Dusk Road Set Review – Primal

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Ranked Ratings:

★★★★★ Format defining card

Examples: Sandstorm Titan, Torch, and Harsh Rule

★★★★ Archetype staple, or multi-deck support card

Examples: Waystones, Permafrost, Rally

★★★ Role player or narrow support card

Examples: Polymorph, Rise to the Challenge, Withering Witch

★★ Long shot or meme-tier

Examples: Knucklebones, Crown of possibilities, Groundbreaker

★ Unplayable

Examples: Idol of Destran, Copperhall Recruit, Daze


Draft Ratings

★★★★★ Bomb or extremely efficient removal

Examples: Twinbrood Sauropod, Annihilate, and Slimespitter Slug

★★★★ Better than average

Examples: Feeding Time, Mortar, Archive Curator

★★★ Around average power level

Examples: Striped Araktodon, Hipshot, Highbranch Sentry

★★ Below average, but not embarrassing

Examples: Centaur Outrider, Cabal Slasher, Cirso’s Meddling

★ Unplayable

Examples: Accelerate, Helpful Doorbot, Aid of the Hooru


Cobalt Waystone

Cobalt_Waystone

Ranked

★★★★ This is a massive deal for 2F control. 2F control decks having access to a card like this will totally change the character of a few key match ups. Channel the Tempest and Azindel’s Gift are some of the most important late game threats in any control mirror, so face aegis is super important. In addition, this could easily save you 3 or more life against a burn deck while you are both top decking. This really does so much for a very low price. It is still just 4 stars given how low impact the card will be in terms of shaping the metagame, but I promise you that this card is going to make a big difference in some games.

Draft

★★ This is easily the worst of the Waystones for draft. Face aegis is not an important effect. If you are in the back half of pack 4 and your options are Waystone or 5 low impact off-faction cards take the Waystone.

Eilyn’s Intervention

Eilyns-Intervention

Ranked

(Edit: review has changed to reflect accurate reading of the card)

★★ I think most Yeti deck could play this, but whether Yetis are a thing is still waiting to be determined. There are obviously also a good number of fliers with 3 or less health, such as Enforcer or Commando. There are also a number of good 3-cost spells to counter. Very unlikely to ever be a 4-of, but certainly possible to play as a 1-of.

Draft

★★★ The first one of these is going to be very good in draft. Flyers are really important in draft, and Primal honestly doesn’t have much to offer in that respect, so having a 1-cost spell to interact with Valkyries is pretty important. You are also almost always going to have a handful of Yetis in any Primal decks, and your opponents are going to play spells that cost 3 or less. There are diminishing returns on a card like this of course, but the first one is solid.

Farplace Finder

Farplace-Finder

Ranked

★ I do not think either the Yeti deck or the Explorer deck are so desperate for a 1/1 for 1 that this would be played in any serious list. I guess there is an outside chance in Yetis, but it just seems bad.

Draft

★★ This is not unplayable, but you really need to have a lot of Yetis matter stuff going on before you are happy to play a 1-cost 1/1. If you have multiple Yeti Windfinders in your deck I think you start actively looking for cards like this, but even if you don’t I can imagine something worse than a unit that scouts a power to the bottom of the deck and chump blocks for a turn.

Jump Kick

Jump-Kick

Ranked

★★ I feel like Levitate is just better, and there are not a lot of decks hurting for 8x Levitate effects. It does have potential honestly, but is probably just not quite good enough.

Draft

★★★ You are going to hear about this a lot in this review, but Primal in this draft format seems pretty aggressive, so this is a great combat trick in aggressive Primal decks. Nosey Valkyrie beating down in the air? Got your opponent down to 5 health but can’t close out the game? Jump Kick does a lot of work! This card really is rock solid, and I am pretty happy playing 2 in most of my Primal decks right now. There is obviously a limit to how many pump spells you can play, or how impactful they can be, but this card is underrated right now in my opinion.

Powderglider

Powderglider

Ranked

★★★ What a weird package. Why is this stunning flyers exactly? Can’t say I understand the whole flavor concept behind this card and how it relates to sledding, but that is a distraction from the fact that the card is probably quite good. Once I get my hands on 4 Kalebs I am going to work on some “spells matter” tempo style deck, and this could be a killer 1-drop in such a deck.

