The Petting Zoo Spoilers – Beasts of War – Spoiler Review

Hello All, It’s ya boi!!!!(If i ever actually start an article, it’s time to kill me)

Ahem.

Good Evening all, It’s your guide to the spoiler season! I’m DMG Twylite and today’s reviews are from Friday as Zerris will be talking to you about the East Coast Rumble Spoilers.

But we have a job to do reader, and we must forge ahead and bravely at that. So bring out your dead and let’s take a look at our first card, Balefire Corpse Cart.

Further cementing Death as the “Control” faction, we have this card. Being both a risen and a vehicle is kind of neat. And I understand why it can’t get other vehicles, otherwise you could endlessly cycle these and Unhallowed Mortis Engine for the damage win in what would otherwise be a empty deck check style deck.

Overall though, I’m not a big fan. We tend to have different focuses in midrange or aggressive decks and the 3 damage that this card will do won’t matter overly much outside of possibly triggering a damage quest corner. Shuffling 3 cards back isn’t an insignificant number comparatively but I only generally like re-shuffle effects as either part of our win condition to empty their deck or as a rider on cards like Devour. Compare this card to Call of the Grave where both effects advance the plan of mitigating damage while reshuffling and triggering the corners we are more likely to want in Gain Life or Ability.

I could see this as a possible 1 of in Pitched Battle in the Death control mirror match to eventually gain the edge in the reshuffle battle(Even just imagining this mirror match fills me with dread). But overall I think it’s attempting to go in 2 different directions on the card and ending worse than our other options.

Next up is a card with some art that I think is stellar. Price to Pay.

It’s a good thing the art is pretty because this card has 1 hoop too many for me to want to jump through to include AND that’s before we get to the whole “Wizard Ability” problem.
So If I’ve removed a card, I can play this to search my deck for a spell? The issue with this is the lack of additional actions with Chaos as a whole. Spend 1 action to remove with a Death for Death, Blood Hunt, Slashing Screamer(No Charging Bloodcrusher is not a reasonable card to include). Or I’m hoping to get lucky with a flip of Outrageous Carnage or Clawing Lava(Lavaclaw Reaches).
Searching your deck for a card is an undeniably powerful effect as evidenced by Gift of Change or Grot Ambush. But those cards also put the card directly into play giving you your action for playing the ability back. Price to Pay not doing the same puts us too far behind to adequately use. Alternatively if we didn’t have the “need to remove a card” clause it might see some play since we could search for some key toolbox spells such as Summon Daemon, Mystic Shield, Flow of Chaos(Yeah, really. This card is a sweet pitched battle sideboard card).
In the end, <Puts Sunglasses on>, this card is just too high a price to pay <YEEAAAHHHH!>

Let’s keep on moving on and head over to the Chaos’s archenemy to see how they handle Wizard Abilities. Let’s take a look at Split Casting.

This card is pretty bizarre in what it does as it’s sort of a reflection of Price to Pay of sorts in that it’s buried by it’s restrictions even if it might not seem that way at first.
Those restrictions become pretty obvious when you start to construct the scenarios where this card could be used to solid effect. IF I have 2 Wizards in my lineup AND I have a spell in play AND my other Wizard is disengaged AND that Wizard is within two lanes, THEN I can get my action back and move the spell over.
That’s an extremely narrow effect that I am struggling to imagine wanting in my deck. The list of positional spells I want to move is likewise pretty narrow. Inspired Glory, Searing Light, Surge of Justice and Possibly the 2 Prevention from Righteousness. And this is further hampered by the fact that with 2 Wizards in your deck you likely need more spells to trigger corners and this card is ALWAYS worse than the spell you want to move since it can’t trigger those corners by itself like the spell can.
It is worth mentioning that Combo decks become increasingly likely as we see these “Replace themselves” actions whether by drawing a card or giving us an additional action since they allow us to move through our deck significantly faster, but I don’t think any combo decks of that nature are on the horizon for a while.
Both these Wizard Abilities are too niche to really see a lot of play in the current environment.
Let’s move from a card that’s very narrow to one that’s very flexible. Staunch Evocator

Now THIS is a card. It already gives us options in being able to be played on Wizards.

