[dropcap]W[/dropcap]ith Hex TCG’s sixth set, Scars of War, right around the corner we once again find ourselves in the exciting place known as spoiler season. This time around we’re getting one of the biggest shake-ups yet as 2 full sets (~40% of current card pool) are rotating out of Standard. This means that some of the core staples that we’ve come to love (or hate) over the years are leaving us, but as is usually the case in TCGs the really important characteristics respective to each shard will be maintained in the form of new cards replacing the old (such as Herofall replacing Kill or Cremate replacing Burn).
“Come closer young ones. You have much to learn before you enter the dream.”
Today’s spoiler is the card slotted (for now at least) to take on the role that has long been held by one of the most impactful cards in Hex history, Howling Brave. This inconspicuous 1/1 has had a hand in everything from making Titania’s Majesty castable too early to be considered ‘fun’, to enabling Crocosaur to be used comfortably in multi-colored decks, to the dreaded turn 2 “GG” spellshielded Rune Ear Hierophant to most recently helping Mightsinger of Ages shine way more than it should.
Looking back, it’s hard to feel sad for the departure of this Coyotle from Standard when its had a hand in enabling so much Wild $#!t. But ramp/resource acceleration remains one of the core tenets of the Wild shard and if you’re yearning for a 1 cost Wild troop that ramps in the absence of Howling Brave, Earth Mother does its best to fill its shoes.
As you might remember, Diligence powers are triggered effects that fire off every time the Diligent card readies. That means while Howling Brave potentially gives you a temporary resource every turn, Earth Mother potentially gives you a permanent resource every turn. There is no Wild threshold granted but at 0/3 the body is much more resilient to removal and also serves as a decent early blocker.
The criticism with Earth Mother will be in the amount of effort you have to put in to see returns. Unless there’s a playable Wild Mobilize card for 2, the earliest you will get to benefit from the extra resource is on turn 4…and that’s assuming you have some way to exhaust the card/get an attack in without dying AND your opponent not dealing with it in 2 full turns.
Seeing as Howling Brave was such a strong and dare I say ‘problematic’ card, it’s hard to blame Earth Mother for not enabling the same ridiculous starts that saw it often out-aggro aggro decks. Having said that, Earth Mother holds more potential in the long-game and permanently increasing your resources every turn is not something to take lightly. We’ve already seen with the Absolute Power spoiler that you can be handsomely rewarded for ramping up.
At a time when each faction is adjusting to the scars brought on by war (and rotation), Earth Mother gives birth to a fruitful new way to abuse the power of the Wild.