Pantheon’s 10 Best Card Images (Exclusive Bonus)

Foreword

Epic is a phenomenal two-player dueling game; I’ve spent excessive amounts of time writing about it because I love the mechanics/depth of play, it has the best limited formats I’ve experienced, and I can actually afford to obtain the cards to compete competitively for money. All that being said, it also has great art (something I can’t remember consciously caring about before).

Pantheon specifically, blew me away. When I was opening my packs at Worlds I just kept gushing about how much I liked individual cards over and over again. On a whole the set is great, but I reached out to WWG to see if I could get the full resolution art for 10 of my subjective favorites (in addition to the clear objectively best one, Cast Out, at the top of the page). Every image can be clicked for its full resolution.

#10

My favorite part of this piece is the use of past champions’ art to clearly illustrate the mechanical effect of the card.

#9

The detail on the titular champion in this piece stands out, and the underlying city in it works well too.

#8

Okay, so I’m biased on this one since it’s one of my favorite cards mechanically from the set, but the vanguard charge into the horde with the backup visibly framed by the champion works great.

#7

The mass gathering extending beyond the card boundaries, the detailed markings, and the ritual being cast create a haunting and intriguing scene.

#6

While I liked the original art on the promo version of this card, the new artwork is even better.

#5

I know people who actively dislike this piece, but I just think the art’s story works beautifully to depict the cards mechanics.

#4

The artwork exceeds the expectation of the card’s name.

#3

OH $#&T!!

#2

I initially thought this was my favorite card art in the set before I looked through them all again for this. The pose, the spear, the clouds.

#1

I would pay to read an Ian Taylor short story about this scene. Epic.

Afterword

These are my 10 (technically 11) favorite pieces from Epic Pantheon. Let me know your favorites either from this set or Epic as a whole. (Yes Cast Out is based on me.) Also not all of the Pantheon art is spectacular **cough**ScrapGolem**cough**.

In the meantime, I have started filming my Epic Constructed Tiered Card Ratings. I am also contemplating starting a massive scale project to work on concurrently. If I go through with it, it’ll probably take weeks to months but would be awesome (hopefully).

Scarred Cultist Walker

Foreword

Now that my Constructed Card Ratings are up (except for the card by card analysis videos), I’m more determined than ever to use/break low rated cards. Erwin here we come.

Decklist

Evil (30) [+3 Erwin]

Slow (11)
3x Angel of Death
2x Necromancer Lord
2x Steed of Zaltessa
2x The Gudgeon
2x Winged Death

Fast (9)
3x Drain Essence
3x Final Task
3x Medusa

0-Cost (10)
2x Corpsemonger
3x Guilt Demon
2x Little Devil
3x Scarred Cultist

Good (0)

Sage (24)

Slow (4)
1x Mist Guide Herald
3x Time Walker

Fast (12)
3x Ancient Chant
3x Erase
2x Fairy Trickster
3x Reset
1x Teleport

0-Cost (8)
3x Erwin, Architect of War
3x Forcemage Apprentice
2x Muse

Wild (6)

Slow ()

Fast (4)
1x Fiery Demise
3x Surprise Attack

0-Cost (1)
2x Hunting Pterosaur

Discussion

The potentially underrated cards that formed the core of what I wanted to do were Erwin, Time Walker, and Scarred Cultist. (Cultist got an incognito tier bump partially because of this). Erwin could theoretically let me hit loyalty in two different alignments which is interesting. Cultist seems like it could be quite powerful, but I wasn’t able to find a deck for it. Time Walker works with both, and it’s the card that keeps making me want to build a 30/30 Evil/Sage 0-cost champion deck. So, that’s where I started.

I’ve built 0-cost blitzer decks in the past (bounce-based and Banishment/No Escape-based), and the biggest hurdle is always Raxxa’s Curse. If I play Little Devil, attack, and it gets Cursed, I fall so far behind. Therefore, instead of focusing on blitzing 0’s for my bounce deck, I wanted to focus on value 0’s, namely Scarred Cultist, Hunting Pterosaur, and Forcemage Apprentice. All of these give immediate value when they enter play, are worthwhile threats if not removed, and are great to get back to hand. If one of these gets Cursed after I’ve already retrieved a card or broken a Muse/Plucker, I’m okay with that.

