Building Better: Set Two Skycrag

Hello everyone! Speculation in the middle of spoiler season is always dangerous – context is super important when evaluating cards, and we’ve yet to see even half of what’s coming in Omens of the Past. That said, the last few releases have made me confident of at least one thing: Skycrag Aggro will be a real deck with the release of Omens of the Past. Let’s take a look at why I believe Skycrag is going to get there.

What Skycrag already had

TorchPermafrost

Torch and Permafrost are two of the most efficient removal spells in the game, easily trading up with higher cost cards. These two cards give Skycrag the ability to play a tempo based aggression plan, as they will cheaply clear the way Skycrag’s threats. Skycrag already has access to the powerful Fire one drops like Oni Ronin and Pyroknight, and late game finishers like Soulfire Drake and Obliterate. The starting pieces were there, but the deck didn’t really gain much from Primal other than Permafrost, which led players to seek other aggressive options in Set One.

What Skycrag is getting

imagesnowcrust-yeti3cloudsnake-breedercloudsnake-harrier

Headlining Skycrag’s new toys is Bradykin’s favorite card, Champion of Fur(r)y.  CoF is a powerful two drop, that could reasonably attack as a 3/2 Charge on turn 2 (with FFP influence)  and becomes a 4/2 Charge Overwhelm later in the game. Overwhelm from Primal is a bit odd, but it helps him punch damage through chumps. Skycrag also receives another strong 2 drop in Cloudsnake Breeder, which with Spark is 3/3 worth of stats for 2 power. Two bodies also sets you up well to play a Rally style of deck – Grenadin Drone and Assemby Line are still ready to go wide.

However, Cloudsnake Breeder is only really efficient with its spark effect, which means you’re going to need one drops to get in and deal damage to activate it on curve. Fortunately Fire is full of efficient one drops, and Primal adds one more in the form of Snowcrust Yeti. A 2/1 Aegis isn’t too far behind Pyroknight in power, and helps the Yeti survive random removal spells and Lightning Storm. If Skycrag (or Hooru) happen to get a powerful weapon, Snowcrust Yeti will give them a perfect target for it. Regardless, a 1 cost 2/1 is a fine rate, and between Snowcrust Yeti and CoF you’ve nearly got enough Yetis to want to play Wump, which is a pretty powerful tribal payoff.

Cloudsnake Harrier might not be the correct fit for some versions of the deck, but could easily see play in more spell heavy variants. Valkyrie Enforcer has shown us that an evasive 3/3 for 3 isn’t too far behind the curve, and it makes all of your cheap burn spells stronger. A 7 damage Obliterate isn’t the payoff you’re looking for, but 2 damage Snowballs and 3 damage Piercing Shot could be. Depending on what kind of burn Skycrag gets, it could fit into Aggro builds or form its own archetype.

What Skycrag is missing

The biggest weakness of Skycrag at the moment is an inability to deal with Sandstorm Titan and other high health targets immune to Permafrost. Polymorph is technically an option, but its not where an aggro deck really wants to be. If Skycrag gets a good answer to its greatest foe, it’s well poised to take off.

Skycrag is still missing some three and four cost plays to go with its aggressive starts – there are options, including the new cards Groundbreaker and Outlands Brute, but nothing that’s especially powerful in Skycrag. We’ll have to see what new cards Omens of the Past bring to the table before the best Skycrag Aggro build will emerge.

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