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

Absolute Power
Constructed Rating: In the right deck in Immortal, this essentially reads “Win the game”. In standard there’s not as clear cut of an immediate winning strategy, especially if you look at it from the perspective of an empty board. The difference is big enough that it’s a deck worth purely building around in Immortal while in Standard it’s going to be something similar to Psychic Ascenscion which you throw in there as a finisher to an already effective control deck.
Academy of Cerulea
Constructed Rating: Academy of Cerulea doesn’t provide card advantage per say but it does provide card selection. This can particularly be useful in combo decks who want to filter through many cards to find the ones they need. There’s also the unique benefit of seeing the top card of your deck which helps Prophecy effects tremendously. One can imagine having a Indigo Dreamwalker and Absolute Power for example in the same deck and setting up some scary combos.
Amphibious Arachnid
Constructed Rating: Similar to Arachnoglider, Amphibious Arachnid has much syngery with Spider archetype cards but little else.
Cerulean Sage
Constructed Rating: A decent early blocker and then able to start chomping at your opponent’s health in the sky, Cerulean Sage might be the guy to bring back the Sapphire tempo decks of the past.
Cloud Bounder
Constructed Rating: As a max 3/3 Flight for 3, Cloud Bounder’s upside is far below the clouds.
Constructed Rating: Your troops should come with evasion or at least not require it. Even on something like The Killipede in Immortal, the risk of getting 2 for 1ed can be seen in plain sight.
Consult the Talon
Constructed Rating: It’ll probably take some time to come up with the exact list to best benefit from this card but if one thing’s certain, TCG players like to draw cards and they’ll find a way to make it happen. Sapphire might not be used to having a bunch of troops out but cards like Thunderfield Seer Silver Talon Adjudicator have more than changed that stigma.
Constructed Rating: As a Mono Sapphire player, perhaps there’s benefit into transforming into another copy of Cyclone Shaper but otherwise just playing a mirror version of an opponent’s troop isn’t by itself an innovative approach.
Constructed Rating: As mentioned above, one of the most relevant cards right now in Sapphire decks is Cyclone Shaper for its ability to cheat out a bunch of actions in a turn you wouldn’t normally be able to. Deny allows you to protect the Shaper the turn it enters for free. It also allows you to play a Windsinger, Master of the Hunt with 7 resources as opposed to the 8 or 9 you would need to protect it before. There’ll be other applications as well (for example Quick troops or Dreadling) that’ll make this a much more easily castable card than Countermagic was with its fixed cost.
Constructed Rating: Being able to essentially counter troops at 2 cost is going to be a huge boon for Sapphire who’s had to watch powerful game changing 2 or 3 cost troops fly by under its nose before its had a chance to do anything. Reverting the troops back is always a concern, but the longer the game drags on the better it is for Sapphire players.
Dread Deployment
Constructed Rating: Potentially four troops being generated with only 3 resources is impressive. This along with Jorgen’s Workshop and Ivan Slagpot_ represents quite a lot of potential Dreadling generation. My first instinct is to pair this up with a B/S Spiders control deck (specifically Tribunal Magistrate) but there’s got to be some better uses.
Dread End
Constructed Rating: Sapphire never had moderately costed mass removal (Yesterday, Vexstorm merely bounces the cards) and while this has its cons as well, it’s the closest we’ve come yet. With Sapphire not having to rely on another shard for mass removal, it could give the color some more independence now and perhaps bring back the dominant Mono Sapphire brews we experienced early in the game’s history.
Dreadsuit Omega
Constructed Rating: If a vanilla 8/8 is the reward for embracing a full Dreadling strategy as a Sapphire deck, then it might be worth looking elsewhere. Luckily we still have Dread Technomancer.
Eldritch Shriek
Constructed Rating: Once again this cycle suffers in constructed from not having enough parts to round out a 60 card deck.
Exalted Professor
Constructed Rating: Zubrin plays nicely into the Mobilize theme relied on heavily by Sapphire in this set, but not having a deploy ability like a Thunderfield Seer hurts his chances of seeing the inside of top tier decks.
Flashpaw Trickster
Constructed Rating: This could potentially ambush something like a Matriarch of Flames but the applications are too narrow and the benefit not high enough.
Guardian Gralk
Constructed Rating: There’s a certain nostalgic feeling Menacing Gralk brings fans of Sapphire but this guy doesn’t do his kind justice. We did talk about how Sapphire would have a bunch of lowly troops laying around for Mobilize and this makes use of them, but at 6 cost and more for activations it’s way too costly.
Illusory Form
Constructed Rating: A very flexible card that allows you to do a variety of exciting things. You can store a card of your choice before casting Dread End, you can save your troop from removal and return it right away, or you could bring back a power Deploy ability troop like Silver Talon Adjudicator. If you’re a pro, you can probably do a multitude of those things at the same time.
Jorgen’s Workshop
Constructed Rating: Unfortunately I haven’t totally cracked this “for each different” race Dreadling strategy but this 1 cost constant does make me wonder.
Constructed Rating: In a Dreadling heavy deck this pretty much renders an opposing troop to have 0 attack. Not sure that’s good enough even at Sapphire 1 cost given how many key troops have powerful abilities that this doesn’t solve.
