"Under The Hood" - Impact of the 1.75 Monthly Cards (T1M Article)


Hey everyone, Alexicon1 here. Last patch I detailed the changes to cards and their effects on the metagame. The response was quite positive, so here I am with round 2, but now I’m talking about the monthlies. There is plenty to talk about here, and some of these cards are definitely doozies. If you haven’t read an “Under The Hood” before, in this segment I discuss card additions and changes to the game not necessarily been specified by Counterplay. I’ll run over each change, and a basic breakdown of the effect on the game. So sit back, relax and enjoy the first breakdown on the 2-mana Common card Azure Herald.

This is one of those cards that has a use all throughout the game, where its effectiveness doesn’t drop off as the game advances from the early game, through the mid-game and ends up at the late game. In those first few turns you can drop this and go face a little bit without much undue damage, and this minion is quite tanky for a 2-drop, surviving a Phoenix Fire and as well should take 2 hits to clear off.

I fully expect this card to become a staple of Healyonar (whoever plays that :slight_smile:) and feature in Control decks, because with Reva currently terrorising the ladder, every bit of health counts. We may see this card feature in many decks for that sole reason, a good Reva counter. It’s still good enough to play on Turn 1 - a 1/4 body is good enough to trade with 2/3s alongside your general, with the option of playing it later for the healing effect. It’s just like a Turn 1 Mystic - reliable when you’re just starting, and useful forever. Good start Counterplay, let’s see what we can do with the 1-mana Rare, Zyx.

I liked this card the moment I saw it for its synergy with Kara’s BBS, whose change I covered last edition. For 2 mana you get 12 stats (a 5/7) because of the double-up with the BBS and copy summoning. An almost better Gloomchaser, this will be very nice as a Turn 1 play). Even better if you have 2 in hand as that is 4 minions, a 4/8 for 2 mana which can always take another mana tile.

This card could also see use in Swarm Abyssian as this accomplishes Swarm’s goal perfectly, it’s a better Lilithe BBS, although without Wraithling synergy. Throwing this out to try and reach for a Snowchaser to infiltrate first turn is also a very nice bonus. A really good value card overall, definitely expect this to see play in certain archetypes. So, with No. 2 done, let’s move on to one of the more interesting monthlies I’ve seen in a while, Ironclad.

Here is a very interesting one, I was quite surprised when I saw this one. This seems to be partially directed at salvaging Vetruvian’s overnerfed Siphon Energy and synergises with a Dying Wish Vetruvian deck. Although the cost is quite high for a relatively weak minion stat-wise, it makes up for it with quite a potent effect, which may see use with Vetruvian, and perhaps Abyssian for a pseudo-3 mana minion when used with Darkfire Sacrifice for an board-wide dispel.

Although a powerful card, I don’t actually expect it to see much play except for a few archetypes. Perhaps if it was 1 mana cheaper it may see more play, but yes, this seems like damage control for Vetruvian’s removal options. Next up, we have probably the most synergistic card of the lot, the 4-mana Legendary, Decimus

First of all, I have to say I’m loving the art of this card, getting a real butcher vibe out of it. And Counterplay have answered our prayers and given us damage synergistic with Starhorn! This is a strong minion stat-wise, and coupled with an amazing effect can be free damage in the late game when Starhorn’s BBS is active every turn. Spelljammer procs for 4 damage, amazing burst potential with this.

To be completely honest, this might see use in Fast Songhai, as Songhai need the card draw anyway, why not add some damage to the enemy? That and Starhorn of course. This can be a huge danger point and can be the subject of a deck and become a win-con.

That’s it for today everyone, I hope to see you guys and gals next time, and be sure to check out Turn 1 Mystic for more quality Duelyst content. But before I go, we had a teaser posted on the @PlayDuelyst twitter about the Cryptographer, the card designed to honour the 20 people (including me) that solved the Seven Sisters riddle. The card is below, feel free to theorise on its effects!

