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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Commander Review: Journey into Nyx – Keranos the Perfect Storm

September 22, 2015 by  
Filed under Commander/General Ideas, Review

Mindswipe

To Counter or To Burn? Why not just do both.

Blue is the color with the most control and Red is the color of chaotic burns. When these two colors combined, we are presented with the chaotic control style; what we used to call CounterBurn, using Blue to control and Red to burn for the win. Blue and Red are also the colors of the Izzet League. The guild is famous for their eccentric ways and ever present hunger for knowledge. As representation of the colors, the Theros minor God taking up the color combination is no less eccentric as his counterpart on Ravnica. Keranos, God of Storms first mentioned on the card Steam Augury showcase how swift and fickle minded the God is. The spell working very similarly to another card, Fact or Fiction, is even more random than its reference card. On one hand Fact or Fiction let the opponent separate the revealed cards and you choose the pile; Steam Augury does it the opposite. This shows us how unpredictable the storms can get.

 

Storms and Visions

Keranos is the embodiment of the fury of the storms and the sudden blaze of epiphany. As a God of little patience and even lesser mercy, he dishes out insights and blasts of lightning in equal measures. He does not tolerate mortals which he sees as reckless but he also respects those who take action with clear purposes; especially if they had sought his approval first. These individuals would then earn a two-edged blessing: momentary glimpses of the future but the inability to change what is to come. Keranos inspiration of design has some base in the Greek God King Zeus for the lightning and storms part. As for Keranos’s epiphany part, it is based on Apollo who is an oracular god.

So how does all that shows on the God of Storms in card form? Let’s have a look at Keranos’s stats below.

 

 Keranos, God of Storms

Card Name: Keranos, God of Storms

CMC: 3UR

Types: Legendary Creature Enchantment – God

Card Text:

Indestructible

As long as your devotion to blue and red is less than seven, Keranos isn’t a creature.

Reveal the first card you draw on each of your turns. Whenever you reveal a land card this way, draw a card. Whenever you reveal a nonland card this way, Keranos deals 3 damage to target creature or player.

P/T: 6/5

Impulse

Intuition is the Best strategy.

For most part of the design, I think Wizards had really nailed it for Keranos in every aspect. Keranos’s blessings are two-edged in that the person receiving it can see what is coming but cannot change it. The “seeing what is coming part” is well represented in the card by Keranos revealing his controller’s first draw every turn. The other part of “taking a glimpse of the future but not being able to change it” is shown with knowing what is coming from your library as you reveal and still drawing into it no matter what is the outcome from the reveal. In short, Keranos provides insights and intuitions to his believers. He shows them the future but gives them no ways to change it. He changes the whole draw step into a trigger which actually plays well into his color identity of Blue and Red. The color combination is well known for its CounterBurn strategy; a deck archetype which depends on Blue’s countering and card advantage combine with Red Burns for an advantage over the opponent. Keranos plays the oracle role here by letting the controller has a chance of either a card draw or direct damage depending on what is revealed each turn. That is very much in line with the CounterBurn strategy because either type of card you reveal is card advantage; and card advantage is ever important in MtG.

 

Beside the above point, Keranos is also like the other minor Gods having that devotion mechanic which require the devotion to his colors at seven to be met to become a Creature. His power and toughness is also rather big standing at 6/5 and with Indestructible, Keranos also makes a very good beat stix to finish up the game if needed to.

 

The Perfect Storm

The whole point of Keranos’s draw step trigger is depending on what is on your library top and like receiving prizes from lucky draw from what is reveal. If you can control that, then you can maximize what you want out of his trigger, making it like controlling the lottery draw. Library top manipulation is nothing new in MtG and till date the options are a plenty to choose from. Below are some examples of choices which can be use.

Crystal Ball

Glimpse of Future.

 

Name Color Description
Aven Fateshaper U Rearrange the top four cards when it enters the battlefield. Also has the activate ability to do it again when on the battlefield.
Crystal Ball Artifact Scry 2 before turn comes by for desire results of Keranos’s trigger.
Descendant of Soramaro U Rearrange top X cards where X is number of cards in your hand.
Elemental Augury UBR Rearrange top three cards of any library as much times as you have 3 mana to spare each time.
Eyes of the Watcher U Uses Scry 2 to control the library whenever you cast an Instant or Sorcery.
Information Dealer U Rearrange top X cards where X is number of Wizards on the battlefield. Wizard Tribal theme.
Scroll Rack Artifact Use cards in the hand to get the wanted results from Keranos.
Sensei’s Divining Top Artifact Everyone favorite library top manipulator.
Soothsaying U The super library manipulator. Rearrange the library with all those extra mana.
Thassa, God of the Sea U Free upkeep Scry 1 to get a glimpse of what is coming and change it if wanted to.

 

There are also tons of Creatures which can rearrange the library top as they enter the battlefield and most of them are also within Keranos’s color identity. Below are some examples of such Creatures.

 

Augury Owl ETB Scry 3.
Aven Fateshaper / Crystal Seer / Inkfathom Divers / Sage Aven / Sage of Epityr / Sage Owl / Spire Owl / Rearrange top four cards of your library.
Court Hussar Rearrange top three cards of your library.
Cryptic Annelid ETB Scry 1, then Scry 2, then Scry 3.

 

Cryptic Annelid

All Seeing and Seeing All.

 

Advantage Over the Field

Keranos, God of Storms

Fact or Fiction; Gift or Punishment.

In general, Keranos has a very nice set of abilities as a Commander. He has the God’s mechanic to protect himself and a trigger which has the potential as a win con or allow you to draw into the win con. Will he win you the game when he enters the battlefield? I would not say that as his ability triggers on your draw step and you will have to wait for your turn to come by again for it to happen even for the first time. He only gives you a certain advantage but not totally overpower at that. I would recommend putting him in as a common Creature if your deck color identity allows it. Truth is Keranos is a very good card advantage regardless which trigger you get out of him; reveals a Land you draw an extra card, reveals a nonLand you get a Lightning Bolt. Free stuff like those is always good in MtG. EDH is no less different as you face multiple opponents; any form of advantage is most welcome. If you are looking for a challenge though, Keranos is in fact a very nice CounterBurn Commander to build around.

 

Do you think Keranos is powerful enough for your worship? How else would you use him in your deck? Tell us about it or maybe share with us if you have a CounterBurn deck built around him in the comments below. Thus with that we shall it end it for the God of Storms and till the next Journey to Nyx Commander review, shall the power of the Storms be with you.

 

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

:D~

Comments

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