Draft

★★ This card is really just too low impact for draft. I can imagine stunning a flier being a nice bonus, but the 1/2 body is just not scary in draft, and the pump effect is not consistent enough to be interesting.

Savage Skybrood

Savage-Skybrood

Ranked

★★ If you are playing a deck of mono-dinosaurs (or near mono-dinosaurs) I guess this could be a 3/2 or 4/2 pretty consistently, but that feels like a lot of hoops to jump through. I am going to build the Nightfall-Dinos deck at some point, and this clearly belongs in a deck like that, but I haven’t had the time to test it, so I will flag this as underpowered until further notice.

Draft

★ This card has gotta be pretty close to unplayable. You need like 75% of your units to be dinosaurs for this to even be acceptable, and even then he isn’t exactly good given how fragile he is.

Sinister Opportunist

Sinister-Opportunist

Ranked

★ If the activation were 2 I would spend a lot of time thinking about a card like this, but a conditional 4-cost 4/4 is just not a high upside, especially when the fail case is so fragile.

Draft

★★ This card is very high variance. I think good Unseen decks want this, and will draft good curses very aggressively to enable the Sinister Opportunists, but outside of those decks this card is pretty trash. I am still working out how best to enable cards like this, and I expect that will be the key to cracking the Unseen decks.

Snow Pelting

Snow-Pelting

Ranked

★★★★ This card is probably underrated right now. This card is obviously not at the level of Torch, but what is? Imagine being playing as Skycrag against Stonescar and you are able to cast this for the 5-cost mode wiping out your opponent’s Oni Ronin, Pyroknight and Rakano Outlaw? Obviously that is the ceiling, but the floor of a 1-cost deal 2 seem good enough that I am not complaining.

Draft

★★★★ Every deck would play 1-cost deal 2, and most Primal decks will have at least a handful of yetis to enable a card like this. There are a lot of game states that I can imagine where Snowpelting for the 5-cost or 7-cost mode just ends the game. Not quite a 5 star card in my opinion, but really close.

Darkbolt

Darkbolt

Ranked

★★ The difference between 5 and 6 damage here feels really big. Primal has always had serious issues with Sandstorm Titan, and had this card been an answer to that problem that could be a big deal. That said, this card is not that far off, and could end up being an inclusion in some Nightfall decks.

Draft

★★★ You really need to be in a Nightfall heavy deck to play a card like this. If you are in that style of deck this card is nutty. If you are not, this card is trash. Very high ceiling/low floor card. This is probably worth speculating on early, but if you are in pack 4 you should grab these up aggressively if you have even half a dozen Nightfall cards.

Darkveil Agent

Darkveil-Agent

Ranked

★★★★ If Nightfall decks are a thing, this is probably going to be part of the package. I have already started working on these decks, and I feel there there is a lot of potential here. I would be pretty surprised if this didn’t see serious play in some capacity, and I feel like the 4-star grade might actually be conservative.

Draft

★★★ This is a little less exciting in draft, since you are unlikely to have the critical mass of Unseen or Nightfall for you to really abuse this. Aegis is also just not nearly as valuable in draft as it is in Ranked. Still stronger than almost all the commons, but I would take something like Entrapment over this card.

Fearless Yeti

Fearless-Yeti

Ranked

★★★ This is actually a very solid 2-drop. Not only does it have some value when it hits the opponent, it also has a relevant ability to help you connect. There is an outside chance this makes it into traditional Skycrag aggro (especially if they are playing any weapons) but this is more likely a yeti-specific card. I am still a little skeptical that yetis will be a serious contender, but it is really too soon to say for now.

Draft

★★★★ This card is rock solid in any Primal deck. 3/1 for 2 is honestly a lot better now than it was in the past in my opinion, and the scout ability is great. Pair that with his tribal synergies, and bond potential, and this card is going to be stellar. He is not often going to take over the game, but he is far above average compared to anything else you can play on turn 2.

