So here’s a little dude you probably haven’t thought of in a while:
If you’re anything like me you probably haven’t considered playing Sunstone Templar in any of your decks for a good long while, and that’s probably all Tempo Argeon’s fault (as most things are). Argeon doesn’t have a lot of use for non-tempo 2-drop minions, and Sunstone Templar definitely comes from the counter play school of Duelyst.
With Rise of the Bloodborn coming up, and its–at least partial–attempt at a push for more control decks in the meta, could Sunstone Templar have what it takes to see play now? Has its time come? Well, let’s consider that idea while we wait.
First let’s try to get its effect in order: as far as I can tell, the dispel effect takes place prior to the enemy counterattack and after Templar’s counterattack. Meaning that if you attack with Templar the enemy is dispelled before counterattacking, but if Templar gets attacked the dispel doesn’t happen until after Templar’s made its counterattack. This makes Templar especially effective on the active turn, and encourages placing it just outside of the enemy’s reach in a lot of cases. Did I get this right?
The thing about Sunstone Templar is that (if I’m reading it right) it turns out to be quite the excellent counter to a veritable ton of early game plays, teaming it up with your General attack delivers quite the one-two punch in these cases. Let’s have a look, per Faction.
Abyssian: Gor, Ooz, Horror Burster (a worthy trade), Abyssal Juggernaut(!)
Lyonar: Windblade Adept, Lightchaser, Azurite Lion, Silverguard Knight, Sunforge Lancer (and her General buffs), anything under Divine Bond, Argeon’s BBS!
Magmar: Draws Natural Selection, Rex, Young Silithar, Gro, Thraex (and its buffs), Vaath’s BBS!
Songhai: (Buffed) Katara, Chakri Avatar, Lantern Fox(!), survives Phoenix Fire
Vanar: Snow Chaser(!), Crystal Cloaker, Crystal Wisp, Borean Bear, Fenrir Warmaster, Snow Rippler, ALL Walls
Vetruvian: ALL Structures, Pax, Pyromancer + Wish
Neutral: I’m not going through all these but you get the point
These are quite a bit of common threats (I didn’t even mention more uncommon ones) that can really mess you up early on. And while Templar (mostly) doesn’t trade with them by itself, it does help avoid a pretty wide range of common blowout threats that mess up your day. I imagine a card like this is difficult to evaluate because players can see it coming an will adjust their plays in accordance with its presence: you’ll likely never know if your Templar saved you from that P1T2 Katara + Mist + Killing Edge attack.
To me it seems like Templar might have a chance in upcoming Lyonar control decks, but maybe I’m missing something; what do you think? Anyone here with some significant play time?