This entry is part 8 of 12 in the series Let's Kill

 Today’s article comes from two points of inspiration: the new M15 spoliers that were released yesterday June 23 and a recent game in which I was blown out by a blitzing Ob nixilis, the fallen at my local gaming store.

The original Ob Nixilis came out in Zendikar and saw a splash of casual and FNM play. I never really ran into it much, but it seemed OK. I’m not a huge fan of loading all my fun into one demonic easter egg basket, and that’s how I viewed Ob Nixilis.

Last Friday after the FNM draft had ended I got plucked into a five man EDH game before the shop closed. There were 4 modest decks and on the far end of the table, playing without a playmat, Ob Nixilis. “This is my first EDH deck ever” the guy said as he proudly showed us Ob in a clear hard case. When I was shuffling up with my Prossh, Skyraider of Kher I basically counted Ob out of the mental threat assessment pool in my mind.

Ob Nixilis wins the die roll and leads off with sol ring into another generic colorless mana artifact. The turn goes around, then he poops out a darksteel ingot and a Lightning Greaves. On turn three he throws down Ob Nixilis and puts on the shoes and attacks.

Crucible of Worlds

The following turns are capitalized with fetchlands, crucible of worlds, and terrain generator. He’s sucking away 6 life a turn from people, bashing in with Ob, and laughing his ass off.

We thought we could so something about it, but the pacing of the game favored Ob Nixilis. Before Ob came into play a Prophet of Kruphix was answered with removal, same with a turn two Grenzo, Dungeon Warden. So when Ob came out there was no removal and he was able to safely make it underneath the Lightning Greaves and begin his gameplan.

This is cute, and it was effective: Ob went on to win the game after playing Sheoldred, Whispering one to clear out blockers and capitalize. Later in the game he was able to use whispersilk cloak and fireshriekerto close out the game.

But the real beast, the Ob Nixilis we should all be fearing, is the new one that was spoiled. Meet Ob Nixilis, Unshackled:

He won’t start out big, but he can become huge if creatures start dying. If your opponents search while he’s on board they are going to pay a huge price and feed Ob Nixilis. What I like most about Ob Nixilis is that he can become powerful, but your opponents get a choice as to how powerful he becomes and how often they play into his anti-search ability. This makes him seem fair to me.

Yet at the same time you can play spells that can feed Ob Nixilis into becoming a player killing machine. You can craft your mana base to make mutilate effective in killing of early game creatures and growing your Ob Nixilis. Drown in sorrow and the worse infest do a similar job. Toxic Deluge will have your Ob Nixilis growing like a Chia pet.

                                 

This card reminds me a lot of Ruric Thar, the unbowed. Ruric can be incredibly powerful if positioned in the correct metagame and I think the Unshackled will have a similar life in EDH. But I think that the Unshackled with tend to be more powerful because his passive abilities cover more territory than Ruric Thar’s.

The Unshackled can also get ludicrously huge to the point where he could easily 1 shot an opponent. He’s like blood tyrant in that he grows over time and his flying and trample make it near impossible for your opponents to effectively block him. Don’t forget that his black gives him access to the Grave Pact family of cards which can give him more options to grow and control the board.

Naysayers might point towards the Unshackled’s moderately high CMC cost and say that a few removal spells puts Ob Nixilis out of range of being recast, but that’s not really true. There are so many ways that black can make mana from artifacts and lands like cabal coffers and Nykthos, shrine to nyx that recasting Ob Nixilis shouldn’t be a problem.

Whether Ob Nixilis is battling it out as your commander or as a part of the 99 I think this card will see heavy play, especially in metagames that lean towards being more competitive.

Let’s discuss the future of the “Let’s Kill” series here on commandercast.com. I plan to keep contributing to the site and I want to make the “Let’s Kill” Series better.  What do you want? What can I do to improve the quality of this series? What graphically do you want in the articles? I am trying to strive to making better content each season.

Even though most of commandercast will be on break over the next few weeks I plan to keep on running Let’s Kill over break and perhaps write some articles on the already out/upcoming M15 spoilers. See you next time! Contact info available below.

hayesthehayes@gmail.com

@hayesthehayes

 

 

 

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