Horizon Seeker

Horizon-Seeker

Ranked

★★ I have worked a bit on a Nightfall/Explorers/Dinos deck. So far the results have been pretty uninspiring. I’m not going to count it out entirely because this is one of the few cards with this specific combination of abilities and types, but this is certainly not a powerful card.

Draft

★★ If you are desperate for Explorers this is an Explorer. I don’t exactly know what you would need to have in your deck for you to want to play a card like this, but it is not totally unplayable. I supposed the +1 health is good in multiples, but the idea of running multiples seems pretty bad.

Iceberg Mason

Iceberg-Mason

Ranked

★★★ This card is incredibly neat. I have never seen a summon ability like this before, making it hard to evaluate. I guess this is kind of like virtually drawing a card (edit: probably better to consider it scouting)? If Yetis is a deck this will probably be part of it, but I am interested to see what difference impact this has on deckbuilding (if any).

Draft

★★★ A 2/3 for 2 is the most classic 3 star card possible. This summon ability is only going to be actively good in heavy Yeti deck, but even then I don’t think it is impactful enough to move the grade.

Storm Talisman

Storm-Talisman

Ranked

★ If you feel like you have too many friends you should build Temporal Distortion Control with Storm Talisman as your only win condition. That is about the only application I can come up with for a card like this.

Draft

★ Primal is not very deep into the “relics matter” theme so you can’t even make the excuse that you are playing the 4-mana 7/7 as a pay off. I can imagine some very rare Elysian decks that happen to have some of the “relics matter” stuff from Time where this barely makes the cut, but it is probably wrong to play this over 95% of the time.

Strategize

Strategize

Ranked

★★★★ This card is right on the line between 4 and 5 stars, but the difference here is pretty meaningless honestly. Strategize is one of the best draw spells in the game and this will see a metric ton of play in almost any Primal deck.

Draft

★★★★ I really think card advantage in draft is underrated. I remember in set 1 draft getting passed what seemed like infinite Wisdom of the Elders, and I would just bury my opponents in card advantage. Strategize will be strong in draft as it allows you to pitch excess power, dig for your bombs, and smooth out your curve. Unless you are really low on power it is probably best to wait until the mid-to-late game to play this, rather than jamming it on 2, as it allows you to find the cards you actually want.

Twilight Hermit

Twilight-Hermit

Ranked

★ 5/3 for 2 is obviously insane, but what is the earliest this is realistically flipping? Turn 4? Most opponents will either have a blocker, a removal spell, or a silence by that point. This is even aside from the fail state where you don’t have a Nightfall card. The floor on the card is pretty low, and the ceiling is honestly not that high either.

Draft

★★ If you are able to effectively go deep enough into Nightfall where you can consistently curve Hermit into Nightfall this seems reasonable, but that is going to be pretty hard to do in the average draft deck. Clearly a very high variance card, which I plan to avoid.

Unseal

Unseal

Ranked

★★★ Extremely solid card. Having a counter spell that hits both Azindel’s Gift and Channel the Tempest matters in control mirrors, while something like Feln Tempo will appreciate having a counterspell for Permafrost. I would generally default to Unseal in controlling decks and Backlash in aggressive decks, but you can still only play a couple copies of narrow reactive spells, so Unseal is not going to be that impactful.

Draft

★★★ Most draft decks are fine with exactly 1 counter spell. Sometimes it rots in your hand, but other times it counters a critical removal spell or pump spell and you get to blow your opponent out. You can usually find one if you want one. This gets better if you have bombs that you want to protect.

Winter’s Grasp

Winters-Grasp

Ranked

★★ This one is hard honestly. First, it is difficult to tell if there will be any competitive Primal Nightfall decks that are not paired with Shadow. Shadow has Nightfall cards for days, so you probably don’t need Winter’s Grasp. If you are instead looking at Elysian Nightfall or maybe a Hooru Unseen deck with Darkveil Agent, this might be a necessary evil. Second, “curses matter” is clearly a theme in the set. I know that Alu is a bit of a long shot, but I feel like if Alu does become competitive you would want to play something like this. I need to play with these decks a lot more to have answers, but I think this card has some potential, even though it is obviously lower power than most removal spells.

