1. #1

    Five Towers review

    I'm not going to do a full card-by-card review of this expansion because there's such a short window between release of the spoilers and release of the game so it seems kind of pointless. Instead, I'm going to give a few high level thoughts/predictions/quesions. All of this is based on the spoiler images posted here. Huge props to enclase for posting these images so quickly.

    Buildings

    By and large, creature auras suck. When you lose the creature, you lose the buff which gives your opponent an additional reward (cards, tempo) for doing what they already want to do and kill your creature. A while ago in MTG, a form of repeatable creature buff was introduced called equipment. Good equipment has proved to be very good in that game, the difference between it and auras being that when the equipped creature died, the equipment just returned to the battlefield, ready to be re-equipped to a new creature rather than going to the graveyard.

    Buildings on the whole feel a like equipment to me. You can't just re-equip to any creature, you can only use them on the same battlefield position, but you also don't need to pay a re-equip cost. The fundamental concept of making multiple creatures awesome is the same, and that's what gives this card type huge potential power.

    There's two classes of buildings, obviously. The non-unique ones die when any housed creatures die from combat damage. These open you up to the classic aura problem of suffering a 2-for-1, particularly if your housed creature dies to an opposing haste creature (Pao). These buildings are likely to be generally unplayable, unless you find a way to neutralise that inherent disadvantage. War Tent seems to be the best candidate. You put it on a melee position, and all of your Paos and blackskull shredders now do an extra two damage, which is pretty huge.

    All of the unique buildings seem pretty insane for the relevant factions. It's difficult to predict how an entirely new card type will play out in practice, but I feel that it's fairly safe to predict that any creature deck which meets the fortune requirement will want to play at least the on-faction building, and possibly one or more of the off-faction ones. Their existence may even provide an incentive for people to build more creature/fortune decks.

    Creatures

    I'll go through these by cost because that's how they're currently ordered in the mmdocking image spoiler. I'll mainly comment on those I consider to be likely playable.

    1 drops

    Rakaasha skirmisher seems like another strong early game defensive option for academy.

    2 drops

    The unique building tutor is obviously pretty good if you're playing the building. None of the new ambush creatures seem very exciting, their ambush effect isn't powerful enough to make up for the inherently weak bodies. The closest might be suicide goblin, but how bad do you feel when your opponent drops a tithe collector in front of it?

    3 drops

    Crusader vanguard might be interesting in a deck with a self-healing theme, 3/2/6 is better than the already powerful radiant glory. Fate bender, as a potential 4/2/5 for 3, has definite potential in a discard-themed deck. Even just the potential of it will scare away many blockers, and 4 is a huge chunk of damage to do if he's unblocked. The two cards which only start getting playable with 5 cards in your graveyard both seem quite bad - five is actually quite a large number, especially when you take rite of nethermancy and other gravyeard interraction into account.

    4 drops

    Soul-consuming wrath is an interesting option if you somehow are having difficulty working out what to use as graveyard hate. 3/0/5 shooter for four isn't great, but it isn't completely unreasonable on raw stats (sayama stalker has the same) and the repeatable exiling could be useful for some decks as a secondary option.

    The 5-card in graveyard enabled four drops are even worse than the three drops, just hideously weak effects. Actually, all of the rest of the four drops are pretty bad.

    5+ drops

    Plague bearer might have some potential in a poison synergy deck. It's really, really bad against creatureless decks though. Crusader sergent might be to self-heal decks what wolf justicar is to retaliation decks - the key synergy enabler. I'm not sure if such decks will be viable, but it seems like a possibility to me so there's some hope. The rest of the 5+ drops look completely unplayable.

    Events

    Time of war looks like a great way to spew your hand out into an enemy AOE late in the game. So if you like losing, it's a strong play.

    The great hunt is like a conditional howling mine. This game already has basically a permanent howling mine turned on with the hero draw abilities, I don't think a conditional one like this is really going to be good although I could see it as a possibility for creature decks to beat spell control/card advantage decks in the long game (although those decks don't very much exist anyway, because hero draw almost negates card advantage as a factor in this game).

    Night of the rising moon is potentially very powerful. The requirements are specific enough that the benefit is likely asymmetrical if you build for it, and it's both card advantage and card filtering which can be quite powerful - even more so if you can get some beneficial graveyard interraction going. This could be a real force in the right deck.

    Fortunes

    Crimson bond seems pretty awesome, free tutors are always going to be borderline busted and this will only get better as the card pool gets bigger. If you can find the right way to abuse this, it could be awesome.

    The price of the void as a neutral way to destroy any ongoing spell or fortune makes me a bit sad. People probably think that this is a good way for their creature decks to beat stall decks, but at the end of the day it's more likely to be used by said stall decks to get rid of a pesky earth's grasp or whatever that was standing in the way of them winning (especially given the 3/3 magic/fortune requirement). Giving Dhamira and Adar Malik ways to banish ongoing spells really seems like a bad idea to me, but hey, it's here and we now have to live with the fact that our spells are never safe anymore.

    Sanctuary gets a couple of nice options in Truce and United we Fight. United has some combo applications, perhaps with altar of wishes (actually, does that work? If not, then disregard this) or yukiko's shrine. Truce is a nice way for fortune decks to interract with individual enemy creatures (something which they traditionally have difficulty with), and if you also get to rebuy an outmaneuver then that's gravy.

