This is a continuation of my ratings of all cards for Dark Draft.
16 Tyrants Cards
Raxxa’s Displeasure Rating
Always Desirable +
Most of the time this breaks all champions on your turn, pretty nice. However, if you are able to pick up a significant amount of demon cards (Raxxa’s Curse, Reaper, Spawning Demon, Raxxa Demon Tyrant, Demon Breach, Guilt Demon, Infernal Gatekeeper, Medusa, Succubus, Thrasher Demon, Trihorror-ish, Word of Summoning, Grave Demon, Raxxa’s Enforcer, Rift Summoner, Winged Death), this can be an on-turn, one-sided board clear which is incredible. It also still works with unbreakable on your turn cards like Dark Knight. If you are drafting a demon deck, or an Evil deck in general, this is a highly desirable card.
If you believe your opponent is drafting a demon/Evil deck, counter-picking this is seriously worth considering. If they get it, it could blow you out. If you get it, you can’t rely on it as a board clear, but you can always just draw 2 with it.
Rating: 3+, 5 Counter Pick
Generally, I like my board clears to be fast, but, since this one avoids demons, it isn’t terribly difficult to get great value out of this card. Even if you just counter pick this, you can always use it just to draw 2 (since the board clear would probably be pretty weak against the demon deck you counter picked it from).
This card is such a powerhouse for Evil in draft. The fact that it also avoids 1-cost champions that just happen to be demons themselves is amazing: Raxxa Demon Tyrant (obviously), Succubus, Medusa, Trihorror, Reaper, etc.
Reap or Sow Rating
I love board clears, but trading the “or draw 2” option for “put 4 zombie tokens into play” makes this significantly worse.
While board clear effects are powerful, I generally use the “or draw 2” option more frequently, unless it is a one-sided board clear like Raxxa’s Displeasure. Therefore, trading the “or draw 2” option for a non-blitz Wolf’s Call (with zombies) hurts a lot.
If I’m going wide with a lot of tokens, I might take this. Or, if I don’t have any board clears late in the draft I will take this. Not a big fan though.
This card is interesting due to the fact that it is a board clear that can’t draw 2 instead. The or-effect is put 4 zombies into play. In the average non-token deck, I would say the or-effect is much weaker than draw 2. This is why this card is only a 3.
For a token deck, this can be quite powerful. You have the board clear if needed, and if you want to push forward when you have a champion advantage, this can work for that as well.
In constructed, I believe this card works great because you can include it in a token deck and generally be happy. For drafting, it really depends on the rest of your deck. No matter what, it is at least a board clear, and board clears are very important in draft.
9 defense on a champion that can theoretically break (almost) any champion each turn is unparalleled, especially since you are guaranteed to get the tribute -> break effect. This card has to be removed with a gold, it survives all unassisted 0-cost removal (at worst it gets bounced), and it survives most damage based removal.
Since it does leave behind demons, it effectively can’t stop a chump block. (However, if it is in play, you can trigger it with a 1-cost Evil card to break a potential ambushed in airborne blocker though). In addition, those demons can actually be a threat to you, especially if your opponent was already going wide. Further, you can’t clear those demons with Raxxa’s Displeasure. Still, I’d rather start by dealing with Kong/Thundarus/Draka and then deal with the demon later.
Another use for Reaper is to upgrade your tokens into demons. You play this and then the next time your activate it your opponent has no champions in play? Target one of your expended zombies and trade it for a prepared demon.
Rating: 5 First Pick, Counter Pick, Board Control
This is one of my favorite cards, particularly in draft. A 7/9 with tribute and ally break a champion is a complete powerhouse. You get immediate value when you play it, it has a solid 9 defense, and if not removed, it will effectively shut your opponent out.
My favorite part about this card is that it turns all 1-cost Evil draw 2 cards into removal. I’ve sat behind this and just drawn through my deck. It was glorious.
Even if you aren’t going Evil, the tribute effect and body are strong enough to warrant picking anyway.