Mechanized Gemscout
Constructed Rating: Only two other Dwarf Robot existed prior to Scars of War: Mechanized Aerialist and Mechanized Demolisher. That’s pretty much the only interesting thing I can share on this card.
Mystic Naturalist
Constructed Rating: Hard to remove and able to build an army of birds, Mystic Naturalist still falls short of constructed playability and isn’t even on the level of Royal Falconer.
Parallel Realities
Constructed Rating: This card essentially allows you to copy a troop you control once when it attacks but Copycat already does that in a more elegant fashion so the only use I see with this would be some kind of game winning combo. I don’t see such a combo in this or any reality. Edit: It’s been pointed out that the copied troop retains the Parallel Realities buff which does make it more interesting than my initial take.
Sapphire’s Favor
Constructed Rating: The choices presented here are odd and certainly not universally desired. It’s often likely to be a worse Verdict of the Ancient Kings. The two charges are a decent fallback option, especially if you’re playing an ambitious champion like Nineveh_. There aren’t many relevant 1 attack troops in Standard but do remember that it could stop a barrage of Dreadling and if you’re playing Dread End, it could prevent your opponent from casting a Lullaby. Overall not the most exciting of options for Standard but in Immortal this and Crackling Vortex gives you four charges in a single turn so there’s some sweet possibilities there.
Shackling Strands
Constructed Rating: I guess this is one way to activate your Diligence abilities and even potentially more than once per turn. It’s also a semi removal similar to Brood Net. Neither looks particularly enticing.
Constructed Rating: Arcane Zephyr didn’t see much play but this might as it protects a troop from removal, allows for a surprise block, and speeds up a Diligence activation.
Silver Talon Mandate
Constructed Rating: Three 1/1 troops with Flight for 4 is reasonable and it’s got a repeatable/spiral nature that makes it potentially a game winning card by itself. The constant itself can be returned to hand both organically or with a bounce spell so there’s definitely a ton to play with here as it also plays perfectly into the Mobilize archetype.
Skittergear Gang
Constructed Rating: That’s a lot of troops packed into this ride and the Major socket means that even more cards can be generated. The double Underworld trait plays into some of the Dreadling generators mentioned before and it’s likely a candidate for whatever deck that is, since Mad Robomancer is still the better finisher for control decks.
Skittering Cultivator
Constructed Rating: Good blocking body and two Dreadlings per turn could amount to significant damage and crypt accumulation over the length of the game. Could help cast an early Consult the Talon.
Skyspire Scholar
Constructed Rating: That’s a fat wall this Necrotic has built and kudos for making it stop illegal Mama Yetis crossing the red zone but something tells me that they’re not going to let you pay for that ability.
Sweep Away
Constructed Rating: A great tempo play that is reminiscent of Buccaneer, but being able to cast it at Quick speed could be what brings this style of play back.
Tale of Insight
Constructed Rating: Easily the most interesting card of the Tale cycle as it can pay for itself nearly instantly with the right setup and from that point on opens the door to grant you insurmountable card advantage. It could unleash a bunch of combo decks similar to another 1 cost Sapphire action in Replicator’s Gambit.
Constructed Rating: This is (along with Dread Technomancer from last set) likely the answer to all that Dreadling generation in Sapphire. You can really do a ton of damage real quick and get to relive the Dwarfbot glory days, now with mutant spider robots.
Tormented Locksmith
Constructed Rating: There’s scary potential buried within the Tormented Locksmith but it’s still a 0/3 for 5 when it hits play. Seeing as more impactful four drops like Eldritch Dreamer and Archmage Wrenlocke had such a hard time remaining constructed relevant, the Locksmith will likely not be the key to solving the meta.
Typhoon Skyshaper
Constructed Rating: A 4/5 Flight for a theoretical 4 is excellent and being Quick it’s likely to ambush an opposing troop in the process as well. You can also activate a Diligence ability and potentially rebenefit from a powerful Deploy ability (like Silver Talon Adjudicator). There’s so much going on with it and a skilled player is going to find a way to shape a path to victory.
Verdict of the Ancient Kings
Constructed Rating: VotA has largely been relegated to reserves with troops taking center stage but it could still play an important role should the meta slow down and control take over.
Vigilant Duskwing
Constructed Rating: I guess this is one way to give Sapphire troops Steadfast.
Vilestrain Convoy
Constructed Rating: A 5/5 for 6 and not much more.
Warpsteel Shardsworn
Constructed Rating: There’s a lot of Dreadling generation here and if you’re looking for a Dwarf in your ‘multi-race’ Dreadling deck, this guy could help you out.
Webborn Apostate
Constructed Rating: A two charge swing is nice, but we’re racing life totals here and as a 2/1 for 2 this guy is meh.
Constructed Rating: A lot of the scary aggressive troops come with Speed so this cards ability is lost somewhat in those situations.
Webspeaker Evangelist
Constructed Rating: We had actually powerful troops like Augur of Sirion not see play, what made anyone think this would have a shot.
Windbourne Ascension
Constructed Rating: Diamond Wild looks to be where the action is as far as Conscription goes, so no need for this.
Wind’s Whim
Constructed Rating: A lot of the cards fall in at cost 4 or less, but not all. Also there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to play it for its Mobilize cost. That renders this card too narrow to bother playing unless you really want to protect a combo or prevent a certain card from wrecking your plans.
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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