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September's Friday Night Magic promo is Banishing Light

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Oblivion Ring is a great card and a great design. There's just one rules problem: As Oracle puts it, "If Oblivion Ring leaves the battlefield before its first ability has resolved, its second ability will trigger and do nothing. Then its first ability will resolve and exile the targeted nonland permanent forever." This is unintuitive and really more of a bug exploit than an intended rules feature, so R&D introduced a new template with Banisher Priest and intends to keep using it. And just as Banisher Priest got a Friday Night Magic version, so, in September, will Journey into Nyx's Oblivion Ring reskin, Banishing Light.

As far as promo choices go, this one is pretty much perfect - it's strong but not overpowered and the very definition of a format staple. It's about a $2 uncommon in its Journey into Nyx iteration, and it's hard to imagine a format where versatile white removal like this won't be useful.

As far as the art goes, opinions are split, but generally fall in favor of the original picture. Then again, that one inherently looks more impressive because the Nyx-Hydra's starfield is more virtuosically depicted and there's that rad light-breaking-through-the-clouds effect. The mortal figure banishing the monster from the world of dreams is probably better-executed in the FNM version, but the Manticore being sent away is just not as amazing-looking as the original Hydra is. Weirdly, both versions have the caster using the spell as a kind of sling projectile, though it looks like it's made of fire in the new version. Still, anything like this tends to look good in the new card frame, and although it may take some getting used to for some people, there's no doubt that the M15 frame is perfect for showing off promo arts, and the (ostensibly anti-counterfeit) oval of holofoil at the bottom above the credits is always going to be a sweet touch.

Thinking of playing in a September Friday Night Magic for a chance to score one of these? Let me know in the comments.

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