Hello everyone! My name is Nathan “noverb” Overbay and today I will be walking you through the multi-faction, faction-less, and Power cards of The Flame of Xulta. For the rest of the set review click here. This set features six new keywords, to find out more about them click here. My rating system is somewhat pass/fail and goes as follows:
- Playable: I think this will see play in a relevant capacity.
- Borderline: This card is close to playable. Often just shy of the pure power needed for Constructed play.
- Niche: This will only see play in select decks that can utilize a specific synergy with this card.
- Build-around: While similar to niche, this wants you to focus your deck around this card.
- Meme: This card has applications outside of trying form the best deck possible and instead do something fun or eccentric.
- Unplayable: This card is not powerful enough to see play or requires too much effort to be properly utilized.
- Market: This card will likely only be played as a Market card.
Please note that the thoughts and judgement for each of these cards is with Throne Constructed in mind. The Expedition format is too undefined for me to be sure about each card’s power. My initial thoughts are that most cards would receive a significant rating boost when making the change from Throne to Expedition.
This is one of those cases where I wish Exalted passed along all card text. Even though it doesn’t, giving the Oni tribe another Anthem is a solid boon. I could see this getting played in the Rakano variants of Oni tribal.
Be still my heart. I can’t wait to throw this into an Armory deck. While she doesn’t have Aegis like Throne Warden, she is cheaper and can grow your Weapons over time. Her body also dodges a lot of the common removal, increasing the likelihood that your Weapon gets that boost.
This card, while not incredibly exciting, has some hidden value. A Weapon’s inherent flaw is that you are putting multiple eggs in one basket. All the opponent has to do is come over with a removal Spell and tip the basket over, and that’s really good for them. However, in this specific instance, this Halberd comes with Bar the Gates. Take a look at their hand, name the removal spell that would get you, and voila you are safe to bash right on in there. I don’t think I’d ever want to main deck the card and it’s probably gonna be worse than Plate in most scenarios. It’s a nice proof of concept, though.
Rujin, Conflict Within
She is a weapon to pass along to any of your Oni, should she die. That on its own is quite cool. On top of that she is removal on a stick if you can curve into her well. The Oni decks we know probably don’t want her due to the fact that she costs so much. However, I think there is a new branch of Oni decks that will play cards like Tribe Craftsman to be able to feature the bigger Oni such as Rujin.
Judgement: Borderline / Niche.
This card is probably not as wildly playable as the other Choices, but it has merit. This is the second time we’ve been able to give a Unit Double Damage at Fast speed, this time at 2-cost. That could cause for some serious blowouts and forces your opponent to think more about what blocks they make. The second mode is also decent. Being able to choose what Unit you draw next after seeing what the opponent plays on their turn could be quite good. Rujin’s Choice is a solid card worth further exploration.
Being able to repeatedly give your entire team +1 Attack is a strong line of text. The question is what deck wants to be aggressive while also playing curses. At 2/2 for 2 I think this is a reasonable card to play in Feln Maul. The deck already plays Permafrost and Winter’s Grasp, so it’s not unlikely that a Feln version of Maul would want this. However, the most popular versions have been Elysian, so you would have to rework the curve without popular units like Cykalis and Lunar Magus. It seems that the curse deck may be more controlling than aggressive, so Alchemist may not find a home there. While this is a potentially powerful card, it needs to find the right home.
One of the more narrow choices but also one of the strongest. The synergy with Wanted Poster is obviously fantastic, getting better with multiples. The second mode is also quite good at turning the opponent’s removal against them. Felrauk has got you covered when it comes to getting value with your choice.
Felrauk the Outcast
Triple Primal/Shadow is a lot easier with the addition of Insignias, so the cost isn’t as prohibitive as it once was. The body is very fragile but it’s abilities make up for it in a big way. You can often have PPPSSS on turn three/four. That is perfect timing to set up an Honor the Claws discarding Felrauk to play it for free.
