Shortcut to check the other Scars of War Set reviews: Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire, Wild, Multi and Shardless.


Constructed Rating Scale:

5 This card is OP and printing it might have been a mistake.
4.5 A meta defining card that will dictate the standard format.
4 An awesome card that might shape its own T1-T1.5 deck.
3.5 A very good card that will be a prominent part of a T1/T1.5 deck.
3 A good card that should see the inside of a T1/T1.5 deck.
2.5 Should be a key part of a T2/T3 deck.
2 Should be an influential reserves card for a top tier deck.
1.5 Maaaybe will be a card some try in their T2/T3 decks.
1 Bad card, don’t play it.
0.5 Terrible card, you’ll be better off playing a Shard than this.
0 Cyber dust, shouldn’t have been printed.

Constructed Rating: Strictly worse than Vampire Princess except it does have one thing going for it which is the Spider trait. There are cards that interact with it like Painbreeder or Arachnomancer but it’s nothing that should alert your spider senses.
Blood Bearer
Constructed Rating: Blood Bearer was never a factor in any set and even with a ton of Dreadling blood for it to fetch, this reprint is hard to bear.
Bloodeye Defiler
Constructed Rating: That’s quite the potential health swing attached onto a Paladin of Naagaan but not nearly enough in the domain of constructed.
Blood’s Favor
Constructed Rating: These type of cards usually trade power for flexibility and all 3 options on this card could see use. At the very worst it will be a slightly worse Oracle Song which happened to be a staple Sapphire Constructed card. The crypt removal/health gain could prove to be clutch in certain matchups as well. At the very minimum this is an excellent reserves card but it looks to be maindeck playable as well since it’ll always be great value in the right hands.
Boom Shroom
Constructed Rating: You usually want your troops and your mass removal effects to be separate as there’s not much synergy in them being on the same card. Due to the above, you’ll have to craft a unique setting for this card to thrive and that might be in something like a constant-based Dreadling deck where this troop can quickly grow to be a real threat and serve as a one sided board wipe insurance should your opponent deal with it. At 5 cost and requiring a lot of setup, the threat of the boom seems to be overblown.
Bride of the Damned
Constructed Rating: As a 3/3 Lethal for 3, you’re going to have a hard time not getting at least one card from your opponent in exchange for it. Since you can play the card and a Blood shard immediately after (before the opponent can respond) you could theoretically kill one of his troops AND steal it before your opponent uses a removal on it – putting you firmly ahead in the battle for resources. Playing it before you get 5 Blood threshold can also be advantageous due to the -1/-1 effects being permanent and rendering your troops smaller and within blocking range of the Bride without it dieing. There’s a ton you can do with it both in Standard and Immortal and as a build-around-me card, it should give birth to a plethora of Blood based control decks and cause great suffering for the other side.
Bulky Bisporus
Constructed Rating: Not really the type of ability you want attached to a bulky 6 drop. In fact not sure the type of ability you want at all.
Constructed Rating: Between Rot Cast and Strangle, you should be able to deal with all early threats and still remain flexible with the Quick speed and not have to target troops that are exhausted.
Callous Carver
Constructed Rating: With 5 defense and potential to drain quite a bit of health from the opponent every turn, Callous Carver has the basics of what could be a decent card against Ruby based aggro decks. However not only does he not match up well with something like Mama Yeti, its strength as a blocker likely needs to be sacrificed in order to turn on his Diligence effect. It isn’t nearly strong enough to tinker with beyond that.
Cheap Shot
Constructed Rating: It’s nice they’ve attached some value onto a Taint, but there needs to be a ton of relevant 1 health troops for Blood to consider siding this in. The cheap conscripted troop actually plays well with providing blockers against aggro so there’s a shot we could see this.
Constructed Rating: It’s nice that two of these essentially allows you to keep fetching each other from the Crypt but as a 6 cost 3/3 with Flight it’s a strategy not fully fleshed out.
Cryptcurse Knight
Constructed Rating: Socketing it with the Speed gem, you’ll likely to be able to get immediate value and perhaps start a chain of troops that your opponent will have a hard time dealing with. A card which will greatly benefit from the rotation of Burn and might even earn himself a spot in top decks.
