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

Anthem of Grodov

In an ideal world you play this for five power with multiple units in hand to get the buff and then can cast them. To get to that point you have to have not played the units, leaving your board a bit weaker on defense and you have to have Anthem ready to go. The amount of games that let you wait for that setup are not going to be very likely and this card is a terrible topdeck in the late game. This one is unplayable, maybe meme territory.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Ardent Convert

This card may be a hidden gem. You can return it to play with Shadowlands Guide and they are both Cultists so they may find a home in the Cultist synergy deck. This is speculative, but the card seems better than what it seems.

Judgement: Niche.

Ark of Sol

This is very interesting. Without Bargain I would have relegated this to the unplayable stack. However, with Bargain, you don’t need to worry about this being drawn at the wrong time. This will give you the opportunity to sacrifice a Cultist, turning it into ramp/fixing, without spending another card from your hand to do so. This card will only see play in that deck but I think it’s quite playable.

Judgement: Niche.

Aspirant’s Robes

A 1/1 Weapon that draws you a 1/1 and if you pay a lot more plays a generally unplayable card? I think I’ll pass on this cornucopia of value that’s going on here.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Borderlands Lookout

A solid aggressive one-cost unit. On average this will be a 2/3 and sometimes a 3/4. Both are solid stats for the cost. This will find a home alongside Teacher of Humility in aggressive Time decks. The opponent may sandbag their second or third faction in order to reduce the clock of the Lookout. That is interesting to say the least.

Judgement: Playable.

Chant to Grodov

Ah yes, the lower cost, lower payout version of Anthem of Grodov. Yet, somehow, I think this is more playable. That’s likely because you will have more Units in your hand ready to receive the buff on turn two than you will on turn five. Still this does nothing to effect the board on it’s own and is a terrible topdeck.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Cult Recruiter

While this may be an all-star in Draft it will forever be outshined by Saber-Tooth Prideleader in Constructed.

Judgement: Unplayable

Eager Offering

I think this will see a decent amount of play. You play it on three, it blocks a unit and then draws two cards for you next turn. If it eats a removal spell, you won’t be unhappy about it.

Judgement: Playable.

Edict of Grodov

Woah. This Edict is great! While predominantly a Market card but this one could definitely see main deck play in a deck like Maul. Having soft and hard counter/removal in one card is fantastic. This will definitely make its way into Markets and main decks.

Judgement: Playable

Grodov Evangel

The next in the Evangel cycle. As will probably be my judgement on all of these, I love the idea, but I think they are too weak to be played in Constructed.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Grodov’s Favored

While great in Draft I can’t imagine this sees much play in Constructed. There are better silence options already swimming around in decks.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Gnash, Unrelenting

The body is a solid rate but Muster is a hard keyword to evaluate. The biggest upside I can think of is using this in tandem with Sword of Unity. Gnash will become a huge Lifestealing threat and the team will be bigger and invulnerable to damage. If the body was anything less than 4/4 I wouldn’t even consider it. But given how well this can work with a Spellcraft weapon I think you can build a new version of Combrei or Elysian Aggro/Midrange around him.

Judgement: Playable.

High Prophet of Sol

Units that produce power have been playable in every iteration. I don’t think this will be as popular than Devotee of Sands or Trail Maker in the average deck. However, I do think this will be powerful in a focused Xenan Cultist deck. The Cultist theme in this set has very strong pieces, and generating power could be just what the deck needs to get to something like Karvet out early. High Prophet also counts when a cultist goes from your deck or hand to the void, so you could use him in a pseudo Reanimator/Ramp shell. It will take some work to make High Prophet of Sol shine brighter than Devotee of the Sands, but there is a much higher ceiling on his power level.

Judgement: Build-around.

Majestic Mandrake

This card is curious. I wouldn’t mind triggering the Muster on this multiple times a game. The body isn’t terrible in regards to its cost and it has Overwhelm. I’m not sure that warrants playability, though.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Merizo, Gladiator Hero

Merizo is so close for me. He’s got a sweet Mastery payoff that could really push the game in your favor. The main downside is that he costs 7. However, even if the opponent removes Merizo his Exalted weapon will pass on. Merizo may be a meme, but he’s definitely a card I want to try out at some point.