This card can even break your own champions, like Soul Hunter and Trihorror, to give you a demon. It cannot however give you a demon if you target an unbreakable champion you control, since the trigger only works if the champion actually breaks. If nothing else, you can always upgrade your humans into demons, and if you have Zealous Necromancer in play get a zombie out of the deal too.
Spawning Demon Rating
I am a fan of this card. My favorite way to use it is to play it off-turn, when my opponent’s gold is down, and then follow it up with an Evil 1-cost draw 2. Draw 2, pay 1 health, and get 2 demon tokens, awesome. Also, if your opponent doesn’t remove it, you threaten to keep gaining demons.
If I’m not going Evil or even just don’t have sufficient 1-cost Evil draw 2s, I don’t want to draft this. Fun with Medusa too though.
Important note: Spawning Demon is not buffed by Raxxa, Demon Tyrant, but the demon tokens it spawns are buffed.
Rating: 5 (with heavy Evil investment), 3 (with light Evil investment), 1 (with no Evil investment)
A 0-cost ambush card that can keep spitting out demons is excellent, if you have the Evil investment to support it. Play this on your opponent’s turn after they spent their gold to get 2 demons with whatever Evil card you were going to play anyway.
I go back and forth on this card a lot, and I’m still not certain where I stand on it.
The first group of times I played with Quell, I was able to cause massive blowouts with both of its options, even in decks not built around it.
- I only had 0-cost champions while my opponent only had 1-cost champions:
So, it was a one-sided, on-turn board clear.
- I only had 1-cost champions while my opponent had a bunch of tokens and other 0-cost champions:
So, it was a one-sided, off-turn board clear and drew a card.
- I’ve also used it as a banishing board clear while I had unbanishable champions like The People’s Champion in play.
Other people have used it quite nicely against me as well. In other words, it has had promising play results.
However, I’ve had multiple situations where I didn’t want to play it because I had both 1-cost champions and 0-cost champions I didn’t want to banish in play. In those situations, the lack of an “or draw 2” option made this largely a dead card. I could’ve drew 1 with it, but I’d have lost my Muse, Little Devil, Dark Knight, or other 0-cost champions in the process. In addition, it can’t answer an opponent’s mixed board completely.
Currently, I think it is desirable to draft if you are going wide with tokens and 0-cost champions. Otherwise, I want to just force myself to draft it more to see how it shakes out for me now.
This card has been incredible for me in a lot of situations. I have used the 1st effect to banish something like 36 human tokens once, and I banished 3 or so powerful 0-cost champions like Forcemage Apprentice another time (both times on my opponent’s turn while also drawing a card). On multiple occasions, I have used the second effect to clear out multiple 1-cost champions while preserving my 0-cost filled board and my unbanishable champions like The People’s Champion.
This card is one of the best board clears for gaining an actual board advantage. It is also one of the best answers for Insurgency attacks. It does, however, have the potential problem of being effectively unplayable. Since it can’t just draw cards, if you have a board advantage that relies on both 0-cost and 1-cost champions, this card can just sit in your hand because you don’t want to banish your 0-cost champions to draw a card. Even still, I am a fan of this card. I really want it if I think my opponent is going token heavy.
Rabble Rouser Rating
This is a card that must be removed or it will produce greater than exponential amounts of human tokens (since you get a free one before each doubling). If unremoved, some of these human tokens can slowly push damage through while others chump block. In addition, they can mass up for an Insurgency, Revolt, etc.
Unfortunately for this card, it has 5 defense so it breaks to a lot, including damage based board clears like Draka’s Fire that sweep up the tokens along with it. If you have multiple ways to go wide quickly, adding another one can strain your opponent’s ability to board clear you, which can be quite strong.
Rabble Rouser is a terrifying card since it provides slightly greater than exponential growth. Assuming you have no other human tokens in play (which there is a strong chance you will have human tokens in play if you take this card), it produces 2 the first time. The second activation will leave you with a net 6, then 14, then 30, etc.
