Hello All! I’m ready to present the final stretch of cards I’ll be reviewing prior to the release of Onslaught(Unless there are some common/uncommons that catch my eye from Monday’s stream). I am once again DMG Twylite and let’s dive right in since we have a mix of good ones and bad ones today.
Let’s start with a neutral Wizard ability that intrigues me. Stand Together
So let’s all pretend that I reiterated my standard refrain about Wizard abilities here —> <—-. Now that we are past that part, let’s take a look at this card on the merits. And on the face of it , it’s not great. Use a Wizard ability that gains between 3-5 life if dependent on how many adjacent units you have. That’s somewhat on par with Gift of Sigmar and Blood for the Blood God but without their upsides. Destruction already has Waaagh! Infusion and Death has Call of the Grave and if they are willing to jump through the necessary hoops, Bloody Thirst.
But there are a few places I’m pretty interested in seeing if this card can work out and the first one is Lord-Relictor . We need to gain 4 life to activate his ability on an adjacent unit, and it only takes 1 unit to get to 4 health. It’s already a pretty significant upgrade over Gift of Sigmar at the baseline level of 1 vs 3. So I think that deck will definitely be interested in this since it’s not simply a Gain 4 life. It also completes Relictor’s first corner and rotates a unit 1 step back which is pretty solid return for the investment.
This card really feels more like an Order card than a neutral card since while I can see other Champions in Death or possibly even Bonesplitter Shaman , they all have replacement cards that exist to trigger those corners while Order’s Wizards have had to rely on sacrificing Inspiring Glory or Warding Light neither of which are optimal. Aspect of the Sea and possibly even Isharann Tidecaster will also be interesting in this card for the lack of reliance on Stormcast units for Gift of Sigmar and the higher floor on this card gaining 3 minimum over Gift’s paltry 1. But really, this card feels custom built to assist Relictor.
Let’s stay in the realm of the Neutral cards and examine the 2 new Realm cards we got, starting with the new Life realm spell. Emerald Lifeswarm
Moving units from your discard pile to your hand is a pretty powerful effect, no doubt. But is it worth waiting 4…..FOUR turns for? Four turns is a lifetime in this game. Some games can be functionally over by turn 4. There are a lot of very powerful spells that don’t see play because they have 4 corners on them. Hellfire Blast, Comet Strike and Lightning Strike A card that has 4 corners on it needs to be providing a constant benefit every turn that it’s in play eating up one of your lanes to be good enough. And this card simply doesn’t do that for us.
I’m pretty sure this card wouldn’t be good enough even if it was X/X/X/3. I’ve played with Return of the Fallen as a functional 2 corner spell that will draw you 2 cards. But I’ve never been happy with Grave Call despite the fact that it essentially gives you 4 actions for the draw/deploy of 2 cards. And 2 life from Emerald Lifeswarm isn’t going to be the difference maker for me to pull the trigger on this card.
It MIGHT see play in a Death deck at some point in the future that has 1 Unit that it always wants to have in play as the 10-11th way to get it back but I think this would be perennially on the chopping block in even that fictional deck since the other options you have already seem better. Optionally it has some use in Snazzgar Stinkmullett but that’s a pretty hard sell for essentially what will demand to use his Heroic Act.
Let’s take a look at the first rare blessing for the Fire Realm in Purefire Brazier.
This card is extremely difficult to evaluate for me. Everytime that the opponent deploys a unit they take 1 damage….Every faction has a damage that deals a straight amount of damage to the enemy. Whether that number be 4 or 5, Death has Turmoil of Souls, Chaos has both Spelleater Curse and Outrageous Carnage , Order has Swift Judgement for 4 standard with upside of 9 and Divine Blast, Destruction has Smash and Bash, the new ‘Ere we go! and even Might of Gork. AND this card might be in direct competition for Hypersnare Seed.
I don’t want to sell the card too short, however, because the real strength of this card is in it’s individual small packets of damage that can then be boosted higher. But I think you’d want a non-blessing way to do that which doesn’t have a lot of options at the moment. Khorne's Chosen, Blood Feast and Battle Glory are the only cards that really combo with this as a non-unit/non-spell/non-ability source of damage and of those Khorne’s Chosen only provides a 2 turn window IF we’ve flipped this AND the spell has rotated to it’s 3rd corner.
