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ArcaneAzmadi
05-02-2014, 01:59 PM
For those who remember my old threads for Forgotten Wars (http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/797780-My-review-and-rating-of-the-factions-%28other-than-Academy%29-and-spell-schools-in-FW) and Herald of the Void (http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/774557-My-review-and-rating-of-the-factions-in-HotV-and-top-5-cards), it's time for my review of the newest set for DoC, Heart of Nightmares, including a faction ranking, Top 5 Cards, Honourable Mention, Worst Card and Best Art (I won't be doing spells seperately this time because there just aren't enough- they're getting a single section just before the Neutral cards). Now you may or may not have noticed that I missed doing one of these for Five Towers- I STARTED writing it, but simply lost interest because it was such a weak expansion. This time I'm taking it much more seriously as Heart of Nightmares is possibly the best set since Herald of the Void.

THE GOOD:
*New concepts are being explored with the 'creature type' cards, allowing you to create new themed decks. While it's still in its infancy (with only Vampire, Warrior and Demon getting enough cards to really form an effective theme) it's looking promising and adds a nice wrinkle to existing decks.
*Some really nice powerful cards in this set with a markedly low number of weaksauce wastes of space (a MARKED improvement over Five Towers).
*The new heroes especially are set to shake things up. Some of them, especially Svelana and Deleb, could potentially become the most powerful heroes in their faction thanks to the new creature mechanics.
*Existing strategies like Ignatius discard and Takana Osore honour get a nice boost from a number of new cards like Ur-Jubaal's Call and Kensei Dojo
*This is a much better introduction to buildings than their honestly pathetic debut in Five Towers. There are several buildings that are highly useful but not overpowered and NONE of them have the terrible "destroy it if a creature on it dies in combat" drawback of the FT non-uniques.
*The balance of the factions is far better than in the last 2 sets. No one faction (*cough*Necropolis*cough*) got way better stuff than any other faction (*cough*HeraldOfTheVoid*cough*) or a load of complete crap (*cough*ForgottenWarsAndFiveTowers*cough*) and every player is pretty much ensured to find at least one new toy to get excited about.

THE BAD:
*They might have gone a bit overboard with some of the creature synergies- Necropolis, for example, got a weenie 1-drop Vampire and several small-ish Vampires that buff all their other Vampires, but not a good, medium-sized basic Vampire to fill the power gap between Vampire Knight and Vampire Lord.
*There's really no excuse for cards like Putrid Dragon, an epic creature so absurdly overpriced for what you get that I can't imagine ANY scenario where you'd actually want to play it. While the lack of disposable filler crap is appreciated, more effort should be put into balancing the "power" cards properly since one glance is enough to tell you that this card is terrible.

UGLY:
*While it's 20 cards bigger than the anaemic Five Towers, Heart of Nightmares is still a pretty thin set at only 100 cards. While Void Rising and Herald of the Void were admittedly only 105 cards and 103 cards respectively, sets should be getting larger, not smaller.
*This is the first expansion not to include a new Greater Elemental. OK, so the Greater Elementals have all been pretty rubbish so far, but they got a pretty decent buff in the Base Set 2 update thanks to the changes to elemental damage and I've been hoping to see what a Greater Shadow Elemental or Greater Light Elemental looks like.
*While it's not the set's fault, it DID come out together with the Base Set 2 major game overhaul and almost everything about that sucked. Even if it has nothing to do with Heart of Nightmares, it still has to be said.


THE RANKINGS:
As always, the factions are rated from 6 to 1, strictly by the new cards they received in this set (not by their overall power after receiving these new cards). Spells and neutrals aren't ranked with the rest, but get their own summations at the end.

6: STRONGHOLD
With Kelthor no longer an option, Matewa, Voice of Thunder steps forward as the new option for an Enrage-based deck. His ability, while far from devastating, can really extend the mileage of your Enrage creatures and he's the first Stronghold hero with water access. Unfortunately most of the cards Stronghold received are a little less than stunning. Goblin Mentor lets them get started up faster and there are more cards that can take advantage of a Might focus (Pao Warchief, the cheap but high-requirement Might of the Tribe), they got some more rush in the form of the strong but risky Ancestral Champion (which can GUT you if you lose it early) and the bizarrely beefy Pao Wrecker (a 6/5/8 for 6 with no abilities, the biggest common creature in the game) but a lot of their cards just feel a bit overpriced for what they do, or underpowered for what you pay. While there may be some interesting new toys here, they probably isn't much for Stronghold players to really flip out over.

5: ACADEMY
Academy got some neat cards in this set. Their new hero Masfar, Father of Titans, unfortunately, is not one of them. He's the first Academy hero to get 2/0/1 for his stats and that really doesn't work. There's nothing special about his spell schools either and his ability would be better if Academy had more neat Constructs to play with, making him arguably the worst of the new heroes. Their creatures aren't the most spectacular mix (the Arcane Sharpshooter is a bog-standard Succubus/Neophyte Lich-type magic shooter that should have been released 2 expansions ago) but there seems to be a movement towards Rakshasa-themed decks with the Chronicler, Crimson Apprentice and Loyal Rakshasa all working in concert (a Loyal Rakshasa ADJACENT to a Crimson Apprentice is a scary thought!). Their epic, the Cloudshaper Djinn, looks like a 3rd attempt at a nice cheap beefy creature (after the Shantiri Titan and the Insatiable Djinn) and could potentially be quite devastating (a 4/4/8 flier that can cost as little as 0 if you get your magic high enough). Their fortunes are interesting, although Circle of Nine's value is COMPLETELY dependant on drawing it early. Finally, their buildings are cheap and kind of useful, but the real prize of them isn't Dervish's Tent, but the common Stele of House Anima, a card which may actually make creature enchantment decks a viable option at long last (especially combined with the new Dark spell Death Dodger)! Altogether not a SPECTACULAR haul, but one that offers Academy players some interesting new options to consider.

