Breath of Life: Bringing New Life to Underplayed Core Cards



Remember that terrible old TV and movie trope where the 'ugly' girl takes off her glasses and lets her hair down and all of a sudden she's attractive? No? Wow, am I really getting that old?


Well, along a similar thread, this article takes a look at underused cards from the core set and how they might find a home alongside some of the spoiled cards from the upcoming new set: Rings of Immortality!



Incubation Chamber


Incubation chamber's 3Y cost was already enough of a tempo-stalling gambit. The stunned turn and having to move the minion out of the enchantment to use again made it clunky and virtually unplayable. But now there are a number of new cards that might make incubation chamber at least worth considering.


Impoverished ogre's fragile 2 gets equalized by the chamber's 2 armor and turns it into a ⅞ that gives it with decent tradeability to make up for the downside. Doper lets you play both cards a bit behind curve for a potential snowball of value out of a wimpy 1-drop. Earth Striker also offers a hand-replenishing combo for a hefty ⅘ with Alpha Strike to boot. Even Flimsy duoflex gets armor 2 to give it some survivability to pave a way to a potential 8/8.


While not exactly 'unplayable' Seahaven also provides a similar protective effect, with agile helping cards like Judo Garudo, Backchannel Captain get their breach effect in and cards like Impoverished ogre avoid trade damage on either turn.



Circle of Protection


An underutilized spell since it's not designed to play on curve and doesn't provide any stat bonuses, it might start to see play to counterbalance ogres' downside or give the minions created by sanguine steel a bit of extra survivability. It could also become a counter to Backchannel Captain's ability, Wry Trickster, and Death Maiden's Eye since it takes some of the guesswork out of the last two effects.


Bulwark, honed edge, Hysterical Strength and Godsblud Transfusion are also good candidates for spells that counterbalance the drawbacks to cards like Doper and Ogre, or jumpstarting Duoflex's ability.



Zen archer/Laser Grid/Field of Poppies


United Front on its own doesn't seem like it would be able to provide a whole lot of immediate value: it's a wimpy ping effect that needs a decent body occupying it to punish trades or your opponent for avoiding blocks.


However, a Zen Archer posted away from the United Front can force your opponent to spread their resources thin to pick their poison. An adjacent Laser Grid could also help corral creatures and protect the front's occupying minion. The fragile effect from a field of Poppies can also let these various plinks quickly start stacking up.


Breath of Wintertide and Shadhavar Beast are also good fragile effects that can synergize with Front and other ping effects. Quicksand Hourglass could also become more reliable if enemy minions are forced to attack the fronts occupying creature. Conversely, Stone Mother and Ruslan's Bight might see some additional play as a way to avoid Front's Damage effect.



Knives in the Dark


Knives never got to see much play, as there are plenty of other spells in the 2 cost slot that provide stronger stat boosts or more reliable effects. But it could provide a decent counter to the effects of Wry Trickster and Death maiden's Eye by avoiding Alpha Strike or the strength and fragile penalty. It could also help keep weak creatures like ogre and doper alive by avoiding damage and hiding behind lurker.


Re:spawn might also see a boost in use to squeeze extra value out of cards like trickster and Captain; while Juiced, Pack Mentality, and Aimless Vessel could also find inclusuon due to possible synergies with Guardian Plateau.


While it is fun to theorize, it's also important to remember that these prospectives are based on the few spoilers that have been dropped for the set. There may be a plethora of cards that may make these second takes moot or make old hatevorites like Mandatory Vigor, Temple of Delphi, or Notarize Reality viable considerations.


With the new set almost ready for release, it's important to be prepared to do your own exploration, discovery, and rediscovery. I hope this article has given you all some food for thought and inspiration to conduct your own homebrewed experiments!




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