Draft Analysis – Justice

Hey all. I’m back again, this time with my review of the Justice cards. In case you missed it, feel free to check out my previous posts on Primal and TimeWithout further ado, let’s go!

Argenport Soldier – 2

With the prevalence of Strangers and other 2/2 early-drops, a 3/2 is just much worse than a 2/3. Still, if you need a two drop or are particularly aggressive, you could do worse.

Armorsmith – .5

Let’s be real: you will rarely cast this card for free in draft. That being the case, a 2/2 for 4 mana is just about the worse deal imaginable, even with 2 armor tacked on. At the end of the day, Armorsmith is a warm body, but I’d play literally anything over it.

Augmented Form – 4.5

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of an Augmented Form, you know why this card is so highly rated. It almost certainly wins a trade in combat on the front end, and will likely net some more trades later when they try to block you ridiculously large creature on the way back in. It’s only downside is its mana and influence cost, but this is a 6-drop that’s worth every penny.

Auric Runehammer – 2

I don’t love low-armor weapons in draft as they are fairly easy to remove. You’ll rarely remove two creatures with this, but it’s a removal option in Justice which is sometimes hard to come by. Don’t be wowed by the rarity or constructed viability though; this is almost always just a one-for-one.

Auric Sentry – 3.5

Warcry is a potentially very powerful mechanic and Auric Sentry is one of the better units with the keyword. Cheap, high-health, and Endurance means this guy is almost always getting in for a few attacks at the beginning. If you’ve got any sort of weapon to suit him up with, he can become quite the scary threat.

Brightmace Paladin – 3

One of my favorite Justice cards. Many times, Brightmace Paladin will be nothing more than a 3/3 for 3–which, just so we’re clear, is a pretty good stat-to-cost ratio. Every so often though, he’ll put on some pants and totally dominate a race. A very solid role-player in either Rakano or Combrei, I confess I usually take them higher than I ought to.

Bronze Cuirass – 1

Bronze Cuirass is weird. It seems like a solid weapon since it replaces itself, but it’s never really been all that impressive. I’m almost always interested in playing something else over it, especially since it costs 4 mana. Compare it to Worn Shield for example; is the card draw and one additional point of health really worth 3 extra mana?

Ceremonial Mask – 4

Smash! Ceremonial Mask is a strong top end to a Justice deck, especially if you can really make use of its creature pump. Making your Brightmace Paladin a temporary 7/7 and killing a blocker to prevent a bad block is an incredible lifeswing. If you can keep your weapon alive to take out another unit, that’s even better.

Civic Peacekeeper – 1.5

I usually cut my Peacekeepers, but if I’ve got a really power-hungry deck with little removal or interaction, I might be inclined to run one. Stun in a powerful mechanic after all, but a 3/3 body for 6 mana leaves a lot to be desired.

Combrei Magister – 2

In a perfect world, Combrei Magister is awesome, swinging for 5 indestructible damage a turn. In reality, it’s a terrible blocker, a terrible attacker without Empower, and dies to just about every damage-based removal spell there is. I’ll play it if I’m a more aggressive deck, but I’d prefer to not.

Copperhall Blessing – 1.5

I’ve never actually cast this card, so I don’t have a lot of actual experience with it in-game. That disclaimer out of the way, Copperhall Blessing seems really mediocre. Four mana is a lot for a trick, especially one that doesn’t even actually do anything to the board. I imagine it’s a trick that takes some skill and patience to set up, so take that caveat to heart.

Copperhall Recruit – .5

A 2/5 with no other abilities for 4 mana is truly lackluster. It’s a great blocker, so if that’s what you’re looking for, more power to you.

Crownwatch Cavalry – 4

Crownwatch Cavalry can be quite the powerful tempo play. Even as just a 2/2, you’re essentially getting 4/4 stats for four mana, an okay deal in its own right, and you get to move 2/2 of that to whatever the best unit you have is at the moment. If you have any sort of in-hand pump though, e.g. Ageless Mentor or Warcry, prepare to be destroy your opponent. I generally see it as better in Rakano because of the higher likelihood that you’ll be able to pump it via Warcry, but I’d still take it highly regardless.

Crownwatch Longsword – 2

Sometimes you just need a weapon. Not great, not bad.

Crownwatch Paladin – 1.5

Despite being a constructed powerhouse, Crownwatch Paladin is rather fragile for limited. This trades with literally anything and has no evasion – it’s likely going to attack once and then die. Unless you’ve got a ton of awesome weapons in your deck, the aegis will be largely immaterial.

Detain – 1

Detain is a trick. Sometimes you need tricks. In most cases though I’d hold back from playing this in your deck.

District Infantry – 2

If you’re remotely aggressive/tempo focused and are playing a significant amount of Justice sigils such that you’ll likely be able to play this guy on turn 1, he’s a really solid inclusion. The further you stray from those two criteria, the exponentially worse he gets. Nothing’s less scary than a late game top decked District Infantry.

Eager Owlet – 3

A 0/3 flyer for 2 is whatever; a 3/3 flyer for two is completely insane. Obviously then, Eager Owlet’s power both literally and figuratively depends on the quantity of other flyers in your deck. For this reason, I tend to value him more highly in Combrei decks since Time has access to some additional flyers while Fire has almost none.

