheon.  A pretty good card in a Constellation Deck.  But not Take to the Skys.  The only Liliana I got to have was the tip card.  Sadness!

Pack Two.  With Jace on the front.  Maybe I’ll get a Jace.

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Basically the only thing I see here is Mighty Leap.  An good combat trick.  I suppose you could try Bone to Ash.  But that is a might expensive counter.  It’s good to draw cards, though, so…..

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The uncommons.  Looky here….War Oracle.  The card suggested to improve the intro deck!  If you survive long enough, ou can get the Jaydemae Tome to work for you.

What rares?

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WRONG COLOR.  And the only Jace in this deck is the one of the tip card, once again.

That rare….

If I was a new player, and opened this pack, I would want to play it.

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In order to get this card in play, you’d better get lot’s of green sources.  I’d suggest adding it to a commander deck.  Cards like this get cast in EDH all the time.  But a new player might not EVEN KNOW about EDH.

SpartanNerd rating of “Take to the Sky”

I rate this deck a 3/5.  It does OK.  It can definitely be improved.  But not with the cards that came in the intro pack.

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