Do you hear that?
That whispering sound. We can't really tell what is being said, but we can feel the pull of it. It's drawing us together and we can't fight it even if we wanted to. But do we want to? It's just so easy to give in and be done with the struggle.
If they knew what they would become, I'm sure that Bruna and Gisela would have fought it, but with Avacyn as gone as their minds, they can only now become the reflection of Emrakul's madness. Witness the might that is.... Brisela?
Wait, what? Is that like Brangelina?
Anywho... Witness the might that is Brisela, Voice of Nightmares!
“Ahhh,” they will all scream. “Um, excuse me, but why are you turning your cards over and sideways?”
Oh, they are melding! It's awesome, it's new!
Meld? What is that?
This is new and weird and instantly we want to reject it. B. F. M. in competitive Magic? Get out of here.
Yes. B.F.M. In competitive Magic, and believe me, even though there are only six meld cards in the set for three pairs, Gisela, the Broken Blade and Bruna, the Fading Light are both outstanding and we're going to be worrying about big creepy Ange'Mrakul for quite some time.
The easiest way to evaluate the angelic duo is to take each card individually and look at the raw stats that we are getting for the cost, and then determine if the possibility of ever melding them is worth playing both of the cards.
First up is Gisela, the Broken Blade.
This one is pretty easy, to be honest. A 4/3 flying, first strike, lifelink creature for four is already an insane rate. We're basically talking about a step down from Baneslayer Angel, except there aren't any Lightning Strikes to kill her.
I foresee Gisela being on the wrong end of a Spatial Contortion and getting hit by sideboard Rending Volley quite a bit, but that's fine. They have to have those answers; otherwise she can just take over the game all on her own, and that's only for four mana.
We didn't really realize just how great Baneslayer Angel was in the beginning, and now she has her own classification of creatures: Baneslayer Angels and Mulldrifters, if you haven't checked out any of Patrick Chapin's Next Level library. It's all fabulous.
Now, I'm not saying that Gisela, the Broken Blade is Baneslayer Angel, but I'm also not saying that she's not Baneslayer Angel. I believe that we will quickly see just how great she is once we get into playing her.
There are some pretty neat interactions too. She is a Horror, which means that she isn't affected by Thing in the Ice when it transforms. That's quite cute. Be careful, though: if you ever meld them, Brisela, Voice of Nightmares is an Eldrazi Angel and not a Horror.
Being a four-power flying four-drop means that, on the play, if we land her, our opponent has to +1 their Gideon, Ally of Zendikar to keep it around, if they even decide to play said Gideon, Ally of Zendikar.
My verdict on Gisela, the Broken Blade is that she is very good all on her own and will see a lot of play ranging from a two-of to a four-of in different decks. White is already great, and gaining more awesome cards is just a little silly to be honest.
The other half of Brisela is Bruna, the Fading Light. This card has been getting a lot of flak online about being weak when compared to Gisela, but they are quite different cards, and I like evaluating them separately.
First off, a 5/7 flying vigilance for 5WW isn't stellar, but as we have seen in the last few weekends of the current Standard format, a 5/5 flier is huge, and even if we are paying 4WW for it, Linvala, the Preserver can close games out.
The kicker here is the other ability on Bruna, the Fading Light.
“When you cast Bruna, the Fading Light, you may return target Angel or Human creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield.”
That's right: it says when you cast, not when it enters the battlefield. This is pretty sweet, because not only does it get around counterspells for giving us some value, but there is one card in particular that you can return to the battlefield that would care if Bruna, the Fading Light is on the battlefield or not.
Imagine this scenario. We cast Bruna, the Fading Light, triggering and returning Linvala, the Preserver to the battlefield from our graveyard. With Bruna still on the stack, Linvala will trigger and we can gain five life and get a 3/3 Angel. Once it's all said and done, we are up five life and now have a 5/5 flier, a 5/7 flying, vigilance, and a 3/3 flier.
I wasn't aware that the mayor of Value Town: Innistrad was Bruna, the Fading Light, but here we are.
There is also this little tidbit about using Bruna to return Gisela onto the battlefield with the cast trigger and then we can meld them on our end step. There is a pretty decent list of Angels and Humans that we might want to bring back with Bruna's cast trigger.
These are all Angels and Humans with interesting “enters the battlefield” abilities.
There is one not listed there that you might not be familiar with if you aren't following the spoilers closely. In the midst of all these awesome meld cards, giant Eldrazi, and legendary Werewolves being spoiled, one very interesting card has kind of slipped under the radar.
Thalia's Lancers is a 4/4 first strike for 3WW. This by itself is respectable. It can attack effectively through a lot of things and can play great defense, but it also has an awesome “enters the battlefield” ability that lets you search your deck for a legendary card, reveal it, and put it into your hand.
The first thing that I noticed about this card is that it can find Bruna or Gisela. It can even find Bruna, die, and then be brought back by Bruna and find our Gisela. That is quite a bit of value.
The next thing that I noticed about this card is that it can find Emrakul, the Promised End. This is pretty important, as we don't really want to play a bunch of copies of Emrakul, the Promised End in whatever deck we are playing, but with Thalia's Lancers, we can just play one copy along with some number of Lancers and have access to Emrakul, the Promised End much more often than a single copy would normally allow.
