Hello everyone! My name is Nathan “noverb” Overbay and today I will be walking you through the Fire 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.

Akko, Inspired Artist

A 1/1 for 1 isn’t all that exciting, but if he slips through for damage on Turn 2 he immediately upgrades into a 2/3. However, that’s the best case of having Akko on Turn 1 and the opponent not having a blocker/Snowball. In the best case he just becomes playable. Outside the best case he is very fragile and a mediocre top deck late in the game.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Breath of Voprex

I don’t really like offering my opponent two choices and asking them to play Would You Rather. This card could just be better than I give it credit for, though. Dealing 5 damage to their face as an aggressive deck or forcing them to lose their Unit to then take combat damage anyway seems interesting. I just doubt it will work out like you want it to because it always gives the opponent the option best for them.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Burning Claw

Burning Claw costs too much for the average Oni deck and requires other variables to do anything at all. Probably not worth investing the time and Power.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Cindermaw Tota

This little Tota costs too much to effectively be ramp towards your Dragons and it doesn’t do a ton on it’s own. If the Cinder Dragon was played instead of drawn I would be a lot more interested.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Cozin Darkheart

While Cozin’s body is resilient to removal, her low power will make it difficult to properly get Mastery without help. Thankfully Fire has the tools to help with that problem. Shogun’s Scepter and Ornate Katana already see play in Constructed and would let her take up arms and summon her Cinder Dragon. The gravy is that she also generates you Treasure Troves as you play Dragons, including the one she makes. This is exactly the kind of Dragon payoff I like to see.

Judgement: Niche.

Desperate Gambit

This seems way more focused towards Draft than Constructed. I think Desperate Gambit costs one too many power for what it does. You are almost locked in to Decimating to get a good rate and that’s not really a good rate, is it?

Judgement: Unplayable.

Draconic Ire

This is great Attachment removal for your Fire Market. Bargain asking for only a single Dragon to hit the opponent is an easy ask. You don’t even have to be in Dragon tribal to get some value out of this. Even if you don’t have the one Dragon you play in your deck, you can still grab it with your Merchant. That makes this a solid Market option.

Judgement: Market.

Dragon Forge

This card is pretty exciting. It’s a fast spell, which means you can make the choice at the end of your opponent’s turn after seeing what they do. It can get a Dragon OR a Weapon. If it was just a Dragon I would not be as interested. Grabbing both lets you get an answer for a Unit or a Site or just a way to establish the board, a nice toolkit. The cost reduction on top of it all is just gravy. Notably it means that you can curve this into Eclipse Dragon to remove a site and leave up another Dragon Forge!

Judgement: Niche.

Dramatic Exit

While this costs a bit more than what I’d like, I think this has great potential. Giving a Unit Exalted could do some very dirty things. You could use Dramatic Exit to combine one solid Unit with another, creating and absolute powerhouse. This is definitely in the build-around category because you can’t just shove it into any deck. However, I do think it will be the backbone to a very cool combo deck.

Judgement: Build-around.

Edict of Shavka

There are a few things to note here. First, a majority of the Units with Aegis are Justice or Primal, so it knows its target audience. Second, this says enemy. Which means it can deal 5 damage to a site and that’s absolutely fantastic. I can’t imagine wanting these in my main deck because it will be blank against a number of decks, but this is a fantastic Fire Market card.

Judgement: Market.

Flamekeeper

Flamekeeper costs too much for her size but I think that is mainly due to having Exalted. I’m not totally sure what part Exalted will play in constructed but Flamekeeper giving another Unit an Overwhelm weapon can’t be terrible. Giving yourself Overwhelm is also a nice bonus. I’m going to tentatively call this borderline playable until I see how it feels to play Exalted in Constructed. Exalted will make or break this card.

Judgement: Borderline.

Funeral Pyre

A lot of the Decimate cards read like you have to Decimate to get the decent effect, this is no different. This card is not playable without Decimate and doesn’t feel much better with Decimate.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Galai, Shavka’s Listener

Invoke is a strong mechanic and this is a great body to put it on. You get a 4/1 charge AND draw another Fire card to go along with it. I doubt you will ever see Galai reach Mastery 12, but you don’t need to for it perform well. This is my vote for the best of the cycle.

Judgement: Playable.

Gaudy Showman

Without Warp I think Gaudy Showman gets out-shown by Cinder Yeti. One redeeming quality is that it is an Oni, but I don’t think that warrants play-ability in this scenario.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Harmony of Flame

Requiring Units in play to make this ramp you is quite the ask. It means you need five units in play just to generate one power. Harmony of Flame could do some interesting work combo-ing with the new Sodi, so maybe that’s where it finds a home? Overall, I think you have to work too hard for this to do much of anything. I’ll pass for now.