It’s an effect that I’m going to keep my eye on for the future but the support for it just isn’t there based on what we’ve seen so far. However, just a few cards that apply a damage in a blanket fashion or a champion that has an “On hit” triggered effect and the math on this card changes pretty quickly, it’s just not there at the moment.
Let’s stay on the blessing train and take a look at new Chaos blessing that I really like for Casual but not so much for Ranked play in Chaotic Storm.
Let’s start with the fact that 5 damage is a lot. 7 packets of 5 kills every player in a vacuum. So a repeatable source of 5 is significant….Except spells are in an awkward place. Doubly so when we consider the number of spells we want to stick around for the opponent’s turn on their last corner. Arcane Bolt dealing 12 damage is pretty appealing,
It’s also worth noting that this will trigger the X corner of the champion who flipped it which is not irrelevant. If the deck that wants to flood the board with spells ever becomes an option, Tzeentch's Fortune will very likely join this card in the bottom 4. There’s also quite a few spells that we could be interested in flinging at our opponent after they’ve outlived their usefulness aside from the aforementioned Arcane Bolt. Cards like Blood Feast, Pain-Induced Fury, my personal favorite Blood Sacrifice, Rejoice in Slaughter (Only works on units, don’t get too excited), Searing Firestorm, Chaotic Restoration, Khorne's Chosen and Infernal Gateway all are reasonable to be tossing towards the opponent.
This will also make the cut in the casual chaos spell decks that we all make to complete the 20 spell daily quest. I know that I’m looking forward to tossing Blood Sacrifices at my opponent, but when I think of the cards that I would be possibly contemplating for Ranked a lot of them have uses I want on my opponent’s turn, Mystic Shield, Shield of Thorns, and Treacherous Bonds all aren’t necessarily things I want to get rid of …..but then again 5 damage is 5 damage so I’m loathe to discount it even if I doubt it.
I actually wrote the initial review for Cursed Glaive Acolyte that was the Playfusion Forum reveal so I’ll leave my words on that card there and urge you to go check it out.
Let’s go and take a look at the 2 recently spoiled Death units and they are both extremely solid.
Let’s start with Shambling Ghoul Horde.
This card is pretty solid. Really we just wanted any playable Mordant units and this card most certainly is. There are a lot of cards that specifically want Mordant Units either for quest corners or simply for their interactions.
Champions such as Abhorrant Ghoul King, Crypt Haunter Courtier or Black Hunger all just want something other than the 3 options we have now to let us field 12.
This card can essentially cancel out most opposing units while giving us the benefit of either a Unit, Mordant Unit, or Gain Life quest corner. Currently the way it plays out is that if you rotate an opponent’s freshly played unit, it won’t trigger an opposing champion’s Damage quest corner, but I’ve been informed that this is a bug that should be sorted out in the Onslaught update. That doesn’t mean this doesn’t have uses however.
Pouncing Wolf Rider, Waaagh! Chanter, Celestial Prosecutor, Any Clunky Corner unit including some of the recently spoiled cards like Brazen Skullgrinder and Staunch Evocator, Bossy Orruk, or either of the Ogor units, any unit that provides damage prevention. This card does a lot without appearing too. And this discounts the synergy with either Keldrek, The Knight of Shrouds or Lady Olynder.
Even simply rotating a unit off the board in order to turn Opportunity Strike on isn’t bad for us. Speeding up opponent’s who can’t keep up with our card draw isn’t terrible either.
And even after all that, 4 health is certainly not an insignificant amount. Just an overall welcome addition to the Mordant family that I doubt I will be unhappy to see taking a slot within my 30.
Going from there to the next card and it’s another solid offering in Haunting Chainrasp Horde.
This card is likewise hard to evaluate. Not because the card is particularly complicated but because we don’t know what the final verdict on the Destruction nerfs will be. The stacking changes seemed to be the most effective at mitigating it’s power level of the 3 changes tried but it came with the unfortunate side effect of breaking the back of the Death cards with Stacking. This card obviously gets much much worse if the Stacking change ends up the permanent solution.
