Limited Top 5 Set 1 … So Far – Part II

December 30, 2013 in Articles, Drafting, PvP by Kroan

Hey guys. First off, I am sorry for the delay. Next to wrapping things up for the end of the year at work I’ve been quite busy with the Hexcasters Tournament, which left little to no time to work on the second part of my article. Luckily I found some spare time while waiting on the most recent patch. In my last article I talked about the top limited picks in Diamond, Sapphire and Blood which you can find here [link to article]. Today we’re talking about the remaining shards (Ruby and Wild) and also about Artifacts.

The same rules as last time apply; we only talk about commons and uncommons that are actually in the alpha right now.

Ruby is all about burning your opponent to the ground and attacking them with aggressive troops. What you most likely will be looking for in this shard is removal to remove those pesky blockers and troops that are either evasive or can make other troops evasive. Ruby doesn’t have a lot of endgame cards, so if you pick ruby as your primary shard, you might want to make it as aggressive as possible. The list below should not be very surprising, as you can find them in most Mono Ruby constructed decks as well.

Veteran Gladiator – Veteran Gladiator is one of the best three-drops a ruby deck could wish for. It comes down with three power and often enables your other troop to attack as well. Your opponent will trade whatever he can block with if he can block at all, but most of the times your Gladiator will trade up on top of enabling you to deal damage with the rest of your team.

Ruby Pyromancer – Ruby Pyromancer might only be a 2/1, but since it buffs almost all other troops it is a very dangerous troop for your opponent. Unlike a lot of the other “Inspiration” troops, Ruby Pyromancers gets better in multiples and is easily splashable.  Besides that, it also has a very good synergy with Poca’s charge ability. Creating a 4/1 instead of a 3/1 is nothing to sneeze at!

Burn – Good old two damage quick action. There is are a very big amount of x/2’s in the game and three toughness is usually reserved for troops with a higher resource count. Make sure you use this on a troop that will be trouble for you.

Burn to the Ground – Burn to the Ground is in limited often a win condition, but it also has the flexibility to be removal if your opponent just played a troop that might win him the game. The flexibility that this spell gives you in limited is so good, you might want to pick this up as your first pick over most cards.

Gem Crazed Berserker – Gem Crazed Berserker often will just be a 3/1 speed, because nine out of ten times you will use the speed gem in it’s socket. But because of it’s flexibility to be a different troop if you need him to be, he deserves to be on the list. And besides that a 3/1 speed often is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Worth noting: Sniper of Gawaine, Hellhound, Suppressive Fire

Wild is the shard about ramping into big fat dumb dudes that bring down the beats on your opponent. In Hex this shard has a lot of interesting stuff, but also a high threshold requirement. I think you often will pick this as your main shard and combine it with another shard. For example Blood to gain access to more removal.

Howling Brave – Putting out a big troop a turn early in limited puts your opponent often in a very awkward spot. I wouldn’t pick up more than two or three of these guys, but they’re very, very good and if you’re in Wild you often will prioritize these over a lot until you got at least two. They also help often with your wild threshold.

Moon’airu Sensei – In limited you often want to get to your important cards as soon as possible. Moon’airu Sensei will help you with go through your deck faster and enables you to find you those cards. He basically cycles (a magic term for a card in your hand replacing itself with a new card) for two resources and leaves you with a 1/1. You can use that 1/1 for chump blocking but you might actually have a better use for it if you picked up for example a Roostasaur.

Succulent Roostasaur – Speaking of Roostasaur, if you ever doubted the power of this troop you might want to look up Neo’s pool games from the most recent HexCasters tournament in which he slaughtered his opponents on the back of this card. He’s an incredible blocker and because it has crush it is also able to hit very hard, very fast. If you couple him with troops like the Moon’airu Sensei or the Howling Brave, you are set for one powerful deck.

Honeycap – Honeycap is what (mono) wild is all about and might be a reason to go that route. Having a huge troop in the late middle to late game is very helpful and might make your opponent start blocking with his troops earlier than he would like to. I would not run him in a deck that doesn’t focus on wild, but if I am deep in Wild he is certainly very high on my picklist.

Crazed Squirrel Titan – This squirrel actually saw already some play in constructed decks and in limited he is even more of a staple. Removal in wild is hard to get and paying six to remove most threats is not a bad deal. Now imagine that you’re left with a 4/5 troop (which is virtual card advantage) and you got yourself a solid card.

Worth noting: Wild Growth

There are some pretty good artifact cards in the common and uncommon slot and although there are some pretty sweet cards to support the “Dwarf Artifact” archetype, I believe it will often be hard to assemble these decks just because some artifacts are really good for any deck! If I would go for the “Dwarf Artifact” deck I would start with picking up the artifacts that are good in any deck before picking up key cards like Volcannon or Pterobot.

Secret Laboratory – Secret Laboratory is one my favorite cards in the set and is in limited even better than constructed. Increasing your card quality and making you draw more cards that matter is very powerful in limited. It often is very hard to point to a card that wins you a certain game, but I feel that Secret Laboratory will often be that card in many decks. This is definitely first pick material.

Effigy of Nulzann – A 2/2 for three resources is normally not worth anything, however this card has added flexibility of a gem slot. By putting in the right gem this troop often will be better than other cards for the same cost because of it. I like him especially in sapphire (flying) and wild (+1/+1), but even in diamond (swiftstrike) he’s still decent.

Sapper’s Charge – Removal is removal and usually very good. Especially if you can play it in any deck without any downsides besides not being able to play the card itself in your opponent’s turn (you can activate it’s ability in their turn however).

Volcannon – Volcannon might be one of the strongest reasons to go into a full artifact deck in my opinion. Volcannon can often do six or even nine damage in a single turn, resulting in a VERY fast clock. Picking two of these up during your draft will give you a reason to pick up as many dwarfs and robots as you can. Make sure you also pick Bertram as your champion to increase the amount of robots and dwarfs you have access to.

Pterobot – Pterobot is definitely only worth playing in the “Dwarf Artifact” deck I mentioned earlier, but in that deck it’s actually very powerful. It’s one of the biggest fliers you can get in the uncommon slots. Often you will be able to play this as early as turn four, and for a turn four play it’s very strong. These will often go late if you’re the only player in that kind of deck, so I wouldn’t pick them very highly.

And that’s about it. We covered all shards and artifacts now. In the future I might come back to these list as we get access to more cards, but for now I feel that the cards I talked about are very solid picks. Examining all the commons and uncommons was lot of fun and makes me belive that drafting will have a huge variety in the kind of decks we’re able to draft. I can’t wait for them to roll out limited in the alpha!