Hello again all! I am DMG Twylite and we’ve got a rash of new cards to talk about. The new stacking changes have gone live and campaigns are now a thing. There’s so many new cards and only so much time so let’s take a look and see what we are working with.
First up, Death has a new Champion to discuss in Twisted Necromancer.
Well this champions ability is undeniably powerful. But since it’s a champion the first thing we want to take a look at is the quest corners and we find our options somewhat lacking. Spell/X/Ability/Gain Life is a tough sell for a non-Vampire wizard. We don’t have access to Soul Feast and Born in Blood is a much worse choice by virtue of wanting Vampires whereas Twisted Necromancer wants Risen….but Feasting Vargheist is powerful enough that maybe that’s not the problem it seems at first blush. 3 corner removal cards have traditionally not been good enough and I anticipate they will get worse not better as the card pool increases. With all that being said, the natural playstyle of Frightful Touch causing an opponent to play a unit opposite this champion which you can then remove has value.
All is not lost since we still have our very good removal spells in Fuel the Gravetide and Devour, however. The other 2 corners are fine, though I will once again harp on the tension that exists between Wizard abilities and spells. However, Twisted Necromancer wants Risen which pushes us towards Commanding the Dead and the card we will talk about in a moment.
After corners, let’s take a look at the rest of the card’s stats. -2 Health for 7 points is obviously not optimal but Death has multiple lineups that are clocking in at the max health as it is so it’s not like it’s -2 Health on an Order champion. This card’s ability is well designed in my opinion as it covers itself and both adjacent to leave room for future design space and it also only affects damage dealt to the opponent for the same reason.
After all those parts are done, now let’s talk about his ability. His ability is pretty great. Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury has shown us how good this type of effect can be. Whether we are using the newly spoiled Rewrought from Death(which we will talk about in a moment) or Commanding the Dead we have some tools to make sure those lanes are occupied.
Risen allies are in a bit of an odd place at the moment, falling into two camps with some utility cards, the stacking and damage mitigation Crypt Shield Black Knight, Crypt Shield Skeletons, Skeleton Warriors, Skeletal Legion – Add in Ancient Skeletons and Serve in Death and there’s some possibilities here…….IF the stacking changes don’t stick around.
The stacking changes look to have some promise on affecting the strength of Destruction at the time of me writing this article, but those changes likewise have definitely impacted the stacking risen units who don’t have the depth of availability that Destruction has and therefore get hit much harder than them. If this rule change sticks around after set 2 goes live, stacking death units are much much worse.
The other camp that exists for the risen is the heavy hitters, you have Zombie Dragon and Infected Terrorgheist and possibly Shrieking Terrorgheist. These are the high-risk, high-reward units. The aforementioned Serve in Death does even more work here. This is the direction that I think that Twisted Necromancer wants to go. And as an additional little note, Infected Terrorgheist on it’s last corner will do an extra +1 damage with it’s last stand.
This ability on this champion is strong but I remain unconvinced that even something as powerful as this ability is enough to overcome the limitations of Wizards.
If this Champion is able to overcome those limitations, it may be running this next card in their 30, I present to you a really cool card name: Rewrought from Death.
This is a very powerful effect and it furthers the power of Fuel the Gravetide as the key enabler for Death. The most obviously direct comparison for this card is Commanding the Dead. But if we can get units in the discard consistently enough whether through Fuel the Gravetide or even Hungering Vampire Lord, it’s actually closer to Gift of Change.
So it’s a Wizard ability and if you’ve been following along with how I feel about Wizard abilities I really think they are only truly viable on Warrior Wizards who don’t want to play spells that often. Fortunately, all the Vampires are Warrior Wizards. And I think that this card is actually more valuable for Vampires rather than the pre-existing Risen cards. Bloody Vampire Queen starts looking more and more appealing when you can search out for a singleton Blood Knight Kastellan or more likely, Frenzied Vargheist to remove your unit and get back my Feasting Vargheist from the discard.
