Spoiler Season – Preconstructed Notions #9 (Inspire and Spellcraft)

Hello all, aReNGee here with another edition of Preconstruced Notions. Just two days later, there’s already another 18 cards to review – both the Inspire article and the Kicker-I-Mean-Spellcraft article are out and ready for review. 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)

Sirafs_Choice

Constructed Rating: 0

Our first card offers a choice – a brief dismissal, or memes. We’ve got a lot of cards so I’ve chosen to be brief. As a tutor, both Rise to the Challenge and Celestial Omen are cheaper, allowing you to actually cast the unit you grab before you die. As a beatdown option, it doesn’t even double attack and health permanently so its more like a big Rally. Neither effect is what you’re looking for at so high a price.

Wurmstone

Constructed Rating: 1

4 mana 7/7… Wurmstone… There’s a reference here, but I can’t quite spot it. I also can’t quite see this card being played in constructed, as you aren’t normally playing too many spells in your Big Vanilla Units deck and not being able to block the turn it comes down isn’t great. Stick to Sandcalling for all your Sand Wurm needs!

Kosul_Battlemage

Constructed Rating: 2.5

Spells matter has now made its way to Justice! Aegis + Spellboost means its hard to block this guy and he offers a solid unit to play Weapons and boosting spells on. He does compete with the extremely overcrowded 3JJ slot, but Aegis + reasonably being able to attack as a 4/4 much of the time means he’s worth a look.

Pyre_Elemental

Constructed Rating: 1.5

Charge forwards! I think this costs 1 too much to see serious constructed play – 6 power is nearly unattainable in the kind of aggro deck this would want to be in, and needing to pay 2 plus a spell leaves out of the kind of explosive starts you’d want. The real power comes from dropping multiples, which the 2 cost mostly prevents. If it cost 5 (and 1 with a spell) it’d be a staple, but I think as costed here it’s too many hoops for too little payoff.

unknown-8
I want it to be good so badly

Constructed Rating: 4

Now that’s a beater! Infiltrate in Mono Time is ??? but as Argenport Instigator has shown, never look down on a 2 cost 3/3. Double Time is a real drawback, but the power is there – Disciplinary Weights stacks in multiples and does some annoying things to any control player digging for Harsh Rule. This is cheap enough and strong enough that it should see play in multiple aggressive archetypes, but it is by no means an autoinclude in all Time decks.

LumenAttendandtCrop

Constructed Rating: 1

There aren’t a lot of ways to bring back non-units from the void, although we have more attachment options nowadays. That said, paying 7 for the privilege is a lot, and the 3/3 and 1/1 you get for it doesn’t excite me, nor does the card you have to discard. Playing this as a 4 cost 3/3 is embarrassing at best, even if you can activate it next turn. This is just too much durdling for my liking.

Chairmans_Contract

Constructed Rating: 4

At the other end of the spectrum, this power card that looks like it has a drawback is the real deal. It isn’t that easy to put things in the void on demand in Eternal (people play bad cards like Sporefolk and Herald’s Song in order to do so) so getting that stapled onto an undepleted power is well worth the cost of providing no influence. This is also a neutral way of activating Tribute the turn you play any Tribute card, which is extremely critical for some of the expensive ones. It won’t always do so, but if you’re unit heavy you have a good shot. Expect this to see play in most Void matters decks and as a Tribute enabler.

Fenris_Nightshade

Constructed Rating: 2

The counterpart to Miris Nightshade, Fenris is slightly less aggressively minded but a better source of additional cards. A 3/2 vanilla isn’t the best aggro card, but he has Unseen synergies and 3 power and 3 damage to draw a card could be worth it in a pinch. That said, Unseen Aggro has historically had more problems with finishing the job than card flow, especially with Nightfall. He’s fun if you give him Lifesteal, however.

Disrupt

Constructed Rating: 1

Literally every spoiler season: [12:45 PM] Ilya K: Give [Faction] access to relic destruction!

This spoiler season: Direwolf: Here you go.

Another Ilya meme down!

(Meme aside, this card costs too much to be playable and you can grab your relic hate from the Market anyhow)

Lethrai_Provocateur

Constructed Rating: 1.5

Boy oh boy do I “love” these kinds of narrow hosers. Fortunately, this particular one doesn’t do anything. The days of the 3/5 deadly for 4 are over (sorry Stewie) and this is worse than Steward is now. There is no deck that relies on Weapons enough for the Infiltrate to really matter – unlike In Cold Blood, this doesn’t randomly hose cards in hand, and even if you pull Armory or IBlue’s Daishos they just punch you with Icaria. Not strong enough to main deck and not impactful enough to sideboard (with the additional downside of needing to connect to do anything).