4: NECROPOLIS
After bringing home almost nothing but crap for the last 2 expansions, Necropolis is done paying penance for Herald of the Void. Most of the cards they received in HoN range from pretty good to great, with only 1 or 2 "meh"s. Their hero Sveltana, Hierophant of the Spider Queen is simply stunning- interesting spell schools (their first Air), the 1/2/0 stats that make Ariana such a terror and the ability to endlessly recycle any Vampire costing 3 or less. Most of their cards are based around Vampires and they get 4 new ones to add to their existing collection, 3 of which provide powerful buffs to all other Vampires than can stack up to make them nightmarish opponents. Unfortunately these buffs do NOT include flat attack buffs, so they're still dependant on attrition and Vampire Lords to do real damage, but now they do it much better. 2 of their non-Vampire creatures, the Necromancer Apprentice and Grave Warden, serve simple but powerful roles with Apprentice being a direct buff to Mother Namtaru's viability as a hero (and it's somewhat unfair that she's the only Invoker to benefit from it) and the Warden being a potentially powerful card drawing engine. Unfortunately their epic creature, the Putrid Dragon, is garbage due to a clumsy oversight in its design- its Infect Blast ability is extremely likely to poison ITSELF. With that against it (and no Life Drain or Regenerate), its cost of 8 simply becomes a bad joke. While No Mercy For The Meek is too limited in use to be much use and Sacred Vampiric Fumes is a no-brainer for Vampire decks and useless for everything else, their lone building, Bone Pit, is INCREDIBLE, possibly the best non-unique building in the game. Being able to automatically recover any 2 cost creature than can fit into its battlefield location every turn for free is simply too powerful to overlook. Despite their rubbish epic, Necropolis are back with a vengeance.

3: INFERNO
Like most factions, Inferno's new hero Deleb gives them access to a new element, in her case Air. Not a particularly huge gain, especially as she's a 2/0/1 hero, but worth noting. What's ALSO worth noting is her insanely powerful ability, which allows you to (once you reach 6 might) spend 2 and sacrifice a Maniac to deploy a free Abyssal Lord! This absurdly exploitable ability may end up being too much for the meta to handle, depending on how reliable Deleb players can make the combo, but time will tell. A lot of Inferno's cards in this set reinforced their near-monopoly on direct player damage, with Thrall of Hatred, Ur-Jubaal's Call, Sacrificial Pit and Hall of Agony all giving them new options. Maniac Taskmaster is a nice addition to Ignatius decks, giving them a moderately beefy creature as well as a random discard if they can meet the requirements- 2 for 1 deals are always good value. Swelling Breeder is arguably the first useful Breeder due to its 6 HP and magic resist, but its REAL value is that staple Inferno creature Lurker in the Dark was reclassified a Breeder in the update, meaning it benefits from it as well! Madcap Imp and Thrall of Hatred are interesting little toys, but it's their epic that's quite the most unusual creature in the set- Lava Spawn, a 3/0/3 flier for a single resource. It has some formidable restrictions that mean only Xorm and Deleb can play it on the first turn, but still... ouch. Delve Into Madness is a great card drawing device (it has a 0 destiny requirement, meaning even Phrias can use it) and Ur-Jubaal's Call really makes Ignatius decks dangerous. Their buildings, on the other hand, are a bit on the weak side, being too restrictive or minor in their effects. Still, Inferno got a tasty boost in this expansion.

2: SANCTUARY
Sanctuary doesn't get off to a very auspicious start with their hero. Kenage, Master Strategist doesn't really live up to his name as his ability is extremely limited in use (and not very strategic) and his spell schools are nothing special. Things rapidly start looking up, though, with their excellent creatures. Shark Protector is a VERY strong early defenge against melee while Nautilus can be even harder to get past. Coral Seer's ability is SO strong that you'd be crazy not to run it in almost any Sanctuary deck. Coral Ohyaku is EXTRAORDINARILY strong when combined with something like Sayama Dune Stalker or Shanriya Priestess (it's a melee shooter so you get your choice of either) and when you factor in their new epic creature, Lotus Empire Guard, it gets outright crazy. Of their 3 fortunes it's bizarre that they received Lotus Empire's Support as they already have the best deck search card in the game in Battle Trance (which WAS reprinted in Base Set 2) but I'm not complaining about even more deck control. Tea Ceremony is interesting and potentially very powerful, but its usability depends on how rush-focused the meta turns out to be. Honourable Challenge, unfortunately, mostly comes off as a bit weak. Both of their buildings are good, though, and the thought of getting 4 Kensei Dojos into play (causing each one to grant its occupant HONOUR 4!) is outright frightening.

1: HAVEN
Haven's new hero Charity, Imperial Commander gives them their first taste of Earth magic access. Combined with her ability to give any one of her creatures a Truce of Elrath, Haven has the makings of a DEADLY defensive/counterattack deck, something reinforced by their rare building, Emperor's Wall- FINALLY a permanent way to negate Immune to Retaliation! While Wolf Trainer isn't really worth using and Healing Sister is simply rubbish, Falcon Marksman looks to synergise well with their new building-based defensive strategies and Praetorian Captain combines all 3 guards (melee, shooter and flyer) into a single creature, albeit only at strength 1. The REAL prize and possibly the best card in the entire set is Angel of Salvation which, assuming it works as written, can combine with Haven's healing abilities to make them incredibly hard to kill, if not outright invincible. While their fortunes aren't great (again!) note that Imperial Expansion does NOT specify NON-UNIQUE friendly building. Yes, you can copy the Five Towers (they'll probably patch that)! Emperor's Wall is a great building, but Shrine of Elrath is pretty good as well. Treasury, unfortunately, just isn't worth it. While not head and shoulders above the others, Haven got a VERY nice load of cards which open up a whole new field of strategies for them.

THE SPELLS:
Normally I'd rank the spells from 7-1 the same way as the factions, but with only 1 common, 1 uncommon and 1 rare spell for each school, I decided it was a bit pointless. The spells are a LOT better than in Five Towers, with some interesting cards, some useful cards and even a few great cards. While we still have to put up with garbage like Counterspell, Deadly Hail, Putrid Dragon's Breath and Lightning Curse (which repeats the unforgiveable sin from Five Towers of being almost completely useless while simultaneously a rare card), there are quite a few spells I can see becoming staples of play. Some of the global effects are really powerful- Arcane Mastery and Water Flows Freely serve as counter-hosers which can protect your own strategies from being shut down by enemy counters, while Sanctified Walls could be the key card for Gaven building defence decks. The 2 new direct damage spells, Magma Burst and Lightning Burst, may seem like weaksauce versions of Fireball and Chain Lightning (both removed from Base Set 2), but Magma Burst, while overpriced, is at least more easily splashable (half the magic requirement) and Lightning Burst has one key advantage over Chain Lightning- it doesn't have to target an EMPTY battlefield position, making it much easier to aim. The new "big damage spell", Arkath's Wrath, is devastating -5 UNPREVENTABLE damage to everything- and I think its lower requirement and cost means it should render Armageddon obsolete. There are some really, REALLY nice auras in here for once, including Arcane Armor, Death Dodger and Blessing of the Storm, which are particularly good for Academy decks using the new building, Stele of House Anima. On the other hand, I have NO idea what Time Flow is supposed to be used for- is it a hex, or an aura, or both? Fissure, unfortunately, only highlights the fact that, as hard as buildings are being pushed, only very few decks can actually get rid of the damn things. Overall I'd say Fire probably came out on top, being the only school not to get at least one worthless spell, with Primal as the runner-up. Wind takes home the wooden spoon again thanks to the crappiness of Lightning Curse.

