August 30, 2014 by Guest Author
[GUEST POST] Coxatrice: Out of all the cards from Secrets of Solis so far, one has made me more excited than all the rest; Frostfang Maiden. In this article we have a look at Maiden, the Mobility keyword, a proposed decklist and a few bits of analysis.
About Coxatrice: Games enthusiast from the Land Down Under with a focused interest in competitive TCGs. Make sure to stop by his stream at twitch.tv/coxatrice for some constructed and draft SolForge with commentary. He will be hosting a special stream with the decklist below at 5:00pm Pacific on Sunday, Aug 31.
For the Love of Mobility
SolForgers, I’m excited, Secrets of Solis is out and it’s absolutely ballistic fun!
What card from SoS makes you most excited? Sound off in the comments, but for me the answer is Frostfang Maiden! What makes this card great? Not only is she a Human who’s riding an angry feline, a Tempys card with Mobility, a card with excellent art AND a creature with solid stats, but she’s also got an absolutely sweet effect. Lets have a look:
Ah! Frostfang Maiden! Lets read that ability again: “When a creature you control moves into a lane, that creature deals X damage to another creature in that lane” You mean we can get extra value for just moving our creatures?! It’s like Fervent Assault, but for everyone!
Giving Yourself Options
I suppose now is the time for me to mention that I love Mobility right? Lets talk about that for a second; why is Mobility so damn good?
I think it boils down to one thing. Options.
No other ability does quite what Mobility does, you don’t want to trade that creature? Just move it! Want to trade your damaged creature up? Just move it! Need to get that extra piece of damage in to win? JUST MOVE IT!
Mobility gives you unparalleled freedom when you’re in the actual game, not just when you’re deckbuilding. Freedom = options and as we all know, in card games, options are almost always a good thing. It’s even apt to compare Mobility in SolForge to drawing cards, by itself it’s useful, because it gives you more options, but not that amazing because it doesn’t actually give you a lasting advantage. Kind of like mobility, it’s sweet when you can get that extra value from it, but it’s not that busted all by itself.
But then, as we all know, all it took was Ironmind Acolyte’s release and suddenly drawing cards became utterly bonkers. When the gnome was released it felt like Ghox got back up off the bench, dusted himself off, shook your hand and then suddenly your opponents started to flip tables. That’s kind of how I feel about Frostfang Maiden right now.
Now, plenty of cards in SolForge have made use of the Mobility keyword in the past, notables include Brightsteel Gargoyle and Everflame Phoenix as just beefy creatures and then more recently Byzerak Frostmaiden and Cindersmoke Wyvern for added value. And that’s just a taste, the list of “good” cards with Mobility is long, and the list of cards which synergize with mobility is also long. What with Emberwind Evoker and even Storm Bringer or Nethershriek, I for one am looking forward to moving around and watching my opponents creatures melt.
No article which raves about a new card is complete without a proposed decklist, below you’ll see my attempt at breaking the format with Mobility:
3 Byzerak Frostmaiden
3 Cindersmoke Wyvern
3 Everflame Phoenix
3 Frostfang Maiden
3 Frostmane Dragon
3 Grimgaunt Predator
2 Emberwind Evoker
2 Windcaller Shaman
3 Aerial Surge
2 Fervent Assault
Oh, and did I forget to mention that there’s another card from Secrets of Solis which we’re going to be playing? Frostmane Dragon fits into this deck beautifully! It’s already a Mobility creature and with the ability to duplicate itself, why not?
Planning Your Moves
So, there’s some interesting choices here, lets have a look. First, you might be thinking; why Nethershriek? Well, as sad as it makes me to admit it, we won’t always have a Frostfang Maiden in play, at that time, we’ll want some other way of moving our creatures for insane value. Enter Nethershriek. This guy is obviously RNG-tastic but if you can somehow control which lane he enters, he’s absurd value. How convenient! Our deck has lots of creatures which can move around, changing the odds of getting a “hit” on our Nethershriek. And what about that Frostmane Dragon guy, seems to me like he fills up multiple lanes with those eggs of his, the triggers even happen in our turn and in a lane of our choice!
Let’s take a moment to consider some of the other selections:
Windcaller Shaman is the hard-level gated creature which moves our creatures for us, providing extra synergy with the Maiden/Wyvern/Assault effects and also our Nethershriek. As well as allowing us to trigger our Mobility effects twice in the same turn with the one creature.
Grimgaunt Predator is sure to get buffed and gain tons of sweet value by killing opposing creatures when he moves into the lane.
Cindersmoke Wyvern just seems obvious as the chicken will be able to deal six damage when it moves into a new lane, conveniently the number which ensures Ghox/Drix are squished.
Aerial Surge and Fervent Assault make a certain amount of sense at the outset because they obviously gain mobility but then you might think, “Huh? Almost all the creatures in that deck already have mobility.” Although that’s true, spells which give creatures mobility stack. Which means that if I have a Grimgaunt Predator and then L1 Aerial Surge him, for that turn the GGP will have Mobility two. More useful for sure at early player levels and cast on Nethershriek/Emberwind Evoker/Windcaller Shaman but, if moving our creatures is our removal these spells are essentially removal!
Road to Ruin
In the spirit of being fair though I should take pains to mention the things which could go wrong:
TIMING The deck does rely on a number of interactions that need multiple creatures in play on our side, in the removal-heavy metagame which exists at the moment a deck like this might not fly (pardon the pun). As wise card gamers say, It doesn’t matter how good the deck is in a void, if it isn’t able to compete in the current metagame, the deck will not make it. There are plenty of good articles about building a deck for the metagame and I should point out that this doesn’t follow any of the rules.
HATE Speaking about reasons this deck might not fly, did anyone see Tangle? (Make sure to check out Konan’s Tangle preview article.) The Set 3 hate card looks like unconditional removal against this deck and counters like that might force us Mobility lovers to change or go bust.
In that vein, the most likely changes we’re going to have to introduce to this list if it doesn’t end up being immediately competitive is to remove some of the more “combo” centric cards like the Mobility Spells and Windcaller Shaman, and we’ll likely need to replace them with some “reliable” threats like Ebonskull knight or perhaps some removal like Dreadbolt or Epidemic. The matchup should be pretty good against the Mono Alloyin Ghox/Drix decks and probably Plants as they don’t tend to play direct removal which will disrupt our synergies but actually pretty poor against NT removal and AT Ghox/Gnome and perhaps even Yetis.
Now that Secrets of Solis is released we have a brand new metagame with brand new decks which will move to the front of the game, it’s going to be fun to see which Constructed decks make it and which ones sink. And who knows, this shell might just end up being the best new thing, just like Ghox/Drix/Gnome when it took the Worlds Qualifier by storm!
Coming Soon! FrostfangMaiden.deck VS Other Things Probably
FrostfangMaiden.deck will be streamed live on twitch.tv/coxatrice at 5:00pm Pacific on Sunday, Aug 31. Watch me break the format or crash and burn in a high speed tiger-riding blaze of glory!
If you want to share your favourite card from Secrets of Solis sound off in the comments!
Ed. note: Thanks to Coxatrice for sharing this article.