May 13, 2014 by Hectares
This card review covers the initial impressions of a bunch of Socks on all the cards in the 2.1 Add-On and is meant as a conversation starter and springboard for your own deck considerations. If you disagree with anything said or have something else to add let us know in the comment box at the bottom of the page.
evilweevil666: You have to be dedicated to a late game strategy running things like Energy Surge and can’t use it to level threats like Scorchmane Dragon. The body is weak at level 3 where it can be taken out by level 1s.
RiceBucket: Given the weak body, best not to play on open lanes but as a blocker.
Hectares: Strengths: Helps level removal, turns on free spells, no level gate, above-curve attack, bad Xrath’s Will target on-level. Weaknesses: dead to on-level Epidemic/Magma Hound, trades with most half-cards such as Matrix Warden and Ether Hounds.
oscarn: The low health will prevent this from seeing constructed play. Drawvatar decks are slow but this will make them a bit more consistent.
Bobby: Not a top-tier constructed playable card. Good in AT spell-heavy decks.
evilweevil666: The armor is insignificant making this a Heavy Artillery limited to Alloyin targets. The only time the armor does much is if you’re suiting up a creature in an empty lane to push through damage and make it even harder to deal with, but Warmonger Mod does this significantly better.
Hectares: Strengths: Alloyin spells combo nicely with faction cards like Aetherforge Oracle and Apocrymancer. Anything that gives armor goes up in value thanks to Aegis Knight. Weaknesses: faction restriction limits your flexibility on the field so this is significantly better in mono-faction decks.
Bobby: Does too little in constructed. OK spell in draft.
Hectares: This could be used as a situational utility card to fix trades and keep your opponent from getting greedy with blocks.
RiceBucket: It helps against Xrath’s Will allowing you to play some 3 power bodies with more certainty.
Bobby: Fieldmarshall is a strong pick in draft and has some potential in AU lane filling decks, but it’s no Matrix Warden.
evilweevil666: This card has the potential for massive swings and will surely do so in draft. However, it just doesn’t consistently do enough to make it a constructed threat. It’s only good when you’re already ahead and is worse than cards like Battle Techtician or Ferocious Roar.
evilweevil666: Strengthening your center lane can be very good for Alloyin but defenders need high value to be playable in a format with yetis everywhere. War Merchant is too fragile with not enough payoff.
Hectares: This is a low-priority threat so you can expect one or more activations unless facing yetis. Unfortunately this paints a bulls-eye on your center lane, telegraphs your goals, and dies to most cheap removal.
Bobby: An activate ability that doesn’t do much, weak stats… this is unplayable in constructed even without considering yetis. Not sure I would pick this in draft either.
oscarn: This card is a Magma Hound with potential to decide the game in combination with Brightsteel Sentinel. Potentially the best card in the Add-on.
Bobby: Aegis Knight is a strong addition to AU bots especially against yetis where it gives another use for Brightsteel Sentinel when Gargoyles are shut down.
Hectares: Brings higher value to armor throughout a deck and has a good body considering the strength of its ability.
evilweevil666: Aegis Knight has the potential to create some of the most powerful plays possible with cards like Nexus Techtician and Brightsteel Sentinel. Even when you don’t have those blowouts, it can still have an immediate impact on the board when underleveled. There isn’t enough armor support to have a deck dedicated to this guy, but he is able to do a lot of the same work as Gemhide Basher killing things like Phoenix ashes while also having high potential upside.
evilweevil666: Regen is only served well on cards that are big enough to survive a hit. However, most creatures that get buffed will still be able to be taken out with relative ease.
RiceBucket: Not sure if there’s a Nekrium creature I’d really want to use this spell on aside from Grimgaunts.
Bobby: Clearly a good spell in draft, but not sure in constructed since Spitemages are likely to be around…
oscarn: This could do well in a Zombie deck. Buff Xrath and you’ve got a creature which doesn’t die in combat during the whole player level and gives your board regeneration as well.
Hectares: Highly situational card. At its best it pushes a growing threat out of range for what your opponent’s deck can deal with. Most of the time it’s going to put you behind on board and in leveled threats.
evilweevil666: This creature is simply not big enough for its regen to matter. Its creature type has no tribal support. Had this been an abomination it might see some play.
Hectares: This is a fine vanilla creature with upside as a blocker.
RiceBucket: I could see it being useful / annoying in draft…
Bobby: A strong pick in draft, probably not constructed worthy.
RiceBucket: Not sure I’d want to have this card take up a slot as one of five cards in my hand. Could be nice with a growing creature or in draft though…
evilweevil666: Although free at levels 2 and 3 is enticing, it is always important to remember that you have still sacrificed leveling a different card in order to level it. Even though it’s free, the impact is still so low that I’d rather play almost anything else.
Hectares: Find a way to play/discard the level 1 for free and enjoy the free regen for the rest of the game. Probably playable in the right constructed deck and definitely can get value in draft.
