Vengeful Spirit has the benefit of being SolForge Card Preview #26 simply because it’s the first new card that they flipped through in the StarSlay3r video. I can’t say that I’ll try to attempt the actual reveal order as we delve into all of the new cards, but it sure helped me figure out which one to start with 🙂 Here’s the card text, since the image I took from the video had a visit from Mr. Blurrywebcam.
Rank 1: When Vengeful Spirit is destroyed, the opposing creature in this lane gets -3/-3 (4/2)
Rank 2: When Vengeful Spirit is destroyed, the opposing creature in this lane gets -6/-6 (8/6)
Rank 3: When Vengeful Spirit is destroyed, the opposing creature in this lane gets -9/-9 (12/10)
Vengeful Spirit is a great example of a Nekrium card. Not only does it do something when it dies, but it does something mean. It reduces the surviving creature’s base stats by 3/6/9. While most people (including me in just a few more lines) are going to focus on the health reductions, I’d like to take an opportunity to point out that the base attack reduction is nothing to scoff at. If Darkshaper Savant has taught us anything up to this point, it’s that a dead creature deals no damage. So, you’re best bet is to always kill something when you can. The other, lesser-known lesson it teaches is that creatures with 0 attack also deal no damage. That can sometimes be just as good. Darkshaper and Vengeful must have graduated from the same high school.
Anyway, on to the poll!
I think a lot of people are going to misunderstand how to use Vengeful Spirit properly. The way I see it, Vengeful Spirit is a suicide assassin. Its low heath doesn’t really make it a prime creature for sustained damage dealing, so it needs to kill what’s across from it quickly and give up the ghost (pun intended). Sure, its attack makes it pretty decent at a one-on-one trade. Special ability aside, there’s a good chance that you can use it to take out whatever its laning against if it shares the same rank. But it would be a mistake to try and make an even Rank trade with Vengeful Spirit. You have to take advantage of its special ability!
Let me declare that Vengeful Spirit should never be played into an empty lane, ever. Why? Because then your opponent determines how the Spirit’s ability is used, not you. Let me illustrate this briefly with a question: If your opponent has a Rank 2 Magma Hound on the board, which would you rather do? Kill it with your Rank 1 Vengeful Spirit (and thereby gain some Rank Advantage)? Or play it into an empty lane and allow your opponent kill it with a Technosmith or some other unfavorable trade of their choosing. You have to find a way to get the maximum benefit from it on the turn you play it, because every other turn it survives you’ve essentially given up its special ability to someone else.
Vengeful Spirit’s greatest strength and it’s greatest weakness are all bundled up into that ability. Mastering it boils down to one of the core fundamentals of SolForge. If you pay for a creature’s ability (by way of base stat reductions), then you better get your money’s worth out of it or you would have been better off playing with a different card all together.
Given this train of thought, I’m going to vote that Vengeful Spirit is Not Worth It. Don’t get me wrong, I think the card is Balanced. Unfortunately, my gut feeling is that I don’t like the card, and I have a hard time wanting to play it. Since it doesn’t ever belong in an empty lane, it doesn’t belong in my deck. Other things can do its job and better. Who knows, though, maybe all of you will prove me wrong. What’s your vote?