    Pretty much all of the "OR" fortunes seem like total filler to me. It's like they were mailed in to hit some card number quote. One random weak ability + another random weak ability =/= a card.

    Spells

    Why do they keep printing cards like thunder weapon again? I mean, maybe when we have draft, but there's really no firm indication of that even being in the pipeline.

    Dark magic gets a couple of much needed and awesome early game spells, in wither and moonsilk strand. These are both very strong and fill in a big hole in that school's arsenal.

    Soulfire is a really interesting fire spell, both acting as targeted removal against very biggest 4+ attack threats (which admittedly aren't that common), and a somewhat risky buff for your own creatures. I think it's pretty good.

    Elrath's protection seems pretty strong, but you still lose to broken bridge or throne, and it doesn't actually make your creature any better so it can be dealt with in combat. Plus, it's too expensive to play on the same turn as some ridiculous fatty, and usually the problem with playing those creatures is untapping with them in the first place. Ice armour seems arguably better, although it's quite overcosted for the effect so probably won't see play.

    .... And that's it! No heroes, and an overall short expansion that seems mostly made up of, I hate to say, filler, means a pretty short review. I'm sure buildings are going to shake things up, the very fact that Ubisoft believes that printing something as unique enables it to be broken probably ensures that they will and some of the non-unique ones might see play too. imo, the mana storm/week of taxes nerfs (which are welcome) are going to shake the meta up more than the new cards overall. I'm super pumped for being able to use cards in multiple decks too!
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  2. #2
    Lex-58's Avatar Junior Member
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    Nice,ty.
    but u have 2 headings "Fortunes"
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  3. #3
    thanks, fixed. The second one, of course, was meant to be spells.
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  4. #4
    BlueStorm2112's Avatar Member
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    Nice work I haven't had a chance to look at the new stuff I will now. It sounds somewhat underwhelming.

    PS: Wouldn't the Pao destroy the war tent?

    EDIT: Oh wait It's from "combat damage" also I seems unfair that stronghold is the only faction that doesn't get a unique building.
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  5. #5
    Am I right in thinking there's still two cards un-spoiled? If so, I'm guessing the stronghold unique is one of them.
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  6. #6
    I actually had about the same reaction as you, Psycho. The dispel was not necessarily a good thing, given that its requirements fit perfectly into lock decks (Dhamiria, Kat, Shaar, Hakeem). I'm hoping to see at least more big Haven creatures see play, now, but I doubt it, considering the power of the already existing cheap creatures. The buildings seem to just further enhance the power of deathseekers, a card I already found absurdly annoying... to the point that I refuse to ever use them again.
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  7. #7
    I like the new mechanics and how they at least tried to bring new cards that would support new strategies, of which most are pretty awesome in theory. Such as Alia synergy with all the new no damage condition cards, but how they practically work and whether it is too hard to set up, only time will tell. The most no brainer Wolf Captain card of this expansion is without a doubt Tower of Gardener. Such low requirement for an insanely powerful effect. Mega Pao anyone? Possible wombo combo with Zardoc/Prias?
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  8. #8
    I have to say I had mitigated feelings like you when I saw the spoiler. But thinking about it, I think I like the changes done. Since mana storm has been nerfed, I guess it will hurt rushes a lot. Also the dark spells will give new low cost cards to deal with them rushes. I see the events as good cards for rushers (and given what I just said, I think they will need it). At least for the great hunt. Time of war seems to be viable only with great hunt in some specific decks.

    On the other hand I feel like control decks are winner here, like you said giving adar and dhamiria ways to dispell may not be the best idea, but we will see. Also, I guess that what the dev are trying with the high cost creatures might work and we might see them coming as a solution to high control deck.

    Anyway we will see, but even if the cards quality is not very high, we will see a lot of change with this extension and I like this.
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  9. #9
    Originally Posted by Dipl0mate Go to original post
    I have to say I had mitigated feelings like you when I saw the spoiler. But thinking about it, I think I like the changes done. Since mana storm has been nerfed, I guess it will hurt rushes a lot. Also the dark spells will give new low cost cards to deal with them rushes. I see the events as good cards for rushers (and given what I just said, I think they will need it). At least for the great hunt. Time of war seems to be viable only with great hunt in some specific decks.

    On the other hand I feel like control decks are winner here, like you said giving adar and dhamiria ways to dispell may not be the best idea, but we will see. Also, I guess that what the dev are trying with the high cost creatures might work and we might see them coming as a solution to high control deck.

    Anyway we will see, but even if the cards quality is not very high, we will see a lot of change with this extension and I like this.
    there is NOTHING in this expansion which helps creature decks against throne, in fact the only card in the game which helps against it (SoTS) got a massive nerf from price of the void being printed. spell control decks will be as bad as ever because they lose to fortune combo. Even harder now that they can't land an earth's grasp and get lucky against some builds.

    i can't see how OTK isn't going to be pretty strong after this patch. Could be wrong.
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  10. #10
    No offense, but before even bothering to read this, you have to realise. You can't review, something thats not even out yet.
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