Bobby: I’ll pass, both in draft and constructed.
evilweevil666: The immediate comparison for Spitesower Acolyte is Synapsis Oracle. Both cards have low attack with high health and an activated ability. However, Synapsis Oracle can run away with games, whereas the Acolyte is really only creating incremental value. Its stats also scale much worse than Oracle’s, meaning that this guy is simply too weak to ever do enough.
Hectares: The permanent debuff makes this a high priority target. Needs to be played with an attack buff and/or regen.
RiceBucket: Attack of 3 and 4 at level 2/3 is really low. Even with attack buffs, it will be extremely easy Xrath’s Will target…
Oscarn: I really don’t like this card, its effects when activated are even smaller than a Witherfrost Succubus, and the stats are just slightly better.
Bobby: It’s an okay card for fun decks (WWP, regen, debuff, zombie) or maybe draft; I can’t see it played in constructed though.
evilweevil666: Now this is an exciting card! My initial reaction was that this card would be bad like many other cards that require dealing damage to your opponent. Vyric has a solid body at every level. He is able to survive combat and continue the pressure. His ability is also not level-gated and I have already heard stories of taking out level 3 threats with a level 2 Vyric. That said, this is not a format defining card. Vyric doesn’t guarantee value, unlike Zimus for example, meaning that he will still often be just a decent body.
Hectares: His level 2 and 3 demand immediate answers and give your removal more value. Giving Vyric breakthrough can swing the board. He is a bit weak to grow-wide decks and is a free Xrath’s Will target at level 1. Vyric at his best is board control with a pressure twist and playing this on-level early in PL2/3 can win the game outright.
RiceBucket: This plays a lot nicer than Woebringer… maybe works well with Korok?
oscarn: The level 1 and 2 are too weak for this card being a force in constructed. It’s a fun card to play with, but you won’t see this one making Top 8 in a FWIQ tournament.
Bobby: Vyric just doesn’t do enough… it’s a weak level 1 in the current meta for a card that can get easily shut down at high player levels. You can try to build around it (Fervent assault, Windcaller Shaman, Doomwing) but it feels like the amount of work you have to put to have him trigger is just not worth it. The real value of Vyric is that you have to block him, exposing yourself to GGD, combat tricks and other shenanigans.
evilweevil666: This is the most exciting of the faction pump spells. Unlike most, this spell scales incredibly well, the biggest challenge is going to be finding times where you want to play the level 1. In addition, breakthrough is often used to deal a finishing blow, so the huge level 3 may not see play. If there is a Uterra beatdown deck I expect this to play a role, but it doesn’t slide into every Uterra deck like roar does.
Hectares: The level 3 buff is the size of a full creature. Use this to reverse a trade and deal a bunch of damage afterward. Find a way to level this for free in constructed and start piling on the pressure with its level 2 and 3. In draft cast the level one with a leveled Lifeshaper on board for big value.
Bobby: A great closure card for mono Uterra Arboris decks.
evilweevil666: Spiritbloom Dryad seems like it was designed expressly with the current UN Arboris decks in mind. Dryad is a huge boost to those decks, as they no longer have to run Glowstride stag, but instead can get life triggers out of a card with a solid level 1 body. The ability is symmetrical, but 4 life does very little for a random opponent, whereas putting yourself over 100 can be huge when you’re playing Arboris. One of the popular misconceptions about the Arboris deck is that it plays a controlling role. This is not true, as it gets pretty difficult to stay above 100 life over a long period of time. Instead, the deck is best when putting pressure on your opponent so that he or she cannot afford to place creatures in empty lanes. Having a 6/7 that helps make Arboris an 8/9 greatly furthers that goal.
Hectares: Strong level 1 to establish tempo, decent underdrop if you’re not trying to burn your opponent out. Risky play in a lifegain mirror or against a stall deck.
oscarn: This card makes Arboris decks more competitive. I don’t like to play against those lifegain decks, so I personally don’t like this card.
Bobby: Aggressive mono Uterra and UN Arboris decks are now quite competitive. Spiritbloom could also be good as an underdrop in a stall deck while waiting for your Zimus to kick in.
Hectares: Archer makes mobility more risky across the board. There is great utility value being able to kill a mobile creature instantly or lock it in a lane that gives you an advantage.
evilweevil666: Like Justicar, Chistlehearth Archer is a card that will be around forever. Its popularity will vary based on the metagame, but any time that mobility is a threat this card will do major work. The fact that there will always be some standard cards with mobility outside of dedicated mobility decks (e.g. Gargoyle, GGP) means that the Archer occasionally gives value outside of those specific matchups.
oscarn: How many competitive decks don’t play one of these: Gargoyle, Phoenix, Grimgaunt Predator, Alloyin Strategist, Cercee, Scorchmane Dragon? This can go in any Uterra deck as a 2-of.
