This is a continuation of my ratings of all cards for Dark Draft.
16 Base Set Cards
Soul Hunter Rating
Spending your gold on your turn to play this from your hand is weak. It can easily be bounced or banished before it can do anything. In addition, it can’t block airborne champions and does little against breakthrough champions. However, when supported by cards like Ceasefire/Ice Drake, when your opponent has no bounce/banish/discard pile banish effects, and when you get this into play without playing it, it can be strong.
The best way to get this into play is to discard it. You can either discard it when an opponent plays Thought Plucker/Psionic Assault/Knight of Shadows, or you can discard it at the end of your turn when you have 8 or more cards in hand. Then, on your next turn it will return to play without costing your own gold to play it. Since all of the above conditions aren’t easy to achieve in dark draft, I basically never draft it. Also, the fact that it is a demon and doesn’t break to Raxxa’s Displeasure is actually a disadvantage because you can’t use Raxxa’s Displeasure to trigger the on-break effect.
This is a slow card that can be banished or returned to hand for no effect; I do not value these types of cards highly. If you opponent has minimal champions with airborne, minimal banish, or you have lots of breaking board clears, this can do work. Otherwise, avoid it.
Tribute -> draw a card is nice, attached to an airborne, blitz champion is even better. Demon is a nice bonus too, and, if your opponent has non-unbanishable Good champions, the expend ability is very strong.
5 defense is a big weakness though.
Rating: 3+ (4+ with Evil investment)
I mainly use this as a 6/5 airborne, blitz, draw a card champion. It is a solid, aggressive, evasive body that replaces itself. It is also not bad without the loyalty due to the Tribute -> Draw a card. If you can use it to banish Good champions, even better.
Tyrants Updated Rating: 4+
I value tribute draw a card incredibly highly. In addition, I value decently sized airborne bodies as well. Even without blitz with an opponent running 0 Good cards, I would draft this card. If you have an Evil investment and they have Good, banishable champions, this is a 5.
The Risen Rating
This card can be strong in conjunction with other Evil tokens. Play this after your Trihorror breaks and you have 24 blitz damage spread over 6 champions. Using this after an opponent Zombie Apocalypses is also strong.
Aside from that though, it isn’t that great. At minimum you get 3 3/3 blitzing zombies that can attack for 9 damage total, so it isn’t terrible, but specific fairly unlikely conditions are needed for it to be even potentially powerful.
This can do a solid 9+ damage when played, but the +1 offense, +1 defense goes away after 1 turn, and then you are just left with 3 zombies that might have even been blocked and broken already. This card has a high potential for damage (Dark Knights, Word of Summoning, etc.), but I personally prefer my cards to help me secure board position instead.
Tyrants Updated Notes:
This card is a bit stronger with the addition of more ways to get demons with 0-cost cards. I mainly added in this note to explain how it works with Spawning Demon. If you play Spawning Demon then play this, this will fully resolve giving your Spawning Demon +1/+1 and blitz and giving you 3 3/3 zombies with blitz, but the demon created by Spawning Demon would come in after The Risen resolves. That newly created demon would therefore not gain the buffs.
Thrasher Demon Rating
A 0-cost blitzing demon that trades up with any 1-cost champion that blocks it is not bad. In addition, the 3 health gets it out of range of 0-cost 2 damage events like Wolf’s Bite. Finally, if it is able to attack twice, a 5/5 champion that breaks any blocking champion is a reasonable threat; anything higher and it becomes hard to remove and respectably damaging.
I like this card. This card is best if your opponent has minimal 0-cost champions including tokens or 0-cost removal. If this card attacks each turn, it becomes a threat, and if it is blocked by a 1-cost champion, you will break a 1-cost champion with a 0-cost card. It can also be held back as a blocker to discourage an attack by non-airborne champions.
Rally the People Rating
0 cost card to put a 2/1 human into play and buff your champions. At only +1 offense I wouldn’t even want it in a token deck. With recall, you could spend a gold to put 2 humans into play and give +2 attack, but that isn’t anywhere close to the power of a gold.
At the very least, you can chump block with it, and you can recall it if you have literally no other use for your gold.
I mainly use this as a fast 0-cost chump block that can be returned to hand if I can’t spend my coin on something better. In a token deck it could be good.
I want to like this card. It has been great for me in some situations, but it has rotted in my hand in many other situations. The ability to essentially play any champion as if it had ambush is a big incentive, but I’ve found that champions you want to return generally either get bounced/banished or removed while your gold is down. I still want to draft this card, but it has underperformed for me repeatedly.
