A quick review on Conflux mythic rare, Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker.
Well that’s big.
I don’t know what to say other than you can really feel the majestic power of this Dragon-Planeswalker with how they’ve laid out the card. Looks great. Certainly scarier than the librarian-Dragon from the old Nicol Bolas card.
The mana is interesting. Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker is actually a slightly easier cast than Nicol Bolas version 1.0 (exchanging a U and R for 2 generic mana).
All right. All right already!
Is it any good?
In play Nicol Bolas is pretty daunting. Activating its “plus” ability puts Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker to eight loyalty, which is very hard to crack.The “minus” ability is just Control Magic. Only it’s better than Control Magic because you can’t Disenchant it. Yes, Nicol Bolas keeps his minions forever… It’s not just a Threaten. Yes, that’s pretty ridiculous. As for the “ultimate” ability, I think that you would have difficulty losing if you activated it.Interestingly, Bolas is designed to live through using the ultimate ability (5+3+3-9=2)… In fact, Nicol Bolas has one more Control Magic left in the barrel (if necessary).
So is it good?
Well that’s the thing… Not conventionally.
A Cruel Ultimatum in the same colors is cheaper and has more immediate effect on the game.
As for Planeswalkers, both Ajani Vengeant and Elspeth, Knight-Errant have similarly effective action… and they can get going much more consistently due to being half the mana cost (Ajani is only Icy Manipulator to Nicol Bolas’s Vindicate, and “only” Lightning Helix to Control Magic, but Ajani’s ultimate ability is just as automatically game-winning and nearly as destructive).
But the fact of the matter is that Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker is probably going to be one of the chase [mythic] rares of the set, and is undoubtedly powerful in play… Plus I recall being told something recently. All the Planeswalkers are meant to be good. So maybe there is a way to “cheat” Nicol Bolas into play that we haven’t seen yet. I mean, if you don’t consider the mana cost, he’s pretty insane.
Where can I see this fitting in?
I don’t think Reflecting Pool Control would necessarily play Nicol Bolas; they have a nice Grixis finisher in Cruel Ultimatum already, and you can only play so many seven or eight mana spells. However I think Planeswalkers might find a one-of spot for this guy. They have a lot of mana (some builds) and others are optimized to make Planeswalkers look good with, say, Rings of Brighthearth.
But unless there is a cheatyface way of breaking Bolas… He’s not even a role player in non-kitchen table Magic.
Snap Judgment Rating: Role Player (low)… but expensive!