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

Blitrok, Linrei’s Listener

Blitrok has an incredibly easy Mastery to hit and she doesn’t even need to attack to hit it. That coupled with one guaranteed Invoke trigger and one later, I think she is the real deal. Her body is quite fragile but even if you lose her to removal that’s still a two-for-one. It is really hard to go wrong with this cycle.

Judgement: Playable.

Brutish Interloper

There’s no deck that comes to mind that this could fit into off the bat. That being said I don’t think the statline is horrible and the Mastery is somewhat appealing. What kills it for me Reckless. No matter how much work you put into making this good, it’s gonna make a bad attack at some point.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Burr-Spore Fern

This card has some nutty text on it. Usually when I see text like that I immediately think it’s a meme because there’s no way I’m getting it to trigger. However this doesn’t seem to be the case with the Fern. Aegis is a powerful keyword when it comes to ensuring a Unit gets to do what it’s trying to do. The cost/size ratio is sub-par for sure but having the two keywords definitely makes up for it. I also don’t think that you need to really build around it to make it effective. Sites will play their spells twice, you get to copy your draw spells and removal, just getting Mastery in the average midrange deck is fantastic, just make sure it gets there.

Judgement: Playable.

Cruelty

This does not do enough to warrant a slot in Constructed.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Daring Gryffyn

Daring Gryffyn is the first version of this effect that I’m moderately excited about. That’s because you don’t really mind when you lose the Gryffyn to bait Spells. Once Gryffyn dies it passes along Flying (and Reckless) and +3/+2. Not a terrible rate all things considered. I’m not sure if that’s where you want to be in constructed, but it’s not terrible. So I’m going to give it a tentative borderline rating and see how it feels in future brews.

Judgement: Borderline.

Edict of Linrei

You are only getting a slight cost reduction on Polymorph if the point is to transform a Unit. Even then you only get to transform specific Units. If this were fast or cost one less I would be more excited to consider it, but as it stands I think there are just better Market and main deck options.

Judgement: Unplayable

Fearstoker Raven

This card takes too long to do anything to be viable in constructed. This is a cool build-around in draft, though.

Unplayable.

Flight of Makkar

So this seems like a soft board clear and a decent one-two punch with Black Sky Harbinger. There are easier ways to go about getting rid of an annoying boardstate, but the transform will “Silence” their Units. I can’t imagine this sees a ton of maindeck play, but it will be featured Market option. Primal hasn’t had something quite like this yet, its uniqueness will be a boon.

Judgement: Market.

Greed’s Reward

This is the kind of card that won’t see any kind of serious play, but boy howdy am I gonna meme with it. Your +Spell Power Units and the ability to give it Double Damage with Prodigious Sorcery seem fantastic. You will deal a good bit of damage and refresh your hand. This card requires Decimate and supplemental cards to be relevant. Because of that you won’t see it slotted into the majority of Constructed decks.

Judgement: Meme.

Greenstretch Empath

The body is not amazing but it is resilient to most situational removal. Drawing two cards is the kind of Muster payoff that I’m interested in. Using a Spellcraft Weapon to draw two for example could be quite good. It’s then just a question of am I okay with paying 5 for the setup? Generally no.

Judgement: Unplayable / Build-around.

Icy Gaze

Stunning an enemy unit isn’t that exciting of an effect. What is exciting, however, is that this is another discard payoff. Adding a Stun to a card like Honor the Claws is great. This could be a decent option to consider when looking at decks like Reanimator. I don’t know how many you would want, but it’s worth considering.

Judgement: Niche.

Inspired Prank

Yetis don’t normally play a ton of spells but between Torch, Snowballs, and Masterwork you may find yourself with a 4/4 Yeti and some pseudo card advantage. You have to at least consider it in a Yeti Market for the card advantage.

Judgement: Market.

Linrei Evangel

Another in the cycle of Evangels. The thing that teases playability here is that it is a Yeti, but I doubt this is what Yetis want.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Numbing Cold

The problem with the negate-on-a-stick cards is that the opponent always sees it coming. They get the opportunity to throw a Snowball, Treasure Trove, etc. before playing the card that matters. This card is more relevant against decks with fewer Spells so it’s more likely to stop a good Spell. Then you run into the problem of the opponent maybe not drawing any spells they need to cast at all.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Pokpok’s Slingshot

This seems like a bread-and-butter way to trigger Muster in Draft. I don’t see it having enough impact on the game to make its way into Constructed.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Prodigious Sorcery

Probably my favorite card in the set. I will easily slide this into my Market in a Jennev deck or even just play it as a one-of. Grabbing Displays of Instinct or Torches out of your void and giving them double damage is fantastic. I’m also convinced you could use this to create a Fire/Primal burn deck.

