Nicol Bolas, the Deceiver - HOU Spoiler

Nicol Bolas, the Deceiver



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+3 Each opponent loses 3 life unless that player sacrifices a nonland permanent or discards a card.

-3 Destroy target creature. Draw a card.

-11 Nicol Bolas, the Deceiver deals 7 damage to each opponent. You draw seven cards.



  • This actually doesn’t seem that bad depending on his loyalty. Might be able to see 1-of play in standard.

  • Happy The Cat

    I like this bolas a lot more than god pharoh, his first ability will probably not do much more than lava spike but +3 more is massive. His -3 is just strong, blowing up any creature is always good and at -11 his ult is pretty viable to actually be used. And that’s a pretty hefty ult.

    • Jonathan Reynolds

      The real question of his power will be his starting loyalty.

      • Happy The Cat

        that, and what will be the this card/bolases in general spells? cause a fetch for this might see play.

    • DJ Pad

      God pharoah is MUCH better. Casting a free spell from a +2 is much better than an “opponent chooses” mechanic. Not to mention it’s a mana cheaper which is huge.

      Compare this to the original bolas planeswalker (which is also 8 mana) and you’ll see how weak it is.

    • Shagoth

      His +3 gives your opponent so many options that it practically does nothing. The -3 is pretty good with the card advantage stapled onto a kill spell. I like the ultimate, too. But the God Pharaoh has lots more card advantage, lots more options, a + that isn’t useless outside of political commander decks, and most importantly, costs less, so I think the god pharaoh is better.

      • Happy The Cat

        so you would rather have an effect that can easly wiff like stolen goods vs at worst, lava spike?
        anyhow God Pharaoh has no card advantage, just card denial(big difference) and less options, since his ult is completly unviable, Deceiver here kills a creature and draws a card, and thanks to having a +3(which is the real reason you use it) his ult of even more card advantage can actually happen in a game you haven’t already won.
        also this being in a dual deck means we are going to be getting a card exclusively for this bolas, making this one ever so slightly better based off of that
        I’d probably not play either of the new bolases, but this one seems much closer to actually seeing play, since it doesn’t require as much investment to make it get to where it needs to be.

        • Shagoth

          Well, you could wiff with God Pharaoh, but you can also wiff with drawing a card an you draw a land. You just get bad stuff out of the way. Also, it’s one more card your opponent can’t use. I think it’s card advantage as it always has at least an incremental advantage, and on the other hand it can win the game on the spot.

        • DJ Pad

          1. God-Pharoah’s ability doesn’t really wiff, you’ll always be able to cast something. How is that not card advantage? You’re getting a free spell every turn. If you choose not to (Ex: it’s removal and the only targets are your cards) then at least you ahead on board and taking a potentially good draw from an opponent.

          2. This card’s ability isn’t “at worst a lava spike”, it’s at worst “whatever your opponent wants it to be”. If the have plant tokens they’ll toss one, if the have lands in hand and flooding they’ll toss one, if they’re ahead on board and in life, they’ll take 3 damage.

          3. Killing a creature and drawing a card is his best ability and it’s usually not better than dealing 7 damage to some thing, a. because 7 damage can kill 99% of creatures that “destroy a creature” effect do b. because it can kill your opponent quickly c. it can kill opposing planeswalkers

          4. This guy’s ultimate is far worse than Ugin or OG bolas who have the same mana cost. By the time you ult him, the god pharoah can likely already do 14-21 damage (without knowing this guys starting loyalty, I’m guess he starts at 4 or 5

          5. Oh, and costing 1 more mana is a big deal since it usually amounts to coming into play 2-3 turns later on average.

  • Kevan Kramer

    I like the PW deck Bolas. No surprise that he would get one. This should have been the Archenemy Bolas.

  • TogetherAlone

    I would imagine he starts at 4-5 loyalty being an eight drop, he would instantly jump to 7-8 loyalty with his +3

    • Ben Peterson

      I think you’re right, but I hope it’s 6, just because that’d be so much better.

      • Rovkir Hexus

        Yeah, but considering this is the PW deck version, he’s probably going to have 4-5.

  • Michael Boyer

    My hunch is that it is the Plasewalker deck Nicol, The red around the card is most likely the box.

    • Kahai

      Correct. This spoiler is from the intro video.

    • DJ Pad

      Given that’s it’s pretty terrible, that’s a safe assumption.

  • Matthew Irish

    This with Dark Imitations?

  • Ethan White
    • Nate Winchester

      It looks like he’s laughing.
      “Hah! I can’t believe you fell for that one!”

      We all need more laughing Bolas.

      • Gregory Walter

        To me, it looks like he’s singing. :3

        • Nate Winchester

          I’d watch a “Sparks: The Musical.”

  • Dr. Burn Crow

    Like many others, i really like what this can do.

  • Kahai

    Loving the art on both these BA dragon planeswalkers!

