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Exclusive Spoiler: Arcanum Battery

Today we have an exclusive spoiler from Backlash patron Yistout! Thank you again for giving us this card to spoil!

Arcanum Battery is an 8FFF 6/6 Sentinel with "when you play a spell with cost 5 or more, play a 5/4 Sentinel" and "Arcanum Battery costs 1 less for each of your T influence."

Battery is a payoff for two different themes of the set - high cost spells and large influence costs. If you have FFFTTTTTTTT this is free. I could have used numerals in that last sentence but the way I wrote it better captures how hard this will be to use in that fashion. No previously successful deck has had the many influence pips needed, and you will need enablers beyond power because this won't happen just by hitting power drops. We'll need something which has perhaps not yet revealed, since I don't even think Interloper will make this doable. Of course you don't *need* it to be free but a deck that aims for even 2 cost Battery may as well go for it being free since you're warping your deck so much. Additionally if it costs more than 2 it's not worth it since a 3 cost 6/6 is only slightly above average. If you can get it to cost 0 then it becomes a great card to pair with expensive draw spells such as Wrath of Caiphus as you can play it afterwards even without having any power. It's also a great play before a Wrath of Caiphus because you get a free Sentinel. and Nahid's Distillation is another card that now goes well with Battery because of the nerf it got. If Battery is free you can even exhaust it to play Distillation.

This may seem like it would fit in a Volatility deck but I'd argue otherwise. To enable the influence ability you'll likely need to play many cheap cards which take up room otherwise allocated to Volatility hits. There's only so much room in your deck, and a deck of only influence fixers and expensive spells doesn't sound good to me. There's also the question of how good is a free 5/4? You may think I'm joking but playing expensive spells just to get a free medium sized unit every turn may not be worth it. Compare this to Kato which makes two 8/8s for the very low cost of 4 power. You may be bringing a knife to a gun fight.

I'm skeptical about Battery seeing competitive play but I hope I'm wrong. This is a very cool card that combines the set's themes in an interesting way. If and when new ways to gain influence are released I may need to reevaluate this card's viability.


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Timothy Chambers


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