Argent Depths Spoiler Review: Plunder, Decay and Revenge
With spoiler season heating up, brand new and returning mechanics have been announced alongside a number of fantastic cards that we will be taking a look at today. Of note, the Etchings spoilers will not be reviewed in this article, as TheBoxer has already written about them and you can read about those here. The Return of Revenge: One of the most powerful mechanics in Eternal, Revenge has returned in Argent Depths. This mechanic has typically led to very swingy games but also has enabled many strategies such as the Echo Makto decks of the past. Although not my favorite mechanic, I’m excited to see this return with some powerful but interesting cards. Speaking of powerful revenge cards:
Shared Vision: Although extremely difficult to cast, requiring multiple units and 4 primal influence, granting Destiny to any card is not something to look past. Shared Vision may help create new combo decks, but as it can grant a power card destiny, you most likely want to combo this with some deck manipulation with cards such as Second Sight. This is an extremely exciting Destiny card for any brewers out there, but has enough restrictions to hopefully stop it from being problematic.
Mobilization: Not the most flashy card, but Mobilization offers a way for primal to build a board of tokens at a decent rate. Only summoning 2/4 worth of stats, this card likely won’t see much play in constructed but in draft this card can generate enough units without a major investment that many primal decks will want to consider it.
Forget In the past, spells that silence units haven’t been strong enough due to not directly impacting the board, and that will likely be the case for Forget as well. If players feel they need a well timed silence effect, they will want to have it guaranteed and although the first time u play this card will be your choice, the revenge effect will often be wasted, If players want an effect like this, they are likely better off playing Shush, even if that’s not something i recommend.
Plunder: When you Plunder, you may choose a card in your hand to transform. If the chosen card was a power, it becomes a Treasure Trove. If the card you chose was not power, it becomes a sigil of one of it’s factions, randomly. If the card is a non-power factionless card, it will transform into a Sigil of one of your starting decks factions. One of the biggest turn offs to card games is non games or flooding, and Plunder is a nice way to help mitigate those while also giving players more decisions each game. Mechanics such as Pledge and Plunder make the game a better overall experience, and I hope to see Plunder show up on many constructed playable cards. One question left to be answered is, what happens if you Plunder in a deck with entirely factionless cards, as there is no factionless sigil currently. Will we get a new sigil? Will it create a random sigil from any faction? maybe it’ll summon Jekk, who knows? This is a question many can’t wait to see answered, and may become relevant over time as players toy with factionless decks.
Shifting Illusion: Another 1/1 flyer for one power with a new mechanic, Shifting Illusion likely does too little for Throne but may serve as an upgrade in Expeditions Elysian Flyers strategies. This isn’t the most exciting card, but shows that it doesn’t take much for Plunder to push a card to be at least considerable to play.
Desert Alchemist: This card is a true standout, and up to this point may be the best spoiled card in the set, with it’s only competition being the Etchings cycle. Desert Alchemist has a ton of text, as it trades with any unit for only 2 power, while also increasing the quality of your hand with Plunder. I expect Desert Alchemist to show up in many time decks for both Throne and Expedition, including potential control decks as many are considering playing Scorpion Wasp already. Two decks I want to try this card in are Jennev Midrange and Xenan Ambush. Jennev Midrange is a favorite of many, that has fallen off over the last few sets, but Plunder pairs nicely with the fate units such as Jotun Hurler, and helps with Jennevs plan of holding up a number of power each turn. Xenan Ambush was already a fringe deck, but only had 1 two-cost unit with Ambush, Damara, Deft Saboteur and with the addition of another two-cost Ambush unit, the curve for this deck gets a lot better and may be the final push this archetype needs.
Gleeful Firebrand: A build around tool for decks trying to play expensive spells, Gleeful Firebrand serves as both an early blocker, a boost to your overall hand quality and a late game repeatable burn spell. Despite this, Firebrand may be too weak for constructed, but decks such as Skycrag Control may want to look into this card if they start to find themselves wanting an early blocking unit. This card isn’t to be slept on, as it serves many roles and could potentially help create a dedicated burn deck that many players have continued to try and make work.
Beseech the Throne: This may not look like much at first glance, but factionless card draw is a very powerful thing to exist. This is another card draw spell that replaces itself with a bonus effect, similar to Quarry, Cull or Seek Answers, but the benefit of Plundering gives it extra versatility. The best comparison I’ve seen of this card is Petition, a card that helped send TheBoxer and his 5 faction pile of cards to the Eternal World Championship. It’s hard to tell where this card will show up, but it’s an exciting option that will find it ways into constructed decks Decay: When this deals damage to a unit or relic weapon, that card's strength and health (or armor) are permanently reduced by that much. Decay offers players new options for dealing damage, creating situations where players can use spells and units with Decay to set up for plays multiple turns in advance. One nice part of Decay is you can always attack with your small units, either getting small amounts of damage in or shrinking one of the opposing players larger threats. This isn’t going to be a game breaking mechanic, but will reward players who correctly utilize it and encourage alternative playstyles.
Brightling: Brightling serves as a draft card primarily, as it’s stats are too poor for constructed. This card does serve as a solid draft flyer who can’t be blocked for long by cards such as Towertop Patrol making it more likely to get damage in over time.
A powerful fire spell, Chemical Rounds not only can kill units with two or less health, but can also shrink units down to a more manageable size. One play that may come up often in Expedition is Chemical Rounds on Varret, Hero-in-Training. This play won’t kill Varret, but will reduce it down to a 0/1 unit, making it unable to attack and essentially killing the cards off or atleast making it no longer threatening. Chemical Rounds is a powerful card and I expect to see it show up in Expedition, especially if Blazing Salvo is no longer legal with the release of Argent Depths.
Having only one attack, Razor edge isn’t doing much by itself besides maybe shrinking one unit, but the real power of this card is granting your spells Decay. Granting cards such as Hailstorm Decay will make them better against larger units such as Sandstorm Titan. I’m not convinced this is an effect player will want to go out of there way for, but Razor Edge may serve as a market option for decks that could value Decay highly.
That’s all for our look at Eternal’s newest mechanics, Decay and Plunder along with the returning Revenge. The set is shaping up nicely, and Plunder especially has me very excited for the set to drop so I can explore new and old strategies once again. Have any thoughts on the cards or mechanics in this article? Let us know in the comments or on the official Backlash Twitter.