This card really sounded like it should be a
land the first time I read its title - although
I admit that's mainly because one of my favorite
cards from the Commander sets was Homeward Path.
Instead, it's this year's Standard's version of
Hero's Downfall, which doubles as a finisher.
It's good news for anybody who found it a little
awkward to lean so heavily on a card that's very
narrow in the abstract, and it's probably at
just the right power level to be used but not a
ridiculous blowout when you do it at the
beginning of someone's attack step. There are
also times when it's a decent play to target
your own token or early-game creature and
basically upgrade it into a 4/4, or even hit
your own planeswalker who's stuck under a
Faith's Fetters, which is kind of hilarious.
Today's card of the day is Ruinous Path which
is a three mana Black sorcery that destroys
target creature or planeswalker and has Awaken
This has the same mana cost as Hero's Downfall,
adds a possible secondary effect for more mana,
but loses the benefit of instant speed.
The reduced timing options and much higher
casting cost to gain any added benefit will keep
this from replacing Hero's Downfall and it is
unlikely to appear in the same decks, outside of
Commander. In Standard this is one of the
best removal options available even at sorcery
speed, so it should be very popular in current
Black decks even though the Awaken effect may
only rarely be used.
In Limited this is the easiest answer to the
biggest threats in the set aside from Ulamog or
Plated Crusher. Barring a double rare pack
or Expedition this should not be passed in
Booster, even if out of color, as it is nearly
always going to be a great card in hand or
topdeck. For Sealed this may not be enough
to force Black entirely as it does have two mana
symbols dedicated to the color, but unless two
other colors are dramatically stronger in
balance or threat it adds a lot of value to the
Black pool. Awaken is much more likely to
be a factor in the format and it adds some late
game value to help make up for the drawbacks.
Remember when Dreadbore was the best thing to
kill planeswalkers for a time? Yeah, apparently,
Hero's Downfall was just too good for standard.
Even Dreadbore did a more effective job. Meh.
And it's a rare. Crap.