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

Arena Regular
Constructed Rating: The Yotul Mogak_ archetype lost quite a bit with rotation and it’s unsure whether the reprint of Arena Regular will be enough to keep it competitive in the new meta.
Ashfeast Duo
Constructed Rating: In case for some odd reason you weren’t sure how good a 5/5 Speed and Crush troop was in Constructed, Mama Yeti cleared that up real quick. The Ashfeast Duo costs 1 to 3 more depending on whether you choose to Mobilize or not but doesn’t restrict you to having to include Baby Yeti in your deck. There’s also the double racial count and charge gain involved and the interesting part here is that you get a charge for each exhausted troop you control and not just the troop you might have Mobilized. Ultimately Baby Yeti has proven itself to be less of a liability than we might have imagined and most will take the guaranteed package offered by the Mama family as opposed to relying on an Ardent duo.
Ashwood Minstrel
Constructed Rating: Similar to Ashwood Soloist but takes a more defensive approach with an eye out for ramping up for a big key card.
Ayotochi Cavalry
Constructed Rating: The apt comparison here seems to be Ashwood Firebrand. Both become hard to block when they become Valorous, but Ashwood Firebrand is self sustaining while the Ayotochi Cavalry needs help just to escape the bear(2/2 for 2) label.
Constructed Rating: A 4 attack boost is significant enough to take notice in Ruby and could play a role in an inconsistent but explosive deck.
Boisterous Ballad
Constructed Rating: The first turn is very important for aggressive Ruby decks and they’ll likely not want to be wasting it conscripting.
Buzztech Innovator
Constructed Rating: The ability is relevant enough to even receive consideration in Immortal, but the 6 cost is a deal-breaker that even the most ingenious of innovators will have a hard time working around.
Chark Mart
Constructed Rating: Chark’s reputation of offering dubious deals continues and if you’re looking for charge or resource ramping, just look elsewhere.
Deadeye Invoker
Constructed Rating: The ability would have been much better on a cheaper body.
Constructed Rating: You likely don’t need to render THAT many troops unable to block but even cheaper/more efficient options have largely been ignored so this card is nothing more than a distraction.
Escape Goat
Constructed Rating: Baby Yeti received much criticism (at first jokingly, and then not so much) but Escape Goat looks to be the new scapegoat in town for the early frustration it’s likely to cause as it grows every turn and requires either removal or a constant blocking source to prevent damage (and remember that its rage knows no containment). The latter mentioned flickery nature also greatly helps enable Assault.
Explosive Interlude
Constructed Rating: We might as well consider this an interlude, because there’s nothing constructed worthy to discuss with this card.
Feed the Flames
Constructed Rating: This is the type of card you might want to board in against a really annoying troop like Dark Heart of Nulzann, big green guys like Crocosaur, and the Crusader brothers archnemeses (especially the 4/6 Ardent kind).
Firesoul Gemsworn
Constructed Rating: At 5 cost a pair of 3/1 with small abilities doesn’t quite cut it.
Constructed Rating: Reminiscent of Veteran Gladiator but coming out a full turn earlier. There’s upside to this card as it can keep a single troop locked out of defense indefinitely but aggressive Ruby decks don’t like to employ troops that fail to provide some kind of immediate value (usually with Speed) outside of 1 costs.
Flamethorn Archer
Constructed Rating: Not having much use the turn it enters play, and even afterwards just having its ability usable once leaves this outside the range of the constructed spectrum.
Furious Blitzer
Constructed Rating: At best this is a 4/4 Speed for 4 and that falls short of the aggression we’ve come to expect from Ruby.
Gain Ground
Constructed Rating: Unlike many of the Ruby card draws, here you can actually set up what you discard and you get to keep the cards you’ve drawn. With an extra Valor or shard lying around this can be an Oracle’s Song for two.
Gallant Duelist
Constructed Rating: With cards like Heart of Embers and Mama Yeti, it’s going to be hard for a 4 cost Ruby troop to be considered.
