Tune Star coming back at you today with the second half of my breakdown of the “purple patch”. For those of you who missed part 1 a few days ago, you can find it here. For the rest of you: let’s just get to business.

Hotel Barkeep

Hotel Barkeep

  • 2/4 → 3/4

Barkeep was already playable but now this is pushed. I think it’s really good for us to see other pushed 3 drops to compete with Shopworn Bull and Serendipity Ifreet. It’s shown quite clearly these last couple days on ladder how much of an impact the new buff Barkeep is having!

Hungry Ghost

  • 3/4 → 4/5

This is another one with not much to talk about. Higher starting base stats it will make it easier to manage growing your Hungry Ghost before it wastes away too much. Hopefully this enough to push this back into Midrange decks but is currently on my list of things I haven’t managed to test yet.

Insatient

  • Piercing

Insatient’s is probably the most minor of all the buffs; just making sure it cannot get blocked by Armor. This won’t change anything about the way Insatient is played but is a nice buff to see.

Jin-Sook, Dollmaster

Jin-Sook, Dollmaster

  • 6{P]PP → 5[P]PP
  • 0/6 → 0/5

Putting Jin-Sook’s powerful effects out a turn earlier is a huge buff. As I said previously, movement-based effects are among the most fun and interesting effects in Mythgard and Jin-Sook’s stands out even among those. I’m happy to give this more playtime!

Juiced

  • Friendly minions in three adjacent lanes get +1/+1 → and a move action

This is interesting as it helps mitigate the potential downsides of clumping in 3 lanes by once again allowing you to manipulate your positioning with movement effects (sensing a trend here). I really like this change and it makes me want to test Green/Purple Canines with Juiced and Sniffer.

Kite Glider

Kite Glider

  • Give a minion → with 5 or less strength Agile and Swift until end of turn

This is both a buff and a slight preemptive nerf. Kite Glider was previously being used mainly to push big minions through clogged board states for damage. And let’s be real, Sapo doesn’t exactly seem like he’d fit on it. Giving Swift + Agile now opens some phenomenal potential for play with Rogue Idoloid and Pentacle of Flavors by virtue of Blast. A nod goes to Rotary Forgling from Fires of Creation for also having Blast. Overall, this is a great change in my book.

Knives in the Dark

  • Give a minion → Turn a minion into an Outlaw with Lurker and ‘Before attacking in combat, deals 2 non-combat damage to the defending minion’

This change is interesting. Whilst there’s no use for the Outlaw tag just yet… maybe it’s a taste of what’s to come, which is always exciting. The real benefit of this change is the addition of Lurker which will help keep our new outlaw lurking in the shadows and enabling them to initiate combat more often than not and benefit from the 2 non-combat damage Knives in the Dark provides. It’s a good change and one I expect to see the full impact of in Arena.

Mind Freak

  • Look at an enemy player’s hand and choose a card. It becomes → unburnable, Ephemeral, and its mana cost increases by (3)
Mind Freak

This might be the change with the most immediate and obvious implications to the metagame. Being able to make cards in your opponent’s hand unburnable has some incredible potential, such as locking them out of entire Factions or hitting combo pieces like Volition early, disrupting their entire hand. Multiple Mind Freaks hitting the same card more than once can even make them completely unplayable. We’re already seeing this card a lot on the ladder and I don’t think that will be changing anytime soon.

I could potentially see a slight tweak to this card capping the maximum mana cost it can increase a card to being 10. Just to prevent that case where people get stuck with outright unplayable cards in their hand, which isn’t a fun gameplay experience. Overall, this is a phenomenal buff and I’m happy to see this kind of soft interaction come into play in the Mythgard metagame.

Muttonmorphosis

  • Transform a minion with mana cost (5) or less into a 2/2 → 1/1 Electric Sheep, removing all of its abilities

I don’t think this actually changes the dynamic of the card very much, but what it does do is stop the card from punishing players as much if they use it poorly. I already thought this was quite strong and this should be the push it needs to pick up in play. It’s a nice change overall.

Neo Gangnam

  • 3[P]P → 3[P]

Here we have another really simple flat buff that opens up use of a Warded-granting enchantment in other decks as a splash option. Of course another Purple Enchantment to be buffed….. bring on the Rainbow!

Peach of Life

  • If there are 7 → 6 or more minions in your boneyard, draw a card

Here’s a really simple buff. Peach was already playable and this now brings it into the light for more decks to play and the ability to play it earlier without sacrificing the card draw in a pinch. I love it and love the Peach.

Perfect Grade

Perfect Grade
  • 1🗲 → 3🗲
  • 1🗲▽ → 1🗲: Deal 2 damage to minions in the opposing three lanes
  • 2🗲▽ → 2🗲: Deal 4 damage to another minion
  • 1🗲▽ → 1🗲: Fully heals itself

This is probably my favorite change of the entire patch. Increasing the starting Energy from 1 to 3 allows us to use the 4 damage ability the turn he makes his grand entrance. Additionally, the Utility Action costs were removed from each effect. So it can now come into play and immediately hit 3 lanes for 2 damage twice, or deal 4 damage this turn and again next turn, or deal 4 and 2 AoE damage on the same turn.