  • Tezzybros

    Guys, the planeswalker deck have two cards that involve with bolas, perhaps you can pay URB(4) to exile this card from the grave to put a loyalty counter on target bolas planeswalker, with cycling

  • Sini

    Nooby noticed that its the number 205 of 199?
    LOL

    • Yeah, cause it’s from the planeswalker decks.

      • Sini

        ooooh, didnt knew it
        thx!

  • Nanya

    The Anti-Ugin, huh?

    • Kahai

      Ugin always loses to Nicol Bolas. (at least in the cards)

      The original Bolas can remove a Ugin no matter what.

      If Ugin is played first, bolas can remove him when he is played.

      If Bolas is played first, Ugin can’t remove him when he is played.

      ~~~

      Now Ugin versus God-Pharaoh, that’s a different story.

      If Ugin is played first, and +’d, God-Pharaoh can’t kill him.
      If Ugin is played first, and -X’d, God-Pharaoh can kill him.

      If God-Pharaoh is played first, Ugin can -x him.

      Though, at the end of the day, Bolas can kill Ugin more than Ugin can kill Bolas.

      • Nanya

        Well, in the lore, Bolas killed Ugin in one hit, so of course they would be representative of the lore.

        • jaya

          rofl since when are cards representative of the lore, That made me chuckle xD

          • Nanya

            Uh, quite a bit.

          • Shagoth

            I don’t know, like when Bolas killed Ugin in one hit?
            Like the thing that they were JUST talking about?

          • Cody Daniels

            Any cards youve been seeing in new sets with a planeswalker symbol in the text box is a story spotlight even.

          • They reprinted my baby (Diabolic Tutor) in fricken’ oh-so-pretty Kaladesh with Liliana whispering in fricken’ Chandra’s ear just so they could have a flavorful, thematic, story-relevant version of the card in Kaladesh. You can tell the art was created for the story, too, not just card art being reused for the story.

            Yes they do occasionally design cards to be representative of the lore. =P

            I do not necessarily agree the balancing of the Nicol Bolas and Ugin cards was intentional as such, but they do occasionally do it just the same. I mean what about the Gatewatch “oath” and “defeat” cards from Zendikar/Innistrad and Hour of Devastation, respectively?

        • Hedronal

          Mortally wounded in one maneuver, which way layered and heavily set up though, after he stole Ugin’s home court advantage.

          • Kahai

            New head canon: Elder dragons don’t fight. They don’t cast spells. They play rock paper scissors and the loser is killed. XD

  • Daniel Kaine Allen

    This one actually isn’t all that bad, just not worth the mana.

    • Random Guy

      Planeswalker deck, it’s supposed to be unviable for Standard.

      It is surprisingly strong for Planeswalker decks though.

      • Daniel Kaine Allen

        I’m aware of that. My point is exactly what you said.

  • Happy The Cat

    okay, now im confused. so far every card we have seen said x/199, which didn’t make sense seeing as the set was going to be 184 cards, so one of the ideas was that the dual deck cards were also going to be counted in the actual card count, but this right here says 205/199, meaning the dual decks are still seperate. so the question is why is there a 15 card discrepancy in these two numbers? did they not include basics in the original number or something?

    • Kahai

      MaRo made a statement about it.

      HOU is getting new basics (which includes new full art basics), so in the 15 is at least 1 cycle of new art basics. might end up just being three new cycles of basics though.

      • eltratzo

        it should be noted that, unless he has made a new statement since the one I showed you earlier (I haven’t visited blogatog for a few days) MaRo didn’t seem 100% sure himself. so it will most likely be 3 cycles of basic lands but we still do not have completely waterproof evidence. then again, when have we do ever have that before the whole set is officially revealed?

        • Pandancules

          We’ve already seen ten of them though

          • Kahai

            If you mean the lands from the archenemy product, yes, and 5 new full arts are coming. Which fits 15.

  • Deadly Berry

    I have the feeling this will ETB with 4 loyalty.

    • Caleb Martin

      Luckily, you were wrong. Especially if you have Dark Intimations in the graveyard

  • jaya

    Original bolas is better, the +3 is meh, the -11 loses to ugin and original bolas. The -3 is sweet but original bolas just takes control…

    • Marvin Sürig

      this is the planeswalker deck Bolas.

      • Mr.Mayhem631

        So?

        • bradakan

          so it’s supposed to be a bit weaker, but that still does not make all of the other things said invalid.

  • Vincent Godin-Filion

    A bit less formidable than original Bolas, but a bit easier to cast, and it has a great advantage against multiple opponents. Being printed for the planeswalker deck, he’ll be more afordable. Might not see much tournament play, but he’s pure gold for multiplayer casual decks! Seriously, his ultimate can kill most of your opponents at once, and a full hand should allow you to close the deal on any remaining adversary. You just need a plan to protect him long enough until he gets to 11 counters, he can’t do it all by himself. Hard, but doable, and fun. Very flavorful.

  • Kaiser

    2 Nicol Bolas just like that? i fall in love.