The summon ability is also nothing to scoff at, causing them to discard a card for free is great! Even forcing them to discard a power might make them miss out on a key piece of their curve. Discarding the top cards of their deck is often not going to matter in most scenarios but there are a few I can think of. Opposing Felrauks would get played if discarded and then potentially chain multiple Felrauks for each player, which is silly. Another corner case would be milling the opponents units that got Warcry triggers so they wouldn’t see the +1/+1.
Felrauk will immediately find a home in the Feln Reanimator list as a free threat to pressure the opponent while you set up the rest of your combo. I can also see it sliding into the Feln Midrange lists that are playing Honor the Claws and will now play additional sources of discard to fuel Felrauk. Due to its prohibitive cost it will probably not see play outside of feln, but who knows, it may find a home like Heart of the Vault has in Jennev.
I think it’s really cool that Kindo deals damage to himself to trigger his Mastery. Kindo really isn’t good at combat or helping win the game before the Mastery ticks off, though. He is decent at holding the ground being a 4-cost with 7 health. So I could see this being played in a mill combo deck that is trying to remove every option the opponent has from their deck. You just have to be mindful that Kindo doesn’t kill himself, he does have to survive!
You could use this to further your mill game plan against the opponent if you really wanted to. I don’t suggest this card or that plan.
Ila & Mizo
A 6/6 for 5 is not an unheard of rate. Notably you can compare this to Cirso, however it’s not as strong in battle as Cirso. The Mastery is interesting. If Ila and Mizo can deal damage twice you get a copy and then that copy can get a copy and so on. Endurance helps with dealing damage twice as well. Dealing damage on offense and defense will get a copy off the Mastery. This is on the borderline of playable and meme. I wish it had a Summon effect, although that might have been too strong.
Sodi the Metamorph
Sodi has those three words that light up any card gamer’s eyes, draw a card. Left to her own devices she could be one of the best value engines in constructed attached to a solid body. The cost is that you need TTTPPP on three, even with the great power that we have right now, that’s not guaranteed. You probably don’t even want to play her on turn three anyway. Utilize your other Units first to bait out the opponent’s Torches and play her when their hand has diminished. The Muster is quite interesting. Unlike the Muster cards spoiled before her, Sodi actually has an amazing standalone body/effect. One that actually fuels Muster by giving you more cards to work with. I can definitely see some solid turns involving a permafrost and a spell to play quite a few more cards than normal. Overall Sodi is very exciting and I can’t wait to see what she’s capable of.
Judgement: Constructed All-star.
This choice is on the lower end of the spectrum with Geminon’s Choice. It’s very narrow but definitely has some decent modes. If you can accurately assess the weakness of your deck and Sodi’s choice happens to answer that weakness, slap it into your Market. It’s also a decent call in those multi-faction decks that play a weird Market setup. Sometimes you just need your Negate to be two factions (see Kaleb’s Choice). Sodi’s Choice is niche, but passable.
The last time we saw this line of text was on Hunter’s Harpoon. Placing it on a 2-cost weapon is a way more efficient Cost/Power ratio. So it may have seen more play just from that aspect of it, but there’s more! It has Spellcraft 2 for Equivocate! That’s fantastic. Repeatable draw and removal attached to a singular weapon is amazing.
I can see this card going into Elysian Killers, Jennev, or some kind of Even deck. I expect we will see this go into a lot of Markets as well. Being two factions allows multiple three faction market builds to have access to it. It’s also exciting to use four Equivocate main and one Spellshaper in the Market.
Muster is not an easy thing to accomplish and this is not the Muster pay-off you are looking for.
Will you look at that, they made it an actual card, not just a token other cards spawn. Huh. Don’t play this, the rate is terrible.
Cremate is a decent removal spell that fills some gaps. First, it is a way to remove any Unit OR Site. Previously that was designated to burn spells which didn’t always kill any size Unit. Second, it gives the card Voidbound. In most cases giving a Site Voidbound won’t make a difference. However, it is a way for Stonescar to permanently answer cards like Makto and Rost, so that’s a good addition. My only gripe is that it costs 4, which might stop it from seeing the amount of play it deserves.
