Happy Holidays Scions!
I hope your holiday season is full of cheer and good fortune! DWD graced us with a new expansion and ho boy it’s been a big impact. We’ve seen tribal decks have a go, we’ve seen some goodstuff decks reemerge, and we’ve seen a draft format that is an interesting place. What I’m gonna do here is talk about a few things that have caught my eye about The Dusk Road in either its mechanics, decks, or specific cards.
We can’t really have a discussion about The Dusk Road until we talk about Nightfall. This mechanic is the first mechanic I’ve seen in Eternal that I can truly say is an Eternal mechanic. Many of the other mechanics can be compared to either Magic, like Deadly or Lifeforce, or to Hearthstone. But Nightfall? Nightfall is all Eternal, my dudes. The power level of the mechanic is harder to pin than most, especially due to the symmetric nature. But this bodes well for the future of Eternal, at least in my mind. Nightfall is an atmospheric mechanic, and one that neither Hearthstone nor Magic can easily emulate.
So what can DWD do with atmospheric mechanics like Nightfall? Well, any number of things! The first thing that came to my mind comes from Pokemon; okay stop laughing. In the video games there are moves like Sunny Day or Rain Dance which alter the terms of battle. DWD can do similar things here with Nightfall-like mechanics. Maybe there’s a mechanic that increases damage dealt by units? Maybe there’s one that mills players at the start of the turn? Maybe there’s one that alters unit types? The possibilities are endless! And I wait with bated breath!
This was going to be the big turning point for Ranked. Prior to The Dusk Road the only tribal decks we had seen were Strangers, Yetis, and Minotaurs all heralded by Triumphant Stranger, Wump, or Tavrod. But the Dusk Road welcomes many more to the fold, and buffs the Yetis to a significant degree. But showing up in Ranked is the best compliment these tribes can receive, and the payoffs are there. The big beneficiary is Grenadin, thanks to powerful cards like Gearcruncher and Stonescar Scrapper alongside the already impressive support cards. Where Grenadin shines is in grinding your opponent out of the game. Your support units are all small enough that they can get under the aggro decks, and your larger units can deal with the Tavrods, Sandstorm Titans, and Worldbearer Behemoths of the world. All in all, Grenadin is far from a poor choice now that Scraptank is viable.
Gunslingers is the next tribe to be given strong boons. The one list I’ve run into in my games was a Rakano Gunslingers variant that leveraged Deepforged Plate on the powerful new Gunslingers like Milos Izalio or Whirling Duo. My only qualm with Rakano ‘slingers is they were unable to close out the game when I played against them. It may be fall under the Rally problem of needing to be quite fast or fall behind quickly. I have yet to see an Argenport or Stonescar ‘slinger deck, but I’m sure the pieces are there if you want to go down that route.
Unseen were a tribe that really surprised everyone to be focused on, but that’s just a flavor win right there. I’ve messed around with Felnseen on Ranked myself, to mixed results. I think the deck is close to competing, but I haven’t found a full 75 that I’ve liked quite yet. Maybe Hooru Unseen is the better way to go with access to Kothon and Shelterwing Rider. That said, best deck name for the new set has to be Comfy Unseen because of it being Justice, Primal, and Shadow, or PJS. Pajamas are super comfy.
Talk about an impactful card. Worldbearer Behemoth is a true house. Sure it’s difficult to play, but the payoffs are there. Getting to attack once is more than enough value, but getting two or even three power cards off its attacks has to feel amazing. I can’t say from personal experience yet, since I only have 1 in my collection, but the pedigree and the stats speak for themselves. I’m hesitant to actually assemble Combrei Midrange to combine SST with the Big Brontosaurus, if only to slow down my path towards the Dark Side. But I can’t see how Combrei is a poor choice for the future.
I know these aren’t a ton of thoughts, and this article is quite short, but this is what I feel comfortable to write about so far. There is still a ton of ground to tread on the Dusk Road. Can any other tribal decks step up to the plate? Is Temporal Distortion really the best control deck? How broken is Azurite Prixis? I’m excited to find out!
As always, you can send me comments/questions below or on Reddit, the Discord, and Twitter @jwiley129. Thanks so much for following along and I’ll see y’all next time!