Draft

★★★ This is a removal spell. It is extremely conditional, but it does the trick in a lot of spots. As I mentioned earlier – Primal is pretty aggressive in draft. If the game ends on turn 6 or 7 it is pretty easy to keep your Winter’s Grasp active for most of that time. This is also a curse, which obviously matters for cards like Sinister Opportunist.

Yeti Windflyer

Yeti-Windflyer

Ranked

★★★ Tinker Overseer is a 2/2 flyer for 2 that has seen a ton of play. In a dedicated Yeti deck Windflyer is going to be a 2/2 flyer like 95% of the time. This is obviously slightly worse on balance, but the Yeti tribe is looking for help where it can find it, and this meets that bar.

Draft

★★★ This is probably the most important pay-off for the Yeti deck at common after Slope Sergeant. No one else wants these, but you will probably play as many Windflyers as you can get. Still, this feels like the pay off you get once you are already in Yetis rather than what you take to get into Yetis.

Daring Pioneer

Daring-Pioneer

Ranked

★★★ I have already had a chance to play with this card, and it is quite strong in the right situations. It doesn’t feel great trading your 3-drop for a Seek Power, but that doesn’t come up much. What is more common is you should play Pioneer right before your opponent’s key turn like turn 5 for a Harsh Rule deck. You should probably never play 4, but 2 has felt good to me.

Draft

★★★★ Very solid. Most spells in limited are valuable, so your opponent doesn’t get to just pitch away a “spare” spell to Daring Pioneer. This is obviously not a bomb, but is above the curve and can put your opponent behind in their game plan.

Electropy

Electropy

Ranked

★ God lord is this card bad. 3 power for a card that doesn’t effect the board, and can easily be silenced or killed by Shatterglass Mage. There would need to be some very serious changes to the format before a card like this saw play.

Draft

★ Read the above. I suppose if you open Alu and get passed another Alu you will literally play all the curses you can find, but this card is…heinous.

Lastlight Druid

Lastlight-Druid

Ranked

★★ Ok, DWD, if you are reading this we need to talk. I crafted 4 Lastlight Druids so that I could try and break this card. I even built out a whole deck filled with cards like Temple Scribe and Marisen’s Disciples, etc. Then I played the card and realized how it worked, You get the summon effect of the card you transform into, rather the the original card. This broke my heart. I thought Lastlight Druid and I were going to do busted nonsense together, but instead I just got to do a bunch of very fair things, and it sucked. Unless DWD changes this card this falls under low meme tier, but I hope they change the template to give you summon effects for your cards, making this a higher tier of meme card. Is that too much to ask?

Draft

★★★★ Despite my issues about this card for ranked, I actually think it might be really good in draft. First off, the high roll potential is nutty. Often times draft games are determined by who played the one best card, and by giving yourself a shot at turning your random 4-drop into a Cirso or your Slope Sergeant into an Icaria you are setting up to just take over the game in one big swing. Second, upgrading your random 2-drop common into a random 3-drop is probably a net upgrade. Obviously there is some variance there, and you could get very unlucky (Idol of Destran says “what’s up?”) but it is worth the risk.

Nocturnal Observer

Nocturnal-Observer

Ranked

★★★★ I have been playing around with Nocturnal Observer, and this card is really good for a looter. First off, you get to loot the turn you play her, and there is no window where your opponent can stop you. MTG players are probably not used to looters with pseudo-haste, but it is a big add. Second, Observer has a ton of mini synergies. Though I have my doubts about Ask for Directions, it is clearly a combo with Nocturnal Observer. I want to try her in some reanimator or Scream shells too. Lot of potential here that is worth unpacking.

Draft

★★★★ The first looter in any limited deck is very powerful, and this is a very good looter.You would obviously prefer if she were just “on” and didn’t need to wait until night, but that shouldn’t be too big of an issue.

Snowfort

Snowfort

Ranked

★ If your deck is weak enough to Lightning Storm that you feel the need to play this, maybe you should just give up on your deck.

Draft

★ I have started wondering if a viable draft strategy would be collecting all the Barbarian Camps and Snowforts so you can have a build-your-own Xenan Obelisk. That sounds pretty loose, so I do not advocate the strategy unless you are feel adventurous. Outside of that go read the comment for Storm Talisman.

