Round Table Review: Savagery, Issue #1 – Intro to Sylvaneth

Hello Champions, welcome to the Round Table Review. I have to say, it feels great to be in spoiler season again! I am particularly excited because thus far the reveals for Savagery are pretty good. One of the most exciting parts about the reveals have been a look into the Sylvaneth; a new sub-faction for the Order Alliance.

As a casual Warhammer player (video games) I had very little idea what the Sylvaneth were so I googled them! They looked so cool, and I found some fun stuff about them so as we look into the cards revealed thus far I may add some bits of lore I found interesting for all you lore noobs like myself.

For those of you who are not familiar with the Sylvaneth, the easiest way to describe them are “dryads and treefolk”. In essence the Sylvaneth are beings of nature created using life magic and are devoted to defending the natural cycle and resisting the spread of unnatural corruption. This resistance makes them a prime enemy of the Chaos God Nurgle. Nurgle is the Chaos God of Pestilence and seems to be the prime candidate for Chaos’s armies in Savagery.

Now that we all have a basic understanding of what the Sylvaneth are, we can dive into the reviews of the spoilers! But before we do, let me introduce you to the rest of the Champions that have joined me at the Round Table:

  • My fellow ThunderPal, partner in crime, and our resident Chaos die-hard; yerTrey (Osh)
  • The “wizard behind the curtain” at Champions Forge and the man with an affinity for Ogors with explosive acid reflux; shpelly (Shawn)
  • The head judge for the NE circuit, the brains behind the black library and a moderator at Champions Forge; CronikCRS(Matt)
  • And of course yours truly, Zerris (Jay)

And without Further Ado…

My Queen, My Goddess, My Alarielle…

Jay (Zerris)

Alarielle is the head honcho of the Sylvaneth and since it is stated that every Sylvaneth is a descendant from her soul-pods she is way more deserving of the title bestowed upon me of “team mom”. As a card she is quite interesting. Her heroic act is the showcase of the major mechanic brought to the Sylvaneth team; what Alchemists refer to as the law of equivalent exchange (for my fellow Fullmetal Alchemist fans out there). By discarding a Sylvaneth unit from the hand, you can search and deploy one from your deck, a unit for a unit, one Sylvaneth dies and another sprouts into its place, like a cycle, like the cycle of nature *ominous music plays in the background*

Jokes aside, Alarielle is no joke, and neither is the cycling aspect of Sylvaneth. It seems fair… at first. Then you look at the other units and cards Playfusion has revealed for them and realize the synergy the team holds already. Out of all the faction cards in the card pool I feel Sylvaneth already seem to be one of the most synergistic. Some have had 2.5 sets and still don’t feel as synergistic (looks at Spirits & Vamps). Alarielle like the rest of the Sylvaneth are completely dependent on this synergy to stay relevant. As long as more cards that benefit from the cycle effect provided by Alarielle and Metamorphosis (like Merciless Tree Revenant, and Screeching Spite-Revenant) I am sure the team will be fine.

The only downside I currently see for Alarielle is her cost. At 13 she is pretty costly. If I have learned anything from the comparison of Archaon and Gordrakk, Fist of Gork is that for you to cost 12+ you need to have a almost game altering heroic act AND good quest corners to be viable. Which Alarielle may not have. The other worry is the lack of low cost Sylvaneth Champions. It appears that Sylvaneth may have to be splashed for a Champion load out and both Lochian Prince & Liberator-Prime require unit deploys with a specific faction. Here is hoping that the Sylvaneth get a very low cost (1 or 2) cost Champion to put alongside Alarielle so you can really set up the team. All in all, I like Alarielle and what the Sylvaneth bring to the game and I am hopeful to see more cards that round out the faction – then maybe I will actually give Order the old college try.

Shawn (shpelley)

I love what this card represents: Sylvaneth as an Engine. Along with a couple of the other cards we have seen spoiled, it looks like Sylvaneth are primed to be some sort of card-churning monstrosity, with cards going in and out of Hand, Discard Pile and Deck. This “churning” aspect gives the cards a really clear theme that I like.

The Champion itself is very reasonable. Little high-costing at 13, but still room for some low-cost Quest-enablers. The Ghyran Spell corner is just dandy because this card clearly wants some number of Flesh to Stone regardless. Being able to potentially pull up ANY Sylvaneth and immediately Deploy them means that Alarielle makes for a fantastic “toolbox” enabler. Overall, this is the perfect kind of build-around card in my mind, hopefully the Units it pairs with don’t let it down, which will determine its competitive viability.

