The latest Friday Hex update revealed a couple of very interesting cards which alter card drawing mechanics. Lets take a look at them!
In addition to having great art and a cool name, Cerebral Fulmination also has a very interesting effect – at the start of each player’s turn, they draw an extra card. Now, there are a couple of things that probably come straight to mind when you see this card; first, the effect benefits your opponent as well as you and secondly, they’ll actually get the advantage of the effect before you will. Both of these things are true, and should certainly make you consider whether or not this effect is going to give you a bigger benefit than it will your opponent before adding it to your deck.
That said, if your deck is specifically built around taking full advantage of this, it can give you a huge edge even considering that your hated enemy gets the extra cards too. Filling your deck with effective, low-cost cards means that drawing more than one every turn means you’ll be able to quickly bring the full force of your deck to bear. Cards like Burn and Ragefire can have devastating effects if you can play a lot of them in quick succession, and since Ragefire gets shuffled back into your deck for the Escalation rule, you’re greatly increasing your chances of drawing more copies. Or, maybe troops are more your thing, and your deck revolves around flooding the battlefield with Pack Raptors, or using The Ancestor’s Chosen to fill your deck with Ancestral Specters (or maybe both!) – being able to draw multiple copies of these cards a turn can only be a benefit.
The equipment is interesting, as it can also turn the card into a literal bomb, allowing you to sacrifice the Cerebral Fulmination to cause the target Champion to take damage equal to their hand size. The hand limit of 7 cards obviously limits the damage dealt by this, but also creates an obvious sweet-spot for you to target. The Breastplate is an odd one – it lets your opponent redraw a new card whenever they play a card. Some people think this is a typo but I’m not so sure myself. As I said, you have a max of 7 cards in your hand – once you go over that, the excess must be discarded. If your opponent is constantly drawing more cards than they can use, they are rapidly going to start having to discard potentially valuable cards at an alarming rate. Whether or not this is worth the downside of your opponent constantly having access to a lot of cards remains to be seen. And don’t forget – you can always play multiple copies of this card to draw even more cards per turn.
Another card with great art and a great name, the Sadistic Castigator was the second card revealed on Friday, and true to its name horribly punishes your opponent for the simple act of drawing cards. Playing this card basically puts a clock on the game if your opponent can’t immediately deal with it – especially if their deck relies heavily on card draw or is filled with high-cost cards. Imagine drawing Argus the turn after your opponent plays this guy; if you don’t lose the game on the spot you won’t be far off!
He also combos very well with Cerebral Fulmination – the damage even from drawing low cost cards is quickly going to stack up if you’re forced to draw 2 cards each turn. It can be pretty demoralising for your opponent when an action they have no choice to perform, and one that was previously very exciting/rewarding, suddenly becomes the source of their inevitable defeat and one they dread coming. I don’t think we’ve seen any yet, but any effects that force your opponent to draw cards will also work pretty well here, and there’s some nice synergy with things like Countermagic, which also make your opponents cards cost more, and therefore deal more damage.
The PvE equipment makes this even worse, increasing the cost of their troops and/or actions by 3, not only increasing the damage they take but massively slowing down their ability to play effectively. And lets not forget the advantage of the reveal aspect of this card – seeing what cards your opponent is drawing every turn makes it all the easier to anticipate what they are going to do. There are no surprises if you know all of their cards!
The Ascetic Aspirant is actually an old card, but I felt it was worth including since it ties in pretty well with the theme of the other two cards, and also benefits quite heavily from Cerebral Fulmination when in its second and third forms, the Enlightened Seeker and The Transcended. The bonus that Cerebral Fulmination provides to the Enlightened Seeker should be obvious – if you don’t already have 7 cards when you transform the Aspirant into him, with the extra draw from the Seeker and Cerebral Fulmination, it’s probably only going to take you the one turn to get that full hand and transform into the final stage. With proper timing, the “you can’t play cards” effect might not even trouble you at all.
The benefit with The Transcended should be obvious – the ability to cherry pick 2 cards out of your deck rather than 1 every turn should basically assure you the win very quickly. Imagine being able to pull 2 Ragefires from your deck every turn. If those first two aren’t enough to finish off your opponent, the second two almost certainly will be! That said, if you are using the legendary PvE equipment, you might want to be a bit careful combining these two cards – since instead of drawing a card you draw 2, Cerebral Fulmination’s effect essentially doubles, meaning you’re drawing 4 cards at the start of each turn. Sounds great in theory, but if it goes on for too long you might accidentally deck yourself!
So, there you go. Some very interesting cards that fundamentally alter the mechanics of drawing cards from your deck. These are always pretty potent effects, so you can expect to see them in quite a lot of decks once the game is playable later this month!
The other update from Friday was the release of some lovely high-resolution images of all the cards revealed at PAX and DragonCon last weekend. I’ve gone through my previous two posts, the Cards from Convention Weekend and my Top 5 Cards and updated all the blurry art we had with these nice clear images.
That’s all for today! Check back next time when I reveal how you can master the arts of the samurai in just five days!