HeyguyshowsitgoingZyxhere- uh, nah can't pull it off. Take 2.
Hello friends and readers, it's time for a little trip into the lands of Mythron to find new treasures - some cards for old decks, and some that spawn brand new archetypes.
With a generally positive reception, Unearthed Prophecy arrives bringing with it some interesting concepts. New tiles for some factions, a whole new mechanic in Sentinels and some cards that force new builds. Another point worth noting is that we can craft the cards from this expansion, so I'll be updating the Budget builds in the near future. Enough chatter, let's get to the bag!
First we hit the night lights of Songhai, where Reva's Ranged Casino is all the rage of the red nation. Starting simple, and bringing in some mechs to share the fun. Bombard is a janky card, and Bloodsworn Gambler is a neutral that seems to be competing for the throne Meltdown abdicated. Combine all of these for a heady mix of frustration!
Saberspine Seal and Primus Fist allow your Gambler to hit for more during the turn, but still be ready for Inner Focus next turn. Bombard reactivates your Mechaz0r! as well.
Competitive: Eternity Painter is the universal gain, while Flamewreath seems to have found a way in to most Kaleos decks. Strong Sentinels, especially Mind Cage Oni, can make the opponent stutter while executing their gameplan.
Creative: Firestorm Mantra should speak to the soul of deck builders, and we are already seeing players try to pull off crazy turns with it. Scroll Bandit is also quite popular, and while I'm not a fan of the effect, it does make the user's day better, at least. Incorporating Twilight Reiki as a one-of can create a potential for unexpected plays in the late game.
Dud prediction: Flicker
Overall Rating - 3/5 - 4th place
Our friends of the Undervault have been given some (un)deadly tools to build their decks around. Doom is the deck-builder's challenge, largely irrelevant as a meta-game defining concept - much more interesting to test how well you can stall with the tools available. There are many ways to try this, (reducing the cost of Doom, using a tempo deck to create the opening for a Doom turn etc) and I've gone with a stalling midrange Cass here.
Heal, disrupt, trade, clear and Magesworn your way to Doom in this one.
Competitive: Phantasm should fit right into almost any regular Abyssian deck. Inking Surge should be a staple in Lilithe decks, and Nekomata is the type of hand refuel Lurking Fear decks dreamt of. Probably the weakest set of Sentinels on average, though each one has a meta-dependent use.
Creative: Corporal Cadence is a neat concept - decks are being made with Phantasm + Razorcrag Golem trying to land the finishing blow on 8 mana. Nethermeld, once it works properly, will also be one to use in unexpected situations, creating gap-closing Abyssal Juggernauts and flying Spectral Revenants. Mindlathe is going to cause some rage-quits.
Dud Prediction: Choking Tendrils
Overall Rating - 3/5 - 3rd place
Now we enter the Jungles, where the land is in full Primal Flourish, where Vaath thrives and his enemies perish. Also here, however, is Starhorn - and his pack of neutral oddballs. Decimus is joined by Theobule for this one, where we tweak an existing powerhouse deck in to a replace-friendly one. Eternal Hearts are optional!
A Wings on the board looks cool when you do your normal replace for the turn, but if it gets helped by a Theobule proc on a 3 card hand, it can be hitting for 11!
Competitive: Magmar 'Spikes' should be a little disappointed with their slim pickings here, although perhaps that is more of a reflection on the embarrassment of riches the faction already possesses. Primal Ballast, Eternal Heart and Vaath's Brutality can be tournament tech.
Creative: Catalyst Quillbeast and Blood Rage are beautiful ways to boost the Twin Fangs archetype. Evolutionary Apex is absolutely hilarious, if occasionally game-ending. Grandmaster Kraigon is brutal, but answerable. Rizen is Magmar's own Black Locust. Omniseer and Verdant Fulmination can find a place in the Starhorn Grow/Swarm niche.
Dud Prediction: Endure the Beastlands
Overall Rating - 3/5 - 5th place
The land of sand turns out to be in good stead as we move through the early part of this expansion. Zirix seems the primary beneficiary with the support looking largely dervish-based, but a controlling 'Frustration Sajj' is a strong contender for non-aggro metas, a deck that answers everything while slowly taking over the game.
You don't feel all that well when your opponent goes Lavastorm, Wild Tahr, Thunderhorn, Reader, Blood of Air, Aymara and Dominate Will on curve. Yes, really.
Competitive: Too many to state! More a case of picking and choosing here, rather than taking what sticks. At a push, Superior Mirage and Sandswirl Reader make life difficult for most factions, and Reassemble is a great way to reposition malfunctioning obelysks.
Creative: Exhuming Sand decks will be a nice experiment, the payoff seems to be there. Oblivion Sickle is a 1 mana artifact - this should please the 10 Tear/Artifact Sajj players out there. Azure Summoning is also making waves in the mountains of jank.
Dud Prediction: Fate Watcher
Overall Rating - 4/5 - 1st place
If you were expecting something else, you were wrong. A cracking winter awaits the Duelyst landscape, yet again. The deck here utilises Glacial Fissure, which was the first card spoiled, with Mesmerise.
Just play that sentinel behind you and watch the opponent squirm uneasily. Then watch them clamour for room to move as the Charges explode.
Competitive: Luminous Charge is either over-tuned or plain broken. A successful Flawless Reflection is game-ending in a manner reminiscent of double Divine Bond. The Sentinels are the strongest available, and only Vanar seems capable of answering these effectively. All this, while also retaining such gems as Mana Deathgrip.
Creative: Icebreak Ambush and Vespyrian Might can both have decks built around utilising their potential with other cards that support their respective keywords. Blinding Snowstorm might be surplus to requirements, but it has decks it can work in.
Dud Prediction: Matron Elveiti
Overall Rating - 4/5 - 2nd place
I feel like I'm forgetting something... ah right, Neutrals. There are some fairly popular ones already seeing play, and in general, there was a lot more creativity in the batch for this expansion!
Worth trying out: Wild Tahr, Thunderhorn, Dagona, Sinister Silhouette, Komodo Hunter
Dud Prediction: Quahog
Well, that's all for now, folks! Have fun out there with what I think is our best expansion so far. We'll meet again soon!
Something still looks off here... hmmm