Argent Depths Mechanic Review: Imbue
A few days ago, Direwolf Digital announced one more new mechanic coming in Argent Depths; Imbue. Many players already got to experience some of these cards and create more informed opinions in the Heroes From the Depths preview event this past weekend. Of course, we can’t discuss Imbue without figuring out what it does, so let’s dive in.
Imbue: When you play a unit with Imbue, you may stun one of your other units and keep it stunned. As long as it’s stunned, this unit gets its strength and health.
This mechanic may remind players of mentor, as both are abilities that are only relevant if you already have a unit on board. Unlike mentor, Imbue is all about buffing the unit with the summon effect and usually getting an effect, by potentially using weaker units in order to make a strong one. Many Imbue cards also gain a bonus effect when you use this ability, but I am skeptical of this ability at first due to its reliance on already having something on the board.
Not every Imbue has to come with an ability that triggers from using Imbue, and this is a prime example. Likely relegated to draft, Mandrake Shambler gives decks an option to build a large offensive unit when the board becomes stalled in order to trade into your opponents biggest unit, or take out multiple smaller ones. Not being able to block takes this card out of constructed viability, but shadow draft decks may be interested in this mandrake.
Another Imbue unit that is likely relegated to draft, Cloudsnake Mount gives players the option of putting a large flying unit in play that also serves as a late game power dump. Being forced to exhaust is a major downside, but this will serve as a solid unit in draft for both the early game and late game.
Danica, Runed Witch:
The next 3 cards are all a part of the 2 faction XXXXYY influence cycle, and as a disclaimer: they are all difficult to cast and likely require some deck building restrictions. Are they worth those restrictions? That’s what we are about to find out.
Danica enters as a way to build card advantage when you already have a board, including one card from playing Danica and using the ability, and then potentially more from other cards with Imbue. That said, Danica doesn’t have much of an immediate impact on the board, and between a heavy influence requirement and only drawing cards if you already have a board, Danica doesn’t strike me as something I want to be playing. We of course haven’t seen all of the cards for the set, but if Elysian ends up with an Imbue matters theme this could see play, but I’m not hopeful.
Bhutan, Death’s Reach.
I should have asked someone else to write this article so I didn’t have to receive flack for this, but Bhutan isn’t something i’m excited for. At first glance, Bhutan looks like a key player for Stonescar Aggro but between a heavy influence requirement, weak body without using Imbue and the requirement for the Imbue’d unit to have more attack then what you want to kill, this card requires a lot to shine. Most of the high attack units in Stonescar are game winning by themselves, and if they are already sticking around you are most likely already winning . My main interest for this card is the market, and trying to play it using Imbue on the merchant to snipe units with less than 3 attack. I am prepared to be wrong on this one, but are you?
Roshi, the Entrancer:
Roshi is all about building a unit with large stats while stunning an opposing unit, which should remind most players of both Daraka’s. This kind of effect has been around for awhile, starting with Ice Sprite but has continued to not be strong enough due to how poorly it lines up against unitless control, or as a tempo play while your opponent lacks something worth stunning. Without units to stun, this is a 4 cost 1/1 which means that finding stun targets will be a must for this unit, unlike the previous two legendaries. With this in mind, Roshi is way too specific to see play in decks such as Hooru Midrange, but could serve as an interesting reweave or Keelo target for decks such as Keelo Vox. These decks aren’t worried about this cards influence, and instead could tutor for Roshi when they can get maximum value out of it, instead of drawing potentially multiple copies when it’s at its weakest.
Argent Depth’s releases this wednesday, and with brand new and returning mechanics coming our way there’s a lot to look forward to. Personally, I’m skeptical of the Imbue mechanic but am excited to see how players decide to make it work. What do you think of Imbue and the upcoming set? Let me know in the comments or on the official Backlash Twitter.