Card Previews: Raising a New Type of Dead

Following the cue of their Alchemy allies, the Undead Kingdom brings two very exciting new cards to the battlefield in Season One: Pack One.

The first card is this simple, yet powerful design:

(Final Sketch Art. Colour art being implemented now.)

That's two cards, two mana, no drawbacks. Sure those creatures have to get into your discard pile in the first place, but the over the course of a game, that's going to happen quite often. Ichor takes the card to a different level, with his heavy self-mill strategy feeding Reap the Graves with targets in the early game.

In testing this card have proven surprisingly effective. Recurring sweet Reanimate creatures like this little lady can be very frustrating, as suddenly your opponent has way more copies than you have Disintegrates.

But my favorite target to recur over and over is a different dead lady:

With Corpsecraft on one kicking the other to the discard pile, you can create a fast and effective chain of cards that are difficult to deal with and a wrecking ball for your hand.

The second card for the Undead brings a new weapon in the war on life-gain to the table, following in the footsteps of Undead Doomsayer and The Rack, but with the potential for some truly new deck designs.

The first part of his ability we've seen before. Players cannot gain life. Simple, effective. It is the second part of the ability that is new and unique. The Unliving does not lose health to Poison. None. Even with Poison 1,000 he's just fine. And better yet, while Poisoned, he's a 4/3.

The most obvious combo is to pair The Unliving with Spilled Vial, which was conveniently moved to the Core set (Poison Bomb works as well).

The Unliving also works particularly well against Ravinova and her Blessed Chalices. Ravinova relies on her second ability to act as permanent removal for problematic creatures. She'll have no such luck here, as her poison will only enrage the Unliving and lead to a quicker death.


Tinkering Around with New Cards

Welcome to the first card preview from our first Season One pack. Over the next two weeks we will be revealing all of the cards from this new pack so stay tuned!

Today we're going to take a look at the cards of those crazy dwarf tinkerers of the Alchemy kingdom. Since the upheaval caused by R'Grom's arrival, the dwarfs, fearing that this new age of magic will render their machines obsolete, have looked to their Dark Alliance brothers for a new direction. Some dwarfs have followed the cat people into the desserts of Euna, seeking to plunder the wastelands. While others chase power through the bridging of engineering and the Undead's dark arts.

It is in this world that gives rise to our two preview cards. And let's face it, Alchemy was hit pretty hard with the loss of two extremely powerful (aka "format warping") cards from Standard:

Both of these cards accented Alchemy's mastery of Hero Charges. We knew that we wanted to bring some of this back to the Kingdom, so we looked at another Alchemy card that while good, rarely saw play in either Standard or Limited:

This original Core card was clearly the inspiration for the Scavenging Goblin, but was taken too far in getting from Common up to Epic. In Season One: Pack One we find a happy medium with this streamlined design:

(Approved sketch art. Final Art is on its way)

Yep. This scrappy dwarf is Siphon-on-a-Bear, and is useful in all points in a game: holding off powerful ultimates while charging yours, acting as a quick blocker, or as a tinker target. Ravinova can copy him all day long for added advantage. Rust Scavenger is a simple design, but finally brings the great effect of Siphon to competitive play.

Next we have a completely new design that does something never before tried in Kingdoms CCG. It must be seen to be believed:

(Approved Sketch Art)

At first this card might seem like an inexpensive, yet limited version of Dravkas' Tinker ability, but in reality it works very differently.

First, the creature targeted becomes a random creature with a mana cost 1 greater. Not "from your deck" but randomly from all options in the game, including those not in the format or in the opposing Kingdom! Get really lucky and your 2 drop could become that Goblin Scavenger you miss so dearly (though it could just as likely become a Stench Ghoul). This gives the card the chance to really change the board when least expected.

Second, the creature "becomes" the new creature. This is new. Unlike Tinker and Swap no creature is destroyed or removed from play, and no creature is put into play. It simply becomes something new. From a game play perspective this means that On Enter and On Death effects do not occur, but the creature also doesn't gain summoning sickness either. That's right - if the targeted creature has already been in play for a turn, its new form can attack immediately. This makes it amazing with creatures with low stats but great On Enter effects, like this one:

Obviously no one like paying 3 mana for a 1/1, but the Assassin's effect is extremely powerful. With Forbidden Tinkering you can play the Assassin, kill the opposing creature, then if not removed, on your next turn play the spell and attack with the new found 4 drop. Get lucky and you're now attacking with a Dwarven Battle Rig or Libracider.

Finally, note that it doesn't say "target ally creature." That's right, you can tinker your opponent's creatures as well. Why would you do this? Say your opponent has just played Elara and you don't have the direct damage to kill her. Forbidden Tinker to the rescue! You has a 1 in 3 chance that Elara will become a Realm Crusher that missed its On Enter - an expensive 2/2, easily removed.

Forbidden Tinkering is a powerful card that brings both chaos and excitement to the table, and has the potential to become an Alchemy staple.

Perhaps in a deck like this:

(click to see full sized)

This Standard-legal deck packs a ton of utility creatures that can be run up Dravkas' own Tinker chain, or transformed with Forbidden Tinkering. Summoner's Gambit adds to the chaos, but really works here as hitting a four or five drop on turn 1, then using Forbidden Tinkering on Turn 2 to ramp up even more is quite the deal for 4 mana across two turns.

I used this deck to record some test battles against the A.I., including a battle against an Epic tier Legacy Guild Wars defence deck. Here are some highlights. Enjoy!


Early Preview of our New Set

As mentioned back in June, our next set will be a 13 card fixed-pack set, with 3 Epics, 6 Rares and 4 Uncommons.

The cards are now being painted, but as we're received and approved the early sketches, we thought you might like to get an early look at the art you'll be seeing across the table.

But before we preview the amazing art, here are a few teasers for the card effects (and no we're not saying if any of the art below are for these cards):

  • A main deck playable anti-life gain card that you might even build around.
  • A card with the text "Your hero does not take damage."
  • A one mana spell that can put huge creatures into play and ISN'T broken
  • A fixed version of one of the most controversial cards in Kingdoms CCG history
  • A creature that might just break the Dragons tribe wide open
  • A mana spell that is uniquely Holy
  • A card that has been requested many times
And with that... here is the art: