Earlier this week I covered the New Cards and Functional Changes to cards in the latest patch, and today I am going to be looking at the rest of the changes. I have not included rating updates generally here as things didn’t change often enough to warrant it, but certainly read the comments to see if I might nudge a card in one direction or the other. You will find that I am pretty happy with the changes that have been made overall, particularly the changes made to the drafting environment.
Ancient Terrazon – Now 8/8 and legendary (instead of 7/7 rare)
This change doesn’t push it to playability in Ranked, but it will be nice to see less of these in Draft as they were pretty hard to deal with.
Araktodon – Now 7P and 5/6 (instead of 6P and 4/5)
I have liked playing one of these in my Primal draft decks, specifically in Feln which lacked a solid 7 drop option at common. It is now the second common card that costs seven alongside Dormant Sentinel.
Blackguard Sidearm – Now 3S +2/+1 (instead of 2S +2/+0)
The health bonus doesn’t seem worth an increase in power cost, but getting your 3/3 outside of Torch range is a big deal. Overall, I’d say the card is a little less powerful but still playable in Draft.
Blazing Renegade – Now 3/2 (instead of 3/1)
Again, Quickdraw units usually don’t care about their health in combat too much, but this is a welcome buff to get it out of range of Amethyst Acolyte at least.
Cabal Recruiter – Now 1/4 (instead of 3/2)
I love this change as you can attack more freely with higher health. You never really cared much about the 3 damage because you wanted the Infiltrate trigger with this card. Attacking is now more of a free roll because if they block with a 2/2 and you don’t have a trick, you aren’t forced to make a bad trade.
Cloudsnake Harrier – Now named Nesting Avisaur, costs 4TP (was 4P)
This makes a lot of sense becoming an Elysian card given its natural synergy with Echo cards which are only found in Elysian factions.
Copperhall Blessing – Now rare 4J (instead of Blinding Burst uncommon 4JJ)
I have only seen this card cast once before, and this change doesn’t really warrant more people playing it.
Crowd Favorite – Now 3/4 (instead of 3/3)
I have enjoyed Crowd favorite well enough as a 3/3 in Draft, so I am happy to see the slight buff. This change could be to try and push it a tiny bit into Ranked now that it can dodge Torch.
Dawnwalker – Now returns from the void exhausted
One of the bigger changes in the patch. This change really hurts Dawnwalker’s ability to go nuts with Killer and it weakens it as a repeatable blocker. I like the change because Dawnwalker was so very abusive, and this keeps the core functionality but reigns in just how crazy you can go off with it. Dawnwalker is still a great threat against control decks and I have been playing it successfully in Ranked.
Desert Marshal – Now 2/1 (instead of 2/2)
Something needed to be done about Desert Marshal as it was one of the most powerful cards in the set given all it can do. This is not a substantial change to where Combrei decks will play less than four, but it does weaken it in a number of scenarios. Primarily against Scouting Party and other 1/1 based threats. Perhaps we will see Temper rise in playability to have a nice answer to Desert Marshal.
Divining Rod – Now 6T +3/+3 and rare (instead of 5T +2/+2 uncommon)
The rarity shift makes sense given the strangeness/complexity of the effect. Overall this is a nerf to the card as it delays how quickly you can go off by a turn. This was probably not warranted in the current card set, but having Divining Rod be too strong can limit future design space, so it makes sense to reign it in a bit.
East-Wind Herald – No longer has a summon ability
East-Wind Herald was not making big splashes in Ranked, and the cost reduction effect wasn’t that impactful in Draft, so this change doesn’t make much sense in terms of power level, but it probably was made due to complexity. The old ability was quite wordy, for not much payoff.
Elder’s Feather – Now +1/+0 (instead of +1/+1)
A small nerf to one of the more powerful weapons in the game. I will still slam this pretty hard in Draft, and the Ranked decks that want to play it won’t stop, similar to Desert Marshal, but it will make the unit carrying the Feather a little easier to deal with.
Fearless Nomad – Now rare and gained Overwhelm (instead of uncommon).
A return to form for Fearless Nomad. Gaining Overwhelm is pretty relevant as it becomes a much stronger threat when weapons are attached. I’d bump its power level rating up by .5.
Grasping at Shadows – Now 5SS (instead of 5S)
Small change, but one that makes it a little harder to play tri+ faction Grasping at Shadows decks. Given the potential power level of the card, it makes sense to drive it towards more of a two faction build, likely Feln.
Hair-Trigger Stranger – Now 2FS Quickdraw 2/2 at rare (instead of 1S Quickdraw 1/1 at common)
Very big change as this card goes from basically unplayable in Draft, to quite attractive. I would give it a 3.5 as an evasive 2/2 for 2. If a Fire/Shadow stranger deck exists, this is certainly a four of.
Hatchery Raider – Now 6PPP (instead of 6PP). Its Sky Serpents are 2PPP to match.
A nerf, but one that I can get behind as the card is very powerful in Draft. The additional Influence requirement makes it a little trickier to hold extra Power that can be converted to Serpents later. I will still be taking this very highly for my Primal decks.
Hooru Envoy – Now 3JJ and 2/2 (instead of 3J and 2/1)
A small buff, and not one that should push it to be a Ranked staple, but I am slightly more interested in Draft.
Knight-Chancellor Siraf – Now exhausts to use her ability.
Important change as Permafrost can now effectively answer Siraf. It is kind of sad that you can no longer double activate, but that was a somewhat rare occurrence. In a close game, not being able to block with Siraf can be a big liability if you whiff on your first activation.
Lethrai Falchion – Now 4SS +4/+1 Lifesteal (instead of +3/+1 Lifesteal, Overwhelm)
Strange change, but I assume it is because Shadow generally does not get Overwhelm outside of Stonescar cards. Doesn’t affect the power level that much as the Falcion was mostly about the Lifesteal.
Merciless Stranger – Now 5S (instead of 5T)
Deadly feels like it belongs in Shadow more than Time, so this change makes sense.
Mistveil Drake – Now 7P and gained Aegis (instead of 6PP without Aegis).
Interesting change. It probably ends up in a similar place power level-wise, but certain Draft decks will be unable to defeat this if it is a 6/6.
Morningstar – Now 4F +3/+3 Overwhelm (instead of 4FJ +4/+3)
I like the idea of giving Fire a strong mono weapon option for Draft. Justice already has plenty of weapons to go around, and it is great to be able to play this in Stonescar more easily.
A New Tomorrow – Now 10TJ Play top 10 power depleted (instead of 10TTJJ play top 12)
I don’t see this change making a big difference for this card’s playability.
Oasis Sanctuary – Now 3T Gain 5 (instead of 4-cost gain 6)
Not much to see here.
Polymorph – Now 3P (instead of 3PP)
Now more flexible in Draft, but I still don’t love this in Ranked.
Psionic Savant – Now 5P (instead of 5PT)
A fine addition to Primal/Justice Draft decks focused on Fliers.
Pyroknight – Now six to activate (instead of five)
Very, very big change to one of the core Fire units. Fire decks often rely on Pyroknight to help mitigate flood, but costing one more can often mean multiple turns of delay on when you can activate. Anything that slows down aggressive Fire decks, I am cool with!
Sanctuary Priest – Now 1/2 (instead of 1/1)
Slightly more playable, but I’d stay away in all formats myself.
Sandform – Now named Twinning Ritual, uncommon, costs 2TP. (instead of rare 2T)
This card really is meant for Echo decks, and thus makes sense in Elysian. The name change also seems way more appropriate.
Scouting Party – Now rare and 6P (instead of promo and 5PP).
I love Scouting Party as a card and am sad that it is a lot worse now, but it is probably the right thing to do for the game. I am still playing it, and it is still strong, but the difference between 5 and 6 is significant. The sooner it comes down, the less likely it is your opponent will have enough units to prevent you from drawing lots of cards. Now, it pretty much needs to be played in conjunction with support cards like Xenan Obelisk.
Seer’s Companion – Now called Humbug and no longer has Fate ability
Best name change ever! I believe the Fate removal was another complexity/memory concern. It is kind of annoying for newer players to have to remember the card that they saw and pretty much only new players were playing the card. Much better to make it a simpler card with more hilarious flavor.
Shamanic Trance – Now named Trail Stories and is a Fire rare (instead of Primal uncommon)
Probably still not playable in the current set, but this could become a power house if the right support is out there.
Shimmerpack – 7TTPP Summon: Choose any number of other units to transform into copies of Shimmerpack. (instead of 7TP Choose a player and transform of their units into copies of Shimmerpack)
Quite the buff! Now you can keep any Sandstorm Titans or Circos you might have and also transform any opposing large units all in one go. You certainly have to be committed to Elysian, but if you are, Shimmerpack will probably see a bit more play.
Skysnapper – Gained Reckless
Significant change for Draft as often you would want to use your Skysnapper to block. Especially now that justice has a 3/3 Flier at common, not being able to block is a big draw back. I still will take this card fairly highly as it can put a nice clock on the opponent.
Soaring Stranger – Now 4P (instead of 5P)
Significant buff for Draft as a 3/3 Flier for 4 is quite strong.
Soul Collector – Now 4SS (instead of 4S)
Doesn’t really change things in either format too much.