I don’t see this getting much play. Without a Summon effect or a set of interesting battle skills this doesn’t do enough before eating removal. If this was lower cost with a smaller body it may have seen play in Stonescar midrange. A possible deck that may want it is Dragon tribal but even then I think there are better options.
Voprex, Hope’s End
Aside from this costing a billion I think the body, keywords and ability are all great. At worst it steals a Unit while you have Voprex out. You won’t have this in play until the late stages so the opponent will likely have expended all of their removal. Adding any other Dragons to the mix is just complete gravy. Control decks will likely play one or two of these as a finisher.
So nice of DWD to give this card three modes. Making the opponent sacrifice a unit gets around a hard to remove Aegis threat. In addition to that it can also return a Dragon OR Weapon from your Void. The modal return is great. I can see this fitting into a few different decks and it will do the job it sets out to do well. Both modes will rarely be a good call at the same time, but this is likely going to be live at all stages of the game. I wouldn’t play this in a deck without targets for the second mode, so obviously build the deck to work with your cards.
Don’t think too hard about the first line of text. It’s rarely going to be relevant. Even if a Dragon deck rises up to be #1, Aamri won’t be what you want to beat it. The body is on par for it’s cost but without any keywords it probably won’t do a ton in battle. The real power comes from Aamri’s Summon. If you had any Units trigger their Mastery they get to do it again, TWICE. That being said, you generally have to do some work to make Mastery happen. So my instinct tells me that by the time you are triggering Mastery twice more with Aamri, you are just winning more. If the opponent let you do those things, they were probably already getting crushed before Aamri showed up.
Okay, who signed off on this? This card is phenomenal. On one side, it’s a great pump Spell to push through damage. On the other, it removes hard-to-answer threats that try to race you. This card is exactly what Combrei Aggro and Midrange decks want. I can’t expect you run any less than four.
The cost/body ratio is on point with this card. This is one of the few Masteries that I don’t see being too hard to trigger without any help. An early Longhorn will have you playing your bigger threats in no time!
This card is quite good. While it has a rather small body it does have some great abilities. The ability to remove an enemy attachment in two factions means that this is a prime Market card for multi-faction decks. Lifesteal and flying are a great set of keywords. So if you don’t mind giving this Qirin a little nudge with a Weapon or Spell you may be off to the races.
I’m not sure why this is Combrei, given that Shen-Ra is Justice, but I’ll take it. A bit narrow due to the Influence requirements but it’s likely better than Harsh Rule if your deck fits the bill. Being able to silence abilities like Exalted, Revenge, and Entomb is amazing. Notably you have to Decimate a power to do so, but it’s usually worth it. You don’t have to Decimate every time, so be sure to weigh the pros and cons of the scenario first.
Funnily enough, I think this is the card where you will most often have to make a choice. Most of the other Choices offer options that get used in separate scenarios. Nahid offers you a choice that you can make starting on turn two where both plays are passable. I think this will see play past the token decks as the second mode is very useful in a lot of cases. If you top deck it late it won’t ever be dead, unlike other discard Spells. You can always just make two Cultists. I think this card is quite decent.
A solid payoff for the Cultist sacrifice theme. Being a 1-cost Unit the Faithful can be returned by Shadowland’s Guide to grow ever bigger. This will likely not see play as a normal 1-drop but will almost certainly be included in sacrifice themes.
Judgement: Niche playable.
Nahid, the Immortal
This card might have been exciting if you could trigger multiple of them from your deck. That is not the case. So trying to rush to 50 life to play four 7/7s that pressure your opponent’s board and life is out of the question. I could still see this getting played in the Xenan Shepherd’s Horn Rats deck. That deck gains a lot of life and has excess units to sacrifice for days. However, I presume Nahid will stay in meme territory for now.
An interesting replacement for Combust. Not only does it Silence the Unit but it reduces the stats as well, stopping it from coming back and doing more harm later. The Decimate isn’t something I would have guessed to be on this card but I’m sure it will be super useful in corner case scenarios. This may not see play in every deck but it serves a worthy option for both main deck and Market.
