Spoiler Season – Preconstructed Notions #6 (Berserk!)

Hello all, aReNGee here with another edition of Preconstruced Notions. We’ve had a whole new mechanic spoiled in this article to talk about and at long last the official Spoiler Gallery is live! Below, we’ll cover the rating scale I’m going to use:

Constructed Rating

5

Faction staple, probably meta defining. Will see play or at least consideration across all decks of that color combination. Examples: Torch, Slay, Tavrod, Sandstorm Titan

4

Archetype staple. Sees play or at least consideration in the majority of decks of that archetype that can play it. Examples: Oni Ronin (in non hostile metagames), Champion of Cunning, Unseen Commando

3

Deck Staple. Will see play or at least consideration in one or more decks. A fairly broad category, but cards that rank 3 or above are always worth thinking about including. Examples: Wisdom of the Elders, Seek Power, In Cold Blood

2

Situational card. Could be a staple of a lesser played archetype, a sideboard card to help handle an archetype, or just a card you don’t want until you really want it. Examples: Sabotage, Devoted Theruge, Unseal

1 or less

This card is not going to be played in constructed.

Card Reviews (in order of spoiler gallery)

F-Rika-Desert-Navigator

Constructed Rating: 1

I don’t like Rika. Ignoring the psuedoInfiltrate text, this is a 1/5 vanilla for 3. This needs to hit the enemy player to do anything, which means that either they need to have no units in play or you need to use some kind of trick to force her through. And the reward for all that? 1 damage and you warp the top card of your deck. Warping a card is powerful – but you need to be able to play it immediately or the value is lost, so it needs to be cheap or a power (this ability does let you play power). In my eyes, this card compares very disfavorably to Reliquary Raider, a card that many decks are already skeptical of. I think it will see play, but I don’t think it will be playable.

J-Unbreakable-Alliance

Constructed Rating: 1.5

Hmm. This… hmm. Okay, it looks dumb and its completely unplayable but its closer to being a real card than say, Rolant’s Fist or Rock Carapace. Armor is a LOT better than health and the combo with relic weapons, especially Molten Fist, is not to be underestimated in a world where most armor gain sucks anyways and weapon recursion is trivial. At the very least, this card will buy you a turn vs all but the most lopsided boards. It’s still an 8 power do nothing and therefore miles away from consideration, but someone will punch someone with Molten Fist for 20.

Burglarize

Constructed Rating: 2

The perfect Market/Sideboard card! It’s expensive, but stealing a relic is actual card advantage so it’s very high impact. Taking away your opponent’s Obelisk and casting it yourself is preeeeeeeetty good – I imagine this originally stole it in play rather than to hand, and that was too good. I don’t know if Nightfall is upside or downside on this card, seems pretty neutral overall. This isn’t a card you’re ever going to want to main deck, but there are matchups where it can be devastating. It’s also finally a way for shadow to deal with resolved relics at the moment – at long last, Ilya can stop complaining about that particular thing.

P-Savage-Denial

Constructed Rating: 0

Just don’t. Despite what Temporal Control would desperately have you believe, Eternal is a unit based game and Backlash type cards aren’t very good to begin with. This card only hits spells, and misses a huge amount of spells that matter – all the slow removal, from Harsh Rule to Slay, and all the haymakers from The Great Parliament to Channel the Tempest to Rise to the Challenge and even filtering cards like Seek Power and Strategize. You can get Torch, and the nearly unplayed Deathstrike, and… other Denials, I guess. Yes, Dispel is a powerful card in MTG, but its used to fight through the better counters there and force something through. Here, the only use would be to force a spell through a Backlash – not really something that comes up, and even then Sabotage is still better.

Berserk (the mechanical rules)

  • When you attack with a unit with Berserk, you have the option to make it go Berserk. (You can also choose to attack as normal.)
  • When a unit goes Berserk (and survives its first attack), it immediately attacks again. You only receive the second attack once, and only on the turn you choose to go Berserk.
  • When a unit goes Berserk, it gains Reckless (because it’s mad, you see.)

Reckless is a part of Berserk and all is well with the world! That doesn’t really matter, since you’re much more interested in the second attack. Basically, when you click a unit to attack, you can have it make a “Berserk attack” – if it survives the first one, it will attack again, granting you essentially an extra combat step. After that, Berserk has no text, like a spent Aegis or Killer.

Berserk is, as Neon would say, “just broooooooooooken” with Unseen Commando – when you make a Berserk attack you gain Reckless immediately, so the Berserk keyword triggers Commando all on its own – and then the unit double dips on Commando triggers for its second attack! Justice/X Berserk might be a real deck just because of this interaction.

Territorial-Elf

Constructed Rating: 2.5

I was low on this guy at first – 3/1 double attacker isn’t that impressive because the board basically needs to be clear or he’s going to trade on the first attack. Then someone mentioned Bloodletter and I got a lot more interested. He plays well with tricks, with the aforementioned Commando, and with weapons, which give him a potential home in a number of aggressive archetypes. On his own, he probably trades with a 2 drop – though if people start moving back to 2/5s he’s pretty bad. He’s got enough potential upside to be worth considering rather than dismissing if you’re building an aggressive deck with a combat trick or attachment focus.

Rusty-Grenamotive

Constructed Rating: 0.5

Pass. Tumblebang is better bang for your buck and that one didn’t see play. This does boost your power every turn, but you’re playing a dork to get there… See what I said about Rika and apply it to this card. Of course, we’re probably going to hit critical mass of ritual type cards and make this into a constructed staple just to spite this review, but for now leave the Rusty Grenamotive in the garage.

Acquisitive-Crow

Constructed Rating: 3

Now this is a Berserk card! Let’s pretend for a moment that the metagame isn’t dominated by a 3/4, 3/3, and 2/3 flyer for 3 at the moment and that this can easily attack. Poking in for 4 and drawing 2 spells, even cheap ones, is nothing to dismiss. Decks that can use the spells (Spellcrag?) will appreciate the steady source and if flyers decks get less popular its more likely the bird will be able to poke in for a spell here and there on its own. It is pretty fragile and horrific on defense but looks like a solid roleplayer for the “spells matter” archetypes. Get your Powdergliders ready!

They Did The Math: There are 38 different one cost spells currently released. There are a number of cards you’d be happy to get and only a few misses – Bloodcall Invocation probably being the most useless. On balance, you’re more likely to get something that you can use than something you can’t, especially if your opponent has attachements (otherwise those are a miss and your pool is a bit worse).

Sack-the-City-small

Constructed Rating: 2

So… I didn’t expect this, but this might actually be a real card? The way that this will usually play out its essentially a primal Bad News that costs one less – all your units will go berserk and attack twice. Plays well with attack triggers and the aforementioned Commando, and can just randomly alpha strike people out of nowhere. Its unlikely to be a staple, but I think this card is closer to legitimate finisher than meme card