Welcome back, everyone! Today, I'm bringing you the exclusive ARG card preview I promised in my last article! Wizards of the Coast was kind enough to send me the image of a card in Evo Fury, the set releasing on November 13, to share with all of you. Then I'll be going into how I think it'll effect things once the set is actually released!
As you can see from the image, Blastforge Captain is a level 5, 4000 power Evolution Creature! It evolves from Drakons, and has the great ability, "Craterize", which states, "Whenever this creature attacks, banish any number of target enemy creatures that have total power 4000 or less." This card gives the Drakon race a serious boost, and they were already very playable to begin with.
Most creatures in the battle zone by turn 5 will still be pretty small. That makes dropping Blastforge Captain very good early on. In aggressive decks, which this card will surely find its home in, it does the much-appreciated job of clearing away opposing early blockers, such as Reef-Eye, Sun-Stalk Seed, and Scaradorable of Gloom Hollow. Then, of course, since it's an Evolution, it doesn't get summoning sickness, and can immediately attack other tapped creatures or break a shield, giving you a huge push in momentum.
This card isn't just good against early blockers; it could also be devastating against another aggressive deck, since a lot of the early plays such as Blaze Belcher, Drakon Weaponsmith, and Super Bazooka Volcanodon only have 1000 power. This creature could single-handedly banish up to four of those types of creatures at once, without even accounting for any creature it might banish with the attack itself. It won't always be able to banish multiple creatures with its attack, but in general it will be very hard for an aggressive opponent to come back after having multiple creatures banished, especially when staring down the Captain and anything else you may have in the battle zone.
Another great thing about this creature is that the effect goes off whenever it attacks. It's not a "come into play" effect like Tatsurion the Unchained, and can therefore banish more creatures on each subsequent turn it is allowed to stay on the field. If your opponent doesn't have a way to get it off the field, hopefully they're not too attached to any creatures they might have with 4000 or less power!
The bait for this creature is also something that makes it incredibly playable. In fact, I wrote about Drakons in their current state in a previous article. This card will no doubt help them gain more popularity, and I'm sure decks running the Weaponsmith/Volcanodon/Slaver/Gilaflame lineup will enjoy the ability to get the Captain out on turn five or six pretty regularly. All the bait (besides Gilaflame, which returns to its owners hand) is very cheap and aggressive, perfect for a card like this. In addition, we don't even know what other Drakons Evo Fury will bring yet!
As with every Evolution creature, this card has the weakness of requiring you to play two creatures in order to get it out. This makes it more painful than usual to lose it to something like Tornado Flame, and even annoying when bounced to your hand with Veil Vortex. There really isn't any way to get around these drawbacks, but running a dedicated lineup with Blastforge Slaver can potentially save you from the power-based destruction spells like Tornado Flame.
The relatively cheap cost along with the low-level bait protects the Captain against a lot of weaknesses that other Evolutions could suffer from. For example, Evo Fury Tatsurion might be hard to play because all the bait is rather high, and as we all know, drawing Evolutions without the proper race to get them out makes them incredibly dead. Fortunately, in the right deck, there should be more than enough ways to allow the Captain to see play. Still, these Drakons can be rather small by themselves, so it's important to take into account all the removal your opponent might play. For example, at 6 mana, I might not summon a Drakon Weaponsmith that's in my hand if I also have the Captain and think my opponent has an easy way to banish it. Then I could potentially play them both on my next turn and avoid any of my opponent's removal for my small creatures. It all depends on the situation, but if you play smart, this creature can definitely hit the board a lot of the time thanks to its race.
Where I see this card being played:
Like I said, there are a TON of cards in Evo Fury that we don't know yet... but that won't stop me from guessing based on the knowledge we already have! This card basically necessitates an aggressive deck with a healthy supply of low-level Drakons; it's in the nature of the card to deal as much damage as possible early on. To me, the perfect deck for this type of card is a Fire/Water aggro deck; basically an updated version of the deck I posted in the Drakon article.
Most of the fire lineup will probably remain the same in that kind of deck, using Blastforge Slaver, Gilaflame the Assaulter, and a couple other early Drakons to ensure that you're able to get Blastforge Captain on the board quickly. In a Fire/Water deck after Evo Fury, the water section could in fact focus on Cyber Lords, another race receiving a boost with an Evolution. Cyber Trader and Emperor Neuron were spoiled by EarthP0w3R, and the images are on his facebook fan page and YouTube channel. In short, I see a deck using Cyber Traders, Aqua Seneschals, and Hydro Spy as bait for Emperor Neuron, as well as the usual Drakon lineup with Blastforge Captain, already looking like a deck to watch out for. I'm sure when players can finally test all these new cards, as well as ones we don't even know about yet, the deck will evolve. There are definitely many possibilities with this card, including mono-Fire, which allows you to play the new Drakon Warchief, and other variations.
And there you have it, guys! Another card from Evo Fury spoiled, another few awesome deck ideas created! I'm sure that based on how Drakons are doing right now and the general strength of the archetype, this card will be seeing its fair share of play. It will definitely be interesting to see how it interacts with all the cards we don't even have spoiled yet. If you enjoyed the article or have any thoughts about the Captain, please leave a comment down below! Catch you all next week!