Drafters’ Corner: First Impressions on Balance Changes (Draft)!

Hi everyone! What an exciting time to be playing Eternal! The cursed card called Bart shall soon be banished to the shadow realms! Praise Tavrod for revealing how broken Bart actually is! But we aren’t here to talk about boring, old constructed right? For today’s article, I shall go over each of the 7 changes and talk about how I think they will impact their rating and playability in draft. The rating scale i used is described in my previous article and you can check out the updated tier list to see how it stacks up against the other cards!

(Credits to locopojo for the images of the changed cards!)

Bartholo, the Seducer

Cost increased from 3JJS to 4JJS, Ultimate cost reduced from 10 to 7.

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Once a terror to behold in both draft and constructed, the increase casting cost pushes Bartholo down a peg. Aegis and unblockable still makes Bartholo incredibly hard for your opponent to interact with. However, being a 4 cost, 2/2  unit means that his stats are significantly below curve. Thus, he should only be played in decks with high weapon counts instead of being an auto-include in any Argenport deck. He definitely requires a fair bit of build around now. That being said, Argenport is THE faction for weapons, so the nerf might not be as bad as first impressions. Bartholo’s cheaper ultimate is unlikely to be of any relevance in draft.

Previous Rating: A+
New Rating: A-

 

Vara’s Choice

Cost reduced from 3TS to 2TS.

biyfbvjThis is a huge buff for a card that was previously fringe playable. In my mind, it’s now comparable to Teleport. While it’s not a fast spell and therefore, unable to blow out tricks and double blocks, Vara’s Choice has the additional benefit of silencing the target unit. This card is also an additional, and much needed, way to deal with fliers for Xenan. Moreover, given that the majority of units have some form of text on them, the alternative choice of Vara’s Choice could also be a neat tempo play to remove a minion from your opponent’s hand if you are ahead on board.

The main problem with Vara’s Choice, however, is that you always have to either play it for tempo at a card disadvantage (by bouncing a minion) or play it for card parity at a tempo disadvantage (by silencing and discarding a minion). In both cases, you are required to sacrifice something, which means that if your plan doesn’t work out, you are likely to fall behind.

Previous Rating: C+
New Rating: B-

Beckoning Lumen

Now a 4TT 5/3 instead of 5TT 6/4.

c0a8u6bUp till now, I am not convinced that this change is a net buff for Beckoning Lumen. In constructed, I think this buffs more aggressive lifeforce decks while hurting more control oriented lifeforce decks. In draft, this is definitely a nerf.

Previously, Beckoning Lumen is playable in any Time deck even with 0 lifeforce triggers as it is still a decent attacker. Now, I think Beckoning Lumen is a slightly below average 4 drop, with an upside if you are able to draft a few lifeforce triggers.

The 4 drop slot is also often extremely crowded for time decks, so competing for space with cards like Striped Araktodon and Archive Curator does not bode well. Most importantly, 3 health is also a critical point where it dies to a lot more damage based removal, namely Torch, Extract and Purify. This greatly increases the vulnerability of the card.

Previous Rating: B+
New Rating: B

Purify

Now a 2FT Spell instead of a 3FT Fast Spell.

wfyzh2sI can definitely see Purify being an upgrade for constructed, but I think it is a nerf for draft. The cost reduction is sweet, but losing the Fast speed is a huge downside. Previously, Purify had 2 uses: (1) a overcosted torch and (2) when an opposing flier swings, you can purify and block with a small unit to remove the flier. Now, Purify is better at being (1) but completely loses it’s ability to do (2). Moreover, it becomes completely unusuable defensively. Overall, I think this makes purify much less flexible and therefore, much weaker in draft.

Post-nerf, Purify becomes a more aggressive tempo play (since you can go Purify+2 drop on 4 power) that has some late game value as a silence effect. This is a card that I’m not sure whether the change knocks it down a tier, but regardless, I think it has dropped from being a marginally better pick than Mortar to a much worse pick than Mortar.

Previous Rating: A-
New Rating: A-

Moment of Creation

Cost reduced from 8FFTT to 7FFTT.

So, instead of an unplayable 8 power card, Praxis now has an unplayable 7 power card. In all seriousness, unless your deck is loaded with 6+ spells, there is absolutely no reason to run this card. The cost doesn’t change the insane requirements this card puts on your deck so I think it is staying put at D tier.

Previous Rating: D
New Rating: D

Nostrix, Lord of Visions

Now grants student +5/+5 instead of +3/+3.

pjjnzl1What’s better than a huge 5/7 flier that gives one of your units +3/+3? Yup, a 5/7 flier that give your unit +5/+5. The +5/+5 buff is significantly better though, making at least one other unit a huge threat on top of Nostrix itself. This means that your opponent needs to answer two large threats, instead of one, making it a bigger tempo swing.

This is definitely a buff to Nostrix, but it doesn’t address the main problem with Nostrix, it’s sky high influence cost. Also, if you are behind on board, Nostrix becomes substantially worse because often you either don’t have a unit to mentor or you can’t afford to exhaust a blocker. Thus, I think Nostrix just wiggles into the bottom of A+ tier on the back of this buff.

Previous Rating: A
New Rating: A+

Shelterwing Rider

Stats increased from 0/4 to 0/5.

omrjtisMann_Und_Mouse had an extremely apt name for this card, the flying False Prince. While going from 4 health to 5 might seem insignificant, it’s important to remember that most of the common fliers have only 1 or 2 attack (Archive Curator, Stormcrasher, Towertop Patrol, Pteriax Hatchlings). This buff means that your opponent would usually need 1 more flier than previously to answer this card.

However, in the grand scheme of things, I don’t think this card is significantly buffed because it’s chief weakness is that it is near useless without aegis. As such, I think Shelterwing Rider remains at A- Tier.

Previous Rating: A-
New Rating: A-

 

Conclusion

Overall, I don’t think the meta will undergo a huge shake-up due to these changes, especially since most of the affected cards are Rare or Legendary. However, I’m always happy to be wrong and I personally can’t wait to see how the new meta pans out! Let me know what you think about the changes in the reddit thread and stay tuned for my next article on mulligans! (It was supposed to come out this week, but DWD released the patch notes and I got so hyped that I decided to write this article instead)

May your decks be buffed with every balance patch,
Flash2351