Spoiler Season – Preconstructed Notions #8 (End Cycle and also Tribute)

Hello all, aReNGee here with another edition of Preconstruced Notions. We’re behind on the play – The Tribute article is out and we’ve got a new Warp cycle to review. Warp is in every color now – sorry Praxis! We’re covering all the cards spoiled since last time, but be sure to check out the official Spoiler Gallery to see any you’ve missed! 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)

Resurface

Constructed Rating: 1

Mystical Tutor has finally made its way to Eternal! Unfortunately, the cards it gets are worse and it costs a lot more. 4 is a lot for a tutor that doesn’t even put the card in your hand. Warp is a redeeming factor, but Warp is really the ability you want on the card you’re searching for (so that you can cast it immediately). A new cycle of Warp cards does give this some fun things to find, and I expect it to find its home, if anywhere, in Workshop Forge or Oops All Spells combo decks.

Rizahn_Greatbow_Master

Constructed Rating: 1.5

This is the card that’s split the community the most out of this particular set of spoilers. Some people think its great, others say things usually used to refer to draft chaff. I started real low on this card and after laborious campaigning by my team have arrived at a rating of “bad to medium-bad”. If this card does not have Lifesteal, it should not be in your deck. This requirement, alongside the total lack of midrange Rakano builds (mostly the 4 slot is missing and the removal suite is inflexible) removes it from its more natural home of Rakano Midrange. As such, your best bet will be in the big control decks – FJP and FJS control. Unfortunately, there’s a much better Rakano Valkyrie that costs 7 that you can play, so I’m skeptical of its play even there. I’m told Extract on a body is amazing, so we’ll see.

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.

This rating and text is taken from my last article, and preserved. However, we now have a cycle of “End” cards, so I’m including it here for comparison with its fellows.

End_of_the_Barrel

Constructed Rating: 1.5

I call this card “End of the Line” every time. It seems to be the other half of “Long Live the Queen” which is why its giving you… power… Yeah, I don’t know about the flavor. Regardless, this is The Big Ritual. You want to play your Scourge of Frosthome? This plays your Scourge of Frosthome. There is no world in which this sees play in a fair deck, you’re cheating something big out. Tribute probably means you’re going to want Combustion Cell and Tumblebang… players are already brewing. Warp also lets you do some nasty things with Workshop Forge. I don’t think this is gonna break anything (probably to inconsistent) but I look forward to seeing the brews!

End_of_Days

Constructed Rating: 2.5

A lot of people are down on this card, but I like it. This does a lot of things with a lot of other cards that care about power or cards in hand, and it doesn’t even need tribute all the time to do so. If you do have tribute, this is basically a small A New Tomorrow – it will ramp you by 5 and fix your influence. Going from 6 to 12 (with a power drop) is very real ramp, especially when its permanent, and it will let you play anything. If you can figure out a way to get Tribute, this will let you play your 12 drop (probably A New Tomorrow if you’re LocoPojo, because we didn’t start ramping to not continue ramping). Even without tribute, there are cards that reward you for cards in hand (this is gross with Vodakhan) and you can use it as discard fodder, to set up Riddle Game, whatever. It’s got potential in big ramp and cards in hand matters decks, and it does enough for its price that I think it will get there. No, it doesn’t affect the board, but you’re looking to set up something that ends the game when you play this card (End of Days indeed).

End_of_the_Story

Constructed Rating: 3.5

Ooooookay. Aegis is a very strong answer to Harsh Rule, so what if we made a Harsh Rule that cut right through it? Pre-Rule chump attacks have never been more dangerous! Warp is another effect you’d love to have on a wrath effect – sometimes you need to dig that much deeper. There are decks that want more than 4 Harsh Rule effects (and this is better than Leave a Witness) and there are also decks that will want the Tribute bonus. Justice based control decks only, of course, but this has enough upsides to be considered alongside or even in place of Harsh Rule (in that madman’s Workshop Forge deck).

End_of_Hostilities

Constructed Rating: 1

Yawn. It has warp and you can copy the opponent’s units. If you jump through the tribute hoop, you can even do it twice! That’s still not worth the three power price increase over Mirror Image, and that card is sketchy to begin with. I don’t foresee this Ending a lot of Hostilities (well, any more than a concession would).

phx_4_092-Ironfist-Faithful

Constructed Rating: 0

When Argenport falls and Valkyries fall from the sky like autumn leaves, one Valkyrie knows that its his time to shine. He reaches deep inside and draws out his inner strength, becoming that most feared of cards – Tinker Overseer. Don’t play this card.

phx_4_138-Magenta-Wisp1

Constructed Rating: 2

This is better than the Living Tribute, but its still a ways from mainstream play. Suffocate is a situational card at the moment, but the ability to recur removal using Shadow’s various tricks is more exciting than recurring Silences. The cost to activate the ability is a very real and makes these cards less exciting as tribute enablers – if their 2/2 for 2 nature didn’t already turn you off. I expect this will see some play in sacrifice decks and stay on the bench everywhere else.

phx_4_193-Soulbringer

Constructed Rating: 1.5

Yes, yes, he combos with the card shown above. However, at the moment there aren’t any other Wisps worth bringing back (unless we go real deep on Friendly Wisp) and his statline is horrendous. It cannot be overstated how bad a 4/3 for 4 is – dying to Vanquish and Torch just puts you in the worst of both worlds. He gets better if more good Wisps come out and tribute isn’t really a factor, but I’m skeptical if there will be enough good Wisps to make it worth it.

Gnash-Pridemaster

Constructed Rating: 2

This is a card with a pretty wide range. A 4/4 vanilla for 4 is unplayable, and a 7/7 for 4 is quite strong. You’re giving up a lot compared to Sandstorm Titan, so you better be sure you’ve got that tribute, which begs the question – what’s the activator? His attack ability is cute (and enables tribute for other copies of himself) but you won’t find out if you hit or not until you’ve already committed your attackers, which makes him a risky card. People will try him, but I expect that he will end up being too much work for too little payoff.

Aeva

Constructed Rating: 1

You get a Cloudsnake! You get another Cloudsnake! That’s a lotta Cloudsnakes! The queen of 1/2 flyers comes at a pretty great cost – Tribute is non trivial and she can’t attack through most of the popular flyers of the day – Shelterwing, Amilli, Champion of Cunning, Harbinger and even Nostrix and Impending Doom all keep her far away from Infiltration. She’s too expensive to scream and slightly to small to block well. She does promise an seemingly endless supply of Cloudsnakes if you can make her work, however.

Constructed Rating: 2.5

Now we know what you’re supposed to Dramatist’s Mask for! Masking this out automatically activates tribute, and lets you hit for a cool 24 damage on turn 5. Frankly, that’s not bad, and he gives you a couple snakes for your efforts (assuming your opponent doesn’t just die, which is certainly possible). Even if you don’t go full Mask, both reanimating and cheating him out with End of the Barrel or somesuch is a possibility – he counts himself going to the void for Tribute, which makes him best to reanimate the turn you discard him. He gets much worse if you’re trying to hardcast him since the power is in the Tribute and a dead opponent, but he’s not a bad reanimation/mask target.