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


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.

Alarm-o-Matic 3000
Constructed Rating: Are we sure this isn’t the Chark-o-Matic 3000 because there are some pretty bad deals here spending 5 total resources for sometimes a 2 or 3 drop.
Constructed Rating: There are 6 spiders currently in Standard and they’re for the most part plain, uninteresting troops. But being able to generate a free troop every turn, indefinitely if you wish, is pretty strong as part of a hard to deal with 3 cost artifact. You’ll likely place this in a removal/control oriented deck with Xentoth’s Malice and try to out value your opponent in the loooong game.
Arcane Soil
Constructed Rating: The Sapphire Wild Dreadling synergy is a rather new one but it provides an interesting approach in which you can pump out a sizeable chunk of Dreadling and still have card draw to keeping the Dreadling machine running. Usually card draw and pumping out 1/1s don’t let you survive too long but Shoku’s Garden and Dread End help in this regard.
Auspex of Lanupaw
Constructed Rating: Not a troop you’d think of putting in your usual Winter Moon deck. Instead, it should be the centerpiece of a value troop oriented deck with a cast of characters such as Brown Fox Scout, Thunderfield Seer, Crocosaur, Carnasaurus. With the proper setup, your Carnasaurus will be able to remove anything and even the measly Thunderfield Seer will need a removal to be dealt with. Standing in the middle ground between fast aggro decks and slow control powerhouses, it’s going to take time to find the sweet spot of how exactly this deck can challenge both.
Ayotochi Coins
Constructed Rating: In aggressive Ruby decks you want to be playing something preferrably every turn (including turn 1) but this granting two charges and providing some additional gas when you really need it might be just what Ruby needs with Psychotic Anarchist and Crackling Bolt rotating out. It could be a neat option as part of a McBombus deck as well which doesn’t need a turn 1 play as much.
Barrier Bot
Constructed Rating: A 1/4 troop is much better than a 0/5 when you consider the early threats in the current meta. The Skyguard ability doesn’t provide much upside in the current constructed landscape.
Brilliant Tactician
Constructed Rating: As we mentioned in previous set reviews, Slash and Dash and Ardent Officer give us renewed optimism for a powerful R/D Ardent aggro deck. This card’s obssession for mobilization plays against what you want to be doing (brilliant tactician my ass), but if you do manage to get it online it pairs well with the Ardent gem that readies your troops.
Chimera Bot
Constructed Rating: Rare 2 cost stat packed artifact troops are usually the domain of PvE, but it seems one of them has snuck into PvP. Unfortunately the random choice thing takes much of the appeal away from this robomontrosity.
Commander P.R.O.M.P.T.
Constructed Rating: This guy is surprisingly good as it lands as a hard to burn out 3/5 and immediately gives your Dreadling, Robots, or pretty much any attacking thing +2 attack.
Cosmic Calling
Constructed Rating: Costing 1 more or less than Change Course depending on if you Mobilize it or not, the card’s biggest strength is in being able to set up your next turn to either play something big such as Dark Heart of Nulzann sooner than your opponent would expect or get a card draw or counter that can be cheapened enough that you can do other things.
Cottontail Warcaller
Constructed Rating: The Deploy ability assures you get some value out of playing him, and including a copy in the B/W Kagu Crusader deck seems like it could work out.
Dread Transport
Constructed Rating: Nerfed out of Standard playability in spoiler season, there’s still some faint hope for it in Immortal where Hideous Conversion along with Coralcove Witch and Glyph of Ferocity can still enable infinite activations.
Droo’s Ironclad Roller
Constructed Rating: Droo’s Colossal Walker was a legit threat back in its day, but this Ironclad Roller model needs too much maintenance to remain operational.
Emperor’s Shrine
Constructed Rating: This is a nice free ramp effect for the Dreadling decks especially who’ll have their crypt stacked in no time.
Emsee, Etcher of Nulzann
Constructed Rating: Brewers have messed around with the socketed archetype before and this will only embolden their ambitions. I’m not sure we’ve hit the threshold yet where you can have such socketed troop diversity and still keep the power level high enough for top tier play, but we’re certainly going to get there one day in Immortal and Emsee likes the sound of that tune.
