Good Morning, Friendos! I’m your resident person-who-has-opinions, DMG Twylite and today’s batch of cardboard is fresh out of the oven. The Warhammer TV reveals + the Peachstate Hobby Distribution Spoiler are out and let’s dive right in……
I want to talk about something first. Let’s talk about spoiler season and what it means to evaluate a card. Whenever we want to examine something and form an opinion, it is always beneficial to first examine ourselves and our beliefs and biases. (This is also true of basically all new information in life…..but I’m just a guy who likes playing TCG’s and not your lifecoach so i’ll only be looking at things in the context of cardboard squares) These things put a filter over our forecasts and color how we perceive new data….They aren’t bad or wrong and oftentimes they help us achieve something closer to reality since nothing exists in a vacuum.
Gordrakk in particular, but Destruction as a whole is overpowered is a belief(enough supporting evidence can change a belief/theory into a fact which I’d even argue we have enough of to move in that direction for these things ….but seriously just stay with me here because if I have to put an annotation over every section of my point that has multiple interpretations, I’ll never get this article out the door). Wizards are bad is a belief. Etc etc.
What I like to do is approach new cards from 2 directions with 2 distinct questions that direct my thinking. The first question is “What would it take to make this card playable?” and its sister question, “What would it take to make this card good?” These two questions break me out of biases and make me look at the card itself, by itself. What are its limits? How do I change any drawbacks into benefits? Etc. An example here is Keldrek, The Knight of Shrouds. He’s fine but not great right now in set 1, but I don’t think you would say he’s a bad card. So the answer to the first question is “More Playable Spirit Units” or “Additional ways to turn his ability on”
The second question comes second becomes we want the raw version of our evaluation of all those possibilities before we put our filters back on. “How does this card interact with the rest of the card pool in context of not only the meta that currently exists, but one that we can attempt to predict based on the new information we have.” An example here is Skarbrand. We don’t know all the cards that will exist in set 2 but just evaluating Skarbrand in context of set 1 is eye opening. It’s easy to see the power level because we have direct analogues for similar effects and champions and we are intimately familiar with the current meta.
I feel as individuals, it’s very easy to only complete the 2nd part without completing the 1st part as a shortcut for our evaluations. We look at the current environment as a static entity rather than one that evolves slightly with every released card. And part of that issue is reflected in the first few weeks of a new format. The first thing everyone does is update their old deck with the new cards. This is a good expenditure of time, we already know the context and power of our current deck and let’s just add and swap for additional power.
That doesn’t make a card good or bad, however. To fully evaluate a new card, you need to combine the plausible with the possible. You need to see what can be without losing sight of what is. And this is the point I really wanted to drive home. If you only evaluate cards in context of what currently exists, you will be constantly surprised when a new deck comes along and uses the card you wrote off to fantastic effect.
So if you disagree with my evaluations, I first challenge you to examine your premises. When(not even if, just when) I’m wrong about a certain card, I’ll have to face that as these reviews essentially set my predictions as writ in stone to answer for later on down the road.
The whole reason I bring ALL of that up…..is based on community feedback…..I think we are going to disagree today friends. Let’s see if I can’t accomplish the most impossible of internet tasks today, and change some minds.
So let’s dive into the new cards with this framework in mind. First up, Culling Mournfang Rider.
So now we can see how the “slow but powerful” idea for Ogors is being conveyed. With having to use Heroic Acts for big damage, that’s going to be their plan.
While I think that the previously spoiled Thundertusk Beastriders is an okay card, I’m not as big a fan here but it’s not unplayable in my opinion. And this is where I want you to imagine a deck that doesn’t exist yet. This is 12 damage from 1 card. Theoretically, if you only played these 3 units you could kill your opponent with only 3 slots in your deck taken up to do so (Yes, that’s only if the opponent gained no life). So you could devote 27 other cards to controlling the board and still be able to kill your opponent.
Now, I’m not suggesting you try that, at least not just with these as your only win condition but it’s a different deck than exists for destruction at the moment. Is it better than current Gordrakk? Almost certainly not. But with the 3rd wave of changes coming upon us, I have to assume they are planning to do SOMETHING about the Gordrakk/Destruction menace. (I mean if they don’t the game probably withers on the vine and we all move on to the next game so…)
These Ogors offer something that other factions don’t have a lot of at the moment, consistent big packets of damage from single cards. I’m assuming they have more Ogors yet to reveal since Frostlord is a marquee card in set 2. And you could see decks that have something silly by today’s standards like 9 units as your win condition.
As for the Mournfang Riders, I really don’t like that first corner at 2 damage. Savage Boar Boss is a consideration as is Collar of Domination since both this card and the Thundertusk Beastriders are also beasts. I assume you are also playing Prophet of the Waaagh! at that point as well.
Still,I’m not a big fan of this unit in particular unless some extremely impactful control style cards get unveiled and it looks like they are pushing stacking rather than control options at the moment but there’s a possibility for the future and even lying within the remaining cards to be spoiled.