Zhen-Zu, Hand of Nahid
This card is reminiscent of Alessi. Much more niche, mind you, but definitely a strong early Unit with nice synergies to build around. Zhen-Zu also sports a potential to really combo off with Means to an End, so if you missed that card the first time around, enjoy your memes now.
All this card really needed was a higher rarity. If it wasn’t balanced for draft this could have been a 5-cost Unit and I think that would have made it a borderline or solid playable. As it stands I can’t imagine anyone puts it in their deck.
My first inclination is this card is just a meme. It has a cute interaction with Azurite Prixis getting back a Totemite when you sacrifice one or more. Even then you are playing two cards that don’t really do anything to gain power, something that could be done more efficiently on other Units or Relics. Maybe this fits into an FTS or FTP Sentinel Reanimator list? You are already discarding cards to try to reanimate. Cheering Section could provide extra ramp to churn out a Great-Kiln Titan ahead of schedule. This is definitely one of those cards that could break a deck in half given the right pieces.
Judgement: Meme…for now.
These are two very solid modes. Whether you are trying to remove a small Unit or save yours from danger, this is a very cost efficient way to slap two different cards together. This is playable in the Market or main deck.
Kairos, Grand Champion
They were not messing around when they made this card. At 9 cost as long as you are playing Fire/Time it should be negligible to get FFFTTT. However, at 9 you have to call this a build-around because the average deck is not getting to that much power easily. Whether it be cheating it out with Talir or ramping with Worldbearer Behemoth, you have to plan for this bad boy. You will definitely be rewarded for doing so. Not only does Kairos refill your (probably empty) hand, but he also gives you extra power to let you play all those cards. If that wasn’t enough, from then on out you have this massive threat that strikes down your opponent’s Units as you play your own.
Ramba, Arena Showman
Ramba’s stats are above rate and he has some interesting abilities. His first ability means that he can act as ramp of sorts while also providing the beat down. In addition to that he is also a great draw late game because of his second ability, paying 7 to play the top card of your deck. Ramba notably fills the same spot on the curve as Merchants, Tocas, and Siraf. His cost is more prohibitive and abilities are watered down in comparison to Tocas and Siraf. So even though he is an interesting combination of both he may not see as much play in such a highly contested slot.
Cast into Shadow
Cast into Shadow is a fantastic removal spell. Notably it’s one of the few ways for Justice/Shadow to remove Curses. On top of that, using the Decimate option you can trade one of your power for another Unit. That’s a huge tempo swing. You trade a maximum power for one of their whole turns worth of power. You also probably set them so far on the back-foot that the Units you do have in play can leverage that advantage for the rest of the game.
Eloz, Martial Scholar
There’s a lot to unpack with this card. First note is that it is in fact an Even Paladin, so it may immediately find a home in that deck. Endurance and Unblockable combined with its Summon effect mean that Eloz can play offense and defense quite well. Eloz has a fantastic stat line making it immune to a majority of conditional removal. That combined with the Mastery 9, I think this card has what it takes to break into constructed. As I mentioned, Even Paladins may immediately have a place for it, but I imagine it will find other homes as well.
I think this is a solid card. A two faction Market card that gives the board -1/-1 is quite playable against Aggro. I can’t overstate how much being multi-faction helps decks sort out their Market. It opens up tons of possibilities. The first mode is basically a dud, but I could see it getting played in to gain life or refresh a weapon in corner case scenarios. One of the weaker choices, but still playable.
I still don’t think Decimate is a build-around. It is a nice supplemental effect to make good cards better. I doubt there are even enough to make a coherent strategy that would warrant playing these Elites.
Nivia, Most Devoted
Wow that Mastery is absurd. I’m glad it’s a Mastery 20. At that point it’s just a win-more. If you found a way to have her deal twenty damage and you haven’t won yet I’m not sure what you are doing wrong. However, she is a Paladin and makes your other Paladins stronger. Assuming Paladins stay Even (nothing saying they have to) your Decimate options are limited. Notably the Emblems seem like a fantastic way to trigger Decimate alongside the more niche Immortalize and Cleansing Rain. Branching out from Even opens you up to more Decimate options and makes Nivia look more appealing.
