Hello Champions, welcome to the Round Table Review. If you came over after reading the brutal Issue #3, welcome to Issue #4, the kunnin’ issue for our two part Destruction series. For those of you that don’t know, Issue 3 and 4 much like the Greenskin God Gorkamorka is two for one deal representing the “brutal” and “kunnin'” sides of the coin. So at this point, we already shifted our focus away from Ghyran and toward the realm of Ghur. According to the lore for Savagery written by Playfusion, we find a battle within the realm between Death and Destruction. Among the forces of Destruction are those that worship the Bad Moon – the Gloomspite Gitz.
The Gloomspite Gitz is a loose alliance of the Moonclan Grots, Spiderfang Grots, Troggoth, and other beasts that reside in the subterranean landscapes of the Mortal Realms. They are united almost solely by their worship of a mysterious moon deity – the Bad Moon. Little is known about the Bad Moon, many who try to decipher its haphazard travel across the realms end up becoming mad. Each sub-faction of the Gitz has different lore regarding its deity. The Moonclan Grots believe that it is infused with the power of GorkaMorka; meanwhile the Spiderfang Grots believe it is an egg sac of their Spider God. Despite the differences, the Gitz seem to share a common goal to gain the favor of the Bad Moon and usher in a period of eternal darkness upon Ghur.
I for one am excited about the inclusion of the Gloomspite Gitz even though the name makes me think of Ballroom Blitz by Sweet. I just am really excited about all the new Grots that will be added to our collection for Destruction. I think some of our reviewers for this issue agree. Today I am joined by some new and returning voices at the 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)
- A founder of Team Rainbows and Unicorns, a very technical player, and one of the few “three-petes” for Master Rank – TRU Ionic (Matt W.)
- And of course yours truly, Zerris (Jay)
So, Are you Ready Shawn? Uh-huh.
Alright fellas, let’s go!
He’s tiny, he’s grotty, and he’s a little looney…
Skragrott, the Loonking is a very interesting character. As one of the leaders of the Gloomspite Gitz, he is a devout follower of the Bad Moon. He actually believes that the lunatics that are driven mad by the Bad Moon can be used to understand prophecies directly from it. So, what Skragrott does, is he looks for these lunatic seers and prophets, and abducts them. He then brings them to his “fungal asylum”. While there he injects them with a fungal strain that transforms them into a half-human, half-mushroom hybrid, and listens to their crazy rants to try to decipher where the Bad Moon will rise. This whole process to me sounds a like the ravings of a lunatic in of itself, I guess why the title the Loonking fits him.
Although he may be batty, it isn’t such a crazy idea to play the Looking. He is actually a pretty decent add to the Destruction card pool. When I first saw him, my initial reaction was this guy might go somewhere. I still feel that way. His passive is fairly strong, especially in an all wizard build, and I think that can carry him to relevance. Lore wise, I feel they hit the nail on the head with Skragrott. He was always trying to “predict” the Bad Moon to use it for his advantage – well I just get this sense he is “looking for the Bad Moon” in my deck. In terms of how it will effect game play, I find that it is different enough from Celestant-Prime, that it does not make the heroic act feel useless, but close enough that it almost feels “better”. It will definitely “trigger less”, but the fact I am not wasting actions is a huge advantage. I personally can see Skragrott in an all wizard build, where I deploy more than two spells onto him to trigger his passive multiple times a game.
Adding Skragrott into a “mixed” build may not necessarily prove to be worthwhile. He costs 11, which is pretty high, and he can’t play well with many of the choices in the current card pool. Also let’s face it, adding a wizard to a warrior line up or vice versa normally makes the build a little less consistent because you are now playing three types of cards as opposed to two. Most of the current adds of a Wizard are because of specific combos ( Burning Head + Gordrakk, Fist of Gork), to counter the meta (Flesh to Stone + Shield of Thorns ), or an ability that wizard provides (Abhorrant Ghoul King, Kunnin' Grot Shaman, Firebelly). Skragrott doesn’t fit any of those directly. So while I think this guy is a good card, I think it only really improved upon one deck build – the Destruction Wizard, so overall not necessarily the best but not necessarily the worst.
OK! So you’re telling me that I can draw my entire deck now? SURE!
This deck screams deck out in some fashion. It isn’t a lot of card draw, but it is enough to make a difference. With all the new abilities coming out that allow you to play them while controlling a spell, this guy is gonna be fun. 11 cost is a bit high, but Destro has a 0 cost champion that is easy as *&%$ to rotate. They’ll be fine. If Barf can do it, this guy can too. Decent 6/7.
Skragrott is an interesting one! A free “Opt” (an MTG card with essentially the same effect) whenever you play a spell is actually incredibly valuable. This means that every Spell this guy casts replaces itself, meaning that spells in general feel a lot better even if they get removed. Destruction also has the benefit of having multiple 2-3 corner spells so he can reliably activate this ability multiple times a game.