Gawaine Prodigy
Constructed Rating: If this guy is a prodigy, Heroic Outlaw must be pure genius.
Lorenzo the Wyrmsinger
Constructed Rating: The 3 defense, 5 cost, Unique label already are offputting and the recent nerf to Angus makes this lose even more appeal. It’s still strong enough to keep a copy or max 2 in the deck for the near-guaranteed 3 damage when it hits the board but it’s not going to play that big of a role as some might expect.
Mechanized Compactor
Constructed Rating: Would a 4/3 for 3 be ground breaking? Not really.
Pool of Wrath
Constructed Rating: There’s certainly a lot of power packed into this 2 cost constant, but what kind of setup will best be able to take advantage of it is a question that’s not so clear. At worst Angus decks should keep a few in the Reserves against those removal heavy control decks, but as an aggro deck any time you allow the opponent to stabilize it’s bad news and the constants’ limitation of forcing you to sacrifice the troop every turn doesn’t help you build up any type of board. It does a great job of passively filling up your crypt with Scrounge targets so there’s some good interactions with the Ruby Scrounge cards of Herofall and some of the Blood Scrounge cards of Scars of War.
Constructed Rating: Lorenzo the Wyrmsinger and Pulverazor are respectable curve toppers for any Ruby based aggro deck. They’re eerily similar and there’ll be cases to be made for each but while Angus decks might prefer the guaranteed source of damage from Lorenzo and a charge power activation, other more troop heavy decks will see Pulverazor as a powerful finisher that’ll punish opponents that leave even small seemingly harmless troops on board (think of something like Phantoms generated from Ardent Crusader or Ada the Apparitionist_).
Pyresmoke Cabalist
Constructed Rating: You can put lipstick on a Scraptooth Cackler but it doesn’t change the fact that most of the time, this will need help getting past a measly Cottontail Explorer or Thunderfield Seer.
Pyre Strike
Constructed Rating: Certain cards like the Crusaders are prominent and problematic enough that it might lead Angus players to place this in reserves even if it doesn’t do face damage (similar to Vampire King and Crimson Bolt in the past).
Pyresmoke Lurker
Constructed Rating: Another 4 drop that’s not Mama Yeti.
Righteous Outlaw
Constructed Rating: There’s plenty of explosive energy packed within this troop, but it’s not going to be as simple or consistent as a Psychotic Anarchist to tap into. Once again the single point of defense is a real problem when the opponent is likely to have at worst a Thunderfield Seer or Cottontail Explorer blocking your troop (bigger problem on the play). If you’re on the play, this can put a real hamper on your opponent’s plans who might need to lead out their prized 2 drop to slaughter as failing to do so will only delay the transformation of the Righteous Outlaw to a scarier time. The rotation of Burn is highly relevant here as you can’t spend the end of your turn 1 by casting Burn on your opponent’s 1 drop to clear the path for Scarlet Swordsman.
Rise to the Challenge
Constructed Rating: Not sure why you’d need to use this instead of something like Ruby Infusion Device or Glyph of Ferocity. Maybe there’s an argument to be made with a card like Quash Ridge Tusker but that’s about it.
Constructed Rating: Similar to Reactor Bot but with more protection to removal and chump blocking. There might be some cool things you can do with it alongside Pyresmoke Cabalist and Ashfeast Duo but there are more powerful and consistent things you can be doing in Ruby. In Immortal on turn 4 you can play a Crackling Vortex and Crackling Bolt twice to attack with a 9/4 Crush but that’s not a combo that’s going to move mountains.
Ruby’s Favor
Constructed Rating: You want your 2 cost Actions to be able to do at least 2 damage to face and hopefully some upside such as removal or side benefits. Well Ruby’s Favor has plenty of upside being able to potentially generate more damage in certain situations by using it as a combat trick for Swiftstrike (for more long term damage) or even with dealing with pesky artifacts like Dark Heart of Nulzann which has been one of Angus’ main achilles. In Immortal it has just as much use as a Spellshielded Dark Heart of Nulzann would otherwise likely be an insurmountable obstacle for Ruby decks.