Soulfire Drake – Now 5/2 (instead of 4/2)
Still can’t get past a Titan, but the extra strength is handy at punishing Control decks.
Strength of the Pack – Now 7PPP Give a unit +3/+3 and play a copy of it. (instead of Gemini Ritual 8TTPP +4/+4)
I never played with Gemini Ritual, but I liked what it was doing. It seems a lot more playable now and having the option to play it in Feln is a welcome one.
Stronghold Visage – Now 5-cost (instead of 4-cost)
Punishing TJP control decks, this change is significant. You would often want to sneak out the Visages in the early turns so that you can spend the rest of the turns durdling. Now you are faced with casting Harsh Rule or Visage, but not able to have both the end of turn 5. I am happy with this change, as those decks are not fun to play against.
Thunderstrike Dragon – Now 6PPP (instead of 7PP).
This was already great in Draft. Now it is even better, and a strong contender for Ranked decks as well. I have been trying it out in my five strength matters Elysian decks and have been impressed. It is sad that it fails to punch through a Titan, but you can use Obelisk to help there and it is an impressive end game to combat control decks.
Touch of the Umbren – Now legendary (instead of rare). Now 8SS instead of 8SSS.
The less of this effect in Draft the better, so I approve the rarity change.
Valkyrie Wings – Now rare 6JJ +2/+4 (instead of uncommon 6JJ +2/+2)
Nice to see this pushed to Rare, as it was a pretty busted uncommon for Draft. The extra stat bonuses could push this into Ranked viability.
Venomspine Hydra – Now 7SS (instead of 7SSS).
It didn’t feel like the Influence requirement was holding this back much in Ranked, but it is now easier to cast in multi faction decks.
Veteran Mercenary – Now called Forsworn Stranger and is a Stranger (instead of Soldier)
This makes a lot of sense as a Stranger and will be a nice pickup for your Draft decks with minor Stranger synergies.
Water of Life – Now 2T (instead of 1T)
Worldpyre Phoenix – Now gets +3/+3 and cost increased by 3 when entombed.
I like this change as it makes it slightly easier to beat in Draft.
Accelerated Evolution – Now rare (instead of uncommon)
Perhaps the biggest change for Draft in the patch. Accelerated Evolution jumped out as being one of the most powerful uncommons and something I would start planning to splash for in my Combrei and Feln decks all of the time. So many games ended at the hands of this card, and I am thrilled to see it moved to Rare.
Araman Camel – Now common (instead of uncommon)
Strange change as this seems like a dangerous effect to allow many copies of in Draft. I am certainly going to try to draft five or 6 and see how much life I can gain! My concern is that the card promotes games going on for far too long.
Augmented Form – Now legendary (instead of rare)
Love this change as this was one of the more unbeatable rares. Now that it is legendary, we should all see it much less often.
Bandit Queen – Now legendary (instead of rare)
This seems to be a clean swap with Bloodrite Kalis for rarity, which makes a ton of sense power level-wise, but Kalis felt far more legendary in its effect.
Bloodrite Kalis – Now rare (was legendary)
Burn Out – Now uncommon (instead of common)
The attack on Burn Out continues! It makes a little more sense at Uncommon as you usually can’t play too many of these in your Draft deck.
Carnosaur Behemoth – Now named Dormant Sentinel
Crown of Possibilities – Now legendary (instead of rare)
Determined Stranger – Now uncommon (instead of common)
A big hit to possible Stranger draft decks as you won’t really be able to count on picking these up late like you might have before.
Grenadin Drone – Now common (instead of uncommon)
Feels like more of a common card, but it becomes one of Fire’s stronger commons.
Horned Vorlunk – Now common and appears in packs
Very solid card. Good blocker for Elysian and good body for Justice weapons in Combrei.
Infernal Tyrant – Now rare (was legendary)
Longhorn Sergeant – Now uncommon (instead of rare)
This feels a lot more appropriate an Uncommon in terms of Powerlevel.
Lurking Sanguar – Now rare (instead of uncommon)
This makes more sense at Rare as it is hard to make work in Draft.
Mirror Image – Now uncommon, new art (instead of rare)
I like seeing this at Uncommon as it is an interesting Draft card.
Protect – Now uncommon (instead of common)
Similar to Burn Out, you can’t play too many Protects in your deck, often I would only start the first, so this is fine at Uncommon.
Refresh – Now common and appears in packs.
Decent trick for Time that you will play if you need one.
Ruthless Stranger – Now uncommon (instead of common)
This card was actually probably too good at Common. Until the Amethyst Acolyte buff, there was not much drawbacks to running 2/1 units. Even then, this allowed for some very aggressive Draft decks and worst case a very efficient blocker for Fire. This looks like a swap with Grenadin Drone, and it feels appropriate.