Judgement: Borderline playable / meme.

Mettle

I can’t see this trick being Constructed playable. If this causes you to win a combat it means your Unit is on par with theirs. In that case you probably want a pump spell which does the same thing in that case but has more applications.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Mountain Goliath

At best, you have this in your opening hand and by the time you can cast it the Goliath has grown past a 10/10. Even then, Mountain Goliath has no evasion or ways to ensure the damage goes through.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Proselytize

Proselytize is a little below average for a 3-cost token producer.  Having already tasted the fruit that is Assembly Line and Scavenge, one would hope this would also make three. However, this has some compromise. You get two now, and if you Decimate, get two more for now or later. I think this could find it’s way into a Token deck or maybe a Cultist deck if they need excess 1/1s to sacrifice.

Judgement: Niche.

Reap

This card is pretty terrible. If you want to fix for all the factions use Memento Mori. That card fixes AND ramps you. This does the opposite of ramp you if you want the effect and I can’t imagine wanting to play a card to gain three health and nothing else.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Snapping Hydrangea

A 2-cost 5/5 is exciting until you read it’s text box. Without any form of evasion it’s almost entirely downside to give your opponent a bunch of 1/1s. It will get chump blocked for days at best or they use the Cultists against you with their own synergies. Do yourself a favor and just don’t play this.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Sol’s Rest

I was wondering when we would see an extra turn effect. At 8TTT Sol’s Rest has a very niche market. The first, and really only, deck that comes to mind when I look at this card is Temporal. A board clear that also gives them another turn to set up all of their other nasty spells? Yeah, they are probably all over this. It costs too much to be wanted in the main deck of any other archetype, however you may see it lurking in some Markets. You never know when you will have 8 Power and want a fresh start.

Judgement: Niche/Market.

Spiketail Qirin

The Mastery on this card is appealing but probably too out of reach given how easily it gets outclassed. I can see this being great in Draft, not so much in Constructed.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Swaying Sea Qirin

I can already tell this card is bad. Not only is Muster not easy to trigger, but then we also have to take the time to play the Humbug?

Judgement: Unplayable.

Unmake

Oooooh this is a tasty Market option. It’s much cheaper than going for a Passage of Aeons and you don’t always have to use the Decimate to get a worthy effect. I’m sold on this as a Market card.

Judgement: Market.

Vinepetal Creeper

This is too much work for a temporary boost in stats and the baseline is below par.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Waystone Fragment

This is our third anthem effect and, like the Clock of Stolen Hours, it has to live in to Xenan Obelisk’s shadow. The upside here is that Waystone Fragment has the possibility of coming with an entourage. That’s a really enticing idea but it does cost 3 extra. You generally want to play this early so your units can get the best benefit. If you play it early you won’t get the benefit from playing it later. In that vein, Obelisk is good early and late without punishing you one way or the other. Fragment is a playable card, just overshadowed by a better one.

Judgement: Playable.

Wilderness Refuge

This card is pretty close to playable. At 3 it’s below rate on what I want to spend for ramp but having Spellcraft always makes you look twice. Lost in the Mist makes your opponent stumble a bit while you ramp up to whatever you are trying to ramp into. As it stands I’m gonna pass on this one, but if the numbers were tweaked a bit I may have been interested.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Woda, Grodov’s Listener

None of this cycle is going to be inherently bad thanks to Invokes inherent card draw. That being said Woda does have a very mediocre body for the cost and 8 is a long time to wait for the boost. Without a keyword and a relatively small body I’m going to rate this as borderline. It’s not going to tussle well with any units in the middle turns of the game but if you can get that second Invoke out you might be in good shape.

Judgement: Borderline playable.

Xultan Brushfang

This is another case of the Mastery just taking too long to do too little. Getting Deadly is fine but you still likely trade with a Merchant before it becomes a 4/5. If it does reach Mastery 4 it will probably still be outclassed by other Units. However, if you slapped a Finest Hour on this on turn two and started to beat down that would be a different story. I’m still not sold, though.

Judgement: Unplayable.

Time is a mixed bag in this set. I think there are enough strong cards to get me excited for Time. My favorite card would have to be the Edict of Grodov. That card just seems so strong. I hope you enjoyed this review, check out the others by clicking here!

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