Matt (CronikCRS)

First things first I am super excited about Sylvaneth is my Favorite and owned army for AoS miniatures and the faction I was looking most forward to coming to Champions. Alarielle makes that excitement well worth it. Her ability is a great starting point and potential linchpin mechanic for the tribe. Her cost seems high but could be very well justified with the types of units are coming. Her quest is a bit hard but doable sadly you are going to need 4 cards. As far as seeing play this card it is very much going to a build around card adding another wizard and 2 cheap warriors.

Osh (yerTrey)

I do like the effect of the card. There are plenty of times where I had two copies of a unit in my hand and wanted to deploy two units. This solves that problem. This also allows you to run one of an important unit because you can just search for it. I don’t like that she forces you into Ghyran if you want to quest her. While you have great options in Shield of Thorns and Flesh to Stone, I would have liked to see a little more diversity with the spells for questing. Maybe they will release some more in the future.

I see this being a side deck champ in a competitive Order deck that has enough space for it. Thirteen points might be too expensive for anything else. Usually, you want at least two Wizards in a deck so if your opponent lock one down, you can always use the other. It is hard to say it is going to be that competitive without seeing some other synergy.

The best thing labelled as Merciless, since Ming the Merciless? Discuss…

Shawn

Our first Sylvaneth Unit feels a little bit filler-y to me, kind of like the Frenzied Warboar of Sylvaneth. An X/2/2 is “okay”, but how often you’ll Restart it is unclear right now (paired with Drycha though…). Personally feel this card was spoiled more as a “here is the type of thing you can expect” I feel without giving away the “big” payoffs.

One benefit to note is that passive effects that don’t rely (directly) on spending Actions have a little higher value, so depending on what else is out there it could be better than expected. Last thing: I really appreciate the “may” on this card’s text line, as it would be abysmal without it.

Matt

Ok unit in its own right, 3 corners for 4 dmg is a bit on the weak side but being able to restart it could easily see this getting 6-8 dmg (currently just gotta make sure it’s on right of Metamorphosis and one of your guys is Drycha). If the discard support is there, this will be a staple unit.

Osh

I like this card. Order needed a relatively big hitter. Four damage in three turns is pretty good, especially since there are multiple ways to restart these guys. They go great with the flavor of the reveals while also being playable in a standard order deck. I think this will go well in the order quick quest decks. They were correct to make this card a rare.

I think this card will be main decked in competitive play. There is no draw back to playing it other than it being a Sylvaneth, which you can work around in most decks. I expect to see a lot of this card at tournaments.

Jay

Merciless Tree Revenant is the first Sylvaneth unit we have seen. Overall he is not a bad unit at x/2/2. The real kicker is his synergy with the Sylvaneth discard mechanic. By timing Metamorphosis and Alarielle (or other potential discard effects) you can restart this guy to turn 4 damage into 8. I just worry that Sylvaneth having too much restart with suffer like Stormcast from the lack of blessing flips. Overall a very decent unit for the Sylvaneth team. I doubt it will see much play outside of Sylvaneth builds.

“This one’s for you, metaMORPHosis”

Matt

Ok, so here is a fun card. When you pair this with Drycha on the field the discards you need to restart. Otherwise it’s a solid recycling card, would easily use 3 of this with 3x Flesh to Stone for spell support in a deck like that, setting Drycha up with 3 other warriors to have an interesting Sylvaneth version of Zoo (Pending units of course).

Osh

I like this card. So. Many. Combos. A unit can rotate out and end up back in your hand before you use any actions. If you combo it correctly, you can even do 3 damage while you’re doing it all. This card makes the deck with any of the discarding champs really smooth. This allows searching for the right unit for the job as well. Do I need to control you? Do I need to damage you? Do I need to heal? Let’s go find what I need. Love that.

If Sylvaneth gets some extra help, this is a 3 of in every Sylvaneth deck. If Sylvaneth decks are competitive, you will see this card everywhere.

