Continuing with our series of hero lookouts, we bring in Chane, Bound by Shadow. Since we highlighted his Shadow counterpart Levia last time, it only made sense for us to give the Runeblade his time to shine. Known for his explosive turns with access to over 20 damage and many cards out of banished, Chane feels unblockable at the best of times and difficult to beat at the worst. The Shadow Runeblade is never out of a match and can output some mind-boggling plays and lines with his cards. However, there’s still room for innovation in the world of Soul Shackling, and today we’re going to investigate what to be on the lookout for in the coming while for this Shadow Runeblade
Although stubbornly costed at three, Seeping Shadows seems to be a worse version of Shadow Puppetry, and in many ways, it is. This doesn’t mean Seeping Shadows is bad however, as the card still has strong value with many decks and is starting to creep its way into a few Chane builds here and there in Road to Nationals season.
While the cost is high, Seeping Shadows is currently the only card in the game that allows you to gain an action point out of the banished zone, which inherently delves into powerful design space. The +1 buff it gives to your next attack action is also not negligible in a class which relies on pushing through the opponent before it deck out. In conjunction with cards such as Bounding Demigon, Unhallowed Rites and so forth, Seeping Shadows allows you to go wide without relying as heavily on Soul Shackles.
Although Chane almost always plays two actions a turn, he really needs to find ways to push to three to five actions with cards such as Shadow Puppetry, Seeping Shadows and so forth. This design space allowing him to go-wide is perfect, as it also lessens the impact on his Soul Shackling, meaning Chane players may not need to even Shackle in a turn and hence create more longevity in their deck then they would otherwise have. I really like the yellow pitch version here as well, since it’s easy to cycle back into your deck, pitches for enough to pay for your weapon (a good standard to build around in any deck) and the card text interacts with almost every card Chane plays not named Rip Through Reality or Command and Conquer.
Before you throw Razor Reflex into this deck as well, stop and think. Do you really need this attack reaction here? Unless you’re gaining go-again from it, one-cost for a +3 buff is a poor rate, and since most of Chane’s attacks have go-again already, many times this is just a card that clogs up your hand as a red pitch card.
The card is also unplayable out of banished, and doesn’t interact with Rip Through Reality or Command and Conquer, both solid staples providing more value than this attack reaction for Chane. Razor Reflex also blocks poorly, only defending for two. Hence, when you zoom out, although this a staple in Ninja and Ranger, Chane can much better to utilize his deck slots with cards that provide much more value out of almost all zones rather than an attack reaction that has a super niche value proposition for him, which many times he doesn’t even need.
Don’t be fooled – Dimenxxional Crossroads decks can get very overwhelming very quickly in the hands of a solid player. However, due to the inherent nature of Chane wanting to play out of banished, the card doesn’t fit well into your traditional Chane deck. The risk of banishing it and costing two to play out of hand means it’s cut from most decks.
However, as the meta starts to innovate and build around Chane with cards like Chains of Eminence or Snag, it will be interesting to see Chane players do the same. Decks in Chane that have a high amount of opt can make sure that you don’t banish your Dimenxxional Crossroads or get overwhelmed by blood debt and be forced to discard it. Once you get more than one of these out on the field, the whole match can dramatically swing, as you start absolutely ripping into the opponent’s life total with massive amounts of arcane damage, generated each turn for free. However, you must be careful not to take blood debt, as well as be careful deckbuilding, as a disciplined game style could ensure that you can manage to do this well enough with a style using Chane’s Soul Shackle ability to go-wide, albeit not as much as traditional Chane decks.
As the meta moves forward in the coming months, I really think Dimenxxional Crossroads and a more controlled Chane build, focused on gaining a small amount of card advantage turn by turn, with a smaller, conservative amount of Soul Shackling, and gaining value by raining down extra arcane damage with multiple Dimenxxional Crossroads, could be dangerous. The current builds are very high variance and fast, but a more control-oriented Chane, who blocks well and generates value from these auras and a slight card advantage turn by turn rather than a massive one, could be the next development for this character once the current version is finally conquered by a meta raging to bring it down.