THE OTHER STUFF:
While there isn't much of it, Heart of Nightmares contains one of the best selections of Neutral cards since the first basic set. Creature type synergy wasn't the only new mechanic introduced in the set, we also get neutral creatures with elemental alignment- creatures that are available to all factions, but can only be used by heroes who match the alignment with their spell schools. 3 of the 7 unique creatures from Forgotten Wars (Damran, Zefiria and Anael) have received 'Chosen' versions with mixed results- Anael, Chosen of the Light is drastically inferior to her original version, Anael Angel of Redemption and lacks utility, while Zefiria Chosen of the Winds is weaker than Zefiria, Windchaser (worse stats for a higher cost and lacking Magic Resist) but brings quite a powerful Come Into Play effect that gives her some utility. Damran, Chosen of the Thorns is the best of the three, MILES better than the laughably awful Damran, the Tainted from Forgotten Wars, but strangely I suspect he will demonstrate the significance of elemental alignment by being best put to use not by Necropolis, but by Shailan Sanctuary decks. The only other neutral creatures are Loyal Hound, a generic "filler" creature which will still be welcomed by Crag Hack decks and the Blind Seer, a dedicated hoser for OTK decks which shuts out deck searching. The 3 neutral fortunes are interesting, if not exactly powerful, although it's possible that Heroic Destiny MAY enable might/magic/destiny decks (most likely Hakeem or Seria who can potentially meet its requirements by the 2nd turn using Scholar or Necromancer Apprentice). 2 of the 3 buildings are interesting, although Barricade is a waste of deck space. Week of the Elder Races is another attempt to push themed creature decks but is probably too expensive to be practical, while Month of the Spider Queen is another brutally unsubtle hoser card in the vein of Rise of the Nethermancer, this time aimed at healing (for what reason I have honestly no idea). Overall, while the events are a bit on the weak side and the fortunes are somewhat restricted, the neutral cards have quite a lot to be interested in while being refreshingly free of crap like Cactus Thing, Burning Sand Elemental, Sand Shark, Second Chance or Fortune Telling.


TOP 5 CARDS:
5: CORAL OHYAKU
The level of control this thing gives is frightening. If cards that give the opponent choices are generally bad, cards that RESTRICT your opponents' choices are generally very good. The Ohyaku is cheap, easy to play, flexible and has an ABSURDLY powerful ability, able to force enemy creatures into an undesirable position and keep them there. While its not a no-brainer card to use and may require some cunning to tap its full potential, I can think of a dozen ways to use this card to make my opponent cry.

4: DELEB, PRINCESS OF PAIN
Normally I wouldn't include heroes in my top 5 list, but I felt either Deleb or Sveltana HAD to get a nod, so I tossed a coin and went with the Princess of Pain. As a compromise, I didn't put her any higher than 4th. A BRUTAL alternative to Xorm for Inferno rush decks, Deleb's potential is almost unmatched- with the right setup she can pull gigantic demons from out of nowhere and crush her shellshocked opponent before they even know what hit them. All the new heroes are at least interesting, but Deleb is the one that will make you bend over and say "yes please miss, I've been a bad boy, may I have another?"

3: ARKATH'S WRATH
Maybe Armageddon was already obsolete with the release of The Forbidden Flame, but the changes to unique spells, combined with the fact that it isn't included in Standard format, means that Fire is aching for a new boardwipe. Enter Arkath's Wrath. 5 unpreventable, unavoidable, unredirectable damage to the entire board will annihilate all smaller creatures and leave larger ones on their last legs. While you can't cheat your way through it with Spell Resist or similar tricks like you can with Armageddon, neither can your opponent and the less excessive damage score (let's face it, Armageddon was overkill) will let you keep a few beefy creatures around to take advantage of all the extra leg room by dancing a tango on your opponent's skull. Being cheaper and having a lower magic requirement as well was all this sweet little spell needed to be a must-grab.

2: BONEYARD
This is what you call card advantage. While the random factor can occasionally make it a bit unreliable, careful deck contruction can turn this thing into an engine of death, constantly recycling your Neophyte Liches, Lingering Ghosts, Moonsilk Skeletons or Trapper Spiders to confound your opponent. The best thing about it is that it brings the creature back at the END of your turn- if you urgently need the spot for another creature you still have a chance to fill it before it brings a piece of cannon fodder back, while it still comes into play in time to stall out an attack from your opponent. Combine it with a Grave Warden or two and your opponent will be in a world of hurt. And while I say "it", the Boneyard is NOT unique, so I should be saying "them". Ouch.

1: ANGEL OF SALVATION
This thing is TERRIFYING. Expensive at 7 resource, that cost is justified when she can single-handedly win you a game. Basically, as long as she lives, none of your humans can be one-shotted. As long as they have more than 1 HP left, they get a second chance on life. That ability is useful enough on its own, but considering that this is a HAVEN card, your path is clear- spam those heals and your guys will be nearly unkillable (or at the very least require at least 2 hits to kill). Keep her alive with something like Elrath's Protection, put her somewhere safe on the back rank and you can set up shop on Easy Street and just wait for your inevitable victory. Being a 3/3/7 flier and only having a 5 might requirement (rather than the 6 such an expensive creature would have demanded in earlier sets) is just gravy. This girl is your lucky star.

