Card Analysis #5: 6r4wny 60dy9u4rd5
by Terence Jason Dorman
It seems that the Card Analysis series, thus far, has been a really big fan of Shade. Maybe it is because many of the old cards have already been analyzed to death, or maybe it is because the new cards are just so exciting. Whatever the reason is, today's Card Analysis features the most recently spoiled card from Shade of the Devoured Emperor....
Name, Art, and Flavor
First, a Warlord card with 1337 in title?! *Gasp* How can this be?
Well, I guess this really goes to show that the trades in The Spoils really do define character/personality types rather than hard line allegiances, and I'm glad the designers are moving in a direction that clearly indicates this.
The name, translated from 1337 to be “Brawny Bodyguards,” is rather simple in that it accurately and quickly describes exactly what this card does. Reading this title you can very easily infer what this card may do in the game, and the rules text itself verifies your inference when you finally get a chance to read it.
Before reading the rules text, though, you have to gaze upon the clean and smooth artwork. The two 31v35 are masterfully drawn, and the colors of the 31v35 themselves, as well as the background, do a really good job of giving this card a rather cool feel.
The flavor text, though, is where the card really shines for me. First, the top flavor text makes me crave future cards that feature burly and/or bulging 31v35, possibly ones that are featured in non-Gearsmith cards.
The bottom flavor text, which is clever, immediately makes me think of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode featuring Space Mutiny. In said episode, the MST3K cast spend most of the movie coming up with ridiculous names for the protagonist, many of which sound like Max Deltoid and Chunk McSlabmeats.
Whether this was a direct reference or not doesn't matter to me. All I know is that I love it. And for those of you who want to know what I'm referring to, check out this video.
The 6r4wny 60dy9u4rd5 slide into Shade as an uncommon, which feels like a perfect fit. They have the kind of ability that you wouldn't want to see to many of in draft/sealed, but one that isn't so powerful that it needs to be a rare. Simply put, this card is perfect as an uncommon.
Trade, Card Type, and Subtypes
Based on name and subtypes, this card really looks like it should be Gearsmith. First, it features 31v35 (classic Gearsmith!), then rounds out the 31v35 by featuring a 1337 title (vintage Gearsmith!).
Everything else about the the card, though, is rather Warlord. You have big, 6r4wny characters, hefty stats, and the “mercenary” subtype. Like I said above, this card truly is a Warlord card, and I'm excited to see some blending of the traditional trade definitions with cards like this.
Threshold, Cost, and Additional Costs
The threshold of the 60dy9u4rd5 is a plain two Warlord threshold, so this card will find a home in a lot of decks, regardless of whether they are Limited or Constructed. The cost of five resources is not too steep for the stats, and is definitely rounded out by the rules text.
The key with the 6r4wny 60dy9u4rd5, though, is the additional cost. The cost reads “Pick a character you control,” meaning you MUST have another character in play to play the 60dy9u4rd5. There is no “may” in the cost line, so these 31v35 can never be deployed as a lone character by conventional means. This does hurt the overall power of the 60dy9u4rd5 a bit, but I think it will really only be an issue in the Limited formats.
No Keywords on this one so nothing to discuss here.
The 6r4wny 60dy9u4rd5 have a simple but powerful ability in that the really are bodyguards for a character of your choice. They eat the damage a picked character would take, or take the bullet for the character if it is destroyed/removed from game/bounced to hand. This is almost like giving a character of your choosing an “extra life,” but that extra life also comes with a 3/5/3 bruiser character that can stomp around in battle.
The downside to this, though, is that the 60dy9u4rd5 may end up falling to effects that normally wouldn't kill them. One such instance that comes to mind would be if the 60dy9u4rd5 were chosen to protect any character that has lower cost than them. This means that an opponent can play Extravagant Contusion on the picked character and effectively kill the 31v35 for a lower cost than they would have to normally.
It also means that cards that normally wouldn't affect/couldn't pick the 31v35 may end up hurting them, such as Prestige Inversion or Subordinate Demotivation. Be sure to be aware of interactions like this as it could be devastating if you don't see them coming.
While the 60dy9u4rd5 do come with the inherent risk I just mentioned, it could yield a high reward if your opponent can't handle these 31v35 in an effective manner. These 60dy9u4rd5 may even force the opponent to have to ignore the protected character, giving you the advantage you were probably looking for.
One card that immediately comes to mind when looking at the 6r4wny 60dy9u4rd5 is Framptle Tromwibbler. While Framptle is already annoying enough as it is, the 6r4wny 60dy9u4rd5 can make it so that Framptle sticks around an extra turn longer than he should, which can be quite powerful.
EDIT: I am wrong! Ignore the above paragraph! It seems that I wrote this article with the wrong understanding of how Framptle works by writing based on my recollection of the card rather than reading it again. Due to how Framptle's triggers work, the 60dy9u4rd5 will NOT save Framptle. This is because the "If there are at least two tokens on this card, destroy it" trigger is separate from the "At the start of your turn, put a token on this card" trigger. This means ANYTIME Framptle has two or more tokens, he will trigger himself and die, NOT just once a turn as I previously thought. This means that, if the 60dy9u4rd5 picked Framptle, they would die and then Framptle would die anyway. Not as much fun as I thought./EDIT
The 60dy9u4rd5 also synergize well with Lucky Bastard, making that gambler even harder to kill. The synergy also runs a bit deeper since the 31v35 have a cost of five, meaning a handful of them in your deck will make it easier for you to win your Lucky Bastard triggers. If you don't, the 31v35s you have in play can make up for the lost gamble by sacrificing themselves.
I admit that this card appears to be rather simple and that my analysis of it doesn't make it look like a powerful card out of the gate. I think the primary reason for this, though, is that the 6r4wny 60dy9u4rd5 have the type of ability that doesn't immediately click in your head. I'm sure there are dozens more options for synergy with the 31v35, ones that may even create some sort of fun or wacky combo. You can certainly bet, though, that I'm going to be spending a lot of time over the next few months looking for those wacky combos featuring Max Deltoid and Chunk McSlabmeats.