As someone from the Epic Card Game Fan Page on Facebook pointed out, if you play Rabble Rouser on your turn without activating it, then Secret Legion on your opponent’s turn and activate your Rabble Rouser, followed by a Rabble Rouser activation on your next turn, you have 30 human tokens (14 not deploying) ready to be utilized whether with Insurgency or something else.
Situationally Desirable ++
This is by far the most important and best card for human token decks.
A 0-cost event that gives +2 offense to all Good champions can turn any human token assault into a major threat, whether those human tokens started the turn in play or you just played Insurgency/Secret Legion. It’s an all-star.
Unless you are desperate, you should not use the “or draw 2” option in a human token deck because the main effect is too valuable. Unfortunately for human token decks, the “or draw 2” option does make this incredibly easy to counter draft. Even just a 3/1 ambush chump blocker can be useful, in a desperation type of way.
Rating: 3+, 2 or 5
Even if you run no tokens, a fast 0-cost chump blocker is useful enough for the 2 rating, especially since you can always draw 2 off of it instead.
Royal Escort Rating
5/9 Ambush means it’s never terrible. It also gives a guaranteed 3 health gain, but, since its ally trigger is Good, it probably won’t gain too much more. Making all of your other champions untargetable can be quite nice though with specific champions, particularly low-defense ones: Guilt Demon, Dark Assassin/High King/Murderous Necromancer/Reaper/Elara the Lycomaner, Necromancer Lord/Angel of Mercy, Avenging Angel/Gold Dragon, Muse/Spore Beast, Thought Plucker, Winged Death/Citadel Raven/Pyrosaur, and The Gudgeon is another fun one.
I like ambush champions. I also like health gain, more so in constructed though. Where this card really shines though is in protecting your more vulnerable champions. You play this on your opponent’s turn, then you play an Avenging Angel and attack with it on your turn. They can’t use targeted removal on Avenging Angel this turn, and if they remove Royal Escort on your turn and remove Avenging Angel on their turn, you have forced out 2 removal cards to answer your Avenging Angel. High King, unsurprisingly, is another nice card to play with Royal Escort.
Lesson Learned Rating
This card is as strong as your best event. If I’ve drafted Ancient Chant (to draw 4), Drain Essence, Flame Strike, and/or Erase, I would be happy to draft this. If I haven’t, or it is early in the draft, I don’t want to take this with the hope that I will. Admittedly, the odds of not getting at least a few worthwhile events is fairly low though.
At the very least, Sage draw 2.
Rating: 3+, 3
This card is just a second versatile copy of your events. If you have strong events, this is better. This is especially powerful if you have events that are specifically high-value for your deck. For example, if you are going for a token rush strategy, this can be a second Secret Legion or Insurrection. A second Flame Strike is also quite strong.
Mist Guide Herald Rating
Situationally Acceptable ++
This card will usually be acceptable, but in a deck with fewer champions, or only a few strong establishing champions, I wouldn’t want this. If you hit a strong establishing champion when you play this, and you used Mist Guide Herald as an establishing champion, it is better than just playing that establishing champion.
In most other situations, it is worse than just playing a champion you legitimately want to play in that situation. I play this as an establishing champion but I only turn up gold-punishers, gaining a 3/2 airborne body is not enough to offset the poor timing of the gold-punishers. Or, I am trying to dig to one specific champion, and I don’t get it, playing/drafting something else would probably have been better. Worst case scenario is you play this and reveal no champions. On-turn gold for a 3/2 airborne champion tribute -> show my opponent 5 cards in my deck, terrible.
I’d much rather have a more reliable card in most situations, but I’ll take it if there aren’t any better cards in the pack.
I still don’t know how I really feel about Mist Guide Herald in draft yet. It is essentially a 3/2 airborne champion that lets you draw then play the best situational champion in the top 5 cards of your deck. That seems like pretty solid stuff, especially when you are even with or ahead of your opponent on the board. When you are behind, it is hope that you get what you need, but if you don’t have what you need in your deck, you can’t get it.