HONOURABLE MENTION: LOTUS EMPIRE GUARD
Now this guy is fun. Unlike the Angel, the Guard requires no protection thanks to being UNTARGETABLE. On a 4/3/8 creature that's MASSIVE, since Soulreaver and The Banshee have been making life a living hell for any creature costing more than 4. But his ability is a NIGHTMARE when you're on the defensive, forcing the opponent to take their chances with this bruiser and his Preemptive Strike or pass on attacking- its his way or the highway. Buff him up with some adjacent Honour creatures and NOTHING that isn't immune to retaliation will be getting through. Sit him on the Tower of the Inventor and your opponent will be tearing out their hair trying to get through. This guy is Kenage, Master Strategist's best buddy.

WORST CARD: PUTRID DRAGON
This card is an insult. Necropolis' one and only Epic for the set and it was clearly designed with no intent of actually being playable. Firstly, 8 cost. What the hell? That's the most expensive creature in the set (not counting the 10-cost Cloudshaper Djinn whose whole schtick is about reducing his cost) despite its myriad flaws. Secondly, it's 3/3/8 non-magic melee. Compare it to a Ghost Dragon and it's obvious why you're wasting your resource on it. Thirdly, its ability. Yes, it gets bigger as you poison the board, but you don't WANT poisoned creatures sticking around, you want them DEAD. Maybe you can get the odd 6 or 7 damage hit off from it, but that's STILL not worth the cost. Worst of all, like Inferno Area Blast creatures, its Infect Blast WILL HIT AND KILL ITSELF if it attacks an enemy melee. And it doesn't even gain power from the poison counters it puts on itself! "Putrid" is right, this card is downright APPALLING.

BEST ART: DELEB, PRINCESS OF PAIN
Huge-boobed succubus in a skintight red leather outfit. I'll take two with a medium coke please. Yum.

gabusan
05-02-2014, 02:08 PM
THE BAD:
Necropolis, for example, got a weenie 1-drop Vampire and several small-ish Vampires that buff all their other Vampires, but not a good, medium-sized basic Vampire to fill the power gap between Vampire Knight and Vampire Lord.

Death Lord. It is rare so you have to buy packs like crazy to try to get a couple of them and complete your vampire deck. That is not really a top deck, but still.



*There's really no excuse for cards like Putrid Dragon, an epic creature so absurdly overpriced for what you get that I can't imagine ANY scenario where you'd actually want to play it. While the lack of disposable filler crap is appreciated, more effort should be put into balancing the "power" cards properly since one glance is enough to tell you that this card is terrible.

Wtf, you are complaining about Putrid Dragon?? I will tell you a situation when you would want to play it: it is late game, you have a ton of resources and after putting in play all your cards, you still have 9 resources left. Or all your cards are reactive and you need your opponent to play something meaningdul for them to be effective (imagine you have broken bridges, soul reavers and enthralls, and your opponent is mauling at you with a 1-2 drop). Then you pay 1 to draw a card and get a Putrid Dragon. Would you rather get a 1 drop instead? I admit Putrid Dragon is not a good epic (designers are till stuck in the obsolete mentality: very big = epic for sure), but when you have 8 resources laying around, it fits your design.

Big Fat creatures are not "filler cards", they have their place in a particular tactic (usually a weak tactic, but still a tactic). Real filler is stuff is "Crimson link" or "Avenge the fallen", with no place whatsoever in any tactic at all. That is what you should be complaining about.

Amazing that you did not include Lava Spawn in your top 5. Current top deck uses 4 of them.

ArcaneAzmadi
05-02-2014, 03:37 PM
Death Lord. It is rare so you have to buy packs like crazy to try to get a couple of them and complete your vampire deck. That is not really a top deck, but still.
Death Lord, while pricey, isn't very BIG, still only a 2/2/7. Something with 3 or 4 power would have gone a long way to giving a Vampire deck some punch.


Wtf, you are complaining about Putrid Dragon?? I will tell you a situation when you would want to play it: it is late game, you have a ton of resources and after putting in play all your cards, you still have 9 resources left. Or all your cards are reactive and you need your opponent to play something meaningdul for them to be effective (imagine you have broken bridges, soul reavers and enthralls, and your opponent is mauling at you with a 1-2 drop). Then you pay 1 to draw a card and get a Putrid Dragon. Would you rather get a 1 drop instead? I admit Putrid Dragon is not a good epic (designers are till stuck in the obsolete mentality: very big = epic for sure), but when you have 8 resources laying around, it fits your design.

Big Fat creatures are not "filler cards", they have their place in a particular tactic (usually a weak tactic, but still a tactic). Real filler is stuff is "Crimson link" or "Avenge the fallen", with no place whatsoever in any tactic at all. That is what you should be complaining about.
Putrid Dragon is RUBBISH. Best case scenario, you can drop 2 Decay Spitters the turn after you play it and hit the opponent for 7, or use a couple of copies of Putrid Dragon's Breath. More likely, they'll drop a melee blocker in front of it and it'll kill itself with its own halitosis. These kinds of flaws in an 8 resource creature are inexcusable.


Amazing that you did not include Lava Spawn in your top 5. Current top deck uses 4 of them.

Didn't occur to me. The list was, admittedly, a bit random.

rcorpCZ
05-02-2014, 05:24 PM
Academy

Arcane Sharpshooter might look meh compared to other factions but in context of other Academy 2-drops it's a key card.

Djinn Cloudshaper is insane in Myranda deck, being free or almost free most of the time combined with Time Jump... Does it get returned to your hand? Play it next turn for free. Does it get stolen? Town portal it and play for free.

Other stuff

Zefiria Chosen of the Winds is the best unique of the new ones imho - outmaneuvre and town portal in one is extremely good and you get a decent body on top of it.

TOP 5 CARDS:

5. THRALL OF HATRED
You have to kill him before you kill anything else. Or maybe you don't have to but you will try anyway, it just controls the game.

4. BONEYARD
Free units every turn!

3. DELEB, PRINCESS OF PAIN
You see only her in standard for Inferno and she kicks you as so there must be something good about her. :)

2. UR JUBAAL'S CALL
This gets Ignatius into overdrive, now you have to kill him really really fast.

1. DJINN CLOUDSHAPER
Fatty that bends the rules for fatties. Whatever happens to him - you mostly come on top anyway. Insane combo with TIme Jump.

Vengyre
05-03-2014, 07:10 PM
Wtf did I just read?
This is so much wrong.
Angel of Salvation best card lololol

ArcaneAzmadi
05-04-2014, 02:42 PM
Wtf did I just read?
This is so much wrong.
Angel of Salvation best card lololol

If you don't have anything even vaguely meaningful to add, you can piss off.

