Monday 6 June 2022

Battle for Baldur's Gate Preliminary Review Part VI


 0 - unplayable in 40 card singleton

1 - effectively unplayable

2 - has low tier constructed decks it might go in

3 - has mid tier constructed decks it does go in

4 - pretty powerful stuff with several potential homes, able to perform well in lower powered cubes

5 - powerful stuff that is either just too narrow or has too many superior alternatives

6 - fringe cube worthy

7 - cube worthy

8 - cube staple

9 - unpowered cube bomb

10 - powered cube bomb 

Nine-Fingers Keene 3

Another nice powerful tool for gates decks. Ward of 9 life is eye opening too! It makes this almost something I would look at to play without gates in my build! 

Pact Weapon 3

A lot going on here. Draw, discard, protection, buffs, life loss. Mostly this is random, unreliable and bad! You cannot rely on this for protection unless equipped to very specific cards. You cannot rely on this for threat without top of deck manipulation. You cannot rely on this for value either without the means to be attacking. All in all this seems like a big old waste of cards and mana. Good fun though! Stupidly powerful ceiling too. 

Crystal Dragon 2

This feels close to there but not quite. Rob the Hoard does a cool thing for a nice price. Sadly it is a little narrow and one of those scaling into the late game sort of cards you would prefer not to have as your adventure. You want to have usefully played it before it is time to make the dragon. The body is of course low low power for the cost in cube but remains nominally quite threatening and useful to have and thus adds a good amount of value to the adventure mode. Ultimately this is much the same sort of card as Timeless Dragon but cannot really compete with it on power level. 

Amethyst Dragon 6.5

Expensive but very suitable. This is pretty punchy and direct. Explosive Crystal solves a lot of problems, hits reasonably hard, is never dead, and is impressively versatile. The Dragon just hits hard and fast in the air and is a lovely thing to have on the back end of an adventure. Given how suitable and playable this appears it really puts into perspective how stupid Fury is as a magic card. If the adventure on this was scaled back a bit in cost and power the card would get rather better. Taking up a five slot in decks really puts focus on the relatively low power of the deployed mana on this card but even so, this is just spot on for the sort of thing you want in cube and so I expect it to see play and perform well even if it winds up not lasting due to being a bit fair and dull for a top end card.  

Pegasus Guardian 3

Although the front end is good it needs to cost 1 mana for a body on the back that bad. If the 3/3 were better then I would be very happy with a 2 mana flicker adventure. As it stands this is just not enough raw power at any point or overall on the card. 

Ghost Lantern 2

Cool and cute but a bit back to front in that a Raise Dead scales as the game goes on while the equipment is something you want out early to get the most scaling potential. All in all too underwhelming and slow to be of interest. 

Beckoning Will-o'-Wisp  5

Half an Anthem on flying body. This is a lot less card than Benalish Marshall but it has the important bits and is a whole lot easier to play. It is arguably better by itself as well. I would certainly rather have a 2/3 flier than a 3/3 vanilla dork. Much as this is playable something like an Accorder Paladin is probably going to compete which means it just doesn't have the required power. 

Guardian Naga 2

Close to good enough but all just a bit over cost and under useful.

Rug of Smothering 1

Nice life gain storm effect but on a three mana 1/3 it is hard to conceive of a home for this. It is symmetrical I guess so works with Kavu Predator...

Miirym, Sentinel Wyrm 1

The ward is too small to keep this as safe as you need it to be. Three colours and a narrow effect that is either wild overkill or a do nothing. I might play this in tribal dragons but probably not.

Sailor's Bane 7

At four mana this looks good, at five it is probably still fine. This means we are looking to have at least four things that trigger the cost reduction and considering it checks stuff in exile as well that should be pretty easy. In many ways it is a more convenient Murktide Regent as it doesn't consume resources to cheapen thus not getting in the way of delve and escape cards. Lack of evasion does significantly reduce the threat of this fatty but only compared to Murktide, not in general. We are still very happy with our 7/7 ward 4. Red simply can't kill it, green is going to be sad about not having the biggest thing in play, and white or black will need to take the turn out to kill it. Imagine playing this for 2 with a Negate up only to have them pay 5 or 6 on a premium removal spell and walk into that Negate. Game ending savagery that is quite easy to imagine happening. Much as this is a high synergy card it is exactly the right sort of synergy to fit in with blue in most cubes.


Rescuer Chwinga 6

Whitemane Lion gets a mild upgrade with more relevant types and the ability to bounce a broader range of stuff. Useful little support card but a little on the narrow side to be worth it in most cubes considering the low raw power level of the Chwinga. 

Split the Spoils 1

Fact or Fiction meets Nature's Spiral. This is a good amount of value and a reasonable cost for it but it is so late in the day before it gets good that I can't see it ever making the final cut. It is simply not worth the risk of running into random graveyard hate let alone having a card that does basically nothing for the early and mid game. 

Moonshae Pixie 1

A little heavy on the costing for what has to be a card used in an aggressive deck which is the only sensible looking thing you can do with this card. Also, blue aggressive decks don't get all that much out of giving things flying, they often already have evasion. 

Sapphire Dragon 2

Over cost Negate with big late game payoff. Good but not good enough. I would likely rather run the three mana hard counter with Awaken and that has not been something in contention for a long long time. 

Thunderwave 1

As soon as you are doing less damage than the CMC of the spell you might as well be playing X spells like Earthquake. The upsides here are nice but not reliable and certainly on the situational side.


Balor 6

This makes me think of Elder Gargaroth with a dash of the Neon Dynasty dragon legends. Gargaroth was very powerful but rarely seemed to perform all that well in cube. It was simply too easy to bypass the trigger. Balor is a little smaller and has rather less rounded abilities. They are hard to gain value or tempo with and will often still mean that Balor trades one for one with a tempo loss when killed, even with destroy effects. Balor wouldn't seem out of place in cubes, he would be flashy and threatening, and plenty powerful. I just imagine plenty of more suitable or direct cards will perform better, notably the various decent 4 and 5 power five drop threats red has with haste as in addition to their other abilities, often EtB ones. 

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