Nissa, Who Shakes the World is one of the most powerful planeswalkers in the current Magic: The Gathering Standard meta.
Despite this, it’s only seen fringe usage in top decks and has all but fallen into obscurity since the release of Core Set 2020 (M20).
With rotation coming fast, take the time to check out this fun and linear deck that uses the full power of Nissa. Here’s what you need to know about Simic Devastation.
Explore and ramp
The first step is to build up your creature count. The ideal mix includes the “explore package”—Wildgrowth Walker and Jadelight Ranger. Together, these provide card advantage and some extra life as a buffer against aggressive decks.
You’ll want a lot of Forests. Nissa’s passive ability is powerful but it only works with Forests. And that doesn’t mean just basic lands, so Breeding Pools count.
Devastating with Nissa
Four copies of Nissa is a must for this deck since the mana doubling is integral to the key combo. Play her as soon as you can and do your best to keep her alive. The fact that she comes down with four Loyalty and pluses often helps a lot in this regard. Don’t be afraid to let her tank some damage since her ultimate isn’t important at all. Just don’t let her die.
Hydroid Krasis is a nice stabilizing play. It can come down early pre-Nissa to help block and provide a card and life or two. Post-Nissa, however, it’s a beast that easily becomes the biggest creature in play, along with refilling your life total and hand.
Here’s how it works:
- Have five Forests, two Breeding Pools, Nissa, and some weak creatures in play.
- Tap all your lands.
- Cast Finale of Revelation for 10, floating two mana.
- Draw 10 cards and hope to hit Finale of Devastation.
- Cast Finale of Devastation for 10, giving you a free creature and making every creature you control an absolute monster.
- Swing for victory.
Making it work
Now, there’s a lot of other ways to pull this off—in fact, sometimes you just win by hard-casting Devastation for 10. Despite the fact that the deck is extremely linear in its gameplan, there’s a ton of synergy.
Wildgrowth Walkers are Elementals, for example, which means they trigger Risen Reef. If you need more cards, feel free to cast Finale of Revelation for just a few cards. It’s a flexible spell and with four copies, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll draw into another.
Another example is in Finale of Devastation itself. Using it for X=3 can be useful to find a Risen Reef if you need to ramp or draw, or a Jadelight Ranger to trigger your Walkers. This is a great play to draw the game out longer against decks close to killing you.
Here’s the full decklist for best-of-one play. But if you’re inclined toward best-of-three or just looking for play variants, here are some thoughts.
- Frilled Mystic is an obvious add if you want to do some counterplay. Just leaving two green and two blue mana untapped during an opponent’s turn can tilt them—even if you don’t have Mystic in your deck.
- Veil of Summer is a great sideboard option against any blue or black deck.
- If you’re looking for more big-time beaters, check out Voracious Hydra. If you have Nissa out, you get to double your mana to cast it and then double again when it hits the battlefield.
- Mass Manipulation is a great option to take over the battlefield if you’re in the late game but finding a hard way through.
- Tamiyo, Collector of Tales adds recursion to this deck along with card selection, making it a great flex play.
- Finally, if you’re having a tough time against aggressive decks, throw in a couple of Root Snares. Fog effects can be unreliable, but at the right time, they’re lifesavers. Plus, they encourage your opponent to tap all their creatures, leaving themselves wide open to your counterattack.