Elder’s Feather – 4

Evasion wins a lot of limited games and Elder’s Feather grants evasion for cheap to your best creature. If you get just any sort of pumps on it (via Warcry usually), this one-mana weapon becomes an absolute insane play. Take it highly in Justice, and maybe even consider splashing it if you’re adventurous.

Emerald Acolyte – .5

Similar to Armorsmith, there’s almost no redeeming quality to Emerald Acolyte, by far the crappiest Acolyte of the bunch.

Emerald Monument – 4

A +3/+3 weapon is nothing to sneeze at, especially if you’ve got some Brightmace Paladins or Karmic Guardians in your deck. Like the other Monuments, their value derives from their dual nature at mitigating both mana flood and screw.

Finest Hour – 4

A very powerful trick, Finest Hour is one of the ways you turn raw muscle into removal. The biggest downside of Finest Hour is that it’s an easy trick to spot (due to pauses), making it easy to play around.

Flight Lieutenant – 2

I may be rating this too low since whenever my opponent plays a Flight Lieutenant it tends to lead to some really awkward losses. If you are lacking in evasive threats, he’s a great way to snag a win from out of nowhere or over the course of a couple turns.

Fourth-Tree Elder – 4.5

Fourth-Tree Elder is an absolute bomb. It flies, it’s huge, it has endurance. It closes out games all the time and is hard for an opponent to both race and deal with. There are few cards I’d take over a Fourth-Tree Elder if I were in Justice.

Gilded Glaive – 3

One of the better weapons, if you’ve aggressive this can put the hurt on your opponent like nothing else. Even without the Empower bonus, Glaive’s +2/+2 is still a solid boost to make navigating combat difficult for your opponent.

Hammer of Might – 4

If you’re at parity or in the lead, Hammer of Might is a great way to really take command of a game. If you’re behind, it’s substantially worse since you’re likely not going to get the Warcry bonus from attacking.

Harsh Rule – 3.5

Harsh Rule is a card that people have divisive opinions about. I know some folks who consider it the best rare in Eternal draft. I disagree. Unless you’re behind, Harsh Rule just isn’t going to be very productive. Nuking the board when you have dudes on it is a surefire road to Carddisadvantageville. While you can often use the knowledge of Harsh Rule as a way to bait your opponent while you hold back on units, that approach only really works in the early game. Treat it like a bomb if you like; I’ve never been a huge fan of “Wraths” in limited.

Hero of the People – 1 or 5

Hero of the People, unsurprisingly, derives most of its benefit from the rest of your deck. Do you have any Karmic Guardians, Silverwing Familiars, Scorpion Wasps, Rakano Outlaws or the like? Note that it gets a +1/+1 regardless of how the ability got on the card, so something like Protect will actually pump it.

Hooru Envoy – .5

Unless you’ve got a bizarre deck that can target this thing over and over, a 2/2 for 3 mana really isn’t good enough to run.

Hooru Fledgling – 3

A 5 mana 3/3 flier is the epitome of solid value for cost. It’s not going to wow any crowds, but it has evasion which can be sorely lacking in Rakano.

Inspire – 3

I’ll almost always play every Inspire I can and will usually draft them fairly high. That being said, it doesn’t actually do anything by itself. Note: I usually feel comfortable with trimming down on a sigil if I’ve got 2 or more Inspires in my deck (or any other card draw for that matter).

Loyal Watchwing – 1.5

While flying and Warcry are a great combination, paying 3 mana for a 1/1 isn’t. I’ll begrudgingly play Loyal Watchwing if I have to, especially if I have a ton of things I want to Warcry, but will generally prefer to leave it on the bench if I can.

Mark of Shame – .5

Surprisingly bad. Three mana is a lot for such a mediocre effect and -3 attack isn’t even enough to really neuter a lot of creatures you’d want to get rid of. If this cost less or was more powerful, maybe it would be better. As it is, playing it in your deck is the truest mark of shame.

Marshal Ironthorn – 4.5

Marshall Ironthorn is awesome. His stats are great, his passive effect can be pretty good, and his ultimate is game-winning. I wouldn’t bank on ultimating with him all that often, but that doesn’t change the fact that this here’s a great card.

Minotaur Grunt – 3.5

This innocuous guy is a pretty solid roleplayer for any Justice deck. He comes down early and can usually get in a couple swings unimpeded netting some valuable Warcries in the process. I tend to overvalue him, caveat emptor.

Mithril Mace – 2.5

The quintessential Justice removal option. Not that powerful by itself, but it will take out a small flyer usually and maybe a second creature if you’re lucky. If you get any Warcry triggers on it, it becomes much more potent.

Order of the Spire – 3.5

If you can get this guy down early and dodge some silences, he can very quickly end the game by himself. Notably he doubles any bonuses, so a Crownwatch Longsword on him sees his power increase much more rapidly.

Paladin Oathbook – 5

Incredible card. Paladin Oathbook is one of the strongest rares there is as it lets you apply a ton of pressure without minimal mana investment. It’s even splashable, and I’d try to play it in just about any deck if I could afford the fixing.

