Top Five Shade Previews
by Terence Jason Dorman
I am a big fan of both the book and film versions of High Fidelity. If you haven't read or seen it, I definitely suggest that you do.
Today's post isn't about movies, though, it's about The Spoils! I mention High Fidelity because I am going to be stealing of Rob Gordon's (the main character) favorite time-killers as the basis of my article: a Top Five list!
Both the book and film are littered with Top Five lists, be it Top Five recording artists, Top Five Breakups, etc. My Top Five list, though, is all about the upcoming Shade of the Devoured Emperor set.
Without further ado, I present to you all...Terence's Top Five Shade Preview Cards!
Simple and elegant, Violating Ritual screams card advantage for Arcanist decks that run at least three threshold.
There isn't much to say about his card as, like I said, it is very simple. All you do is pay three, choose an opponent to discard two cars, and then you draw a card yourself.
I think the reason I like this card so much is that is a quick and nastier version of Stupidify. While Stupidify is great, and only requires one threshold, it does not replace itself. This means that, when you play Stupidify, you have really only shifted the card advantage by one in your favor.
With Violating Ritual, though, you are paying the same amount of resources to shift card advantage by two in your favor. Add in the fact that this card also helps you dig for answers/bombs while hurting your opponent and you have an extremely powerful, but simple, Arcanist uncommon.
While this card does require more threshold, I have no doubt this deck will find a nice home in many Barney decks or variations of it.
The first time I read this card I completely misread it and thought it was the most broken card in the world. Once I calmed down and reread it (much more slowly), I was a little less excited, but it is still fantastic.
The primary reason I love Audacious Appraisal is that it is a card full of mind games. On the base level, it serves as either a kill card or direct influence loss to your opponent's faction. Which way it works, however, is where the mind games come in.
First, you pick a character. Before anything else is chosen, your opponent has the chance to respond. Fearing a loss of influence, or just not knowing what to pick for X, your opponent may respond in a way that results in the death of the picked character (Noble Sacrifice, Mysterious Invasion, Rapine, etc.). If this was your goal all along, you just made your opponent do the work for you, and probably for more than two resources.
If the Appraisal goes off, however, your opponent has to gauge how badly you want a character dead and “wager” appropriately. This card is effectively a betting game in which your opponent has to act first, which is always fun.
If they choose to high a number as a means of saving their character, punish their influence. If they pick too low, take a bit of a hit and destroy the character. Who knows, maybe you want the character dead so much that you're willing to lose a significant number of influence just to see him gone.
So many mind games!
This card almost made the list simply because Rock'Em Sock'Em Robots are awesome and this card clearly references them. Then I noticed that this card can create mind games as well and I got excited.
Sockem Bot is a rather large character at 8/6/2 and has a reasonable price of six. He won't be a hassle to get into play, and once he is there, he will surely be a hassle for your opponent.
Or maybe he won't be a hassle. Maybe your opponent is willing to sacrifice a handful of resources to keep this guys damage manageable. If your opponent is doing that then he may not be scared of the Sockem Bot, but at least he isn't killing it.
Plus, if your opponent is dumping resources into preventing the Bot's damage, it is almost as though your opponent is paying for the Bot himself! This card can provide you with considerable resource advantage if your opponent is scared of him and you play him correctly.
Resource advantage, as well as card advantage, is one of the most important aspects of winning a game. As such, Sockem Bot could definitely be the reason why you win a game.
Such a fun card!
While this card looks like a Rogue version of G14n7 5p0rk D3f3n53, I actually like this card a lot more. Sure, it is more expensive than G14n7 5p0rk D3f3n53 in nearly every way, but I think the Banana Peel makes up for it.
First, like Violating Ritual, the Banana Peel replaces itself. The beauty of the Peel, though, is that it doesn't have to replace itself right away. It can be in play as an item OR a resource and still be effective, meaning the card you draw as part of Banana Peel's effect will likely just be an extra card rather than one that is just “replacing” the Peel itself.
Also, rather than destroying the picked attacking character, the Banana Peel makes that character into a resource. I like this better as, at the moment, there are much less ways to “revive” a character this in the resource row than ones that are in the discard pile.
Plus, this can be used defensively! If one of your characters with Flip Up is attacking and things are going south, save him with your own Banana Peel! You wouldn't be able to do that with G14n7 5p0rk D3f3n53, and this extra utility is where I think this card really shines.
Super Shiny Caltrops of DOOM!
Any card with “of DOOM!” in the title immediately makes all of my Top Five lists.
This card excites me because of the many tricks that can come of using this card. First, it does two damage to a character, meaning it is kind of like a slower Target Practice. Then, if this card hits the discard pile, you can pay two to make it a resource, which is rather cheap.
Why would this card be hitting the discard pile, though? After it hits play and has done its damage there is slim chance the opponent is going to waste an item destruction card on the Caltrops. Or maybe they will if the Caltrops happens to be attached to someone like 4p7 31f, or makes a Goloam bigger, or makes everyone bigger due to Runic Field Enhancer.
Or maybe your opponent doesn't destroy it. If that is the case, you can simply wait for a character of yours to be destroyed and attach the Caltrops to him in response. In essence you are paying four to gain a resource, but this is a resource that can come back later and do some damage!
What Are Your Favorites?
I'm sure my Top Five Shade preview cards aren't the same as yours, so be sure to comment in the forums with your list and why those cards made it. I'm curious to see which cards you are all excited about the most!