Shard of the Week: When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth

Shard of the Week: When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth

Shard of the Week: When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth

Welcome back, readers. Do you hear a rumble in the distance? It’s likely that the meta is about to encounter a huge shift.
Many decks that were unstoppable are about to hit a brick wall.
The Saurian Republic is coming, and they’re going to put a real bite into Keyforge.

Welcome… to Saurian Park.

Cue epic music…

Although we don’t have all the spoilers yet, we are starting to see a definite pattern developing rapidly.
In Call of the Archons, we have a competitive base set with occasional high end combos.
In Age of Ascension, we have a set that was reliant on combos for most top level decks.
In Worlds Collide we have dinosaurs. Yes, it sounds a bit like sarcasm… but it’s not. Dinosaurs are the answer to disrupt a large portion of the meta. I would speculate that they were designed to. Fantasy Flight just mixed the missing DNA sequences with those of house Shadows, and bingo: dino DNA!

Skeptical about the hype? Then lets look at one of the most universally proven strategies in Keyforge: stealing æmber.
Consider the uncommon Gargantodon… a 16 power creature that transforms all instances of stealing into capture.
The sky is getting dark for Shadows.
“But Jason, that’s just one uncommon.” Well, let me introduce you to Gargantodon’s baby brother… Odoac the Patrician. Not only is he a Raiding Knight (capturing an æmber on play), but he also prevents stealing as well. Oh, and he’s common. Yes, these may just be delay tactics, but we all know how much one turn can mean in Keyforge.

If you thought that Shadows would always be on top of the food chain, let me just say that “life uh… finds a way”.

The Saurians are a whole new breed of æmber control, with some of the most interesting gameplay we’ve seen so far. Like their Sanctum predecessors, many of their creatures capture, but with a major advantage Sanctum was lacking:
<<< WARDS >>>

Much like the scales of a scutosaurus, these prehistoric pesks come plated to hold their ground.
Wards don’t just prevent damage, either. They also prevent instances of leaving play. Cards like Hysteria, Fear, and Lights Out aren’t going to cut it anymore.
Gateway to Dis? Well, they have their own dino version and it’s better. Axiom of Grisk destroys all creatures who aren’t holding æmber, but first wards one of yours and gives you one less chain. With so many ways for Saurians to hold æmber, where’s the downside?

Maybe our own strategies will need to evolve to survive.
Let’s look at what cards actually get better when we play against the Saurian Republic…

In terms of æmber, cards that cause æmber loss look really good here. Effervescent Principle and Burn the Stockpile are the first two that come to mind, but there are plenty of others. If you can’t steal the æmber, you will either need to remove it, generate alot very quickly, or deal with their dinosaur board-state.
Increasing key costs could be a strong way to deal with Saurians, but their power levels are high enough to compete with Grump Buggy strategies really well. I would hope to drop an early Lash of Broken Dreams… but then again, I always hope to do that.

These work well with the Exalt mechanic of the Saurians; placing æmber from the common supply onto your own creature, as if captured.

The Æmber Moves in Herds…
The Saurian Republic is known for being able to hold æmber.
Exalt or capture… they do it well.
What takes this strategy to a whole new level are the cards Exile and Chant of Hubris.
Imagine capturing and/or exalting a full key worth of æmber on your Saurian, only to hand it over to the opponent like a regifted holiday fruitcake. Well, Exile is the gift wrap for that disgusting present.
How about Chant of Hubris? It’s a smaller version of this effect, but it’s still a small slice of that same undesireable cake.
Basically, the Saurians are stopping all the stealing, while finding new ways to manipulate the æmber.
I can’t wait to open some Saurian decks!

It’s going to be really interesting to see how this all plays out. Will the best Saurian decks also contain Shadows? Will Brobnar decks become a double threat when combined with Wards? What about additional Ward tokens from Star Alliance? We will just have to wait and see.

One thing is certain: the previews we have seen so far are giving us a glimpse into the inner workings of Fantasy Flight Games. Not only do they recognize the existance of a meta- they are trying to shift it in new directions.
Saurians are not going to be the only viable house in Worlds Collide, but they are definitely an omen of things to come.
I’m still excited to see the crazy archiving of Logos… the death and destruction of Dis… the new and unusual Star Alliance. There’s so much to talk about.
But for today, let’s stick with Dinosaurs and leave it at that.

So long, Sanctum!

What is your favorite new card from Worlds Collide? As always, feel free to drop me a line.
Jasonalanshearer@gmail.com

Until next time!
—Jason

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