Jekks_Choice

Constructed Rating: 0

The choice cycles are having a rough time of it. First we got the ??? choices in Rolant’s and Talir’s, now Siraf and Jekk are making bad decisions. Overoverpaying for a situational Entrapment is a bad place to be, and that’s the good half of this card.

phx_4_146-Journey-Guide

Constructed Rating: 2.5

Inspire procs whenever you draw a card while this unit is in play. So while he’s in play, he acts as a kind of Initiate of Sands by reducing the cost of your units, which could be valuable with Echo units (Inspire should double dip but may be another Crown style power level exemption) or recursion plans. He also blocks a couple one and two drops for your trouble, and gets better in multiples. All in all, not a bad guy, and I expect him to find a home in a few fun shells, even if they don’t end up being top tier.

phx_4_168-Dusk-Raider

 

Constructed Rating: 2

I want to like this card. Berserk can be pretty strong, especially when granted to real units instead of X/1s. That said, this is a vanilla 2/2 with no unit synergies, although it does have Nightfall. If you need a nightfall trigger and want Berserk, this could get there, but my general line for 2/2s is they need to have the equivalent of two battle skills worth text to see play, and I don’t think this does.

Manufacture

Constructed Rating: 1

Assembly Line, but you draw them instead of playing them! That’s not great, but its your fourth option for Dramatist’s Mask, so maybe it gets there in that particular deck or some kind of weird Warp combo. This card is wildly and aggressively unplayable in normal decks, so make sure you have a reason to play it before digitally sleeving it up.

phx_4_228-Breeze-Dancer

Constructed Rating: 5

This is the best card in the set for serious memers. Crown-on-wings gets there and gives you redundancy in that deck, with a couple of notable exceptions. Breeze Dancer is only throwing Battle Skills around, which means Echo and Destiny (and Bond) are all no goes. You lose the highest high rolls, but there’s plenty of good stuff, including Revenge and nowadays Berserk, still in the pool. In addition to being a slam dunk in crown decks, this will probably be tossed into a bunch of other decks for fun, a line I approve of.

phx_4_114-Welding-Torch

Constructed Rating: 0

Clearly a draft card. I’ll use this space to explain Spellcraft – you may pay the Spellcraft cost as an additional cost when you play the card in order to play an additional spell, in this case Torch. Spellcraft will create and cast it for you, so you don’t even need Torch in your deck. It’s also totally optional, so it won’t take up your power if you don’t want it to. A cool mechanic, but limiting it to existing spells will be interesting. I wonder if there are any spells design specifically to be Spellcrafted?

phx_4_091-Sword-of-Unity

Constructed Rating: 2.5 (1.5)

After review of the play and intervention from some players who actually read the cards, this is not a relic weapon and that makes it substantially better. A six cost +3/+3 Overwhelm Lifesteal Aegis might get there, and a +2/+2 Lifesteal Overwhelm isn’t bad if you put it on a Sandstorm Titan or something. Stand Together is a good card and you do get a bit of upside for playing it via Sword of Unity. Pacifier holds it back a bit and I expect this card to play a bit worse than it looks, unless turn 6 board stalls are quite common (since Stand Together’s main lines were countering Harsh Rule or as a combat trick, which this cannot do).

I’ve left my original review from when I thought it was a relic weapon up so people can laugh at me it.

This one is a puzzler. 4 cost 2/2 lifesteal overwhelm is a bit of a thinking emoji (Overwhelm 2/2 ???) but you can pay 2 more to cast Stand Together! So its kind of like a 6 cost slow speed stand together, because I don’t really know where Combrei would need a 4 cost 2/2 relic weapon. Relic Weapons do pass their battle skills on to spells you cast, so you can give Harsh Rule Lifesteal and Overwhelm! Which does nothing, but it looks cool. There might be a damage spell hiding somewhere that justifies this but for the moment, if I want a Stand Together, I’ll play actual Stand Together.

Honor_the_Ancestors

Constructed Rating: 3

This one’s exciting. It’s more likely to start a new deck than slot into existing ones, although it is an exciting option for the mostly defunct Kalis archetypes. The possibility of playing a 8 or 9 cost relic weapon for only 3 power is worth looking into, and the cards are there to make it happen. It’s also probably a part of the convoluted Temporal Distortion – Dramatist’s Mask deck for fast speed weapon equipping. Memes aside, any time a reanimation spell this cheap can bring back something that should cost 9 or more, its worth a look.