Jay

As I stated above with Alarielle, Metamorphosis seems like a staple spell for Sylvaneth decks (which means a Wizard is a staple for Sylvaneth – which is not necessarily bad). It helps fuel the Sylvaneth cycling feature, but also provides re-use of cards in the KO pile which is going to be huge. Although I think this is a card that we can only expect one of (three played in your deck), because having multiple “cycle” effect spells just seems like overkill. Overall I like the spell, and I think it will be a must play in any Sylvaneth deck. I am also glad this one is not just another copy of Restoring the Forge, or Soul Collection

Shawn

Now this is a card. I literally guessed “metamorphosis” style effects would be a major mechanical theme for Sylvaneth, and Jacob (Set Designer for PF, on Discord) cheekily spoiled the name of this card weeks before. ANYWAY, the card itself is actually really stellar. Having a single Sylvaneth in hand, you can Discard that Unit, tutor up whatever Unit you want and then get back the Unit you Discarded. This basically turns it into 2 free Sylvaneth Unit tutors with the option to pick up a better Unit from the Discard pile.

Worth noting that this card also provides some “passive discard” for triggering things like Merciless Tree Revenants and Drycha while providing a good amount of upside (and even Card Advantage instead of Card Disadvantage!) Overall, a very powerful Spell I’ll be jamming into any Sylvaneth decks I build.

Rhonda, Roused to Wrath? (Reaching too far Y/N?)

Osh:

I don’t like this card as much as some of the other reveals. This would take too long to deal damage in the current meta. It could have been better if it said “leaves play” but then it might have been too powerful. When the future sets are moving towards spells, this card requires units to do what it needs to do. A little counterproductive. I see this being a casual card that you’re happy if it rotates fully and really upset if it doesn’t because it is now clogging a lane

Jay

I am not sure if this card is actually meant for a Sylvaneth deck. I like the flavor of the card, but not for Order. I wish I had this for Destruction Wizards. It’s not a bad card, but its not a good card either. I honestly can see this card get played as a one of in a deck that uses Aspect of the Sea with Aelves, lock down a lane until you deal 8 would feel pretty good.

Shawn

This Spell I’m a little more medium on. 8 damage is a lot, and Deploying a Unit is definitely easier to do than, say, Removing 2 Units for something like The Maw , but is it worth it for a “better-by-1-damage” Arcane Bolt ? Unless there is a lot of free/multi-Deploy effects lurking in the unspoiled cards for Order, I think this one will mostly sit on the sidelines.

Matt

Removal bait? This card feels out ok if you have the hand to back it up? But it feel like it could be awesome if you could somehow get 3 units in play at once. Other than that it feels like it would kinda the same as how we treat and use The Maw. I wanna like the card but I can really make up my mind about unless we see the other tools that Sylvaneth are getting.

Oh, Silent Communion

Jay

I think this is the first card revealed that I can honestly say I love. It’s about time Order gets a useful card draw. It feels like an upgrade to Celestial Fate (which honestly had the potential to be one of the best card draw cards in the game but fell short). Best part about this card, no Wizard restriction. I would be 100% surprise if this does not become a staple for Order competitive decks that use both Wizards and Warriors like Celestant-Prime Zoo or Aspect of the Sea. Of course that would mean Order would need to move away from the Aelf/Stormcast quick quest deck meta that exists right now.

Shawn

A perfect Ability that helps fills one of Order’s biggest issues: Card Advantage and Card Selection. Unless you manage to (somehow) reveal 4 Abilities, it instantly replaces itself. Searching through 4 cards out of (after your starting hand is drawn), 25-26 cards, and picking a card is strong. Being able to potentially grab up 2 cards can turn this into strict Card Advantage with selection.

I can see this being really good in existing Stormcast and Aelf builds, not just Sylvaneth. Stormcast will love it because it grabs them the right type of Unit to deny you a Quest, and Aelfs will love it to dig for the Aelf or Beast Unit it wants to solve the wrong-half problem that deck can run into. I also like that it subtly encourages mixed lineups to get full value out of it. I expect to see a lot of this card moving forward.

Matt

So Order gets an on demand Scry, I like it but it has some potentially bad drawbacks. Seems decent if you are only digging for one of the 2. But if you end up getting both it is effectively 1 action to draw 2 which is solid value. Could easily see this being a 2 of is most decks.

Osh

I love this card. Not only do I have the potential to get two cards in my hand, but I also just completed an ability quest. So what they’re revealed. I think this card is great. Any Order deck running units and spells should be running 3 of these. I’m calling it a staple.

To Ere is Human, to Forgive is Divine… #Inspiration

Shawn

This is part of a series of very narrow but very situationally powerful effects. After getting confirmation from PlayFusion, this card can actually be played with only 2 flipped Blessings when used on the far left or far right. As for the effect itself, Restarting Order Blessings can go one of two ways: either you are Restarting some very high damage, direct damage Blessings (which makes me wonder why the opponent isn’t dead yet?) or Restarting healing/survival Blessings.

