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Breaking Down the Kill Spells of Nightfall

In my last article where we covered the tutor spells introduced in MetaZoo’s second set, Nightfall, I briefly touched on a couple of the powerhouse kill spells that also came along for the ride. In this article, I’m excited to finally do a deep dive of each of those spells because up until this point, our only kill spell has been in the form of the card Death Beam. If you’re unfamiliar, Death Beam arrived in the MetaZoo base set Cryptid Nation and when contracted for three Dark Aura, this card takes out any beastie on the field – including those with the Immortal trait. As you can probably guess from the aura cost, this spell has been limited primarily to Dark-type players. However, in Nightfall, multiple types finally have access to different kill spells, giving each of them more of an advantage on the battlefield.

(For clarification purposes, “kill spell” in this article refers to cards with the word “destroy” that specifically or primarily target beasties.)

Let’s kick things off with the spell gifted to my favorite type to play: Frost.

 

 

Header - Alaskan Vortex

Alaskan Vortex

Pros: 

  • Two per spellbook.
  • Contracting cost isn’t cheap but definitely doable considering the value this card can give you.
  • Can destroy beasties owned by multiple opponents and rescues spells from the cemetery with no downsides.

Cons: 

  • Contracting cost means it’s not exactly splashable, but again, considering everything you can get out of this card, it’s definitely worth it, especially if going up against multiple opponents.
  • Would be nice to be able to have three of these in your deck like Death Beam but it’s totally understandable why the limit is two.

Out of the three spells we’ll be covering, this one is my absolute favorite – and not just because I’m a huge Frost fan. What I love about Alaskan Vortex is just the sheer amount of value this card brings when played sequentially, especially taking into consideration Frost’s play style which typically depends on spells. One of my favorite plays is to use the spell cards Ice Spell followed up by Frostbite to take out one of my opponent’s beasties. Then I follow up with Alaskan Vortex to take out another, which allows me to bring Ice Spell and Frostbite back to my hand to make the play all over again. It’s a great way to clear the field and also get some super smooth card draw at the same time.

Speaking of clearing the field, that brings us to our next spell:

 

Header - Flood the Earth

Flood The Earth

Pros:

  • Two per spellbook.
  • Has two alternate uses which are both valuable.
  • Saves your own beasties since you’ll most likely be playing Water type.
  • Features tiny Loveland Frogman on the artwork so automatic five stars.

Cons:

  • Must be the only non-aura page you contract that turn.
  • Destroys all Terra, including your own.
  • Must fatigue all aura pages you own so technically could be an even pricier aura cost.
  • If your opponent is playing flying/water beasties, this card is almost useless.

So you know how I was just gushing about how great of a card Alaskan Vortex is? Well, as much as I want to keep that faucet flowing, Flood the Earth is ironically going to tighten up the tap.

Now don’t get me wrong, the fact that Water has been given a board wipe is pretty powerful, especially considering that it protects its own beasties while wreaking havoc on everyone else’s. And I like that if you draw it early in the game and absolutely need the card draw, you have an alternate option to contract it so it’s not a dead card in your hand.

My issues with it stem from one of the points I brought up earlier that actually makes it so good…it protects all Water beasties when played – including your opponents. It also doesn’t help if your opponent is playing primarily flying beasties since those are spared too. If those factors aren’t an issue during gameplay, it also unfortunately shares the same stipulations of Index, which is another powerful spell card that states it must be the only non-aura page you contract that turn. This means no comboing off after making your big play and if you’re planning to attack, you must set up your beasties to throw hands during your previous turn.

But with everything Flood has going against it, I’d much rather have it as a board wipe compared to our third and final spell:

 

Header - Righteous Reckoning

Righteous Reckoning

Pros:

  • Can recover your LP depending on how many beasties you had destroyed.
  • Technically you could say it destroys beasties without much of a downside on your end, but with all the cons going against this card… it doesn’t really matter.

Cons: 

  • Pricey contracting cost.
  • Can only have one per deck.
  • Must be played on your turn (so if you’re a Magic player, no need for Settle the Wreckage anxiety here).
  • Most likely will be contracted after your opponent has either attacked or used their beasties powers since their beasties must be fatigued.
  • Recovers your opponent’s life points.
  • Your turn ends after using this card so you must play it as your final move and, given the expensive aura cost, this might be the only card you’re able to contract.
  • Only destroys fatigued beasties and doesn’t exclude your own.

I want so badly for this card to be good. I mean it’s a board wipe, it recovers life points, it features Wendigo – what more could you ask for right? Unfortunately though those aspects aren’t enough to make up for the wall of cons going against it. From its pricey contracting cost to the fact that it must be played on your turn, Righteous Reckoning just doesn’t quite have the strength to strike fear like the Wendigo in the artwork does.

Its biggest downside is that unless you’re slinging sleep or frozen counters, you most likely won’t be able to use it until after your opponent fatigues their beasties to make their big play. By then, it might be too late for you to make a comeback, especially since your turn ends after playing the card! You’ll have to make your entire sequence of plays beforehand while also making sure that you don’t attack with your own beasties – unless you don’t mind taking out your own squad!


Do you agree with my thoughts on each of these cards? Do you think I was too harsh in my reviews? Leave a comment below letting me know!

If you’d like to help support my writing and decide to add any of these cards to your decks (or purchase any other TCG products through ChannelFireball) feel free to use my code “GHOSTBEAR” at checkout.

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