This card is much stronger if you have other strong champions in your deck. It does provide pretty solid value if you can bounce and replay it too. There is a solid chance I will revisit this card later.
Shadow Imp Rating
Strong in a deck with a lot of 1-cost Sage cards. Works great as a free 2 damage unblockable attacker each turn. At 3 defense it survives multiple 0-cost removal cards like Wolf’s Bite and Flash Fire. In addition, it gets to hide in your hand at the end of your turn (assuming you play a 1-cost Sage card); this lets it dodge opponent’s on-turn board clears.
It also works as a free chump blocker. Your opponent attacks, you play this, assuming it isn’t removed, you block with it, then assuming it isn’t removed again, you play a 1-cost Sage card to return it to hand unscathed. The blocked champion remains blocked.
One bad thing about this card is that it can force you to use your gold before your opponent, especially when used to block. While you can block a champion that started the turn in play, if you use Shadow Imp’s free block trick, you open yourself up to an on-turn gold-punisher. At least you can always just replay and chump with Shadow Imp if needed.
Rating: 4 (with heavy Sage investment) 2 (without Sage investment)
This card can be really powerful. A 0-cost 2/3 ambush, blitz, unblockable is a very real threat. If you don’t remove it, it will eventually kill you. Where this card really shines though is its ally ability. With the ally ability, you can attack, and then after damage immediately play a 1-cost Sage card to return it to hand. You can either keep it in hand to protect it and use it next turn, or you can replay it for another 2 damage that same turn. In addition, you can use it on your opponent’s turn to ambush it in, chump block, and then before damage return it to hand by playing a 1-cost Sage card. In a heavy Sage investment deck, I really like this card.
Without a Sage investment it can still do 2 unblockable damage a turn until removed. It is also still a nice target for Mighty Blow type effects.
Temporal Enforcer Rating
I haven’t been as impressed by this card as I was expecting, but I did have very high expectations. Bounce is especially strong in limited formats, the ally ability can both remove opponent’s tokens and protect your 0-cost champions, ambush is always great, and 6 unblockable offense is no joke.
However, the 4 defense is still not great. That being said, this card has performed pretty well for me on multiple occasions, particularly against demon decks. I think my primary reservation about this card is the fact that it is a 1-cost bounce card that doesn’t have a strong defensive effect with it, unlike Sea Titan and Erase. It is more of an aggressive tempo card, but 4 defense on an aggressive, 1-cost, tempo card worries me.
Rating: 5 (with Sage investment) 2.5 (without Sage investment)
I love evasive ambush champions, and unblockable is the best kind of evasion. Then, when you add the loyalty bounce on that evasive body, it becomes an incredibly valuable play on your opponent’s turn. Finally, the ally ability is excellent primarily for removing your opponent’s tokens, but it can also be used to get more value from your 0-cost champions. This can be done by allowing for a second Dark Knight attack in a turn, or it can just be used to protect your Muse after you draw the card for it at the start of your turn. This is an incredibly strong Sage card.
Without a Sage investment this is still an ambush unblockable champion with 6 offense so it can potentially be strong. It isn’t terribly hard to remove though.
Feeding Frenzy Rating
I haven’t played this card much in draft, but it has been incredible in my World’s Pyrosaur constructed deck.
Best case scenario with this card is to use it after attacking with Draka, Dragon Tyrant or Pyrosaur as a 0-cost break anything. It can also work nicely with Fire Shaman, Fire Spirit, Flash Fire, Wolf’s Bite, Lightning Storm, Rain of Fire, Smash and Burn, etc. In theory, it can even be strong in a token deck. Attack with a token, they block it, you finish off their champion with this (hasn’t happened for me yet though).
Without any of these specific scenarios, it becomes a lot less reliable and a lot less effective. Using 2 non-recycle cards to break 1 champion isn’t ideal (Fireball into this), nor is getting your 1-cost champion broken in combat in order to finish off the champion that blocked it. Not being able to use the effect on your opponent’s turn keeps this card from being too crazy.