While the former might be useful in the side deck for things like Immortal Death and future control matchups where flipping multiple Blessings might be more useful, it’s the potential of the latter that has me intrigued somewhat, with flipping Life Gain and Card Advantage Blessings. Overall, think it’s a bit too narrow to see much play but I’m interested to see if someone finds a way to crack this in half, as these kinds of cards either find a home where they are broken, or they are pointless.

Matt

I have no idea how to feel about this card, I wanna like it? But aren’t most games over when you flip 2 blessings? Resetting 2 Champions and then questing them, I don’t know. Sideboard card for sure but we would need a really big slowdown in gameplay for this to see main deck.

Osh

I don’t like this card. It requires three champs’ blessings to be completed, and you can’t even play it to just complete a corner. The effect is great, but I only see it being played against decks that heal a lot (Death). Not only that, but by the time you’re able to play this card you’re probably through most of your deck. There is no telling if you’ll be able to actually quest again anyway. I don’t see this being played competitively. Maybe casual if you like the art on the card. I’ll be searching for a foil one for my collection.

Jay

I have to give a shout out to the PlayFusion design team for a really good try. This card effect is going to feel great. Actually, all of the card effects on these situational abilities are going to feel great and powerful. You need cards like this in the game, and I am sure eventually cards like this will see play. Just right now this is near impossible to achieve. All of them are near impossible to achieve, or not worth the effort of achieving. This was a really good attempt at an ability that can become a “swingy” effect similar to a blessing, but a card that will be side boarded at best “right now”.

D.Ham (Am I the only one who thinks she looks like she’s in a giant “mech” suit? Like D.Va?)


Matt

I like her, don’t like her quest, she is easily a solid build around card with her ability. Just really having a hard time jiving around a first corner removal. Her ability is solid and works well with all the other effects we have see on for Sylvaneth. I look forward to seeing more things that allow her to trigger and seeing more way to get stuff back to allow us to use her more than once or twice in a game, I feel like her ability would need to happen 3-4 times in order for her cost to feel worth it.

Osh

I definitely like this card. There is already a built-in draw mechanic in the game with Flesh to Stone which Drycha can play without interrupting his ability. I think any Wizard that can do a damage ability, heroic act or reaction like this one, is extremely good.

I believe they realized how powerful this card really is, and that is why removal is on the first corner. From what we have seen, Order doesn’t have many self-removal cards so starting the quest on this champ will be slightly difficult. I like that the removal on the first corner is the balance to a very good effect that plays well with the other cards that were revealed for Order.

I think this will be a very fun casual deck, borderline competitive. It really depends on what other draw and discard cards are being printed in the future. Seeing that in competitive play it is all about doing at least 12 damage in a turn, I don’t see this being too competitive just yet.

Jay

Am I really the only one that thinks her “armor” looks like a Mech Suit? I think her backstory is amazing. My basic understanding was that Alarielle knew her value as a warrior and was willing to put up with her extreme fits of rage (where she attacked enemies and allies alike) and bouts of depression. I think the discard to deal damage effect is perfect to capture that rage.

As a card this feels like a “Consistent” Flame-Belching Firebelly where instead of triggering a Heroic Act for two cards and 5-9 damage, you are just tossing excess cards throughout the game for 3 each time. It provides an interesting flavor that synergizes with Sylvaneth. I think at first glance a lot of people are going to write her off, but at 12 cost, she may open up the door for a slightly different build to Alarielle that provides options with Lotann & Lord Veritant for a potential beast/Sylvaneth build. I honestly don’t even think her quest corners matter just like a lot of the Firebelly builds.

Shawn

I like this Champion. I don’t love it, but I like it. Another card that passively reacts to Discard, this Champion can double-down on it for some free damage. Basically, an alternative “engine” piece that also serves as a payoff. This paired with Metamorphosis is an obvious combo, letting you double-Discard while remaining Card-Neutral (-2 Discard, +1 Tutor + 1 from Discard pile). It also helps enable Merciless Tree Revenants mentioned above. Sadly, due to its cost it won’t ever get to be in the same lineup as Alarielle, which seems very intentional.

While this has some awkward corners (namely that beginning Removal corner), Order has access to 2 high-quality Removal abilities to soften that a bit, and its damage corners can be completed by its Trait. This one’s competitive viability hinges on how many other “Discard for value” cards lurk in the set, and just how much Card Advantage we can get to offset the Discards the deck wants.

