One of the most fun things to do when a new set releases is to break down each card one by one and consider their constructed and limited potential. This time, with Frostheart just hours away, there’s not enough time to dig into all the cards but I still wanted to take a look at some of the new fun and hype worthy cards that have captured my imagination and have me itching to play with. If you’re looking for inspiration on which cards to fiddle with once the servers go live, hopefully this article will guide you into a fun place.

Blight Knight

A 3/1 for 2 might not make you scream in excitement, but if you’ve been following the recent Hex meta with Mono Sapphire’s grip on the format, you’ll know exactly why this card is a godsend. This card basically negates all Dreadlings and Spiderlings out of existence and as long as Mono Sapphire is around as one of the popular decks, that alone warrants this a maindeck spot in Blood decks.

However Blight Knight deals with more than just that – it’s actually a thorn on the side of quite a few meta cards. Intrepid Conjurer copies will die, Ardent Crusader and Ada the Apparitionist’s phantoms will instantly perish, Cryptcurse Knight will generate 1/0’s in hand and Warpsteel Shardsworn and McBombus’ troop spawns will hit the crypt upon summon just to name a few. It even prevents the Illuminate archetype from getting going. In Immortal it turns off the Hideous Death combo deck (both the Dreadling and Phantom win cons). Conscript, Royal Falconer, Slash and Dash, Xentoth’s Malice, Hailstorm, Llamas, pets, Battle Hoppers…the list goes on.



Hailstorm

I know what some of you might be thinking – a card with no impact on the board when it’s played is usually a suspicious card in constructed circles. However this card is legit, and you can guarantee at least one Hail Hawk when it’s played if you follow it up with a shard as you still have priority. This means that even in the case that the opponent has the timely constant removal, you’re walking away ahead. If your opponent leaves this card unattended, they’ll be bombarded with birds dropping from the sky faster than a hail storm. Seriously, there are a ton of Fateweave cards (Sapphire Ice, Diamond Ice, Guidance, Weave into Nothing, Heart’s Whisper, Frostblast) and they all fit into a normal D/S control shell without making compromises. When your counter is creating evasive finishers in the sky, you know you’re onto something good. As Hex Ent. has also just announced that Fateweave will be a core mechanic, this card will only get better with time.


Paired Power

R/S McBombus fans must have lit up in glee at the sight of this card. It pairs really well with things like Mobilized Consult the Talon, Thunderfield Seer prophesied Combat Training, Thunderfield Elder/Lanupaw’s sight prophesied Arcane Focus, a cost reduced Lazgar’s Vengeance or maybe even combining it with a pair of Fireball on turn 5 for 12 damage. Throw a Sunsoul Phoenix in there and you’ve got the makings of an explosive party.


Runebind

If you thought the constructed powerhouse Transmogrifade packed a ton of flexibility for 1 cost, Runebind blows that penguin out of the water. This is able to target everything in the game including spells, actions, constants, troops. It can serve as a pretty effective 1 cost counter, since the counter will likely be replayed at the beginning of your opponent’s turn where it will ultimately fizzle. It’s definitely a temporary solution in other cases, since it doesn’t definitely deal with the threat, but buying time can often be much more valuable than spending 1 resource and a card – especially in Sapphire where that card disadvantage can quickly be recuperated. Buying time for one more swing before a mass removal, delaying a Herofall so your second copy in hand doesn’t get voided as well, preventing a card’s deploy ability from going off that turn, turning an Invincible troop into something more easily destructible, turning a socketed troop into something that can be sacrificed to Dark Heart of Nulzann are some of the niche scenarios where this can buy even more than time. In a format that’s expected to have all sorts of threats from game changing Quick Actions to Constant & Artifact threats, Runebind represents the epitome of flexibility.


