Argent Depths Spoiler Review: Heroes from the Depths
Today I'm going to give you my thoughts on some of the most exciting cards from the new set. This cycle of cards all has the cost 4XXXXYY with powerful abilities. The question for each is whether the power is worth the cost. We've seen some of these cards already but that was before getting a chance to play with them in the event.
On that note I want to make something clear. In the even these cards are significantly easier to play than normal. The cost 4XXXY is significantly easier than 4XXXXYY. For the latter you need a dual power on 2/4 of turns 1-4. For the former you don't even need a dual power. The event should only be used to judge the payoff for meeting this hefty cost. We've gained no new information about the cost itself, and unless we see new influence fixing I'm willing to say these cards are unplayable in Expedition.
Angelica: The stats are not bad and this ability helps push through damage. Tota Pioneer was underrated at first and then went on to be rightfully nerfed. Angelica doesn't ramp you like Pioneer but does give a substantial buff to other units. I'd say you want to consistently have a spell with cost 4 or more in your void before you consider Angelica. Not giving Overwhelm like Pioneer means that the buff needs to be consistently large. Although you can play here on 4, she's going to be a 5 drop most of the time because you want to use her the turn you play her. This means she's less harsh on the influence than some of her siblings. There's no existing deck that wants he but I wouldn't be shocked if she saw play.
Marley: There's a classic dichotomy of units: those that give value through stats or static abilities and those that give value upon summon/death. Marley is both and silencing a unit or killing a relic is rarely going to be irrelevant as most decks will have one of those in play. If Marley survives, she starts hitting hard. Whenever you play a dual power she gets +4/+2 and Overwhelm,
Good luck blocking that! Yes, she does die to Jekk but her summon ability makes that exchange not so backbreaking. The best home for her is probably some Rakano midrange deck with Jekk, but after those two cards I'm not sure what else to get excited about. Rakano hasn't been good for a long while.
Kenna: The stats on Kenna are good and the ability to eat a medium-sized unit upon being played is powerful. The second ability, I'm unsure about and the easiest comparison is Throne Room. I've heard some people sing praises of Skycrag Throne Room but I've never been convinced that deck was actually good (the TDC Feln version on the other hand has been great). If you're h-
itting your opponent over and over again with units do you really need a bonus? If your units each have 3 attack or more (as would likely be the case in a Kenna midrange deck) you've already dealt 15+ damage making this ability feel win more. I think Kenna is powerful, but not enough to warp your power base on her own. And right now playing her means you can't play Jekk, and If you're not playing Jekk you're making a mistake.
Diana: Diana is a conflicted card. She helps stabilize the board but oftentimes, you need a stabilizer the most when you're power isn't coming together very well. She also excludes herself from Combrei Relics because she can't be ramped into, and I want to be playing some high cost card on turn 4 not a 4 drop. The ultimate also requires a lot of power and 12 power is rare in even some of the most grindy matchups. She also doesn't become harder to kill when you ultimate meaning a well-timed removal spell eats up your whole turn. I've changed my mind from before, I don't expect Diana to see play.
Katra: Katra is undoubtedly the most powerful of this cycle. The release of Vows means that she'll consistently be able to ramp you with her summon. She also grows in the process! She can easily be a 9/7 the turn you play her if you follow up with a power from your hand. The hate ability is fairly niche but can shutdown Re-Read and Prodigious Sorcery making a headache for your opponent who decided to wait for more information. She slots nicely into Xenan Hourglass decks we've seen in the past and will make those decks a force to be reckoned with in Throne.
Rolant: I was skeptical of Rolant at first (and still kinda of am because of the influence) but he has shown to be a nightmare when unit combat occurs. He floods the board with Scorpion Wasps while growing in the process. Move over Statuary Maiden, there's a new way to punish sacrifice decks and big time decks. I'm sure he'll see play at some point, but no deck that wants him exists yet.
Rindra: Rindra was reasonable in the event but nothing to get excited over. Reasonable doesn't cut it with that influence requirement. The-
re's obvious synergy with Haunting Scream (as GHP wrote about) but a 6/7 Flying Liftesteal for a turn doesn't cut it anymore. This is barely better than Screaming back Vara. With the release of Etchings I expect to see an uptick in copies of Xo and Hurler. This makes Rindra's discard ability significantly worse.
Danica: Drawing a card is nice and all but unless there are a lot of great Imbue units I'm not building my deck around Danica. As such I'm going to evaluate this as a cantripping 3/4 Overwhelm with Imbue. The question then becomes why would I ever play Danica over Grazer or Golem? Her rate is awful for the cost and always wanting to Imbue to draw a card makes her inflexible. I don't expect Danica to see play.
Buhton: "Unnerfed Highwayman." Oh how I with that were true but it's not. Buhton was good in the event but in Stonescar you can't afford to be waiting around for your influence to come together. If you Imbue a unit then it's easier to block your attack. He never clears out a blocker without also preventing an attack. Additionally, a well-timed Defiance stunning Buhton locks up both he and the imbued unit for 2 turns. That's a big tempo swing! The only place I expect this to possibly see play is as a 1 of in 5f Even Vox to fetch with Keelo.
Roshi: Last and certainly least is Roshi. Roshi is not only not worth the harsh influence cost, he wasn't even good in the event. If he cost 4 without no influence I still wouldn't play him! Stunning an enemy unit is cool but Ice Sprite has never been a constructed playable card. Roshi has no evasion and no Aegis so he'll just sit there on the board as a pile of medium-sized stats.
That's it for today, I'll be back soon with another spoiler review smorgasbord!