Fellow Scions! How goes it? If you have been unaware, previews for Eternal’s latest expansion The Dusk Road have begun! So far we’ve heard about two new mechanics: Ally and Nightfall, hearing about both from Direwolf Digital itself in great articles by Patrick Chapin and Luis Scott-Vargas. At time of writing we haven’t heard about the third new mechanic, Bond, but we should hear about it soon. But we have new cards to talk about! Some you will find on the Card Image Gallery, but I do want to go in-depth on a few here on Ranked implications. I would love to talk about Draft, but with the exact breakdown of packs still to-be-decided there isn’t much we can discuss. But on with the cards!
Temporal Distortion is a very splashy card. The cost is quite steep at 8TTT, but the effect is well worth it. Being able to play your Channel the Tempest or Harsh Rule as a fast spell is very powerful. And with the added benefit of always having full power on your opponent’s turn makes this a card many people will play with one Dusk Road goes live. I am cautious that an eight power relic may be too costly, but it enables too many fun things for it to go unplayed. I definitely want to take a turn playing with it, but I’m not sold on its validity.
Of all the cards previewed, this is one I think will see a lot of play. I do agree that a 4SS Infest or a 4SS Sabotage isn’t where you want to be. However you do pay for the flexibility of being both. This is especially useful in Feln Control since it can be a sweeper against the aggressive decks or hand attack against midrange or control decks. Also I think that it’s in that matchup that it shines. Sure the -2/-2 mode isn’t as useful, and you’d rather be mana-efficient with Sabotage. But in Ranked you have no guarantee what you’ll fight against. Also decks like Chalice or the Feln mirror hardly play their Relics on curve. This will be a Devastating Setback for all your opponents.
Ah, Disjunction. This card is one I’ve been wanting to exists for months now! A while back I was brewing a Xenan deck built around Means to an End and Forgotten Find. However with the self-mill that cards like Sporefolk supply, there’s no guarantee you can’t get your Means back. However Disjunction does exactly that. But wait! There’s more! It can even attack opposing attachments like Permafrost, Auric Runehammer, Crystalline Chalice, or Azindel’s Gift! Expect to see Disjunction a lot and make a plan around it.
This card is very unassuming. First it was among the first cards we saw with Scout being keyworded, but Scout is equivalent to Scry 1 in Magic as seen on cards like Opt. The big boon with Family Charter is that it’s a turn 1 play that isn’t completely abysmal. You’d rather it be a 1 power Inspire, or other card selection spell, but it’s what we’ve got! And if you get to cash it in for two cards later on, it’s as though the Charter gave you two and a half cards. I’m not sure if it will be a full four of in midrange/control decks, but it’s high on my craft list.
While there are no Ally cards on my list, we do see Gearcruncher here which hints at Ally’s tribal nature. Since Ally has that tribal focus, we do need other reasons to play a lot of one tribe. One tribe I was curious to see pushed is Grenadin! While they aren’t as cute as Yetis (and seriously what is?), there is a bit of Grenadin support and Gearcruncher shows how they work. 1) Grenadin care about other Grenadin being in the Void. 2) Grenadin love to go wide. Here is where Gearcruncher is a great card design. It’s underwhelming as a 3/4 for 7FF but if you even make three Grenadin, which is how many you get from an Assembly Line, you’re starting to become respectable. Beyond that you can start picking off your opponent’s units based on the number of Grenadin you have! I’m not sure Gearcruncher will be competitive, but it has all the right stats in all the right places.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention at least one Nightfall card. Rindra is already good as a 4 power 5/5, but being able to be a 5/5 Lifesteal, Overwhelm is nothing to sneeze at. I don’t see Rindra making a splash in Feln control, but a Feln Tempo/Aggro shell could definitely pop up utilizing Twilight Raptor and Midnight Gale. Plus the benefits of Night are more pronounced in a Tempo shell thanks to the extra card draw! Have a plan for Rindra in the new meta!
The Eternal Discord is super hype over Shush. And boy am I upset that it is. Having a card that can Silence your entire playset of Dawnwalker, Bandit Queen, Tavrod, or whatever primary unit you have can be backbreaking. At least Silence is restricted to Combrei, but even then Chalice is a deck that can easily play Shush! This card will redefine the metagame because it will either dominate or be metagamed against. Remember the words of Scar and “BE PREPARED!”
And lastly, let’s talk Stella. She’s a bit underwhelming as a 3J 2/2 Aegis, but suit her up with a weapon and she starts to make your Gunslinger deck look downright intimidating. Plus you can’t go wrong with whatever factions you play with her! If you play Fire you get Rakano Outlaw; Time grants you access to Desert Marshal; and Shadow gives you Argenport Instigator. And that’s just a few of the powerful Gunslingers! Of course it also depends on what weapons you give her: Ornate Katana in Fire, Vodakhan’s Staff in Time, or Bloodletter in Shadow. Regardless of that be aware that Stella exists and don’t get targeted by Gun Down!
In any case that’s gonna do it for spoiler talk for this week! I’ll be sure to talk more about them later, especially with the potential release happening soon(ish). You can find more up-to-the-minute coverage of the previews on my Twitter linked below since this is a weekly column. But do look out for more Dusk Road talk from our other writers as the set gets closer!
As always you can give me comments/questions on Reddit, the Discord, or Twitter @jwiley129. Thanks so much for following along and I’ll see y’all next time!