Last, it says “Legendary Card”. That means you can go find any of the Oaths. Oath of Nissa is great, obviously, but being able to find Oath of Chandra as a removal spell is pretty nice too! Pyromancer's Goggles is also legendary. All of the Dragonlords are legendary. Unfortunately we don't have any legendary lands in Standard yet, but being able to find a land with the Lancers seems awesome.
There are so many awesome White cards right now that I kind of want to take the Big White deck that was seeing a little bit of play earlier in the season and see what we can do with all of these new toys.
- 4 Hedron Crawler
- 4 Eldrazi Displacer
- 2 Knight of the White Orchid
- 2 Thalia's Lancers
- 3 Thraben Inspector
- 2 Bruna, the Fading Light
- 1 Emrakul, the Promised End
- 4 Gisela, the Broken Blade
- 1 Linvala, the Preserver
This is kind of a mix of the same strategy that Chris Andersen was working on around the Season One Invitational that put one of his teammates into the Top 8. I've basically taken that same idea, jammed in a bunch of sweet Angels, and added a crazy top end with Emrakul, the Promised End.
Rather than trying to lean on the Eldrazi creatures in the maindeck, like Reality Smasher, we are looking to take advantage of how awesome Gisela and Bruna are. Now that we have another awesome four-drop to go along with Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, Hedron Crawler starts to go up in value for us a bit, as curving a Hedron Crawler into a turn 3 Gisela, the Broken Blade or Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is a pretty big battlefield presence very early on in the game. That kind of tempo can carry us all the way to the finish line.
I also really like the interaction between Eldrazi Displacer and Thalia's Lancers. Adding even more effectiveness to Eldrazi Displacer is hardly needed, but every little bit counts. Thraben Inspector, Knight of the White Orchid, Thalia's Lancers, and Linvala, the Preserver are all pretty great targets to flicker.
There are a lot of possibilities with this deck too. We can just get rid of the colorless additions and go W/U so that we gain access to Reflector Mage, Dragonlord Ojutai, and some countermagic, or we can try to slot the Angels into the W/B Control deck that already exists.
The aggressive Humans decks do have Declaration in Stone as an answer for our Gisela, the Broken Blade, but the card is just so insane against any aggressive strategy that if they don't have the removal spell, then they are likely just going to lose to Gisela over the course of a few turns. If we ever get to untap with both Eldrazi Displacer and Gisela, the Broken Blade on the battlefield together, there is almost no way for them to get rid of her.
Now, let's take a step back though. We evaluated the cards separately and even jumped into brewing a deck with them, but we didn't really go over the melded version: Brisela, Voice of Nightmares.
Flying, first strike, vigilance, lifelink
Your opponents can't cast spells with converted mana cost 3 or less.
Is this even a real card? Well, technically it's two cards that have been melded into one super-creepy Eldrazi Angel, but that's neither here nor there.
If we ever get to meld this, how does our opponent expect to win? They have to have one of their expensive cards that can kill it. Ob Nixilis Reignited, Planar Cleansing, Tragic Arrogance, and a handful of others are actually handle this thing.
I am really excited to find decks to fit these Angels into. They are warped and twisted by Emrakul coming to Innistrad, and the art really shows that off. They are powerful individually, and with their creepypasta powers combined, they are quite the force to be reckoned with.
Finding where they fit in, though, that's going to be fun. Hopefully there are even more goodies waiting for us in Eldritch Moon. I can't wait to see the new Liliana!
Comments from Last Week
Last week I opened it up for people to share their Jund knowledge with me and I wanted to look at some of those comments and questions so that I could answer them here with everyone!
David Duerte Periera commented:
“I'm thinking about trying two Surgical Extraction in the side. Backed up with discard + Fulminator it may help on harder matchups. Even against Nahiri + Emrakul discard it may target it. Against Tron I've been finding Crumble to Dust too slow and overall too narrow. Thoughts?”
Surgical Extraction may have some merit, but it is a bit narrow. One of the big benefits of playing Jund, or any G/B/X deck, is that we get to utilize some really awesome sideboard cards, and while Surgical Extraction might have some potential when combined with discard and cards like Fulminator Mage against something like G/R Tron, I think that I would rather have something like Rakdos Charm or Jund Charm as a graveyard hate card that can also have applications elsewhere.
Don't get me wrong; I love a good “got 'em” moment with Surgical Extraction, but I prefer flexibility.
Steve Brynildsen commented:
“For me, sideboard Thrun is a must if you expect any amount of Ancestral Vision control in your meta. The card is just a huge beating against them. The GDD version of the deck is attractive, but is it really worth not playing Confidant? It may be, but that's the push and pull there.”
I can really see the merit of having access to Thrun, the Last Troll against the Ancestral Vision control decks. He's not even bad against something like Grixis Delver that happened to win the Modern Open last weekend in the hands of Kevin Jones.
Everyone I've talked to about the Goblin Dark-Dwellers version versus the Dark Confidant version have answered the same thing: that Dark Confidant is the best card in the deck and the reason to be playing Jund in the first place.
After getting some games in, I am inclined to agree, but time will tell!
Thank you to everyone who shared their Jund insight on my article last week. I would love to hear what everyone's impressions of Bruna and Gisela are, because I am just absolutely gaga for these ladies.