Eternal: 7/29 Balance Change Review
Two weeks ago we saw 8 cards receive nerfs after the ECQ Dead or Alive, 5 of which were from Eternal’s newest set Argent Depths. On July 28th, Direwolf Digital announced what truly is an emergency patch, bringing us two more nerfs. Both cards are from Argent Depths, bringing us to 7 cards nerfed so far from this set, which is a new record.
With Rakano Aggro/Influence matters being the top deck in the Expedition after receiving the absurdly powerful promo card Friends in Low Places, the meta began to warp around this deck, and for good reason. This deck was able to play both an aggressive gameplan while not being afraid to grind out games in the late game due to it’s powerful card quality and ability to end games out of nowhere with Ruffian or Marley's Surge ability repeatedly. No one should be shocked about changes targeting this archetype, as even many Reddit users pleaded for Direwolf to make a patch, and all I can say is I hope this is enough, since Expedition was miserable to play pre-patch.
Telut the Iron Gate: Surge: Each enemy unit gets -1 strength and your relic weapon gets +1/+1 -> Each enemy unit gets -1 strength this turn and your relic weapon gets +1/+1 Speaking of miserable, Telut was responsible for creating uninteresting board states and causing games to go on endlessly. Although intended to be difficult to cast, Rakano and other decks like Argenport Midrange can easily cast this card on turn 4 if they choose to, and since most of the best influence-matters pay offs in Expedition are justice based anyway, the deck building requirement was minimal. With this in mind, Telut often came down to shrink all enemy units by -2 attack, stale-mating or winning the board by itself with little counter play. This change will likely push Telut out of relevance, as "-1 strength this turn" isn’t a very valuable effect, let alone one that requires a heavy influence commitment. Buffing a relic weapon also isn’t that good when you're having to use even more resources to do so. Telut needed a massive change, and I can be okay with essentially deleting this mess.
Ijin, Walking Armory: The first time you play a unit each turn, play a +4/+4 weapon it -> The first time you play another unit each turn, play a +4/+4 weapon it.
Ijin was a powerful option for Rakano decks, and with the addition of Friends in Low Places, finding Ijin became even easier. Ijin gave Rakano decks an engine like effect, giving it the ability to make each unit massive. However, you could not respond to Ijin getting played, who would also give herself a weapon. This led to some very polarizing game play, and when this card was often getting played with Aegis, it became uninteresting and way too difficult to deal with for any deck with damage based removal. I expect this nerf to be less impactful than Telut’s, and I expect every Rakano Expedition deck to still want this card, but this should open up more chances to deal with Ijin, including giving non Rakano fire decks more options to burn it away.
Another patch, another review down. One big question has to be asked: is this enough? As mentioned many times in this article, Friends in Low Places pushed Rakano way over the Top, but a card with that power level will likely creep back up and become problematic again in the future, so should it have seen a nerf? Nerfing cards immediately after release is never something that we want to see, but being both extremely powerful and a card that has made many players have less fun with the game is something to keep in mind. Emergency balance patches aren’t something we see often in Eternal, and I hope more aren’t coming but only time will tell if the Rakano Surge has ended, or if we only put duct tape on the leak. What do you think of this patch, do you think it’s enough or was the target missed? Let us know in the comments or on the official Backlash Twitter!