“Who you calling a cantalope, you melon head” – Screech

Osh

Hell yes. So, much, synergy. I think this is the most synergy we’ve had with a set. This card ensures you’ll always have a full field. You have to discard it, which means it should fulfill the requirements to trigger other effects on the field. This will definitely see competitive play. It’s an X/2/2 that can be deployed for free. It’s almost like a free action. I like it. Gimme.

Jay

This is probably the best card revealed when talking about Sylvaneth discard synergy. As Playfusion continues to reveal more Sylvaneth units, I feel like they are becoming better rounded out as a team. With this guy they have quite the toolbox available to them. D.Ham provides Damage on Discard. Alarielle provides a way to start the cycle. Metamorphosis provides a way to continue the cycle. Silent Communion provides a way to make the cycle more consistent. Merciless provides a restart mechanic on team. Honestly the only way they could get better is if the next Sylvaneth unit healed when it went from your KO pile to your hand, then we have an obvious “natural cycle” we would want to follow.

I think the most interesting aspect of the Spite-Revenant is that it could actually synergize with existing cards. Stardrake is another really great card with a discard mechanic. With Spite-Revenant, now you have something that is advantageous for that discard effect. I mentioned it earlier, but the idea of a Beast/Sylvaneth build isn’t too far off and I think this is a hint to that. If only Risen had something like this for Zombie Dragon & Infected Terrorgheist

Shawn

This card is absolutely nuts in all the right ways because of how Sylvaneth are shaping up. This unassuming X/2/2 breaks a bunch of things wide open because of its Discard trigger. This makes almost every other card above, with the exception of Divine Inspiration, better. Alarielle turns into a pseudo-Rallying Cry by deploying 2 Units for 1 Action by pitching this to the trigger. Merciless Tree Revenants and Drycha gets better because at least one of the two discards needed for their effects is no longer card advantage but, in fact, action ADVANTAGE.

Metamorphosis is probably the most busted thing to go with it. Metamorphosis gets to, on rotation (and thus still leaving you 2 Actions for your actual turn), Discard this, Deploying it, tutoring up another Sylvaneth AND bring back another one. Essentially turning it into Deploy 1, Draw 2. Even Roused to Wrath gets better! It can accelerate much faster with all the discarding effects, even so far as going off in 1 turn with a combination of Drycha, Stardrake (or another Discard Unit) to discard 2 of these (1 off the Unit, one off Drycha) to hit the opponent for 11, and setting them up for more the next turn.

What ties this all together? Silent Communion. It let’s you grab any part of this combo (or even 2 pieces!), making it more consistent and reliable. Jacob, if you are reading this: kudos my man.

Matt

I LOVE THIS CARD! It synergizes with every discard mechanic we have seen so far and we are already brewing combos and ways to interact with its ability with only these few (6?) cards that have been revealed for order. Imagine using Rouse to Wrath with Drycha and playing a Stardrake to pitch two of these? (thanks Ionic for the Stardrake angle) as wombo combo it is awesome but even if you don’t do this Spite-Revenant just seems like pure value if you discard her(him?).This is gonna be a staple card in every deck that uses discarding because it is just straight value. I am gonna be honest here so glad I can finally get to the one faction I started this game wanting to play!

Nature’s Cycle

In short I believe based on our reviews, to the Champions at the round table, the Sylvaneth seem like a really exciting team. As you heard several times they seem very synergistic, which is a huge bonus. I personally have not had much interest in Order, but Sylvaneth are something I can’t wait to try. They just seem great. I don’t mean that only from a design perspective either. Lore wise they seem like a really cool bunch, I suggest you check out their lore.

I would also like to say great job to Jacob and the design team @PlayFusion on this one. I don’t know if it was your intent to make their “cycling” mechanic feel like a cycle of nature but I find that it evokes that kind of feeling. At first I thought the name savagery was in reference to the beast realm of Ghur, but the Sylvaneth reveals make it clear to me that Savagery is in reference to the savagery of nature in general.

That is it for this Round Table Review on Sylvaneth. I hope you found our reviews and insights useful and possibly inspiring! Catch us for our next issue, where we will be joined by Adam Binns (ArchaeonRL). Adam and the gang will be going over the cards representing the sworn enemies of the Sylvaneth, Chaos’ forces of Nurgle.

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Author: jscardino1207

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