Spoiler Season – Preconstructed Notions #11 (a whole lot this time)

Hello all, aReNGee here with another edition of oh my god that’s a lot of cards being spoiled all at once. Twenty-two and counting at the time of this writing. I’m racing to keep up, 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)

Constructed Rating: 1.5

This card is difficult for me to evaluate. Flying is a good ability to grant, but there’s already plenty of pushed units that can fly that you could just play instead. Inferiority Complex lets you pick off a small unit, but there aren’t that many small units that a 3/3 can safely block. I think this relies too much on things going right to work long term in constructed, but at least you have Unseen and Curse synergies. A curse matters deck is the place I’d expect to see this show up, if anywhere.

ugO0z3J

Constructed Rating: 2.5

There’s a lot of words on here, but they’re not bad. An 0/4 is exactly what Dino decks want – it lets them get their block on while they ramp up to huge fatties. Increasing the cost of a spell is not going to mean much most of the time but will be hugely impactful that small percentage of the time you slow down a Harsh Rule. Once your blocking days are done and you have some spare power, this brawls as a 4/4 – not a bad deal for 5 power overall. I expect this to show up in Dinosaur Tribal lists and if it ends up overperforming, perhaps some non tribal decks as well.

Constructed Rating: Seek Power

Please don’t pay 5 power for your Seek Power, or 8 for two copies of Seek Power. This isn’t the card you want before it transforms, and when you’ve finally got your Land Tax going it does its best Storm Talisman impression. Colorless relics are available to everyone, and underpowered as a result.

Birthright-1

Knucklebones Rating: Meme Away

Constructed Rating: 0

As a meme card: Fantastic value! Playing a random card every turn is tons of fun, and letting your opponent get in on the action is just good manners. Many highlights will result from this card, and Warp lets you see the blowouts coming.

As a real card: Letting your opponent play anything for free is loose, especially when they get it first. There’s plenty of better ways to cheat things out in this set.

Momentum_Builder

Constructed Rating: 1

This card looked pretty reasonable. It dodges Annihlate, Vanquish, and Rindra’s Choice, and attacks as a 3/9, then a 6/8, and so on – pretty reasonable stats. It even blocks well the turn it comes down! Then I remembered that 0/Xs can’t attack without help, and dropped this card a tier.

Kyrex_Coach_Driver

Typeline: 5

Constructed Rating: 1

Deadly Black Sky Harbinger is good enough for (some) people to play Crown, and Shadow Dinosaurs aren’t in very high supply. In short enough supply for a 4 power 3/3? Unlikely, but maybe there’s some Nightfall payoff or other busted Deadly unit that gets there.

phx_4_080_-_Ruination_Sledge

Constructed Rating: 2

All the stats of Rampage and none of the Overwhelm. If this had overwhelm it would be a snap playable, as is its not too far off original Morningstar, which was just a 3/2 vanilla weapon but dominated constructed. Evasive units care more about dealing damage than surviving, as do Berserk units. This will let you do some hammering, and stapling Ruin to it doesn’t hurt.

Lustrous_Wisp

Constructed Rating: 3

Hey, its the card Soulbringer (the Wisp reanimator) was waiting for! Direfang Spider is a not unplayable starting point, and growing over time from Tribute is a real thing. This also pops out of the yard with the help of a Shadowlands Guide, so this growing into a 5/5 Deadly over the course of a game isn’t beyond reason. It even blocks well. I’m not sure if the Infiltrate will often go off or how often it will matter, but this looks like a key roleplayer in any potential Xenan Wisp deck that arises.

Entangling_Vines

Constructed Rating: 0

Warp is everywhere and here to stay! No further comments.

The_End_is_Near

Constructed Rating: 2.5

This card finally gives us an answer to the question of “what would a 5 cost A New Tomorrow look like?” Like a total meme card, is the expected answer, but this is gonna fuel a lot of dumb things. Stonescar Excavator is the card that immediately comes to most people’s minds, and this could easily see play in something like Means to an End. You’re going to need to be a combo deck, and something that cares about power in the void (or just cards in void) but this dumps cards at an acceptable ratio. As an added bonus, casting this will have you drawing nonpower cards for the rest of your forseeable turns (unless you’re very unlucky). Discard has been scare enough and this has enough draw impact to actually make it in these currently fringe combo decks.