Vengyre
05-04-2014, 11:56 PM
Okay, here we go.


Unfortunately most of the cards Stronghold received are a little less than stunning. Goblin Mentor lets them get started up faster
One of the best Orc cards now. Every aggro deck runs 4.

a lot of their cards just feel a bit overpriced for what they do, or underpowered for what you pay


they probably isn't much for Stronghold players to really flip out over.
Now lets look at top standart orc decks.
http://tools.mmdocking.com/decks/show/8087 16 new cards
http://tools.mmdocking.com/replays/show/5085 15 new cards
http://tools.mmdocking.com/decks/show/9421 12 new cards
And these players are actually good.

Masfar, Father of Titans, unfortunately, is not one of them.[...] arguably the worst of the new heroes.
Yes, the bane of Standart for a few weeks... worst hero for sure!

heir creatures aren't the most spectacular mix (the Arcane Sharpshooter is a bog-standard Succubus/Neophyte Lich-type magic shooter that should have been released 2 expansions ago)
Except from the fact that every non-mill deck runs 4 of them, theyre not spectacular, agreed.

Loyal Rakshasa ADJACENT to a Crimson Apprentice is a scary thought!
Yeah, because it's such a scary combo, forget the scout that can wipe the any lane if u have appentice in pocket, thats the 6 might creature that is 100% predictable will be strong!
At least u didnt say that their epic is crappy (in fact one of the strongest cards released)

but the real prize of them isn't Dervish's Tent, but the common Stele of House Anima
Have you ever seen this card in game?

Necromancer Apprentice
Yes, 0-0-3 helps Namtaru catching up in might so much! Because every Namtaru deck needs at least 4 might.


Sacred Vampiric Fumes is a no-brainer for Vampire decks
It's total crap for any deck, sry.

insanely powerful ability, which allows you to (once you reach 6 might) spend 2 and sacrifice a Maniac to deploy a free Abyssal Lord!
Are we even talking about Open? Oh, sorry, do you know what will happen in Open when u reach 6 might? You will already lose to most decks. The only thing that ability is good is on-death triggers or cheap Doom Bringer deployment.

Swelling Breeder is arguably the first useful Breeder due to its 6 HP and magic resist, but its REAL value is that staple Inferno creature Lurker in the Dark was reclassified a Breeder in the update, meaning it benefits from it as well!
Rofl, yeah, thats what is the combo that wins games!
http://tools.mmdocking.com/decks/show/9704 only deck that runs them, and no lurkers :C

Madcap Imp and Thrall of Hatred are interesting little toys
The card that screams "REMOVE ME OR YOU ARE DOOMED" are little toy. Ok.

Kenage, Master Strategist doesn't really live up to his name as his ability is extremely limited in use
Compared to the hyped Svetlana his ability is great and I've seen great builds with deploying several scary nagas.

Shark Protector is a VERY strong early defenge against melee while Nautilus can be even harder to get past.
Wow, much strong. Did someone ever seen these creatures being played over Squire rank?

thought of getting 4 Kensei Dojos into play (causing each one to grant its occupant HONOUR 4!) is outright frightening
Only thought, because getting even 2 5-cost buildings would be hard.

Haven has the makings of a DEADLY defensive/counterattack deck
Deadly at the Squire rating?

While Wolf Trainer isn't really worth using
One of the few decent cards, cant be blocked by Neophyte Lich for instance, but k, lol.

The REAL prize and possibly the best card in the entire set is Angel of Salvation which, assuming it works as written, can combine with Haven's healing abilities to make them incredibly hard to kill, if not outright invincible.

7 cost for no instant effect is pretty crappy, and ability is not really THAT good to make it worth it. Even Abyssals would not be played if not MoN. Soulreaver and Bridge say hi.

Putrid Dragon's Breath
One of the actually decent cards, for 5 you can punish lanestack and put a 4-2-7 with infect, or you can poison ur own creature too and put 3 these guys for zero (or 4 for 2, if possible).

Some of the global effects are really powerful- Arcane Mastery and Water Flows Freely
Who the hell plays these spells?

The new "big damage spell", Arkath's Wrath, is devastating -5 UNPREVENTABLE damage to everything- and I think its lower requirement and cost means it should render Armageddon obsolete.
Because 5 damage is so much and will wipe out the every fatty from the board. But... it works through magic resist! As if it was 10 damage, lol.

REALLY nice auras in here for once, including Arcane Armor, Death Dodger and Blessing of the Storm
I can only remember Death Dodger being a crappy version of Atropos/serias for Banshees. What the **** is rest, idk.

Fortune Telling
So fortune telling is crap now? Oh well, forgot you said that Revised Tactics is crap, nvm.
So, where is haven with their mighty 7-drop? Lol
Please dont write reviews without clue how the game is played.

ArcaneAzmadi
05-05-2014, 08:59 AM
Okay, here we go.

One of the best Orc cards now. Every aggro deck runs 4.

Now lets look at top standart orc decks.
http://tools.mmdocking.com/decks/show/8087 16 new cards
http://tools.mmdocking.com/replays/show/5085 15 new cards
http://tools.mmdocking.com/decks/show/9421 12 new cards
And these players are actually good.
Yes, the bane of Standart for a few weeks... worst hero for sure!
Except from the fact that every non-mill deck runs 4 of them, theyre not spectacular, agreed.
Yeah, because it's such a scary combo, forget the scout that can wipe the any lane if u have appentice in pocket, thats the 6 might creature that is 100% predictable will be strong!
At least u didnt say that their epic is crappy (in fact one of the strongest cards released)
Have you ever seen this card in game?

Yes, 0-0-3 helps Namtaru catching up in might so much! Because every Namtaru deck needs at least 4 might.

It's total crap for any deck, sry.
Are we even talking about Open? Oh, sorry, do you know what will happen in Open when u reach 6 might? You will already lose to most decks. The only thing that ability is good is on-death triggers or cheap Doom Bringer deployment.

