Thursday, January 26, 2017

Vingolf 3 Spoilers - Grimm Cluster

Holy bajeezus readers, do we have some amazing cards here. Last week we got a glimpse of some of the Alice Cluster-inspired resonators, and today we got a peak at our old friends from Grimm Cluster. Grimm, as a cluster, was really all over the place and had some incredibly powerful cards that forever defined the game, and this spoiler article showed that these resonators will keep that sentiment alive and well. Let's dive right in to these sweet, sweet reveals:

Grimm, the titular character of the cluster, is first up to bat and boy oh boy, does he live up to his reputation. Every resonator you control and own are treated as Fairy Tales. Let me reiterate that: Every resonator in a non-field area is a Fairy Tale. Hand? Grave? Deck? All Fairy Tales. Remember Millium, who said you can play Fairy Tales of any attribute for light will? If this guy hits the field, you can play any resonator in the game using only light stones. Summoning from the Fairy Tale World can now search any 2 resonators in the game. The potential here is incredible. On top of that, if you're running Millium (which you will be), this guy basically becomes a small Millium during battle. He gets the Force 1 during attacking or blocking ability that J-Ruler Millium is rocking, although he doesn't get to keep the power-up. Still, combine that with all the other Force support and Pandora, and you've got some serious damage. A fun combo you can do with this guy is play Library of Alexandria and call "Fairy Tale", and now every resonator in your deck has swiftness. Scary.

Up next is the noticeably less amazing Lumia. 4/7 on a 2-drop isn't the best stat-wise, but on-enter she removes the top card of your deck face-down, and let's you play it as long as she's in play. This is basically a conditional on-enter draw 1 that you're jumping through way too many hoops to be able to actually use. If you're using J/Ruler Lumia, though, she removes 3 cards. Draw 3 is much more potent and noteworthy, especially since J-Lumia will let you play those cards even after this card bites the dust. She also doesn't have the once-per-turn restriction of her J-Ruler form, so the cards she removes are fair game at all times. I really wish she had more of a use in Alisaris, but only getting 1 removed card off of her on-enter is really weak. She's incredibly strong in her dedicated deck, but outside of that, not really.

They misspelled "Phantastic" in this card's name. Bahamut keeps the spirit of his old J/Ruler form alive without breaking the game in half again. He brings back that cancerous Incarnate mechanic, but at a steep Incarnate 3 cost, you won't be getting much hard value out of him, or rushing with him either. You can use Rukh Egg to mitigate the loss of advantage, but there aren't really any other on-death effects in red. You can eat Pricia to summon him to trigger her 500 burn, plus his 700 burn, for a surprise 1200 burst on the opponent. Other than that, though, you're going to take a real hit in advantage to play this guy, but I'd say it's worth it. 1000/1000 flier is pretty beefy, although sadly not as big as Gwiber. If you're playing Library of Alexandria and you call "Dragon," he can surprise the opponent with 1700+ damage out of nowhere. You can also run Draig, who you can search off of the Rukh Eggs you ate to play this guy, and have an automatic 3-cost reduction from the incarnate. If you manage to kill one other card (Say, use Guinevere on herself or something else before recovery?) you can play him for 1. If you've gone the Alexandria route, Draig will have swiftness too. Now we're up to 2900+ damage in one turn. You searched 2 Draigs because you ate 2 Eggs? Now we have 4100 damage from just this play, which can happen as early as turn 3. I'd say Red Aggro is back, baby.

Cain is as simple as they come. Tap him to burn the opponent for 200. If you're playing a burn deck, then he's good. Not much else to say. You can tap him for the burn damage then feed him to Bahamut to get a big body on board if you're into that.

Here we have a neat mechanic. That's it. She's a 5/5 3-drop, which is just terribly stats and value, but you can play her from your deck whenever you're searching through it for something. I really don't know how adding something to the chase while you're in the middle of resolving something else will work, so we'll have to wait on the judges on that one, but I doubt anyone will even be running her in the first place. 3 will is a lot for something that is going to do effectively nothing on your field. If this effect were on a card that actually did something it might be really cool, but paying 3 will for what is basically a 5/5 token is just poor value.