As for his stats, 11 cost and -1 life is a little high, but his effect might make it worth the point hit. Sadly, his point cost kind of precludes him from being in an all-Wizard lineup, though a mixed lineup seems doable still. His quest would be very easy to complete, except for that pesky Removal corner. Having access to Gaze of Mork, probably with some Tactical Formations means it’s doable, though.
Overall? I like him! Like Rotigus, he’s not outright impactful on his own like, say, Alarielle, but he is a solid Value Champion.
This champion has a strong ability – free filtered draw – that Destruction decks should be able to trigger fairly frequently given their access to good 2 corner spells. His quest line should complete in 3 turns using cards. So far, so good. Unfortunately it’s difficult to see what kind of a deck he might fit into.
He’s too expensive for Destruction Wizards and, at 11 points, he’s competing for space with Gordrakk in other builds. That’s not a competition he’s going to win. At the moment, the average quality of Destruction cards is so high that I don’t think there’s a need to dig for particular cards. For this reason, the only application I can see for him is as a draw engine in a future combo deck. The fact that both he and Earth-Shattering Charge appear to be combo enablers may provide a hint that we’re going to see some combo pieces in the not too distant future.
“This sounds awfully an STD” – ThunderPals Emon
I had to quote our fellow ThunderPal for the introduction to this card because when I first linked it to our WHAOSC group that was his response. Now the card is forever “ruined” for me in the sense I think of an STD too. Inside joke aside – this is a great spell to add into a card pool for any alliance.
Out of all the Grand Alliances, I would say Destruction Wizards are straight forward. They have damage spells, they have healing spells, and they have spells that help with units. Their “control” effects are pretty lacking, and those they have now are pretty much if my opponent does x deal or heal y –
Cascading Fire Cloak or remove this unit, Gaze of Mork. They don’t really have much “definitive” lock down. Itchy Nuisance is a solution to that problem.
Right now I am assuming that Itchy Nuisance will make its way into every Destruction Wizard build. I wouldn’t even be surprised if it hits the sideboard for any decks that are running a “splash of Wizards”. The ability to lock down both units and abilities is huge especially in this Meta climate. Placing this in front of Skarbrand turns him off for 2 turns so you can set up a finishing blow, or heal yourself back up. Honestly the best part about this card is it can’t be moved away from Beat Back.
This is a great spell. It prevents the Champ right across from it from doing much AND it deals four damage at the end of all that. Four damage might not seem like a lot, but this effectively shuts down a lane for the most part. Anything that can turn off a lane is automatically a good card. It is still yet to be proven that a spell deck can do damage in a tournament, but the pieces are coming together. Good 4/7.
The more I look at this card, the more I like it. Having an effect right away is great. The fact that it prevents both Units and Abilities means that it will be stalling a quest, and be immune to Ability-based Removal along the way. This is also a great “tech” Spell vs. Skarbrand, and 4 damage over 3 corners isn’t “amazing” but is still solid. The fact that the opponent can’t just put a Big Stabba Crew or similar behind it like most other Spells also ups its value a lot for me. Another great looking Spell from Savagery!
Destruction Wizards is currently a tier 2 deck that does reasonably well against slower decks, such as Mordant mid-range, but struggles badly against fast decks like Skarbrand QQ. I piloted Skarbrand for the latter part of Season 3 and regarded the Destruction Wizards matchup as a free win. This spell provides the deck with a control option that temporarily locks down a lane, providing much-needed time for spells to reach their final corners. Against Skarbrand, drawing and playing a couple of Itchy Nuisances might be enough to win you a game. Under these circumstances, it is likely to become one of an opponent’s primary targets for removal, which will allow other spells to remain on the board. It’s possible that it finds its way in to decks that run a single wizard, but it’s going to find it difficult to take slots away from staples such as Flesh to Stone and War Chant .
The Ole’ Ball & Chain
I actually REALLY like this card as well as the lore behind what the Loonsmasha Fanatics are. What’s not to like about a tiny Grot wielding a giant flail and spinning it in circles at his enemies? Heck the thought of it makes me smile because it probably looks hilariously terrifying to see it happen. As a card I love this guy, but I don’t love his damage corner. This guy is not about that, there are way better choices to deal three damage if I was making an aggro deck. No this guy is about corners 1 and 2.
Corners 1 and 2 make your opponents “discard the top of their deck”. This means that eventually Destruction may have a viable “mill deck option”. Just between him and Mosh Pit, you can cut down 9 cards from your opponent while dealing a base of 18 damage. The fact that if your opponents reveal a Unit, it automatically rotates him forward is just icing on the cake. This guy can become an instant three damage and 2 card “mill”. I think that is a lot of potential that a lot of people will overlook.