Ironfist_Chancellor

Constructed Rating: 3.5

The year of the Crownwatch Longsword continues! This particular 2/2 is a little bigger than the rest, with Tribute he comes down as a 4/4. You won’t need to work too hard to enable him, costing only 2 means you’ll probably be able to fit him in the curve whenever one of your units trades while attacking. His ability is notably NOT an ultimate, so over time he’ll builds his own army. This gives Justice based aggro decks a lot more lategame, as they won’t mind paying 5 over and over for a 4/4 (or better, if you have other weapons). He’s not great into or alongside Hooru Pacifier and he’ll rarely be an actual two drop unless your Oni Ronin trades, but a 4/4 for 2 is worth a minor hoop and he has a powerful long game ability in the bargain.

Hotblood_Barbarian

Constructed Rating: 2

SO HOT! Memes aside, Berserk is a pretty good ability and the Berserk Combo decks will look for redundancy which this could reasonably provide. I’m not sure how often in constructed the cards in your had will be worse than Temper, but this is a fire based discard outlet if you want one (for Tribute, perhaps). Given both of these aspects, this has a nonzero chance of seeing play as a roleplayer, but is unlikely to make it into regular aggressive decks.

Jibbering_Jackal

Constructed Rating: 0.5

Speaking of Temper, here’s the Time version. Keep those X/1s at home when the Jackal begins to Jibber! A 1/1 Killer is pretty niche, and there’s enough Killer granting spells that is mostly easier to give Killer to a good unit than it is to make a Killer unit good. This Jackal will basically never survive its attack and won’t be able to take down anything beyond the odd grenadin or Ronin, which puts constructed play out of reach.

Peacekeepers_Helm

Constructed Rating: 1

Crownwatch Longsword continues to sweat as new and improved versions are printed! If you were in the market for a one cost Justice weapon, you now have a decision to make between this and Elder’s Feather. Playing Rebuke is a slight upside, but 5 cost is a lot and the deck that wants 1 cost weapons probably doesn’t want to hit 5 too often. I want to like this weapon, but i’m not sure where it would fit in.

Spire_Spellsword

Constructed Rating: 2.5

I sense a great disturbance in Spellcrag, as if a million Powdergliders cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. Justice now has two units that get buffed when you cast spells, and they’re both pretty good. A one drop allows you to get your spell on as early as turn 2, and Lifesteal will help you race since its rare for Spellcrag to be any good at blocking. This will only see play in a Spellcrag style Justice deck, but its a good indicator that such a deck may exist. Plus, its only a common, so its not the end of your dust reserves if you’re overhyped into crafting it.

Changeestik

Constructed Rating: 1

Is this the best card in draft? Giving one of your dudes evasion and casting a removal spell is a great deal for 6 power, and exactly what you’re looking for to swing a game in your favor. In constructed, weapons that grant flying aren’t exactly in high demand and people actively deride you for casting polymorph. A draft all star but probable constructed benchwarmer.

Cut_Ties

Constructed Rating: 0

If anyone you know plays this card in constructed… well, the card knows what to do.

Royal_Guardian

Constructed Rating: 2

Well, that’s a big boy. If you’ve ever wanted to gain absurd amounts of health, look no further! Means to an End is once again my first thought, but this could give you a nice health buffer in a Sentinel Reanimator deck. This is more or less a vanilla if you don’t have tribute – its rare that you’ll need more gas if this punches your opponent for 10. That said, gaining absurd amounts of life could be just what the Cultist ordered – the forgotten card Xenan Fanatic is ready to cult up.

Banished_Umbren

Constructed Rating: Fantastic Art

What a great art piece. This will certainly be in consideration for the top 10 pieces of card art in the set.

Ancient_of_the_Ice_Caves

Constructed Rating: 1.5

If your opponent has Aegis, they prevent the ultimate and keep their hand. And you draw 8 cards. That’s hilarious, and finally we have a card where it’s not always better to have Aegis. 8 is a lot of cards, but if your opponent gets to use them first that’s not ideal, and the base body isn’t much to write home about. My dislike for 4/4s for 4 is well documented and Overwhelm isn’t much of a difference maker. This does nug your opponent for a lot if they’re under Manacles, so maybe this Giant sees play in that deck.

Factory_Quota

Constructed Rating: 3

Have you played against Sulfuric Vortex? This card is pretty close to Vortex, slowly chipping the opponent down. As the aggro player, you’re likely to be playing units – the control player probably won’t be. This does punch you in the face first, and there’s enough units in most decks that it won’t always be on, but the chances of it doing 6 or 8 damage over the course of a game are not that unlikely and that’s a pretty good deal for 3 power.

Robobuddy

Constructed Rating: 0/3

We were restricted to only 4 Helpful Doorbots before, but finally 8Bot can become a real deck!