Constructed Rating: As we’ve seen in the past with Mono D weenie, when an archetype doesn’t take off HxE double down on it and gives more tools for the archetype to have a chance to shine. Could this finally be the set where Blood based aggressive decks become relevant? At minimum a 2/1 for 1 is acceptable, and it plays well in the mid-game as well with a card like Cryptcurse Knight which should have your crypt full for the Deathseeker to exploit. The Scrounge 4 effect along with something like a Mindcall opens up even scarier doors as a troop you can infinitely play and sac to great ends both in Standard and Immortal.
Dread Apprentice
Constructed Rating: The Dreadling output is impressive on the part of Dread Apprentice but as a measly 3/2 from that point onward, it doesn’t have enough to earn its keep.
Furious Smasher
Constructed Rating: Cunning Skullcaster is back but this time ready and willing to block if necessary. Seeing as Boltspasm kinda ‘changed the game’, we can’t go back to relying on 3/1s for 2 now can we?
Giant Centipede
Constructed Rating: Depending on how many troops you can generate early on, this can be a serious beating in the right deck and really make the opponent think twice about exhausting their resources. There’s probably too much that needs to go right for this to be good (because if it’s going to be included you almost need to build a deck around it and maybe even include cards like Soul of Battle) so the safe prediction would see it in a tier below the really competitive decks.
Graven Geist
Constructed Rating: This measly 1/1 for 1 has a ton going for it and should be something deck builders scratch their heads trying to figure out for the foreseeable future. Giving Scrounge to all your troops will be attractive only in certain decks though, and the really interesting part that begs to be exploited is filling and removing your crypt of troops so as to give this early evasive troop a ton of gas and hopefully make it one of the scariest 1 drops in the game. Not sure if there’s anything crazy explosive you can do with the current set of cards (remember there are other ways for troops to leave the crypt than Scrounge), but that shouldn’t stop it from seeing some play in Standard and perhaps one day be a part of a key deck in Immortal as well.
Inkheart Infuser
Constructed Rating: If you really want to play a bunch of different colors, there are all sorts of more reliable and permanent solutions such as Well shards or artifact threshold fixers or even a champion such as Uzzu_. It’s a cute card but not something that should be required.
Insidious Exchange
Constructed Rating: Scroll of Yazukan is better in pretty much every way making this a trash rare you won’t want to exchange for.
Malevolent Machinations
Constructed Rating: This card is potentially extremely powerful (deal 8 and gain 8) and costed in a way that begs you to use it. However you’ll notice that it’s a dead card unless you have troops on the board and your opponent could even kill your only troop on the board to render it ineffective. It’s something that you likely won’t rely on as a playset, but something perhaps to put a copy or two of to serve as reach in similar way to a Life Syphon. It can be particularly useful in this role should a weenie aggro Blood deck emerge, especially against a deck like Mono R Angus.
Milky Eye Venom
Constructed Rating: This can serve as quasi removal a lot of the times but Blood already has that part figured out quite well. What’s interesting is its side use as a protection from removal (at least the destruction based ones).
Mindwrack Sorcerer
Constructed Rating: This card has flown by everyone’s radar in spoiler season, but I have a bad feeling that it might wreck a few minds in a dedicated B/S control deck. As we know from Exarch of the Egg, a 1/3 Lethal is scarier than it seems and the ability (in conjuction with Mobilize) to gain card advantage WHILST not having to attack is huge.
Moshpit Gladiator
Constructed Rating: Mazat Ranger got an upgrade as well and with Blood currently having access to Speed at the Minor socket slot, this card could rock your opponent unexpectedly. But lacking Crush and with a single point of defense, Mosphit Gladiator is still not battle ready.
Necropolis Garroter
Constructed Rating: Exarch of the Egg happens to have a better body and is diligent from the get-go.
Power and Pain
Constructed Rating: I have to pay 6 resources for a random 4 drop with a measly Minor gem? I can see the pain, but where’s the power?
Ravenous Sporemaw
Constructed Rating: Likely a bomb in limited but in constructed it’s too much of a dumb brute to be worth the bother.
Relentless Zombie
Constructed Rating: The Zombies could serve as sacrifice fodder for a variety of benefits and maybe even infinite resources given enough cards in Immortal, but on their own they’re as harmless as the ‘walkers’ in The Walking Dead.
Rotpaw Gang
Constructed Rating: Our requirements for a 6 cost are pretty darn steep, but there is enough going on with this card for us to give it consideration. Flight or Lifedrain can be both quite handy, either stopping all opponent attacks or helping you gain health as well if you decide to go on the attack. The most interesting part is its ability to come back to your hand with just a single troop sacrifice meaning in a Bloodspinner Zorath deck for example he’s as sticky as a Xentoth’s Inquisitor. Combine it with its double racial count, and there might be enough there to at least see a copy in a Kagulichu Underworld Crusader deck where he can easily be fetched from the Crypt for ‘free’.