Rofl, yeah, thats what is the combo that wins games!
http://tools.mmdocking.com/decks/show/9704 only deck that runs them, and no lurkers :C
The card that screams "REMOVE ME OR YOU ARE DOOMED" are little toy. Ok.
Compared to the hyped Svetlana his ability is great and I've seen great builds with deploying several scary nagas.
Wow, much strong. Did someone ever seen these creatures being played over Squire rank?
Only thought, because getting even 2 5-cost buildings would be hard.
Deadly at the Squire rating?
One of the few decent cards, cant be blocked by Neophyte Lich for instance, but k, lol.
7 cost for no instant effect is pretty crappy, and ability is not really THAT good to make it worth it. Even Abyssals would not be played if not MoN. Soulreaver and Bridge say hi.
One of the actually decent cards, for 5 you can punish lanestack and put a 4-2-7 with infect, or you can poison ur own creature too and put 3 these guys for zero (or 4 for 2, if possible).

Who the hell plays these spells?
Because 5 damage is so much and will wipe out the every fatty from the board. But... it works through magic resist! As if it was 10 damage, lol.
I can only remember Death Dodger being a crappy version of Atropos/serias for Banshees. What the **** is rest, idk.
So fortune telling is crap now? Oh well, forgot you said that Revised Tactics is crap, nvm.
So, where is haven with their mighty 7-drop? Lol
Please dont write reviews without clue how the game is played.

Thank you for your opinion. Now shut the hell up and go write your own thread. *******.

Revalon
05-05-2014, 09:19 AM
Thank you for your opinion. Now shut the hell up and go write your own thread. *******.

How about this: you shut up and only start talking again when you learned to take criticism?

Vengyre
05-05-2014, 09:22 AM
Thank you for your opinion. Now shut the hell up and go write your own thread. *******.
It is not my own opinion, its is how the game is played at champion III. Any good player would agree to me because I've simply told you the things I see in game.

malkorion
05-05-2014, 09:45 AM
Here are the handful of cards that I think are good:

Deleb, Masfar, Matewa, Sveltana, Kenage. Charity is just rubbish to me, and I never really liked Haven.

Week of the Elder Races - 4 mana for 100% buff is still good in my book.

Arcane Sharpshooter - a staple 2 drop Academy card that should have been in Forgotten Wars
Djinn Cloudshaper - a fat creature that scales with your Magic level, and gets better as the game goes on. Combine with Time Jump for max effectiveness.

Lava Spawn - insane 1 drop
Thrall of Hatred - an aggressive creature that gives you reach. I love it.
Maniac Taskmaster - works with your other demons, ok card for the cost

Zefiria, Chosen of the Wind - two spells stapled onto a creature for only 6. This wins you games.

Goblin Mentor - 3 power for 2 resources. Very good aggressive common.
Stormrage Hunter - a creature that rewards you for just playing the game.
Ancestral Champion - I generally like cards that are cheaper compared to the power they provide, but I still need to get some copies to play them.
Stormrage Warrior - a creature that scales with your other creatures. good.
Pao Warchief - becomes an uber-deathseeker once you reach 10 Might. otherwise, I wouldn't bother without getting maximum value out of this card.

Magma Burst - I like the Fire school, so more spells are always welcome. All around, ok.
Death Dodger - I don't really see this card being played, but I guess it has its charm.
Arkath's Wrath - good sweepers are good.

Delve into Madness - I always liked these sorts of cards, it also synergizes with your other cards (Thrall of Hatred)
Ur-Jubaal's Call - gives more reach to Inferno discard decks (much needed reach)
Conflicting Orders - a good control card, IMO

Boneyard - out of all the buildings, this one is by far the best. it gives you CA, and some board control. not OP though.

If I haven't talked about a card, it's because either I have no idea what to say, haven't played it, or just have no idea how good it is yet.

ArcaneAzmadi
05-05-2014, 11:53 AM
How about this: you shut up and only start talking again when you learned to take criticism?

Maybe I will, when I actually get some rather than the mockery and abuse I got here.

Until then, you can go take a long walk off a short pier.

RexGoodwin
05-06-2014, 12:26 AM
Maybe I will, when I actually get some rather than the mockery and abuse I got here.

Until then, you can go take a long walk off a short pier.

No offense dude but you weren't Mr. Sunshine in your first reply to him. You get a little resistance and you tell the guy to piss off? You made a thread in a public forum there will always be people that disagree with you. That guy responded the way he did in reaction to your response to him. He wasn't wrong though, he made some really valid points and added to the thread.

As far as mockery and abuse? You can't expect people to respect you if you don't have respect for anyone else. You aren't exactly a victim here.

malkorion
05-06-2014, 06:05 AM
No offense dude but you weren't Mr. Sunshine in your first reply to him. You get a little resistance and you tell the guy to piss off? You made a thread in a public forum there will always be people that disagree with you. That guy responded the way he did in reaction to your response to him. He wasn't wrong though, he made some really valid points and added to the thread.

As far as mockery and abuse? You can't expect people to respect you if you don't have respect for anyone else. You aren't exactly a victim here.

Ok. You guys are going way off-topic here.

dystopia1972
05-06-2014, 03:06 PM
Hahaha - I love these kind of threads. They are so similar to when Josh Lyman "discovers" the internet in The West Wing (Season 3 Episode 16, The US Poet Laureate).

But to stay on topic; nice review ArcaneAzmadi. I'll definitely try out Angel of Salvation in my next Haven deck - along with a stack of Elrath's Protection. :-)

PukinggoB
05-06-2014, 06:00 PM
I have tried Angel of Salvation in open, Sandalphon 5/4/1, but he's just too expensive and diddn"t fit an aggro haven curve..So i retired them after a couple of games.

GustavXIII
05-06-2014, 09:29 PM
At first, i always like to read reviews of sets and different opinions on cards, so thank you for your effort.

1. Creature subtypes were a good idea and i fully agree. It will enable more deck-building possibilites in the future, if implemented right. But i dont see this yet. The warrior and demon decks stand out the most but just because they are fast and aggressive and tempo advantage is still very! important in this game. We also have the vampire tribe, but its rather clunky and slow, the reason why sveltana isnt as good as people thought in the beginning. Her friends Seria and Ariana are simply better, due to their spell schools (can handle an early "swarm" of creatures better).

Note: As i mentioned if well implemented, why is sacred fumes, a 3 destiny requirement card, when the target hero Sveltana is obviously a magic-hero. And no, this card doesnt see play, take a wild guess why...

And i am also shocked about your opinion on Kensei Dojo, the card is overpriced as hell and doesnt see play at all.

