// floating card image

Friday, October 20, 2017

Set Review Commander 2014 – Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath

July 19, 2015 by  
Filed under Commander/General Ideas, Review

Leshrac and Tevesh Szat

Close but no Cigar

When the nostalgia theme of Commander 2014 was announced, I was rather excitedly speculating who the Black Planeswalker would be. Initially I had thought it would either be Leshrac the Walker of Night or Tevesh Szat, the Doom of Fools; both rather established Black related Planeswalkers who have a rich back story to them. But instead Wizards decided to print a long awaited explanation to the flavor text on an old card from Zendikar. That card is none other than the legendary Demon Ob Nixilis, the Fallen. The Black Planeswalker Commander is the origin of Ob Nixilis, depicting him before his downfall and transformation into the Demon he is now.

Ob Nixilis, the Fallen

A Belated Origins

 

Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath

Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath

Card Name: Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath

CMC: 3BB

Types: Planeswalker – Nixilis

Card Text:

+2: Each opponent loses 1 life. You gain life equal to the life lost this way.

-2: Put a 5/5 black Demon creature token with flying into the battlefield. You lose 2 life.

-8: You get an emblem with “B, Sacrifice a creature: You gain X life and draw X cards where X is the sacrificed creature’s power”

Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath can be your commander.

Loyalty: 3

Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath

Interplanar Tyrant


A little back story on Ob Nixilis, he was a warlord and tyrant who came from an unknown Plane which was locked in eternal war. Mercy is not something he had a lot of and he will readily sacrifice even his closest and trusted subordinates just to meet his objective. He ascended as Planeswalker when he discovered that he was manipulated by Demons to be the sole survivor of his war-torn world. He decided to take over other worlds with his new found powers and to that end gotten his hands on the Chain Veil. Unfortunately for him, the Chain Veil unexpectedly turned him into a Demon. He went to Zendikar in hope of using its rich mana to purge himself of the curse and restore his original form but lost his spark instead due to Zendikar’s powerful and chaotic mana. To add further injury to that humiliation, Nahiri, Zendikar’s then self-appointed protector, implanted a hedron into his forehead, further stripping him of whatever power he still possessed and imprisoning him on Zendikar where we first come to know him.

As the Black Planeswalker, Ob Nixilis is all about the dark arts. His ability reflects that a lot. Showcasing his tyrannical and merciless ways with his first plus loyalty ability, Ob Nixilis bleed each opponent with 1 life and net you life gain for all the life lost this way. This ability, although more gear towards EDH, is also good in normal variant. The fact that it doesn’t actually target an opponent, Ob Nixilis can start hit your opponents even he or she has Hexproof or Shroud. And it gets better with more opponents with the life gain which you can use for the second loyalty ability. The second loyalty ability, which is minus ability, puts a Demon token onto the battlefield for 2 life loss. The life loss can be easily gained back using the first ability. The 5/5 Flying body will be a bigger problem for your opponents. The ultimate makes you becomes a tyrant like Ob Nixilis; giving you an emblem to sacrifice Creatures gain life and draw cards equal to the sacrificed Creature’s power. This becomes an even greater advantage if the Creatures you sacrifice have LTB effects or has effects which trigger on Creature leaving the battlefield. Below are some such examples.

 

Abyssal Gatekeeper

Each player sacrifices a Creature when it dies.

Bitterheart Witch

Tutor for a Curse and attached it to target player when it dies.

Black Cat

Target opponent randomly discards a card when it dies.

Blood Artist / Falkenrath Noble

Target player loses 1 life and you gain 1 life when it or another Creature dies.

Butcher of Malakir

Each opponent sacrifices a Creature when it or another creature you control dies.

Festering Goblin / Festering Newt

Target Creature gets -1/-1 till end of turn when it dies. Newt is more special as it can only targets opponent’s Creature and gives -4/-4 instead if you control Bogbrew Witch.

Grim Haruspex

Draw a card whenever another nontoken Creature you control dies.

Ob Nixilis, Unshackled

Gets a +1/+1 counter whenever another Creature dies.

Pawn of Ulamog

Produce a 0/1 colorless Eldrazi Spawn token when it or another creature you control dies.

Soulcage Fiend

Each player loses 3 life when it dies.

Vengeful Dead

Each opponent loses 1 life when it or another Zombie dies.

 

Overall, the abilities compensate each other. The life gain from the first ability can be used for the second ability; while the second ability provides a Creature for the ultimate with to sacrifice (gain 5 life and draw 5 cards); allowing him to operate even alone on the battlefield.

Ob Nixilis, Unshackled

“Working the best with myself.”

 

As a Commander or As a Planeswalker

Choosing Ob Nixilis as the Commander would naturally means that your deck will be mono Black, it is not much of a problem since Black has a good deal of control cards too. Board sweeps come in the forms of Damnation; Decree of Pain; Life’s Finale; just to name a few. All those give some means of control on the board. There is also single or targeted removals; like Hero’s Downfall & Dregs of Sorrow. Then there is also hand disruption in Black where you can employ to disrupt your opponents. All those helps you gain some control over your opponents. In some sense, Ob Nixilis can even kill your opponents as his combined set of abilities alone provides you with the damage to kill each opponents; Creature to attack with; and at a later stage card advantage and life gain to stay in the game. This makes him quite a self-sustained Commander.

Need a helping hand? Called Manferd... He will wipe them all out for ya...

Controlling the Board by wiping it out.

That being said, Ob Nixilis is not too over power in this sense as a Planeswalker Commander. What he provides in his abilities is all already present and not absent in Black. Having him on the battlefield is good support but does not necessary outright wins you the game. Because even for all those things he does, it is to be reminded that only one loyalty ability can be used each time. This allows him to stay under the radar as he will not have a huge immediate impact on the battlefield when he hits the battlefield. It is also very beneficial to use Ob Nixilis as a normal Planeswalker as there are many more Creatures with LTB effects out of Black to abuse with his emblem.

 

Conclusion

Ob Nixilis has a very good combination of abilities that with enough support would allow him to stand alone against your opponents. The Demons he produces provides much needed defense for you before your turn come by again. It is also beneficial to choose Ob Nixilis as Commander as you can use his ultimate the earliest possible and simply recast him again should he died after that. The emblem will stay on even when he is gone allowing you to sacrifice those Demons he produce when you cast him from the Command Zone again; effectively making each Demon is 5 life and 5 cards. Although requiring the payment of 2 life, Ob Nixilis still has that advantage of being a permanent Creature producer. A 5/5 Flying Demon is no joke; much less facing a horde of them over time. This provides you with recovery after board sweeps. The only balance provided for this is that producing a Demon is a minus loyalty ability; meaning that Ob Nixilis will need to stop the Demon production and refill his loyalty first after producing another one. His first ability in this regard could be view as a refill for him with added bonus of giving you life gain in the process. All in all, if you want a mono Black Commander, Ob Nixilis is a good choice for all the support abilities he has. He has a heavy sacrificial theme and will be very strong if the deck is build around him.

Demon Army

An Army of Darkness

What do you think of Planeswalker Ob Nixilis? Do you think he is worthy as a Commander? Or you would rather use him more as just a normal support Planeswalker? Share with us what you think in the comments below. As for now, I will end it here for today article. Do stay tune for more reviews for Commander 2014. Till then, may the power of the Dark Arts be with you.

 

This is yours truly, Edward “Reaper King” Leong, signing off.

:D~

Comments

One Response to “Set Review Commander 2014 – Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath”

Trackbacks

Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. […] who is this Ob Nixilis you may ask. What is the story behind this Demon who first appeared in Zendikar set as Ob Nixilie, […]



Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!