Next, I worked out which Loyalty 2 champions I wanted to pursue, since Erwin needs a justification for inclusion (beyond playing it before Time Walker/Reset for a free recycle). Obviously I needed to be able to hit Evil loyalty for Cultist, I always want Medusa if possible, Angel of Death is amazing, and Necromancer Lord has some nice tricks in this deck (Final Task, Time Walker, Scarred Cultist). For Sage though, the only particularly interesting one was Time Walker. Therefore, since it is impossible to get 33 of 60 cards in both alignments, I decided to focus on Evil (since I want to hit Evil Loyalty early and often) and drop my Sage count to 24, making room for the Hunting Pterosaurs.

While I seriously dislike including Loyalty 2 cards in factions with less than 33 cards of that alignment or 55% (see my Epic Constructed Process article), in theory, this deck has some tricks to subvert that soft-restriction. First, I only have 3 cards that need loyalty outside of my main faction. Second, these are cards I believe I’ll generally want to wait until a bit later in the game to use. Third, Erwin, once drawn, will spend most of the rest of the game in my hand, meaning I only need 1 more card to activate Walker. Fourth, Ancient Chant Recall off-turn can potentially provide that second Loyalty card, so can Scarred Cultist (although I cut most of my other 1-cost Sage champions…). I’ll be curious to see how well this works. I don’t want to play it safe and go down to 2 Walkers because it is one of the strongest cards in the deck. On the plus side, if I do draw all 3 Walkers, at least I’ll have loyalty for them.

So, the goal of this deck is to win by chipping down the opponent with 0-cost champions while outvaluing them by repeatedly playing incredibly powerful loyalty 2 champions. While less of a focus as in the past, playing a 0-cost champion and attacking or passing is a strong option for this deck. Where similar decks falter, however, is that they don’t have strong on-turn gold punishers to follow up. This is particularly true because Evil has historically had little to no worthwhile on-turn gold punishers. Steed of Zaltessa changes that. If your opponent spends their gold first on your turn, you get to hit them for 11 and leave a 7 defense airborne champion in play, incredible. (I think I want space for 3.) The fact that Evil now has a powerful on-turn gold punisher is a huge deal, and it is one of the reasons why a 6/5 version of Corpse Taker (Cultist) can actually be a powerful card, more on this in the constructed ratings videos. Winged Death is also a strong board-control gold-punisher.

Fairy Trickster is the final interesting piece of this build. Ideally, I’ll ambush it in off-turn, expend it to target my deck, and flip any of my 0-cost champions, effectively drawing and playing that card, not bad. I’ve used it in the past in similar decks, and it’s been okay, but I’m curious about experimenting with it in this deck. One interesting note is that if you use this off-turn and/or during combat and you turn up a slow champion, you can actually play that champion (effectively as if it had ambush). Surprise Attack on a body could be interesting, particularly with Winged Death, Necromancer Lord, Time Walker, Mist Guide Herald, and Winged Death. We’ll see.

Current Concerns

Right now, I’m a bit lighter on card draw than I like to be, especially since I’m being overly generous and counting Fairy Trickster as card draw. Theoretically, the AoE bounces from Time Walker and Reset could keep me stocked with cards, but I won’t know until testing. Due to this lack of card draw concern, I shifted a bit away from Mist Guide Herald, which can in theory be pretty strong when it hits Time Walker. Due to the decreased MGH count, Final Task becomes worse, as does Teleport.

If I continue with this deck, I would probably end up cutting the Tricksters, MGH, Teleport, and decreasing the Final Task count. The 2-2 Little Devil Corpsemonger ratio might shift too. Hopefully the final two as of yet unspoiled Pantheon packs will give the final cards needed for these slots.

Epic: Constructed Tiered Card Ratings

Foreword

Below are the 264 currently-legal cards for Epic constructed divided into 9 tiers (Core, Tyrants, Uprising, and 4 of 6 Pantheon packs [not yet available for retail]). In constructed, the power level of each card is heavily influenced by the other cards that are being played, the “meta.” For example, if everyone is playing untargetable champions, non-targeted removal (Scara’s Will and Winged Death) are effectively better while targeted removal (Erase and Drain Essence) are effectively worthless.

Therefore, since I want this first rating to be relevant for as long as possible, I have tried to keep it as meta-agnostic as reasonable. Instead of rating the cards based on their power level at this exact moment, I have grouped them by relative power level that can fluctuate based on the meta. From these tier groupings, I plan on making around 9 videos (about 1 per tier) to explain the cards’ strengths and weaknesses and my rationale for their placements. I recommend focusing on tiers 1-5 when building decks. (I might also write a meta-based ranking to accompany this article that I can update as the meta shifts.)

