RNGEternal Exclusive Spoiler Card – Daring Pioneer

RNGEternal is proud to present its Dusk Road spoiler card – but first, I want to talk about an existing, similar card, to give you the context you need in order to accurately rate the card. Our spoiler is a Primal card, and I think its a pretty good one.

Remember False Prince?

False+Prince
Not the Spoiler

In his heydey, False Prince was one of the linchpins of the powerful Elysian Midrange deck. A 3 power 5/5, False Prince had the drawback that he died to a light breeze – many a Vara’s Favor or Torch cleanly answered False Prince. However, his 5 strength gave you a cheap way to recur Dawnwalkers, and he was a nightmare against decks that couldn’t cheaply answer him, easily dealing 10 or 15 damage before the opponent could react.

False Prince ended up being a very metagame dependant card. Antisynergy with key Elysian cards like Predatory Instinct (and later Xenan Initiation) meant that he wasn’t quite as powerful as he could be, and triple influence made it a bit difficult to get him out on turn 3 (or ramped on 2). These flaws, combined with other weaknesses of the Elysian faction, mean we haven’t seen much of False Prince lately. However, his place as a  powerful but fragile beater is about to be contested by a new challenger!

Daring Pioneer

Daring Pioneer
This one is the spoiler.

Now that’s a Primal card! First off, its a 4/4 Overwhelm for 3PP, which is definitely a playable statline. Secondly, it’s an Explorer, and typeline matters in the new world of Bond and Allies. Thirdly, we have this exciting line of text:

When an enemy plays a spell, sacrifice Daring Pioneer to negate it.

It is critical to note that this is NOT a may ability. Similar to False Prince, once the spell is cast, Daring Pioneer is dying – you cannot use Backlash or a similar spell to save it. This means that even a simple Seek Power is enough to take down a Daring Pioneer – but by the same token, it can stop a Harsh Rule, Channel the Tempest, or similar huge spell, acting as a preemptive backlash.

Some of the time, Daring Pioneer will die to a Torch or Vanquish, and that’s okay. You’ve traded your unit for their removal spell. However, you didn’t give your opponent the opportunity to target their spell – maybe that Torch wanted to go face, or that Vanquish to kill a Sandstorm Titan. Daring Pioneer effectively draws all removal towards herself – your opponent cannot cast until they’ve dealt with her!

Other times, Daring Pioneer will be even more powerful! Your opponent may not have a cheap spell, and will be relying on a key Lightning Storm or Harsh Rule to bail them out. In that case, Daring Pioneer protects your whole board, forcing them to either toss their high value spell just to pop the Pioneer, or to hold it and wait for a cheaper spell to play first. Either way, Daring Pioneer has messed with your opponent’s gameplan – all while attacking as a 4/4!

Let’s talk worst case senario. Some percentage of the time, your opponent will have a Seek Power or Favor to cheaply and easily remove Daring Pioneer. However, even in this worst case senario, Pioneer does not die for free – it takes the spell with it. Pioneer comes down early, and that Seek Power or Favor could be critical to helping your opponent hit their power drops. Only in the mid to late game when your opponent has an otherwise useless cheap spell does Daring Pioneer become trivial to kill – you’re generally going to get good value out of it.

A 4/4 body is also above the curve for 3, and something aggressive Primal decks are in the market for. Skycrag, Elysian and Feln decks will all take a look at this just as a 4/4. This is not a card aimed at control decks – aggro or aggressive midrange decks will be most intersted. Pioneer’s value will also fluctuate depending on the metagame. When people are playing mostly units and a 4/4 is good, Pioneer will be strong. When players are playing lots of expensive spells, Pioneer will also be strong. When players are playing a mix of cheap spells and units, Pioneer may not be at its best. Regardless, this is a powerful option to aggressive Primal decks with the advent of The Dusk Road. What do you think of the newest addition to Primal’s toolkit?

Frequently Asked Questions (answers by DWD)

Does Daring Pioneer interact with my spells?

No, she only triggers if an enemy casts a spell. You can cast spells freely with her in play.

What if Daring Pioneer has Aegis?

If an enemy spell is cast, she will die due to her sacrifice effect. Aegis does not come into play.

Is there a response window when a spell is cast with Pioneer in play?

There’s no response window in there for either player; she’s dead and the spell is gone before anybody does anything else.

What if I have multiple Pioneers in play? Do they both trigger?

Once an enemy spell is cast, any/all of your Daring Pioneers trigger (and die) and the spell is negated.