Hello again! This is erobert back, at last, to talk some more Mythgard! While we spend time in Fires of Creation looking at individual decks, their histories and inner workings, I am happy to unveil a new article series which focuses instead on core mechanics, Paths and Powers. Starting from the most common and basic applications of these abilities, I hope to examine what possibilities are yet to be explored, and what sorts of decks could emerge with these Paths and Powers. For the first installment, I will focus on Disk of Circadia, probably the most complex Path and one that is only commonly used in a very narrow archetype. Let’s get started!
The Love Song of Day and Night
Disk of Circadia stands out, featuring a rather complex set of interactions which are dynamic, “flipping” from Day to Night, or vice versa, every time the player activates their Power. Some aspects which are not always obvious from the outset, particularly that the Disk itself always begins play in the “Night” position, whose static ability heals each of your minions which did not attack this turn. The “Day” side of the disk has the static ability of granting all minions Slayer 1, not just your own. This becomes more complex in that there are also effects for each time you “flip” the Disk by activating your power, which happen only once per flip, unlike the continuous static abilities of the Disk’s sides.
When flipping from Night to Day, which will always be the first flip of the game, you discard a card from your hand. When flipping from Day to Night, you first use Divination 2, selecting 1 card from the top 2 cards of your deck to place on top of your deck, and then you immediately draw that card. This dynamic effect can help filter through your deck, at the cost of discarding a card from your hand, so making the most of Disk requires some flexibility in sculpting your hand, as well as the ability to dedicate Mana to activating your Power. Similarly Powers which target your own minions, like Infuse and Impel, or which have additional costs, like Reconstruct, can make early activations harder to pull off, which may impact your ability to use your Path. The Pursuit bonus for Disk is that your first Power activation costs 0 mana, but if you don’t have an early minion, you may not be able to make use of this and get started flipping your Disk.
The static abilities can also interact curiously with a Power like Infuse. If your Disk is on the Day side and you want to use Infuse to help your minion trade up with an opposing minion, your minion’s effective strength will stay the same, as it will lose Slayer 1 when the Disk flips to Night. This may be a good thing, as you will maintain your minion’s strength while removing Slayer 1 from the opposing minion, but it could also render your attempt to trade up moot. While playing with Disk you may need to carefully consider in what order you will attack, if you need to attack before or after you flip the Disk from Day to Night to draw a much needed card.
Night of the Living Dead
One of the first dimensions of Disk of Circadia to consider is that, like Turn of Seasons, it has an actual downside, separating it from the majority of other Paths. Unlike Winter in Turn of Seasons, however, the discard effect of flipping from Night to Day, has some more obvious outlets for minimizing or even profiting from this interaction. Most famously, Disk has been used as a powerful engine for providing Hopeless Necromantic with fearsome beasts to reanimate. Playing in Green, Necromantic decks also make good use of Born Again as a card which returns to your hand from your boneyard at the end of turn, making the discard effect completely free!
By having viable targets for discard throughout the deck, and ensuring a smooth first flip, for turn one on pursuit, and turn two otherwise, Necromantic decks can dig into their deck with the very next flip. Having access to not only the extra draw, but also Divination 2, means that you can more quickly dig your way to finding Born Again. With Born Again in hand, the Disk flips become incredibly effective at building up your hand, gaining a card every other turn without costing any cards in hand! While Necromantic builds are intricately designed to make the most of the discarding effect of Disk, the deck’s focus on colossal monsters doesn’t actually make the most of the static effects of Disk. In fact, a more aggro deck, focusing on filling the board with smaller minions, can take advantage the Slayer 1 bonus of Day allowing their swarm to overtake your beasts.
A New Reason to Go Wide
Thinking through the static advantages of Disk, particularly the universal Slayer 1 bonus of Day, in terms of swarming cheap minions, then provides another avenue whereby the effects of Disk can be maximized. Aggro strategies can easily hit a wall when burly defensive 2-drops like Einherjar Thane will be able to kill off multiple weenies without breaking a sweat. By flipping your Disk to Day, though, you can now use your Eager Recruits to trade up into more expensive minions, turning the tables on midrange decks which hope to outlast more aggressive strategies.
Eager Recruits and Simuzen fit the bill not only as cheap minions that can trade up with defensive minions, but they also put a potentially disposable card into your hand, Parsa Recruit and Healing Potion respectively. On Pursuit, your turn one Eager Recruit can immediately receive Slayer 1, only sacrificing a Parsa Recruit and setting up a board of dangerous minions. Aggro decks often run the risk of running out of gas, as their cheap swarming minions can be outvalued by defensive minions or susceptible to mass removal. While Disk doesn’t necessarily offer much relief from mass removal, it can provide a valuable response to opposing minions.
After your minions have traded up, you can flip the disk to deal damage with Smite while also putting a card into your hand. When you have played out all of your cheap minions, the flip from Night to Day won’t even affect your empty hand! Any deck that is interested in running Green can surely find room for Born Again as a reusable minion for trading up as well as an unlimited source of discards. Even without access to born again, the ability to produce disposable cards and an incentive to playing out one’s entire hand, can make Disk a good fit for aggressive strategies.
The uses of Slayer 1 become even more pronounced with specific combat effects. A card like Shinobi of Smoke can reliably use the Slayer 1 bonus to kill enemy minions in combat, and even more tantalizingly, Freki Huntress becomes even more capable of killing off an enemy minion with its native Alpha Strike. While these Slayer 1 bonuses are primarily useful in combat, in concert with Overrun on minions like Volkov Heavy or Stormdottir’s Chosen, or even the Overrun granted by Terragon’s Adamant Pearl, this becomes an extra damage to the opponent with every attack!
Getting a Good Night’s Rest
We haven’t even really scratched the surface of what can be accomplished with Disk, potentially using Night to heal defensive minions or Plague Maidens, or zooming through the deck even faster with Hotel Barkeep’s Powerful Ramen! While Necromantic strategies likely make the absolute best use of discard function, many other decks could benefit from the powerful drawing and filtering functions of Disk of Circadia, pinging for Smite damage all along the way! Similarly providing an aggro deck with extra gas and bonuses for their board covering swarm can potentially provide a whole new archetype of viable decks! Keep exploring and flipping those Disks!
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