Tuesday 22 May 2018

M19 Preliminary Reviews Part I

I imagine I will have done some Battlebond reviews before the next set of M19 stuff is spoiled and so depending on how the sets are spoiled I may end up reposting this just so there is a version with the rest of the set reviews and not lost in among other sets.

Goblin Instigator 6.5

Great little card that will certainly see a bunch of play. This is what token decks want, it is what goblin decks want and it is playable enough in any aggressive red deck in a cube setting to just run as filler if needed. The only real drawback of this card is that it isn't as good as Mogg War Marshal. Brainstorm being worse than Ancestral Recall doesn't stop Brainstorm being an amazing card... Being worse than something is only a drawback if it actually stops a card seeing play which I imagine will be the reverse of the case for Instigator. Redundancy in the right place increases playability and this is in the right place. This is only a support card and has low power level on its own but it is a fairly premium one for a couple of strong decks so I have given it a pretty high end rating for a support card. A tribal and token staple with other roles all quite likely.

Rustwing Falcon 4

This is a lot of stats and strong key words on a one drop. I haven't done a white skies deck in a long old while so I cannot really comment on the strength of it in the present meta. My guess is that it is a sub par version of other decks simply due to easier disruption and lower consistency. You need to have Anthem effects to empower your evasive one power dorks while more conventional aggro decks function fine without the buffs. This might be one of the best one drops in a white skies deck but I don't think it has enough punch to be worth playing on its own and I don't think white skies is a deck worth running either. I don't want to rule this out entirely as a mere +0/+1 on a cheap and OK card is a pretty massive buff.

Revatilize 5.5

Is this better than Renewed Faith? Perhaps but probably not overall. It really depends on quite a lot given how similar the cards are. The main reason you play Renewed Faith in cube is to have a cycler and Revitalize doesn't physically cycle and so doesn't trigger Astral Slide or Drake Haven etc and is of no use to such themed decks. Sometimes you play Renewed Faith to hedge against burn and aggro decks in which case the Faith is probably better again as it has the option on a 6 life mode or at least is uncounterable for 2 life. On the flip side you don't want Faith in a prowess deck and so there are certainly occasions Revatilize will be preferable. Revitalize is also quite a lot more card just on the numbers  (having 50% more life in the good mode assuming you almost always want the 2 mana mode on Faith) and so may well be strong enough just to run as filler. I don't see it replacing a card like Impulse in a control deck nor being enough lifegain to feel like much of a counter to aggro although it will help there. Likely still better off running Impulse and finding the thing that actually beats the aggro deck than gaining 3 life... Certainly very playable and a card I am very glad to see in print. I would like more free lifegain floating about the place.

Gearsmith Prodigy 6

Always nice to see blue get another cheap tempo card even if it is a narrow one. While this is probably not quite there yet for the drafting cube (with not quite the density of artifacts) you have been able to do strong blue tempo decks supported by artifacts effectively for a long time and they have been improving faster than most other aggro decks due to how few playables they had in the first place! Blue has a number of good one drops that pair well with artifacts and tempo themes, most notably Vedalken Certarch but also the new Artificer's Assistant! Grand Architect is a big reason to play such a deck but he only gets better with good cheap supporting dorks. One of the issues with such decks previously is just a lack of playable cards in the roles you need and so Prodigy is a massive buff to them. Typically these decks run equipment and so the Phantasmal cards are more of a no go which takes away some of the best cheap blue tempo cards. This Prodigy fills the hole left by Bears very nicely indeed. Presently I would say this should be in any non-tribal themed blue aggro build but only because they are weak and need the crutch support of artifacts to work at all. Prodigy might one day make it into the drafting cube with some more support but for now I think it is a touch too narrow.

Uncomfortable Chill 0

A bit pricey for a card with a relatively low impact. Repulse is likely just a better all round stall tool as well as having way more interactive potential.

Goblin Motivator 6

So Bloodlust Inciter was a fine card. The only thing that stopped it really shining in cube is that most of the good red dorks already have haste! Despite this Inciter was still fine in cube and fairly desirable in certain archetypes with fewer haste dorks naturally. Goblin Motivator has all the same merits as Inciter and it has significant additional merit in that it is a goblin! While there are plenty of great ways to give goblins haste the ability to do so with a one drop goblin was previously lacking. Motivator substantially empowers Warren Instigator and even Lackey. Having it in a list also further empowers cards like Sparksmith, Sharpshooter, Krenko etc. Warchief cards are such a high priority removal target than you find your abusive dorks don't have haste as much as you might like. Haste on some of these cards is just too dangerous and so having another must kill goblin on your team and in the one slot is a massive win. I suspect this will be a tribal mainstay in cube and one of the premium go to one drops. It only gets a six for general use but I feel like this is at least an 8 if we are just talking for one of the goblin builds.

Catalyst Elemental 2

Blood Vassal comes to red. Priest of Gix made that transition a while back and it didn't do anything too drastic. Given that Priest felt like a much more potent card than Vassal I don't expect Catalyst Elemental to make that big of a splash. It might get used a bit in some ramping red decks but I have not yet found a home for Grinning Ingus so I really don't expect this to suddenly make new things possible even though it looks like exactly that sort of card. Nice to have this out there at least.

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