If I have a few of the cards mentioned above, I would prioritize this highly, if not, it’s at least an “or draw 2.”
Rating: 3+, 3+
I am not sure how great this card is in draft yet. (In theory, it is excellent in Constructed.) Without necessarily having cards like Fire Shaman, Fire Spirit, Draka Dragon Tyrant, Flash Fire, etc., it might just finish off something inefficiently. It could be nice for token decks.
Fire Spirit Rating
Tribute -> draw a card is one of my favorite abilities. 9 or less defense is also significantly less important in limited formats than it is in constructed (Max 1 Drain Essence).
In addition, the ally trigger of Fire Spirit is pretty great. It can incidentally take out most 0-cost champions and some 1-cost champions just by being triggered. This + Rain of Fire, Smash and Burn, Feeding Frenzy, Pyrosaur, Draka’s Fire, etc. can let you semi-incidentally take out 1-cost champions too.
This card significantly overperforms my expectations.
An 11/9 with tribute -> draw a card isn’t bad at all. Unfortunately, it needs to survive and you need more Wild cards to activate its loyalty ability. It also does not survive Hurricane without a buff.
Great Horned Lizard Rating
It’s both an on-turn and off-turn gold-punisher, but I am not a huge fan of it in either of those roles.
Reverting to 8 defense after being played makes it susceptible to more removal than I like, and 7 offense isn’t amazing even with breakthrough. 10/11 is a strong off-turn blocker and 10/11 breakthrough, blitz is no slouch on-turn either, but it doesn’t give as much to me as other on-turn gold-punishers.
For example, Rampaging Wurm hits harder and leaves a 14/14 in play. Avenging Angel and Gold Dragon are airborne, gain me some health, and largely need to be removed. Draka, Dragon Tyrant is a 9/9 airborne champion that sweeps away a lot of 0-cost champions every turn it attacks. Djinn of the Sands can draw if I don’t need the airborne 8/8 blitzer. Knight of Elara and White Knight draw me a card. I would happily take any of these over Great Horned Lizard, even though Great Horned Lizard is the only one with breakthrough.
Tribute -> +3/+3 to dinosaurs could be nice, especially with Ankylosaurus and Triceratops, especially since this can be played mid-combat as a combat trick, and it has worked great for multiple people I know. But, the AoE dinosaur buff has never made a difference in any game I have played.
This card intrigues me, mainly for constructed though. When played on your opponent’s turn, it is a weaker Lurking Giant, but with breakthrough. When played on your turn, it can potentially buff an Ankylosaurus or other dinosaur, then attack as a 10/11 breakthrough.
Lightning Strike Rating
Always First Pickable
One of the best 0-cost cards in the game.
5 damage breaks:
All tokens (removing chump blockers), Little Devil, Raxxa’s Enforcer, Winged Death, Corpsemonger, Rift Summoner, Spawning Demon, The Gudgeon, Zealous Necromancer, Angel of Death, Corpse Taker, Dark Assassin, Dark Knight off-turn, Dark Leader, Drinker of Blood off-turn, Guilt Demon, Necromancer Lord, Soul Hunter, Succubus, Thrasher Demon, Vampire Lord off-turn,
Bodyguard, Village Protector unprotected, Brand Rebel Fighter, Noble Martyr, Paros Rebel Leader, Rabble Rouser, Angel of Mercy, Courageous Soul, Faithful Pegasus, High King, Priest of Kalnor, Priestess of Angeline, Standard Bearer, Watchful Gargoyle, White Dragon,
Citadel Raven, Fairy Trickster, Citadel Scholar even with a draw 2, Elara the Lycomaner, Knight of Shadows, Mist Guide Herald, Shadow Imp, Temporal Enforcer, Forcemage Apprentice, Juggernaut off-turn, Keeper of Secrets, Memory Spirit, Muse, Ogre Mercenary, Thought Plucker, Time Bender, Warrior Golem, Winter Fairy, Blue Dragon,
It can also draw 2 instead.
Rating: 3+, 3
5 damage is enough to break a lot of champions.