PARTY ‘CAUSE A SCOUTING PARTY PARTY DON’T STOP
Alright, that’s nice and out of the way.
Here we are! A new week and a new patch full of goodies,nerfs, features, and potentially leaked card names? (“Crucible of Amber is now Amber Effigy” quoth the patch notes, are we looking at a promo or perhaps a Set 2 card? Who knows!) Before we dig into the real meat and potatoes of the article (aka, the decklist) first we’re going to have some vegetables because they’re good for you and possibly will make you think.
First up we have a brand new feature called Replay. What Replay basically lets you do is rewind to the last point in time you had priority and see what has happened since then. Complete with action-replay slow mo if you want it! This is a perfect feature for the double queuer and casual alike as it will solve both “Hey, I alt-tabbed, what happened?” and “Hey, I’m new, what happened?” at the same time. Unfortunately the replay system doesn’t include the subtle hand movements you can watch for, nor does it keep the pauses that might have revealed information about fast spells they might have had. Still make sure to pay attention to those, and know you’re still losing an edge by alt-tabbing even with this feature. Be wary though of watching too many replays without paying attention though. Your turn timer will run while you’re in them so make sure to wrap up and take your turn. I’m very interested in peeling back the layers in this feature and finding what advantages I can gain!
The Witching Hour got the nerf bat, in a surprising twist Champion of Cunning did not. One could only assume the balance team was unable to penetrate his territory deep in Direwolf Digitals Denver HQ as every time they got close they were one-shot by Dawnwalkers, Yeti Spies, and the occasional Ephemeral Wisp and Feln Stranger. Now your powers don’t get to also generate four power every time you play them, as Witching Hour now says very clearly and plainly “Non-power cards you play reduce this cost by one”. In a moment that surprised no one, The Witching Hour ignored the patch notes and remained un-nerfed albeit with the new text until a hotfix was applied later in the day. (Can anyone contain the Feln Menace!?! How can we nerf cards that refuse to be nerfed!)
(Side note: Major props to the team at DWD. They have been nothing but excellent and wonderful in fixing and resolving the few rare major-bugs that have happened since the beginning of the beta. I have nothing but respect for their dedicated and passionate team.)
Now, what does that mean to you dear reader? What can you learn and glean from this new information?
Stop playing The Witching Hour, keep on playing Champion of Cunning because he’s busted with a capital “B”. (Still spelled with a lower case one though.) What does this mean for how we’re going to change Party Hour? For starters, the importance of random cantrips and simply playing cards because we can is completely zero. You now need to spend your mana efficiently and effectively. You can’t afford to not affect the board or interact with your spells and units. This allows us to cut almost 16 cards from the original Party Hour lists to bring in more effective units to pair with Champion of Cunning. Our game plan now shifts from a combo kill to a tempo game with a powerful late-game. Champion of Cunning is our trump in mid-range and aggro mirrors, while Scouting Party is our bread and butter to pull ahead after trading one for one. This brings us to a list looking mostly like this
2 Seek Power
4 Argenport Instigator
4 Feln Stranger
4 Gorgon Swiftblade
3 Lightning Storm
2 Vara’s Favor
4 Midnight Gale
4 Wisdom of the Elders
4 Impending Doom
4 Champion of Cunning
4 Scouting Party
8 Primal Sigil
9 Shadow Sigil
4 Feln Banner
4 Seat of Cunning
As always the removal suite in any deck list I submit is a snapshot of the metagame I was playing against. Tune it for the ladder or what you’re playing against or expect to see in a tournament lest you suffer the consequences of intelligent removal design.
(It might be correct to play one The Witching Hour as a mise against the game going long, but I don’t feel you really need that with your threat density and it’s simply just way too slow now.)