Sunken Tower

Sunken-Tower

Ranked

★★ OK, so this does…it copies….but then it….but what about…? Oh wait no that doesn’t work….. but then the stunning…. and.. the.. ah………reckless? I guess? This is easily the most confusing card in the game right now. It actually seems pretty good to use with specific units like Sandstorm Titan, or something with killer. Still, this card is extremely weird, and I do not advocate going deep on something like this unless you are willing to put in the work. This could totally be busted, but I am not seeing it right now.

Draft

★★ I honestly have no clue how good this is in draft. My guess is that it is playable but clunky, which leaves it as a 2, but I could be convinced this is anywhere from unplayable to great.

Voracious Fosora

Voracious-Fosora

Ranked

★ I doubt this would see play even if it didn’t have reckless.

Draft

★★ I have been saying this a lot, but Primal is very aggressive, meaning a card like this is an acceptable addition to some decks. Voracious Forosa could also be used in bonding shenanigans, allowing you to play an 8-drop on turn 4. Still, reckless is a really bad ability to have, so you should try and avoid playing these as best you can.

Wild Rider

Wild-Rider

Ranked

★ There is no world where a serious Yeti deck actually wants a card like this.

Draft

★★ Once this starts getting hits in it is pretty OK, but the fail state of 1/4 for 3 is pretty abysmal. If you have a lot of Yetis-matter stuff I think he is ok, but you should hope to avoid putting him in your deck.

Yeti Furflinger

Yeti-Furflinger

Ranked

★★ I can’t figured out why Yetis would want this card, and I can’t figure out why a Nightfall deck would want this card. I admit that I don’t really get what is happening here, so I could just be missing something, but this card is extremely hard to cast, and is not exactly high impact, so I think it is probably just bad.

Draft

★★★ It is really hard to evaluate that PPP cost. In draft that is extremely strict. If this were PP I think Furflinger would be a solid 4 star card as he would be a 3/3 for 3 with very nice upside, but with PPP I feel like it is closer to 2 stars. I will start this at 3 stars, but you need to make sure you haver at least 10 primal sources in your deck, and hopefully even a couple strangers.

Clutchmate

Clutchmate

Ranked

★★★ Mirror Image has not seen a lot of competitive ranked play, but has seen some. This acts as copies 5-8 of Mirror Image which could have implications for something like West-Wind Herald combo. There is also a chance that midrange or ramp style dinosaur decks could play this as well, especially if they end up playing some of the bigger dinos. A bit of a long shot, but not outrageous.

Draft

★★★ I think mirror image was underplayed in earlier draft formats. Was the card amazing? No, but it was certainly decent. If you are already in a deck that might play some dinosaurs I think you almost always pick Clutchmate, but non-dinosaur decks should only pick it up if there are no other playables in the pack.

Cutbrush Cartographer

Cutbrush-Cartographer

Ranked

★ 1/3 for 4 is not even close to good enough, and the ability is way too slow for ranked.

Draft

★★ This card is not exciting, but I actually think it is an acceptable finisher. Clog up the ground, and then hit them once with Cartographer + Levitate or something. Very rarely will Primal decks be so desperate for Explorers where this will need to be prioritized.

Freewing Glider

Freewing-Glider

Ranked

★ 0/3 weapons for 4 are just too low impact. Clearly you are trying to get something valuable airborne to set up a race, but your opponent will be spending their 4 power to either play a real threat, or a removal spell. Maybe there is a world where the Feast-Caller wants this as a pairing, but that seems loose.

Draft

★★★★ I am not quite sure if this is 3 or 4 stars, but this card is clearly great. The added health protects from removal spells or pump spells. Scout is also obviously awesome for limited, as you just want card selection to smooth out your draw.

Meditation Trainer

Meditation-Trainer

Ranked

★ 1/5s for 4 need to have game warping abilities to see play, and this does not qualify.

Draft

★★ This is pretty close to 1 star. The issue with many “2 battle skills matter” cards is either a) you have good units we lots of battle skills and you are winning anyway b) you have bad units with 2 battle skills and these bonuses don’t actually help enough c) you don’t have any units with 2 battles skills. This is a classic example of that phenomenon.

