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  • Djurre

    Rebalance 3: Legendaries

    November 13, 2016 by Djurre

    Level 3: reSpawn at end of turn

    Level 2 and 3: add "if it survives"

    Level 3: less health (13/37?)

    Poison on Forge 2/4/8, EOT Poison 1/2/4

    Poison 3/4/5

    Level 3: add "if it survives"

    Level 3 and 4: seperate the ability to "damage to creature(s) at end of your turn, damage to enemy player at end of their turn"

    Poison and buff 1/2/3 (from 1/2/4)

    Move Breakthrough to the Upgrade

    Level 4: add "discard your hand"

    Level 2: level up ALL lvl1 cards
    Level 3: level up ALL lvl2 or lower cards
    Level3: level up lvl2 or lower card

    Activate: look at hand, spawn a copy of that card

    Level 2: Mobility 1
    Level 3: Mobility 2

    add "you have Armor equal to Ironbeard's Armor"

    Mobility 1/1/2

    Level 3: if Rank 4 or higher, Spawn a lvl2 Omega

    draw a card, then discard and level up a ca…

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  • Vandergus

    Along with a bunch of new cards to collect, Raiders Unchained brought with it a couple of new mechanics. One of them is Raid, which is an abillity that triggers when three or more of your creatures attack (take a look at the wiki page for all the gritty details). The ability fits naturally into the Umbruk faction pair and was designed to be a big part of draft as well as constructed.

    So what do you get for successfully Raiding your opponent? Well, you might get giant creatures like , significant face damage from and , or in the case of the chance to completely overwhelm your opponent with a string of free creatures.

    As mentioned above, a Raid is triggered when you have at least three attacking creatures on your turn. It sounds simple, but …

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  • Vandergus

    Hey forgeborn, I've got some sweet new cards to share with you today. Not any of those flashy legendaries that drive constructed players wild. Nope, today is about the humble commons, the meat and potatoes of every draft format. The first card is a dino with some fearsome maternal instincts.

    Most of the time she's just your average reptile, hanging with the fam. But when her herd starts raiding, she doesn't sit back, she's leading the charge! 8/8, 13/13, 20/20. Those are some serious stats, usually requiring multiple cards to deal with. If your opponent can't kill it before the end of your next turn, Herd Mother could be around for another raid trigger, growing even more. Of course, this is the ideal situation. Magical Christmas Land, if you…

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  • Vandergus

    Dysian has long been a popular faction pairing in draft. Can its traditional build-a-monster strategy survive in a world with Death Current? Or does NU need to shift to a more value oriented game plan.

    (Mouse over section headings for definitions.)

    The midrange NU deck sets itself up in much the same way as the midrange AU deck. It spends rank 1 leveling up solid bodies like , and alongside some value cards like and . It wants to win as many trades as possible and start pushing damage in multiple lanes. But where Esperian is more likely to lean towards late game power, Dysian is more likely to shift to an aggressive mid-game. and provide solid underdrop removal options to push damage past blockers while and can provide huge buffs to a…

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  • Vandergus

    Picking Byzerak

    April 24, 2016 by Vandergus

    NT has been my favorite faction pairing for the current draft format. Here's a draft showing what sort of strategies I look for and how that influences my picks.

    Game 1: I was up against an AN midrange deck that was packing a bunch of removal. They leveled two in rank 1 and was able to get really good value from them throughout the game. Between that and three, I was never able to setup my board the way I needed to. The game was close but I felt on the back foot for the majority of it. Things ended with a spectacular misplay when I tried to block lethal damage with an ...on the rank up. I was dead anyway, but it was salt in the wound of a particularly painful game.

    Game 2: Another AN opponent. This time I hit plus in rank 1 then again in…

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  • Vandergus

    Faction Primer: Oratek

    April 19, 2016 by Vandergus

    Oratek is the home of leveling extra cards and flexible mobility effects. How can we make the most of these two unique mechanics.

    (Mouse over section headings for definitions.)

    I think the defender archetype still has some viability in the current format despite limited access to animating effects. You just have to be a little more creative to use every part of the pig.

    The main drawback of creatures with defender is that they don't apply pressure. Their big bodies make them great at beating other creatures in combat, but if you don't have any other tricks, that 8/2 is just going to sit there, ignored by your opponent. Traditionally, animating effects such as (old) , and the classic were used to turn left over defenders into threats. But w…

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  • Vandergus

    Esperian is traditionally the home of decks building late game inevitability through leveling and crushing people with giant armored monsters. But are these strategies still viable in the current format? Let's take a look.

    (Mouse over section headings for definitions.)

