Let me first of all say…I have placed this set through the ringer! Check out my review…
I unfortunately found myself bored, and at Wal-Mart, and so I unfortunately bought this there, which was money that unfortunately could have gone to a real comic book/ card shop, but instead unfortunately fed the beast and unfortunately has me confessing here on the SpartanNerd blog. Do as I say…not as I do. By yours at a specialty store…a place where you can actually play Magic the Gathering!
Enough of that…
The box is exactly the same as we saw with the last two Duel decks…Zendikar vs. Eldrazi and Blessed vs. Cursed. A foil treatment, with pictures and propaganda on the back. The pictures showcase some of the alternate-art cards, especially for long-time collectors who would be aware.
The front showcases the two planeswalker cards, Nissa and Ob Nixilis, with new art and foil treatment.
Here’s what’s in the box. Two decks…one for each planeswalker…the decks are wrapped in “cigarette wrapping”. You get two life counter dice, and a poster-instruction-decklist insert, and a general guide to playing MTG. (I just throw that away.) You also get two deck boxes that can’t hold the cards in sleeves, nor can they hold the unsleeved deck and tokens.
As big a fan as I am of Ob Nixilis, and playing black, this is the first copy of “reignited” that I own. This art is SO MUCH BETTER than the regular art from Battle for Zendikar, which I have come to call “Ob Smiley.” In Standard, this card is a big piece in black control decks, which vary from Esper or Grixis Dragons, to Super-Friends planeswalkers, to even finding use in Green Black aristocrats. (One of my favorite decks.)
He isn’t better than “Flip Liliana” though.
I also haven’t owned a copy of Nissa, Voice of Zendikar. I also prefer this art to the conventional card art. This one has a bit more action to it.
Next, pics of the posters, with the all-important deck lists! (I won’t be picturing the cards as intensely as I have in the past…in the interest of conserving memory on this blog.)
First, Nissa’s deck, with five rares on top. The land is the green Hideaway Land. When you control a creatures with ten or greater power total, you get to cast the card exiled under it sans timing restrictions…FUN! The three creatures are each really big threats, and Abundance helps you get card draw. (Just don’t forget the trigger….)
You also get these special lands. Sighfigant is Treetop Village, a “man land.”
This deck, as well as Ob Nixilis’s deck has about two copies of each card, making these decks play really smoothly!
Ob Nixilis’ rares…
Good old “Double D!” Desecration Demon is back, and is a great early game bomb to keep it fun for Nissa’s deck…But I’m getting ahead of myself. I will be upgrading to my foil Double D. And I will likely swap Pestilence Demon with the misprinted one I got in the “Sworn to Darkness” Commander deck. That misprint makes it appear as though the mist, smoke, or fog surrounding the figure is painted over the rules text. Despoiler of Souls makes it easy to keep a threat or at least something to sacrifice on the game board. Priest of the Blood Rite…I loaded up on these when it came out in Origins. It hasn’t made a splash at all anywhere, really. Finally, Indulgent Tormenter. Offer your opponent choices in how you will beat them!
Here are the black tokens. There were green ones too, but somehow the photo eludes me. Significantly, the green ones feature 0/1 plant creatures for Nissa, and a 4/4 elemental as well. Ob Nixilis tokens importantly include his emblem.
And a land I never owned…Leechridden Swamp. You can build a strategy around this card…It can be fetched with a fetch land. A lot of good things going on here. These are my first two copies of this card. I might pick up another one to add to Liliana, Heretical Healer’s homemade Commander deck!
PLAYING THE DUEL DECKS
I have played these two decks over and over in different situations. And I have found them terrifically balanced against each other. The Wizards have given us an Elf deck and a Demon deck before. These decks feel nothing like those two as far as flavor is concerned. Nixilis’ deck isn’t really a demon deck…it happens to have a couple of big flying bombs. What you generally do is play chump creatures early and then drop one of these bombs. Pestilence Demon is likely the most powerful card in the deck….if you are willing to pay the life to kill off Nissa’s stuff.
Nissa’s deck does about the same thing. It ramps from small creatures to large. Being green, the large creatures just happen to work very well.
Getting either planeswalker on the field can mean GG! Nissan makes a terrific finisher, believe it or not. Ob Nixilis is a removal spell, basically, and a discard outlet. And this deck can get cards back out of the graveyard and into your hand or on the battlefield.
Basically, Nixilis deck represents all that black can do, and Nissa’s highlights what green can do. The decks operate the same…ramp from small to big. And then play Magic.
Ob Nixilis has the most wins, by the way.
I can only give Nissa vs Ob Nixilis a 5/5. The only thing I can mark off for is the deck box. I wish the wizards would fix that problem?
Why these two planeswalkers is the second question. We need a Liliana of the Veil and Jace, Telepath Unbound reprint! Nissan and Ob are great enemies, and important to the Battle for Zendikar block story, (odd because now we are in Shadows Over Innistrad block.)
But they gave us a great product, if a little late and different.
So I offer up a 5/5 on Magic the Gathering Duel Decks Nissa vs. Ob Nixilis. Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments!