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View Full Version : Full Herald of the Void set review - card by card



Psychobabble.au
05-31-2013, 01:40 AM
If there are any english-language fan sites out there that would like to host this series, please email me - psychobabbleswccg at gmail.com. I contacted a couple but haven't heard back, so I'm posting it here for now.

With the full spoiler up, I thought it might be a good idea to do a complete card by card review. Every day for the next few days, I'll post up another batch of cards. I'll start today with heroes, neutral and haven creatures and move through the rest as I could be bothered.

I'm going to be using the rating scale of a certain well known writer from another TCG, although my reviews will unfortunately be less punny:

5.0: Format all-Star (pao, dark assassin). Probably would only include super-powerful neutral cards.
4.0: Format staple (firebolt, insect swarm, broken bridge, wolf captain). The sort of card you always need to be keeping in mind, or creatures which are so powerful that they warp the meta.
3.5: Good in multiple archetypes, but not a format staple (tainted orc, lilim, vampire knight, coral priestess, tithe collecter). These are standard, very powerful, creatures which almost always be included in decks that can play them, but aren't so powerful that they dictate the meta. Might also include some spells and fortunes, but probably they will be rated a straight 3 or 4 (or lower).
3.0: Archetype staple (stone shield, time jump, dreamweaver, wasteland, wolf justicar). Cards which are really good in a particular decktype, but need some synergies to get there.
2.5: Role-player in some decks, but not quite a staple. (Inner fire, goblin sharpshooter, plague zombie, centaur archer, demented, campfire). Cards you might put in your deck, but which aren't super exciting and which might get substituted for other options.
2.0: Niche card (naga tactician, dispels, purity, tree of truth, cosmic realignment). Most "counter" cards fall in this category, or just cards which require a lot of work to go right.
1.0: Bad card.

Without further ado, and with thanks to momcards for the card images, here's the review:

Heroes

Alia, Caller of Faith (haven)

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/heroes/large/us/27-alia-mandeuse-de-la-foi.png

Rating: 4

The first thing to look at with heroes is their stats and Alia is middle of the road. 1/1/1 stats is baseline acceptible, although 2/0/1 or 2/1/0 would obviously be better, especially with the wolf captain change. The single point in magic is rarely going to be wasted, even in a creature/fortune deck (due to the power of radiant glory), but the 1 point in fortune is likely to be wasted if you want to build a might/magic deck which is a little bit awkward. She probably best lends herself to some sort of 4/1/3 or 4/1/4 deck which, in haven, probably means a retaliation synergy deck which isn't a bad thing as it's a strong archetype.

Next up is her spell schools and right off the bat things get interesting. Light school is expected for haven heroes, and is good because it grants access to dispel and a cheap lane-stacking punisher (suburst). Fire, though, is completely unexpected and indicates that Ubisoft no longer sees spell schools as linked to particular factions anymore (which I have to admit is slightly disappointing from a flavour perspective and has lead to what I would suggest are some questionable design decisions). Anyway, firebolt is an excellent spell to splash for in virtually any deck and, along with the change to seigfried's passive, might have represented an attempt by the developers to push down the power level of dark assassin as more heroes being able to firebolt means that that powerful little 2-drop is going to stick around even less often. The combination of the two spell schools opens up some interesting synergies, with word of light working well with both firebolt and the new spell heat wave to take out many enemy creatures.

Finally we get to her special ability, which is basically an admission by the developers that they messed up with Jezziel. While healing 3 damage from a creature isn't worth a card (which is the opportunity cost of using a hero's activated ability), the good half of divine intervention certainly can be worth a card or even multiple cards, particularly in the type of deck I see Alia working in. Prior to the expansion, seigfried retaliation was a decent deck type and it made good effect of his passive ability to increase the survivability of some very annoying to kill creatures like wolf praetorian and sun rider. Seigfried has now been nerfed to the point where I suspect he's effectively unusable, but I can see Alia's ability stepping into the gap and resetting (or even just threatening to) the health of a number of your already difficult-to kill creatures at a key time. The retaliation deck is essentially a combo deck which wants to grind out your opponent defensively in the early game and then get out a critical mass of creatures, drop a wolf justicar and truce of elrath to win the game out of nowhere. While Alia's ability is hugely expensive, and I suspect incorrect usage of it will often lose its controller the game, I can also see it being used once or twice per game to heal multiple creatures and establish that critical board position needed to make the follow up combo hit effective. I could be wrong, but I have high hopes for this hero.

Dhamiria, Caller of Madness (inferno)

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/heroes/large/us/28-dhamiria-mandeuse-de-la-folie.png

Rating: 2

As with all of the new heroes, her stats are 1/1/1. Decent, but unexciting. And again, while the single point of magic is rarely going to be wasted in a might/fortune deck (succubus and lilim), there's not much incentive to splash 1 fortune in a might/magic deck so that limits her utility somewhat. The current inferno deck type which uses the might/fortune combination is an agressive pseudo-combo belias deck which hits hard early and finishes off with fortunes like hall of torment and tower of obvlivion, but Belias' special ability is much better suited to that type of deck than Dhamiria's is. Which means you'd probably need to build an entirely new decktype around her.

Moving to spell schools, we again see the breakdown of the concept of faction-alignment of spell schools as she has access to both fire and earth. Earth magic on an inferno hero makes zero flavour sense to me, and just seems completely random, but it does make for a pretty good combination for a controlling spell deck with both spell schools having a good variety of direct damage AOE spells. I'm not sure whether it's possible to build a magic/fortune combo deck along the lines of the Shaar OTK decks, without access to a game-winner like kat's grand finale, but that's the kind of option that this spell school combination opens up for inferno.

As for her special ability.... ugh. This is not what you want to be doing with 6 resources. Yes, this is pretty good against OTK and combo decks. But there's a LOT of hate available against combo/OTK decks now, if they can even survive the latest nerfs, and doing this against any non-combo deck just seems awful. Spending 6 mana to not affect the board in any way and to take out one, or if you're very lucky, two cards which your opponent's haven't spent any resources on is pretty pathetic. Twist of fate hardly sees any play and this is just going to be twist of fate most of the time, for three times the cost. Put it this way. Instead of spending 6 resources to take out (likely) one card from your opponents hand, you could spend one resource to add a card to your own hand. If the average quality of cards in your deck is so low as to make that a good trade then there's something very wrong with your deckbuilding skills.

Adar-Malik, Caller of Doom (necropolis)

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/heroes/large/us/29-adar-malik-mandeur-de-la-fatalite.png

Rating: 3

1/1/1 again and all of the above comments about that combination apply here, although there is slightly more incentive to splash 1 fortune in a necropolis might/magic deck given the power of mass grave. So it's actually plausible that you could build an effective might/magic deck with this hero. If you build a might/fortune deck, you're likely to be doing something along the lines of recurring banshee shenanigans with all of the discard/recur/sacrifice necropolis fortunes, which becomes very interesting when you take into account his special ability.

And again with the faction-breaking spell school combination, this time it's dark and fire. Again, I feel like the developers have just randomly given these heroes fire magic as incidental hate against DA, but it's still nice to have. Dark is probably the second best spell school, and combining it with fire magic opens up the possibility of a pure controlling spell hero which aims to hit 6 magic for puppet master and armageddon, for the ultimate in creature-hate options. Realistically that's probably too expensive to work without stone shields to stall and earthquake/insect swarm to deal with early rushes (see: kal-azar), but it's a theoretical possibility.

Which takes us to Adar's special ability, which is intruiging. The effect is of course ridiculously expensive, and if you're just using it to recur random vampire knights and lamasu's you're doing it wrong. Remember, the opportunity cost here is to draw a random card for 1 resource and a random card from your deck should be better than a vanilla creature in your graveyard. Where things become interesting is when you start cheating the effect, with things like ariana's lair and altar of the spider goddess. It's a very late-game proposition here, but if you're re-buying the come into play ability of a banshee or atropos then you can start getting insane value from the recursion. There is already a fringe deck built around the synergies of some of these fortunes, and while fleshbane or nergal are both good heroes for that deck, Adar is a potential option. If OTK decks do completely leave the meta with the latest round of nerfs, turning the game into complete creature-on-creature combat, then that deck type could be fairly well positioned as it just dominates creature strategies. Adar's ability just grants additional redundancy to your main strategy here, in case you don't draw one of your other recursion cards, so I could see this being viable despite the extreme cost.

Zardoc, Caller of Valor (stronghold)

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/heroes/large/us/31-zardoc-mandeur-de-la-bravoure.png

Rating: 3.5

Zardoc of course has the same stats as the others. Unlike the other factions mentioned so far, Stronghold might/fortune decks can quite happily avoid investing any points in magic, so that's a strike against him. On the plus side, might/magic stronghold decks will often put a point into fortune for sacrifical altar or blood shaman's hut, so I would suggest that he's most likely to be used in that style of deck.

Also, of course, he has a normal (earth) and a very abnormal (light) spell school, and again I find the bizzare flavour-break here somewhat off putting. However, it's a really good combination of spell schools and one that is completely unique in the game to date. Both schools have a good array of direct damage and utility spells, and sunburst's ability to punish lane stacking nicely complements earth magic's inability to do so. This combination seems powerful enough that it could probably support Zardoc as a decent hero on its own.

As for his ability, you don't want to use it often but it can set up some spectacular blowouts. Can you imagine combining this with a double striker? Even the threat of this being activated makes all of your opponent's deployment decisions difficult, and it gives you some almost guaranteed late game reach if you just need to get one of your guys to an open lane to finish off your opponent. This is exactly what you want in a 6-cost ability, something which always forces your opponent to respect it and which can decisively turn the tide of a creature battle or just end the game sometimes. All in all, I have high hopes for Zardoc and could see him with, say, 4/4/1 as a potential strong new stronghold archetype.

Noburu, Caller of Twilight (sanctuary)

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/heroes/large/us/30-noboru-mandeur-du-crepuscule.png

Rating: 2

You know the deal, 1/1/1. It's virtually impossible to build a sanctuary deck without splashing into magic, so she can support a might/fortune deck with no issues, but sanctuary gives you no incentive to splash 1 fortune so that's a little awkward (it's a shame that ponder, er, hall of fortune, requires level 2 fortune).
There's no good sanctuary might/fortune deck that I'm aware of, so she'll require a new archetype to be built to be effective I would suggest. Perhaps a tempo deck with frozen maze and avalanche and the like; I can't really see it, but it's possible I guess.

Noburu has another unique and flavour-destroying spell school combination, with access to light and dark magic (seriously guys? i know flavour isn't everything, but this is just bizzare). The spell schools don't work fantastically well together. Dark magic doesn't have any good direct damage (I don't think this combination is going to make despair viable), so it can't be used to finish off creatures damaged by the low-powered light magic spells. And without being able to realistically kill anything of much value (unlike fire or earth), light magic doesn't provide good AOE to complement the single-target nature of dark magic. Both of the schools have some great individual spells, but they don't work together particularly well imo.

As for her ability.... meh. Outmaneuver on a stick is nice, and it'll sometimes win the game for you, but it's very, very rare that this will net you more than one card's worth of value which is what you're looking for in these very expensive hero abilities. Nothing about this hero screams playability to me, and I don't think the overall package quite works well enough to make for a viable hero option. Ishuma is almost strictly better I'm afraid.

Creatures

Neutral

Dark Wood Treant

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/156-treant-des-bois-obscurs.png

Rating: 2.5

Right off the bat we have a spicy little number. The most obvious use for this is as a pseudo stone-shield for combo and control decks. Assuming such decks can still exist in Herald, it does a decent job as a stall card. It will probably save you as much as a stone shield would, sometimes more, the difference being that your opponent gets to interract with it using creature removal/damage spells (which are typically blanked by control/combo decks) instead of dispels. I can imagine it seeing some play in those kind of decks, particularly those without access to earth magic, so it's worth keeping in mind in that respect.

The other way to use it is to take advantage of its towering ability to protect shooters. This is normally going to be a worse use, you set yourself up for strategies which punish lane stacking (eg. broken bridge) and as a creature it just doesn't do all that much. Perhaps a deck like Ariana could take advantage of both halves of the card, either using it to stall while setting up a board wipe, or to protect its powerful shooters/flyers like archlichs in the later game. All in all an interesting card which I imagine will see some play.

Greater Earth Elemental

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/160-elementaire-de-terre-superieur.png

Rating: 1

Yeah it's fat, but you can get a lot of fat bodies for 7 resources. The biggest threat to the playability of 7-drops isn't earthquake, it's town portal, soul reaver, puppet master, banshee, broken bridge etc. etc. so the "protection" here is basically irrelevant. If you're really in the market for a 7 resource creature, you can do worse (maybe) but he isn't going to convince me that anyone should be in the market for one in the first place.

Lesser Water Elemental

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/159-elementaire-d-eau-inferieur.png

Rating: 1

This has one purpose, which is to conclusively demonstrate that the cost of becoming a neutral creature, as opposed to a faction specific one, is almost exactly one resource (except Pao/Dark assassin. Because rarity). Succubus and neophite lich are good cards. This is not.

Magic peddler

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/158-colporteur-d-objets-magiques.png

Rating: 2

As we'll get to later on in the review, most of the unique spells are powerful enough that it actually might be worth running this guy sometimes. The dark magic one, particularly, is so amazing that using a couple of resources to dig for it (and stalling an attacker a little bit) could actually be worthwhile. Having said that, few decks have enough space in them to run a card like bard despite the huge power of atropos, so perhaps he can't make the cut, but I wouldn't rule it out.

Serpentfly

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/157-serpentaile.png

Rating: 1

Hooray, a neutral one drop. Oh, nevermind, it's awful. Move along.

Void-Keeper

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/161-gardien-du-vide.png

Rating: 2

a 2/1/5 shooter for 4 (and with a sometimes-annoying fortune requirement too) fails the vanilla test pretty badly, especially considering that many of the best creatures in the game cost 4 (archlich, tainted orc, lilim). So can his special ability make up for the loss of 3-4 stats from comparably costed creatures? Well, not really. Having creatures be exiled instead of going to the graveyard is only relevant against haven resurrection (rarely played), a couple of newer cards which have incidental graveyard recursion and some more dedicated necropolis recursion strategies. The existence of the latter style of deck means that he's nice to have around as a bullet for that strategy, but bullets don't tend to be very good cards to put in your deck (especially with no sideboard), and he's easy enough to remove that you almost certainly wouldn't do so even if such strategies do become part of the metagame.

Haven

Wolf Guard

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/141-garde-du-loup.png

Rating: 1

The fact that this not only has 0 base attack but can also never attack, even in a retaliation deck that swaps retaliation and attack power with Truce of Elrath, takes it from "possible niche role-player" to "unplayable junk". I mean, it is sort of an answer to dark assassin, but haven's not short of cheap answers to that card (elite praetorian, wolf captain, sunburst and even firebolt now) and so I'm fairly certain that you never want to play this card. even in a haven stall/combo deck you're probably better off with the neutral dark wood treant thanks to the extra 2 health points. That 2 points of retaliation damage isn't going to actually take out very much.

Griffin Battle Priest

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/146-pretre-de-bataille-du-griffon.png

Rating: 2.5

The stats on this epic are obviously underwhelming and unlike the last haven epic, they can't grow to something more acceptible. BUt you're not playing this priest for her attacking power, it's obviously her text that's of interest. Heal 2 is meh, especially on a 4-toughness creature as the mechanic forces you to bunch up and then she just gets taken out by fireball. Devoted Sister doesn't see play for a reason, and this is barely more threatening than that card. What is interesting is her ability to heal your hero, something no other permanent in the game has been able to do to date. With so little healing effects in the game, anything which can increase your hero's life total is worth a second look. If left unchecked, that heal over time is going to make it very difficult for a lot of decks to win especially given the inherent resilience of haven's creatures. But this ability doesn't directly win you the game, unlike caller of the voide for example, and having her out on the field is probably going to actively make it harder for you to win the game because she's inherently such a weak creature. There already exists another weak creature with a very powerful "over time" effect - blind brother - and he sees virtually no play, I suspect it's going to be the same with the battle priest, but the effect is so unique and potentially powerful that I could be wrong.

Griffin Knight

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/144-chevalier-du-griffon.png

Rating: 2.5

And at last we get the dreaded final piece in the "protection" trifecta. This is a seriously powerful hoser against necropolis decks, which rely on a plethora of strong, cheap, flyers to defend in the mid game. It also does some work against haven and, to a lesser extent, stronghold (ranaar harpy, blackskull goblin rider) while being almost dead against sanctuary and inferno. Like all of the other guards, though, having this out can make it actively harder for you to win the game just due to how weak of a creature it is. While the high HP is nice, 1 attack on a 3-resource creature isn't going to win you many games and stacking up on too many guards could see you with a deck that's annoying to attack against, but so un-threatening that you lose anyway. As with the 2-cost guards though, the key is to turn them into a threat with the retaliation combo (wolf justicar/truce of elrath) and this guy will quite possibly slot into that style of deck. It isn't an auto-include 4x by any means, but I can see it doing some work and it will certainly be nice to have as a meta option against necropolis decks in particular.

Chosen of Elrath

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/147-elu-d-elrath.png

Rating: 1

Well, the thing this guy has going for it is that he's hard to kill. But haven has lots of creatures which are hard to kill, at some point you have to worry about putting too many "hard to kill but not threatening" creatures in your deck, because you still need to find a way to actually win the game. 2 attack on a 4-cost creature doesn't cut it, and I'm unconvinced that the potential synergies are there to make this work in any type of deck.

Angel of Mercy

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/132-ange-de-la-compassion.png

Rating: 2

The value here cannot be ignored. A cantripping creature which re-buys one of your early drops has some merit. The problem is that a 2/4 for 4 resources is not worth a card, not even close. And two things compound the problems with this card too. First the fact that the return is random is very disappointing, because you're just as likely to hit a tithe collector as that early wolf captain. The second issue is that due to the fact that everyone can draw 2 cards per turn, you're far more likely to end games of MMDOC while you're resource constrained, not card constrained (ie you still have enough stuff in your hand to use up all your mana every turn). In a really long, grindy game, the angel can be sweet because she lets you use up resources that you otherwise would waste. But given how weak her stats are, she's more in gravedigger (http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=221526) than crypt angel (http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=23320) territory.

Griffin Mounted Spearman

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/143-lancier-a-dos-de-griffon.png

Rating: 2.5

Swift is a mean ability, it can punish all sorts of deployments and this spearman essentially blanks any creature of 2 or less health that your opponent might deploy. It also obviously works well in concert with a spread out board position of archers and back-line flyers, to double up and take down enemies wherever they are. Board position is where I see this guy being much weaker in practice than he is in theory, though. Haven loves its melee cratures, from guards, to wolf captains to lingering tithe collectors, their melee line tends to get pretty clogged up. However, the mounted spearman will only work really well if the melee line is relatively clear, otherwise there just won't be very good places for him to move around and take advantage of his special ability. In addition, deployment movement can have its own costs, eg. setting yourself up for an AOE or single line spell. Perhaps he'll be able to work in a deck that was built with a lot of flyers and archers, along with perhaps some additional synergies like bless, but I think it will take a bit of effort to make him good.

Griffin Marksman

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/142-tireur-d-elite-du-griffon.png

Rating: 2

At last a creature with > 2 attack! He's also at the most exciting casting cost for vanilla creatures, with some of the best-statted creatures in the game costing 4. Does he live up to the lofty standards set by he likes lilim and tainted orc? well, not really. Haven creatures frequently trade off a point or two of attack/defence in favour of a bit more retaliation which is unfortunate - I'd much rather have 2 extra health here than his 2 additional retaliation points compared to lilim. He's not terrible by any means, but I can't see him sneaking his way into a deck over other 4-cost options such as warrior seraph.

Immaculate glory

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/145-gloire-immaculee.png

Rating: 3

Now this is a serious 5-drop. Dark ward and counter-immunity are both great incentives to put a few more resources into a creature than you might normally be willing to, as it reduces the number of ways your opponent can punish you for making such a huge investment into a creature. His stats are decent, too, if somewhat unexciting. I like how his steep 2-magic requirement was balanced by a lower-than-curve might cost, so that shouldn't hold him back, the only question is whether a haven deck exists that plays both might and magic and doesn't just want to end the game before it gets around to casting 5 resource creatures.

Stronghold

Kitten Warrior

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/176-guerrier-au-chaton.png

Rating: 1

One of the most obvious things this game needs more of is good one drops. Doing so would be an important way to balance out the current disadvantage with going second. Unfortunately kitten warrior is "cute" not "good", and not actually cute either. The idea is that this is sacrifical fodder for your enrage creatures, you run it into a creature with at least one retaliation point, but whereas goblin warchanter is a great 1-drop to help you build up enrage counters, this is a one shot wonder that's not worth spending a card on. Getting enrage counters incidentally from sacrificing a creature with altar of sacrifice or a pao dying or something is nice, but it's not an effect that's worth spending a full card on.

Bramble Beast

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/170-bete-des-ronces.png

Rating: 2

This is an interesting creature. It's similar to the new neutral creature, dark wood treant, except that it trades 2 health for 2 retaliation and magic resistance. The concept of the card is basically a "stone shield on legs", ie a way to soak up some damage and stall until you do something big later in the game. The trouble with the bramble beast is that the anchored keyword, while nice against town portal, will actively work against it if your opponent isn't stacking lanes. Being able to simply dodge this guy and ignore it means that it's frequently going to soak up less than 5 health, whereas dark wood treant will almost always soak up at least 7. I think the disadvantage here outweighs the slight advantage, and it's probably a worse card than treant, although it does cost one resource less so it is pretty close.

Blackskull Centaur

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/172-centaure-crane-noir.png

Rating: 3

This guy does some work. Swift is an extremely powerful keyword, and particularly on a creature which is immune to retaliation. While 3 health is a serious knock against it (pao, insect swarm, sunburst), it synergises wonderfully with other stronghold melee creatures like tainted orc. This is probably slightly higher on the power curve than the quite-similar hellfire cerebus (which sees some play), it's slightly better because it can more easily move around to hide behind a melee creature, thereby avoiding death-by-pao.

War Oliphant

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/171-oliphant-de-guerre.png

Rating: 4

WOW! This has got to be vying for title of this set's "wolf captain", although at common it will no doubt inspire less rage-posting than a chase epic. This wouldn't look out of place much higher up the rarity tree, though, dark assassin shows that a highly-pushed vanilla creature can get be an epic on stats alone, and this little beast's stats are seriously pushed. It's the only 3-drop in the game with 7 health and is almost just better than lamasu, which is already one of the better 3 drops in the game (ditto Kappa). 7 health is a material difference to 6, DA + all sorts of things kills 6 health, a 3-attack creature in the ranged line kills 6 health, 2 insect swarms kill 6 health. 7 really is a big number. Another highly-pushed new 3-drop, untamed wrath, can be almost as annoying to kill but this is NOW one of the best 3 drops in the game, it demands respect.

Blackskull Spellsmasher

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/177-brise-sort-crane-noir.png

Rating: 2.5

Dispel on a stick is very interesting, especially given that most stronghold heroes don't actually have access to any dispels. His body is weak enough that you only play this if you want a dispel, and right now I don't think there's enough decks playing ongoing spells that you really need to do so, but it's certainly great to have this in the card pool and it could do some work if the effect is needed.

Blackskull Shredder

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/173-dechiqueteur-crane-noir.png

Rating: 3

I wasn't all that impressed when I first saw this guy, but after seeing him in action my initial scepticism was clearly unjustified. He's pretty close to extra copies of pao, and pao is already one of the best creatures in the game. Swift gives him a huge amount of additional play after the turn he comes down, and while he does die a little too easily, he's certainly more survivable than pao!

Bloodfrenzied Wyvern

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/174-vouivre-frenetique-sanguinaire.png

Rating: 2.5

It would be a lot easier to get excited about this 5-drop if stronghold didn't already have a few other good options in a slot that you don't really want to be playing too many creatures in (including the next creature on the list - blackskull crusher). While both blackskull clan warlord and blackskull crusher have one less health, the difference between 7 and 8 is nowhere near as big as that between 6 and 7. In the end, he's (almost) always going to be weaker on attack than the warlord, and easier to kill than crusher, so he probably won't find a place but he can do some SERIOUS work in finishing off your opponent in combination with an insect swarm, and can get out of hand quite easily. It's probably worth trying him out in a Kelthor deck, if he finds a home it's going to be there.

Blackskull Crusher

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/178-broyeur-crane-noir.png

Rating: 4

I don't think it's going out on a limb too much to suggest that this is the best non-unique 5 drop in the game. The only card which could probably challenge it is naga tide master/pearl priestess, but I honestly don't think it's all that close. "Enemy spell ward" is a shockingly powerful keyword, it's not too far off "indestructible" in MTG-parlance, except even indestructible creatures can be dealt with with toughness modifiers in that game. MTG has never printed an "indestructible hexproof" creature (sigarda is somewhat close, but dies to wraths), and that is almost how powerful enemy spell ward is. Unless an edict (http://gatherer.wizards.com/pages/card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=27251) effect is printed in this game, this guy cannot be killed outside of combat damage, nergal poisoning or a couple of fortunes (one of which is unique, the other of which is a bounce). And he's not super-easy to deal with in combat either, his stats are respectable and you should be able to back him up with tricks to punish attempted blockers. The only thing keeping me from giving crusher a "5" rating is his cost, 5-drops are very much at the top of the curve, but there's almost no ways for your opponent to easily answer him (pao + double inner fire???) and I believe he will shape the metagame in the months to come.

Blackskull cyclops

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/175-cyclope-crane-noir.png

Rating: 2

Well this is a huge letdown after reviewing blackskull crusher. From a 5-drop which is immune to everything other than combat damage, we get a 6-drop which is immune to (some) combat damage. Combat damage is much easier to play around than spell damage though (because you have a good amount of information about it before deployment), and so it's much more powerful to be immune to spell than combat damage. This guy's really weak for a 6-drop and given the plethora of good strongold 5-drop options, I'd skip right past this guy, epic rarity or no.

Psychobabble.au
05-31-2013, 01:40 AM
Inferno creatures

Lurker in the Dark

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/139-rodeur-dans-les-tenebres.png

Rating: 3

This is a spicy little number indeed. While you're never going to be deploying it on turn 2, the low cost is nice as it allows you to play this guy and a cheaper threat in the same turn, letting you both gum up the board with an annoying defensive creature and a different attacker. I feel like fear 3 is pretty powerful, it stops a lot of different creatures from attacking you and adds a dimension to inferno which is sorely lacking. The lurker's stats overall are probably a bit too weak for it to revive the flagging inferno faction's fortunes single-handedly, but it helps.

Chaos Lacerator

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/136-lacerateur-du-chaos.png

Rating: 2

Ugh. There's two things I don't like about this card (and the inferno faction in general). First of all it dies to insect swarm, like far too many inferno creatures. Secondly, it's main purpose is part of a hand destruction theme which is fundamentally weak in a game where all heroes can draw 2 cards per turn at will. I'd much rather have a creature on the battlefield than take out a random card from your opponents hand in exchange for effectively sacrificing your creature. Give this guy 4 health and we might be talking, but at 3 it's just too weak to be worth playing imo. Being magic is nice, in combination with week of the wild spirits, but apart from that I'd rather be playing the (pretty weak) demented in this slot.

Hellfire bloater

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/134-bouffi-des-flammes-des-enfers.png

Rating: 2

As as general rule, cards which give your opponent choices are bad (it's commonly referred to as a "punisher" mechanic). Giving your opponent the choice of what a card does means that they will chose the least damaging option for themselves, so choice cards can only be good if either choice is worth playing the card for. With hellfire bloater, your opponent can either attack and take 4 damage or move away and take none. If they move away, they can either use a card to remove the bloater, or ignore it and perhaps back up their lane with a > 4 HP creature. Basically, hellfire bloater is never reliably going to do 4 damage when you want it to, unless you use additional card to kill it yourself, and 2 for 1-ing yourself is rarely a winning strategy. Now perhaps you can find some synergies with week of the dead, but that's not generally a good card for inferno, so I doubt that'll get there. It could also help you set up some more effective AOEs with Damira or something, which could be a good niche use, but it does put you down extra cards and I doubt it'll be used much, if at all.

Chaos Seer

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/138-prophete-du-chaos.png

Rating: 2.5

And here we continue with the "dies to insect swarm" theme. Pseudo-cosmic realignment on a stick might be an interesting card if there were any OTK/stall decks left in the meta, but right now I don't think there are. Still, this is a powerful bullet against those strategies if they do arise again, and it's at least not completely dead in other matchups unlike realignment. What's nice is that the seer's effect ALWAYS triggers at least once, even if your opponent removes it, so it is an effective counter. Still, outside of that application her stats are far to weak to be considered a good card, especially as she's not even a magic shooter, so I wouldn't recommend playing it unless you need to meta against OTK decks.

Hellfire Slave

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/135-esclave-des-flammes-des-enfers.png

Rating: 2.5

Hellfire slave has a full three fewer primary stats than either lilim or tainted orc, so while those are among the best 4-drops in the game, this guy is a long way off that mark. Someone might try to convince me that the extra retaliation damage makes up for that, but on a 4-HP 4-drop, I'm not buying it. It's too easy to deal with this guy in one hit for the retaliation to matter. The extra 1 base attack compared to lilim is relevant, because 4 (or 4+2) kills a lot more things than 3, but lilim can get up to 4 with week of the wild spirits anyway. There aren't many good inferno 4-drops, so it might see some play, but that's only due to a lack of good options not any inherent strength in the card.

Void Arbiter

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/133-arbitre-du-vide.png

Rating: 3.5

Finally, a card to get excited about and one which might enable an entire new archetype - inferno control. I've previously mentioned how annoying it is that a major theme of the inferno faction, discard, is inherently weak due to the ability of opposing heroes to draw 2 cards per turn. Well, void arbiter shuts that down and incidentally blanks a whole lot of other events and fortunes to boot. Being symmetrical is somehwat annoying, but if you build your deck to be full of late game cards then the quality of your single draw should be better than your opponent's draw, allowing you to win in the long game. I'm not convinced the deck type will work, but something like Dhamira with earth/fire board control spells and expensive "attack anywhere" demons to lock down the board once you've established parity, with void arbiter to stop your opponent drawing out of it could be an actual thing. Also, it's interesting to note that playing cosmic realignment while you have void arbiter out is... mean. It's probably not viable given the 4-fortune requirement, but a full hand discard followed by a limitation on subsequent drawing might be nice if you can establish board parity.

Hellfire Maniac

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/137-maniaque-des-flammes-des-enfers.png

Rating: 2.5

Hellfire maniac actually does what you want hellfire bloater to do - 4 damage, to something. I'm not convinced that spending 5 to do 4 damage is exactly where you want to be, especially given that inferno heroes frequently have access to fireball, but it's not out of the question because he does have some upside and can just be played as a body if necessary. I'm not 100% sure how the beserk works with multiple creatures in a lane. I assume that both are forced to attack simultaenously, if that's correct then he's potentially quite good if somewhat expensive. I gotta say though that that art is so.... random. That side-stomach mouth looks completely impractical!

Necropolis creatures

Hangman Tree

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/148-arbre-du-pendu.png

Rating: 2.5

Moar fog on a stick! Walls, walls for everyone! This is quite probably the strongest in the cycle (which so far includes dark wood treant and bramble beast). The cost is right, the stats are good and regeneration is excellent, as it gives you the option of moving it out of the line of fire for a turn or two to rebuild, and also gives it an annoying amount of resilience if you use AOE spells as early board control. Speaking of AOE, that one innocuous point of retaliation damage here synergises superbly well with AOEs, particularly insect swarm, as even one point of damage will put some annoying creatures such as ranaar harpy, imperial griffin and juggernaut into swarm range. This won't quite be a staple card, seeing as only a particular brand of control deck will want to play it, but it looks like a really good option for stalling ariana and possibly nergal decks.

Namtaru Channeler

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/153-canalisateur-des-namtaru.png

Rating: 2

A good rule with card evaluation is that cards which are good on their own are better than cards which are only good with other cards. A second good general rule is that synergistic combos usually only work if either half of the combo is good on its own, but they just happen to be awesome when they come together. It is possible for a synergy-based strategy to be strong enough that you might play it even if it doesn't do much outside of the combo, but when you're in that territory you pretty much want to be winning the game on the spot when it does come together (wolf justicar + truce of elrath basically falls into the latter category).

Anyway, that's a long winded way of saying that I don't think Namtaru Channeler is very good. There aren't very many playable ongoing spells in this game. Global enchantments like mass regeneration, don't add to your board presence and don't do enough to be worth a card. Most individual auras simply open their controller up to being 2-for-1ed when their opponent deals with their creature on the following turn (note that bless somewhat breaks this rule as you'll usually be able to trade it for a card on the turn you play it, which makes it playable). Walls are generally bad because your opponent can easily play around them. Debuff auras are bad because their absolute best case is that your opponent's creature is still able to block and force you to waste more resources to deal with it. There are actually two new ongoing spells that are playable, but both of them are unique so they aren't particularly relevant for the present analysis. So on the one hand we have a bunch of cards which synergise with Namtaru Channeler but which aren't really playable without her. And Namtaru Channel is certainly not playable on its own, a 1/5 melee for 3 doesn't exactly stack up to the wolf captains of this world even if she does have a point of infect. And even if you do pull off the synergy move, the payoff just isn't there. If a mass of ongoing spells turned her into something truly terrifying, like each added an extra health as well as attack, or additional points of infect damage or something then we might be getting somewhere, but as it is... nope.

Untamed wrath

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/150-spectre-insoumis.png

Rating: 4

Really Ubi? You actually thought necro needed another amazing 3-drop? It's already got 2 of the better ones in the game, in vampire knight and lamasu, this is just ridiculous. And it's even got the magic creature sub-type, so it gets the boost from week of the wild spirits to go along with most of the rest of the threats in your deck. This isn't the only reason that necropolis seems to be making up 75%+ of the online metagame post-expansion, but it's a big part of it. It's super annoying to kill outside of opposing magic creatures, hits pretty hard, is a flyer... it's got it all. This guy, along with all of the other hugely powerful necropolis flyers, makes specific anti-flyer bullets like grounded and father sky wrath start to look attractive, that's the sign of a hugely powerful creature.


Skeleton Archer

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/149-archer-squelette.png

Rating: 2.5

This isn't actually a bad creature. Those stats would put skeleton archer among the best 3-drops in basically all of the other factions, the problem here is that necropolis just has too many better options. If you're trying to build a week of the tamed spirits necropolis deck for some reason, then this probably makes the cut, other than that you're probably looking elsewhere.

Soul-Consuming Lich

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/152-liche-devoreuse-d-ame.png

Rating: 3

One of the most frustrating things with the necro faction is the ability of a number of their creatures to break the symmetry of AOE damage spells by being able to survive them and rebuild their health with life drain. While this lich isn't quite as terrifying as archlich in that respect, its survivability in the face of AOE damage spells is pretty terrifying. Not every deck is going to want this, as it is pretty weak on the attack, but more controlling versions of nergal/ariana should seriously look at it, particularly if they're experimenting with week of the tamed spirits.

Decay Spitter

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/155-cracheur-putride.png

Rating: 3.5

Its difficult to overstate the strength of a good enters the battlefield ability on a creature that's even half decent. The value you get from simply casting this is almost worth a card on its own, and then you get a free body on top of it. This is the very definition of a "2 for 1", and add shenanigans like atropos or other recursion and things start getting out of hand. The only thing holding decay spitter back from being an auto-4x include is the fact that his ability isn't optional. If you play this when your opponent's board is empty (or untargetable due to path of the ancestors or something) then you're going to have to target your own creature, unless the spitter is your only creature in play. If/when that happens, its absolutely miserable, but outside of that this is a simply awesome 4-drop.

Dark Wood Hermit

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/154-ermite-des-bois-obscurs.png

Rating: 2

As I've already said, cards which are good on their own are better than cards which are only good in combination with other cards. While a number of the other infect creatures are playable, or at least borderline so, the benefit you get from unlocking the combo here just isn't big enough to justify playing such a weak creature (it doesn't even have infect itself!). Perhaps if it said "whenever an opponent's creature gets an infect counter, place another one on it" it would be awesome/broken with nergal, but as-is, I think you have better things to be doing with 4 resources.

Living Nightmare

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/151-cauchemar-vivant.png

Rating: 2.5

Most inferno heroes have difficulty punishing lane-stacking by opponent's creatures. This is because they don't have access to light magic for sunburst, only their new hero has access to fire magic (fireball) and few want to play fortunes for broken bridge, though there are exceptions to that. This creatures is an excellent blocker for those heroes, allowing them to come down against an enemy formation which otherwise might be difficult to take down without sacrificing a creature as a chump blocker. He is very expensive though, and an incorporeal creature like vengeful spectre will usually be able to get the job done, but I wouldn't entirely discount the possibility of this nightmare being considered as a finisher for some necropolis decks.

Stronghold Creatures

Stream Singer

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/168-chanteur-du-ruisseau.png

Rating: 2

This is an interesting soft-counter to stall/combo/OTK decks, as it gives all sanctuary heroes access to a temporary cancel of stone shield and altar of shadows. Obviously you want to be winning the game the turn you cast this, but that's not a hard thing to imagine. The trouble with stream singer is that she's just so narrow. Against just about any of the other possible targets (bless, weakness, hall of torment), stream singer is pretty miserable. Just delaying those type of effects for an additional turn isn't worth a card. Stream Singer also doesn't do anything against wasteland naming creature, which is unfortunate in the type of decks that are likely to think about wanting her effect. This is a nice option to have, and certainly something to think about if OTK/stall decks become an issue, but she's strictly a narrow meta option and obviously not worth playing for her stats, which are way under par (she's not even magic!).

Waterfall Guardians

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/162-gardiens-des-chutes.png

Rating: 2

THe final entry in "everyone gets a wall" cycle (I'm counting hellfire bloater), this is also one of the weaker ones. It's better than bramble beast, because at least the creature(s) you pop it down in front of is going to have to deal with it, and can't just walk away and ignore it if that's the better option. So is saving 5 damage and maybe doing one or two points of retaliation damage worth a full card? Not really in my book, especially as you could use dark wood treant to save a much more meaningful 7 damage for one additional resource. The potential synergy with ishuma is kind of nice, and perhaps there is a late game sanctuary control deck out there that wants a card like this, but I don't see it at the moment.

Okane no Okane

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/164-okane-no-okane.png

Rating: 2

When I first saw this I thought "Woot, another sanctuary 2-drop that doesn't die to insect swarm!" Then I actually read the card and realised it's a 3-drop. sigh. This is seriously under the curve stats wise (see: neophyte lich, succubus) so is only playable if the resource text is good. Which it is, kind of. Shutting down tithe collector and gold pile sounds nice until you realise that they have already had their impact by the time this guy comes down. So what this attacks is degenerate combo strategies which aim to generate infini-resources by chaining together fortunes. But those decks got massively nerfed in the last couple of updates and I don't think they exist anymore. If they do, then this sort of answers them (although the same decks will just be able to use broken bridge before they "go off" a lot of the time). If you don't want to meta against those decks though, skip past this oddly worded fellow.

Naga Yokujin

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/163-naga-yokujin.png

Rating: 2.5

There's a bit of a difference in this game between 4 and 5 health, but not as much as going from 3 to 4. Many things which can deal with a 4 toughness creature will also deal with a 5 toughness creature, although the extra point will often require some additional work to take down. Still, for this cost I'd much rather have a Kappa, and probably also a shanria guard. Still, if you're trying to build a sanctuary deck that's not so dependent on week of the wild spirits (which might be smart given that many of your necromantic opponents will also be liking that event at the moment) this is a decent option, although stronghold ranged lines do tend to get a bit clogged up with all of the outmaneuver creatures.

Shinje Warrior

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/166-guerrier-shinje.png

Rating: 3.5

This guy's pretty nice. His stats are the same as Shanria guard, which is generally playable, but he has a lot more utility as he acts as a good defensive creature in a faction short of single-creature defensive options (kappa being the other exception). When you drop this guy down in front of an enemy formation they've always got a difficult decision to make, especially if the line has two creatures with < 4 natural attack, and even putting him on an empty row forces your opponent to think long and hard about what they want to do. I really like him, I think he fits into the sanctuary theme perfectly and in a week of wild-spirits deck is actually quite strong.

Venerable Kappa

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/169-kappa-venerable.png

Rating: 2.5

Focussing on stats alone, sanctuary has a dearth of creatures which can block so it's possible that Venerable Kappa wins a spot simply as slightly more expensive (and damaging) additional copies of his less venerable cousin.
So he's at least in discussion as an option before you move to his text. "Enemy spell ward" is a super, super powerful keyword because most spells aim to interract with creatures in some way. That's not the case with fortunes. Many just accelerate resources, draw cards, mess with opponent's hands etc. But there are some that interract with your creatures, most notably broken bridge, altar of shadows (I'm pretty sure venerable kappa isn't affected by this) and throne of renewal. This makes Venerable Kappa exceptionally strong against fortune-based stall decks. So being decent against every deck, and awesome against one archetype, means he's got to be in consideration for sanctuary decks, his popularity will wax and wane with the popularity of the decks that he's awesome against.

Unmei-Kami

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/167-unmei-kami.png

Rating: 3

I don't think I've mentioned yet that, by and large, I really like what Ubi have done with creature rarities in the latest set. There's no creatures at rare/epic which are just flat out more powerful than other options, instead they showcase interesting new mechanics or do things no other cards before them have done. They've really done well on this aspect of the design. And this baby's special ability is completely unique and so.... SPICY that I could actually have seen it at epic rarity. But first of all, her stats. Her Attack/hp is only decent for a 4-cost creature, but being magic helps make up for some fairly lackluster base stats. What's very interesting is her unique combination of might/magic/fortune requirements, which are obviously designed to work with her special ability, but will probably make it hard for her to find a home. I'm not quite sure what kind of deck is going to even be able to cast her. Anyway, that special ability. Putting fortune ward, which was just discussed, to one side this ability is potentially awesome.... but probably pretty bad. First of all it's going to just completely whiff a lot of the time that you trigger it, perhaps most of the time. Because if you play this, your opponent is going to do their damndest to make sure you don't get to cast a free card out of it and there's lots of ways they can do this - cast anything you can cast before she hits, block her, kill her, bounce her etc. Or if there's nothing in hand that you can play with your current stats, they just ignore her. Just like naga tactician, I think the games where you actually get a hit in with her and have it be meaningful are going to be few and far between. Sometimes you'll get lucky with an outmaneuver at the right time, but most of the time you won't. Which is a shame, because it's such a potentially sweet ability.


Kabuki Tei

http://www.momcards.fr/template/images/cards/monsters/large/us/165-kabuki-tei.png

Rating: 2.5

This guy is pretty obviously designed to try to help out takana, both because of his fortune cost and because he's another creature to take advantage of Takan's passive pump. Even outside of Takana, though, he stands a chance of being played (despite pretty horrible stats) simply because honor is an awesome keyword and there's only one other sub-5 cost honor creature. His special bounce ability seems more cute than good, but it's pure upside and will sometimes be relevant. The fact that he has one less attack than wanizame means you always max out on that guy before playing any copies of this, but sometimes you will want to play more than 4 wanizame's and now you can.

Psychobabble.au
05-31-2013, 01:40 AM
Spells

Dark Magic

Intimidation

Cost: 2r, 2ma

Text: Until your next turn: Creatures with no adjacent friendly creature cannot attack.

Rating: 1

This card is awful, just awful. Realistic best case scenario, you get a sort of half-fog effect out of this, as your opponent is forced to reposition or deploy a couple of creatures to enable them to attack. Realistic worse case scenario is it does literally nothing as your opponent just deploys a pao to turn on all their other creatures and goes on as normal. I mean the magical christmasland here is that you play it, your opponent bunches up all of their creatures in a way that lets you favourably AOE them to oblivion the next turn, but we don't live in magical christmasland here. Don't play this card.

Cursed Chains

Cost: 3r, 3ma

Text: Enchant creature. Permanent : At the beginning of enchanted creature's controller's turn, deal 1 damage to their Hero.

Rating: 1

When I saw this card's title and cost I got excited and thought we might actually get a usable pacifism (gatherer.wizards.com/pages/card/details.aspx?name=pacifism) effect in this game (although it would be "enchanted creature can't attack or move), which would have been a perfectly fair and awesome card. Instead, we get the bad half of pillory of the sleepless (http://gatherer.wizards.com/pages/card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=96882), for an insanely high price. I mean what does this card even do? If you're losing, your opponent ignores it and keeps attacking. If you're winning, your opponent throws it in front of one of your creatures as a suicide blocker so it doesn't actually do any damage. It's like really, really bad removal that only sort of works if you're in a winning situation, by forcing your opponent to chump block. And it can be dispelled, or week of the dead, or town portalled. Yay.


The Silent Death (unique)

Cost: 4r, 4ma

Text: Enchant Creature. Permanent: At the beginning of your turn, destroy enchanted creature and return The Silent Death to your hand.

Rating: 4

Rating unique cards is hard. I mean this is awesome, incredibly, amazingly, awesome. But unique cards are meant to be that, because they're, well, unique and so balanced by the fact that you only get to see them once per game. Unless you're atropos and ubisoft forgot to print the "non-unique" text on all its graveyard incursion, which they now have for fortune and spell recursion cards. stupid recurring atropos. Anyhow.

The worst case scenario with this card is that your opponent dispels it on their turn, which isn't great. But everything other than that is just awesome. Maybe they use a kill or bounce spell on their own creature to stop it recurring, so they 2 for 1 themselves. But maybe they can't remove it so you just blank every creature they topdeck for the rest of the game. It's pretty much the perfect card to allow a spell control deck to close out the game even though their opponent is drawing two cards per turn. What's surprising about this is how fair it actually is. It's miserable as a turn 4 play when you're under a lot of pressure. The enchanted creature still gets an extra attack in, and whether that's on a hero or one of your creatures, that's not what you usually want at that stage of the game with a spell control hero. This is really only good as a late game card, when you can throw a strong blocker that doens't mind taking a hit like vampire knight, soul-consuming lich or hangman tree in front of the enchanted creature. It is an incredible late-game card though, and an auto-include in most decks that can cast it.


Minor Recall

Cost: 3r, 3ma

Text: Return target ongoing spell or fortune to its owner's hand.

Rating: 2

This card is very narrow, but I'm extremely glad that it exists as it fills a gaping hole in the arsenal of spell control heroes. There's not that many ongoing fortunes that you want to bounce, but if it allows you to get in a lethal hit through an altar of shadows, or develop your board through a wasteland or stop yourself from dying to a hall of torment, it can be pretty good. It does nothing against resource denial fortunes (prison or pillage), nor a wasteland naming spell (which OTK decks will do to you if you're threatening to spoil their day with a stone shield), but this is a very nice spell to have in the card pool.


Fate Twister

Cost: 4r, 3ma, 2f

Text: Look at opponent's hand and choose a non-unique fortune card from it. You can play this fortune for free. If you don't, put that card into opponent's graveyard.

Rating: 2

First of all, I'm confused as to why this card isn't rare like Spell Twister. Cycles are typically of the same rarity. But anyway. This card is ok. The thing about fortunes, generally, is that they're powerful because they chain together well. One wasteland/altar of shadows/throne of renewal is ok, but 3 in a row is amazing. There's not too many (non-unique) fortunes that just completely turn a game around on their own in the way that an AOE damage spell, or puppet master or whatever can do. Half the time you're going to cast this, hit a campfire and /facepalm. I mean, sure, hitting a wasteland or broken bridge or something is nice, but it's rarely going to put you in a winning from a losing position. Spell twister is a powerful bullet against big magic strategies, I'm less convinced the same is true of fate twister, although it is nice to see the cycle completed.


The Gate to Nowhere (unique)

Cost: 4r, 4ma

Text: Enchant row. Permanent: When an enemy creature from enchanted row attacks, banish it after the attack.

Rating: 2.5

This is probably the weakest of the new epic/unique spells, but that doesn't mean it's a particularly bad card. Like all "wall" spells, it suffers from the disadvantage of being very easy to play around and doing nothing if your opponent can dispel it. Given that this wall sticks around, though, and has a one-sided and very powerful effect it's certainly a head above most other spells of its type. Most of the time this will cause your opponent to move away from the ehcnahted row and then deter your opponent from ever deploying in that row, except perhaps to chump block any attackers you have there. That's not a bad effect, it essentially saves you a little damage and then provides a pseudo-protection ability to creatures you deploy in that row. That effect is barely worth a card though, most of the time, so I wold suggest that unless you have some way to move your opponent's creatures around into the enchanted row, repeatedly, you probably don't want to be playing this.

Light spells

Resolute Stand

Cost: 2r, 3ma

Text: Permanent: All friendly creatures gain + 1 retaliation.

Rating: 2

This is sort of an ok card. The fact that the effect is permanent and global cannot be ignored, but I can't really see you wanting to play this even in a dedicated retaliation deck. Best case, you play this on the turns before you drop truce of elrath and then your truce punches that little bit harder, this is kind of like extra copies of wolf justicar in that situation. But unlike justicar, this isn't a decent card even if you don't have the elrath out. It does very, very little without that synergy, and for that reason is probably a bit too narrow to be playable.

Lightspeed

Cost: 2r, 1m

Text: Enchant creature. Permanent: Enchanted creature gains preemptive Strike.

Rating: 1

The only nice thing about this card is its cost, having it only cost 1 magic makes it possible for a lot of decks to splash this. Not that you would want to, as putting this on a creature just opens yourself up for an easy 2 for 1 and it doesn't do ANYTHING until your opponent's turn, so they'll always get a chance to respond to it. Ok, I lie, it's theoretically possible to combine this with firey rage to give your opponent's bloodlust in which case they'll have to suicide them into your massive retaliation blocker first but.... yeah, that's not realistically going to happen. 3 card combos need to be much better than that to be playable.


The Light of Tomorrow (unique)

Cost: 4r, 4ma

Text: Permanent: At the beginning of your turn, take a non-unique creature card at random from your graveyard and put it into your hand.

Rating: 3.5

This is a serious card advantage engine, in fact outside of various engines that recur atropos, I can't think of a better one. Sure, some opponents will just dispel it and you're never happy when that happens, and it is very slow, but if you can stabilise and get this online then I'm not sure how you ever lose that game. You're now drawing three cards per turn, one of which is always a creature - if you can't engineer a victory out of that, then you need to take a serious look at the card quality in your deck! The one limiting factor is that if you're playing too many defensive creatures with low attack values, you might end up just clogging up the board but never being able to punch through. So you do want to be playing this in a deck with some late game bombs that will be able to win you the game through a clogged opponent's board.


Earth spells

Earth Bound

Cost: 1r, 1ma

Text: Enchant creature. Permanent: Enchanted creature gains Anchored. (Creatures with Anchored cannot move, change controller, be relocated, or returned to hand).

Rating: 1

Despite containing 3 of the best spells in the game, the earth magic school is pretty terrible overall because "bad auras" are a central theme of the school. This spell fits nicely in that theme, as it's a truly bad aura. Protecting your own creature from town portal/broken bridge at the expense of both a card and making it unable to move out of the way of a strong opposing blocker is nothing to get excited about. Making an opponent's creature unable to move is kind of ok as pseudo potential removal that still allows the creature to get in a hit on your blocker (so half the time you're just going to end up 2 for 1ing yourself and your opponent keeps their creature). Yeah... no.

Sylvanna's Embrace

Cost: 2r, 3ma

Text: Enchant creature. Permanent: Enchanted creature gains Regenerate 1 and has its health increased by 2.

Rating: 1

And, continuing the theme. I'll say it again, auras are playable if they can come down and immediately get you a card's worth of value (see: bless). This does not, and you are miserable if you play this on a creature only to have it soul reavered.

The Might of Nature (unique)

Cost: 4r, 4ma

Text: Permanent: All friendly melee creatures receive half damage, rounded down.

Rating: 3.5

Finally a playable spell! Yes, this is really expensive and doesn't affect the board immediately, but the effect is absolutely bananas. ALL damage is halved, that goes for combat damage, enemy spell damage and YOUR OWN spell damage. You want your creature base to be fairly melee heavy to go in on this, but combine this with cards like blackskull crusher, soul-consuming lich or wolf praetorian and you have yourself a creature that's just never going to die.

Air spells

Lightning Strike

Cost: 3r, 2ma

Text: Deal 4 damage to target creature.

Rating: 3.5

The prevalence of high-toughness necropolis creatures in the current meta is probably hurting this card's playability, but it has a huge amount of inherent power. This can do something no other card in the game could do (barring synergy cards like fervour and surprise attack) - kill a 4 health creature with a single card for less than 4 resources. So many relevant creatures have 4 health, it's an extremely important number in the game. Having regard to its low magic requirement, this is obviously a pushed card and I expect it to ultimately become a staple spell.


Wind Gust

Cost: 3r, 3ma

Text: Relocate target enemy creature, then deal 1 damage to it and to every adjacent creature.

Rating: 1

Like so many air spells, this effect is nice but just not worth a card. This is a miserable spell to cast when you're behind and your opponent is beating you down with a bunch of tough creatures. It's huge cost also makes it prohibitive to combine this with an additional AOE spell. This will only be decent if you already have a decent board position and are able to relocate an enemy creature to kill them and possibly get some additional value from the splash damage, but that's incredibly situational and just not worth putting this card in your deck.

The Song of the Lost

Cost: 4r, 4ma

Text: Relocate target enemy creature. You can repeat this as many times as you want. You can choose a new target each time.

Rating: 3

"As many times as you want" has to be some of the most exciting text on a TCG card (it's right up there with "double"). You always know you're in for something awesome when you see it. And this can be pretty awesome. At its worst, this spell allows you to "outmaneuver" every one of your opponent's creatures. You should be able to engineer some value out of that effect alone, although like the actual keyword it will require you to have some sort of board position. And then there's the upside potential, of setting up some nasty AOEs or a potential combo with Ice Splinters to effect a one-side wrath. This will usually require some work to make it good, but it can be a very powerful effect in the right spot and will rarely be completely dead.

Water spells

Ice Shell

Cost: 1r, 2ma

Text: Enchant creature. Permanent: Enchanted creature gains anchored. Prevent all damage dealt to enchanted creature. When damage is prevented in this way, destroy Ice Shell.

Rating: 2

"Stricly better than earth bound" is faint praise, but is about the nicest thing I'd say about this card. I mean, this isn't completely awful. It will sometimes be worth a card to protect your guy from a hit, and giving the creature anchored shuts down some common ways in which you can get blown out for putting an aura on your creature. The fact that this isn't a permanent effect is actually kind of nice too, because anchored can be a double-edged sword. I can't really see you wanting to play this, but if you have a particular target that you want to protect from damage to get you some longer term advantage (blind brother? fate sealer?) then you might think about running this.

Ice Splinters

Cost: 3r, 3ma

Text: Enchant row. Permanent: Whenever a creature is deployed, moves into, or is relocated to enchanted row, deal 2 damage to it.

Rating: 2

Ubisoft have clearly realised that "one shot" enchant row effects aren't really worth printing, because they've printed a number of permanent effects which are much more attractive. Like other similar cards, this effect is symmetrical which hurts a bit and i'm also not actually sure that it does anything which is also not exactly a factor in its favour. It's clearly a synergy card, you're not going to play this just for the deployment deterrent effect, you want to be able to use outmaneuver or air spells or something to move enemy creatures into the enchanted row, and perhaps finish them off with a creature you had previously stacked there. So it feels like a "build around me" card, but I'm not convinced the payoff is there. Perhaps someone can make it work though, and there is some inherent potential power here as a repeatable source of damage.

The Strength of the Sea

Cost: 3r, 3ma

Text: Permanent: All friendly creatures gain +1 attack and Fortune Ward.

Rating: 3.5

When thinking about whether you want to include this card in your deck, you should probably evaluate it just by the anthem effect (+1 attack). And I think it warrants a slot for that alone most of the time, a permanent and global buff such as that can be seriously powerful. And the global fortune ward buff is just going to push this card over the edge in some matchups. It turns it into an incredibly powerful silver bullet against all sorts of fortune control strategies (altar of shadows, throne of renewal, broken bridge etc.) - when that comes up, this card's going to be awesome, and even if it doesn't, it's pretty good especially for just 3 resources.


Fire spells


Heat Wave

Cost: 1r, 1ma

Text: Deal 1 damage to all creatures.

Rating: 2.5

When I did my old review of the spell schools (http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/752322-Overview-and-review-of-the-spell-schools) I said that what fire really needed was a cheap pyroclasm (http://gatherer.wizards.com/pages/card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=2650) effect. Ideally, that spell would cost 2 or 3 and do 2 damage to every creature. Heat wave sort of fills this gap, but I think the 1 damage ping is just not big enough, enough of the time, for this to be good though. It is very cheap though, and does have some potential particularly if you combine it with cards like Hail Storm or immolation to constantly whittle your opponent's creatures down, I'm just doubtful you're going to be able to survive while all that whittling is going on though. Perhaps the best use of this is with Dhamira to combine it with insect swarm and earthquake, it could have some potential there.

Fiery Rage

Cost: 2r, 2ma

Text: Enchant creature. Permanent: Enchanted creature gains +1 attack and Berserk. (At the beginning of their action phase, creatures with Berserk automatically attack the first valid enemy target in front of them.)

Rating: 2

I'm not a huge fan of this card. It's really miserable if you're trying to use it as a removal spell (by beserking an opposing creature), and it's not too great if you're using it as a buff, as beserk is going to set you up for some unfavourable combat sitautions and the +1 buff just isn't big enough to be consistently worth it. This does cost one less than bless, but did it really need to be worth both on the magnitude of the buff and with an additional drawback? If this had been +2 with beserk, or +1 without it then it would be quite strong but still balanced I feel.

The Forbidden Flame

Cost: 4r, 3m

Text: Deal damage to every creature equal to double your magic level.

Rating: 4

This is obviously incredibly powerful spell and it's an auto-include in any deck that's able to cast it. It's easily the most powerful wrath in the game, being a double insect-swarm for just one extra cost at a minimum, and with potential upside beyond that if needed. Don't forget that you can only play this once, though, and be sure to play it for maximum value. It's going to be at its absolute best when you've managed to get your opponent to commit to the board to win a creature combat battle then you play this to clear their army and play out a threat or two after it. Don't be afraid to use it to just save you from a bad situation early if you need to, but always try to maneuver it so you can follow it up with something on the empty board.

Psychobabble.au
05-31-2013, 01:40 AM
[Reserved x3 - this could be long!]

shadowqqq
05-31-2013, 02:56 AM
Thanks for this, waiting for inferno cards!

MT...
05-31-2013, 03:59 AM
I like your ideas but I have to disagree with your analyzes on what you speculate Ubisoft is doing in regards to Hero spells linked to a particular factions. If you read any of the stories on each of the heroes you would see that these group of heroes are working outside the norm of their fellow faction heroes. To me this merely looks like the Ubisoft has decide that these and potential only these heroes will have spell schools outside of the norm. Making this the real reason to invest in the herald of the void.

And as for Ubisoft given fire school to heroes as a way to deal with DA is far from the potential I see. For one necro certainly did not do need it as mass grave easily dealt with them. The same could be said for anyone who had light spells. Earthquake for any hero who had earth spells and slow for any hero that had used prime.

Just my two cents!

reapersaurus
05-31-2013, 04:49 AM
Great idea, and lots of good work.
IMO, your initial rating descriptions/definitions are painting you into a corner, though.
(Keep in mind, I am not thinking about solely top-tier level play, here)

If you are defining something as strong as Campfire (which should be an auto-include in almost EVERY deck that goes to 3 Fortune, since it does nothing but help you and thin out your deck) as a 2.5, there's no way something as niche and questionable as a Darkwood Treant should be anywhere near the same rating as a Campfire or Inner Fire).

Seriously, if you are defining something as strong as Naga Tactician as a 2.0, then 90% of the cards in this game are going to be 1.0's....

Psychobabble.au
05-31-2013, 05:41 AM
Yes, I am thinking solely from top level play, as in the perspective of "having access to all the cards and playing optimised decks".


Seriously, if you are defining something as strong as Naga Tactician as a 2.0, then 90% of the cards in this game are going to be 1.0's....

pretty much. only a narrow range of cards get played, the majority are filler. it is the way of things. Naga tactician saw about zero high level play pre-herald, 2.0 is exactly where it should sit in the power rankings imo.

DarkAutist666
05-31-2013, 06:51 AM
Just notice, Adar-Malik with Seria's Last Order, Seria's Legion, Ariana's lair and Atropos can use banshee 19 times in one game. And i didnt count another unpopular fortunes like Graveyard and Altar of Eternal Servitude.

Psychobabble.au
05-31-2013, 07:45 AM
Added Haven creatures to the initial post.

@MT...
Forgot to reply to you before. First of all, firebolt is way better for necro to kill DA than mass grave seeing as mass grave is a 1 for 2 (you lose an extra card by putting it back on your library) but but firebolt is a clean 1 for 1. Slow is also a poor answer, because there's any number of ways that using it can result in you getting blown out (dispel, bounce your creature, outmaneuver etc.) and earthquake is indeed nice (although more expensive), but its symmetrical nature limits the number of decks you want it in. Firebolt is the single cleanest answer to DA possible, no questions asked.

And I can accept that Ubisoft may have concocted some backstory to make this all work, but they had set up some strongly defined faction boundaries in the first two sets and its disappointing to see them broken down so quickly here. MTG's designer say that one of their biggest regrets was printing the "planar chaos" set where the colour pie got broken down, because it irrevocably crosses some of the lines that give your game its core identity. idk, it just feels wrong to me, especially so early in the game's life-cycle. Surely they haven't run out of hero design space already...

hydramarine
05-31-2013, 07:47 AM
Good initiative.

2 for Dhamiria? IMO she is one of the best heroes and she will see the most play out of new ones. Easy 4.0.

Her power comes from being able to secure late game with Earth magic. Unlike Kal-Azar, she doesnt need 6 magic to do that. She can control the board and she can control the hand of your opponent (without using fortunes), which might be against reason. (A hero isnt supposed to master two distinct areas).

Psychobabble.au
05-31-2013, 08:08 AM
yeah, i could easily be wrong on her. But you'll see that I did of course note the power of the spell school combination, my question is - what do you actually do once you have got board control? Maybe the answer is to play spiders and combo out, and perhaps the earth/fire combination can make that viable but inferno doesn't really have a way to close out the game outside of creatures damage, and their creatures aren't strong enough to live through earth magic AOE (unlike necropolis). And you NEED a way to quickly end things in this game, because card draw is so good (too good I would suggest) that all board control is temporary. It's only a matter of time until your opponent re-draws into threats, and you only have 4 insect swarms in your deck. This isn't like MTG where you wipe the board and your opponent is hellbent and drawing only one card per turn, which has a 1/3 chance of being a blank land. They're drawing 2 cards a turn and (almost) all of them are action.

Also, her hand ability just seems like junk to me. By the time you hit 6 resources, what exactly are you worried that your opponent is sandbagging? This isn't like MTG where people might not hit their land drops on time which means their late game bombs might be sitting uncastable in their hand. By the time you have 6 resources, your opponent will have had the opportunity to play out every card that was in their opening hand. Except for combo decks (if they still exist), it's really hard to see how taking out a card by that point of the game is better than you drawing an extra one. I could be wrong of course :).

hydramarine
05-31-2013, 08:41 AM
Some decks will try to out-control her and will allow her to become beatdown sooner or later. This is the perfect time to use her ability. (Think of gimmicky decks like Nergal OTK currently)

Some decks will try to rush her down. This is the perfect time to wipe the board.

So you see, she has options. More than most heroes.

On a different point, I, too, am not a big fan of 2 card draw per turn in the game. This is why Void Arbiter will be used a lot by me, I assure you. :)

Psychobabble.au
05-31-2013, 08:50 AM
Yeah it took me a while to put my finger on it, but the 2x draw is probably the second weakest feature of the game (behind the resource 'system'). It drastically reduces the skill cap.

Durajczyk
05-31-2013, 09:47 AM
I'm sad because.. you also have similar to mine opinion about new "powerful" Haven creatures with 1 attack..
I would like to use Priests, but why nobody was using "epic" Eleonore?.. Health points..
I like Flyer Guards but well.. it works only against meta Necro.. So 2x in deck should be enough.
Rest units, no comments.. I don't won't to start comparing them to other's factions base set/Herald units..
Well after nerf of all playable Haven heroes, probably only reta deck will be playable.
In the other hand it's hard to say without tests. Maybe using fire buffs with magic deck can also works fine?

Shambell
05-31-2013, 11:16 AM
Really interesting to read, some points I agree, others I disagree... But I need to answer to this :


Fire, though, is completely unexpected and indicates that Ubisoft no longer sees spell schools as linked to particular factions anymore (which I have to admit is slightly disappointing from a flavour perspective and has lead to what I would suggest are some questionable design decisions).

....

Moving to spell schools, we again see the breakdown of the concept of faction-alignment of spell schools as she has access to both fire and earth. Earth magic on an inferno hero makes zero flavour sense to me, and just seems completely random, but it does make for a pretty good combination for a controlling spell deck with both spell schools having a good variety of direct damage AOE spells.

....

And again with the faction-breaking spell school combination, this time it's dark and fire. Again, I feel like the developers have just randomly given these heroes fire magic as incidental hate against DA, but it's still nice to have.

....

Also, of course, he has a normal (earth) and a very abnormal (light) spell school, and again I find the bizzare flavour-break here somewhat off putting. However, it's a really good combination of spell schools and one that is completely unique in the game to date. B

....

Noburu has another unique and flavour-destroying spell school combination, with access to light and dark magic (seriously guys? i know flavour isn't everything, but this is just bizzare).

Why do you think that these school combinations are flavour-destroying ?
Because these heroes don't have the exact same spell schools as the other heroes of their respective factions ?

So Sandalphon who cannot access to Light should be flavour-breaking since the beginning of the Open Beta... As is Belias (he doesn't have Fire).
And what about Nergal and Darkness or Kelthor and Earth ?

The fact is, you don't understand how the schools are distributed among the factions.
Each Faction has one favored school in game. This school, you should find on most heroes but no all as it is not an obligation to know this one.
Then you have a forbidden school... This school, you'll never see it on a heros of the faction
You have for the existing factions in game :



Haven > Darkness forbidden
Necro > Light forbidden
Inferno > Light forbidden
Sanctuary > Fire forbidden
Bastion > Prime forbidden


The other schools, some heroes learn them, some other don't, they are more or less common in a given faction (lore wise) and so you can potentially see them on any heros of the faction.
Haven can use Fire as Water or Earth (yes, new possbilities) or Bastion Fire as Light (not too common lore wise but possible) or Dakness...

For the heroes of the new extension, they are all strongly rooted in their factions by having the main school of each (excepted Noboru) and a school never seen before but allowed by their faction. Noboru is an exception justified by the fact that Light is really common in Sanctuary and that he's "a seeker of the eternal flow, as is shown through his spell schools: Light and Darkness dual forces when seen through the prism of the Water and the perpetual cycle", cf. Sandalphon for a similar case.

Elementalist.
05-31-2013, 11:25 AM
I had sent a Q&A to Erwan LeBreton and according to him every race can technically use every kind of magic. There are of course some limitations but they usually revolve around lore, religion and of course practicality. HC is down atm but if you want I could send you a link to the Q&A topic.

Shambell
05-31-2013, 11:32 AM
I had sent a Q&A to Erwan LeBreton and according to him every race can technically use every kind of magic. There are of course some limitations but they usually revolve around lore, religion and of course practicality. HC is down atm but if you want I could send you a link to the Q&A topic.