The next card we are going to take a look at is a spell for death with some flavor to it. Soul Cage.
I really like dormant on units such as Trampling Grunta or Fearsome Crypt Flayer since it can let you get ahead while applying pressure of your own. If you read my article on the Bored to Death deck (http://whaosc.com/2018/10/30/bored-to-death-how-to-be-unhappy-about-beating-destruction/), you will know that I didn’t love Terrify.
That’s going to stand here as well. I like the 2 corner spell, I like the rider of not being able to use a Heroic Act. But I have limited slots in my 30 and it’s a struggle to imagine playing this instead of a different card or even Terrify itself if I desperately need that effect.
The one place I do like this card is in Pitched Battle sideboards. It’s a decent catch-all for a key card from an off-the-wall deck you might be a little soft to. Even a sub-par general answer is better than no answer.
Let’s jump over to the recent Fire Realm blessing to talk about another neutral blessing. Trials of Fire.
First, I want to talk about something that I’m pretty happy about that I’m going to adopt starting…..now. That ‘T’ Shape….the lane across from you and the two adjacent lanes? That was confirmed by Playfusion as being a cone. As someone who has to type thousands of words a day during spoiler season, believe me, any shorter term is much appreciated.
I don’t love this card very much. Might of Gork, this is not. It’s kind of like Might of Gork, if Might allowed your opponent to have a lot more influence of when and if it triggered.
Yes, sometimes I’m sure you are going to remove enemies in a cone(See! This term is great!) with either Sweeping Gore-Grunta or Outrageous Carnage or the holy grail of a fully armed and operational Biovoltaic Morrsarr Guard or even the other recently revealed Fire blessing, Clawing Lava(Lavaclaw Reaches….).
But every other time, when it is stuck in a corner in the late game and does actual nothing, it’s going to be fairly unacceptable. 9 damage is a lot, Might of Gork does 9 damage. This does 3 damage, 6 if you get lucky, and 9 if you get lucky and your opponent is unlucky(or unable to read what cards do).
As it stands, every faction has a better damage option than this at the moment and those options put you into the driver’s seat to decide the when or how instead of your opponent.
Well, I haven’t pissed anyone off today. Let’s change that and talk about the new Order card.
Ready for this? I hate this card. I think it’s close to unplayable and I’m blown away that so many people like it.
So let’s go on a journey, in this story I’m the brash protagonist fighting against injustice in the world, and the Meta is the big bad consuming players dreams. I had just started writing articles and had success grinding up with Chaos, then Gordrakk and closed out the tale with a brutal Death deck sort of from left field. I felt unstoppable.
You better believe I was stopped like a train colliding into the side of a mountain when I picked up the gold cards. I played A LOT of Order decks to find one that I didn’t hate and settled on the C-Prime Zoo list (which you can find here: http://whaosc.com/2018/11/04/dis-order-when-sigmars-light-grows-dim/).
Now, it depends how you want to evaluate things. I certainly tried Vorrus lists and Trashspect(Aspect of the Sea (Also I shamelessly stole that term from SlapChopz) lists. And let’s be clear, Lord of the Host is quite the card, easily one of the best order cards and pretty spectacular….and yet…..
I found myself sliding between 2 and 3 of them fairly often. 2 felt like I had games that I didn’t get its insane value, 3 felt like too many since I would draw them early and look at my hand and see 2 Lord of the Host when all I needed was a unit to use them on since the one in play was just removed.
Why tell you all this? Because I want to ensure that you are aware I know how good a restart can be. I’ve even experimented with this guy Gryph-Charger Pack(You have to put him down before Hurricane Raptor which is really unfortunate).
So why do I dislike Order before Glory so much then? Because I think this game is all about blessings still. Because I strongly dislike cards that aren’t flexible (Stay with me, I’ll explain I promise) Because I think that Lord of the Host is better 90% of the time.
I love that it draws a card. But I hate the restrictions that rotating a champion 1 step back poses. So IF i’m playing a lineup that doesn’t include Vorrus Starstrike, Lord-Aquilor, Lord-Castellant or Celestant-Prime and doesn’t push hard on questing quickly, I can look at this card. Once it’s in my deck, IF my Champion isn’t on it’s first corner, OR hasn’t completed his blessing or isn’t on a last corner that is an ability(Like you know, Volturnos) AND can play ability cards, I can restart a unit and draw a card.
I found there were 4 cards i typically liked to restart: Hurricane Raptor, Disruptive Liberator , Paladin Decimator and Stardrake. Of those 4 and even counting some of the spoilers, none of them were in a deck I couldn’t Lord of the Host.(I played Stardrake in a few Castellant builds….who can play Lord of the Host).
I think this card will see some play since if you have a lineup that REALLY pops but doesn’t have a Stormcast Hero 7 or higher, this card still restarts a unit but your windows are somewhat limited. The only hero that immediately springs to mind is Volturnos builds, but I think those are going to be quick questing variants based on how quickly Lochian Prince quests. So maybe Isharann Soulrender? But you have to fight tooth and nail for every one of his corners as it is so you are almost swearing off ever completing him if you do.
