I will be grading each card in the new Omens of the Past expansion for both ranked and draft play. I am going with a A+ to F grading scale this time out. A breakdown of the grading scale:
A’s: Straight bombs or very efficient cards, the best cards in the set.
B’s: Strong playables. Cards that push you into a given faction in draft.
C’s: Role players and cards you rarely cut from your deck in draft.
D’s: Narrow cards that usually don’t make the cut.
F’s: It would be a mistake to add this to your deck.
Revenge: When a card with Revenge dies, it is put randomly into the top ten cards of its owner’s deck. It permanently loses Revenge and gains Destiny (If this would be drawn, instead play it for free and draw a card).
Mentor: Cards with Mentor have an additional effect when played if you exhaust one of your units as a Student. Units that are already exhausted can’t be used as a Student.
There are enough playable 2 and 3 cost Mentor cards that this could get there in ranked. The grade is a hedge because either the Mentor deck is playable and thus the Squire will be an important piece, or it won’t be and the card won’t be played. The Mentor deck is certainly worth testing, but I am skeptical that it will work out as it seems a little too inconsistent, slow, and susceptible to sweepers.
You need a large quantity of Mentor cards to consider playing this. With only 2 packs of Omen in the draft it will be hard to pull off. Even if you put it all together during drafting/deckbuilding it will be inconsistent as to whether the Squire even gets Mentored in a given game, and the downside of just having a 1/1 for 1 is quite bad. It is only really impressive on turn 1 or 2 and if it is Mentored immediately.
This is better than it looks as a 2/2 attacker for 1 that goes on to buff other units, but it is still probably too low impact.
I think this does enough to be playable in draft as in the mid to late game as it can enable a unit to attack when it otherwise wouldn’t, and it is a worthwhile buff for fliers. Your opponent will rarely want to spend a real card to kill the Oathkeeper.
Not going to make the cut.
This is one of the weaker members of the cycle, but still a rock solid playable.
Crownwatch Squire’s best friend! This card has game beyond just a Mentor theme deck though. The rate is quite good, the only issue is that if you don’t have a one drop it curves out awkwardly. Still in an aggressive Justice deck, this will be playable.
You need a quantity of two drops, and the upside with this one is quite good. Draft it highly and never cut it. Don’t think that you need one drops to make this good, I still would be wary of including marginal 1 drops even if I had a few of these.
This doesn’t do enough.
The saving grace here is if your deck has a lot of weapons for this to wield. Outside of that scenario, I would pass.
Strength of the Many
Tricks have a hard time making it in ranked and this doesn’t seem better than what we have already.
A marginal trick that has upside to do a lot of damage, but the downside of being much worse than a Finest Hour. I’d still consider it if I wanted a trick, but I’d almost always play a C or better unit or removal card instead.
Talon of Nostrix
This doesn’t look like much but two cost Relic Weapons are intriguing as there are a number of ways to buff weapons. Cheap weapons play nicely with cards like Smuggler’s Stash. The downside is that the overall impact might be too low to make the cut.
Sometimes you just need to kill a 2/2 flier, and this will get the job done. Anything that buffs weapons or returns them the void gives this some extra juice.
This card is quite powerful as card selection and a substantial buff to your next unit or weapon. I think this fits right alongside Inspire as a cornerstone of Justice decks that are filled with units and weapons. This plays particularly nicely with Revenge units as they become even harder to deal with twice.
There is a random element to this, but battle skills are typically worth at least 1 power so I find this card to be under costed given that it grants abilities to itself and a unit of your choice in hand. This will be a widely played 2 drop. I also like how it plays with Revenge units as giving them extra abilities makes them all the more annoying to deal with for the opponent.
One of the better two drops in the format for Justice as this can grant some very relevant abilities while being a curve filler.
I am not ruling this out as it mitigates the danger of getting two for one’d and it is cheap enough to make a solid impact in the early game.
This seems like a rock-solid weapon that will be a menace if played on a 2/2 on turn 3. Make sure you have plenty of two drops with this in your deck.
This has funny name, as I will always pronounce it Shield Man in my head.
If you have a super late game focused deck this could be playable. It does work decently with weapons as well, but generally this isn’t great.
This is just too slow for what you get.
While slow, I think this does enough to break stalemates that you want one in your deck. There will be games it does nothing, but there will also be games where it is key to victory.
Here are the relevant cards that can Stun a unit: Peacekeepers’ Prod, Permafrost, Eye of Winter, Ice Sprite, Jarral’s Frostkin, Crystallize, Jekk, the Bounty Hunter, Shield Bash, and Snowcrush Animist
There are a number of solid ranked cards in that list and a number of them curve amazingly well with the Master. The payoff is very real if you are pulling this off on turn 4 and you get to attack with a 5/5, but there are enough ifs in this equation that I am not convinced this will be great. Your opponent needs a unit to stun and you need a card able to stun it. That and this is only really exciting in the early turns of the game, pulling off this combo on turn 8 is fine but not that exciting. I think a Hooru shell is worth exploring though.
This is worth building around in draft, but it can be hard to find enough stun cards and potentially even harder to combine them in the same game.
I don’t think this makes the cut even if the Mentor deck is great. I think there will be better options.
I am in for a 3/3 for 3 with upside. You can prioritize Mentor cards a little higher once you have this and if you pull of the combo it will be quite nice.
I like what this does against aggressive decks and the body is just relevant enough to do something against controlling decks. The problem is how bad it is against mid-range decks where the opposing units are just too big and the life gain isn’t that relevant.
