Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Shadow Era Spoilers #16 - Thoughtful Investment

We're not done yet! An extra spoiler as a Christmas present today. Let's open it up and look inside.

Dark Prophecies 129/150 - Thoughtful Investment
Spoiled by Kyle on 12/25/2012

Resource acceleration is nice, but at what cost? Basically, what this comes down to is if your turn five is more important than turn three. And that's a meta call.

Right now, it's usually not the case. Most decks rely on key allies to come down at turn three, cards such as Jasmine Rosecult, Priest of the Light, Death Mage Thaddeus, and Infernal Gargoyle. And even if your deck doesn't capitalize on them yourself, these cards are simply being played because if left unanswered, the opponent's 3cc ally will give them control of the board for the entire rest of the game. They'll be the aggressor all the way through, and that's not a fight you can win.

Many powerful turn fives right now are also based on them happening on turn five, such as Mind Control and Tidal Wave. Other important fifth turns are made possible because of setup cards. Lance's effect, Portal, etc. Skipping that turn four means skipping that Wrath of the Forest, Wizent's Staff or Ill-Gotten Gains play, things that we currently tend to take advantage of. You just play them and get value over time because the t5 plays can secure the board after skipping the turn four for setup. That doesn't really work a turn early, unfortunately.

I can't go without mentioning the downside, of course. Resource destruction early can blow someone out of the water, and this card is no different. When you play this, you're essentially saying 'hey, blow it up and I just lost a turn'. Assuming the opponent played one of those three-cost allies we talked about, it can only go downhill from there.

All that said, acceleration makes some things possible that wouldn't normally be possible, such as having both Aeon and Earthen Protector on board before the opponent gets to five themselves. There's a lot of risk, but that's not to say there's a lack of reward.

Rating: 5/10. I'm split down the middle on this card, so can't give it anything else. If turn three really does go on the decline in Dark Prophecies, this card could be an all-star, even with the risk. Or, three-cost allies are still good, in which case this card will be practically unplayable. It's hard to tell from here.

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