Nocturnal Kyrex

Nocturnal-Kyrex

Ranked

★ Nightfall decks need to look much different than I imagine for this to be playable.

Draft

★★ I think this should just be thought of as a 2 damage spell with both Nightfall and Dinosaur Ally synergy. 4-power for a 2 damage effect is pretty bad, even with those minor synergies. Still, this is not unplayable. Pretty classic 2-star card in my opinion.

Regression

Regression

Ranked

★★ This is about as meme-tier as you can get. The combo is clearly with Mind Link, allowing you to get lots of free units. Though that sounds fun, you are going to get the snot beaten out of you in the mean time. Obviously there is a chance where “transform matters” becomes more pushed in future sets, but this is just sooooo slow, and also vulnerable to stuff like attachment removal or silence effects.

Draft

★ This feels too slow even for draft, and the same vulnerabilities discussed above still matter. Not interested.

Slushdumper

Slushdumper

Ranked

★★★ I have played around with Yetis a bit, and this guy seems reasonable. There is a chance the deck doesn’t really want 4 drops, but Slushdumper has a really high ceiling, so I am interested.

Draft

★★★★ This score is obviously proportionate to the number of Yetis you have. If you have 0 others, this is probably at the high end of 2 stars. If you have 3-5 this is 3 stars, and if you have more it is 4. If you see this early you should take it and move in, and if you see it late you know how good it will be. Cards like Yeti Spy are actually playable if you have 2 Slushdumpers in your deck, since you will get the infiltrate trigger from Slushdumper’s ability.

Thudrock, Arctic Artisan

Thudrock-Arctic-Artisan

Ranked

★★★ My experiments so far with yetis have not included Thudrock since I am out of Shiftstone, but this guy is certainly worth testing. People tend to think a turn 3 Wump has a 0% survival rate, but that is just not true. If you are able to curve Wump into Thudrock you have a very high chance to win the game, and there are many other ways to push Thudrock through if you want to.

Draft

★★★★ Even if you get into Yetis Thudrock will not always dominate the game. You need to put a bit of work in, ensuring you have some evasion effects (like Levitate or Jump Kick). If you are able to get rolling with Thudrock he will obviously take over the game, putting him as a very solid 4 star card.

Jotun Feast-Caller

Jotun_Feast-Caller

Ranked

★★★★★ This card was hated pretty seriously when it was first revealed, but even then there was a contingent of people who thought Feast-Caller might be a big deal. I have seen him sneaking into more and more decklists, and my own play with him has impressed me. You need to put the work in to enable him with cheap removal and/or protection effects, but I think I have won ever game where I have attacked with him twice, which is more I can say of any other 5-drop (yes, even Tavrod).

Draft

★★★★ Compared to the other members of the Diesel cycle Feast-Caller is not nearly as good in draft. The 4/3 body is clearly not spooky, and aegis is not as good as flying in limited. You also will never get the critical mass of efficient removal spells to keep a path clear. Still, if you connect him with something like an Elder’s Feather or Skywise Instructor you basically win on the spot.

Jotun Punter

Jotun-Punter

Ranked

★★ This is cute, but probably just too clunky. This seems like a tool designed to finish the game against stalled boards, but stalled boards tend to involve Sandstorm Titans, meaning the flying ability is not going to be good enough. I supposed there are times that this would be decent, but I doubt it is versatile enough to fit into the average Yeti deck for Ladder.

Draft

★★★ This is a very solid finisher for Yetis decks. If you are punting even 1/1 yetis your opponent needs a 1/6 flyer (or bigger) to profitably block them. That is not exactly a typical card to have hanging around. You get to use the punter to take big wet chunks out of their life total, until they either answer him, kill you, or concede. Obviously you don’t want to overload on 5-drops that are not going to be blocking much, but this gives you a very powerful angle for finishing the game.