Rating: 3+, 4+
Tyrants Updated Rating: 3+, 5
I play this card in so many of my decks because it is amazing. Being able to effectively play a slow champion on your opponent’s turn as if it had ambush is incredible. Unfortunately, this won’t do much if your opponent banishes the champion. They can either banish it from play, or they can banish it from your discard pile after it breaks (before you have the initiative to play this card).
Secret Legion Rating
By itself, this card is pretty weak. 6 humans can work as multiple chump blockers or 6 blitzing attackers, but neither of those are great. Its real power comes from combining it with Courageous Soul (since Courageous Soul is a human this gives it blitz), Revolt, Standard Bearer, etc. Secret Legion + Revolt is a 2 card 21 damage combo, which can win games assuming no Flash Fire, Wither, Blind Faith (would remove the blitz but not the +offense buff), etc.
Rating: 3+, 2+
Once again, this card combos amazingly with Courageous Soul (since all human champions gain blitz), but aside from that, it is probably just 6 fast chump blockers.
Tyrants Updated Rating: 3+, 2 or 5, First Pick
Token strategies are a lot more viable now, and Secret Legion is excellent at enabling them. Secret Legion still works great with Courageous Soul, but it also synergizes excellently with Insurgency, Revolt, etc.
Standard Bearer Rating
Not great on its own, but if you have other human token support, the +2 offense can do work. Until you’ve played with/against a deck that can consistently put human tokens into play while this is out, it is easy to underestimate just how strong this static buff can be.
This is another card that has fallen from favor for me. I used to highly value it, but since I do not think token decks are currently viable, I don’t value this card. 3 fast chump blockers is okay.
Tyrants Updated Notes:
Even though Good token champions (human tokens) are more viable now, I am still not a huge fan of this card. If, however, you have Rabble Rouser, this card can provide a lot more value, since you can get a crazy amount of human tokens for this to buff.
Stand Alone Rating
This is a great off-turn board clear if your opponent is focusing on a wide, token strategy. In other words, if they have a lot of small champions instead of 1 or 2 big champions in play at a time, this is a great way to remove most of their pressure while leaving your strongest champion in play as well. If you are going wide, this is definitely worth counter-picking because you can always at least draw 2 with it.
If your opponent isn’t going wide, this “board clear” effect can be essentially worthless, however, since this can’t remove their best champion.
Rating: 3+, 5- First Pick
Fast board clear is great even though this doesn’t technically clear the board. Bringing your opponent down to their strongest champion still serves the same purpose for punishing them for over-extending. It also lets you keep your strongest champion.
Steel Golem Rating
13/13 untargetable is a strong threat. The fact that this can also gain blitz with Sage Loyalty 2 is a major perk, but I would still first pick this from a pack if I had no other Sage in my deck.
As a 13/13 untargetable blitzer, this is one of the few blitzing champions I would play and attack with while my opponent’s gold is up. Unless they have exactly Lying in Wait, Blind Faith, Surprise Attack -> Winged Death/Angel of Death/Time Walker, or an off-turn board clear, this will at least necessitate a chump block or deal 13 damage.
A 13/13 untargetable body is amazing. If you can give it blitz even better. While this doesn’t technically do anything immediately, the number of answers (besides chump blocking) is dramatically reduced (Lying in Wait, Zombie Apocalypse, etc.). In addition, if you can force your opponent to use a board clear to break just one champion, it can set you up for a dominating position later in the game.
Tyrants Updated Rating: 4.5
Big untargetable bodies are that strong.
Thought Plucker Rating
Always First Pickable
This card is so powerful in a vacuum that the constructed meta has largely been forced to shift around it. Ally -> recall cards, Soul Hunter, and other cards have been added to a lot of decks in addition to 0-cost answers to help mitigate the damage of this card. In dark draft, the odds of having all of the best answers to deal with this card are significantly lower.
When played on your opponent’s turn when their gold is down, you immediately get ahead in card advantage. Then, you can immediately attack with it on your turn and force them to remove it; if they can’t, your card advantage becomes even more pronounced (you drew 2 while they discarded 2). If both players started this exchange at 5 cards, you are now at 6 to your opponents 3 (not including the card you drew for your turn).
If they have to spend their gold to deal with your Thought Plucker, you can follow up with any gold-punisher. One really nasty card in this situation is Final Task because if it is used on Thought Plucker and Thought Plucker deals combat damage, the hand sizes could be you at 6 with your opponent at 1 (assuming they used a 1-cost card to remove Thought Plucker without gaining another card, and not including the card you drew for your turn).
The potential to dramatically shift the card advantage into your favor makes this a highly dangerous card. However, if both players are already at 7 cards, this becomes a lot weaker. Ending at 8 to 5 is a lot less devastating than 6 to 3.
In addition, this card won’t be able to bring you back into a game where you are far behind on the board by itself. A 1/1 unblockable champion won’t stop a Triceratops for instance. It can help you draw into an answer like a board clear though.
