Argent Depths Symbols and Scions Review
Tomorrow marks the release of Argent Depths, Eternal’s 9th set. For many players, this seems to be one of the sets they are most excited about and I definitely fall into that category. with new mechanics and many powerful new cycles of cards what is there not to be excited about? For me the most exciting cards so far are the cards with Plunder and the new power cycles including one of which we will get to discuss today. Without further delay, let’s dive into the spoilers from Direwolf Digital’s Argent Depths Format Updates article which you can read about here.
We’ve seen cards such as Flash Freeze show up briefly in constructed before, but also act as a consistently powerful option in draft. I expect Frost to be the same, being a card that’s not quite good enough in constructed but good enough for an efficient combat trick in draft, with the revenge just helping to push it over the top.
Similar to Frost, Slagfury Berserker, although powerful, simply doesn’t do enough to warrant constructed play. The one case I can see is using Haunting Scream on it to stun a unit and hit our opponent for a ton of damage, but I'm not convinced that it is worth building around yet. This will be a solid option for fire decks in draft, but I don’t see it making waves in the constructed meta.
The scions have returned, this time in a new cycle of 7 cost units. Each of these units cost 3 of its factions respective influence, have 6/6 stats, and grant all of your units of its faction +1/+1. This is nowhere near good enough for constructed, and so the ability of each scion is going to need to do some serious work.
Kaleb’s game plan is to utilize Quickdraw in order to break through blockers and draw expensive weapons in the late stages of the game. They won’t be weapons like Kaleb’s Persuader but instead cards like Divining Rod or Shavka’s Embrace. Although a powerful ability, Kaleb looks too tempo negative to be worth including currently. In general, cards that cost 7 power that don’t impact the board need to do something game winning the next turn in order to see play, and drawing a weapon but not even playing it is nowhere near a game winning play.
A substantial step up from Kaleb, Talir can potentially play an expensive card for free each time you attack, but can even hit a sigil. Some form of deck manipulation such as Crests or Second Sight may be required in order to make this card worthwhile, but Talir could be a consideration for some expedition decks moving forward. Expedition hasn’t found a real ramp deck yet that relied on units to ramp instead of cards like Power Stone but if one is to exist, Talir could be a potential pay off as a way to make your ramp units better in the later stages of the game and to have a higher likelihood of hitting a big threat off a Talir attack.
Rolant unfortunately falls short in the win-the-game-if-it-sticks-around category, producing only more units to add to the board but not protecting them further. Although a solid unit, Rolant is not going to be worth the 7 power investment even if he manages to stick around.
Remember that Grodov Stranger card that got nerfed twice? Eilyn has a similar effect, but is substantially worse, costing more, not playing a power the turn it enters play, not having Traver’s farm to help cast it...you can see where this is going. In its current state, Grodov's Stranger isn’t really anything special and if that card isn’t seeing play, I’m confused about how Eilyn will see any, even if they are in different factions. I know, I’m a hater but don’t worry, there is hope.
Easily the most exciting Scion, Vara offers a reanimation style effect on attack, making it one of the few repeatable reanimates in Eternal. Vara still may not make the cut, but this is a powerful effect to give decks such as Mono Shadow in Expedition access to out of the market or even a couple copies at the top end of their curve. Having life steal also means that if Vara is alive but not able to bring much back, she still can be relevant with big life total swings. Speaking of limitless, we’ve got one more card to talk about in this article that will certainly be limitless.
Oh boy. Players have been predicted we’d be getting these powers at some point and finally they have arrived. In a set filled with hard to cast cards, Symbols help cast those cards but come with a serious cost of always being depleted. Symbols aren’t an auto-include, and decks that struggle with depleted power such as aggro decks are going to need to make a serious choice if they want to consider playing these cards in order to enable, say, Buhton. There’s not a lot to say about these cards, except that they will open deck building options that never existed before, but I don’t expect to see these running rampant once players figure out their new power bases with all the new options available to them.
Argent Depths is looking like an extremely powerful, yet exciting set. The symbols are definitely one of the biggest selling points for me but one thing is clear, Expedition and Throne both are about to get a massive shakeup. Have any thoughts on the set as a whole, am I absolutely wrong about the scions? Let me know in the comments or on the official Backlash Twitter.