As a lover of all things Armory let me say that I am deeply offended by this card. The decreased Spell damage is interesting but very matchup dependent. If this does see play it will be as a very niche Market card.
This card is odd. The stat line is lower than what I would like for the cost, but Flying is somewhat redeeming. The Summon ability seems…okay? Playing a Mark of Shame on a Unit is a decent extra effect and Curse of Loneliness seems interesting against a Control deck. The Curse will pop off Aegis repeatedly and chip away at their life. I’m just not sure what deck wants this. I’m leaning unplayable because I just can’t wrap my head around what home this would have.
I honestly think the difference between playability here is changing the cost from 3 to 2. At 3 the base Unit is just not up to snuff. Reduce it and you have a statline slightly above average with a decent upside when you are playing a niche strategy. As is that niche strategy probably doesn’t want it.
Searching for a curse of your choice is quite powerful. It allows a deck to play multiple one-of niche curses to act in the scenario they were meant for. From Adjudicator’s Gavel to Touch of the Umbren, Parul has got you covered. This choice also offers you a decent combat trick and a way to counter the opponent’s removal. How sweet is that? This card is fantastic and I expect will see a lot of play.
In general, a Unit that brings a friend is a good thing. If one is removed the other is still around pressuring the opponent. However, in Parul’s case, you have to work for it. I’m not super excited to overload my deck on Curses to make this card work. I’m more than happy to play a Curse suite with Parul’s Choice, but I think Parul might be a bit too much work. In my eyes Parul sits on the border between playable and meme tier.
Judgement: Borderline / Meme.
I wonder how good this would be if this was a Relic Weapon instead. As is, the spellpower decks get out-valued by big Units enough. I would hate to get two-for-oned by the opponent’s removal as well.
This card’s stat line is a little lower than what I would like for a 5-cost unit, but the two keywords make up for the lack of power. Killing enemy attachments is also nice. It’s not guaranteed to remove attachments due to the smaller size, but with a little help this card could be fantastic.
This is probably the worst of the new Choices. It isn’t fast, so you can’t use it as a trick to eat a big Unit. It also creates a three power Unit. If you don’t have something that is bigger than that you may be taking some damage, not exactly where I want to be with my transforms. The second ability is largely irrelevant. You may Market this card due to it being a transform card in multiple factions, that way you can have access to it.
Judgement: Unplayable / Market.
Geminon, the Double Helix
Before we totally dismiss Geminon for having Mastery 100, because I know my first thought was “Oh that’s a meme, move along.”, let’s address that this is a 6-cost 7/10. That stat line is way above par. Then we have to consider what Geminon’s first line of text really means. To my knowledge, it isn’t counting just your damage. It’s counting all damage by all Spells, Units, and Players. That makes climbing to 100 a whole lot faster. It still probably won’t happen in one turn cycle, but a few big units smashing into each other will move it right along. When it does go off, you know the opponent is dead. So all things considered I think Geminon crosses the threshold from meme to almost Constructed quality. All it is missing is a Summon effect to give it something lasting in the face of removal.
You know, it wouldn’t surprise me if Yetis started playing this. It complements Howling Peak Smuggler in upgrading Torch and Snowball while still being a Yeti for that synergy. It may also see play in the Skycrag Spellpower burn decks.
Bastion of the Dawn
Honestly kind of excited by this card. Bastion of the Dawn lends itself to one of the oldest memes of Eternal, Clockroaches. It packs its own Twinning Ritual, and comes with a Safe Return in case you had already played out your Echo card. Vision of Austerity leads me to believe that this may see play beyond the memes. Vision makes Bastion of the Dawn a solid Market option as Relic hate that just gets extra advantage afterward, and that’s pretty cool. It being tri-faction means that it likely won’t see a ton of play, but it’s a cool card to think about.
