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.
Warp: You can see cards with Warp when they are on top of your deck, and you can play them as if they were in your hand.
Lifeforce: Cards with Lifeforce have an effect when their owner gains health.
In order to properly evaluate Lifeforce cards for ranked, we need to consider the solid playable life gain cards currently available. Here are the best life gain options for Xenan: Temple Scribe, Lumen Defender, Devour, Umbren Reaper, Amethyst Monument, Vara’s Favor, Ayan, the Abductor, and Slimespitter Slug. Some second tier, but possibly playable options: Cabal Cutthroat, Vampire Bat, Xenan Destroyer, Lethrai Falchion, and Healer’s Cloak. Non-Xenan Lifegain options: Stronghold’s Visage, Amaran Camel, Gorgon Fanatic, Feln Cauldron, Brightmace Paladin, Spirit Guide, Karmic Guardian, Oathbreaker, Midnight Gale, Silverwing Familiar, and Black Sky Harbinger.
This card pairs best with repeated life gain effects, and can outearn its 1 power cost in short order if you get a lifesteal unit rolling with it. Curving the Aspirant into a Vara’s Favor immediately makes it a playable ranked card, and this can grow rapidly as the game progresses. If there is an aggressive Lifeforce deck, I think this may play a part. The main issue is top decking this past turn 3 or 4 where it may take a while for it to grow to a relevant size.
I think it may be too hard to build around Lifeforce cards like this where the payoff tends to be needed at a specific time, in this case early game, and repeated. It is possible you can stitch together a deck with the right number of Lifesteal and other repeated life gain sources to make this work, but I am skeptical. I wouldn’t draft this highly unless I was already well down that path in pack 3. This could be a fine late speculative pick in pack 1 though.
This is fine answer to units wielding weapons, but pretty weak otherwise. Given the lack of play teleport saw in ranked, I don’t think this will be a thing unless weapon decks are incredibly popular. This is an acceptable 27th or 28th card to add in draft, but I’d hope to find something better.
I don’t think this does enough to be a worthy inclusion in either format, but it is a weak playable if you are short in draft. Enough games are decided by fliers that having a blocker can buy quite a bit of time, but normally I’d be more interested in units that can attack on their own. This could have more of a home in a deck filled with weapons.
Strange card, but a possible playable in a mono Time deck. The drawback here is how unbelievably bad the card is until you hit the influence requirement, at which point it can grow to a very nice size over the course of a few turns. I like that the investment is so low that you don’t really care if the opponent spends a card to kill it, but the real cost is it not doing enough in the early game. It is very funny how a one cost card plays so slow and it makes it hard to evaluate. Ultimately it is probably too slow to be a real consideration.
Typically, you will be drafting a two+ faction deck and this will be even slower to get going. I think it is just far too slow to be a thing in draft.
The strength of this card rests with the power of your discard outlets. This is probably most likely to be played with Primal. Cards like Blind Storyteller, Herald’s Song, Whispering Wind, and possibly Cobalt Ring. Sporefolk jumps out as the quickest way to possibly get this card off the ground, but there is some randomness to that. This could possibly be a fit in Divining Rod/Reanimator deck but that deck wasn’t very good in previous seasons and I don’t think this card jumps it into immediate relevance. Overall, the payoff probably isn’t there for all the durdling you need to do to make this card castable.
It is even harder to find the enablers to make this work in draft, and I don’t even love ramp anyway even when it is reliable.
A possible enabler for Lifeforce cards, this does have a semi-competitive body to go along with the effect. If you aren’t trying to abuse Lifeforce, definitely don’t bother with this.
Two drops with upside are quite nice in draft, and this also is a solid enabler for any Lifeforce cards you have.
I like the stats on this card as it holds the ground against 1/1’s very effectively and is very annoying for any larger ground units. It even becomes a somewhat relevant body after you ultimate it. A very nice addition to the Deadly Divining Rod deck.
This might be my favorite of the cycle as it can help tremendously in getting you to the mid and late game where it can become even more threatening. It wields weapons quite nicely, especially ones granting Quickdraw. I am happy to draft this card highly and play as many as I can get.
This is a playable card for sure, but the issue is deck space. It probably just doesn’t do quite enough to make the cut, but in an environment with a lot of fliers it might find a home.
