I know the War of the Spark spoilers are heating up, but I made a bucket lists of cards I wanted to explore once the new set came out. I was just able to get a trophy with the final one, Kaya, Orzhov Usurper. Of course, at this time she's no longer the apparently underpowered planeswalker from Ravnica Allegiance but now the most expensive card in the set on MTGO thanks to growing Standard and Modern play. I'll admit, I didn't think she was that good when I first saw her. Her abilities marked her out as more of a fringe metagame card. However, I now think she's a much stronger card in Vintage (and Legacy and clearly Modern). Here's why:

  • The major factor is that her ultimate is very quick and deceptively lethal. Especially with the Delve spells in the format and in conjunction with deckbuilding synergies like Nihil Spellbomb and Deathrite Shaman. She is a non-pyroblastable threat that requires an immediate answer against Blue decks.

  • The format has become more graveyard dependent in Blue (Delve Spells, Snapcaster, JVP), Survival, and Dredge. I've won game 1s against Dredge by Wastelanding Bazaar and using the +1 to exile multiple Dredgers. DRS tends to be too slow, but two cards is much more effective. Against Survival it has obvious utility as well, keeping the graveyard clear of Vengevines, Wonder, and Squees.

  • The -1 has been surprising relevant against PO as a multi-turn Rack-Ruin effect. Exiling DRS against Surival, BUG. Hitting Rodded Walking Ballistas/Hangarback Walkers against Shops, or trying to mana screw Eldrazi by hitting Moxen. It doesn't sound exciting but it's a surprising amount of utility for a card that doubles as graveyard hate and a win condition.

My 5-0 list is here

I will definitely be experimenting more with the card as the London mulligan takes effect on MTGO next week.

last edited by Guest

0_1554554003991_cb16fbb1-0c35-4f59-a2ab-b5e64491da1d-image.png

Here she is to remember.

Do you see her in a hatebear list only? When she was spoilered I was wondering if she could actually be playable due to her ability to remove moxen from the game. She seemed to compete with Dack Fayden in that slot though.
I like Kaya as a character and this card is definitely interesting as she's not one of those boring planeswalker designs.

Congrats on the successful finish and I was glad to read the report and description.

@grizzly I think it's important to stay flexible with new cards and try them in different shells. That said, there are a lot of advantages to playing this deck in a hatebear-like deck. The ability to remove moxen is synergistic with the mana denial plan of Wasteland, having creatures in play is a way to naturally protect your planeswalkers from other creatures, and just attacking to get the opponent into range of the ultimate. You can try Kaya in other shells, but it's important to incorporate synergy in the deck when you can. I have a couple of ideas I plan to try out (like using Nihil spellbomb in a more superfriends Esper list).

The other thing is Dack and Kaya have some similarities with the minus abilites, but the colors make them very different cards. You really can't play them in the same decks without considerable deckbuilding constraints just like you can't reasonably play Cindervines with Kambal. I tend to get preachy when it comes to comparisons and card evaluation (and I don't want to make that the point of the thread), but I feel cards get dismissed too readily because a "better" card exists in other colors. However, if I'm playing BWx and not URx, the existence of Dack doesn't matter for deck building - I can't play Dack so it's not really a consideration. Just my 2 cents when it comes to that logic.

Kaya reminds me of Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas, which is a card that I feel should probably merit more play.

They both have a game winning ultimate that are based on things you are already doing, is powered up by one of their other abilities, are cheapish, and power up very quickly. I know that is about the only similarity, but still there is something about it. To me the big difference is that Tezz can get to ultimate off 1 activation with a timewalk, and the things you do to power it up are contingent on how you build your deck, not things your opponent is doing.

Updates: I've gone a combined 13-2 with Junk (Azban) Kaya, including a trophy.

I've tried an Esper Xerox version and it's been much more variable. The first try was a 1-3 drop. The second is currently 3-1. Same list - I've just drawn answers at the right times and my opponent's have had fewer nut draws. 🤷

Your moment of Kaya zen:
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Edit: the number of cards exiled is 15, if that is not clear.

last edited by Guest

We will see if people pick it up with the dawn of Dredge about to start tomorrow, but my gut says that this needs a little too much support to win a game 1 against Dredge and I think in most matchups I'd rather have different card for games 2/3.

@vaughnbros said in [RNA] Kaya, Orzhov Usurper:

We will see if people pick it up with the dawn of Dredge about to start tomorrow, but my gut says that this needs a little too much support to win a game 1 against Dredge and I think in most matchups I'd rather have different card for games 2/3.

Games 2/3 this is your wincon against dredge that has synergy with dredge hate. You can +1 her on an empty GY. If you have no other hate, she can target the peskiest cards. Or you can just drop tormod's crypt, exile the yard and win. I think the colors means she needs a different than we normally see (in paper at least) but if you happen to be in these colors I see no reason not to include her in your 75 against dredge.

@khahan

Yes, but the problem is I don’t really want it in any other game 2/3 MU, and this is a well below par Dredge hate card as they can still fairly easily win through sorcery speed exile 2. This means that I think it’s suboptimal in all game 2/3s.

@vaughnbros said in [RNA] Kaya, Orzhov Usurper:

We will see if people pick it up with the dawn of Dredge about to start tomorrow, but my gut says that this needs a little too much support to win a game 1 against Dredge and I think in most matchups I'd rather have different card for games 2/3.

I mentioned that I've won several game 1's against Dredge, literally in the first post.

Edit:

I give up. This isn't productive and I don't care any more. If people are interested in the card or list or any other card or list, please message me.

last edited by Guest

@chubbyrain

Wasteland* won you game 1s.

@vaughnbros said in [RNA] Kaya, Orzhov Usurper:

@khahan

Yes, but the problem is I don’t really want it in any other game 2/3 MU, and this is a well below par Dredge hate card as they can still fairly easily win through sorcery speed exile 2. This means that I think it’s suboptimal in all game 2/3s.

You dont want it against xerox which is pitching cards to fow and exiling 6 and 8 cards at a time to delve plus whatever cards you exiled w/ her + ability?

I guess no matter what you have your mind made up. Meanwhile the rest of us will play test with it. We may come to same conclusion, yes. But we may not. I just dont understand the complete lack of desire to even try given the potential of this card. If its in my main I side it out against shops and probably oath. Against any other deck I see in my meta, this card offers quite a bit.

@khahan

I haven’t made my mind up. I wrote that in my first post. I said that this next month is a test (since dredge will be played more). Perhaps it provides enough utility in game 1 across all matchups that being suboptimal in them game 2/3s doesn’t matter.

Why do you think what is essentially a burn spell fused with GY hate is a great against big blue? More specifically, why is this better than other 3 mana options (to which there will be a lot with new spoilers)?

Does this need to full support of Wasteland, DRS, Tarmogoyf, etc. build to be a playable card? Or are there other decks that it is good in?

If we aren’t going to honest about evaluating the card then there isn’t anything to discuss though. If you are wastelanding Bazaars that is what is winning you game 1s. If this card needs a very specific decklist and Matt Murray piloting it to get results then I’m not sure that really points to the individual card as being great.

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