StoneBlade has given us a most excellent gift of 24 new cards to shake up a very stale constructed metagame. This timely update has come at a momentous time as well. It’s just three weeks till the Forge Watch Invitational and I (along with everyone else who qualified) are busy scrambling to find the most broken pile of cards possible. What better way to start the testing process than to mercilessly judge these new cards and attach an arbitrary rating on to them.
0 Unplayable: These are hilariously bad cards that you would never want to include in a constructed deck. Example: Nexus Core (Hunting Pack)
1 Niche: These aren’t necessarily bad cards, but you won’t see them used that often. Usually have an ability that few decks would want or need. Example: Oxidon Spitter
2 Playable: The bread and butter of most decks. Example: Magma Hound
3 Staple: These are the powerful build around cards of the format. Most often, you’ll see full playsets in decks whenever they can be fit. Example: Epidemic
4 All-Star: The best cards of the set, these are cards that will be played for a long time to come. Example: Zimus, The Undying
Aegis Pulse – 1
I love that we are seeing more global buffs and sweepers, but this is not even close to the power of Ferocious Roar. Shield yourself from this card as it does not scale well and often won’t even affect the board. This does get better in Robot-based decks, as adding additional Armor to your dudes becomes better when they already have Armor.
Cypien Infiltrator – 3
Six attack in the Alloyin faction is a big deal. Previously, trying to destroy early Everflame Phoenixes could be a big pain without removal or debuffs. I personally like to play this in a large aggressive Uterra/Alloyin Stompy deck. Ferocious Roar does a great job turning on the Breakthrough clause, helping it infiltrate the enemy line and damage the opponent.
Drix, The Mindwelder – 2
DJ Drix is in the house! Aside from the sweet art and all the fun nicknames he’s picked up already (MC Drix and Dubstep Drix are a few I’ve heard), he’s not a bad card either. Unfortunately, there isn’t a ton of Metamind support as of yet, so if you build up and drop your hand he’s often only going to hit himself. Activate also makes him a pretty poor blocker, so if you are behind, he’s not really going to help you get ahead.
Metasight – 1
Metasight is a tough card to judge. Constructed decks are capable of putting out a lot of early pressure, so I’m not really seeing this card make a huge splash. If the meta starts to slow down, this card is going to be a powerhouse.
Oreian Justicar – 3
He either does a ton of work in a game, or none at all. His stats are fine, but without targets in your opponent’s deck, he’s not going to drive you home. I expect to see one or two played in most Alloyin decks as a counter to the Phytobomb/Devourer decks and any Zimus decks that will inevitably end up being played. So while not likely to be played in a set of 3, his ability will impact the meta enough that it rates as a staple.
Tower Vanguard – 0
It’s a big dumb robot that needs to have another card turn it on so that its stats are even decent. That’s too towering of a task when there are so many other cards I’d rather play. It’s no wonder it was left on the back line.
Charnel Titan – 1
I’m not leaving this completely off the table as an early 6/8 is just an abomination to deal with. I however suspect that you won’t be triggering this terribly often, and wouldn’t you have rather just played a Zimus or a Lyria anyway?
Omnomnom – 2
Ermahgerd! Meme-based card gaming. Many noms. Much Wow. I can haz peepl meetz? I don’t always play removal in my decks, but when I do, I have it buff my Zombies.
Runescarred Zombie – 2
Seems to be a recurring theme. Seriously though, this is one of the best blockers I’ve seen. It will trade with active Level 2s just by playing it with a spell. I was left pretty scarred when I heard that this doesn’t work with Soul Harvest since the sacrifice happens before the ability is triggered.
Tarsus Deathweaver – 3
Nice early stats and a crazy ability to boot. I love how its ability makes all your Echowisps and Phytobombs dodge Epidemic at every level. This card is probably going to be the death of me as players sow their Seedlings all over the field.
Witherfrost Banshee – 0
Personally, I think this is a bit better than Vengeful Spirit as you have better control over when the ability hits. It sadly misses that sweet spot of early 6 damage The card may see some play in Unheroic, but in standard constructed, this is going to wither in your collection.
Woebringer – 2
Yes, this card is sweet, but he will only bring you woe if he’s not leveled at every opportunity. I wrote an entire preview about this card so I’m not going to sacrifice more time by restating everything I already wrote.
Kas, Arcweaver – 3
There are no other cards that can put out this much in Player Level 1. I’ve had this card hit me for 27 damage on turn 2 (removal spell and Heavy Artillery); that’s a lot of damage. Do not let this guy live because he will hit you over and over and you will not see turn 5.
Pyre Song – 1
I desperately want to love this card. I want to sing its praises. I love direct damage spells. I love sweepers. But the dirge is this doesn’t deal enough damage to justify including it most of the time.
Warbringer Uranti – 2
This card surprised me with its utility the first time I played with it. I know the stats aren’t great, but the extra damage is huge. The creature type is a bit of a shocker as well. I can’t wait for the day I get to play Yeti tribal.
Wildfire Maiden – 1
Delayed removal? That’s kinda hot. Best case, you get to block something and the maiden doesn’t lose her head. Then she can burn whatever you want on your next turn. With those stats, I just don’t see it happening that often.
Windborn Hellion – 2
More elementals is always a good thing. I’d like to see this move Mobility to a higher priority for players. Seeing as there is at least 1 good mobile creature in Tempys and Nekrium, I expect to see many variations of decks that play this elemental.
Zephyr Mage – 1
Daw, Seismic Adept has a fraternal twin. I don’t see this being played that often since the ability is level gated, but it gives permanent mobility (to Windborn Hellion) so it’s a nice tool to have access to.
Brighttusk Sower – 1
Maybe I’m not too bright, and I could be sowing the seeds of dissent, but I just don’t see this getting any competitive constructed play. The stats are less than average, and it doesn’t really scale that well. If you want to trigger your Tarsus Deathweaver, I’d look elsewhere.
Noxious Cloud – 0
I’m sure they purposely made this far worse than both Firestorm and Epidemic, but it’s kinda obnoxious that such a sweet looking card couldn’t scale a little better. Sure, if the targets don’t have Armor it will eventually kill anything, but you can’t really just sit around taking damage from creatures for 5 turns. Don’t let the card cloud your judgement, this is actually unplayable.
Strength in Numbers – 2
Here’s a sweet card. I really want to cast this on my Tarsus Deathweaver after filling the board with seedlings. As long as you can consistently fill the board, I’d rather play this over Enrage any day.
Thundersaur – 3
SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY, HERE AT THE THUNDERDOME. THUNDERSAUR IS ROOOOOOLLING OVER THE OPPOSITION. WATCH AS THE DINO CRUSHES OVER CREATURES LEVELS ABOVE IT AND COMES BACK ALIVE AND SWINGING! Tickets are $15 and kids under 12 get in FREEEEEEEE!
Venomfang – 2
Uterra now has a Magma Hound to call its own. I think this should have been called Venomspitter as that would have made more sense with the ability. Still, reptiles are cool and this card is constructed playable.
Weirwood Patriarch – 2
This is the other elephant in the room. The Deathweaver/Patriarch combo is going to be rocked in standard for the foreseeable future. Tarsus into Phytobomb followed by this means that you have 3 extra 5/5 seedlings, and that is a legitimate threat. Added bonus that his stats are good by itself so why aren’t you giving this deck a whirl?
Bonus! Some of the other card changes:
The Shaper Cycle:
Steelshaper Savant – 0
Darkshaper Savant – 2
Lifeshaper Savant – 2
Flameshaper Savant – 3
Poor Steelshaper, not played when he was actually ok, and now unlikely to ever be played ever. Darkshaper being a Zombie is a huge boon with the new Xrath, he’s going to be gaining a lot of value with Regeneration keeping him on the board. Lifeshaper is and will continue to remain a solid card. Flameshaper did not actually lose very much. He’s still in the same faction as Master of Elements and Static Shock. Burn spells are still a thing and his damage output is still astronomically high; game-shaping you could say.
Grove Matriarch – 1
This is a definite improvement, but I still wood not play this card in constructed.
Storm Caller – 2
Yes! This is what I’m talking about, an 8/6 at Level 1 is awesome. Even in the late game you can drop this and have it trade up or storm their life total. I’m calling it now that this is going to be the most played vanilla in the upcoming season.
Swampmoss Lurker – 2
Lurking just behind Stormcaller is the other monstrous dino of the set. I don’t think I can stress enough just how huge 8 Attack really is.
Xrath, Dreadnight of Varna – 3
Wow, what an improvement. Non-level gated abilities are almost always an improvement. As a Dreadnight, he commands the zombie hoards and keeps them alive to continue Omnomnoming away at your creatures. I see this being combined with Ferocious Roar and Heart Tree to make your forces impenetrable.
Lightning Brand – 1
Now this is an interesting change. Putting this on the same leveling agenda that Metasculpt follows was a great move. Now this is an interesting card that I would consider playing in a few decks.
Jetpack – 1
Another great change! Adding Mobility was just what the flavor of this card wanted. Now you can zoom around like Schwarzenegger in Jingle All the Way and deal all the damage.
Palladium Pulsemage – 0
Look! It’s all shiny and new and still not playable.
Zyx, Storm Herald – 2
Holy Mobility! You’re pretty much guaranteed to get in with this card now. This along with Kas could herald a new era of hyper aggressive Tempys.
Water Walker – 0
She walks on water and is still unplayable trash.
The Forge Watch List
1. Oreian Justicar
2. Tarsus Deathweaver
3. Xrath, Dreatnight of Varna
5. Cypien Infiltrator
Obviously, this list is only with the new/changed cards and simply represents the cards we think you should keep an eye on. Justicar is just going to see widespread play in any Alloyin deck that plays creatures. Tarsus is just sweet, weaving death wherever he goes. The Phytobomb Tarsus deck is probably going to be the premier aggressive strategy of the format. Xrath is just very powerful, and while I haven’t seen a lot of him yet, I think there is potential. Thundersaur is just a BIG FREAKING DINOSAUR. Cypien Infiltrator will be an aggressive attacker or a value blocker for Alloyin, and it is just what the faction needed.
Thank you so much everyone and here’s to another awesome year of SolForge!