Shogun of the Wastes – Now legendary (instead of rare)
This feels like another change for Draft. I would bet their numbers indicated that this card ended a lot of games when cast. I don’t remember playing that much with or against it myself though in Closed Beta.
Song of War – Now rare (instead of uncommon)
It will be nice to see less of this in packs in Draft as it does not seem very good.
Steadfast Deputy – Now common and appears in packs.
Here is what I said in my set review:
Theoretically a nice target for weapons, but the base body is too small to get much going. If you don’t draw your weapons, it is horrendous. I would stay way in draft, but it could be a thing in ranked someday.
Temple Scribe – Now uncommon and appears in packs.
Exciting addition to Draft – this is a strong card that you will never cut from your Time Decks.
Tinker Apprentice – Now uncommon (instead of common)
A weak card that I will be happy to see less of in packs.
Treasure Gate – Now legendary (instead of rare)
A smart change because it was very hard to make this work in Draft. This is clearly intended for Ranked play.
Treasury Guard – Now common and appears in packs.
From set review: Draft: 2.5 Ranked: 1.0 Another marginal playable in draft that doesn’t do enough in ranked.
Torrent of Spiders – Now rare (instead of uncommon)
Another card more designed for Ranked than Draft, and thus makes sense at Rare.
Unlock Potential – Now uncommon (instead of common)
This is a powerful card and it makes sense to push it to Uncommon so that it is less prevalent in Draft.
Vodakhan’s Staff – Now rare (instead of uncommon)
Love this change! Very similar to Accelerated Evolution – in fact I would basically say the same things except that I would plan on splashing for it in all of my Elysian and Rakano decks.
Voice of the Speaker – Now rare (instead of uncommon)
This is a unique and powerful effect that definitely felt more Rare than Uncommon.
Pour one out for these cards! I will put a 🙁 next to the ones I am saddest to lose.
- Auric Bailiff
- Avalanche Stalker
- Cabal Mastermind 🙁
- Cabal Rogue
- Clever Stranger
- Coup de Grace
- Crownwatch Commando
- Dimensional Rift 🙁
- Feln Assassin
- Greed’s Reward
- Harbinger’s Bite 🙁
- Highway Bandit
- Hired Cavalry
- Jungle Prowler
- Messenger Falcon
- New Stranger
- Nomad Healer
- Outlands Sellsword
- Passage of Ages
- Pit Fighter 🙁
- Scepter of Nobility
- Sinister Warlock
- Slagmite Swarm 🙁
- Sparring Partner 🙁
- Squad Strategist 🙁
- Subtle Stranger
- Swift Stranger
- Tireless Stranger
- Trained Rhinoch
- Unexpected Arrival 🙁 🙁
- Village Watch
- War Elephant
- Whip Chain L
Perhaps we will see these cards again one day in a future set!
Ranked Play post patch:
There were so many changes, it is hard to really know what to make of Ranked play at the moment. I have not had the chance to play enough games to have a strong opinion but here are a few guesses:
The Champion of Cunning change should give rise to more viable control decks, decks that were already strong pre-patch. It feels like Icaria Blue will be a strong choice given its access to Torch to deal with Cabal Countess and Lightning Storm to deal with Jito Queen.
There were some small nerfs, but it feels like Rakano and Jito Queen will stay the best aggressive decks to ladder with, and both will be fine choices.
I could see a Combrei control deck emerging based around Secret Pages into Harsh Rule alongside the powerful Combrei legendary units.
Elysian Midrange seems like a fine way to try and brute force wins with the powerful units Sandstorm Titan and Circso. In fact, those were the first Legendaries I decided to craft. Here is my current take on Elysian Midrange:
4 Initiate of the Sands (Set1 #74)
4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
4 Sauropod Wrangler (Set1 #83)
4 Storm Lynx (Set1 #353)
4 Dawnwalker (Set1 #86)
4 False Prince (Set1 #356)
4 Scorpion Wasp (Set1 #96)
4 Sandstorm Titan (Set1 #99)
4 Xenan Obelisk (Set1 #103)
4 Cirso, the Great Glutton (Set1 #362)
3 Predatory Carnosaur (Set1 #118)
2 Scouting Party (Set1 #488)
3Thunderstrike Dragon (Set1 #243)
7 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
8 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)
4 Elysian Banner (Set1 #421)
4 Seat of Wisdom (Set0 #63)
There is certainly some tweaking that can be made with the six drops, but I like the rest of the list well enough. My hope is to play quite a bit over the Thanksgiving holiday. I should have more to report next week on the state of Ranked play.