Eternal Bastion
Constructed Rating: Currently there’s no way to revert these kind of ‘player buffs’ so seeing Eternal Bastion survive until the beginning of your turn could be worth striving for. The dream would be getting Daughter of Stars_ to a point it can be casted every turn, but this falls more in the territory of Johnny players than Spikes.
Fang of Nulzann
Constructed Rating: Definitely not one of Nulzann’s proudest constructs.
From The Ashes
Constructed Rating: Back in my Block 1 rotation article I proclaimed the B/D control archetype to be gone. Well it might very well rise from the ashes with this card because Extinction plus gaining control of your opponent’s best troop is one hot combination. Going to need more pieces though as much of the original B/D ‘good stuff’ is neither good anymore nor is it ‘stuff’ anymore in Standard as they have rotated out.
Gorge of the Gore God
Constructed Rating: They’ve been trying to make the R/B archetype relevant for years, and they might have just created the card that can push it over the edge. It takes the best parts of both shards and provides it to you in a flexible package.
Grandfather’s Totem
Constructed Rating: I’ve hinted in previous shard reviews that this was a card worth building around, and do you blame me? As a 3/3 for 3 it’s modest in size but as soon as you conscript once you’ll want to give it Spellshield. From that point onwards you can just stack it with Lifedrain, Crush and then Steadfast and your opponent’s outs will dwindle with each passing activation. You could just throw those conscripted troops in the bin, Grandfather’s Totem don’t need no help. The fact that you need to play such mediocre cards around it unfortunately limits its potential.
Gravebane Vial
Constructed Rating: A replacement for Crucible of Morvarth in reserves for those valueing card draw over charges.
Hatehollow Witch
Constructed Rating: R/W is in a weird place right now trying to figure out what it’s doing and Hatehollow Witch isn’t exactly helping us figure that out.
Lazgar’s Bloodletter
Constructed Rating: This ability would work well in a Yotul Mogak_ deck where each activation would do 2 damage but the traditional makeup of that archetype can’t exactly spare any troops to do so. I guess in an aggro R/B deck you could just use this as a finisher, literally, and sac whatever troops you have left to deal the final points of damage.
Locket of Reflection
Constructed Rating: HxE has hardcoded deck restrictions on cards and while this one doesn’t, it begs you to play a deck where you only have 2 copies of each card. A McBombusish Ruby Sapphire deck where your burns, card draws, and Prophecy troops double with each activation sounds like a good deck to place this into.
Mad Progenitist
Constructed Rating: The posterboy for the ‘multi-race Dreadling’ archetype, Mad Progenitist can be pretty explosive. Consider this scenario: you draw an Underworld troop, you activate Kagulichu’s champion power and get another Underworld troop, then you use this card’s ability and that’s another Underworld troop. Depending on how many races you have that’s anywhere from 3 to 12 Dreadling created right there and then. It doesn’t really fit the traditional Kagu Crusader shell however so it’ll need a new set of cards around it to make it shine.
Monsagi Coins
Constructed Rating: With Howling Brave gone, the need to have a resource on turn 1 is lessened. This should allow Wild decks, especially Kagulichu or Scrounge based ones, to play this shard cycler.
Constructed Rating: Why would you need the horses if its motor powered. These Dwarves sometimes confuse me with their inventions..
Necropolis Coins
Constructed Rating: That’s a free burn right there for Blood decks and it might tempt Mono R players to switch to Blood for a taste.
Constructed Rating: Ok I’ve clearly not been the biggest fan of Diligence in these set reviews, but a 4/4 for 2..cmon that’s aburd. No, must not be tempted by the allure of a future benefit that’s unlikely to be tasted.
Phoenix Guard Lancer
Constructed Rating: Hey, the fun part of Angel of Dawn was cheating it into play for free, not the 4/4 Flight Steadfast thing..
Prince Zakkaz
Constructed Rating: Lethal and Swiftstrike means this beats pretty much anything in combat. The Speed allows you to sneak damage in, and the ability is powerful enough that it requires urgent attention. That’s pretty much all you can ask for in a 3 drop and the only concern is how those three shards are going to come together in a cohesive way.