Lida, Most Skilled

Lida-Most-Skilled

Ranked

★★★ This really feels like it is missing a stat point or an ability to lock it into guaranteed hit. There are lots of X/4s or smaller you can eat with this, though most are probably aggressive cards you could just block anyway. Back in the hey-day of Bart this would probably be more exciting, but for now I fear it is just on the outside looking in. The third star is probably more generous than I should be, but I will give Lida a chance.

Draft

★★★★★ This is a straight up bomb. Predatory Carnasaur was basically a textbook 5-star card, and this is just a little smaller and a little cheaper. Obviously you want to saturate your deck with Unseen (6+), but that is not a huge ask.

Stampede Driver

Stampede-Driver

Ranked

★ I have been messing around with some crazy discard-matters-explorer-stuff decks, but this guy is just a Jotun Warrior at the end of the day. Not interested.

Draft

★★★ This is really close to 2 stars. I don’t like Jotun Warriors in draft if I can help it. One of my main issues is how bad Primal’s fliers are in Dusk Road draft. If this was consistently dropping a bonus on the 1 flier you cared about I would be a lot more interested, but that is not really what I expect to happen. I suppose this fits into the “2 battle skills matter” theme, but this feels like a hard way to do it. It is fine, but I need some convincing that Stampede Driver is any better than “fine”.

Unchecked Rage

Unchecked-Rage

Ranked

★ Yeah, you really can’t play a card like this in ranked. What if your opponent has a silence? Or an attachment kill effect? Or a sacrifice effect? Or even a removal spell? What if your board isn’t good enough to block things effectively? What if their board is too good? I could go on and on, but this card is just not good.

Draft

★★★★★ I am pretty sure this is a bomb, but I will need to play with it to verify. When SirRhino and I were doing our limited set review we came to the conclusion that Unchecked Rage was about the same power level as Striking Snake Formation, which I thought was a bomb. This also has the upside where you can set it up properly eat every unit they play for the rest of the game. Seems good to me? Once again, I will need to check, but I really think this is going to win a lot of games.

Alu, Death-Dreamer

Alu-Death-Dreamer

Ranked

★★ I need to play with Alu to verify how things actually feel when playing her, but this seems a little too slow. I think you needs to consistently play 2 Unseen for you to be satisfied, but that feels difficult. Zelia helps a ton in that regard, but is that enough? The other combo is Rimscale Draconus, but that is clearly very hard to pull off without dying first. I want to try, but it will be a long time before I get to work on something like this.

Draft

★★★★ 2/5 flyer for 6 with Nightfall is actually not crazy out of whack stat-wise, and if you even get 1 Unseen you should be pretty satisfied. I might go so far as to play some of the inefficient curses like Wanted Poster or Mark of Shame, but probably not as far Electropy. You need to put some serious work in here, but I think she will be good.

Eilyn’s Frostrider

Eilyns-Frostrider

Ranked

★★ This card seems close. A big tempo swing on a big flyer feels like a great way to steal games. 6-drops just tend to need to be a little more impactful. Dying to Runehammer and being very weak to Titan matter a lot, so I feel like this is just not quite acceptable. I can imagine another world where this is good enough, but this really does have some important key flaws.

Draft

★★★★★ If you are behind a 4/4 flyer that stuns 2 units will give you a chance to catch up. If you are ahead a 4/4 flyer that stuns 2 units will help you close out the game. This card is a huge bomb, and you should never pass it in pack 1.

Riddle Game

Riddle-Game

Ranked

★★ I have worked a bit with Riddle Games already to… uninspiring…. results. I might work some more later, but I think this card is going to largely fit the meme-niche from what I can tell. There are still some other combos I want to explore, but it is going to be tough. You probably want this to consistently draw at least 3 card, with 4 cards being possible for you to be happy.

Draft

★ This card is WILDLY unplayable in draft, but if you want to jam a 6PP draw 1, I won’t stop you.

Slope Sergeant

Slope-Sergeant

Ranked

★★★ My versions of Yetis have so far included Slope Sergeant, but I could be wrong to do so. Still, a 4/4 body what lets you filter your cards – which can cost as little as free – seems good. This to me is going to be the hardest part of cracking Yetis, since you are no longer just a swarm beatdown deck. I am still working on it, but this card seems powerful to me.