Sanguine Boon
Constructed Rating: Access to a cheap boost that gains you health could be relevant against aggro matchups, except for the 2 for 1 rule and aggro’s ability to remove early blockers likely rendering this a dead card when you need it most.
Shadowblade Slicer
Constructed Rating: Neither a 3/3 Flight troop or giving -3/-3 is going to be enough in the section of the game where Shadowblade Slicer would come into play.
Constructed Rating: If there was a slight gap in the removal arsenal of Blood, Strangle should cover that up in its ability to deal with Invincible troops. It can also serve as a sort of combat trick in cases where it doesn’t entirely kill a troop, making it a more flexible option compared to Rot Cast and should be an easy 4 of in most Blood decks in both Standard and Immortal.
Tale of Undeath
Constructed Rating: The payoff would have to be insane for you to subject yourself to a potential 2 for 1 where the benefit doesn’t even kick in for quite some time.
Tomb Swap
Constructed Rating: Call the Grave didn’t see much play and a free side order of Dreadling isn’t likely to change that.
Tongue of the Black Crucible
Constructed Rating: Paladin of the Necropolis was a card sitting just outside the realm of constructed playable, will this slightly different version be enough to push it over the edge? A 1/4 Lifedrain body is excellent against Angus decks, and potentially having access to a 6/6 Flight early on could be huge as well. It doesn’t combo with small health gain ping effects, but the 2 damage it does on Diligence would gain you life so there’s that. Ultimately the complete package doesn’t seem enticing enough to unseat a card like Phenteo the Brood Priest or Vampire Princess, and even they have been having a tough time staying relevant.
Underworld Oppression
Constructed Rating: This card is incredibly bad in constructed and it’s one sided nature doesn’t nearly make up for its increased cost and requirements compared to Extinction.
Vampire Queen
Constructed Rating: The flavor oozes off this card but the 6 cost is a real sticking point, disrupting the cost progression and efficiency we had come to expect from the royal Vampire family. Don’t get me wrong, the sum is a 5/5 Lifedrain Flight body with a potential for more and being divided in 3 parts makes it so it can’t be dealt with a single or even two pieces of removal. It really would have benefitted from a champion like Rutherford Banks still being around, but it should find a home somewhere with Bride of the Damned likely bringing heavy Blood decks back into relevance.
Waltz of the Damned
Constructed Rating: That’s one expensive Extinction and while it’s great that it deals with Invincible troops, fills up your crypt, and you get to benefit from opponent’s Deathcry effects, 7 resources is too big of an ask to join the party.
Webspeaker Cenobite
Constructed Rating: Doubling the conscript output is not very exciting since you still have to take time and resource playing those random cards out. The second ability is even less interesting as this card has no evasion. This is close to a 4 cost Rigid Buffalo.
Webspinner Prelate
Constructed Rating: Giving all your Spiderling or Dreadling Rage 1 is pretty significant. Wouldn’t be surprised seeing a lower tiered deck putting this card to good use.
Wicked Webspawn
Constructed Rating: Makes for a pretty good pairing with Graven Geist but by itself it’s just a bear and that’s just not going to cut it for top tier play.
Withering Gaze
Constructed Rating: In most cases it’s not going to be very different from Withering Touch and that’s good enough for it to be minimum reserves card and possibly 1 or 2 copy in main deck in some decks.
Xentoth’s Hunger
Constructed Rating: Even if you’re not employing a Dreadling strategy, there’s great potential benefit that can be had with this by sacrificing cards like Battle Hopper from a Monsagi Lily Pad or a Cottontail Explorer. The fact that it’s Quick speed makes it even better and something that’s going to help Blood decks greatly in combatting Ruby aggro (eg: chump block and then sacrifice).
Yazukan’s Fanatic
Constructed Rating: Without evasion this guy isn’t going to last very long since its Invincible ability is easy to play around.
Zorath’s Rectory
Constructed Rating: With Xentoth’s Malice, Gront’s Gift and Closed Coffins, Blood is already spoiled for choice with potentially game winning constants. Zorath’s Rectory is able to help you ramp quite a bit with the MajW Cultivation gem and that allows you to generate even more Dreadlings every turn which quickly spirals into a game winning plan all on its own.
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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here