8 Early Standouts in Argent Depths
Argent Depths was released last week, and both the Throne and Expedition meta games have been adjusting to the addition of over 200 new cards. Many of these cards were shown off during the spoiler season, and many players had strong opinions on which ones would stand out, and which cards will flop. Now that we’ve had time to play with the set and discuss these cards, let’s go over some of the biggest stand outs so far and where they are shining. Of note, this list is in no particular order.
1. The Etchings:
One of the new ways to access the market, Etchings showed promise the minute they were spoiled and have not disappointed. Although they don’t have a home in every archetype, this cycle has shown up in decks such as Throne’s Xenan Ambush and Expedition’s Mono Shadow midrange. Etchings shine in midrange decks, as they look to play a large number of units, making the cost of exhausting a unit easy to pay for and can use a wide variety of market options. If you need cheap interaction, playing an Etching to get a 2 or 3 cost removal spell does wonders, but if the game is going late being able to also cast expensive units such as Azindel without playing them main deck is huge.
2. Desperate Courier:
Although not the most threatening card in and of itself, Desperate Courier helps enable decks that want to play on their opponents turn, while also increasing the quality of your hand. The obvious home for this has been Xenan Ambush, but cost reduction is extremely powerful and decks like Temporal Control could try to use this card in order to cheat out multiple spells on the same turn. It’s hard to tell how much play this card will end up seeing, but having the potential to discount multiple cards in the same turn for only 1 power is terrifying to exist.
3. Desert Alchemist:
One of the most hyped cards in the set, Desert Alchemist does a lot for only 2 power. Making your hand better while providing an Ambush unit AND packing Deadly has made this one of the most popular cards so far this set, being a 4 of in almost every time deck I’ve seen. This card has helped revitalize Time as a faction, and I expect to see it pop up constantly in time control decks such as Elysian Control, any sort of time midrange deck, and likely most if not all aggressive time decks. It’s worth noting cards like Bubble Shield aren’t on this list, and the prevalence of Desert Alchemist is a huge reason for that.
4. Trickshot Ruffian:
Justice based aggressive decks, and many Crownwatch Press-Gang decks received a huge upgrade with Ruffian. Although weak by itself, Ruffian helps Justice decks push through massive boards, and can serve as a 1 cost Flash Fire if you can force the buffed unit through. This card has brought back decks like Hooru Midrange in Throne, and players are experimenting with similar decks in Expedition. This card might not look like much, but all sorts of decks are experimenting with this card and if Aegis threats become strong again, expect to see Ruffian by their side.
5. Helio, the Skywinder
For those of us who love to draw cards, Helio is the kind of card we dream of. This card may require a heavy commitment to primal, but will easily draw 2, sometimes 3 cards on turn 5 if you play a symbol and any more cards after that is just icing on the cake. A 5 cost 2/2 that draws 2 is reasonable which is what makes this card so good, meaning players don’t need to feel like they have to hold onto this card for maximum value. So far this card has only heavily popped up in Expedition Elysian Control, but shows promise for any Primal control deck or as a market option for primal heavy midrange decks. It does seem that many players currently feel that most control decks now should look to be making the most out of Helio and our next card, Wasteland Broker.
6. Wasteland Broker:
The card that gave Even decks market access, Wasteland Broker has made a big impact since Argent Depths was released. Some players claim it’s the way of the future for markets, while others seem unconvinced that the card is viable outside of Even decks. Personally, I am have only been impressed by this card in decks such as Even Vox (which lacks both market access, and can quickly draw to multiple copies of the shuffled card) and control decks who can use Broker to shuffle in multiple copies of win conditions such as Scourge of the Frosthome or Channel the Tempest. Wasteland Broker is a powerful card that lines up nicely against aggressive decks, but once the meta settles I do not expect to see this card popping up in many midrange decks over regular merchants or market spells.
7. Curtain Call:
Curtain Call has truly been a meta defining card, serving as life gain, a combat trick, board protection, revenge card, and your units can't be killed text (which can't be silenced). Frankly, this card is insane. Decks such as Rats, Xenan Ambush, Even Vox and basically any deck with both shadow and time have started to play this card in large quantities due to how rarely the card is bad. Curtain Call serves a ton of purposes, and makes cards like Stand Together look laughable. There’s not a lot to say about this card, except that I expect it to be one of the most played cards in the upcoming ECQ.
The most hyped cards in the set, Cylix's, have not disappointed. These cards are seeing play as 4 of’s in whatever deck can play them, and some decks are even splashing extra ones if they are not an influence heavy deck to draw a treasure off the third copy. These are a huge boost to the overall consistency of the game and the factions that received these got a massive upgrade in their power base. If you’re playing less then 4 Cylix’s in your deck, in a faction that has access to them, please go put them in. These, alongside Insignia’s, are likely always played in 2 faction decks now, and then some combinations of Banners, Seats, Crests and Vow’s (Less so Vow’s) for your dual-faction power cards. These aren’t overpowered, but will see constant play for likely...ever.
There are many other powerful cards in Argent Depths that players haven’t even scratched the surface of, while others haven’t met expectations. Will these be the only cards that make a major constructed splash, or will cards such as Worldpyre rise to power once the meta begins to settle? Have any thoughts on Argent depths so far, or have any cards you disagree with being on or not making the list? Let us know in the comments or on the official Backlash Twitter!