New Kobolds & Catacombs card revealed!

New Kobolds & Catacombs card was revealed by the PCGamesN.com - Dragon's Fury! (Source)

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Similarly to Dragoncaller Alanna (which I’ve reviewed here), it looks like a card you’d definitely put into the already shaping Big Spells Mage archetype, with cards like Spiteful Summoner, Arcane Tyrant, Raven Familiar and Dragoncaller Alanna. And this card is a vital piece in that deck, because unlike the others which are only “good” in such an archetype, this is simply “bonkers”.

Assuming you run only 4+ mana spells (because it’s had to not run Fireball, since it’s already solid with such cards and it’s great in general), this card is great. 5 mana for a guaranteed 4 damage board clear, with possibility to go even higher – most likely to 7 – looks fantastic. The baseline is like 3 damage for the 5 mana board clear (Excavated Evil) and that’s already okay, although not amazing. So 4, 5 or even more damage makes this card insane.

The biggest problem with this card, and such a deck in general, is that you need to get rid of all the cheap spells. Which means that you ideally DON’T want to run Frostbolt, Primordial Glyph, Arcane Intellect, Frost Nova or any Secrets. No Secrets also means no Arcanologist or Medivh's Valet, which are one of the best minions Mage has access to. And no Ice Block is hard to swallow by any slower deck. Which means that in the end it’s hard to say whether the upsides will be big enough to offset the fact that you run a very weak early game.

So the other options would be just to play it in a slightly altered Control Mage. Since the baseline is at 3 damage, if you would be able to always hit at least 3 damage, with a potential to go higher, the card might already work. So if you’d only remove the 2 mana spells – Frostbolt and Primordial Glyphthis card would still be very powerful without as many sacrifices (most especially without having to get rid of Arcanologist/Valet/Secrets). I mean, those two cards are great, but so is this card, so in the end it might be hard to decide.

The problem with the second approach is the high-roll and low-roll issue. If that card could do anything from 3 to 7 AoE damage, it might be hard to play on the medium-sized boards. Let’s say that you need to hit at least 6 damage, then if you roll Blizzard or Firelands Portal, it’s great. But if you roll a Secret, then it sucks. Since you simply don’t know how much damage it will deal before playing it, you can’t really make any plans in advance. You’d win or lose a lot of games simply based on how high you roll with this card, and it’s a design I don’t really appreciate.

Still, the card itself looks very powerful, and if Big Spells Mage is a thing, it will definitely be an auto-include, maybe even THE reason to play such a deck. However, I’m not really sure whether it would see play in any other Mage deck, as you’d need to make a lot of early game cuts to make it worth running.

Card rating: 4.5/5

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