Set 5 – Reign of Varna Preview: Ancestral Echoes

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February 22, 2015 by wookiemike

At sundown, the land erupts with a loud burst of energy throughout the Deepwood. A call that can be heard in the vast overgrowth of the deepest jungle. The plants spring to life reaching for the sky, the beasts adhere to the call and ready for the hunt, the waters glow a majestic blue that shimmers beneath the darkness. Wolves ravage the lands hunting in packs, outnumbering their enemies and feasting in the night. This primal balance is a way of life and how the abundance of growth is maintained.

uterra_symbolHello all, Wookie Mike here with the much anticipated Ancestral Echoes from the not yet released set Reign of Varna.

When I first viewed the other Echoes and their abilities, it was easy to see the pattern: stick well within the flavor wheel of the faction, give a recurring bonus, and, at the end, a permanent bonus.

I immediately started thinking what the Uterra effect would be, but very quickly became convinced it would be “Roar” like effect. Some members of the team were hoping for life gain, and it was even suggested a seedling would be the effect. Lo and behold looky what we have here…

ancestralechoes123

As a predominantly Standard player myself, you might have noticed the recent lack of Ferocious Roar type effects in the meta. With each new set release it has become harder and harder to keep creatures on the board, making spells that rely on a strong board presence (like Roar) less effective.

Like the rest of the cycle, Ancestral Echoes guarantees you its effect at the end of your turns, so there isn’t an immediate impact on the board. The buzz going around is that without the immediate effect, the cards lose value. I’m not sold on that. With the guarantee of two early activations, and late-game, every turn, I see value in sacrificing a little board presence mid-turn.

We as deck builders and players have to adapt to the challenge, dig deeper, and explore the spectrum of high risk, big reward. This card calls for action – it screams, “I’m about that business!”

Ancenstral Echoes pairs well with some already spoiled cards like Snowdrift Alpha, Immortal Echoes, and my favorite new creature Shardplate Behemoth. I’m also looking forward to trying it with some Standard staples that tend to stick to the board like Brightsteel Gargoyle, Thundersaur, and Bron’s Dino Knight (my most anticipated interaction).

I’m going to be pretty excited to find windows to cast Ancestral Echoes. While I don’t think it’s a 3-of auto include, I will be testing with two in my Nekrium Dino list which will look something like this:

dinoknight-crop3 Bron, Wild Tamer
3 Duskmaw, Twilight Drake
3 Roaming Warclaw
3 Shardplate Behemoth
3 Soothsayer Hermit
3 Tarsus Deathweaver
3 Thundersaur
3 Uterradon Rex

3 Immortal Echos
2 Ancestral Echoes
1 Howl of Xith

I’m excited to see what the rest of the set has in store for us. Hope you enjoy and happy hunting!


1 comment »

  1. Kestralb says:

    Finding a window to play this may end up being difficult…paying off at lvl3 isn’t good to justify not pushing early since games don’t seem to go long very often. A strong level 3 hasn’t stopped Roar from falling somewhat out of favor.

    The interaction with the Dino-knight or with Gargoyle do seem strong though. Then again, those cards were already strong by themselves. Would you rather level Gargoyle+Echos or just level two Gargoyles?

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