If you haven’t been following suit, Hex’s seventh set has had a ton of crazy spoilers revealed thus far with some beautiful art to boot. Today, we might be revealing the prettiest of them all.
As a 1/4 for 3, Tongue Breeder is below par, with Sapphire already establishing many 2 costed troops with the same body with a positive ability on top. It is a decent early blocker and could be a headache for Ruby based decks in particular to get off the board but it does however have another downside, in that it summons a Chaostongue for your opponent, which if you have forgotten are these lovely things:
So having such a below curve body and a negative ability puts quite a strain on the rest of the text box to deliver. But boy does it! An extra card every turn you manage to keep it alive? Yes please! Historically in TCGs, such asymmetrical card advantage abilities on cheap troops have led to incredibly powerful decks. So how impactful will Tongue Breeder be in the new Hex meta – will this be a forgotten rare or will it become a control staple?
The answer is likely somewhere in between, depending on the existing meta. The most glaring weakness of the card is that in the expected case where your opponent trades their removal for your troop, your opponent walks away ahead with a 1/1 Unblockable troop for you to deal with for the rest of the game. With things like Mobilize, Assault, and even Major Blood Orb of Sacrifice being a prominent part of the meta, this can prove to be much more troublesome than just a few more points of damage taken.
With all that said, Tongue Breeder is as close to a must-answer threat you’re going to get for a Sapphire 3 drop. Commanding that level of interaction from your opponent early on in the game will allow you to extend the game in many cases – where Sapphire’s card advantage and control tools should allow you to play catch-up and eventually take over.
Realistically, you’ll be spending the first few turns using your Arcane Focus and removal/counter actions to stabilize, and likely drop this somewhere in the mid-game with a counter as a backup. In such a scenario, Tongue Breeder becomes something like a Windsinger, Master of the Hunt. You will be drawing a ton of extra cards, which will likely be cards that protect your Tongue Breeder or allow you to cast a new one (note: it’s not Unique either). If you’re battling back and forth with your opponent over your three drop, you’re likely already on the winning track.
Many of the archetypes you’ll want to play this card in have elegant ways of negating the Chaostongue creations: Mono Sapphire control (Copycat), D/S control (Clash of Steel and Eldurathan’s Glory), B/S control (Blight Knight, Massacre). But with Alchemite being able to protect itself and Bounty of the Magus fitting the Draw Go playstyle, Tongue Breeder has some healthy competition in attracting draw-happy Sapphire control players.
Where Tongue Breeder will ultimately fall in the constructed landscape will depend on the speed of the meta, the top tier decks and how it interacts with them, as well as the other control tools available. It might not be a beauty, but it’s certainly a beast – so like it or not, this will be a card you’ll have to very much keep in mind for the next few years.