Rustbucket Distractor
Constructed Rating: If like Field Tactician the ability was usable whenever or if it just didn’t require Scrounge 1 I could see some use in this but it’s going to feel bad playing this when you want to most of the time.
Ruthless Cutthroat
Constructed Rating: This card is so bad that the only reason I can imagine it being printed is to balance out Ruby in limited where it had access to so many good cards.
Scars of War
Constructed Rating: This might be a good reserves card in the mirror match-up for being able to deal with lets say an opponent’s start of Escape Goat and Righteous Outlaw but at 3 cost it becomes even harder to justify than Heat Wave. Perhaps there’s some Ruby control deck hiding somewhere and if so, this card would belong there.
Scraptooth Gnasher
Constructed Rating: I feel like the Scraptooth Gnasher / Brutecrown Basher linkup is a member or two away from being the new Darkspire clan.
Slash and Dash
Constructed Rating: So this is something. You got 4 attack worth of damage coming through with Speed and Swiftstrike and it gives your other Ardent troops these buffs as well. The two troops are able to give each other Invincible as well which could be relevant if you want to chump block a Crush or Lifedrain troop. Can’t see this replacing Mama Yeti or Heart of Embers in their respective decks but there is some value in going wide against for example single target removal and Lionel and Reginald could carve out a niche for themselves in a R/D Ardent deck as they pair up very nicely with Ardent Officer.
Constructed Rating: Lying somewhere in between Ghostblade Duelist and Firedancer, Stalagmage is a card begging to be abused. It doesn’t seamlessly function all by itself as nicely as Ghostbalde Duelist or Boltspasm but that doesn’t mean someone won’t find a way to make this 1 cost a consistent source of 2 damage until you waste a removal on it.
Stingshot Sorceress
Constructed Rating: Stingshot Sniper is the superior card and even it hardly got any buzz. Notice how the diligence effect doesn’t even allow you to build up (“this turn”), so it’s essentially dictating what you play and if RNG is controlling your plays, then you might have problems. Although I’d like to point out the combo with Brood Bounty and a spider generator such as Acolyte of Shoku in case any Johnnys have made it this far.
Surgesmith Engineer
Constructed Rating: A ginger mohawked Dwarf skating with boots on fire is a sight to behold, but it’s just a pimped out 3/2 for 3.
Tale of Carnage
Constructed Rating: A cute combo interaction with Gyronaut aside, Tale of Carnage lacks the immediate impact and cheap cost of Seeing Red and leaves you with a Tale of Carnage that’s likely to remain a fairy tale.
Thorn Weaver
Constructed Rating: The potential of generating up to 8 resources this early on is appealing but just like Ageless Troubadour it requires a board presence that’s unlikely to be formed and stick around early on to matter.
Trueheart Skirmisher
Constructed Rating: This is an interesting card especially for those Pulverazor ‘racial count matters’ decks as it gives you a cheap troop whilst capable of replacing itself in the form of a card drawn.
Valiant Reaver
Constructed Rating: Starts as a cheaper Paladin of Naagaan but can obviously get quite a bit scarier. It’s requirement to not only be Valorous but also realistically requiring Crush to be effective won’t tempt anyone to dump their Heart of Embers any time soon.
Constructed Rating: While Cremate is often quoted as the replacement to Burn, this might be a more relevant comparison. The Quick nature will help in better resource utilization and 1 damage is still enough to deal with the likes of Escape Goat, Righteous Outlaw, Boltspasm and other aggressive troops. With Howling Brave rotating out and Ruby aggro also likely playing a smaller role than last set, there’s not likely to be much space for this in the maindeck.
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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