2. The factions (i only talk about the standard meta)
Stronghold: While they lost cards like Tainted Orc and Vulture Rider, their substitutes are well worth it. All of them, Goblin Mentor the Stormrage Brothers are nice additions for aggro decks. Be it with, or without enrage. due to their aggressive creatures, even Acamas got a full revivial. I would also like to mention Might of the Tribe, which is maybe still a bit overlooked but provides nice finishing abilites. All in all, Stronghold is still very strong, the new warrior theme is there, maybe not as strong and synergistic as planned but its something. Acamas and Matewa are the best heroes imho, with honorable mention to Kat.

Academy:
As a academy player myself, i really cant complain about this expansion. Arcane Sharpshooter, while nothing spectacular is still a very strong addition. Another creature with 2 attack early can really change your game pace. Crimson Apprentice was a very needed 3drop shooter and the potential buff it provides for your beastmen (4.attacking rakshasa scout is very dangerous). Loyal Rakshasa isnt as great, the 6 might requirement kinda kills it. The time you need to set it up, with protective events or spells so that he doesnt get stolen slows you down enough. People play it in some Masfar/Myranda Beastmen decks, but they are not really strong. The new epic Cloudshaper is a vanilla academy Vulture Rider, but due to their focus on magic, deadly late game when you drop 2 of them on the field. Regarding the buildings, no, none of them is very good. Dervish tent can be tricky/effective but it isnt necessary by any means. (From my experiences at Champion 3 btw).

Inferno:
I can mostly agree here, pretty much every card you mention was a good addition for inferno in this expansion. Taskmaster stands out for me because i think its one of the best balanced creatures in the game regarding its stats, requirements and the ability. You definitely overvalue the new breeder, its more or less a card used only in Dhamiria mass rage decks (i still wonder why such decks are in the standard format????) and doesnt see play in aggressive decks or discard decks. The creature isnt bad, but simply not as good, Infernos advantage is the attacking side.

Note: I really hope Ubi wont take that long to fix Ur-Jubaals Call, its still bugged and some people know no shame whatsoever and abuse it.

Necropolis:
What is the reason necro is seeing more play than before? Imho, the recalibration of the Banshee. Most necro heroes, with access to dark magic ususally play with 4 soulreavers, banshees and enthralls, which makes them very dangerous lategame and hard to counter if you cant mantain or generate board advantage. They simply have a lot of removal. But other, faster decks keep them in check, luckily. Sveltana provides a different playstyle than Seria or Ariana and her ability is also decent, but she simply isnt better in any regard. And the potential vampire deck you can play with her is still not better than the average lategame banshee deck.

Sanctuary:
One of the weaker factions this expansion. Mainly because of the missing Sayama creatures Stalker and Dune Prowler, providing rush potential. Which was also the factions playstyle before Heart of Nightmares. A shame imho because the faction had some creatures which could be used for more tactical battles (at least on paper). The factions lacks offensive early creatures so you casnt really rush with them. The midgame is quite solid though, with decent blockers, one of them the new introduced Shark Protector. One of the few things where i highly disagree with Vengyre, this guy is good, you have to play him in the right deck though. Lotus Guard might be a 6 creature, but he is the only reason that sanctuary could potentially have late game options now. Because he affects the board immediately if you are behind and you cant target him (so Banshee/Soulreaver-protection). His only weakness are immunte to retialiation attacks, which is still ok though. A well designed epic creature imho.

Haven:
They are simply weak in standard. Rush potential is completely gone here and i am fine with that. They are redesigned to be the defensive faction in this game. Thats why i wondered how you coud cut cards like Ward against Darkness and Immaculate Glory.... The best thing you can now do is to turtle hardcore and basically grind your opponent down. And i think Morgan would be the best choice for that, due to his ability. I liked the idea behind Charity, a hero dedicated for a retaliation deck. While you definitely have some defensive tools, they are simply not strong or awesome enough. Her earth spell school kinda backfires because it kills or disables most of your 1-3 drops. (Tithe, Squire, Crusader Watchman-Vanguard).

Note: A few thigs i would like to see and i think could improve the faction, even if its not much. Change Praetorian Captain into a Melee-Shooter, so that the front line doesnt get as crowded, even if his ability is really not strong though. The spell Santified Walls.Right now, its simply overcosted and has a lot of negative synergies. Once a creature is in a building, you cant target them with Anael for healing, or with your own Ability to give them the retaliation buff. The 4 magic cost makes the spell too slow for building focused decks (and they are already slow enough). I would reduce the magic requirement to 3.


Spells: I am not entirely sure on the spell rating so far. But the fact that you basically left out Light Magic is also showing one thing. Its basically a invisible spell school, every Light Hero has basically one spell scholl less he starts with. Most spells are either not good, overcosted/ not efficient or hard to reach for certain decks (i mentioned Sanctified Walls). The spell school needs a complete rework or a VERY good upgrade in the next expansion.

3. Top 5 Cards. Without any particular order, i can agree with 3 of your choices of simply being good cards.
Arkaths Wrath is a fine clear spell, without being able to actually kill of 6 Hp creatures at once. and the other effect makes it also more interesting to play.

I didnt mention Boneyard before because it should have reached everyone by now, that this card is great. The only debatable thing is the number in the respective decks. Nothing more to say about it.

Deleb, one of the best Standard Heroes, aggressive creatures with Lava Spawns and Thralls of Hatred and your own ability which you can use as another damage source or removal, she is not being used for her spell schools, which makes that spell school kinda wasted, nevermind....

Angel of Salvation is very expensive and her requirements dont make things easier.Her effect might give your humans another day to survive, but the angel itself is nothing more than a big target for efficient hard removal like banshee and soulreaver, or it can simply get bounced with Town Portal. So its very risky to play this thing without a way to protect it. The defense you are relying on might crumble down the very next turn. Its the same fate for every fatty in this game.....sadly.