Until next time,


Great article, thanks for creating and sharing this. I pretty much agree with most things, but one thing is wrong, I think:

Opening Gambits trigger before the minion hits the board, so you gain 10 stats with this Combo (2x 2/3).


i honestly think this is the best set of monthlies in a while. Like, except for ironclad (and i have this feeling he is going to probe us wrong), i want to have them all. They are all simple and yet seem so effective, and most of all: they go against the actual meta … only 4 new cards may flip the game completly, and thats huge.

EDIT: Cryptographer, based only in the name, he looks like it works around spells. I would say it transforms spells into another one :0


Cryptographer looks similar to prophet of the white palm (Pixel Art) so going off your suggestion it could be something like a 3 mana 3/3 prevent all spell effects or damage that would effect other friendly minions.

Dunno if that would kill Songhai but it feel it could be interesting.


but he looks evil, he even has the same horns as ki beholder! :scream:

Also a cryptographer doesnt “translate” things? so many possibilities!


He could “encipher” the opponents spells: Put a two mana spell “VICthulhu” in their hand
VICthulhu: You cannot play spells while this is in your hand
It would fulfill a need for a neutral Keshrai Fanblade


sound like a Sphynx nerf Kappa


Sphynx gets to keep its memeness which is all it needs. Also if the “Cryptographer” gets a code it should use a completely random key that doesn’t repeat to make it uncrackable without guessing.
Also could cost more like 6 mana for 4/5.


what if they both work together? :scream: Like he “unCrypts” the riddle!

“whenever a player uses a riddle, you summon a minion” :scream:

The memes!


It’s decrypts A, and B that would be an awesome, albeit not very strong, Idea.
6 Mana
5/6 Neutral
Whenever a player uses a riddle, summon a 4/4 Cthulhu.

If done successfully it could completely lock down a players replace mechanic, but requires a specific setup. I’d legit play a replace deck with that engine.


i would totally play that for the lolz

Thanks for the correction, english not my native language XD


That would be a killer combo!

-> play this and the opponent cannot play spells.
-> Play Sphinx to give them a riddle
-> since both this and the riddle are spells, your opponent cannot play them. Nor can they replace this due to the riddle’s effect.
-> this way, the oppoent’s hand is at least 2 cards smaller, possibly more if other spells are caught in the combo
-> the combo can be played around by keeping one’s card count 5 or above and cryptographer could be 4-5 mana.


I thought the consensus is how it will work the same way ash mypht does ie each aditional spawned minion doesn’t get extra stats. Or am I misinformed since I didn’t test the interaction myself?

I don’t agree. Despite the card behind technically able to dispel at range, it functions in such a different manner that it’s not even worth comparing. And when it comes to the DW archetype which is currently non-existent despite vet having some high quality DW options, this card is not nearly good enough to find it’s place there.


Like I’ve said before, this is mostly an opinion, and tbh I meant to put “partially” in there


I strongly disagree with saying gloomchaser or zyxes give x/x stats. Say if you have a 2/3 and another 2/3 from the buffed zyx vs a 4/6. In best case scenario both zyx would hig enemy general twice for a total of… Eigth damage, whiel the 4/6 could hit for up to 12 if it hits thrice. Gloomchaser’s 2/2 and 1/1 together make a 3/3 yes, but both die to hitting face or 97% of minions so will only ever get off 3 damage, whereas a 3/3 could do up to 6 damage.


It really is just an alternative way to talk about minion stats, I don’t mean anything by it. I’m talking about it in mana value terms, not that it’s this big


Didn’t think of that! That’s pretty well the ultimate Songhai Killer. Dunno if that’s a bit OP as if done successfully it can shutdown all spells, replaces, AND is relatively hard to play around (When Sphynx is played Riddle is recurring). They should make it and have “Crypto-Sphynx” be top of the meta. It does actually make sense to have it combo with Sphynx as both are “riddles” of a sort.


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