The third and final Rogue secret releasing with Kobolds & Catacombs is Evasion! This secret is a unique class spin on Mage's Ice Block. Rather than becoming Immune to lethal damage, it lets the Rogue dodge all incoming damage after getting hit for the first time.
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Rogue just got a balanced version of Ice Block! But balanced doesn’t necessarily mean bad. While it obviously pales in comparison to the Mage’s Secret, we need to consider the class difference. Rogue is a class that desperately needs some life gain or way to survive in order for the slower decks to be viable. And this is exactly something like that.
Well, the Ice Block comparison is a bit wrong, since unlike Ice Block you need to decide when you want this to trigger. You can’t play it on curve and expect good effects. It’s a bit more like a Frost Nova in a way that it stales a turn, or a scaling Ice Barrier. It’s a very skill-testing card, since you need to play it at a perfect moment. Do you want to use this turn and be sure that you survive? Or maybe wait another turn for a bigger potential “life gain”, but risk that your opponent might kill you? Picking the right moment to play this will be very difficult and will require a great meta knowledge.
Against a big board, you will take damage only from a single source. Probably from the highest attack minion, but that’s not guaranteed – if Sudden Betrayal will also be played (I doubt, but it might be the case), then he might want to play around it instead. But let’s even say that you take damage from the highest attack minion. Versus a big board, that’s still a lot of mitigation. Often it might “heal” you for 10 or even more damage if you face a big board from a tempo deck.
Now, the problem is that unlike Mage, Rogue has no way to efficiently clear that board after. Sure, you buy a turn, but that’s all. Vanish can clear the board, but that’s also temporary – it only buys time. Rogue would really use a solid AoE card to take advantage of this card.
So while I like the card, and its life-saving potential, when you face a big board as a Rogue, stalling for one turn is not going to get you far. If you can’t clear the board or get back onto the board, then your stalling is pointless. One thing to consider is that stalling is great if you’re looking to finish the game with some sort of combo – so if you want to run let’s say Malygos Rogue, or Mill Rogue, then this card will definitely be appreciated. Buying one more turn can be a difference between winning and losing the game. But those decks are off-meta right now and not really viable, and so far there is nothing that could make them viable in this expansion.
This card is solid, but it might not be enough to put slower Rogue on the radar again, because it’s just not enough. But we still have a few more cards to come, so it might change!
Card rating: 4/5 (but it won’t see play if slower Rogue decks won’t see play)
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