Infernal_Wisdom
05-07-2014, 11:03 AM
I rated good cards in my opinion x/10 and I made some small comments, other cards are almost unplayable to me :)

Arcane Sharpshooter: 2-0-4 immune retal shooter creature is always solid, almost every deck runs 2-4 copies of those badasses, one of best choices you can use for 2 resources, and masfar would have hard time if this creature would not added 7/10

Crimson Apprentice:5 HP and 2 damage shooter with immune retal and nice ability, again solid creature 7/10

Djinn Cloudshaper: A late game dodo with nice stats, and also in a hero like myranda they can be very fatal with combination of time jump: 8/10

Wolf Trainer: I think it is one of the most useful 1 resource drops, rhakshasa skirmisher is still better 1 drop defensive creature but this creature is able to block and kill even creatures like caller of the void, there is no example like this, blocking and killing at the same time 2 resource higher than itself!!! 8/10

Angel of Salvation: the previous fat creatures was all trash, only good fat creature was sentinel of ages imo and maybe abyssal lord, but this creature has a nice ability, instead of 6 this creature needs 5 might, which makes it playable, still vulnerable to cheap removals, therefore it sentences player to play with day of sanctuary event, so my final about this creature is 6,5/10

Lava Spawn: the prize to playing this creature is you cannot give stats when you are starting but hey!!! it is 3-0-3 for 1 resource and it ensures a strong inferno rush start with combination of maniacs, one of best creature added in this patch, my rate is 9/10

Madcap Imp: 5 HP, flier, 2 damage, fireburst 3 very good stats and ability, and also you can use it defensively for preventing quick attacks(except shredder) or you can sacrifice it and deal some damage to opponent offansively, I like this creature, good one, but not one of the strongest :) my rate is 7/10

Swelling Breeder: magic resist 1-1-6 and it requires 2 magic only and it adds 1 magic channel? :) and giving magic resistance other breeders like lurker in the dark is cherry on the top :) 7/10

Thrall of Hatred: 3 damage for 3 resources, Game finisher, enforcer, good damage dealer, more direct damage to inferno? hell yes! :) 8,5/10

Maniac Taskmaster: a melee creature with good stats and well it also discards? definately one of rare deserving commons :) 8/10

Grave Warden: 2-2-7 and immune retalliation, hard to kill and it gives you opportunity to draw cards? well it is one of best creatures in the game :) 8/10

Deathlord: Nice abilities and almost good stats for 5 resources, this creature is not bad for sure but not that great either 6,5/10

Damran, Chosen of Thorns: his stats and abilities for that resoure is clearly one of bests 8/10

Zephiria, Chosen of Winds: same as damran but I think zephiria's instant abilities are better, zephiria does not cause as much pressure as damran on board yes, but I prefer instant effects more, my final rate is 8,5/10

Coral Seer: sight is power!!!! not only in mmdoc, in every game!!!! this creature could me normal in other factions but in sanctuary with honour creatures it is really a strong one 7/10

Shark Protector: I haven't seen such powerful defensive creature in a while, it is even better than heaven wall and it can attack!!!! with honour creatures it can attack also it can block almost every non-immune retal creature in the game, 7,5/10

Coral Ohyaku: I think this creature is strongest in open meta and in hero ishuma, with combination of hypnotise and ishuma ability and with deploying ability + ambush, but I don't think it is good in standart meta as it is in open, 6/10

Lotus Empire Guard: this creature is a monster, yes this is a real monster!!!! the most powerful fat creature in the game I think overall, 9/10

Goblin Mentor: might channel is good and it works really well in acamas but in general 3 might requirement is a bad payback, but 2 resource with 3-1-3 stats, well this creature is good, very good
my final rate is 7,5/10

Stormrage Hunter: again very solid creature, gains benefit from warchanters and also giving might adds one more damage to him :) and 5 HP is not dying easily :) 7,5/10

Stormrage Warrior: a creature with quick enrage?!!!! 3 resource and 6 HP... well one of best ofc, 7,5/10

Pao Veteran: situational creature, good ability but stats are "meeeh" 6,5/10

Pao Warchief: again another situational creature, I myself am playing only one pao warchief against dhamiria massrages, just in case, they can garants purge shredders and you know same old story :D also in a fortune based deck like acamas you can use it more with bridges :) my final rate is 6,5/10

Arcane Mastery: again a situational card, useful against cards like celestial armour or stone shield, your magical creatures may bypass the armour and deal damage, 6/10

Arkath's Wrath: the best spell added in this patch for sure, it kills mizukami, case closed :) 8,5/10

Circle of Nine: this card is also best fortune added to academy, has many potential and it proved its power already 7/10

Delve into Madness: a deck thinner, no stats requirement and good combo with thralls to deal more direct damages or a good way to discard lava spawns in late game :) it is surely a strong card 6,5/10

Ur-Jabaal's Call: good addition to open for ignatious, and it is good finishing card in dhamiria mass rage 7/10

Conflicting Orders: it is saving you from quick attacks and also with combination of mass rage you can prevent your opponent from deploying more, also even in the beginning of game, you can force your opponent to not attack you, a good card overall 6,5/10

Might of Tribe: this fortune is a monster too :D especially with cyclopses and quick attacks this card shines :) requirement is a bit hard but who cares?! :) 7/10

Dervish's Tent: giving a creature swift for 2 cost it is good, but until creature in dervish's tent dies this card becomes a dead card, you gain less benefit comparing to other buildings 6/10

Stele of House Anima: this is a good card for decks like masfar and asalah otk, you have no fear from your creature's dying now, but still broken bridge and town portal can counter you :) and since it is not giving complete protection my rate is 5,5/10

Hall of Agony:High Risk High Reward Building in inferno, outmanuevers, bridges, portals and killing that creature can counter this building, almost simply you are countered when you opponent deploys creatures in the same raw of hall of agony but might be useful as gamefinisher, my final rate is 6/10

Sacrificial Pit: this is more sure damage than hall of agony but it deals only 1 damage :) but I think it is slightly better :) 6,5/10

Boneyard: No need to say its power, army of immortals with some little resource :) best building added in this patch 8/10


thanks for reading :)

ArcaneAzmadi
05-09-2014, 02:45 PM
No offense dude but you weren't Mr. Sunshine in your first reply to him. You get a little resistance and you tell the guy to piss off? You made a thread in a public forum there will always be people that disagree with you. That guy responded the way he did in reaction to your response to him. He wasn't wrong though, he made some really valid points and added to the thread.

As far as mockery and abuse? You can't expect people to respect you if you don't have respect for anyone else. You aren't exactly a victim here.

Actually, I really kind of am. His first post wasn't "a little resistance", he basically went "lolol you're a noob, that's all I have to say" and I feel fully justified in telling him to go jump. He can disagree with me all he wants, he's probably right about a lot of the points he raised in his SECOND post, but if they can't even make a token effort to be polite while doing it he can go to hell.

What happened to Psychobabble.au anyway? I miss discussing card balance with him, he could be polite to me even when he disagreed with everything I said. I haven't seen him in ages so I imagine he just got sick of DoC and quit.