Azindel’s Way is another mini patch for Eternal that brings 3 new cards to the game. Bundled with these new cards is also an update for the game’s redraw system. I honestly haven’t played much Eternal lately (blame GP Orlando) but I am excited to jam some games again soon. These new cards are particularly interesting to me as they are the first “enemy” faction cards to be introduced to the game. Without further ado…
Arcanum Monitor is a faction port of Squad Strategist, an interesting Combrei card that wasn’t fortunate enough to survive Closed Beta. This is a card that screams “PLAY TOKENS” at me, as it offers substantial rewards if you are willing to “go wide”. Thankfully this seems to be the native space for most Praxis decks anyways.
I’m excited to play with Arcanum Monitor, and believe he offers a kind of payoff that couldn’t be found previously with cards such as Scraptank or Bait. Of all three of the new cards, this is easily the most likely one to be good (although TTFF is a rather restrictive cost).
AZINDEL, THE WAYFINDER
Azindel is easily the most eclectic card to come with this update. We’ve seen Xenan on ladder already (in the form of Xenan Killers) but Azindel is clearly moving in a different direction. The base rate for Azindel is a 4 cost 0/5 Initiate of Sands (quite weak) but as you kill opposing units he racks up more and more additional power. If unchecked Azindel could easily represent 3+ Power on his own.
Ultimately though I feel that Azindel is a card with a low-medium reward and several deckbuilding constraints. You need to be in Xenan factions and capable of hitting TTSS by Turn 3 or 4, pack kill spells to feed Azindel’s ability, and have sufficient power outlets so that you aren’t just treading water. And your reward for all this is…top notch Silence bait? I just can’t see this card realistically doing anything powerful, despite the cool design space.
RILGON, HOORU OPERATIVE
Rilgon is not an owl. I was under the impression that Hooru was supposed to be all about owls. Color me disappointed.
Troll comments aside Rilgon is a pretty frightening card. 2/4 is a surprisingly decent sizing for avoiding removal (he beats Torch and Vanquish) and if you untap with this guy and some weapons/pump spells your opponent is as good as dead. The main issue with Rilgon is that it is essentially a great Rakano card in the wrong faction. It is also rather difficult to play a 3f deck with Rilgon, as PPJJ is a very rough casting cost.
THOUGHTS ON REDRAW CHANGES
The initial draw will no longer feature hands with no power cards, nor with all power cards. If you choose to redraw your starting hand, your new hand will contain two, three, or four power cards (with an equal chance of each).”
The two prime adjustments here are that 0/7 Power hands no longer appear for Hand 1, and that Hand 2 now runs between 2-4 Power instead of 2-5 Power. The first change is a very small “feel good change”, and the second should subtly encourage players to consider slightly higher Power counts (as you are always guaranteed to start with at least 3 non-Power cards).
My take on this is simple; less non games = more Eternal = more fun. This is an improvement for players at all levels of play. Strategically speaking I would consider playing more Power (or at least more Favor type cards) in your non-aggro decks. That about covers this patch.
I’ll be back later with my thoughts on GP Orlando (went 11-4, 66th place). I was riding high Day 1 with an 8-1 record, but crashed Day 2 and missed cash by 2 spots. Still, I had a great time playing competitive Magic and am eager to share my experiences.
Until next time!