Little Red has me a bit torn. Getting 100/100 for each wind stone is pretty good value for a 1-drop, but she's just vanilla. At 4 stones she's a 7/7 for one will, which is incredible value, but no utility. Getting Swiftness for having a mono-wind stone is neat, but we're in a meta where utility and usefulness trump straight aggression. She's super potent in a deck with her J/Ruler form, who doubles her power boost. You'll be looking at a 5/5 on turn one, and at 4 stones, she'll be 11/11. That's some good value, especially with the Swiftness. She'll give Little Red decks in Wanderer some nice speed that just ramps up as the game goes on, but outside of that, she doesn't really offer much.

"The future is one of many possibilities." Well, maybe there's a future where this card could have been good. Four will is a lot for one card, especially something that isn't a boss monster or a game-winner. On top of that, she has a hard cost of four wind will. Let's compare her to the card that's most like her: Lucifer. Lucy is another 4-drop 9/9 card, but he costs BB2 (making him easier to splash/play) and will also get rid of a resonator on-enter. He doesn't target, so he can get around Barrier, but he also can't snipe key threats like this card card. Lucifer has flying, though, which is a very powerful keyword in this meta, as well as the potential for lifelink. Scheherazade, though, kind of functions as a double-edged sword of sorts. She only bounces, so you aren't actually getting rid of a threat, and in a meta of on-enter effects you're just fueling the opponent's plays. The bounced card at least goes on top of the opponent's deck, so you're effectively robbing them of a draw too. But for your entire Turn 4 play? The value just isn't there. She might have some use in a control deck if you go second, so you can energize her in on turn 3 to stall the opponent's turn 4. You can even play her on turn 2 if you used ramp and energize, which can really set the opponent back if you can follow it up with control, so she might not be 100% useless after all.

Here's the real meta breaker of the set. Abdul keeps to his roots of killing Enter abilities by stopping all on-enter abilities of your opponent's resonators. R.I.P. to Chimera and Hook decks, your advantage engine just got shut down. If you can get this guy on the field and protect him, the meta will bow to you. If you can find a way to quickcast him, you can become the ultimate troll by dropping him in response to your opponent playing a resonator with an enter ability. Get ready to open some salt mines.

Dracula is... well, not terribly good. 1000/1000 for a 4-drop is insane value, especially with flying, but I can't think of any deck that would need the rest of his effect. Granted, it'll become a lot more useful once Alice Cluster rotates out and we lose all our regalia for easy Imperishable access, but we'll also be losing Black Moonbeam, which is the biggest threat to a J-Ruler. It's good to note that having him out lets your J-Ruler skirt around Moonbeam since the Imperishable is a continuous effect he is applying. I just can't think of any J-Ruler that would need Imperishable badly enough to take a turn to play this guy, and hope he doesn't eat removal, before flipping. Even in a Vampire deck, where you can make use of this guy's race, Mikage already has built-in Imperishable. Maybe some of the Rulers we'll see in the next few sets will be able to make better use of this guy.

Here we have the ideal red aggro card. Snow White is an 8/8 for 3 will, which is standard, and has base Precision. She'll be vanilla otherwise, but there are definitely cards that give you worse value for your will. If you drop below 3000 life, she gets First Strike, so she can pick off virtually any threat on your opponent's board unscathed. If you drop below 2000, she gets more aggressive and gains Swiftness. Dropping into the danger zone of 1000 or less will give her a 4/4 buff. A 1200/1200 Swiftness monstrosity for only 3 will in the late game is nothing to scoff at. She's incredible in Yggdrasil decks, where you want to be low on life, and even more potent in Grimmia decks in Wanderer. Red aggro tends to fall off the longer the game drags on, and Snow White helps to remedy that by getting stronger as the game goes. Between her and Bahamut, red is looking to make a showing again.

That's it for this week's spoilers. Next week is going to focus on the Valhalla cards in the set, and the week afterwards the Vingolf actually gets released. If we see another 10 cards next week, we'll have seen 30 of the 55 resonators in the set, so almost half of them will be surprises when it actually drops. If your favorite Ruler hasn't shown up in these past two spoilers, fret not, you still have a pretty decent chance of seeing them in the set.

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