Bobby: A great 2-3 of in constructed, especially in an Arboris deck where you want to prevent damage from a pesky Phoenix/GGP/Gargoyle to get Arboris online.
evilweevil666: This is a card that can grow out of control when played with cards like Ferocious Roar, Twinstrength, and Savage Oath to get double value from pump. However, playing too many spells can lead to awkward hands that do nothing and making one big creature tends to be easily thwarted by removal. There’s a reason Emberwind Evoker is much better than Windborn Hellion.
Hectares: Because of its low leveling priority this probably has a home in a deck with some free spells, some Uterra beats, and some Uterra pump. Has some extra potential with a leveled Lifeshaper on board.
oscarn: At first sight I was excited, but after seeing it only gets buffed by Uterra spells I’m disappointed. It should get buffed by all Uterra cards or also by non-Uterra spells to make this card interesting.
Bobby: Not good in constructed, not so great in draft. One trigger basically gives you a vanilla creature… I’ll pass.
evilweevil666: Nuada and Tarsus love this card as it ends up providing significantly more than just an 8/8 body, which is already big enough. Opening with Nuada + Eidelon or Tarsus + Eidelon is a force to be reckoned with. Another way this card can be used is in aggressive decks that hope to lock out the game in PL1. In the past we’ve seen UT decks with cards like Storm Caller and Shardplate Mutant, and this guy should fit right in.
Hectares: Not necessary to level to get value from its effect and the level 2 and 3 stats can put behind if you don’t control the board. Useful as underdrop in PL2 or 3 to combo with a Tarsus or Nuada or for big pressure turn 1 in an animals deck.
oscarn: I see this card being played in somewhat aggressive Uterra decks as this cards works with other faction staples such as WWP and Ferocious Roar. For other strategies like Tarsus/Nuada this card has the same problem as Everflame Mystic (discussed below), you’ve got to have too much going on for the card to work properly.
Bobby: Certainly powerful in UN Tarsus/Nuada and mono Uterra beatdown. Quite constructed worthy.
evilweevil666: Tremorcharge is the only pump spell that feels like it may immediately fit into an existing archetype. Mobility variants have been on the rise with the creation of Emberwind Evoker and the ability to give your own Evoker mobility can be hugely valuable. That said, Tremorcharge only plays a niche role as it can be very dangerous to waste a play buffing your creature only for it to be immediately destroyed.
Hectares: Probably not too strong in constructed but there are tons of gimmicky uses with other Tempys cards like Cinderfist Brawler, Kas, and Flameblade Champion. Or… Binben? Tremorcharge feels like a win-more card in constructed, but much more playable in draft where it can put the final bit of damage on as an underleveled play.
oscarn: Tremorcharge could fit perfectly in the NT/AT mobility deck. Almost every creature in the deck already has mobility so it’s best for targeting Emberwind Evoker or Storm Bringer. Not sure if the card is worth including, but it’s definitely worth a try.
Bobby: Could be good in draft.
evilweevil666: This card has some of the most bizarre scaling we’ve seen. Level 1 is his best level and 6/7 is not good enough in a world of Ebonskull Knight, Phoenix, and Scatterspore Eidelon to warrant the terrible level 2 and average level 3.
Hectares: Solid underdrop in draft, probably won’t see constructed play without some tribal assistance.
Bobby: Good pick in draft. Gotta love the scaling.
evilweevil666: Mobility with defender is one of the most irritating combinations; anyone who has played against the AT defenders deck in draft can attest to that. Currently this guy is more of a nuisance than a threat, but with enough support for defender archetypes he could be a star.
Hectares: Defenders with mobility are great board stabilizers and Avalanche Guardian combos well with Emberwind Evoker. It makes for an interesting play in PL1 if your opponent isn’t running Glacial Crush or Xrath’s Will. This card has good potential in the right deck.
Bobby: A good fit for AT defender in draft.
Bobby: An interesting option for NT mobility… can move a Doomwing, Vyric Ebonskull, or Emberwind Evoker. Good stats and no level gate make it a good card to consider over Windcaller Shaman.
evilweevil666: Borean Mystic will shine when you can stick it on the board and then play Doomwing to move it right away, but too often it will require a multi-turn setup.
Hectares: Solid addition to Emberwind Evoker mobility decks, great flexibility in draft.
oscarn: In NT mobility Doomwing makes a good Borean Mystic target. In AT mobility I would rather have an Ionic Warcharger than this card.
Hectares: This is a must block. No faction/level gates and combos nicely with Korok. The L3 stats are lacking but this looks like an archetype enabling card. Aggro Burn. Prevent your opponent from building any kind of board and run this out in an open lane with Korok, Flamestoke, or Lightning Brand.
oscarn: Cards that need too much going on are generally weaker than cards that don’t.
evilweevil666: I don’t see it having an impact. Like Alpha’s Flameblade Champion, Everflame Mystic’s body is too small. You can only play it when already ahead and it encourages packing your deck with spells.
Bobby: A fantastic card to keep Binben and Kas company while the other cards go out and play.