This affects the strength of the Spirit Deck in particular since it also affects Grimghast Reapers. I’d even go so far as to say that the deck’s viability is directly tied to whether or not the Stacking rule is permanent. Reapers, Chainrasps, and Harridan gives us 9 spirits to play with and they are solid(by Death standards).
So let’s analyze this card in light of that question and see where we come out. 5 damage is acceptable, doing damage immediately is something we are interested in and even the Stacking ability will be occasionally useful. I’d even argue that this stacking ability is better than Brute Smashas since the multitude of cards that can put Spirits into play from our discard allows us to orchestrate situations where we can reliably use the rend to punch damage through enemy shields.
If we look at the card in a vacuum without the Spirit tag, it’s just okay. We really didn’t want to be playing with Skeleton Warriors and this card along with Ancient Skeletons fleshes out Death stacking decks provided it’s under the previous Stacking rules and not this round of Destruction nerfs.
Another Solid Death unit in a tribe that needed the assist.
There are 2 Death Champions to take a look at before our marathon is yet complete and thus I present to you, Bloodseeker Sanguinarch.
A new champion means we have to start the way we always do and take a look at the quest corners. These ones are bad. Even with the Champions ability, they are specifically out of order. X, Heal, X, Spell. This just seems like a slog to get through.
The stat line is average though… +1 health, Warrior-Wizard, and non-unique for 9 points is acceptable.
So what does all that mean? It means that this is a card that does a very specific thing. Possibly in a Pitched Battle sideboard. Being able to use Soul Feast, Charging Black Knight, Frenzied Vargheist to ensure that the unit dies even if the opponent has the removal isn’t a bad effect by any stretch. But 9 points could also be getting us a Bloody Vampire Queen and she looks REAL good with some of the cards in Onslaught.
With 6 ‘Any’ removal cards in each faction, the game is going to change quite a bit as everyone has more removal to use and this card ensures a card you want to die finds itself gravebound. But I’m just not sure it’s good enough when we want to be proactive and we aren’t hurting for a wealth of quality choices at the 9 spot in Death.
I think of this card in a similar way to Megaboss on Maw-Krusha. It’s not a ‘bad’ card, it’s just not as exciting as the other options available but at some point in the game’s lifecycle will be a very powerful deck that will hinge on a single card. This card could see its entrance into the meta at that point.
But I question how much play it will see right out of the gates of Onslaught.
I don’t feel that way about the next card which I think is exceptionally solid. Accursed Wight King
Say Hello to the Death version of Bloodreaver Chieftain . So let’s start with the Quest Corners. Yep, they are out of this world good. Fast Quest Death is now a thing. Previous attempts at fast quests were looking at Reaping Cairn Wraith or Barrows Wight King. Hell, half the play Crypt Haunter Courtier sees is it’s ability to combo with Freakish Crypt Horror for the 3 complete off a single card.
It’s stat-line is identical to Bloodreaver Chieftain at 0/3 with a Heroic Act that gains a life. And while Chieftain is theoretically the better card, let’s not discount the 2 turn complete here. Unit(might need to be a stacking unit if the new stacking rule sticks around) + Ability on T1, Stacking unit that deals damage such as the otherwise mediocre Skeleton Warriors or the new Chainrasps for the Turn 2 Flip.
This card is pretty great and 3 points is REAL good. It lets us shoehorn one in with Nagash, Supreme Lord of the Undead along with 2x Skeleton Champion . Even simply 2x Barrow Wight King, 2x Accursed Wight King looks somewhat enticing for the fast complete on every champion.
This is Champion is nothing short of Excellent and I expect to see it in a lot of Death Variants.
AND THAT’S IT.
I made it! I’m looking forward to Season 2 of Ranked and grinding my way back to Master with all the other people who will drop down to Plat 2 at the start.
Let me know if you agree with me or whatever feedback you have since I really appreciate seeing those comments on Facebook. Knowing that people are enjoying this stuff is the fuel that makes it worth it.
You can find me in game as DMG Twylite, in the discord arguing syntax in the rules channel as [Heraldor]DMG Twylite, and on Facebook as Kevin Lambert.
And as always, I’ll see you on the battlefield!