If you disagree or want clarification on any of the cards’ positions below, let me know in the comments. I’ll plan on spending a bit more time talking about those cards in my videos. Also, I know this clashes with most players’ views on at least a few cards, so tell me why I’m wrong!

Since limited formats (like Dark Draft) are entirely different animals, I have a separate Dark Draft Card Ratings as well.

Ratings Formatting

The below formatting is as follow

Tier Name (# of cards in tier / # of cards total legal cards)

Brief description of tier

Alignment (# of cards in alignment in tier / # of legal cards of that alignment total) [# of cards in the alignment for this and all previous tiers]

Individual cards are searchable with ctrl + f / cmd + f. Clicking on a card name will currently open the card’s linked image in a new tab. Once the videos are up I’ll, ideally, switch the link to the timestamped video where I discuss it.

Banned Cards (3/264)

These cards were banned from constructed largely because of their interaction with Chamberlain Kark Combo/Control decks.

Good (2/66)

Blind Faith, Ceasefire

Sage (1/66)

Fumble

Tier 1: Meta Shaping (28/261) [31]

These cards are absurdly powerful and/or have heavily influenced the meta at some point.

Evil (10/66)

Drain Essence, Drinker of Blood, Medusa, Necromancer Lord, Raxxa’s Curse, Rift Summoner, Scara’s Gift, Scara’s Will, Soul Hunter, Zannos Corpse Lord

Good (4/64) [4]

Angel of Light, Chamberlain Kark, Noble Unicorn, Silver Wing Savior

Sage (8/65) [8]

Amnesia, Ancient Chant, Erase, Lesson Learned, Muse, Sea Titan, Thought Plucker, Wave of Transformation

Wild (6/66)

Brachiosaurus, Kong, Raging T-Rex, Smash and Burn, Strafing Dragon, Surprise Attack

Tier 2: Powerful Support (31/261) [62]

These are cards that play important roles in powerful decks and/or cards not quite strong enough to make tier 1.

Evil (5/66) [15]

Angel of Death, Dark One’s Fury, Dirge of Scara, Guilt Demon, Zombie Apocalypse

Good (12/64) [16]

Bodyguard, Brave Squire, Cast Out, Divine Judgement, Gold Dragon, Inheritance of the Meek, Insurgency, Martial Law, Palace Guard, Priest of Kalnor, Silver Wing Guardian, Silver Wing Lancer

Sage (5/65) [13]

Forcemage Apprentice, Force Lance, Frantic Digging, Hasty Retreat, Mist Guide Herald

Wild (9/66) [15]

Draka Dragon Tyrant, Draka’s Enforcer, Feeding Frenzy, Flame Spike, Hunting Pack, Kalani Woodreader, Lightning Strike, Rage, Wolf’s Bite

Tier 3: Powerful Filler (45/261) [107]

These are powerful cards that fill very specific roles for very specific decks.

Evil (15/66) [30]

Apocalypse, Army of the Apocalypse, Consume, Demonic Rising, Final Task, Forbidden Research, Murderous Necromancer, Plague, Plentiful Dead, Raxxa Demon Tyrant, Reaper, Steed of Zaltessa, Unquenchable Thirst, Winged Death, Wither

Good (8/64) [24]

Brand Rebel Fighter, Faithful Pegasus, Justice Prevails, Markus Watch Captain, Rescue Griffin, Resurrection, Revolt, Urgent Messengers

Sage (10/65) [23]

Helion the Dominator, Ice Drake, Juggernaut, Keeper of Secrets, Knight of Shadows, Siren’s Song, Steel Titan, Vanishing, Velden Frost Titan, War Machine

Wild (12/66) [27]

Brak Fist of Lashnok, Fiery Demise, Fires of Rebellion, Flames of Furios, Flash Fire, Go Wild, Greater Lightning WurmHerald of Lashnok, Hunting Pterosaur, Hurricane, Scarros Hound of Draka, Spore Beast

Tier 4: Tech Cards (44/261) [150]

These cards fill even narrower roles based on the meta and/or are linchpins in specialized decks.

