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Pojo's Magic The Gathering Card of the Day
Daily Since November 2001!

Image from Wizards.com

Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker

Reviewed January 30, 2009

Constructed: 3.00
Casual: 4.80
Limited: 4.50

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

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Card of the Day Reviews 


Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker

Put your tongue back in your mouth. There is only one reason you won't see this at every tournament you play at: it will be a $20+ card. It effectively comes down with 8 loyalty, since it can gain 3 right off the bat. which means after 2 turns of blowing up noncreature permanents-- yes, it can hit play and immediately blow up your opponent's planeswalker-- you're getting hit with 7, dumping your hand, and getting half your board blown up. Ouch?

Constructed- 4
Casual- 5
Limited- 5

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker

In the game's backstory, Nicol Bolas is the oldest surviving planeswalker, the last of the five Elder Dragons who fought each other for control of Dominaria at the dawn of history, and one of the architects of the Mending that literally put the universe back together during the Time Spiral block. Such characters transcend their game of origin, but if you had to make a card of one, it should be one like this. Its deceptively simple game text and smooth yet ominous color tones successfully capture the power, the history, the legend that is Nicol Bolas.

Constructed: 3/5
Casual: 5/5
Limited: 5/5
The Missing Linc

-Balding for just over 5 years
-Playing MTG for just over 10

Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker

This was the first card we were teased with from Conflux. I was really hoping it would be the prerelease card but unfortunately no. For a mere 8 mana, you get Vindicate on a stick. Control Magic twice, or if you manage to keep this thing a couple of rounds you get a win. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah...it costs 8. Well, it should. With all the high casting cost stuff coming out in Conflux, I would be sure to pick up your hideaway lands now. I can't see any other ways to cheat this guy into play other than say...Dream Halls. However, this is20plain Fun. Conflux is looking to be a set designed more for the Johnnies than for the constructed players out there. I am glad Wizards keeps there eyes on that aspect.

Constructed: 2
Casual: 5
Limited: 4


* Game Store Owner
Friday - Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker

Well, of course, we were going to review the big guy. This is easily going to be the hottest card out of the set. It's not even because of his ability. People are jacked up about this guy. He's even a dragon to boot. I'd sell this at top value as soon as I could if I pull one this weekend.

Now, as for the card itself, it's solid. It's not stellar, mostly due to its cost. Eight mana can still be a bit prohibitive. He only takes two activations to get to his top=2 0level ability. I'm wondering though, if many times it won't be better to just keep using his first ability unless you are close to finishing them with the big boom. This card will see some play. It will be interesting to see if he has any real impact any format though.

Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 5
Limited: 4

Friday - Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker

Finally the cause of the split is revealed. This card may see play as it can destroy planeswalkers and add to its loyalty as well. You can't destroy creatures but heck, you can take them and by the way, that effect, yea that's rest of game. No destroying of an aura to get it back, no giving it back at end of turn, it's yours. The ultimate is game-winning but then again most of the walker's ultimates are. Maybe this will get played but in my opinion it won't. Too high of a cost for constructed, if you're in grixis it's a sure bet for limited. You can feel like a king with him on the table in casual.

Constructed: 2
Casual: 4
Limited: 4


Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker


Welcome back readers!


Today's card has been the talk of the town around here where I play. Everyone's hyping this planeswalker up and I'm not sold that it can live up to the extraordinary amount of hype it is receiving.


Since I haven't gotten to play with the card myself, I'm not going to be able to make a completely accurate assessment of its worth, specifically in constructed. Players (specifically players much better at this game than yours truly) have hyped up cards only to see them completely fall off before, and I don't want to become a victim here.


But gun to my head? Is this card good enough to see play at the top tables of a constructed tournament?


In my opinion – well really my gut feeling – says no, not really.


The way I see it: when it comes to cards that cost EIGHT mana to cast, I want to benefit almost immediately if at all possible because usually when you're tapping that many lands...you're tapped out. I compare it to the deck I play – five color control with Cruel Ultimatum – when I tap down for an Ultimatum I may have one or two lands left untapped at best. However, I'm drawing cards, destroying creatures, discarding cards and creating a huge momentum shift with the life gain/loss.


Even though I'm out of options after playing the spell, I reaped the benefits instantly so its balances out. For this planeswalker, if your opponent has a creature you really don't want to play it. If you play it with the idea that you're going to use its ultimate ability to win the game, you need to wait because upon playing this card (and thus tapping out) while your opponent has a creature on the board the choice is already out of your hands – you have to use the second ability to steal their creature.


And thats a great ability. A great momentum shift. But is that alone enough to justify a 8cc spell?


On their turn Nicol Bolas is sitting on three counters and is susceptible to everything from Incinerate to Oblivion Ring. You can say “well every planeswalker can be rendered useless by those cards” but most of those planeswalkers don't cost eight mana to play. Most also benefit the player casting it immediately, too. Garruk untaps land, gives you a 3/3 dork or puts your opponent on a clock (IE. Get this off the field or lose very soon.). Ajani Veangent will upset your opponents tempo with its first ability, give you a free Incinerate with a life bonus and ultimately (pun not intended) win the game on its own with its ultimate ability to destroy all of the players lands. Both of these guys do it for only four mana.


Can you justify spending eight mana on this spell? Perhaps. But the way I see it you'll end up stealing a creature, use it against your opponent in the combat phase by way of attacking or blocking, kill some non creature permanents and if you're lucky enough to build up to it maybe use its ultimate and win the game. It takes a few turns though. Things have to go your way. If your opponent has just one answer to it (and there are plenty) in Oblivion Ring, more creatures or any sort of burn spell you just wasted an entire turn spending eight mana to cast this thing.


I think it can and/or will be a solid card in constructed, but I don't see myself tapping down my lands to cast this fatty anytime soon. At least as long as Cruel Ultimatum or similarly better spells for that mana are legal in type two.


Like I've said time and time again...you can form your own opinions about this kind of stuff all you want but no one (even the pros) really have any sort of idea what kind of impact a card will have on constructed until it is released and people start playing it. I could easily be wrong on this one, but in my opinion this card is a bust in constructed.


Constructed: 3/5 – Solid card but the casting cost is alarming.

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