Welcome back to another edition of Cards of the Week! We’ve got some new Monarch spice and some old favorites, so without further ado, let’s dive in!
Although it took a little while to settle in, C-Strike has been getting some extra love from both Boltyn and Prism decks lately. Although in many ways Celestial Cataclysm is a “win more,” sometimes you need exactly that to help close out matches. Thus, it’s my card on the rise for the Cards of the Week.
In decks where players frequently get cards into soul such as with charge and so forth, the Cataclysm can also be a very strong, consistent play out of Arsenal, costing you nothing from hand. In Prism, the Cataclysm is a great card in the mirror matchup to pop opposing Illusionist attacks, alongside being a solid card overall for light card interactions and its yellow pitch (more interactions for Prism).
Although the cost of three cards in soul in still very high, having yellow pitch means it can be more easily pitched away for a later turn once you have the requirement set up. This leads to the Cataclysm being a premium late game finisher if properly pitched and planned for in a manner which can lead to that explosive turn. As more and more light heroes finally tune their decks, look out for more Papa Strikes coming down from the sky from the side of the light.
Before you get the pitchforks out of the shed, hear me out. Enlightened Strike is still a very good card. However, it’s by no means as good as it used to be.
The biggest thing separating E-Strike from other cards in the first three sets was its flexibility of use. The chance to either buff, get go-again or draw made for a card that was meta-defining in the early sets and allowed go-wide classes to relish in its use.
However, with the release of three new sets since Welcome to Rathe, E-Strike has seemed to lose some of the footing that originally placed it on the same pedestal as Command and Conquer. Hence E-Strike finds its way into this week’s on the fall section, as it starts to become more and more a niche card reserved to a few heroes rather then a universal must-play.
However, cards becoming more niche is many times a good thing for the legacy of a card as well, as it starts to find the slots in which it not only brings its previous flexibility, but also can provide further impact when played than it would have in other more generalized decks. In that respect, let’s look at how some key heroes are reacting to E-Strike’s movement in the meta:
- Chane: Probably representing the best home for E-Strike currently, E Strike’s additional cost of placing a card at the bottom of your deck is a great way for Chane to filter those blood debt cards that wind their way into hand back into his deck. In addition to this, since Chane has so many ways to give cards go-again, such as Razor Reflex, Shadow Puppetry, Art of War and so forth, E-Strike can easily be played with one of its other two buffs and get the go-again from and outside source. This support that Shadow Runeblade gives to E-Strike is what makes it an impactful card in ways that other classes can just not match.
- Ninja and Ranger: Still works great in these classes, but by no means do these classes offer the go-again support that Chane offers. In addition to this, placing a card at the bottom of the deck is not as impactful for Ninja or Ranger as it is in Shadow Runeblade. However, E-Strike still presents a great way to extend Chane’s and draw cards out of hand for both classes, allowing them more of the tempo that they love.
- Boltyn: Some aggro deck lists may run E-Strike, but so far, E-Strike hasn’t been as prominent as one would have thought within the Boltyn meta. This primarily seems to be since rather than playing with consistent pressure turn to turn, Boltyn prefers going for very large turns with his weapons involved. This makes E-Strike awkward in the sense that cards like Lumina Ascension don’t like to see it coming off the top of the deck, and it doesn’t fit into tempo-based turns centered around charging either. Although there seems to be a place for E Strike in certain aggro Boltyn archetypes, it is yet to shown in the meta effectively.
Outside of chipping away with Zephyr Needle, Exude Confidence has presented Ninja and a variety of other go-wide classes ways to punish Wizard on critical turns. Since this card’s effect will almost always be turned on against Kano, Wizard players will have to give up big blocks and accordingly tempo to defend Exude Confidence.
The ability to pump this card up to large amounts of damage is also equally always threatening against all classes, as with a full hand you’re essentially hoping the opponent doesn’t give the attack another +4 or +6 at instant speed. Overblocking Exude Confidence can equally be dangerous as it becomes an ideal target for Snapdragon Scalers and an ensuing large damage turn where you don’t have the means to block. Exude Confidence is then simultaneously a strong offensive card whilst a fantastic defensive card for go-wide classes with little response to Wizard players.