In a deck with solid ground units, this plays like kill X attacking fliers, draw a card. Text I am quite happy to have access to in many match-ups. Worst case you can always cast it to find a new card if the text won’t be relevant.
Not going to make the cut.
If you are desperate for two drops, this can be played in a pinch, but I’d much rather any random 2/2. If you draft carefully you should not need this one.
Predator’s Instinct has seen play in ranked, and these are additional copies if needed.
This is just solid removal for the price, and the permanent buff is quite nice. Just be careful playing this into a lot of available power from the opponent.
This is likely far too slow to do much in ranked, but I won’t completely rule it out as it can be an annoyance for a control deck.
This is often too slow to be relevant, but it can act as a speed bump for opposing ground units and sometimes generate enough value to make an impact.
Secret Pages hasn’t seen a ton of play, but this is somewhat comparable as a three cost ramp card. Warp is nice upside, but it will probably be hard to find room for this. This is a key part of the Warp Forge combo deck though. Here is my current list:
4 Initiate of the Sands (Set1 #74)
4 Torch (Set1 #8)
4 Blinkwolf (Set2 #7)
4 Temple Scribe (Set1 #502)
4 Avirax Familiar (Set2 #46)
4 Hipshot (Set2 #11)
4 Ancient Lore (Set1 #105)
4 Camp Physician (Set2 #52)
4 Xenan Obelisk (Set1 #103)
4 Waystone Infuser (Set2 #63)
4 Workshop Forge (Set2 #182)
4 Heart of the Vault (Set2 #183)
2 Plated Goliath (Set2 #64)
4 Fire Sigil (Set1 #1)
9 Time Sigil (Set1 #63)
4 Praxis Banner (Set2 #171)
4 Seat of Impulse (Set0 #54)
4 Diplomatic Seal (Set1 #425)
I am not a huge fan of ramp in draft because many games don’t come down to emptying your hand quickly, they come down to who has the better board presence. This is very weak on the board, which is fine if you Warped it, but not exciting otherwise. If you have a number of 5 and 6 cost cards that are powerful, this gets more appealing.
This takes two triggers to really be interesting, but if there is a viable Lifeforce deck this is a possible inclusion. It provides redundancy to Cult Aspirant.
I like this better than Cult Aspirant because with no triggers the body is a lot more relevant than a 1/1. Similar to Cult Aspirant, I am not thrilled to draft this highly unless I have enough support for it going into Pack 3, but certainly a nice speculation later in Pack 1.
Evelina, Valley Searcher
Playable explorers: Bold Adventurer, Saurpod Wrangler, Amber Acolyte, Elysian Pathfinder, Reliquary Raider, Blind Storyteller, Torgov, Icecap Trader, Elysian Trailblazer, Watcher of the Big Ones, Diogo Malaga, Talir’s Choice, Champion of Wisdom, Explorer Emeritus, and Curiox, The Collector.
Some of these cards play well in a Dinosaur deck already: Saurpod Wrangler, Amber Acolyte, and possibly Champion of Wisdom. All told, this probably makes the cut in Dinosaur decks, but unfortunately these decks haven’t been great and I don’t think this card pushes them over the top.
It will be hard to get enough Dinosaurs to make this better than a random 2/2 for 2.
Playable Time Friendly Overwhelm cards: Pyroknight, Morningstar, Obliterate, Stonescar Maul, Amber Monument, Copper Conduit, Dawnwalker, Plated Goliath, Arcanum Monitor, Shatterglass Mage, Deepforge Plate, Knight Chancellor Siraf, Copperhall Elite, False Prince, and Circso, the Great Glutton.
There are many exciting Overwhelm cards to ramp into with this, and the life gain effect can help recover from the loss of tempo in spending turn 3 to cast this. This plays nicely with Dawnwalker as you can gain a lot of life over the course of the game. This card seems solid against decks where the life gain is relevant, but weak otherwise. Time based ramp decks tend to struggle against Harsh Rule control. This card does little to help that situation as it prompts you to dump more onto the board and makes it harder to win against Harsh Rule.
It will be too hard to get enough Overwhelm units for this to matter most of the time. If you do get a Dawnwalker and number of others it starts to become a marginal playable.
Another silence option from a unit is something to keep an eye on. Desert Marshall and Valkyrie Enforcer have been meta defining cards since the beginning of Eternal. This card falls far short on the rate compared to those cards, but the versatility of being mono Time is enough to not dismiss it out of hand.
