June 11, 2014 by evilweevil666
Written by evilweevil666 with contributions from Turkis and Hectares.
Palladium Simulacrum is one of a just a handful of creatures that can cover multiple lanes and also stand alone. While SolForge has a variety of lane filling cards such as Ether Hounds, Brighttusk Sower, and Branchweaver Druid, they are largely unplayable without the synergy provided by other cards like Tarsus Deathweaver or Spring Dryad. Simulacrum, while still able to take advantage of such synergies, has a growth curve that allows it to stand on its own like Echowisp and Esperian Scarab. Compared to these cards, however, Palladium Simulacrum avoids pitfalls such as requiring two adjacent empty lanes or specific faction combinations.
This is not to say that Palladium Simulacrum does not have its own limitations. Most obviously, at level 1 (L1) it should only be placed in the center lane. However, at L2 and L3 Simulacrum turns its main limitation into a potential engine to be exploited. The impressive power of the Palladium Simulacrum is hidden behind subtle wording of the card – the text “from your hand” is absent. This means that with mobility the Simulacrum can move in and out of the center lane, repeatedly creating a second creature.
Mobility also mitigates the hindrance of the Simulacrum’s restrictions. Even if the middle lane is not available, the card can be placed in a different lane and slide over when it becomes free. Generating the copy in a random lane may also seem to be a problem on par with Echowisp’s adjacent lane restriction, but mobility can often nullify this. On an empty board, if you place an L2 Simulacrum in the center lane, there is a 50% chance the copy will be in a position to immediately move into the center next turn. And of course, at L3 Palladium Simulacrum can reach the center from anywhere on the field.
An important aspect to look at in evaluating any creature’s potential is the resistance to common removal options. In the case of a multi-lane creature, this often comes down to vulnerability to Epidemic, as this is the most commonly seen multi-lane removal spell in SolForge. As with Echowisp and Esperian Scarab, the Palladium Simulacrum is vulnerable to an on-level Epidemic at player level 1 (PL1) and PL2. However, unlike these cards, the Simulacrum outstrips Epidemic at PL3. This facet greatly enhances its utility in the late-game. If an opponent is not able to remove both Simulacra you will likely deal significant damage and generate a new copy. In addition, your opponent will often be tempted to level Epidemic as it deals with Simulacrum so efficiently. By doing so your opponent will be stuck prioritizing a card that will do very little in PL3.
A multi-lane, mobile, Alloyin threat can pair with any faction. The Alloyin/Nekrium list below takes full advantage of the not-played-from-hand aspect of the Simulacrum proc and is just one of many ways to build around the card. Other considerations include Uterra grow-wide, Tempys mobility, other Alloyin/Nekrium brews, and even Mono Alloyin deck control.
The above deck is a take on a variant of NA Tarsus that has been seen in constructed queues since the addition of Aetherforge Oracle in Set 2.1. Aetherforge Oracle provides a spell leveling engine that becomes quite powerful when combined with Varna’s Pact and Shallow Grave, with the upside of multiple triggers when brought back with Varna’s Pact.
Palladium Simulacrum slots into this deck due to its synergy with many of the core cards. Varna’s Pact helps protect an early Simulacrum play against Epidemic or other removal. This synergy creates a more aggressive shell for the AN Tarsus decks that have been run in the queue recently. Aggressive play makes Varna’s Pact, Shallow Grave, and Tarsus stronger while still providing a threat in the Simulacrum that is strong in the absence of all three.