Similarly to Highbranch Sentry, I am in based on being a 3/3 for 3 with upside and the upside is even bigger here.
This might have a home as an efficient body in the Stranger deck, but I am still not convinced it will be a thing.
Yet another 3/3 for 3 with a little upside. I think I like this the least of these so far, but still it will rarely be cut from your deck.
I don’t think this makes the cut over Hammer of Might unless you are making a Fencing Master deck.
This will allow for some big swings on the turn you cast it. A solid weapon.
This is a marginal playable as it doesn’t generate much value given the size of its body and its cost.
Shard of the Spire
These are the cards that get the biggest benefit from Shard of the Spire: Dawnwalker, Dune Phantom, Towertop Patrol, Lumen Defender, Auric Sentry, Borderlands Waykeeper, Scaly Gruan, Slumbering Stone, Umbren Reaper, Ashara, the Deadshot, Fearless Nomad, Battleblur Centaur, Field Captain, Combrei Healer, and Karmic Guardian.
There are a handful of solid ranked cards amongst these, but I don’t think the effect is strong enough to be the basis for a great ranked deck.
If you can stitch together 5+ cards that play well with this it might make the cut, but I don’t think it will come up that often.
This is a fine weapon to play in draft.
This works cutely with Relic Weapons, but mostly I am in for the flying body.
Here are the possibly playable Valkyries: Valkyrie Aspirant, Loyal Watchwing, Valkyrie Enforcer, Valkyrie Spireguard, Silverwing Commander, Rolant’s Honor Guard, Renegade Valkyrie, Icaria, the Liberator, Elias the Broken Wing, and Inquisitor Makto.
There are a handful of top tier ranked cards, Enforcer, Icaria, and Inquisitor as well as a few fringy ones amongst this list. At the moment, I don’t think there is enough to make the Spireguard very exciting, but keep an eye on it as new cards emerge as a 6/6 flier for 4 is a strong card.
3/3 fliers for 3 are very solid, and you should be happy first picking this without worrying too much about any other Valkyrie’s you might get. I’m not sure I’d play the 1/1 for 2 with Revenge Valkyrie with this without other reason to play the 1/1.
Victor must be sad, and you will be too if you run this in your ranked deck.
I would much rather have a Finest Hour most of the time than this, but it does allow your small units to take down much bigger units. The Revenge is kind of awkward because your opponent sees which unit gets the buff that turn and it no longer functions as a trick, but as a damage to the face spell in the right situation. I am not that excited by that half of the card, and overall just not that excited but it will usually make the cut regardless.
Crownwatch Press Gang
Here are the best one cost units at the moment: Grenadin Drone, Oni Ronin, Pyroknight, Initiate of the Sands, Blind Storyteller, Brash Shorthorn (as part of a Minotaur theme deck), Direfang Spider, Slumbering Stone, Tock Tick, Fearless Nomad, and Twilight Raptor.
Most of these aren’t that exciting on turn 5 or later when this is cast. The best of them are probably Blind Storyteller, Initiate of the Sands, and Direfang Spider. There is some support for a Minotaur deck, in which case getting Brash Shorthorn might work out best. Overall, I don’t think there is enough going on here to make this very good at the moment. This will need to be re-evaluated with every new release to see what other one drops you can find with it.
Most one drops aren’t that good in Draft, so the upside here is pretty limited, though it does have Revenge so there is some value to be had.
There isn’t enough going on even for the Minotaur Revenge deck.
I have come to love Jarral’s Frostkin and this does a very similar thing but with Revenge. A strong playable.
Scepter of Nobility
Theoretically playable, but probably not enough to make the cut.
This is a fine removal card with decent upside assuming you have a handful of weapons.
Not gonna do it.
This is on the low end of weapons I would want to play, but if you are short on expensive cards and weapons this is a weak playable.
Far too slow.
This can get quite big, quickly. The best cards to pair this with are Relic Weapons, but there are some incidental armor gainers that are fine too. The usual caveats apply as a 6 drop in that you can’t play too many, but you usually want one or two. One problem with this card is that you will often need to play out your Relic Weapons prior to casting this in order to survive, so it may be hard to have a follow up for it.
Prosecutor at Arms
Ranked cards are usually pretty binary, either they are relevant or they aren’t. This one isn’t.
This is a nice effect, even Mentoring a low strength unit can shut down a deadly defender, and Mentoring larger units makes this an effective removal spell tied to 4/4. The main problem is the power cost, but I am happy to draft this pretty highly.
The card text is mostly flavor only, but the rate on the weapon itself is probably too slow.
This will be hard to beat on a Flier or Lifesteal unit, but really any unit will do.
This is a pretty strong six drop as by the time you can play it, you may have a large unit to mentor and thus your next unit drawn will be quite meaty.
Leave a Witness
I think this may see play as a one or two of in controlling Justice decks. The main downside is that it is far too slow against aggressive decks and is not an effect you want against Control decks usually. This is at its best against mid-range deck.
It will be very hard to lose if you cast this. Just make sure your deck is capable of getting to 7 power reliably.
Elias, the Broken Wing
This is quite strong in play, but the cost is prohibitive. In a reanimator deck I would be interested as if they kill it, the Destiny side of Revenge will take care of casting the card for you later.
Another bomb legendary that you should take and build a defensive deck around.
It can be hard to get to 8 power, but this is a worthy card if your deck is geared to get there.
Thanks for reading, and come back soon for the Primal cards next!