AS IF DESTRO DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH TRICKS! So now you discard cards from the top of my deck? Nevermind the three damage, YOU’RE GETTING RID OF TWO OF MY CARDS! I hate you.
Great card and the design to potentially immediately do 3 damage is pretty awesome. Just really happy this is a Grot and not an Orruk. We all know why. Seeing as how Grots are becoming better and better, we might see this guy thrown in just cause he could be immediate damage. Good 4/7.
I’ve written an article about this one: https://championsforge.net/2019/02/28/spoiler-alert-loonsmasha-fanatics-zombie-horde seems fairly meh, but might actually be a sign of a Discard Matters theme with Grots (maybe something that pings the opponent whenever a card leaves a deck?) and an, on average, virtual X/3 isn’t actually all that bad. This one still feels pretty medium to me until we see more support for it one way or the other.
This is a card that is below average as a damage unit and won’t make aggro or mid-range builds. However, it’s worth noting that playing three Loonsmashas and three Mosh Pit would allow you to discard 9 cards over the course of a game, almost a third of an opponent’s deck. That might be enough to create a viable immortal greenskins deck that stays in the game with healing spells and uses the available mill cards to accelerate towards a deck check victory. Skragrott might be a key part of this build, using his ability to dig for the mill cards. That sounds like an NPE archetype to me, so I sincerely hope it’s not viable. A much better scenario would be for Destruction to get cards that trigger flashy effects off of discards from the top of a deck. For flavor reasons, I hope there are other Grot fanatic cards that can synergize with Loonsmashas mill corners and enable the creation of decks that produce random but powerful effects.
The Bad Moon Cometh!
I actually really like this card. I like it because, I can activate this for 4 damage in one turn, and because it allows me to replenish the cards I use to do so. It’s a very considerate damage spell. I can see this being a good splash in a deck that runs a wizard and uses a combo if with some Grots and Rallying Cry to do some bursty things. I specifically think this combos pretty nicely with x2 Loonsmasha Fanatics – can rallying cry two of them into play to mill 4 cards, draw 2 cards, and deal up to 10 damage. Seems like a sneaky thing for Grots to do.
I find this card very offensive. Not only can you do an extra four damage in a turn, but you’re also replacing your cards. This is a HUGE card advantage and a damage advantage as well. Let’s not forget that Destro already has #RallyCry, but now they have built in draw power. With being a thing, I think this card is an auto 2 of, maybe 3 if you’re playing hyper aggressive. I like it.
This is a pretty great Grot fuel card. 4 damage over 3 corners isn’t bad at all, and drawing a card to replace the Grot you just Deployed from hand lets you maintain momentum and makes the Spell very card efficient. Assuming we see just a few more good Grots, I can see an aggressive deck using Call Da Moon to help keep the Units flowing as a tempo option. Another really solid Spell that really makes you want a Kunnin' Grot Shaman in your lineup!
The final piece in the “Destruction Mill Deck” Puzzle. I actually really like this guy. To me it makes perfect sense that Grots and Squigs — arguably the most annoying duo, have an annoying mill mechanic. What’s even more interesting, is that this guy can probably quest pretty fast.
I like this champ for the specific reason of how quick he can quest. We haven’t seen any Squig units, so maybe he won’t even be playable till later sets but I feel a deck out deck coming. If Squigs are also stacking units, maaaaaaaan this is gonna get dangerous REAL fast. He isn’t a high cost either, so there are no building restrictions AND he also gives you a health. I see how draw back for running this guy other than you can’t run him with Gordrakk. Solid 6/7.
Our first introduction to Squigs! This guy is super solid, with an almost identical quest to Braggoth, just with Squigs. The Discard effect is REALLY pushing me to think that Grots and/or Squigs are gonna have some “punish discarding cards” mechanic in place, or are somehow going to go full-in on mill which would be unexpected, but kind of hilarious. At 9 cost, it seems like the payoff for forced mill must be somewhat decent, or just as a nod to the ease of its questing. Otherwise, this card’s power relies solely on how good Squigs are or how powerful the mill payoff is so a lot of its competitive viability is a big ol’ question mark right now.
Yeah, it’s the Gloomspite Gitz!
Well readers, there you have it. The Introduction to the Gloomspite Gitz, and it looks like trickery is their game. Whether that trickery be through spells like Itchy Nuisance, or a Mill deck mechanic within their Grot units. I for one am excited, because now I have the potential of building a Destruction deck for more than just hitting things with Units. I hope we continue to see cards that support this build, and I can’t wait to see what Squigs are offered in the set. Anyway, thanks again to my reviewers; Osh, Shawn, and Matt W. Catch the next Round Table Review when we start the break down of the Death reveals.