I’m a loser, so I don’t have ANY of the new Magmar cards. My opinions on our new tools will thus be based on a lot of premature assumptions, but I’ll do it anyway =p
I was at the very bottom of Diamond when the patch hit (I think I had 0 or 1 chevron in rank 5 at the time) and I’ve only played almost 20 games since. I’m now in rank 3 with my old Keeper Magmar and Aggro Argeon decks. One of the big reasons I’m still managing to climb is because the vast majority of decks I’ve faced are clearly experimental, or the opponent doesn’t have access to some or all of their new tools (like me).
Learning new cards means players are more liable to be making misplays, and new cards mean that predicting what threat to work around is slightly harder in the beginning. Every game I’ve lost so far, I felt I lost because I either misplayed like an idiot, didn’t think around their possible new tools, or simply didnt draw/replace into the cards I needed.
I’ve fought two Starhorn decks so far, I think. Lost one, won one. Lost one because I misplayed, won one because Aggro Argeon can be stupidly fast too. Having said that, I’ve seen several matches on twitch and what not and I can see how completely ridiculous Starhorn consistent burst can be. It’s ridiculous and I even think that the synergy might be a little too good, sure, but remember that the meta has barely even settled.
I don’t know how the meta is further up the ladder at the moment, but one thing I can say from where I’m at right now is that people are still struggling to adapt to the new cards. A Starhorn aggro deck post-expansion is very easy to make, it doesn’t take a lot of brain power to know what cards to test out in that archetype. By contrast, while other factions have gotten access to some crazy cool stuff (and some of these can directly mitigate Starhorn’s burst), it’s significantly harder to build a deck around their new tools.
Trinity Oath is fantastic, but that doesn’t mean you’d automatically play 3 when you could consider a draw engine with a body. Concealing Shroud is great, but it seems Vanar players are still figuring out where to utilise that card in. It’s not as simple for them as it is for a Starhorn player who could just go “OMG OMG 3 TECTONICS, 3 DECIMUS 3 ENTROPIC GAZE 3 RANCOUR OKAY LET’S GO MAUAHAHAAH”. New decks may soon emerge that could keep the new Starhorn in check, you never know. But we need to wait and see.
Now… on specific Magmar cards themselves:
Rancor: A fantastic step in the right direction for making self harm shenanigans more viable. Elucidator’s opening gambit for instance now has the added benefit of giving Rancor +4 atk, and powerful synergies like this are great to offset the inherent downsides of self harm plays. Also, it’s a fucking 2 drop, with 3 health to boot. (Rating: 5)
Entropic Gaze: I have mixed feelings about this card. I consider it the Magmar equivalent of Pheonix Fire with a downside that really isn’t a downside because Starhorn is a thing and Decimus is a thing. On one end, I love this card because it’s an insane face punching spell with card draw. On the other end, I hate this card because it’s an insane face punching spell with card draw in a faction that isn’t Songhai. Who cares if you can’t target minions with it, you do so much damage it’s not likely to matter anyway. Pheonix Fires to the face are already scary as is, and now we get an even more powerful one with Decimus synergy? I genuinely think it does too much damage too cheaply. (Rating: 5 for power level, 2 for happiness meter)
Thraex: I… I am not really feeling this card, though that’s likely because the decks I like to play wouldn’t likely appreciate the admittedly nice benefit Thraex provides. I think it’s a solid 3 drop with a decent body and relevance beyond the early game, so that’s cool. I just think it’s a little boring, and im not sure if it’ll see much play given how fast our aggro already is without it. (Rating: 3)
Tectonic Spikes: I love this card. It’s an amazing card draw that just oozes Magmarian characteristics, has delicious self harm synergy and can help ping enemy artefacts. In a world without Decimus, my opinion of this card would remain the same, even if it means Tectonic will more oftentimes be a tempo loss. (Rating: 4 without Decimus, 5 with Decimus)
Drogon: Great card. Fucking boring, but fucking powerful. Not much to say here beyond the fact it’s great that Solo Vaath now has a way to deal great face smashes without relying on the cumbersome Bounded Lifeforce. Also, it provides a nice scary body. (Rating: 4)
Valknu’s Seal: I LOVE this card. It’s by far the coolest of our new tools, and Valknu gets style points for his flawless Wolverine impersonation. I KNOW its the least viable of our new tools, but who gives a shit, it’s awesome. You could potentially create a living monstrosity with frenzy with the Seal, so that’s always cool. Also, don’t forget its synergy with Egg Morph! (beside Morin Khur) (Rating: I’m going to be optimistic and give a 3 for overall card quality, but 5 for flavour and sheer card coolness)