Judgement: Playable.

Rainfall Accord

When compared directly to Wisdom of the Elders this looks weak, but I think it’s quite playable. When paired with a package of cards that like to be discarded this acts like an engine for your deck. It sets up cards like Felrauk and Vara very nicely. I’m glad we finally have this as an option.

Judgement: Playable.

Realitybreaker

How cool would this have been if it had Mastery? Anyway I think this card is real neato. I can’t wait to do some very dumb things with Realitybreaker. Like jamming it on the field after playing Vara’s Sanctum. I don’t think there are many serious applications for this card, but the memes will be strong.

Judgement: Meme.

Reverberating Strike

I can never see playing this card in a world with Torrential Downpour. Fast speed doesn’t make up for costing two more and losing Scout.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Rosebloom Mandrake

Ooooh a 2-cost 6/6 with Overwhelm? You don’t say. I think this card has some potential merit. You can’t shove this into just any deck, and for that it’s getting a niche grade. That being said I don’t think 10 cards is too many. You probably don’t need to be dedicated mill to make this work but helping your opponent thin their deck wouldn’t hurt.

Judgement: Niche.

Skyhorror Draconus

For 7 you would have hoped just this once you wouldn’t have to do extra work for the Mastery. That maybe just this once it could get Mastery 4. I guess you can’t ask for much more from a common. This card will not see constructed play. Its body is too small for the cost and there are no guarantees its Mastery goes off before it is shot down.

Judgement Unplayable.

Skywatch Zealot

Skywatch Zealot is an interesting card to have Exalted. Ideally you play it, play a Dragon to draw a card, and then it dies to give the Dragon the weapon. The problem is the total lack of offensive ability on the Zealot. The card obviously doesn’t do anything on it’s own but drawing a card is always tempting.

Judgment: Unplayable.

Snowstorm Druid

Gaining an Aegis is never bad but I’m not sure I want it attached to a 1/1 with flying. The Muster ability isn’t totally ignore worthy. This is another case of the Unit’s stats not being exciting enough and the effort/reward on Muster isn’t quite there, but it’s close.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Socrato, Furyheart

My first reaction was “Why, though?” First impressions aside you cannot treat this like a normal 1-cost unit. If you try to aggressively play this out on turn one, I have bad news for you. On the upside I don’t think this card is totally garbage. If you can find some way to give Socrato three extra health then he won’t kill himself immediately. After that if you can give him Lifesteal you start gaining 7 a turn. Or you could, you know, try to Muster. Every. Single. Turn. Yeah all this sounds like a lot of work only to just get blown out by a removal spell somewhere in there.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Thunderclaw Raven

This card may see play in Draft, but it will not in Constructed. No Summon effect, a very frail body, and little reward leaves this far, far below playable in Constructed.

Judgment: Unplayable.

Tidal Forces

I think this card is unplayable. Compare it to Flamestoker, a 6FFF Relic that makes a 5/5 Overwhelm Charge every turn and sacrifices it after. A very similar effect, but notably these Living Waves are smaller and don’t have Overwhelm. “Oh that’s fine,” you may say, “this costs 4PP, not 6FFF, that’s why they are weaker.” If that were all, I would agree and this card would be okay. However there is a clause on when it will make Units, and that’s what kills it for me. The one redeeming factor is that it is a Curse. Curses matter in this set, so maybe if there’s enough payoff it will be worth playing this watered down Flamestoker. I’m out, though.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Tidecaller

Tidecaller actually seems like a decent Muster payoff. The cost/statline is about the rate I would expect. Producing an extra four damage every turn with Muster is quite a good deal. The problem is just trying to consistently trigger Muster. This is a card I will be testing the waters to see if it’s strong enough.

Judgement: Borderline.

Yeti Gryffyn Rider

If this wasn’t a Yeti I would throw it right into the unplayable stack. However, it is a 2-cost Yeti with Flying and Berserk. When teamed up with a Wump or Masterpiece the Gryffyn Rider hits Mastery real quick. It doesn’t do a ton on it’s own and is probably worse than Yeti Windflyer in most scenarios. So Yeti Gryffyn Rider still makes it into the unplayable stack, but it was worth considering.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Yeti Traditionalist

Oh my goodness, isn’t this little one just adorable. The permanent +2/+2 from Muster on an Overwhelm body is nice. I doubt that this Yeti sees much play in constructed, though. Yetis do play Permafrost as an attachment, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Muster happens. It just costs too much for their curve.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Primal features some of the stronger cards of the set. Notably Prodigious Sorcery and Burr-Spore Fern are incredibly exciting to me. I’m already enjoying Sorcery immensely. I hope you enjoyed this review, be sure to check out the others!

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