This change really makes me feel like I’m playing an advanced Mecha with multiple different weapons systems and is worthy of the 8-mana investment. In my mind this is without a doubt the best change in the entire patch!

Pocket Instance

  • Occupying minion has → +1/+0 and Alpha Strike
  • Sacrifice this enchantment after the occupying minion engages in combat → with another minion

This is a cleverly subtle buff alongside a great buff. The +1 Strength buff alone would have made this card better but allowing the occupying minion to attack an empty lane without sacrificing the enchantment is a fantastic QoL buff as well. This is one of those well thought out buffs that won’t get enough attention because the card isn’t big or flashy. 10/10.

Pushy Oni

  • 5/5 → 6/5

Not much to say here, a strict numbers buff that pushes Pushy Oni (get it) from threat to straight up clock if left unanswered whilst still coming with the fantastic utility effect of shoving an opposing minion half way to Parsa and back.

Re:Spawn

Re:Spawn

  • Demise: Return to play in the same lane → with [Ephemeral]

Here’s a flat buff that opens up the potential avenue of using multiple Re:Spawn on the same minion over and over to keep it in play. How much harder is that Sapo or Chort Stag going to be to deal with when you know they’ve got a 1UP?

Shinobi of Smoke

  • 3/2 → 3/3
  • Swift → Teleport

Shinobi of Wind

  • Teleport → Swift

Previously the Shinobi of Wind was the only one I ever saw see real play in the constructed ladder. With Wind and Smoke swapping movement abilities and the previously mentioned buff to Shinobi of Fire, I suspect we might finally see all 3 of the craft ninja see play at the constructed level. We’re already seeing a big uptick on Shinobi of Smoke now. As a fun note, both Shinobi are bit more thematic now with their new movement abilities.

Steam Bun

Steam Bun

  • → (2)▼: Add a 1/1 Steam Bun to your hand

This might have been the change that surprised me the most and I’m in love with it. (editor’s note: why don’t you marry it?) Steam Bun already was one of the cards with a top-notch voice line and now I can hear it more often each game. From a more interesting perspective, this is now a crazy value engine in Control and Midrange decks and has potential to provide infinite fodder for Disk of Circadia and Hoarding Hero. You should expect to see lots of this little guy going forward.

Tong Foot Soldiers

  • 1/1 → 2/1

A small stat buff that allows this card to now trade up into 4 health minions. I’m personally undecided if this pushes it into “making the cut” territory or not, but as another bearer of the Outlaw tag, maybe we will see more of it in the future.

Yojimbo

  • (2) → (1): Lose Defender until end of turn

I really liked Yojimbo on the first iteration of purple’s launch. I’m happy to see him return. This buff certainly makes him significantly more playable, as it’s reasonable for some decks to “float” 1 mana a turn for an oversized body early, but it absolutely wasn’t for 2 mana.

Zen Archer

  • 3[P] → 3[P]P
  • 1/4 → 1/2
  • When an enemy minion with Agile attacks, it must first take 2 damage → When an enemy minion attacks, it must first take 1 damage

Phoenix Feather

Phoenix Feather
  • Cost: 1 → 2
  • Give a friendly minion Slayer 2 → Give a minion Agile

Of course we need to discuss these two together. The Feather being changed from Slayer 2 to Agile is a massive buff, even with the cost increase, as Agile is a huge way to sneak in massive damage past potential blockers. In the same vein, the change of Zen Archer to dealing damage to any minion when it attacks, instead of just Agile ones, more than makes up for the increase in cost and reduction in base stats. People may find themselves in trouble if they’re relying on Rush minions to be the majority of their removal once a few Zen Archers take up position on the rooftops.

Freki Sidecar

  • Adjacent minions → with mana cost (5) or less have Rush

I am incredibly happy to see any change to this card at all and anyone who had been playing for the last two weeks knows the crazy shenanigans that ensures when you fit a mountain sized troll into a motorbike sidecar. I personally would have liked to see this be changed to only grant Valkyries Rush, but that’s not meant to be. Sorry Ingrid, but this Freki doesn’t pick up hitchhikers. Overall, it’s a fantastic change for game balance and one I am ecstatic to see.

Shadhavar Beast

Shadhavar Beast
  • 2/3 → 1/3

I think it’s clear that this card is intended to be the defensive 3 drop while Serendipity Ifreet is the offensive one. In that sense, I would have liked to see a 1/4 stat line, but in saying that, this is still an incredibly powerful card that will see a lot of play, so 1/3 is definitely the safer place to start. I will note that even though this will still see a lot of play, it will be less than before, potentially letting some slack out on cards like Venomfang Mutant to do their thing again.

Conclusion

In closing, I think this patch is a raging success considering just how many changes were made and how positive the community’s reception has been to them. Not only did this bring upwards of 30 purple cards into the forefront of constructed play but they also dragged other purple cards with them. This honestly feels like a small expansion has been added to the game, which is exactly how I feel balance patches can be utilized in the digital CCG space. My compliments to the team at Rhino and I’ll see you all on the ladder in the coming days!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related