Judgement: Unplayable / niche.

Living Mountain

The cost and size of this Unit deem it unplayable in Constructed. Should be an interesting Draft combo with Exalted, though.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Magebreaker

I don’t think I’m off-base in saying that I am legitimately excited by this card. Being able to lock the opponent out of a spell is fantastic while also attached to a Relic Weapon seems great. Aggressive decks could run it as a way to lock the opponent out of Harsh Rule. Unfortunately it doesn’t remove the one in their hand. I’m sure Armory decks will play at least one for their toolkit, so I think I’m safe in calling this niche. I wouldn’t be surprised if this sees more play than that, though.

Judgement: Niche.

Razorwire Totemite

I would not be interested in putting this in any Constructed deck. It is way too small for the cost you pay.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Relentless Combatant

This card may see play in Draft, but it won’t in Constructed. If it was a 3-cost instead of 4 I would have more consideration for it, but a 4-cost that dies to Torch is never where you want to be. There are better Berserk options.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Shavka Evangel

I personally love this cycle. I don’t know of a deck that wants a small unit to give them a designated Influence, but I love the proof of concept. In a vacuum I think the card is too weak for Constructed play.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Skyfire Hellkite

At first glance I doubt this is playable. It costs a lot for a fragile body. This Hellkite will trade down with basically everything. The cute upside is that the Summon ability actually works well with dragons like Crimson Firemaw, Curiox, or Cruel Wyvarch by triggering their abilities without needing to swing in first. I don’t think that redeems the terrible stat line, though.

Judgment: Unplayable.

Slayer’s Edge

I lean towards this not being quite good enough. For this kind of card you have to ask yourself something: Without any caveats, how many Treasure Troves would this have to give you before you wanted to play this card? For me the answer is two. If Slayer’s Edge was a 6/2 that number would be reduced to one. However, at 5/2 it doesn’t remove the threats I need to remove to pay the cost of 5. So I really need it to get value otherwise. Now apply that there are actually caveats to getting you those Troves. Slayer’s Edge just isn’t cutting it.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Sol’s fury

We’ve seen this type of effect before. It hasn’t become any more playable since then. I don’t want to sacrifice a Unit to play a spell that can’t remove the majority of big threats.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Spear of the Dying Sun

Hoo boy, what can I say about this? It’s very obvious that it’s meant to be the finisher, because a 10/4 weapon is breaking against most threats on turn 9+. I’m just going to assume the weapon itself never hits the opponent. If it does I was already winning and would rather it just be Sword of the Sky King. The only somewhat alluring factor here is it also comes with a giant, newly renamed, burn spell in Decimation (was Decimate) to add some extra reach. That’s at 14 Power though. I can’t imagine this ever sees the light of day.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Stonesmelt Dragon

This may come as a shock to some of you, but I actually like this card. I doubt I would play this main deck, but I think this is a fantastic replacement for Bore in Fire Markets. It is both relic removal and a finisher in one nice package. Unlike Bore, you do need to remove Aegis before you slap this bad boy down. One deck that may want this in the main is Dragon Tribal but I have yet to get a firm grasp on what that shell looks like.

Judgement: Market.

Teething Whelp

Teething Whelp is comparable to Blood Beetle. If it can get that first hit in it becomes evasive and then later becomes an actual threat. My gut tells me this is still just too low value to see play in constructed but it is a 2-cost Dragon. That’s a very niche market. So maybe it will see some play as a way to trigger Dragon Ally very early. 

Judgement Niche.

Tota Colony

This is a cute way to make four 4/1s over three turns, however I don’t see many Constructed applications for this. I might have reconsidered if it was Mastery 2 and 4 instead of 4 and 6. As it stands Tota Colony doesn’t impact the board immediately, doesn’t battle incredibly well, and takes a while to do anything.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Warbrush Oni

While not the best statline for a 2-drop, where this really shines is its Summon. Setting up the rest of your team with a little extra power is great. It competes with quite a few other solid 2-drops. But between the Oni Unit-type and the great Summon ability, this may find a constructed home in Oni Tribal.

Judgement: Niche.

Warhorn

This 4-cost 2/2 weapon doesn’t even play the Oni for you. I can’t imagine that this is where any deck wants to be. It costs too much and does too little to impact the game in a positive way.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Fire seems to be the strongest of all of the single factions from the new set. Like the rest it has a lot of great synergy cards, but it also has a few really powerful standalone cards. My favorite card in Fire is definitely Magebreaker, it’s really the bomb! I hope you enjoyed this review, be sure to check out the rest!

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