Hey folks, back with another new card as we hit the tail end of spoiler season for Hex’s sixth set, Scars of War.
The ongoing war between the Ardent and Underworld factions has created real turmoil on Entrath and while it’s not on apocalyptic levels just yet, it has apparently resulted in the second coming of
Jesus Martyred Saint.
In plain clothing as a 5/5 Steadfast for 5, Martyred Saint doesn’t look like anything special. His buff to Ardent Troops is essentially the equivalent of Major Diamond of the Ardent (except the gem has the advantage of triggering Deploy abilities but the disadvantage of that troop needing to attack). His divine nature comes to light when you start considering the nature of his Deathcry ability and the constant it creates. The constant itself lets you keep enjoying the troop’s ability after death and basically becomes an un-empowered Rally of Kings in an Ardent focused deck. Another way to look at it is that for 2 resources more than Rally of Kings you get a 5/5 Steadfast body (and Steadfast ability to your troops on top).
The interesting part is in the ease at which the Martyred Saint is able to return back to life. You could leave it to faith and just wait until you draw one of your many Ardent troops, or you could take matters into your own hands and trigger the reversion in a myriad of ways. The most suitable way seems to be with Valiant Escort who’s a key piece in the Ardent weenie deck anyways. You could also use new Scars of War cards such as Blessed Scout and Totemic Elder who conscript Ardent troops into your hand.
Diamond has had many 5 drops that have tried to go immortal in one way or another. Golden Avenger’s reborn loop ends with a simple disruption when trying to apply the Mask of the Avenger. Starsight Oracle suffers from an unimpressive frame. Mad Robomancer (a Sapphire card but used primarily in D/S decks) has seen the most prominent use in its ability to keep generating actions and troops in a control deck without having to wait for shard drops like with Starsight Oracle. Martyred Saint has the advantage of seeing use even immediately following removal (of course not including transform effects) which none of these other cards get to enjoy.
But the most interesting part might be that Martyred Saint actually has some kind of protection against transform abilities like Transmogrifade or Martyr as well in the form of being able to shift between its bodily form and its metaphysical presence in the form of a constant. If for example you’re playing against a heavy control deck and the removal in your hand is mostly useless, you can respond to a Transmogrifade by playing Pride’s Fall on your own Martyred Saint. On the flip side if your opponent is running constant hate, then you can have a Valiant Escort activation ready in times when it has transformed into Saved Soul to quickly revert it back into troop form.
Does all of the above combine to to mean you can slot in a playset into a top tier deck? Most likely not as its cost is likely too high to be considered in an otherwise aggressive weenie based Diamond deck as anything more than a one-of to satisfy the Ardent Crusader requirement. Another place it might have a faint of potential is in slower D/S decks which will have ample of ‘free’ Ardent troops like Thunderfield Seer and Phoenix Guard Messenger to enable Mobilize abilities and Typhoon Skyshaper that can return an Ardent troop like Thunderfield Seer at Quick speed to bring the Martyred Saint back into play.
In the end Martyred Saint is probably not something worth overly worshiping but it’s certainly fun to think of all the possibilities.