R.O.I.D. Bot
Constructed Rating: A threshold fixer built for a meta where aggro reigns king. The 1 cost activation cost makes me give it a thumbs down however.
Rift Spasm
Constructed Rating: With Crackling Bolt and Crackling Vortex rotated, gaining two charges isn’t as straightforward as before and you’re relying on something like cycling Ayotochi Coins or using non-ideal cards. I think that’s enough to make me pass.
Ryaalinth the Soulcursed
Constructed Rating: A suitable finisher in the Blood Sapphire Mobilize/Mindwrack Sorcerer deck. Also gives the shard combo potential in Immortal where this card’s ability with dealing with spellshielded Rune Ear Hierophant really helps.
Sacred Stance
Constructed Rating: Forever’s Bloom ended up not being as effective but this one is cheaper and affects all the troops in your hand and in play. Might as well throw a few of these in there if you’re going the D/W conscript route.
Scrios Coins
Constructed Rating: You can do a bunch of cute things by readying a troop such as enabling Mobilize, enabling an activated ability to be used more than once, or triggering Diligence for that matter. In the end without all that it’s still a cantrip for your extra shards and that’s good enough in many cases.
Servo Slingshot
Constructed Rating: If you’re producing three Dreadling per turn, this can allow you to do a guaranteed 3 damage every turn. But surely you have better things to do than that.
Something Borrowed
Constructed Rating: This is the best type of removal: there’s no deathcry, there’s no chance at them getting it back from their crypt, there’s no Invincible to deal with or caring about whether it’s a troop or not. You might not be able to actually play the card you stole, but as a Quick removal that deals with everything in the game except Spellshield, it’s something the B/S control decks will appreciate having at their disposal regardless of the steep cost.
Soulspeaker Revenant
Constructed Rating: The Major socket feels a bit wasted here as the most suitable option seems to be Flight on attack in order to better assure Diligence without outside help.
Constructed Rating: You need to get off the shrooms if you’re considering playing this, at this cost you could get something sweet like a Windsinger, Master of the Hunt instead.
Stifling Sting
Constructed Rating: This is going to give McBombus a great matchup against Mono R Angus and potentially other aggressive decks as it really swings the momentum of the game in your favor.
Strikeforce Sergeant
Constructed Rating: A 3/3 with Speed for 4 doesn’t strike fear in the heart of anyone in the current meta.
Surging Wildfire
Constructed Rating: A pretty explosive troop that can be combined with a single Seeing Red to do 10 points of unexpected damage. More cards like this and R/W might get back on everyone’s radar.
Talysen’s Memorial
Constructed Rating: Most people will probably rather take the Coins and an a random card than a Valor seeing as it doesn’t give you any threshold at a time when the uncommon dualshard cycle has rotated out.
The Buffalord
Constructed Rating: Diamond Wild buffalo deck looks pretty OP with its Lethal Swiftstrike combination.
Constructed Rating: If I’m gona mess with Diligence, I’ll take Orbiculon at half the cost tyvm.
Underworld Officer
Constructed Rating: These Blood Sapphire unblockable troops just aren’t going to work because some evasive troop is not why people play these shards.
Constructed Rating: Oh Ruby Wild, you’ve been so lost since the Cressida_ Titania’s Majesty days that you just don’t seem to know what to do with yourself. I guess it’s an archetype that’s supposed to unload your hand in quick fashion but Viridian would have greatly benefited from having Speed in order to make this a semi viable plan.
Wakuna Coins
Constructed Rating: Not the biggest fan of this one as you’re more likely to save health in the early game by casting removal or playing troop as oppose to cycling away a shard. Still, it’s a form of protection against flooding so it will have its uses.
Wartorn General
Constructed Rating: Probably going to play a role in the R/D Ardent Valor deck but how quickly can you play other Ardent troops and apply Valor on them? A bit too slow to get going for my liking.
Weeping Banshee
Constructed Rating: Makes me weep a little seeing Blood Diamond’s allocation of cards in the new set being wasted with something like this.
Well of Conquest / Well of Cunning / Well of Instinct / Well of Retribution / Well of Savagery
Constructed Rating: The Wells are even more important now with the uncommon dualshard cycle having rotated out. I wish you well if you try a multi-shard deck without a playset of these.
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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