Yeah, I had linked your Q&A before...


Orcs are not "children of Asha" and so don't have access to magic the normal way...(think Artificial Creation with Demon Blood). they can potentially cast all the schools but have some specificities.
They hate Prime (Order and Chaos). And if an orc finally learn Prime(Order) magic (rare event), he'll be shunned by traditional orc society and couldn't be Stronghold heros. The same with Prime(Chaos) magic, cope out with Demons, never.
And Light is ambivalent to orcs... It could heal them or harm so its not the most widespread school but could still be learn.
By the way Darkness and Light are elements like the 4 others (but perhaps more antagonist than the others).

Edit: Elementalist./Elvin posted some interesting info about this here (http://heroescommunity.com/viewthread.php3?TID=38375&pagenumber=3)...(scroll down a little)

From what I gathered from the devs, It's transcribed in-game and today by the system I described before : a favored school (one of the most common lore wise), a forbidden school and the others.

By the way, you do an excellent work for the community. Thanks a lot. :)

Elementalist.
05-31-2013, 11:58 AM
Appreciated :) The reason I had asked him was because of doc actually.

Quequetos
05-31-2013, 12:20 PM
Good initiative.

2 for Dhamiria? IMO she is one of the best heroes and she will see the most play out of new ones. Easy 4.0.

Thank you for that. That's what I was going to post.

Combo wise I see mass grave and altar of destruction as the best card to play for altar of wishes. (Just throwing that out there)

Infernal_Wisdom
05-31-2013, 01:53 PM
Great Topic to discuss brother, I have read all what you wrote and I want to add some disagreements to criticize

First hero stats

This game is based on tempo, so you don't want to waste your resources, in many heroes(excluding 0 mighted ones) second turn is not a big problem, the biggest problem is first turn

so lets check what can be done in first turn

you can place 1 might 1 resource creatures or you can use gold pile

lets check race by race than

Heaven: kieran and siegfried got tithe collector and for placing him they can place a 3 resource creature on turn 2(siegfried may use gold pile too)
Stronghold: got 3 useful 1 resource creatures on enrage decks and they can use gold pile in might/fortune decks like surprise attack deck of cucu99 so stronghold suffers least by starting first
Sanctuary: they can only use shark guards or gold piles
Inferno: they can only use maniac or gold piles
Necropolis: they can only use wretched ghouls

so as we see for 3/5 race gold pile is so important to hold the tempo and to increase the chance to have tempo on board, therefore 1 might and 1 fortune hero stats is vital for most of the races

the most biggest reason that I dont like phrias is he has no fortune and with %50 chance he starts first and having not a maniac in your hand is more probable

so as we continue we all know 4 stats heroes are only without ability heroes, the heroes except them are all 3 stat heroes

than which stats are better?

2-0-1
2-1-0
1-1-1
1-0-2
1-2-0

2-0-1 and 2-1-0 and 1-2-0 are so dedicated and great stats but this stats made their role certain there is no flexibility

like this

for instance 2-0-1 (champion status heroes like siegfried) they are for playing might+fortunes
why siegfried is the most succesful and powerful champion? because he can playable with 0 magic unlike for instance xorm or other champions(heaven fortunes are strong and fit him well too)

2-1-0 only kieran( he is might/magic hero and played mostly 4/4/0 3/6/0 or 4/6/0

1-2-0 only ariana and played mostly 3/6/1 and that 1 fortune is only for shantiri ruins card

but how about 1-1-1 stats?

for instance nergal

nergal pure creature deck? competative!
nergal might/magic deck? may be competative
nergal otk? competative
nergal mill deck? competative

as you see 1-1-1 stats are so flexible

you have no idea ishuma with 1-1-1 stats will be played might/fortune or might/magic til they spent a point in stats and they are so versatile

so yes having 2+1+0=3 stats are dedicated and strong but this stats limits the flexibility of hero, 1-1-1 is not a bad stat since it gives flexibility, but not a dedicated stat too so it is not bad not good, avarage stats and I like it :)


Also another disagreements

Choosen of elrath

This creature is too powerful in my opinion, to prove its power compare him with closest card in game: Archlich

Archlich is an uncommon card, this card is common card

Archlich has 3-1-6 Choosen of elrath has 2-2-6 stats are so near and having retal instead of damage suits the role of this creature much better I think

Archlich is damageing for 3 points, so he can leech 2 life, choosen of elrath does not attack but he can do 2 retal damage and can leech life up to 5!

they are so close creatures with different roles but one of them is common and one them is uncommon

Archlich is one of the strongest level 4 creatures in my opinion and so is the choosen of elrath and does not deserve bad card status



Also Grifin Marksmen with 3-3-6 stats is also so strong creature, it is a common creature too and its closest card is Llim, and Llim is one of the strongest creatures on level 4 too, again they are both common cards, boths are immune retal shooters and 4 resource costed
3-3-6 vs 3-1-8? 3-1-8 is better in inferno but in heaven retal synergized greatly with truce of elrath and offensive stance card(this card removes retalliation immunity of the opposite player)

so in my opinion this creature is as good as Llim and 2 is a bit unfair 2,5 is much more better I think :)

and lastly Immaculate Glory
4 might 2 magic requirements are limiting this creatures usage, only might/magic heaven heroes can use him, no counters and dark ward is good abilities, ok against undead its a good card but what else? 3-3-6 stats without retalliation with 5 costs? Blackskull Vulture Rider is 3-3-6 and rare too but you can place him in the game even with 0 costs, Dreamreaver is 3-3-6 and got immune retalliation and also enrage ability and uncommon card, so in my opinion this Immaculate Glory is so situational it is only 1 or 1.5 points card


So this are my opinions, my intention is to criticize only, great job to open this kind of thread brother, thanks again :)

Kraven_Moorhead
05-31-2013, 02:00 PM
Were you high when you wrote this review or are you a n00b you doesn't understand combos with cards and deck themes?

Infernal_Wisdom
05-31-2013, 02:24 PM
Were you high when you wrote this review or are you a n00b you doesn't understand combos with cards and deck themes?

Have some respect and share your thoughts or dont write empty words, what is the big deal for being pro and noob? its like you are born with mmdoc, people can be noob, people can see in different perspectives but noone has the right to behave disrespectful to each other, be such as you are in your real life but I am sorry for you if you are such as you are already

Arsym
05-31-2013, 02:52 PM
Great job and nice initiative Psychobabble!

Although, I will not argue on your ratings because it is difficult to judge something you haven't played/ faced first-hand (more so if commenting the new heroes), I can say that I agree with most of your remarks regarding the creatures judged so far.

However, I don't understand why you base your judgment and ratings on comparing creature cards with same cost in general and not faction-specific, like you did with Griffin Marksman. Comparing his stats with Tainted Orc or Lilim, doesn't negate the fact that this card is the 1st Haven shooter with more than 2 attack.

While comparing stats between cards of the same cost is indeed valid for a balancing discussion, the usefulness of a card and whether it earns a spot in a deck doesn't depend on a holistic comparison of all the cards in all the factions/ schools etc, but the relative choices you have available when deck-building.

Thus, I would approve more if you would compare and analyze your way of thinking in regard with the available choices a haven (or other faction when dealing with other faction creatures) player has while deck-building (Haven and Neutral 4 drops).



He's not terrible by any means, but I can't see him sneaking his way into a deck over other 4-cost options such as warrior seraph.


This is highly debatable if we agree with the notion that ret haven decks will be competitive.

Other than that, keep it coming :cool:

PS: Immaculate Glory is not a magical creature? /confused

Shambell
05-31-2013, 03:04 PM
No, it's not.
Against Necro, it would be too OP... no poison, no Darkness and no intangibility...

Arsym
05-31-2013, 03:49 PM
I was wondering why it's not magical not incorporeal.

I assume you were confused a bit.

Isharoth
05-31-2013, 04:07 PM
Really dont see immaculate glory as being very good, lets wait and see.

zenithale
05-31-2013, 04:09 PM
If Immaculate Glory was Magic, Necro will have too much difficulties to deal with it, even Incorporeal creatures would be useless against him. That was what Shambell want to say, I think.

Shambell
05-31-2013, 04:46 PM
If Immaculate Glory was Magic, Necro will have too much difficulties to deal with it, even Incorporeal creatures would be useless against him. That was what Shambell want to say, I think.

This
Thanks Zenithale.

Poison don't work on it.
Darkness spells don't work on it.
If he was magic, Intangibility wouldn't work on it.

If you play classic Necro, options to deal with it would be easily restricted ...

Devourer_of_Pie
05-31-2013, 05:03 PM
Very nice analysis! I agree with most of the OP, if not everything. Dhamiria in particular should be a 3.0 imho. She seems really good for Inferno control decks, which I think will be a viable archetype.

The way I see it, a Dhamiria deck would play fairly similar to Ariana control decks: relatively weak early on, stalling with a handful of small creatures or spells while the enemy plays some threats. Then wipe the board with AoE spells as soon as it becomes profitable to do so. At this point you follow up with your own, efficient creatures: Lilims, Juggernauts, Hellfire Slaves and maybe even some Ur-Khrag Enforcers, backed up with additional damage spells. This should let you dominate the board with relatively few cards spent.

Her ability does seem like garbage most of the time. Early on you can't spare 6 resources for something that has no immediate impact on the game, while in the late game your opponent typically empties their hand during their turn. It could prove situationally useful against other control decks though, to get rid of problem spells (Puppet Master, Soul Reaver) before you play a big creature for instance.

As for Noboru, I'm pretty sure that's he's a guy (even though he's into Twilight).

Angel of Mercy also seems better than you're giving credit for. 2/2/6 is plenty of body to be worth a card; I think you misread its stats. Of course there's the chance of getting a Tithe Collector back, but if you haven't lost any relevant creatures you're probably in good shape anyway. Very solid, fits in most decks that go to 4 might. I'd rate her 3.5 personally.

reapersaurus
05-31-2013, 05:43 PM
Yes, I am thinking solely from top level play, as in the perspective of "having access to all the cards and playing optimised decks".



pretty much. only a narrow range of cards get played, the majority are filler. it is the way of things. Naga tactician saw about zero high level play pre-herald, 2.0 is exactly where it should sit in the power rankings imo.I disagree with your approach.

If you solely rate things based on high-level play, you are ignoring many of the basic comparison criteria for rating.
Just because something isn;'t used in top-tier decks, does not mean the card is not good for its stats.
High level play is an aberration - there are cards used there which are not on their own effective - they are only used because of other combination cards, or in response to cards used by the opponent in high level.
IMO, you should be analyzing these cards in a vacuum, primarily basing your ratings on what their stats/abilities are, not on whether they happened to mesh well with the current high-level meta.
By all means, include those high-level meta observations, and add them as a small contributing point to the overall grade/rating, but don;t use that as THE main criteria.

Otherwise, you'll get skewed results, like rating a Naga Tactician as a 2.0 and a Darkwood Treant as a 2.5 - there is on way in hell that a Treant is a stronger card on it's own than a Naga Tactician.

OdinCcM
05-31-2013, 05:49 PM
long story short: It it worth to buy it with money? Or is it better to wait till one can buy it with gold?

edit: I am an enthusiastic beginner in this game and quite happy with my infernal deck so far. Maybe someone could get me an advice on the void expansion.

Psychobabble.au
05-31-2013, 11:06 PM
thanks for all the comments guys.

Not going to comment on disagreements about individual cards, I'm just putting an opinion out there, I could be wrong. I stand by my opinions generally, but time will tell. Many people seem to disagree with me on dhamira, but I played a lot of ariana and what makes her work is having life drain creatures which are able to survive through AOEs. A true "wipe the board then play a big threat" control deck can't work in this game imo. Without a combo kill available, I can't see inferno control working. Again, could be wrong.

@Shambell. Thanks for correcting me. I was basing my comments on precedent and "feel" (i strongly dislike a light/dark combination, and earth in inferno or dark in sanctuary just feels wrong), but you're obviously more knowledgable on that point than me.

@reaper. I can't possibly evaluate cards by reference to the huge spectrum of card pools that a particular player might have. And such a comparison is pretty useless anyway, because "what's better than the cards I currently own" is such a subjective situation, individuals have to make their own judgment on that. I'll continue evaluating them in the way that I do, it's completely impractical to do so otherwise.

Thangel17
06-01-2013, 01:07 AM
Very good analysis, I agree with almos everything and you changed my mind about so cards that at the beggining seems amazing to me but after reading you I realize that are just good :)
I can see that you know very well what you are talking about. And is a grat pleasure to read such a well done analysis
Thank a lot, I cant wait to read your next opinions!!! More now that I cannot play, because I am one of this strange players that dont have a computer and can only play in the Ipad :( I'm SAD

Continue with this please!

reapersaurus
06-02-2013, 04:42 AM
@reaper. I can't possibly evaluate cards by reference to the huge spectrum of card pools that a particular player might have. And such a comparison is pretty useless anyway, because "what's better than the cards I currently own" is such a subjective situation, individuals have to make their own judgment on that. I'll continue evaluating them in the way that I do, it's completely impractical to do so otherwise.
You completely misunderstood what I'm telling you.

I'm suggesting that you evaluate the cards ON THEIR OWN, not in reference to whatever high-level decks happened to be in the meta at this time.

There's no way in hell Darkwood Treant or Griffin Knight are better cards than Naga Tactician or as good as Inner Fire and Campfire.
Whatever context you are using to come to that conclusion should be re-looked at, IMO.

Isharoth
06-02-2013, 05:07 AM
You completely misunderstood what I'm telling you.

I'm suggesting that you evaluate the cards ON THEIR OWN, not in reference to whatever high-level decks happened to be in the meta at this time.

