Spoiler Season – Preconstructed Notions #7 (Tactics!)

Hello all, aReNGee here with another edition of Preconstruced Notions. The cycle of Tactics have been spoiled and we’ve got a new Promo to play with, and the official Spoiler Gallery is live as well! 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)

Sandstorm_Scarf

Meme Rating: 5

Constructed Rating: 1.5

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, they double down on the joke. First the Titan, then the spell, and now the attachment – Sandstorms really don’t seem to like fliers. This holds some merit as an antiflying card, as Titans are pretty likely to get silenced or killed nowadays. It’s not remotely maindeckable, but as a one of in a sideboard or market its cheap enough and relic removal is rare enough mainboard that it could be situational defensive option. That said, all its really doing is preventing one form of evasion which isn’t worth a full card, compared to Infinite Hourglass countering Permafrosts and the like in addition to its defensive utility. I’m sure it will be tried (and memed) but I don’t think it will stick long term.

Time_Flies

Pun: 4

Constructed Rating: 0

This was an ETS All Stars preview card, which was briefly showcased on the RNGEternal stream and then on Twitter. It doesn’t chronologically follow the last card, but it does in spirit – we’ve reached the “meme time legionaries” portion of the spoiler season. This card has a great name, and is a Clockroach, but its stats and body don’t mean anything and giving BOTH players maximum power is a huge drawback. Since gaining Maximum Power is depleted, your opponent gets first crack at it and you’re better off sticking with Initiate of the Sands for ramp. Players will try it, and rarely they won’t be punished and it will look okay, but playing this on turn 1 and having your opponent play something and kill it is gonna suck.

Crunch_the_Hoarder_large

Constructed Rating: 3

This one was spoiled by our friends over at InkedGaming, and I’m jealous because it’s way better than ours. A 3/3 for 3 with overwhelm isn’t stone unplayable (as Cinder Yeti has shown) and the Infiltrate is actual card advantage. Either you’re discarding useless power, seeding the void for Haunting Scream, or you’re giving him Berserk – a keyword we saw last week can be pretty powerful. Crunch does take some enabling, but the enablers are cards you’d play anyways and he rewards you well for doing so. Levitate nets you a card, Wump activates him immediately and gives you a 4/4 Berserk Overwhelm for 3 most of the time, and Haunting Scream is good enough it deserves its own sentence. His infiltrate ability is worth getting in for, he filters through your deck looking for more enablers, puts Gorgon Fanatics where you want them, and also acts as a finisher once Berserk is online. He’s a consideration for both Skycrag Yetis and FPS Scream and looks well positioned in both, so I think he’s a safe bet to see play in at least one of those two archetypes.

Constructed Rating: 2.5

This is JUST a Magma Javalin with +1/+1 if you don’t have tribute active, but that’s already okay. 5 is an important breakpoint to hit for a number of annoying Aegis units like Shelterwing Rider and Champion of Cunning, and this does deal with them. Tribute is nontrivial to activate, but the card isn’t so expensive that you can’t reasonably expect to be able to trade a unit on board by the time it comes down, so its possible to plan on activating it without resorting to sacrifice or discard outlets. Brand is fine, he’s an expensive 7 drop but he beats for 16 on an empty board and can attack into basically anything (although he’ll trade a lot of the time). It’s not worth playing the Greatsword just for Brand, though both could be pieces of some kind of sacrifice deck. Overall, the card does enough things to be worth a look and will probably find a place, either as a card neutral removal spell or a bigger Magma Javalin in a pinch.

 

End_of_the_Line

Constructed Rating: 0

Nope. This card was spoiled without lifesteal, and adding lifesteal doesn’t change the card at all. Two enemies means two different enemies in this game, so you can never double up and deal six. This leaves you with a single card version of two Extracts, with the downside of not having Scout. Tribute, as mentioned previously, is nontrivial to activate, especially on this expensive a card, and the reward for doing so is… 1 extra damage. You know you’ve reached the End of the Line when you’re playing this card.

Dfvp7zjV4AEQwzF

Constructed Rating: 1

You can actually play this card right now – it’s an acquirable promo card! It’s also very confusing – that’s a lot of text! As far as I can tell, the Fate text reads “if this isn’t in your opening hand, it’s a 4/4.” It’s very rare to not have drawn 3 power (considering a redraw gives you a 2/3 chance of doing so) before drawing this card, and the bump from 2 to 3 doesn’t get you all that much closer to casting your 8 drop. As such, I’m going to ignore the fate part and just rate her as an 8 power 4/4 Double Damage Endurance Invulnerable to damage, which is still a ton of text. She attacks and blocks anything that doesn’t fly and only dies to hard removal spells, but she doesn’t really do anything – you can chump her forever and she gives you no value if she dies, even if its a turn later. Not providing any immediate value is a tough hurdle for an 8 drop to overcome, and a groundbound-if-unbeatable-in-combat lady doesn’t even make the attempt.

Constructed Rating: 3

It’s not burn, but it will likely punch your random 2 and 3 drops through even the largest of units and represents 4 extra damage on an unblocked unit. You’ve even got a nonzero chance of keeping the unit alive, thanks to the health boost. Granite Monument didn’t see a lot of play due to the expensive and fragile nature of the 4/1 charge – this has a better chance of seeing a couple of copies pop up in aggressive red decks. Special note of its powerful combo with Groundbreaker – 7/8 Overwhelm Double Damage is a big game and it even curves out after the turn 4 Groundbreaker.

Constructed Rating: 0

When evaluating cards, you have to think about what kinds of decks might want them, as well as comparing them to existing similar cards. Temple Tactic is very similar to Teleport, a card that does not see a lot of play (if any). It also compares very disfavorable to Amber Monument, a card that sees a lot of play in the slot this card would fill. Units are cheap enough and interaction is plentiful enough that pure bounce spells aren’t really what most Eternal decks are looking for, and Amber Monument is powerful enough that this card will stay on the bench for good.

Constructed Rating: 2

This card shares a lot of similarities with Shugo Tactic, and it turns into a good card – Finest Hour is a fine trick and adding Lifesteal lets you win races. However, there are fewer aggressive Justice decks compared to Fire decks, and many of those already have access to Lifesteal. Additionally, Crownwatch Tactic loses a lot of the defensive capabilities of Finest Hour – at 2 cost its harder to hold up, looks more obvious, and only transmutes past the point where the majority of the Torches and Hailstorms would have already been played. It’s still a fine trick, and a reasonable replacement for Emerald Monument, but it lacks the strong positioning of its fire cousin.

Constructed Rating: 3

This is getting out of hand! Now there are two of them. As Rapid Shot and Bandit Queen have shown, Quickdraw is a really powerful mechanic, and being able to split up your Rapid Shot can sometimes be a blowout. If you’re already playing or at least considering Rapid Shot, this is an easy include in an aggressive Shadow deck to give you a bit extra late game punch. This does go down in value a bit if you can’t play it without two legal targets, and not being able to pop enemy Aegis with half the card is a notable miss.

And because it was requested on Twitter, I’ll give you a Tactics Tier List (with the monuments thrown in).

Monofaction Depleted Power Rankings

  1. Amber Monument
  2. Shugo Tactic
  3. Cabal Tactic
  4. Cobalt Monument
  5. Amethyst Monument
  6. Crownwatch Tactic
  7. Clan Tactic
  8. Emerald Monument
  9. Granite Monument
  10. A depleted Sigil
  11. Temple Tactic