Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Shadow Era Spoilers #15 - Temporal Disturbance

This spoiler is yet another official one, heralding the end of class week. It may not be from the rumor mill, but it's still a mill card. Let's take a look.

Dark Prophecies 99/150 - Temporal Disturbance
Spoiled by Kyle on 12/25/2012

First, a quick history lesson.

The term 'mill' is seen a lot in most every TCG ever made. However, the origin is pretty abstract, and people new to TCGs may have trouble with it.

It comes from Magic The Gathering, widely accepted as the first tcg ever made. This game used life totals, but also had an alternate win condition: If you have to draw and your deck is empty, you lose.

This idea wasn't initially expanded upon, until the first ever card came about that let you discard over and over from the opponent's deck.

That card was Millstone.

Hence, 'milling' became the term associated with discarding from the deck to the graveyard directly.

However, it doesn't end here. There's actually two kinds of deck that use this effect.

The first is one Shadow Era players should recognize already in Millstalker. With this strategy, the goal is to make the other player run out of deck before you run out of life.

The other kind is self-mill, and uses mill effects on yourself to fill up your own graveyard, and then perform shenanigans with the discarded cards. This hasn't been done yet in SE, as there are no true mill effects just yet in SE, but it's extremely common in both MtG, sometimes known as reanimator decks, and in Yu-Gi-Oh, see the Lightsworn monsters.

Now, back to Shadow Era.

Temporal Disturbance hardly works well as a traditional mill-the-opponent card because first of all, you're milling yourself at the same time unless a Corrupted Angel is involved, and second of all, it's simply too slow. If the opponent has around 30 cards when you drop this, fair to say for a t1 play, that means the opponent has a whole 15 turns before out of cards. And that's assuming they always have SE stored. If you play on t4, the opponent can't use energy for whatever reason, and Temporal Disturbance is never destroyed, the opponent will still have 19 turns to kill you before running out of deck, and then they just take 1 damage over time. It's not like many other tcgs where running out of deck is an instant loss. Some heroes, such as Zhanna, even have the ability to live indefinitely on an empty deck.

As a self-mill card, it's simply too slow. Waiting five turns before you discard a single card and that's only if you skip your Lightning Strike? The point of 'Reanimator' decks in Magic is that the return-from-graveyard effects can be cheaper than just playing the cards outright, so selfmill can drop large threats faster than traditional methods. Last time I checked, Shadow Knight and Ghostmaker are not cheap cards, and neither is this. In order for self-mill to work, both the mill and the reanimation needs to come out much faster than they currently do.

However, I don't think this card is completely useless.

I blame Millstalker for showing me a new avenue, something not normally possible in other games, again because of SE not being an auto-loss.

In Shadow Era, it's okay to mill yourself out. If your opponent runs out of cards too, it's not a draw game. As long as both players run out of cards, the one that can survive the longest wins.

And elementals have Soul Reaper. This card can effectively double Zal's life total, making him able to last much longer than the majority of opponents.

My idea is to simply play this card alongside all the traditional control Zal has access to, Mind Control, Elemental Discharge, Shadow Font, Thaddeus, etc. Don't even bother with Eternal Renewal, it could get Dimension Ripped (not that you play ripper yourself, too risky). Just keep the opponent at bay while both decks run out, then you have Soul Reaper. so unless your opponent is Zhanna or Millstalker, they're simply going to run out of life before you.

It's hard to say if this would work, being unable to see what the other cards and meta in Dark Prophecies are. However, my gut's telling me it will, and if this card is changed before the set goes live, that's how you'll know I'm right. If it stays the same... well, it still might work, and you shouldn't blame me for that one.

Rating: 7/10. It can make a stupid deck, sure, but it's still slow, and still just loses automatically to certain heroes. The lack of a card like What Big Teeth really hurts, and Zaladar's ability can't do quite as much damage. Soul Reaper serves as the alternative way to outlast the opponent instead of Lone Wolf, but it forces you to run more than you might like for allies and it's also hardly as infinite. In short, I don't think this card can make a deck as potent as Millstalker can be, but it's still pretty annoying. It also can't quite work in other strategies, which hurts the playability and overall rating.

Also, Merry Christmas! See you all after the holidays. I already have some larger articles in the works that I'm sure you guys will like. Cheers!


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