There's no way in hell Darkwood Treant or Griffin Knight are better cards than Naga Tactician or as good as Inner Fire and Campfire.
Whatever context you are using to come to that conclusion should be re-looked at, IMO.

I don't neccesarily agree with all his findings either, but appreciate the analysis all the same. Why not make your own analysis with your thoughts?

reapersaurus
06-02-2013, 07:01 AM
I appreciate the analysis, as well - that's why I'm giving feedback to potentially improve his rankings.

DragoAskani
06-02-2013, 07:50 AM
You completely misunderstood what I'm telling you.

I'm suggesting that you evaluate the cards ON THEIR OWN, not in reference to whatever high-level decks happened to be in the meta at this time.

There's no way in hell Darkwood Treant or Griffin Knight are better cards than Naga Tactician or as good as Inner Fire and Campfire.
Whatever context you are using to come to that conclusion should be re-looked at, IMO.

Naga tactician is terrible. Worth a 1.0 rating at best.

Isharoth
06-02-2013, 11:05 AM
Naga tactician is terrible. Worth a 1.0 rating at best.

Nah I have one which I run in my main deck, and I quite like it. Don't love it but quite like it. At least until void rising Sanctuary really needed more viable 2drop cards for a smooth curve. Along with corals priestess you can often get it to work and even if it doesnt, opponents will do their best to kill it, similar to a DA.

It's not amazing, but not bad.

Psychobabble.au
06-02-2013, 11:41 AM
Added stronghold, it starts at "kitten warrior" if you're searching down the page. Stronghold did much better than haven out of this imo, i've given 2 of their creatures "4".

Devourer_of_Pie
06-02-2013, 12:45 PM
Cool, nice work! Again I agree with most of your analysis.

Blackskull Shredder and Blackskull Centaur could really push Stronghold rush decks to competitive levels. That's a lot of hard-to-avoid damage to the face, particularly with cards like Broken Bridge. Out of curiosity, does Swift+Quick Attack mean you can play Shredder, attack, move it, then put a Pao in the same line? Because that would be fantastic :D


7 really is a big number.
This cracked me up :)

Psychobabble.au
06-02-2013, 01:50 PM
, does Swift+Quick Attack mean you can play Shredder, attack, move it, then put a Pao in the same line? Because that would be fantastic :D
yup :). it's a pretty sweet card.

NorsemanXXI
06-02-2013, 02:37 PM
2.5: Role-player in some decks, but not quite a staple. (Inner fire, goblin sharpshooter, plague zombie, centaur archer, demented, campfire)..

goblin sharpshooter ? =P

I haven't read everything yet but it looks nice. Good job.

Izachiel
06-02-2013, 06:07 PM
I agree with you for most of them ...

Stronghold and Necropolis got the best creatures with the new addition, Sanctuary got the worst (except for the Epic one).

bluebird503
06-03-2013, 09:49 PM
I completely agree about the flavor break, I really wish they hadn't gone that direction. I really feel like the factions are just about their mechanics on creatures now, and no longer about what elements of magic they can wield as well. They blending together with this set, since there were very few abilities/keywords added , and mostly each faction is being blended further and further together. Almost all factions have similar access to sweepers, damage cards, etc.

On the other hand, I really enjoyed reading this, thanks psychobabble, looking forward to the rest.

Izachiel
06-04-2013, 12:03 AM
Why do people think this is braking with the flavor?
Did any of you play the HOMM games?

At least in 3, 4 and 5 every hero could potentialy learn every magic school. I am not really familiar with HOMM 6 but even there i think every faction could learn every magic school ... even if i am wrong, there are enough reasons to allow the heroes to gain access to the chosen schools (regarding the background in 3-5).

Psychobabble.au
06-04-2013, 01:24 AM
Added inferno creatures, it's in the second post in the thread as the first was getting too long. I also realised I skipped over blackskull cyclops so I added that to the bottom of the stronghold review.

@ Izachiel
My impression was based on the pattern which had been established in the first two sets and general "feel" impresssions, although I also seem to remember light and dark magic being polar opposite choices in some of the old M&M games (M&M VI iirc), but I could be wrong. Shamball corrected me on page 2 of the thread, but I still maintain that many of these new combinations feel a bit wrong even if they aren't technically incorrect. I think it's important for factions to have distinct identities, and this set of heroes severely weakens one of the faction-flavour barriers that had previously been established.

hydramarine
06-04-2013, 08:19 AM
One thing I can add to Inferno creature analysis is, in this set, you should really consider x4 Week of Dead as core on Inferno when evaluating them. Especially considering Dhamiria's AOE theme, imagina having 2 lacerators on the board and a Hellfire Bloater. You can clear the field of 7 hp creatures with One Insect (Bloater passive) on mid game, in the process discarding them 2 random cards after dealing dmg with Lacerators. Bloater basically becomes a more powerful Sunburst with those events. Not to mention the most important thing with Week of Dead, it finally makes an honest core card out of the long-forgotten Doom Bringer.

Hellfire Bloater is easy 4.0 for me in a Dhamiria deck, and while Lacerator is not up there, his synergy with Void Arbiter can't be underestimated. Hellfire Maniac, another star of the set along with Blackskull Crusher, is just pure nuts. This guy counters everything from a Moonsilk Spider to Tithe Collector, from any type of annoying defensive creatures (guards, incorporeal, healers) to Stronghold heavy beaters if you can support him with the Earth Epic.

Yojimbo2522
06-04-2013, 02:16 PM
Very good analysis.

I was wondering if a similar analysis exists for the cards pre HotV?

NatBumppo
06-04-2013, 10:43 PM
Hellfire Bloater may not be great but with the reduced (sort of) cost to Greater Fire Elemental it can be quite useful. Playing a bloater and a fire bolt to kill it may take 2 cards and 3 resources but if your killing off an enemy on the row AND healing a damaged Greater Fire Elemental at the same time suddenly its a pretty good deal. A situational card to be sure but it offers new and interesting options at least.

TimoHassinen
06-05-2013, 12:22 PM
Hellfire Bloater may not be great but with the reduced (sort of) cost to Greater Fire Elemental it can be quite useful. Playing a bloater and a fire bolt to kill it may take 2 cards and 3 resources but if your killing off an enemy on the row AND healing a damaged Greater Fire Elemental at the same time suddenly its a pretty good deal. A situational card to be sure but it offers new and interesting options at least.
Except that Hellfire Bloater doesn't heal the Greater Fire Elemental because the damage from Fire Burst ability is just normal damage (in this case magic damage just because Bloater is a magic creature), not fire damage.

Hantziie
06-05-2013, 01:51 PM
so... where is Sanctuary?

ulpsz
06-05-2013, 02:44 PM
Added Haven creatures to the initial post.

.

And I can accept that Ubisoft may have concocted some backstory to make this all work, but they had set up some strongly defined faction boundaries in the first two sets and its disappointing to see them broken down so quickly here. MTG's designer say that one of their biggest regrets was printing the "planar chaos" set where the colour pie got broken down, because it irrevocably crosses some of the lines that give your game its core identity. idk, it just feels wrong to me, especially so early in the game's life-cycle. Surely they haven't run out of hero design space already...

totally agree with this

breaking those boundaries will soon make the game feel like a japanese manga where everybody has all the poweres and can do anything....

disagree on one thing..fire and light are perfect flavourwise for heaven...they embody the crusader type agressive hero...

fire and earth are for dwarfs..

light and earth for wood elves...

darkness and light are actuallt a nice touch for sanctuary since they seem the most NEUTRAL minded faction anyway..

ulpsz
06-05-2013, 02:46 PM
One thing I can add to Inferno creature analysis is, in this set, you should really consider x4 Week of Dead as core on Inferno when evaluating them. Especially considering Dhamiria's AOE theme, imagina having 2 lacerators on the board and a Hellfire Bloater. You can clear the field of 7 hp creatures with One Insect (Bloater passive) on mid game, in the process discarding them 2 random cards after dealing dmg with Lacerators. Bloater basically becomes a more powerful Sunburst with those events. Not to mention the most important thing with Week of Dead, it finally makes an honest core card out of the long-forgotten Doom Bringer.

Hellfire Bloater is easy 4.0 for me in a Dhamiria deck, and while Lacerator is not up there, his synergy with Void Arbiter can't be underestimated. Hellfire Maniac, another star of the set along with Blackskull Crusher, is just pure nuts. This guy counters everything from a Moonsilk Spider to Tithe Collector, from any type of annoying defensive creatures (guards, incorporeal, healers) to Stronghold heavy beaters if you can support him with the Earth Epic.

+1

NatBumppo
06-05-2013, 03:21 PM
Except that Hellfire Bloater doesn't heal the Greater Fire Elemental because the damage from Fire Burst ability is just normal damage (in this case magic damage just because Bloater is a magic creature), not fire damage.

So fire burst isn't fire damage?

Psychobabble.au
06-06-2013, 02:12 AM
I've added necropolis creatures. They begin with "hangman tree".


One thing I can add to Inferno creature analysis is, in this set, you should really consider x4 Week of Dead as core on Inferno when evaluating them. Especially considering Dhamiria's AOE theme, imagina having 2 lacerators on the board and a Hellfire Bloater. You can clear the field of 7 hp creatures with One Insect (Bloater passive) on mid game, in the process discarding them 2 random cards after dealing dmg with Lacerators. Bloater basically becomes a more powerful Sunburst with those events. Not to mention the most important thing with Week of Dead, it finally makes an honest core card out of the long-forgotten Doom Bringer.

Hellfire Bloater is easy 4.0 for me in a Dhamiria deck, and while Lacerator is not up there, his synergy with Void Arbiter can't be underestimated. Hellfire Maniac, another star of the set along with Blackskull Crusher, is just pure nuts. This guy counters everything from a Moonsilk Spider to Tithe Collector, from any type of annoying defensive creatures (guards, incorporeal, healers) to Stronghold heavy beaters if you can support him with the Earth Epic.

Thank you very much for the comment hydra. I'm clearly having difficulty getting my head around the concept of an entirely new archetype (inferno control). You'll note that I recognise most of the synergies you mention in my review, I just didn't see that the synergies would be powerful enough overall. Also, I haven't seen any decks like that in my admittedly limited play time so far, but I take your word that they can exist. Re week of the dead though how viable is it to use up one of your two precious event slots on an event which only synergises with 5 cards in your deck (bloater and doom bringer)? That's why I discounted that synergy, it just seemed too narrow to me to be playable.

NatBumppo
06-06-2013, 03:06 AM
Thanks for all the work Psycho, I have enjoyed this thread!

The card image for untamed wraith isn't loading for me, all the others work fine, maybe you did something different there?

Psychobabble.au
06-06-2013, 03:28 AM
Thanks for the feedback and I've fixed that image, it was my error.

Fire_sn4kE
06-06-2013, 04:47 AM
@psychobabble: keep up the good work. fun to read, ty

Psychobabble.au
06-06-2013, 06:48 AM
Added stronghold creatures (starts with Stream Singer) so that's all of the creatures done.

I'm going away for a few days, I'll finish off the remaining cards when I get the chance.

DragoAskani
06-06-2013, 09:13 AM
Added stronghold creatures (starts with Stream Singer) so that's all of the creatures done.

I'm going away for a few days, I'll finish off the remaining cards when I get the chance.

You mean Sanctuary. You got it wrong in their intro text as well.

ArcaneAzmadi
06-06-2013, 10:40 AM
I was playing an all-HotV deck to get the Army of the Void achievement and since I only had Dhamiria and Alia to work with and had more Inferno cards than Haven cards, I made it Inferno. Was an interesting experience; despite the ridiculous limitations (not even any Fire Bolts allowed!) the deck was surprisingly effective. One of the key combos was Hellfire Bloater with either Fiery Rage or Earth Bound (both on the enemy creature). With Fiery Rage, any creature that had even 1 damage would be forced to kamikaze into the Bloater and detonate it, nuking the entire row before the enemy player could react, while Earth Bound pinned them in place in front of it, forcing them to either blow it up or sit there like a bump on a log.

Hellfire Maniac was the other key card in the deck- it was just EPICALLY efficient at wiping out enemy rows. However, I was a bit confused about how it actually works- one time it forced both a Ravager and a Succubus to attack it at once and killed them both (even though the Ravager would have killed it on its own), while the next time the creature in front (can't remember what it was, some small Necro creature) finished the damaged Maniac off and died, while the Neophyte Lich standing behind it was left unharmed. It seems to be inconsistant.

Finally, Chaos Lacerator was a lot of fun. People would go out of their way to avoid blocking it because not only would it explode and force them to discard, you tend to forget that the reason it explodes is because it has Area Blast 3 on a 2-cost creature. One time my enemy made a careless positioning mistake and I wiped out 3 of his creatures at once, left a 4th creature on 1 HP and made him drop a card, which isn't bad for 2 resource.

Schrudafruh
06-07-2013, 03:02 PM
I don't think I've mentioned yet that, by and large, I really like what Ubi have done with creature rarities in the latest set. There's no creatures at rare/epic which are just flat out more powerful than other options, instead they showcase interesting new mechanics or do things no other cards before them have done.

Yep, that's something I also really like with DOC. (no serra angel and baneslayer in the same set :rolleyes: )

joejoe19681968
06-08-2013, 01:45 AM
Thanks for this awesome guide.

bluebird503
06-09-2013, 10:33 PM
Psychobabble come back to us!, Anxiously awaiting the rest of your guide :).

Psychobabble.au
06-10-2013, 11:25 AM
Patience, patience :). I got back from my trip today and have to do some research for my MTG column tonight (I get paid for that one!), so tomorrow - hopefully.

Psychobabble.au
06-11-2013, 07:57 AM
Added dark and primal magic spells.