This card is very similar to Gryph-Charger Pack and yet I think it’s the better card despite the pack restarting and this only rotating backward one step. For two effects to be so closely related to each other and yet functionally play so differently is pretty interesting to me.
Restarting tends to be an effect you want on your 3 and 4 corner units to keep generating value from your longer lasting units. These are going to be things like Paladin Decimator, Disruptive Liberator, and the recently spoiled Guided Vanguard Hunters or Thundering Concussor. I didn’t mention Celestial Prosecutor because it’s going to share double enrollment in both camps.

Rotating 1 step backwards is something we want more in the cards that have their big final damage corners possibly aided by Knight-Heraldor. These are cards like Skybolt Judicator, Longstrike Raptor, and Stormstrike Fulminator.

The difference between Gryph-Charger Pack and the staunch Evocator all boils down to that Stormcast Tag rather than the Beast Tag. The champions we want to be playing with all have Stormcast Unit as opposed to simply unit as one of their quest corners. Things like Protector-Prime, Knight-Heraldor, Knight-Azyros, Even Aventis. Couple this with the fact that Order Wizards are likely to be incentivized to take a middle lane due to spells like Stand Fast, Surge of Justice and Abyssal Darkness and the ability to play a card that effects adjacent units is where we want to be comparative to the Pack.

Just as a reminder still, You will have needed to play this card the turn before you play Hurricane Raptor if you want to restart them since you can’t use the Heroic Act the same turn you play the card.

Staying on the lots of Units plan, there’s yet ANOTHER card that has to do with stacking units out of the Destruction faction. I present to you the interestingly name Surround ‘em.

It looks like the theme of the non-Ogor Destruction card is pretty well established for us at the moment and it’s all about the stacking cards. At some point, I’ll feel like a broken record when I keep preaching flexibility, but for the moment the sermon is going to stay on the rails.

If a card has multiple requirements that need to be filled before it can played, it needs to be exceptionally powerful to warrant its inclusion in your deck. And this card comes close enough that it might actually be worth the stretch…..but I have my doubts. Orruk Scrappers, Brute Smashas, and Orruk Shield Bashers are the Orruk stacking units currently seeing play. Of those 3, the only one I’d really be happy about deploying with any support are the smashas….but they are also the ones I least want at the top of my stack.
Because when you really start to look into the stacking units the problem with too many cards reliant on them becomes pretty clear, if you are playing cards that need stacks/support and cards that interact with them, your deck is half as strong when you draw them in the inverse order. (When you draw stacking cards and you want cards that interact with stacks, or when you draw cards that interact with stacks but need stacking cards).

A lot of the most powerful stacking cards such as Cowardly Grots or Show-Off Grots, also need to on the top of stacks to be powerful, so putting them without their support seems kind of weak to justify this inclusion.

As a quick aside, I’m not even sure if you can Surround ‘Em on a Crowded Wolf Chariot but even if you can, we are unlikely to be playing very many of them and we still come across the problem that drawing the chariot or the surround ‘em when we don’t have stacks are essentially dead draws. And while Destruction draws more cards than the other factions(on average, calm down Death players), anyone who has lost a game with a hand of Rallying Crys and Grot Ambushes knows how brutal dead draws can be to even Destruction.

HOWEVER, there is one card that combos with this so well it could very well justify its inclusion into our lists in the form of Bossy Orruk. Surround em to move the Bossy Orruk and re-search/re-deploy a supporting grot can fill all of our lanes extremely quickly and we can even deploy the stackable onto the stack we just left(It’s kind of like playing Checkers….King me?)
This one combo really appeals to me since 1 or 2 Surround ‘Em could have an outsized impact for the cost of including them.

Moving from lots of little units, to giant monsters, let’s take a look at the Bile Bomber, Flame-Belching Firebelly.