I like having at least one solid silence effects in my decks if possible, and this is very usable. The body can prevent a lot of damage as a blocker and it wears weapons quite well.
This plays out somewhat similarly to Stand Together which has been a very solid card in ranked over the course of time. Unfortunately, not buffing strength nor saving your units from Harsh Rule make this hard to make the cut.
This card can be devastating in draft as you can generate massive card advantage and permanent board presence in one fell swoop. I have been thoroughly impressed every time I’ve seen this played so far.
This looks weak, but this is a key part of the Warp Forge deck. I don’t think it is playable otherwise.
A four cost 2/2 is not where you want to be in Draft, even if you Warp it, but if you have enough Lifeforce payoffs this is playable.
This always dodges Harsh Rule, which is a very relevant thing for the Dinosaur deck, and spot removal can’t really kill it either. This card could prove to be quite annoying for control decks to deal with.
This is a solid card as it dodges removal that targets it, and how many spells can your opponent really have? It may take a few turns to maintain solid board presence, but the body is large enough to make an impact in most stages of the game.
This won’t make the cut.
The sheer size of this for the cost makes it one of the top Time commons, and I will be happy to play 2-3 of these in any Time draft deck.
This is a recipe to get two for one’d.
This is only playable with Stormcaller, but if you have a Stormcaller I would play a few of these. Otherwise, it is not worth a card most of the time.
I won’t rule this out in case there is a deck that wants to ramp to 7+, but this is probably too slow to be worth it.
This is a marginal playable in a two faction deck, but if you are aggressively splashing it gets better.
Too expensive to be worth a slot.
I am happy to have a few of these as my five drops as the body is relevant and the Warp upside is very real.
This probably has a home if the Stranger deck is a thing, but I don’t see it happening just yet.
Obviously, this gets a lot better if you have many Strangers, but a 4/4 for 5 is a fine deal.
One of the better Lifeforce payoffs, and the rate is there too. You can only ever draw one card each turn with it, but the incremental value it provides excites me.
This is a powerhouse if you have enough Lifegain cards, and is a very good body even if you don’t.
This fits right in with Praxis and Elysian go wide strategies. Can be devastating with Xenan Obelisk, and a perfect companion to Scouting Party. This is an exciting card!
If you don’t have ways to mass buff your units, this is less exciting in draft. You will never cut it, and you should still draft it highly, but on many boards the Humbugs can’t attack effectively and will need to settle for blocking duties.
This costs too much to be super relevant, but if a deck is relying on something like Witching Hour, I could see this as possible meta game choice.
A passable body, but the ability won’t be relevant most of the time, though when it hits a 5+ drop it will be decently valuable.
A key component to the Warp Forge deck, this is a fun card to have in play and it is a great blocker.
I will be thrilled to grind my opponents down with this in draft. Just make sure to have enough flying defense to let this card go to work.
A VERY poor man’s Shimmerpack.
In a deck with a lot of units, especially ones that produce multiple bodies with one card, this becomes playable, but I think most decks won’t be a good fit for it.
This has a tough road to be better than Predatory Carnosaur, but if a Time deck needs another six drop this is decent if you are playing this fairly. This is another great card for the Warp Forge deck.
The body is quite nice, and the Warp upside is great, but you just need to be careful to not have too many 6+ cost cards. This is one of the better ones.
This feels like a win-more card that is pretty hard to set up given all of the factors. You need a solid board presence, 6TTT, and a good way to gain 2+ life that costs nothing ideally. Usually a solid board presence is enough to win a lot of games. It will be fun to run up the score with this alongside a large Lifesteal unit.
With enough Lifesteal units this could be a card that helps break a stalemate, but you need a pretty specific deck to make this work.
This probably won’t make the cut in the Lifeforce deck, but it is theoretically playable.
You are limited in the number of 6 drops you have room for, but this a decent one if you have enough lifegain effects.
I like this as a curve topper in the Dinosaur deck, and possibly other decks as well. Being able to Warp it at Ambush speed is a big game and the rate is there for a 7 drop.
This is just so large that it will win a lot of games even if you don’t get to Warp it. If you do get to Warp it, the blowouts will be sweet.
It is hard to find room for an 8 drop, but certain decks will play this and not be that happy.
Thanks for reading, and come back soon for the Justice cards next!