I've run into an issue, which is that momcards have done something with their card image gallery which makes it basically impossible for me to lift their card images in any sort of moderately efficient way. They've removed the "by expansion" filter, and their "mosaic" view doesn't allow you to click through to the full card image while the list view doesn't let you separate by expansion. I can cut/paste text off them though, so I'm using text instead of images now. Also, I can't use mmdoc.net images because the site has a habit of going down due to server overload, so I don't want to add to the bandwidth stress there.

For the cost, I'm using the following fairly obvious key:

r - resource
m - might
ma - magic
f - fortune

Psychobabble.au
06-12-2013, 02:16 AM
I've added the rest of the spells, the new text starts with "light spells". If someone else could reply here so I don't keep bumping it myself, that would be appreciated.

aideth
06-13-2013, 03:10 PM
Appreciate the effort you're putting into this, Psychobabble! I absolutely agree that, with a few exceptions (such as lightning strike), all of the non-unique spells are very, well, underwhelming. I haven't had a chance to play with any of the best unique spells yet (bad luck opening packs), but Light of Tomorrow seems better than a 3.5. Recurring Paos and Void Wraiths in an Alia control deck comes to mind, but may not be viable (or too slow) right now. Also, Silent Death, in the few times I've played against it so far, has been relatively easy to deal with. They are both slow, one-card-a-turn, card advantage engines, but Silent Death costs 4 each turn, to likely remove a creature that cost the opponent 3 or less to play.

Psychobabble.au
06-14-2013, 02:27 AM
Appreciate the effort you're putting into this, Psychobabble! I absolutely agree that, with a few exceptions (such as lightning strike), all of the non-unique spells are very, well, underwhelming. I haven't had a chance to play with any of the best unique spells yet (bad luck opening packs), but Light of Tomorrow seems better than a 3.5. Recurring Paos and Void Wraiths in an Alia control deck comes to mind, but may not be viable (or too slow) right now. Also, Silent Death, in the few times I've played against it so far, has been relatively easy to deal with. They are both slow, one-card-a-turn, card advantage engines, but Silent Death costs 4 each turn, to likely remove a creature that cost the opponent 3 or less to play.

Thanks for the feedback - good to know someone's still reading these, I've added neutral and haven fortunes now :).

Agree that light of tomorrow is really nice, but the random part of it reduces its utility a lot in "normal" decks I feel. I agree though that it could do some serious work in a sort of dedicated control/combo deck (spider + immolation + void wraths as your kill con?). I'm not convinced that, without earth, alia can control the board well enough but it's worth thinking about, particularly in other factions (Zardoc?).

I've been super impressed with silent death in my ariana deck to the point where I'm considering running magic peddler for it. The problem with control decks is that you can eventually get board control with some card advantage, but your opponent still draws 2 spells per turn and some creatures (eg. tainted orc, archlich, vampire knight, lilim) are really tough for you to deal with with a single one of your creatures, so your opponent gets an opportunity to rebuild. Silent death gives you inevitability like nothing else, it blanks at least half of their creature draws and stops them from ever getting back into the game. You need to combine it with a good blocker - soul consuming lich works best - but that shouldn't be too hard for a control deck. I honestly believe that the upside of this spell is one of the best in the game - and if your opponent spends resources killing their own creature for you, then that's already better than soul reaver for the same cost.

Fire_sn4kE
06-14-2013, 09:05 AM
@psychobabble: friend, you're doing a very good job. i would like to reassure you, i've read twice. and thanks for your time invested into this

aideth
06-14-2013, 02:39 PM
Thanks for the feedback - good to know someone's still reading these, I've added neutral and haven fortunes now :).
.


I don't see the fortune reviews anywhere - maybe I'm just missing them?

GustavXIII
06-14-2013, 10:27 PM
I would also like to thank you for the really good analysis in my opinion!

trupiciel
06-15-2013, 02:21 AM
Well it's kinda fun to read how wrong you were on Dharmiria ('You know nothing Jon Snow' came to my head a few times while reading through) :) But great initiative and I wish you good luck,

joejoe19681968
06-17-2013, 02:59 PM
I ,too, appreciate this guide.

It takes me a while to use the cards and start to learn them.

I just received the Fortune Card Turncoat and would like a review. It reduces both players resource supply by one. Can this be good? It's a rare and I thought what! It's terrible. Maybe I am missing something.

ArcaneAzmadi
07-08-2013, 02:05 PM
Given up on the game, Psychobabble?

Psychobabble.au
07-11-2013, 02:50 AM
Given up on the game, Psychobabble?

I have, basically, sorry. My main frustration is inability to acquire specific rare/epic cards in a reasonable manner. This isn't my main TCG, I play a lot of MTGO on my desktop, I just play this on my ipad when I have time in front of the tv or whatever so I'm not like grinding hundreds of k of gold. It wasn't so bad in VR because I was at least able to do swiss tournametns to get packs at a pretty reasonable rate and in quite a fun way, but swiss tourneys crash for me like 80%+ of the time on ipad so I've given up.

I don't mind putting money into the game, I bought enough seals for a few boxes of HoTV and I hate to think how much money i spash on MTG singles, but the inability to acquire specific cards for money or in any way really, has just totally turned me off the game.

Also, I have deeper problems with the basic game mechanics which I'll discuss a bit more below.

Besides that, I was super demotivated from completing this review because 99% of the remaining cards are simply junk. I actually wrote up quite a long review of the haven and neutral fortunes, but apparently the forum didn't save it and so I couldn't be bothered re-writing. But spoiler: almost all of them are just awful. Here's a rough rating for all of the remaining cards that I didn't review.

Fortunes

4:

N/A

3.5:

N/A

3:

N/A

2.5:

Seria's Last Order
Battle Trance
Hall of Fortune (see discussion below)
Revised Tactics (very interesting card in the absence of a sideboard mode, REAL shame they made it 2 fortune)

2:

Sister's Tent
Strength in Numbers
Halls of Inertia
Void Judgment
Void Rift
Early Grave
Blood of my Tribe
Orc Armory
Stampede
Altar of Wishes
Forgotten Cave
Gold Mine

1:

Elrath's Blessing
Offensive Stance
Chamber of Dementia
Consume Minions
Rite of Necromantic Restoration
Scrying Pool
Spy Report
Higher Learning
Turncoats

Events

4:

N/a

3.5:

Cosmic balance

3:

Blind arbiters

2.5:

Hail storm

2:

Day of sanctuary

1:

Conscription day

That's a pretty depressing list, and I don't think it's far off.

Hall of fortune is a really interesting one to me, and highlights one of the biggest weaknesses in the game imo - the lack of importance of card advantage and quality. Compare this to MTG's ponder:

http://www.mmdoc.net/images/cards/normal/Hall-of-Fortune.png http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/cards/15615.jpg

They are, functionally, very similar cards. Ponder is overall slightly better, especially if you have any "top of the library matters" interractions (eg. delver, miracles), but hall of fortune's ability to let you pick one of the three and shuffle away the other two gives it some of the card selection utility that preordain has, and the power level of preordain and ponder is pretty close.

In MTG ponder is one of the most subtly powerful cards ever printed. It's restricted to one copy in your deck in Vintage (one of the most powerful TCG formats ever), it's completely banned in modern and it very nearly broke the standard format last year to the point where many thought it was going to get banned before it rotated out. It's so powerful that in the most recent core set, WoTC printed a version that costs three mana and is just worse most of the time (glimpse the future) as the only blue filter effect.

I tried building a hall of fortune yukiko deck, and found the card to be just awful. The power level of cards in this game is just so flat that filtering doesn't really do anything, and additionally the fact that the resource system in this game is appallingly non-existent really bites whereas in MTG you get these really interesting decisions around lands when you use ponder (keep the 1 lander, hope to hit lands with ponder, or filter away excess lands if you're flooding, or make the tough choice of keeping all spells but possibly getting mana screwed).

And ponder isn't directly relvant to the discussion, but in addition to card quality, card advantage in this game is just so meaningless. Because you never have to sacrifice any cards for resources, you effectively start the game with double the number of cards you do in MTG (or any other similar type of TCG that I know of for that matter). That means it takes an awful lot before players even begin to run out of gas. And then the devs made what must seem like an incredibly bad design decision in hindsight to allow everyone to draw 2 cards per turn. Why they did that just boggles my mind. Subtle interractions and trading off to gain card advantage is at the heart of TCG strategy. But you can quite conceivably 4-for-1 your opponent in the early turns and have that be a completely meaningless play becuase they've still got 5 cards in hand and can draw 2 the next turn. It's mind boggling. This game is essentially just a tempo and topdeck battle, there is of course skill in the game, but most skill is actually in picking a meta deck that attacks other decks from a sideways angle and hope you don't run into bullets for your strategy or draw particularly badly.

/end rant.

Atisdai
07-11-2013, 03:59 AM
You're probably one of the more respected members of the community, so I would ask you, did you ever consider putting a write up of what you think is currently not working with DoC on the General Discussion forum?
I really feel it could kick of a healthy discussion and communication, that may allow the staff see what people think when it comes to the game and its future.
Especially with other online-TCG upcoming, of which some look exceptionally good, this may be the necessary kick in the pants the Dev team needs.

GustavXIII
07-11-2013, 02:33 PM
I saw a lot of constructive feedback, thoughts ideas that could improve the game throughout the whole forum( yeah, i have to admit, its sometimes hidden between "whine posts" regarding balance issues) its nothing impossible. If there is a technical reason behind the slow pace of changes/improvements i would really like to hear a reason for this, i just fear this game could "run out of gas" too quickly which would be terrible for those who invested money here.

chuckdeg
07-12-2013, 07:49 PM
you should post your concerns on reddit too.

ArcaneAzmadi
07-13-2013, 10:04 AM
You know what might be an interesting idea? If they nerfed every hero EXCEPT the Seekers (the base ones with no alternate ability) so drawing a card costs 2 or even 3 resources rather than 1. Or maybe nerf them all to 3 cost and the Seekers to 2 cost. I don't think the +1 starting destiny is enough reason to play a Seeker to be honest, as far as I'm concerned they're just "training wheels" heroes. Or they would be if "1: draw a card" wasn't the most powerful ability on ANY hero card...

btw, I think you seriously underrate Chamber of Dementia. The fact that it's 1R/1D (compared to Halls of Madness' 2R/2D) makes it a lot easier to fir into decks (and afford) and I find it can get you early gains if you just set it to "creature", especially against weenie decks like Nergal.

cervantez79
09-13-2013, 05:26 PM
This was the only set review I could find for DoC, are there any more around on the forums?
I'm specifically looking for the base set, as I'm fairly new and most of my cards are from the base set.

NorsemanXXI
09-13-2013, 05:35 PM
This was the only set review I could find for DoC, are there any more around on the forums?
I'm specifically looking for the base set, as I'm fairly new and most of my cards are from the base set.

I'm actually doing that here (http://drawnplay.wordpress.com/might-magic/). It's not complete yet. Hope it helps.

cervantez79
09-14-2013, 09:39 AM
I'm actually doing that here (http://drawnplay.wordpress.com/might-magic/). It's not complete yet. Hope it helps.

Thx. It did help, at least i know now i'm already playing the best creatures i have available in Necro. It's kinda frustrating there are no good higher casting cost creatures, except for the two uniques i don't have (obv), so I can't really update my deck on the creature side.
I'm curious about the spells though, so hopefully you'll update it soon.

Kalidanze_1
09-14-2013, 12:38 PM
I'm actually doing that here (http://drawnplay.wordpress.com/might-magic/). It's not complete yet. Hope it helps.

Thanks for the link. Good Site, great work :)

NorsemanXXI
09-15-2013, 06:25 PM
Thx. It did help, at least i know now i'm already playing the best creatures i have available in Necro. It's kinda frustrating there are no good higher casting cost creatures, except for the two uniques i don't have (obv), so I can't really update my deck on the creature side.
I'm curious about the spells though, so hopefully you'll update it soon.

Yeah, hopefully in the next patch it will be easier to access specific cards. I miss plenty ones myself. Just updated it with spells. Hope it helps you.


Thanks for the link. Good Site, great work :)

Thanks. It takes more time than I initial thought but I think the game needs it and if it's helping you guys, then it's worth it.

Qzin89
09-15-2013, 06:45 PM
I can't agree with most of ratings. Seriously if we had poll and took average then we would have real rating of a card ;).

Dhamiria is at least 4.0

Psychobabble.au
09-16-2013, 12:25 AM
Two things. First, you have to remember that most of these were posted before the set was even released. I was purely going off text, with the previous expansion meta in mind and it's extremely hard to visualise a new meta by just looking at individual cards without playing them.

Second, if you read the analysis instead of just looking at the number I'd argue that I wasn't too far off the mark. I said that you'd "have to build an entirely new decktype with her" from previous inferno decks, because inferno control had literally never been a deck prior to this expansion. I also said that "I'm not sure whether it's possible to build a magic/fortune combo deck along the lines of the Shaar OTK decks, without access to a game-winner like kat's grand finale, but that's the kind of option that this spell school combination opens up for inferno." - again, something like dhamira slowpoke had never been done in inferno, so it was hard for me to predict that it would. And I didn't appreciate that the rules on hellfire bloater would let it take out a full lane-stack, which led me to under-rate it. Plus, I was spot on for void arbiter, I just didn't connect that to making dhamira creature/fatty control a viable archetype.

sonicgarbage
09-16-2013, 02:57 PM
I only just read this thread thanks to it being bumped. Very nice read, Psychobabble!

I look forward to a similar card review of Forgotten Wars from you, or anyone else who's up for it.

Psychobabble.au
09-17-2013, 01:58 AM
I'm certainly keen to do it for forgotten wars, as soon as we have a full spoiler up I'll start.

Bazaltovy
09-17-2013, 08:58 AM
This Friday on Twith, as far as I know. :)