I’ve been hoping that the cards to support this Controlling Ogor archetype that exists in my head are within the set and this Ogor is one more piece of that puzzle.
He is a new champion and before we look at anything else we want to evaluate their corners…..and meh. Completable but not great. Damage corners without some way to trigger them without using a card always feel kind of mediocre. Ogor and Spells are kind of generic par for the not-quick course and following it up with ability. Just all around average stuff, neither fast but can still be completed in the course of a longer game which is the kind of games we are aim for in this fictional archetype anyway.
The reason this card intrigues me isn’t actually the Warrior-Wizard part, though I do love the value possible out of a War Chant or a Reckless Inspiration. It’s this general deckbuilding idea that has held true in other games and I believe it can hold true here as well.
Even a very controlling deck eventually has to actually win the game, but most often the cards that win you the game at the end when you’ve established control over the game, can actually LOSE you the game when you draw them early. A card like this Flamebelly or the previously revealed Thundertusk Beastriders lets you jam-pack your deck with wall-to-wall(sleeve-to-sleeve?) answers to opposing threats and then turn those same cards INTO your win condition later. It mitigates your chance to draw a threat when you need an answer instead.
I’m still not 100% sure if the necessary cards for such a build will be coming along for the ride in this set but I certainly hope so because it would really give destruction a chance to flex a new playstyle in the upcoming meta.

Finally we have two more Realm specific cards, both of them spells and they are pretty interesting. Let’s start off with the new Life spell, Mirrorpool(Sung to the tune of Wonderwall)

This card has some cool things going on with it. I like that it can swap champions other than the one who has the mirrorpool. I also really like that the champions don’t need to be disengaged. The 4 damage is almost never why you are playing this card however.

This card is to get extra value out of your positional requirements. The first card that obviously comes to mind when I hear the words spell and movement is, of course, Aspect of the Sea. But it also has value in much the same way Beat Back does to put Vampires like Bloody Vampire Queen or Neferata, Mortarch of Blood or Even Lady O or Keldrek, The Knight of Shrouds. Putting The Royal Hunt exactly where you want it to isn’t terrible by any stretch.

Order can also get value outside of just Trashspect by moving Lord-Castellant or Protector-Prime around. It also helps ensure that a possible God-King’s Aspect is exactly where it needs to be.

So is that good enough? In Death, very possibly. Vampires being where they want to be to get the maximum value from their Champion abilities or even just a Hungering Vampire Lord to be able to use a Soul Feast seems solid for them. Their binary state cards (Only playable by a Vampire Wizard/Wizard-Warrior) means their cards have a really high ceiling and low floor to them. After all, Soul Feast either eats one of their cards and gives you 6 health or you can’t play it at all because of lane/unit requirements.

Aspect of the Sea also might want this card to complement Inspired Glory as another clunky cornered spell to permanently shut a lane down and being able to move around to snipe a newly played unit seems pretty useful.

This card seems like it will perform suitably when it’s the effect you want and I think there might be a build or two that probably wants this enough.

The dichotomy between the two realms keeps becoming more and more clear by the day. Next up we have the Fire realm spell Inferno Blades

So this card does some pretty sweet things. Being able to use abilities while controlling the spell is good stuff, and increasing all 3 lanes. I spoke in my last review about how I was of the opinion that Chaos just wanted a warrior-wizard who didn’t cost 13 points. Because now you can pair this card with Skarbrand. Likewise, Abhorrent Ghoul King and his friends have to be a big fan of this card. This could even mark the return of the double Ghoul King Variants.

It even has 3 corners. Oh and Aventis’ last two corners are Fire Spell + Ability so using his heroic act to get this and then Piercing Shot you for 5?

Mostly, I have to imagine that this will be confined to Death and Chaos since they are the 2 factions already set up to blast people with ability damage from hand. Frightful StrikeCursed Strike vs. Daemonic FuryFurious Strike and Scorn of Sorcery, add Opportunity Strike and Brutal Smash…..and if you are feeling especially spicy, Scatter the Forces.

I don’t know if this card is going to upend the world, but I think that it’s certainly worth keeping an eye on .

I’m running a little behind on the articles still but we’ll get through them, I promise! I’d love to hear your feedback.

You can find me in game as DMG Twylite, in Discord as [Heraldor]DMG Twylite and on Facebook as Kevin Lambert.

Thanks for Reading and just in case you forgot, I’ll see you on the battlefield.

 

#Biscuits&GravyTrain

Author: twylite

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