Rating: 4 Counter Pick
This is another get further ahead card that works excellently in tandem with Psionic Assault. If you are behind on the board, this won’t catch you up, but it puts you up 2 cards (-1 opponent, +1 you). This card also must be removed otherwise it will dominate the game. If you don’t have reliable ways to remove it (since it is unblockable), you should probably counter pick it. In a card draw light or small removal light environment this is a potential first pick.
Time Bender Rating
Fast reusable targeted removal is pretty strong. In addition, the 4 defense makes it a lot harder to remove with a single 0-cost event.
Finally, if you play this off-turn to bounce an opponent’s threat, you can always immediately bounce this with its own expend ability on your turn; this protects it from removal and allows you to use it again later. By immediately bouncing it on your turn, you don’t get further ahead, but you can maintain a removal card potentially indefinitely.
Rating: 5 (Sage investment required) First Pick, Counter Pick, Board Control
Bounce is amazing. Bounce a champion every turn or banish a 0-cost champion is incredible, especially when it is fast. This champion also has 4 defense to avoid all of the 2 damage removal that High King and Dark Assassin are vulnerable too. It can also be used to return your own 1-cost champions to hand if needed. This card must be removed or it will control the board.
Ambush 5/7 is reasonable. Attaching a Tribute -> deal 4 damage is quite nice because 4 is a nice damage break point for removing certain champions. Pushing 4 damage to the face can also be a nice addition.
The (1 gold): deal 4 damage to a target is incredibly poor gold value by itself, but if your opponent is at 4 or less health, it is all you need. It can effectively function as a 2-gold, 1-card Flame Strike for winning games in many situations.
This card is very similar to Hunting Raptors, except it has 2 extra defense, the 4 damage doesn’t require a Wild investment, you need to spend your gold to do more damage on future turns, and you can attack with it. I generally like Pyromancer better. I prefer cards that don’t require faction investments, and if I am going to damage face with the ability, I generally want to be fairly assured it will win me the game anyways. In that case, it doesn’t make that much difference that I need to spend my gold to use the ability.
With the possibility of only 1 Blind Faith max in a draft, the ability to grant breakthrough with a 0-cost event can be quite strong. Any chump blocked champion can turn into a a decent amount of damage to the face. In addition, the +4 defense is a nice combat trick that can let your attacking/blocking champion survive combat while the +4 offense lets it break your opponent’s champion. Both of these application are a great use of a card.
Rating: 3+, 3+
+4/+4 and breakthrough for 0-cost is respectable. The +4/+4 can win you an attack or block while protecting your champion, and the breakthrough gets around chump blockers. In addition, since there is no “responding” in Epic. You will get the defense no matter what, and your champion can’t be broken by a Flamestrike before this “resolves” (since it “resolves” immediately).
Raging T-Rex Rating
Situationally Desirable ++
The best card for a Wild deck (not counting mass discard pile banish).
Draw 2 cards is nice, and a 12/10 champion is a very real threat. If you have the Wild to support T-Rex, take it. T-Rex is also enough incentive to start going Wild.
Rating: 5 (Wild investment required) First Pick, Counter Pick
12/10 for a gold isn’t bad, but the draw 2 cards in addition to a 12/10 is incredible. This is one of the best draw 2 + cards in the game (Erase, Ceasefire). It is also the only draw 2 card that leaves a massive threat on the board. Erase is good for tempo and Noble Unicorn can draw a lot of cards, but Raging T-Rex can directly win you the game.
Rain of Fire Rating
Rain of Fire has been impressing me a lot more than I was originally anticipating. There are a significant number of situations where you can have 3 viable targets for this (1 of which being your opponent’s face). This is another card I recommend playing with/against because it can be easy to underestimate.
The fact that this can also draw 2 is a big advantage over Forked Lightning.
Rules clarification: Targets are chosen when an event resolves. Therefore, you do not need 3 legal targets to be able to play this. If there are no champions in play, you can still play this, choose yourself as the first target to take 3, and your opponent for the second target to take 4. Since there is no legal third target, the 5 damage is lost.
However, if there are 3 legal targets, you must choose all of them. For example. If your opponent has The Gudgeon in play and you have Thought Plucker in play, you must target yourself, the The Gudgeon, and your Thought Plucker (you can’t target your opponent because they are untargetable when you choose targets). However, with the official take back rule, you could choose to return this to hand instead of playing it if you can’t target what you wanted to.
Rating: 3+, 3+
You do not need 3 targets to play this event, but if there are 3 available targets, you must assign damage to each of them (you are a potential target). This is similar to Forked Lightning, except it can draw 2 cards instead. It is generally break a token, break/finish off a champion, and do some damage to your opponent’s face.