Draft

★★★★ I think this is probably the best Primal common, even if you need to be in Yetis to play the card. You can land this as early as turn 3, and he gives you the ability to filter into follow up Slope Sergeants. I could be misreading things, but I really feel like this is something very powerful that Yetis gets access to that no one else does.

Jotun Birth Song

Jotun-Birth-Song

Ranked

★★★ Lord almighty. Ok guys. It is late, and I don’t know what is happening any more. What does this card do? Why does it do it? How does it work? What is it for? The Yeti turns into a Jotun? But….why? Is this how Jotun are made? Singing Yetis? Holy moly…. I mean…. I think this is doing something good? I guess? Like…. +5/+5 on a unit and draw 2? Or something? Wump + Thudrock seem like a good pair to play when you have 7 power, though Slushdumper is clearly a great 8 power play as well. I need to actually try this in Yeti decks to have any idea at all, but I think this is probably good.

Draft

★★★ If you have a bunch of yetis this is probably pretty nutty. If you don’t have like 5, with at least 2 being 4-cost or above, this is probably pretty bad. I guess something that is a pseudo +5/+5 can only be so bad, but I will admit that I really don’t know what is happening here, and this could be anywhere from really bad to really good.

Novice Herdrider

Novice-Herdrider

Ranked

★ Any ability that gives you free stat bonuses is interesting, but this body is really uninspiring. 6/8 for 7? Pass. If you can come up with a way to abuse the Fate ability feel free to prove me wrong, but I have a hard time believing a card like this will make top tier ranked play. I know I am going to try it, but that doesn’t mean it is good.

Draft

★★★ The issue with this card is that you need the Dinosaur or Explorer in your hand when you draw this card. This means Novice Herdriver is usually going to be a card hit by the bonus in draft, and it tends to be the case that having an even bigger big idiot is not that useful. If you can hit something else consistently this become reasonable, but never amazing.

Bellowing Thunderfoot

Bellowing-Thunderfoot

Ranked

★★★ We get to the first of the bond dinosaurs! Before going any further, I need to make a special shout out to Plated Goliath. That 7/5 has been waiting for his shot forever, and this might be his time to shine. Imagine a turn 5 that was Plated Goliath + Bellowing Thunderfoot? Pretty explosive right? This might be where the Nightfall Dinosaur shell ends up, since it allows you to aggressively dump your hand through bond, while your opponent needs to pay full retail for their cards. I worry that the density of bond units is not quite high enough, but at least this is interesting.

Draft

★★★★ You really need to be in Dinosaurs, but this is a great tempo play in a lot of draft decks. In my first draft of the format I played a couple of these with way too few enablers, and they felt like garbage, but other times I have been impressed. You probably need to already be in Dinosaurs to pick a card like this, but it seems reasonable to me.

Surveying Mantasaur

Surveying-Mantasaur

Ranked

★ Even in the bond-dinosaur insanity I was talking about above I feel like Mantasaur is not big enough. No summon effect and weak stats are just not worth the investment.

Draft

★★★ This is exactly fine. I would play a 3/4 flyer (with overwhelm) for 5, which is close to what this is in a dinosaur deck. I am not sure where to take them, since this is nothing like the Scourstone Sentinel as a common Dinosaur pay-off, but it is certainly playable.

Clutchkeeper

Clutchkeeper

Ranked

★★★ This card is obviously a monster if you can enable it, but that is not going to be easy to do. 15 is a ton, where even a Plated Goliath only discounts the cost to 8. Is she worth the risk? Eh….. I guess? I am just comparing to Novaquake which felt like it was better due to the card draw, but 8/7 killer that gives 3/3s is obviously no joke. I have not played enough with any big bond deck to know what is possible, but I really worry Harsh Rule decks will just take you for a ride.

Draft

★ This is really just too expensive. Same category as cards like Aid of the Hooru or Novaquake Titan.


That’s Primal! I certainly agree it is weak for draft, but I also feel like a lot of people are drafting it wrong. Lot’s of weird and crazy stuff going on, and I can’t wait to get into all of that. Any thoughts? Be sure to check out the Reddit thread! I hope to finish up this serious soon, so look out!

Love,

Neon

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