    AU is in a tough spot with the current draft pool, but it's not from a lack of good cards or powerful synergies. Esperian pump can make make good use of , , and as targets for , and . Unfortunately, exists and it's very popular. My game logs for the current season show that about 2/3rds of my opponents have played Nekrium, and of those Nekrium decks, over half played (36% of the total population). If you consider that many more of those decks probably still had the removal…

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  • Vandergus

    Picking Onyxium

    April 6, 2016 by Vandergus

    Following up on the Onyxium faction primer, here's an example of a recent draft I did in the pairing. I'll look at each pick, explaining which cards are good and bad and how they fit into the larger strategy of the deck.

    Game 1: This game was quite literally the mirror. Unfortunately, my opponent got his plan going before I did, stealing my with a on turn 2, then playing their own Phantasm on turn 3. From that point, I was behind the whole game.

    Game 2: My opponent was playing an NU deck that seemed to be relying a little too heavily on . For example, in rank 2 one of their Currents traded with a level 2 . It's not terrible but a 9/9 is something that can easily lose a trade to another level 2 creature, leaving my opponent with some board …

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  • Vandergus

    We've had the latest draft pool for about two months. Things are starting to settle into place and I've played enough games to perhaps say some meaningful things about the current meta game. Let's start off with some basic stats. What are people playing?

    AN is the leader in popularity, probably due to a combination of effects. Many players have been drawn into Nekrium for the chance to pick , which is both a way to fight off build-a-monster strategies and also win late game attrition battles. Bumping the starting life total up to 120 in the last rebalance has made leveling strategies more viable as well, and naturally favors Alloyin. Add in several strong first pick heroics in , , , and and you have a recipe for a successful faction pairin…

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  • Vandergus

    Onyxium got quite a boost from the last draft pool refresh including several high quality cards in , , and . Additional rebalance changes like buffs to and an additional 20 health should help improve the viability of late game control decks. Let's see how we can get the most out of this revitalized faction pair.

    (Mouse over section headings for definitions.)

    I have to admit that AN is not one of my favorite faction pairings in this format, despite its larger popularity in the current draft environment. It feels very passive to me. For the first 2/3rds of the game, there's not a lot of things that you do that your opponent will actually care about, and I much prefer being proactive rather than reactive in Solforge. However, there are a cou…

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  • Vandergus

    Umbruk, the most aggressive of the faction pairs. Let's take a look at the strategies we can use to build fast and powerful decks.

    (Mouse over section headings for definitions.)

    Umbruk aggro decks focus on constantly presenting threats that your opponent has to answer. It uses creatures that are big early but also level into solid finishers. Tricks like and are typically used later in the game to push a or fix bad trades. The decks can be generic , relying primarily on the core cards and heroics or they can use powerful synergies within the pairing. The two most common variations of UT aggro are mobility and dinosaur tribal. The mobility deck is usually signalled by an early while the dinos deck needs a first pick or early . Quality su…

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  • Vandergus

    Picking Umbruk

    March 1, 2016 by Vandergus

    Here's another example of my picks from a recent draft. This time I'm picking Uterra/Tempys with an emphasis on dino tribal.

    Game 1: My opponent was playing an Esperian robots deck with a lot of . I was able to get a slight lead early and continuously push damage throughout the game. I finished things off in rank 4 with Burnout and Ursine Strength. At the time, there was a cute little on the other side of the field with 33 Armor but only 3 attack.

    Game 2: Another AU deck playing more of a standard midrange game with as a late game trump card. I got ahead early but couldn't sustain my momentum long enough. I think I started racing too early in rank 2, taking a lot of damage from a creature I should have blocked. When my opponent dropped the…

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  • Vandergus

    Faction Primer: Byzerak

    February 25, 2016 by Vandergus

    For some background on how I organize my faction primers, check out the following

    An introduction to my faction primers

    All the NT decks can look pretty similar, but what ultimately differentiates the control version from the aggro version is how you plan on winning the game. If you have a lot of high quality removal (Death Current, Frostshatter Strike, Bitterfrost Totem) and a bunch of Graveborn Gluttons, you can basically trade your way to victory. You don't have to worry about open laning threats, but instead block a lot and use removal to prevent your opponent from setting up big synergy plays. A Glutton's job is not to be an offensive threat but rather to die, deal damage, and take another creature with it in the process. It also helps …

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  • Vandergus

    Picking Esperian

    February 23, 2016 by Vandergus

    I wanted to post some examples of how I pick cards and build decks during a draft. I know this makes more sense in video form but it's not easy for me to record right now and I think some folks might even prefer the easily digestible form of an article rather than a 20 min video. At the very least, it'll compliment the other draft video content that my fellow players are making.

    This first draft is an Esperian deck that presented me with some interesting decision points along the way. Check it out.

    Game 1: I saw an early from my opponent so I played every Prowler that I drew to try to punish their slow start and end the game before level 3 Explorer could make a difference. did indeed close out a game for me in rank 2.

    Game 2: My opponent pl…

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