Plated Demolisher – 4

Plated Demolisher is huge, but comes with a sizeable drawback for sure. If you have a ton of relic weapons in your deck, you can help counteract his self-destruct sequence. If not, realize that you lose him to just about any flier or burn spell. I’d almost always try to play him unless I had like 0 other ways to gain armor.

Privilege of Rank – 1.5

Unless you have a ton of empower synergies or expensive spells, I’d avoid playing this card. It’s way too slow to be worth it. Just compare this with Wisdom of the Elders, a card I don’t particularly like.

Protect – 1

Unless you have some awesome threats or plan on putting all your eggs in one basket, Protect probably isn’t worth the spot in your deck. I’ve played it before, and more often than not it languished in my hand rather than acted as an awesome foil to my opponent’s plans.

Rebuke – 2

Surprisingly effective, especially in Rakano. It’s only a temporary measure and so is technically card disadvantage 90% of the time. That said, it’s great in an aggressive strategy that doesn’t have a lot of removal and which is more concerned about tempo than anything else.

Reinforce – 0

No.

Rolant, the Iron Fist – 3.5

Of the Scions, Rolant is likely the best in limited. The combination of Endurance and invulnerability is a potent one and enables you to win just about any race that doesn’t involve fliers.

Rolant’s Honor Guard – 4.5

If you can ever cast Rolant’s Honor Guard and it survives, you really ought to win. It’s very hard to lose if you’re attacking for 6 damage a turn in the air and gaining 6 life in the process. One of the best rares in the limited, it’s only draw back is its cost.

Silverwing Avenger – 4

My appreciation for Silverwing Avenger continues to rise. A 2/2 flyer for 4 isn’t a great deal for sure, but the fact that he basically neuters an opposing creature is as sweet as it gets. A fabulous card that really cleanly deals with some otherwise frustrating threats like Serpent Trainer or Lethrai Nightblade.

Silverwing Commander – 4.5

Bomb. Relatively cheap, powerful stats and a powerful ability, evasive. Is there anything Silverwing Commander doesn’t do? Might ought to be a 5 honestly.

Silverwing Familiar – 3

I want to rate Silverwing Familiar a little higher based on my personal predisposition for drafting decks that like to have units to suit up. If you don’t have any weapons, it’s still an okay threat but not insane by any means.

Spire Chaplain – 3

The recent boost to Spire Chaplain has really helped it in limited. Whereas before it would trade with a lowly 2/2, now it scoots by strangers and the like with ease. It’s still not insane as it will most likely only attack a couple times before it trades with something and dies, but it’s definitely much better than before.

Stalwart Shield – 2.5

I really like Stalwart Shield, probably because of my affinity for Brightmace Paladin. The fact that it is an awesome way to counteract Ice Sprite or Permafrost makes it a solid choice for a weapon, but I’ll concede that four mana is a hefty price to way a lot of the time.

Steadfast Deputy – .5

Unless you’re curving this into Paladin Oathbook, don’t bother. He’s way too weak to want to include.

Sword of the Sky King – 4

Boom goes the dynamite. This is the type of 8-drop I can get behind. It all but ensures the win if you’re ahead and can help you claw back into the game if you’re behind.

Throne Warden – 3.5

Throne Warden gets better the more weapons, relic or otherwise, you have in your deck. A solid 5-drop that helps stymie an aggressive Feln onslaught.

Tinker Apprentice – 1

I don’t think this effect is worth it at all. Unless I was playing multiple Crownwatch Cavalry, I probably would never bother.

Tinker Overseer – 3

If you just ignore all the other text, a 2/2 flier for 2 is a great deal in limited. If you have any relics in your deck, well that’s just gravy, but don’t think that Tinker Overseer’s power stems from somehow growing. He’s just an efficiently costed flyer.

Treasury Gate – 0

The number of things that need to go right for this to be worth including are staggering.

Treasury Guard – 2

Filler, pure and simple. I’d rather not run him, but will if I need an extra unit.

Valkyrie Aspirant – 3

Valkyrie Aspirant is the epitome of a great one-drop: good early, good late. Don’t go overboard with them since you still need to make it to the late game, but I tend to draft these highly whether I’m in an aggressive deck or not.

Valkyrie Enforcer – 4.5

An absurd bomb if you can cast it, a 3/3 flyer for 3 is way above the curve for limited, especially since it comes with a powerful effect attached.

Valkyrie Wings – 4

Valkyrie Wings turns any creature into a very scary threat. Obvious my favorite target is a Brightmace Paladin, but even something like a Towering Terrazon or Rebel Sharpshooter will be enough to end the game fairly quickly.

Valorous Stranger – 1 or 4

If you’re not playing strangers, I wouldn’t bother. He’s fairly weak and has the potential to backfire beautifully.

Vanquish – 4.5

Obviously a great limited option, it’s one of Justice’s only “true” removal spells it has access to. Splashable and deals with exactly the types of threats you need to kill, big ones.

Wrap up

That’s it for today! Stay tuned for Fire.

2 thoughts on “Draft Analysis – Justice

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