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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Nyx-Fleece Ram
Image from Wizards.com

 Nyx-Fleece Ram
- Journey into Nyx

Reviewed June 2, 2014

Constructed: 2.80
Casual: 3.50
Limited: 3.33
Multiplayer: 3.44

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale:
1 - Horrible  3 - Average.  5 - Awesome

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Card of the Day Reviews 


Magic The Gathering Card of The Day: Nyx Fleece Ram

Welcome back readers todays card of the day is amazing. One of the best anti agro cards made in quite a while. This little sheep presents a powerful wall in the form of a 0/5 creature and is out of range of most burn spells and can definitely easily deter early aggressive starts from your opponent, the gaining one extra life a turn can add up in matches giving you more time to stabilize. In standard this will be a definitive anti agro card if it already isent, some early aggressive starts just fold to this card and gaining a few life points while holding back early aggression is golden a definite sideboard champion. In modern it could see play as well it blanks early beaters and life gain can be relevant to offset damage players inflict to themselves. In other competitive formats I think its just baaaaaaaad. In casual and multiplayer I value walls pretty highly and this gains you life at a solid rate while deterring aggression a perfect compliment for multiplayer. In limited its sideboard worthy or worthy of inclusion in an enchantment heavy deck. Overall a powerful anti agro sideboard card that will see kitchen table and constructed play.

Constructed: 3.0
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 2.0
Multiplayer: 3.5

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Nyx Fleece Ram which is a two mana White 0/5 enchantment creature that has you gain one life at the beginning of your upkeep steps. This is a very solid blocker, difficult to remove by attacking or with burn, and slowly widens the gap in life points between you and your opponent. Having the option to attack is beneficial and this will see play in White or Blue/White decks with a control theme or designed to stall into the later stages of a game.

For Limited this is a two mana threat neutralizer that is difficult to deal with and at worst can bait out a removal, but otherwise stalls out an offense and adds life as an added benefit. There's no real drawback aside from the lack of offense, though it is an excellent target for Bestow or other auras. Aside from a pure aggro deck there is no reason not to include this in Sealed as a very effective means of protection and life over time. In Booster this could be picked very early after a White rare and is at least worth an on color pick after removal or offensive bombs are drafted.

Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 4.0
Multiplayer: 3.5


Deck Garage

Nyx-Fleece Ram

This little sheep is a sly one. At first glance, I didn't think much of him. He's a defensive creature that gains life. That has rarely proved to be a good strategy in Magic. But, considering he can come out on turn 2 and safely block almost anything your opponent could have out at that point in the game, he might be better than at first glance. Most of the prefered burn spells can't even take him out on their own, and if your opponent has to burn a Doom Blade on him, then there's one less Doom Blade in their library to take out your actual threats.

In addition to being a great early blocker, what else can he do? Well, he gains you a little life, which further helps stall aggressive decks. The lifegain can be used to trigger other effects - Archangel of Thune in Standard, Searing Meditation in Modern, and Oloro, Ageless Ascetic in Commander to name a few off the top of my head. Further, he's an enchantment - which could be an advantage or disadvantage depending on the situation, but he likes being out with Ethereal Armor or Sphere of Safety, or triggering Eidolon of Blossoms.

In limited games, an opponent is going to have even more trouble getting around this guy and can be a real headache if he's left sitting around in a long game. The number of creatures with 5 power they will have that can punch through his tough hide...they probably won't have very many.

In short, the ram isn't going to win you games on his own, but don't overlook him as a potential cog in the machine that is a great deck.

Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 3
Limited: 4
Multiplayer: 3

Michael Sokolowski

This is one of the best anti-aggro cards I've seen in a very long time. And I think the rest of this review is going to be spent trying to come up with something to top that opening sentence.

I mean, it's 2 mana for 5 toughness! How often do you see something like that? Well, it's not unheard of actually. But Nyx-Fleece Ram is one of the best among them, and I'll tell you why.

A 0/5 is pretty incredible in the early game, especially against aggro decks. They're throwing their 3/2 at you, but it's just bouncing off your wall. Err, sheep. Bouncing off your sheep. Even burn spells don't fare much better. 2 damage? Easy. 3 damage? Quite a few good ones. 4 damage? There are a few powerful ones that can do it. But 5 damage? Only the very best burn spells can do that, and not for 2 mana. Besides, if your 2 drop gets killed by a 5-damage burn or a kill spell, you're probably happy that it wasn't used on your real threats.

But what happens later in the game? How useful is a 0/5 going to be when your opponent is playing dragons and titans and hydras? Normally not very, unfortunately. The most you'd be able to get out of it is a single chump block, most likely. Or just continue to block their weaker guy indefinitely. This is where Nyx-Fleece Ram starts to pull ahead of the competition. Because Nyx-Fleece Ram is constantly working on your behalf. Every turn it is helping you to not lose the game, and the best part is that you don't have to even do anything. It's an aggro deck's worst nightmare, as their goal is to bring you down as fast as possible, before you're even able to cast your big threats and turn the tide.

But if you cast this on turn 2, and say it stays around until turn 7, it's gained you 5 life. That's nothing to sneeze at. The problem with life gain is that it doesn't do anything on its own. A card that gains you life and does nothing else isn't usually worth running, as preventing your opponent from winning doesn't actually make you win. But attached to a decent blocker at no extra cost turns it into a real annoyance for your opponent.

Our sheep friend here is part of an overall strategy where you play a slower, control-style of deck. When you play this, you are saying 'Go ahead, do whatever you want early game. I can block your big guy and gain life to counter whatever damage you do get through.' Your goal using this is to make it unscathed to the mid or late game, where you'll play your massive threats, or combo pieces, or whatever big thing you've been wanting to build up to, but needed to ensure you'd live long enough to be able to do it. It's usefulness is really limited to an early-game anti-aggro card. Which is a pretty useful thing to be, even if it is limited in scope. The longer it lives, the steeper a hill your opponent needs to climb in order to win. Formats that really appreciate some defense in order to build up their board will love this, such as multiplayer and casual. Also decent in limited. It can be useful in constructed, but most constructed players want to play something to win instead of play something to make your opponent not win.

Nyx-Fleece Ram looks right into the eyes of the god of death and says, "Not today."

Constructed: 2.5
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 3.5
Multiplayer: 3.75


Nyx-Fleece Ram
Gaining one life every turn is the kind of thing that doesn't really sound like much. Until you realize that it's also attached to a creature that's very good at blocking, and that some decks will have a whole lot of trouble stopping it from adding up. And up. And up. And then maybe you combine it with Ajani's Pridemate, or Ageless Entity, or Cradle of Vitality . . .
Constructed: 2/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 3/5
Multiplayer: 3/5

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