August 18, 2014 by KonanTheBarbarian
Today I proudly present a spoiler from the upcoming Secrets of Solis:
So far SBE has done a great job in creating a diverse metagame by introducing counters to certain archetypes – e.g. Glacial Crush keeps defenders in check (Nuada, Faith’s Flourish and Brightsteel Gargoyle) and Xrath’s Will counters archetypes with lots of low attack creatures (e.g. Yetis) and so on. By doing this there wasn’t a single very dominant archetype, unlike in Alpha (Set 1), because the best deck in the meta wasn’t overall “the” best deck – it was usually the deck that had the best matchups against the most played archetypes.
A great example is Pion’s Zombie deck that won the Golden Gauntlet (See: Golden Gauntlet Top 8 Review for decklists and metagame info). Pion made the right call and played Nekrium-Uterra Zombies which has a great matchup against Yetis which he defeated in both the semi-finals and the finals. On top of that his deck had a “rogue-ish” character, because most other Zombie decks were Nekrium-Tempys decks at that time.
Why do we need a card that counters Mobility?
For a long time there was no direct Mobility counter, but with Set 2.1 SBE introduced Chistlehearth Archer. Its body doesn’t do enough to be considered playable in constructed. You don’t really want to level Archer and as an underdrop he just doesn’t have enough attack. No one really thought it would be a problem because so far Mobility has been considered Tier 2 – it’s a good deck but it doesn’t win tournaments.
For the new release SBE already spoiled some cards which might enable a new (maybe Alloyin-Tempys based?) Mobility archetype.
Have a look at the Secrets of Solis (Set 3) Spoiler Roundup and you will find powerful cards like Frostfang Maiden, Oratek Battlebrand, Oratek Explosives, Oratek Warhammer and Frostmane Dragon.
Maybe this is the reason why we need Tangle: to keep the upcoming Mobility decks in check. It also helps to counter to some of the current constructed staples like Grimgaunt Predator, Brightsteel Gargoyle, and Cindersmoke Wyvern.
My prediction is that this card will definitely see constructed play. Right now there aren’t a lot of soft-level gated spells (cards with a Level 1 that can target Level 2 or lower creatures), but besides Dissolve they all saw some constructed play (Wamonger Mod, Metasculpt and Glacial Crush which is not level gated at all).
Why is soft-level gating so powerful?
There are tons of hard-level gated removal spells (like Botanimate), but the problem with them is that they have to be leveled in Player Level 1 (PL1) to be effective at all. Usually you want to level your own threats rather than react to your opponent’s threats. With soft-level gated cards you can avoid the restriction of ”must-level” removal and catch your opponent off-guard in PL2.
It depends how powerful movement archetypes will be with the release of Set 3, but I’m sure Tangle will find a home in some successful tournament decks. In the current meta many decks run Glacial Crush as a sideboard kind of card (as a 1-of) and I expect the same to happen with Tangle.
It will also find its way into draft decks. Similar to Oxidon Spitter it is a helpful card to have a single copy of in your deck. You might not end up playing it, but if your opponent plays threats with Mobility you’ll be glad you picked it up.