16 Base Set Cards (1/3/17)

This is a continuation of my ratings of all cards for Dark Draft.

A link to my full tier list may be found here. My reasoning for each card can be found here.

Glossary Addition

I talk about this idea a lot, so I’m keywording it.

  • Gold-Punisher: A card that is best played after your opponent has spent their gold for the turn. The primary on-turn gold-punishers are blitz champions. The primary off-turn gold-punishers are ambush champions.

16 Base Set Cards


Guilt Demon Rating
Always Desirable +

Guilt Demon is a great card because it is a

  • 0-cost champion
  • airborne
  • blitz
  • targeted discard pile banishment
  • (ambush, demon)

Unlike Little Devil with its 4 defense, however, there exist a lot of 0-cost answers to this card. It also dies to a lot of incidental damage attached to other champions like Blue Dragon or Draka Dragon Tyrant. Due to this, you do not want to play this card out as 0-cost blitz champion gold bait on turn 1. It is highly likely to be removed giving you no advantage.

Instead, this is a card you generally want to hold onto until there is at least 1 or 2 cards in your opponent’s discard pile that you want to banish. Use it on your turn to banish 2 cards and either deal 3 damage to your opponent or force them to use a card from their hand. If it can make multiple attacks, great, but with its 2 defense it probably won’t.


Infernal Gatekeeper Rating
Situationally Desirable

13/13 stats over 2 bodies for the cost of 1 health and a gold isn’t great, but it isn’t terrible either. The fact that this can keep producing demons if not removed makes it a real threat though, if you have enough Evil. Also, it is a demon so it survives Raxxa’s Displeasure while also putting another demon into play.

If you are going Evil and there is nothing better, this is a reasonable card to pick up. It also works better in a deck that can already produce some amount of tokens to add to the pressure. In addition, attaching a demon to your Evil draw 2’s is another way to get slightly further ahead while not risking over-extending.


Inner Demon Rating
Always Desirable –

I like targeted removal and “or draw 2 cards” cards. Unfortunately, since I like to use my targeted removal off-turn, leaving my opponent a demon is a disincentive compared to other targeted removal cards.


Medusa Rating
Situationally Desriable ++

This is one of the absolute best possible cards for a deck with an Evil commitment. It is a reasonably sized ambush champion with targeted removal included. Both of those are incredibly powerful in Dark Draft. It’s also a demon.

If you have the Evil commitment, there are not a lot of cards I would take over this. It’s also a major incentive to start going Evil itself.


High King Rating
Situationally Desirable

If you are already going Good, it is banish-based, slow, possibly repeating removal. One use is pretty strong, two uses is incredible, and if your opponent has to use a 1-cost card specifically to remove this (instead of a 0-cost card or incidentally with another card), it can answer 2+ gold for the price of 1.


Inheritance of the Meek Rating
Always First Pickable

An off-turn banish-based board clear is always powerful. Drawing a card for your opponent isn’t great, but it can potentially get you back into a game.

Since it doesn’t effect tokens, it can be incredible in a demon/zombie deck, but if your opponent is going tokens it could be largely worthless. At least it has its “or draw 2 cards” option.


Inner Peace Rating
Situationally Desirable

I don’t rate this card too highly because it can’t get you ahead, and it can’t bring you back when behind. It can only get you further ahead or keep you from losing. I would rather have cards that advance me towards winning.

That being said, an extra 10 health can be enough to close out a game. This is especially true against decks with significant amounts of burn. If you can recall it even once in that type of match up, and you never give your opponent an opportunity to use two 1-cost burn cards in a row before you can play this, you pretty much can’t be burned out. This can also be a nice way to increase your advantage on a turn when you are already ahead on the board and your opponent has already spent their gold.

In other words, I would only want to draft this if I knew I passed my opponent a significant amount of burn: 2+ burn cards.


Lord of the Arena Rating
Situationally Desirable

A 13/9 unbreakable, blitzer is a nice on-turn gold-punisher.

I am not a huge fan of how easy it is to remove (at 9 defense) on my opponent’s next turn though, nor the fact that a 5/9 champion isn’t a huge threat on my next turn. However, if you have a significant amount of 1-cost Good cards (generally weaker than other alignments in dark draft), the threat of being able to make it unbreakable the instant your opponent passes initiative each turn is real.

The “must be blocked if able” ability is cool, but it almost never matters.


Keeper of Secrets Rating
Usually Desirable

Other people value this higher than I do, and they are probably correct. Targeted discard removal is great. Essentially tribute -> recycle is great (assuming you play a 1-cost Sage card immediately after playing this). The fact that it also threatens to recycle every turn thereafter is also great. If needed, it can also always attack for 2 too.

In my experience, whenever I could draft it, there are usually other cards I want more.


Lying in Wait Rating
Always Desirable –

I like off-turn targeted removal that leaves my opponent with nothing a lot; I used to absolutely love this card because it does that incredibly well. A lot of champions are only threats because they can attack. Attacking with 1 champion at a time (attacking alone) is usually correct. So, when a threatening champion attacks alone, you can use this to remove it. The ability to remove Sea Titan, Steel Golem, Juggernaut, etc., and the fact that it banishes the champion are also big deals.

However, if your opponent still has their gold up when you play this, you leave yourself open to an on-turn gold-punisher. In addition, this card can never deal with non-attacking threats like Necromancer Lord or Hunting Raptors.

If nothing else, it is a Sage “or draw 2” which has value.


Memory Spirit Rating
Always Desirable

This is a nice off-turn gold-punisher. Throw this down after your opponent spent their gold on their turn and you get a 5/4 airborne champion that can attack next turn, and you get your best event back from your discard pile.

My favorite use of Memory Spirit, however, is to return a 0-cost event. Cards like Fumble or Lightning Strike can be great to return to hand and then immediately play.


Muse Rating
Always First Pickable

One of the most powerful cards in the game.

Drawing a card at the start of each of your turns can get out of control quickly. Play this at the end of your opponent’s turn, and then if it survives for 2 turns (don’t need to attack with it) you were able to draw 2 cards with a 0-cost card. In other words, your opponent must remove it as soon as possible. If they don’t have a 0-cost answer immediately, it at minimum replaces itself on your turn and will force your opponent to use a card/effect on it later.

Muse (and Thought Plucker) is the primary reason why 2+ damage 0-cost cards are so powerful/important.



Hurricane Rating
Always Desirable

Off-turn board clears with no benefit to your opponent are great. The fact that this can be a one-sided board clear if you (or your opponent) has 10+ defense champions is great. At the very least, you can always draw 2 with it too.


Jungle Queen Rating
Always Acceptable

Tribute -> Draw a card means this can’t be lower than always acceptable. The fact that it gives the ability to play your Wild champions as if they had ambush also makes it a lightning rod for removal. “You better remove my Jungle Queen or I might ambush in Kong.”

In addition, the +1/+1 to other wild champions is very easy to overlook and underestimate. In a lot of situations it won’t do anything, but it makes your wolves survive Flash Fire, and it can make blocks a bit more annoying for your opponent.


Kong Rating
Always First Pickable +

One of the best cards in dark draft hands down. A 13/14 body is huge, and it removes most champions in the game. Incredible reestablishing card.


Lash Rating
Always Desirable

While I haven’t been playing with or against Lash as much recently, it has done a lot of work for and against me since the game released. Giving breakthrough and an extra 4 damage can be incredibly nasty after you chump block their previously non-breakthrough Kong or Rampaging Wurm.

Lash has also killed a decent number of Necromancer Lords and Thought Pluckers. Recall can be desirable in dark draft as well for those situations where you were just going to draw 2 anyway.

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