Thursday, January 10, 2013

Shadow Era Spoilers #20: Wild Berserker

How wild is he? About as wild as that party your mom threw last night.

It's spoiler time

Dark Prophecies 39/150: Wild Berserker
Spoiled by Kyle on 1/10/2013

As long-time readers know, I love haste. I could go on and on about the benefits of a surprise four to your Jasmine. I've done that already, so I'll try to hold off this time.

In fact, I'm struggling to find a use for this card.

There are two factors that, when combined, make me question his playability.

1. Four damage does not kill 5cc allies. The trade-off should be low damage to hero, high damage to allies, but it isn't. For a card that costs five resources and has all these drawbacks to get itself working, it's not too much to ask to expect it to take out other five cost allies.

2. Four Health makes for vulnerability. The most common thing when you're playing this card is a definite lack of board control. Wild Berserker might come down and shoot one mid-sized ally, but when you do this, your opponent has other, oft larger, threats. The chance of your ally surviving the turn is slim to none.

Now, all this negativity changes with a single card: Crippling Blow.

Crippling Blow can remove an ally without actually removing it from the field. That way, you get to haste in Wild Berserker even if you lack control of the board. You can easily T4 Jeweler's Dream, T5 Blow and Berserker. While he lacks the survivability of other allies with the same cost, remember, the human side will have access to Protectors. Actually, Mocking Armor is available to both sides. Not to forgive the four health, but it's not always such a large downside.

The problem with relying on CB is more than less consistency. With what we've seen from Dark Prophecies so far, it's possible that attachments will be more and more popular. And with that means that attachment removal becomes more and more popular. This already hurts for current Warriors, shutting off Blood Frenzy and Enrage, but Crippling Blow as well. The more you rely on well for this card, the more vulnerable you become.

Alternately if CB, Captured Prey, and any other, similar cards are on the rise, this card loses effectiveness. If one of these is played against you before the fifth turn, it's highly unlikely you'll get to haste the berserker in.

All this said, haste is still haste. With the right play, a card like this can turn a game around. The problem is, will it happen enough to warrant the slot?

Rating: 7/10. I have no doubt that this card will see play, and I also do not doubt he will win some games. The only question is how often. That's difficult to answer without knowing what the meta post-Prophecies will be like, and imho depends a lot on how playable attachment removal is in the near future. Sever Ties could sever this card in two, but I have high hopes.

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