Friday, August 26, 2016

Curse of the Frozen Casket Spoilers #9 - Impressions

Ending off this week's spoilers, we see the presumed rest of the Vampire support in the set, and it's relatively redeeming. We only have about 1 week of spoilers left, so this is likely the last of the darkness cards we're going to see (There may not even be any left to reveal, I haven't done a tally of all the cards we've seen yet), and while it's not the best note to end on for the color, at least it leaves us with some hope.


Our first card is Rinka, the Second Mikage Daughter. Jordan has stated we aren't getting all the daughters in this set, so she's likely the last one we'll see for a few months, but she'll do. 600/600 for 2 Black is the upper limit of what we can get for a 2-drop, rivaling the likes of Lancelot and Izanami. She puts a 100/100 counter on herself whenever she deals damage (to anything), and gains Precision as long as there's at least one of those counters on her. You can remove one to give her flying, which can make a neat little loop where you remove one just to get one back and fly over all the opponent's blockers. Putting a Blood Covered War Axe on her means you can stack 2+ counters every turn. The natural synergy between Demonflame and Seijuro also seems to nudge the deck in a Black/Red hybrid direction, which isn't a bad idea.

Servant is pretty straightforward. On-play, he puts a 100/100 counter on something. He'll put 2 if the opponent has a Special Stone, which is neat, but still isn't an incentive to not run them. He serves as another way to put counters on the daughters, and can even come in as a 5/5 on your first turn if the opponent has a Special Stone. Overall, though, none of these cards have sold me on using Seijuro. Since both daughters have their own counter generating abilities, they can work just fine as stand alone cards, and Seijuro himself is still lackluster. Unless the 1st Daughter requires a high counter threshold, and Seijuro has the advantage of being able to turbo to her faster, I doubt these cards will see play in his deck.

Here we have more Oni's. Adding the one in the Vampire Deck, we're up to a total of 3. Two of which are 5-costs that you never actually want to play. Oni Governor has no inherent cost reduction or way to cheat himself onto the field, and grants no advantage on-enter. What's worse is that his only ability is a 1-for-1, and taps him down. Because after using your turn to play an 1100/1100 with no keywords, you'll definitely want to use the next turn NOT attacking with it so you can lose 1 of your resonators to kill one of the opponent's 3 cost or less resonators. Granted, you can tap him and banish him for his cost to kill something if the opponent tries to kill him off the next turn, but then you just paid 5 mana to kill one of their 3 cost or less resonators. This guy is just bleh.

Mad Oni at least has use. He's a 500 ATK unit for 1 mana, which is super efficient, but at the cost of being forced to attack each turn no matter what. According to the spoiler article, Bloodlust doesn't force him to attack as the first action of the turn, but he does have to attack before you end your turn, and has to be the first resonator you attack with. If your opponent fields one good blocker this guy is dead, but for his cost, it's not like you lost much. He's also the only viable way to get the full effect of Oni Strike from the Vampire Deck.

Abdul is pretty neat. He's a 3-drop that doesn't really do much, but the following turn he can exchange himself for a Cthulhu in your hand. Looks like we got our way to cheat Azathoth onto the field. He sort of reminds me of Interdimensional Monarch, Gill Lapis, in the fact that he's a 3-drop that you then pay 4 to for to put a big monster into the field. Except Abdul doesn't search for a Cthulhu on-enter, and is easier to kill off due to the lack of any other effects. I'd be more excited about him if we had more Cthulhu's that we'd want to cheese in. It's possible we may get 1 more in the red Starter Deck/as red support in the set, but I wouldn't hold my breath. And maxing both him and Azathoth to get this off consistently is going to lead to a lot of dead hands.

Eternal Recurrence is... pretty simple. Pay 5, nuke all resonators. It isn't instant and hits both players with no prejudice. The spoiler recommends you play Abdul at 3 mana, transform him into Azathoth at 4, then play this at 5 to nuke everything (except Azathoth, since his counters protect him), but then you'd just have to use Azathoth's ability to kill himself, making you lose 3 of his counters in one turn. That isn't taking into consideration the opponent having Apollo or destruction protection. All-in-all, this card would probably be neat in a draft format, but that's about the extent of it.

And to end the article... we get a vanilla. Has minor use in draft, but that's it. The spoiler article literally says "This card is terrible in constructed, but he has a lot of ATK! Use him in draft!" This guy could have been another Vampire or Cthulhu, so the themes could actually feel a little complete with this set, but no, we needed this guy.

Overall, this spoiler gave some much needed support to some of the themes they introduced this set. I still feel like Oni shouldn't have been a thing, and those cards should have gone to Vampires and Cthulhu, but at least there's one usable Oni so Oni Strike can see some play. Rinka is really strong, although I still question Seijuro's usefulness, and Abdul just falls short of being a really incredible card. If we see a way to search Cthulhu's, then he'll be a staple card, but until then he's little more than inconsistent and gimmicky.

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