Inquisitor of Lumos

Not sure how effective it will be in top tier play, but this is going to be one hell of a ladder trolling card. This is pretty much the ‘fair’ version of the pre-nerf Rollicking Reveler but I know it won’t feel fair at all when you come across it unprepared. In a Mono R deck this will all but guarantee at least 2 damage even in a clear trade (barring a Carnasaurus…geez, when will that card ever rotate out). I envision it thriving more in a R/S control oriented deck however with cheap counters, Runebind and the like keeping your opponent from having many outs. Do remember to buff this card’s attack if you want to hear your opponent’s cry from across the screen.


Runic Avalanche

The best way for me to hype this card is probably to say that no card in Hex’s history at this cost has ever provided as much value. What it does in an ideal scenario is draw you 6 cards, and summons two troops. You likely won’t be able to take advantage of all that value considering there are some conditions necessary but for example playing a Fateweave shard immediately after playing this assures you can at least have until next turn to cast the cards in your hand before they’re discarded to the Runic ability. You can also potentially play the Quick actions on your upkeep before you draw a card in some cases. The troops generated aren’t likely to be too big assuming you play this as a curve topper that refuels your hand in an aggressive deck (and hence have no qualms about discarding your hand) but there’s so much offered here that you just can’t complain.


Alchemite

It doesn’t have Spellshield and it doesn’t have Invincible, yet seven sets in, Alchemite is the hardest to remove troop in the game. No voiding, transform, board wipe, or sacrifice effect will kill this troop as you’ll always be able to return it to hand as long as you have a card in hand. That makes this a great card drawer/cycler to build around.


Permafrost

As THE rare shard in the set, Permafrost is naturally going to receive a ton of attention. It breaks one of the fundamental rules of the game which is the threshold balancing, even if it is just for one card. It probably doesn’t yet have the payoff card necessary to be a consistent threat in constructed, but it’s going to be fun as heck trying to get rich or die tryin’.


Destined to Lead

Ozawa’s Dream has manifested into the ultimate build-around card that will captivate deck builders from all walks of shards. Probably best slots into the D/S Psychic Ascension deck with the Sapphire action creation gem, but will be interesting to see what else people come up with.


Brosi-Buk, Mischief Master

I said earlier that Inquisitor of Lumos was the ultimate troll card, but with “Mischief Master” in its name, Brosi-Buk probably takes the cake here. I envision a mono Wild player dropping a bunch of threats early on and basically going ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ YOLO mode by dropping this on turn 5 and praying to RNGesus that the opponent can’t make a comeback.


Shardbase

With the rare Wells, the uncommon dual shards, the cycle coins, the race shards, and the awesome new Fateweave shards it’s going to be a great time to be shardslinging.


Unfortunately that’s all the time I have to share some of the cards I’m really excited about, but this is just scratching the surface of the lunacy available in Frostheart. Heartbreak restarts the game, Aegilus makes your champion Invincible, Hogarth the Mad changes your deck, Sir Draxard gives a 25 life swing, Nameless Truths can fetch up to 5 cards, Pippit Hustler has an improved Transmogrifade packed into a solid body, and Escalation is back along with a pretty sweet enabler called Zip Zapper.

That’s not even to mention most of the constructed powerhouses in the set like the Sapphire Herofall that is Into the Unknown, the Diamond Arcane Focus that is Guidance, Boltwing Phoenix which lives up to its name, Lord Blightbark and its Deathcry shenanigans, Pocket Army being a handy shardless 1 drop snowball of a win con, as well as new keywords like Runic, Illuminate and Gladiator likely ushering in some entirely new kickass archetypes.

Enough talk, it’s time to grab a cup of coffee and get ready for some heartwarming Frostheart action. Let me know in the comments below which cards YOU are most hyped about.

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Bootlace
As a decade long MTGO player, Bootlace made the permanent switch to Hex in 2013 when he realized it was the future of digital TCGs. He beat out nearly 300 competitors in the largest Invitational Qualifier tournament yet and earned his spot in the first major tournament for Hex: Shards of Fate. He writes on just about every topic, with a focus on the limited side of the game.

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