Restarting IS exceptionally powerful. But I think we are all too easily glossing over the cost of losing a quest corner(yes even damage corners)
So let’s head back to the rivers and lakes that I’m used to and take a peek into the two Chaos cards.
Let’s start with a card that offers something that Chaos desperately wants. Tzaangor Skyfires.
So let’s start off with something we can all rally around. This card is unplayable in any of the current Archaon builds, Gift of Change or no(Though I’d probably try 1 out as a toolbox target since he is a Daemon).
This card does none of the things we want into those decks by virtue of being 4 corners and a last stand that gives your opponent health.
That being said 3 damage and 3 cards is an absolutely MASSIVE upside. By now we are all aware of how good Feasting Vargheist is I assume? This card has the POTENTIAL to be better that him. That’s a very bold statement to be making.
So if he’s not good enough in our current builds, we would want a deck that throws big Haymakers and overloads their removal with lots of high-value targets but can also handle the possibility of our opponent gaining 2 life without folding to it because we don’t have the gas left in the tank to finish our opponent off afterwards.
It’s also unfortunate that this card doesn’t work with most of the cards we would think of right away. Valkia the Bloody can’t advance Daemons. Exalted Deathbringer and Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury only affect damage and not the corners of the cards themselves. Even Marakarr Blood-sky only affects damage (also Lord of Change with Summon Daemon he only affects spells) .
But there are some interesting moments here, Blood Throne of Khorne has 3 gain health corners and you control the card giving your opponent life when you last stand. (Frenzied Devotion time baby! No, not really).
Skarr Bloodwrath can keep putting this card back in to your deck as a Gift of Change target(Or if you are desperate I guess)
The one that most interests me is Gaunt Summoner. Just keep replaying it and they will die to your other cards or get buried under your eventual card advantage.
But either way, what this card does is extremely powerful, it just doesn’t fit into our pre-existing decklists but make no mistake, drawing 3 cards is extremely good. Maybe in a deck with some Wizards with some other high-value targets that are back breaking if not removed like Khorne’s Chosen or Chaotic Restoration or Hellfire Blast
Before we get to that point, there needs to be a Chaos deck that cares more about value than speed.
So let’s talk about the last Chaos card….and you are going to think I’m biased since everyone else didn’t like this card. I present to you, Slaughterpriest.
Yeah. This guy. I like him.
“But his corners and his ability is awful!” His ability is certainly not very good, I fully grant that. His corners aren’t impossible because Chaos has so much self-removal but these certainly aren’t fast-quest corners. So why do I like him? Am I simply so enamored with all that -Slaanesh, the Queen of Beauty, may he smile on my efforts!- Chaos allows us to have that I have lost all ability to evaluate? Yes to the first part, No to the second.
Let me tell you about the two parts of this card that matter.
Here’s a sentence that I wrote a week ago when I was talking about Wizards: “The most common Wizard abilities seeing play at the moment is Gift of Change and Blood for the Blood God….both out of Archaon, who plays between 0-2 spells and is a Warrior-Wizard.”
Archaon costs 13, his ability is fine and the +3 health is certainly appreciated, but he costs 13! At the time, all i wanted was a cheaper warrior wizard….now I have one.
I just want to be able to play the good Wizard abilities (Including Gaze of Khorne that card is better than you think it is ….out of a deck that has a person who can use it in the middle part of the lineup) and Units + Warrior abilities.
Just for a few different options, Skarbrand, Slaughterpriest, Aspiring Deathbringer, Chaos Champion is a possible line up that exists now. So is Skarr Bloodwrath, Bloodreaver Chieftain x2 and Slaughterpriest. Can’t decide if you like Archaon or Bloodthirster builds more? Porque No Los Dos? Bloodthirster/Slaughterpriest/2x Chaos Champion is available too. And Chaos Champion corners are a little less onerous when you can gift of change to get a Transmogrifying Flamer and then Gaze of Khorne when you are done.
Being able to play Bloodfury Wrathmonger and Gift of Change and Furious Strike in the same lane is so good.
It’s time to make a confession to you all as well. I write these reviews the day after they go up so I can collect my thoughts into notes and also because they take a fair amount of time to write, so I am aware of today’s spoilers when I write yesterday’s review.
That’s what prompted my opening section about evaluating cards. What would take to consider playing Skarbrand and the ‘unplayable’ Slaughterpriest in the same lineup….If only there was a spell that we could play abilities over and boosted Skarbrand’s ability damage anymore (It’s Inferno Blades, that’s the one….I’ll be reviewing it tomorrow)
This review ended up being a little longer than my previous ones due to the beginning section. But I know that I came to some different conclusions than some of you so let’s battle about it and let me know what you think!
You can find me in game as DMG Twylite, in the discord as [Heraldor]DMG Twylite, and on Facebook as Kevin Lambert.
Until next time(Tomorrow, Next time is tomorrow), I’ll see you all on the battlefield.