It is worth noting that it is considering Deploying so you will need to discard for the heavy hitter Risen units like Infected Terrorgheist or Zombie Dragon. But it really begins to expand the discard as a resource to be managed for Death decks, possibly up to the point that Devour begins to not be a 3x in certain decks that wants to utilize its discard as a holding tank.
This effect is dependent on how reliably we can fill our discard but it’s exceptionally powerful, just slightly less powerful than Gift of Change. This card will be a star player in this type of deck, IF the cards that you want to abuse with it exist. Right now it’s a little spotty about whether or not that will be the case.
So let’s keep talking about Death wizards and talk about the other end of the spectrum which is the controlling variant of Death decks. Wraithstorm finally gives us an effect that we wanted to see for the Bored2Death deck.
Wait, the card is actually….
We finally have a card that “mills” the opponent…..and I think you might play 1-2 of these in that mill out deck to speed up and confirm the “kill”.
So it’s 4 corners with 2 X’s which isn’t stellar, but at least in that control style deck they have a lot of better targets than just this. It will mill 4 cards from the opponent which is substantial when they start w/ 25-26 cards in their deck after their initial draw. So it represents basically 1/6th the total of the number of cards you need them to draw.
In that death deck, the damage is mostly irrelevant …..but it actually might be the more relevant part of the card as the card pool evolves. It deals 2 damage PER unit that enters the discard so it’s a total possible 8 damage….which isn’t really want to to be for a 4 corner spells when Arcane Bolt sets the bar at 7 damage for a 3 corner spell.
So while this effect is what I want to see, I’m not sure this is the implementation that works. It may still play as a 1 or 2 of inside the Bored2Death evolutions as a way to lock the win in, but unless there is eventually a card printed that makes us care about units in our opponents discard such as getting additional bonuses or being able to put one of their units in play in our lanes, I think this card tries to do 2 different things and that split makes neither strategy particularly interested in including this card.
From spells to units, staying in Death, let’s talk about the next ability for them. Feeding Frenzy.
So a lot of the things I didn’t like about Price to Pay aren’t present on this card. This card has some uses and some things that I like about it.
That 1 of Kastellan can be retrieved with this card. It triggers off of damage from a Vampire champion so start of turn rotation of any unit that deals damage will activate the card. You can then play this card and then play the unit it gets.
Of the Vampires, I wanted to see who would benefit from this card most based on their quest corners. And Coven Throne and our new favorite friend, Bloody Vampire Queen come up the big winners. Coven Throne can use this to complete it’s last 2 corners which is kind of neat. But Bloody Vampire Queen REALLY likes this card since you can play a unit and complete her first corner, it rotates and deals damage so you play this, and complete the 2nd corner, and now you have the card you need for the 3rd corner.
I don’t think you are playing 3x of these but I am constant struck by how often I wanted to play Tactical Formation in my deck builds just to complete an ability corner and replace itself. This card follows a lot of the same idea since the card you search for is the same as “drawing a card”.
I can definitely see this as a 1 or 2 of in a deck like that, especially in combination with Bloody Vampire Queen since she gets value out of being able to get whatever you search for back with her ability coupled with the new ways to move her to the lanes she needs to or use Beat Back to bring the units she wants to remove to utilize her ability.
This card isn’t a blow-you-away power card, but it increases our consistency while not being terribly difficult to trigger. This is the kind of card that I really appreciate in a set since it doesn’t build on some new archetype but instead enables an archetype just below the line in competitive play, possibly above the watermark.
Moving away from the Death cards, we have 2 new Chaos cards to take a look at. And yes MOAR wizards!(Yay?)
