Up first – Jori En, Ruin Diver:
Jori En, Ruin Diver has got to be one of the top cards in Oath of the Gatewatch!
Jori En, Ruin Diver will likely be played in a number of different kinds of decks:
- It can be splashed in a Red Deck, giving card advantage fuel to a color that doesn’t often have it.
- It can be played in bigger format Merfolk decks (e.g. Modern), giving the little blue men legitimate reason to splash for Lightning Bolt
- It might be one of the cards that brings Grixis back to Standard in a legitimate way. Blue and red have got some good trigger cards… But one mana for Duress, Murderous Cut, or even Tasigur, the Golden Fang are all hot.
Did we say “Tasigur, the Golden Fang”? We did! Jori En, Ruin Diver can in a way be stronger on “four” mana that Bloodbraid Elf. It is similar in size but when combined with Delve, can break some rules of expectation.
Jori En, Ruin Diver’s most common play pattern will be on four mana, leaving up a mana for cards like Wild Slash or possibly Dispel to protect the Merfolk Wizard post-resolution. That means that this 2/3 can get paid off the turn it hits the battlefield (unlike a similarly-costed Scroll Thief or Ophidian). Once you’ve untapped, Jori En, Ruin Diver can net card advantage on both your turn and your opponent’s turn!
The theme of Oath of the Gatewatch almost seems like “paying players off for choosing cheap spells” … One and two mana spells tend to give players the highest returns but they really do with Jori En, Ruin Diver and the various members of the Surge squad.
Jori En, Ruin Diver doesn’t have built-in protection (no Hexproof or whatever)… But it is chock full of resilience, at least for its cost.
- Speaking of the cost, at three mana, Jori En, Ruin Diver dives right past Disdainful Stroke. (Disdainful Stroke is likely to increase in popularity due to the power of the Eldrazi in this set and block)
- Because it is gold, Jori En, Ruin Diver ignores Ultimate Price
- And because it has three toughness, it is too big for a Wild Slash (or the front half of Kozilek’s Return)!
While Jori En, Ruin Diver isn’t quite Geist of the St. Traft, it is pretty tough for a tiny ‘Tome.
On deck – Spacial Contortion:
“Spacial Contortion is basically Nameless Inversion for Eldrazi.”
Spacial Contortion is even better and more important than it looks!
(and it looks pretty good)
Mike thought Spacial Contortion would be mostly be a card for green decks, but everything from Mage-Ring Network to Haven of the Spirit Dragon can make it a tool for U/W!
Here’s the crazy thing: Because of Wastes being a basic land, Evolving Wilds, Explosive Vegetation, and the like can let you Thaw for your Spacial Contortion setup land! This might be a card that re-writes some of the rules of mana balance and deck design.
Jori En, Ruin Diver; Spacial Contortion; and tons more from Oath of the Gatewatch in this week’s episode!