Evil (9/66) [39]

Corpsemonger, Heinous Feast, Little Devil, Plague Zombies, Raxxa’s DispleasureScarred Cultist, Scarred Priestess, Spawning Demon, The Gugeon

Good (8/64) [32]

Ambush Party, Angel of Mercy, Angeline’s Will, Master Zo, New Dawn, Paros Rebel Leader, Watchful Gargoyle, White Dragon

Sage (15/65) [38]

Arcane Research, Citadel Raven, Crystal Golem, Deadly Raid, Djinn of the Sands, Elara the Lycomancer, Ethereal Dragon, Knight of Elara, Memory Spirit, Reset, Reusable Knowledge, Shadow ImpSpike Trap, Teleport, Time Walker

Wild (12/66) [39]

Cave Troll, Draka’s Fire, Fire Shaman, Fire Spirit, Flame Strike, Hunting Raptors, Lash, Lashnok’s Will, Pyromancer, Pyrosaur, Savage Uprising, Stampeding Einiosaur

Tier 5: Reasonably Powerful (36/261) [187]

These are okay cards on their own. They might make it into competitive decks or find homes in highly synergistic decks.

Evil (7/66) [46]

Dark Knight, Grave Demon, Necromancer Apprentice, Necrovirus, No Escape, Raxxa’s Enforcer, Zealous Necromancer

Good (14/64) [46]

Angel of the Gate, Avenger of Covenant, Avenging Angel, Banishment, Courageous Soul, Helena’s Chosen, High King, Inner Peace, Knight of the Dawn, Lord of the Arena, Quell, Second Wind, Secret Legion, White Knight

Sage (10/65) [48]

Erratic Research, Frost Giant, Gareth’s Juggernaut, Gareth’s Will, Master Forcemage, Psionic Assault, Steel Golem, Temporal Enforcer, Temporal Shift, Warrior Golem

Wild (5/66) [44]

Den Mother, Keira Wolf Caller, Rybas Canopy Sniper, Triceratops, Wurm Hatchling

Tier 6: Might Play (22/261) [209]

These are the weakest cards I can feasibly see myself playing in a competitive deck.

Evil (7/66) [53]

Dark Offering, Hands from Below, Herald of Scara, Krieg Dark One’s Chosen, Reap or Sow, Run Riot, Thrasher Demon

Good (5/64) [51]

Angeline’s Favor, Noble Martyr, Priestess of Angeline, Royal Escort, Silver Dragon

Sage (6/65) [54]

Alchemist Assassin, Fairy Entrancer, Mystic Researcher, Scrap Golem, Stand Alone, Winter Fairy

Wild (4/66) [48]

Lightning Storm, Mighty Blow, Mythic Monster, Rain of Fire

Tier 7: Might Experiment (26/261) [235]

These cards are the bottom of the barrel of cards I would theoretically play.

Evil (6/66) [59]

Corpse Taker, Dark Assassin, Demon Breach, Inner Demon, Succubus, Word of Summoning

Good (6/64) [57]

Angelic Protector, Feint, Hand of Angeline, Herald of Angeline, The People’s Champion, Village Protector

Sage (7/65) [61]

Blue Dragon, Citadel Scholar, Erwin Architect of War, Fairy Trickster, Helion’s Fury, Lying in Wait, Turn

Wild (7/66) [55]

AnkylosarusBattle CryGreat Horned Lizard, Jungle Queen, Lurking Giant, Pack Alpha, Winds of Change

Tier 8: Effectively Unplayable (20/261) [255]

I can’t see myself ever playing these cards in constructed at this point.

Evil (4/) [63]

Bitten, Saren Night Stalker, The Risen, Vampire Lord

Good (6/64) [63]

Forced Exile, Gladius the DefenderRabble Rouser, Standard Bearer, Thundarus, Vital Mission

Sage (4/65) [65]

Force Field, Ogre Mercenary, Time Bender, Transform

Wild (6/66) [61]

Bruger the Pathfinder, Chomp!, Entangling Vines, Fireball, Rampaging Wurm, Sea Hydra

Tier 9: Nothing to See Here (9/261) [264]

You can basically forget these cards exist for constructed.

Evil (3/66) [66]

Dark Leader, Infernal Gatekeeper, Trihorror

Good (1/64) [64]

Rally the People

Sage (0/65) [65]

Wild (5/66) [66]

Bellowing Minotaur, Burrowing Wurm, Forked Lightning, Wolf Companion, Wolf’s Call

Disclaimer

I am a better limited player than a constructed player. I tried to factor out my personal biases for these rankings as much as possible, but doing so completely is impossible and ultimately undesirable.