So that’s what an Ogroid is? ….Cool. So let’s take a look at this champion the same way we always do….Starting with the corners. Spell/X/Damage/X. Even for Chaos, these corners aren’t great. Unlike Death or Destruction, Chaos doesn’t have Soul Feast, Gaze of Mork or Foot of Gork. The closest they can manage is Infernal Gateway which isn’t doing as much for us. Wizards not being able to play abilities over spells really hampers this card since we either want short 2 corner spells or solid value long corner spells but neither of those really fit with an X second corner because we can’t use our really solid Wizard abilities over the top of them. This is why Slaughterpriest is a bigger deal than he first looks and this card is a struggle despite an otherwise solid ability on him.
And make no mistake, doing 2 damage for free whenever the opponent plays an ability is a pretty solid ability. Even just punishing them for playing a removal card has a lot of value especially when you look at when removal is most important against current Chaos iterations which is during the Unrivalled Battle-Lust or Total Carnage turns.
But those X corners really start to look brutal when we might have the Gaze of Khorne, Gift of Change or Blood for the Blood God in hand, unable to be played as we wait for our spell to rotate off. We can’t even use the Death for Death that would facilitate this and get credit for that X corner.
But if the ability is solid with bad corners, what about the rest of the stat line? And that stat line likewise clocks in pretty poorly, -2 Health for 5 points is not a great investment. This essentially means that the health differential over a different 5 point Wizard such as Gaunt Summoner requires your opponent to take 4 damage from his ability to gain an advantage there. Obviously, health differential isn’t the same as dealing damage but it’s a metric that has merit.
I can really only see this champion as a metagame pick if Mordant Burn or Skarbrand become more and more prevalent and even against other chaos decks, I don’t know if I want to be fielding a -2 health Wizard against the deck that goes into overdrive at 15 health or less and also runs Scorn of Sorcery.
BUT….Wizards CAN run the next ability(But more than likely Warrior-Wizards will be filling that gap) and it’s nuts. Costly Ritual
I think this card is bonkers. Outside of Blood Sacrifice, I’ve never been playing a Chaos deck and thought to myself, I wish I didn’t have so many cards in my hand. I’m ALWAYS running with 1 or 2 cards to keep the pressure up. So the downside of discarding my hand doesn’t feel quite so bad.
Make no mistake, this card will often be better than Rallying Cry which as just a by-the-way, is not a comment I’d ever think to be making during this season. But all of my issues with the other cards we’ve seen that simply search, this card puts them directly into play, possibly triggering 3 corners off a single card.
And the list of targets isn’t exactly bad either, Starving Flesh Hounds + Slashing Screamer is probably going to be my standard go-to. But maybe you want to complete even more corners and you have a daemon in hand? In that case, what about Transmogrifying Flamer as the first unit and then an adjacent Reckless Juggernaut? Just need 1 more turn? Twisting Screamerx 2. Opponent just laid a 4 corner unit and a spell? What about Capricious Flamer and Charging Bloodcrusher? I generally don’t like Bloodcrusher very much but his value is exponentially higher when I only play 1 that I can grab when I need.
Just for the sake of completeness, you also have Pink Horror Conjurer, Pack of Bloodletters, and the previously revealed Gibbering Horror, Bloodsoaked Banner Bearer, as well as Tzaangor Skyfires….which I can see myself trying out as 1 of. Getting the Skyfires and a Juggernaut(Not in adjacent lanes obviously. Because this card DOES let you use all four lanes) makes your opponent have 2 removal cards in somewhat short amount of time and we won’t have any cards to go with it.
While we may have just mentioned it previously, Gaunt Summoner gives us the option to keep the hits coming.
Archaon is going to have a blast with this card I think. This card + Gift of Change REALLY pushes us towards a Daemon oriented list and away from Valkia the Bloody but that was already happening in the meta regardless.
This is easily one of the best spoilers yet.
And that’s what I’ve got time for today, if you are in the US, I hope you enjoy Thanksgiving.
I’d love to hear your feedback! You can find me as DMG Twylite in game, [Heraldor]DMG Twylite in discord and Kevin Lambert on Facebook.
And as per usual, I’ll see you all on the battlefield!