Den of Ordeals
Initial thoughts are that this Site is straight unplayable. You will probably be drawing zero to one Troves a turn. I say this because the Dragon has to live the full turn cycle in order to pay off the trigger. The opponent will see that and take the pseudo two-for-one with pleasure. Streets Aflame is such a bad removal spell to put on a 6-cost 3-faction Site. Dizo’s Office got a flat kill Spell and Den gets Streets Aflame? Not even Mortar? Talon Dive is another strong hint that you should be playing Dragons but it’s not the greatest payoff, again see Dizo’s Office. The End is Near is probably the only exciting Spell on this Agenda. It thins the top of your deck to only gasoline once you’ve probably hit your sixth or seventh Power. That is probably the most redeeming part about this card, aside from that sweet, sweet ultimate. Nakova & Molot is the real reason you want to play this Site, but you shouldn’t play a Site assuming it’s going to stay alive for four turns. Especially with an Agenda like that. Getting N&M to see the light of day is going to take work, but the reward is obvious.
At worst this draws you a card with Pilfer. Protect and Cruelty both have their applications. Cruelty at least offers you the option to deal damage to a unit, which means that Fortress can defend itself. It wouldn’t be much of a fortress if it couldn’t. Protect can be used to suit up an important unit or just give yourself Aegis which is decent for a number of reasons. Zelia the Vain is an interesting choice, but given the curse support in that faction combination it makes sense. Honestly I don’t think this site is half bad. I’ll definitely be playing around with it.
This card really, really, REALLY wants you to sacrifice things. I’m not sure if you caught that. I’m trying to figure out if the payoff is worth all the work and I’m not quite sure yet. Every single spell on Nexus requires a Unit in play to sacrifice, I wish just one would give you a breath to do something on its own. Judgement for now is Niche. I don’t know if it’s strong or weak, I just can’t tell yet. First place I’ll try it is in Grenadins.
I was unimpressed when I first read the card, but my mood changed the more I looked at it. There isn’t a removal Spell attached which generally means it can’t protect itself well. Xulta Convoy fills that role in that it provides two hard to remove Units to block incoming attacks. I think Harmony of Flame is actually underrated on this site. If you already have a few Units out Harmony will generate you a good amount of Power to play another card or hold it up to play something on the opponent’s turn. Last but not least Vital Arcana refreshes your hand and life. Brenn isn’t the most amazing card to come out of a Site but by the time you get there you’ve already gotten so much value it’s hard to argue.
Sword of Judgement
A Weapon that starts out as a +1/+1 doesn’t help the Unit survive the first attack that well. That combined with it’s high cost, means that this sword will not see play in Constructed. If it gave a battle skill I would be a lot more excited.
This card seems very powerful if you are willing to work for it. My go-to would usually be Varret the Wise for the Aegis, but having options is never a bad thing. Not exactly my cup of tea, as you can probably tell by my evaluation of Mastery. I’m not a huge fan of putting all my eggs in one basket only to get blown out by one removal Spell. However, if you are a fan of going all-in, Varret has a lot of pay-off for you.
In a lot of cases this will actually be just a worse version than the Token cycle. However, once you get into the four or five-faction range of decks this might be your go-to power choice. Those haven’t been too popular in the past, but I could definitely see playing a few of these in that style of deck.
This cycle is a new take on Power that can also be a Unit, similar to the Monument cycle. While having smaller bodies than the Monuments, this cycle offers you a choice. If you decide you would like to keep playing power towards your top end, you may. If you want the unit instead all you have to do is decimate the power it gives you. I think the choice is quite strong and while you probably won’t see four of these in every deck, these will offer a strong option to prevent flood.
There are decks that want ways to gain bits of life here and there. Katra decks will love this card, and I expect it will slip right in. The average deck will not though. Gaining one life will not make up for the amount of times you will stumble from not hitting influence requirements.
Overall, I am extremely happy with the multi-faction cards in this set. I love seeing how different factions combine to make new cards. I think they could have done better in balancing the common cycle. Some of them are solid playables or at least have interesting abilities, but Cinder Dragon disappoints me. My favorite card from this section of the review is Conspicuous Traveler. Hope you enjoyed this review, be sure to check out the rest!
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