Top 10 Cards from Echoes of the New World
Hey there Rulers!!
Echoes of the New World has officially dropped and brought with it a ton of new cards to check out. As always when a new set drops, everyone is trying to figure out what the best cards are so that they can be successful at their tournaments. Not only that, but with the recent decision to ban Laevateinn and Horn of the Sacred Beast, major competitive decks that have been dominating lately have lost a lot of power, and so it is a free for all to see what deck will come out on top. In order to help you get started with your deck building and testing, I figured I would share with you my top 10 list for cards from Echoes of the New World and why I think that they are worth checking out. I will also be mentioning what competitive decks from the past would be able to make the best use of these cards so as to give you an even better idea of where to get started.
#10: Umr At-Tamil
The main reason this guy is on the list is because reanimator strategies (where you bring back expensive creatures from the graveyard to the quickly to dominate the game) are much more viable now that Horn of the Sacred Beasts is no longer playable. While his stat line is not the most impressive, being able to grab 3 cards from your deck and then immediately putting them into play is an incredibly big tempo swing if you grab the right cards. Some noteable things to grab would be wind-secluded refuge if you feel like being a little more conservative, or grab the trio of Flame Sprite, Lancelot, and Pricia pursuant of Exploding Flame to quickly rush your opponent down with tons of swiftness damage. There is even a brutal combo going around (that I will be showcasing on the channel soon) where you can get almost infinite creatures to attack your opponent in one turn thanks to Fayli (also from this set, but not strong enough to warrant a spot on my list).
While he does have a lot of strength, he doesn’t belong any higher than 10th because of his high natural will cost, below average stat line, and the fact that you need good options to bring in with him to make him the most effective.
Decks he is best for: Any form of reanimator deck such as Lumia Reanimator, or a Pricia deck focused on using Pricia’s resonator cycling ability.
#9 Valentina, The Crumbling Illusion
Also a card designed to help reanimator strategies, Valentina provides a little more utility and overall strength that I think makes her justified in being higher than Umr. While also having a higher cost, she boasts an excellent ability to have her cost reduced simply by having resonators in the graveyard (something that reanimator likes to do). Not only that, but her stat line for defense is also stronger, which is important since she needs to stick around on board to be able to gain the most advantage. Every single turn that she sticks around just means one more potential massive threat your opponent has to deal with, especially since her ability does not target or have any limitations on what resonators you can grab. Have an Izanagi in your grave? Ok go grab it! What about an Umr? Seems like a good play to me!
Overall Valentina provides a solid repeatable threat for reanimator strategies that forces your opponent to have an answer unless they want to be buried under all the free advantage she generates. However, due to some of the other cards on this list, she is a little bit easier to deal with than she would have been in the past, which prevents her from being any higher.
Decks she is best for: Reanimator strategy decks like Lumia Reanimator or more resonator heavy control decks who can protect her in order generate as much advantage as possible like Zero Death and Taxes.
#8 Zero, the King’s Blade
I have always been a fan of Quickcast Resonators. For the most part they have all played a role in competitive play as either a major enabler of the deck or an excellent counter tech choice. I thoroughly believe that Zero is no different. Despite her cheap cost and quickcast ability, she retains the average stat line for 2 drops in this game, and brings with her 2 additional abilities! Stopping your opponent from being able to draw multiple cards per turn, especially when we have so many cards that let it happen (Guinivere the Jealous Queen, Tama the Familiar of Holy Wind, Rewriting Laws, etc.) can be devastating to certain decks. As most card game players know, having more cards than your opponent at all times is usually an indicator that you are in control of the game, so having a creature that locks your opponent in that state is awesome.
Her ability to prevent resonators from being returned to your hand is not as amazing, but does allow some pretty interesting interactions with some old strategies like Rise from the Depths. If Zero is on the board while that card resolves, your resonators will stay on the field while your opponent loses everything, and then you can play 3 MORE creatures from your hand! Talk about a swing of momentum!
Overall, she is probably best suited to being in sideboards rather than main decks, but her ability to steal advantage or shut off the draw engines of your opponents deck is too good to ignore.
Decks she is best for: Using as a sideboard card to shut down decks with heavy draw engines, or in control mirror matches so that you ensure you have more resources than your opponent.
#7 The Final Battle
Our first spell on the list! Also the first card we are talking about from Echoes involving paying life! When this card was first spoiled, everyone seemed to go insane because of how strong it was. Having such a low cost, single sided board wipe was definitely something to be excited/worried about. This card essentially asks “how much are you willing to pay in order to start over?” By paying life for the X cost of this card, you can easily destroy every J/resonator your opponent has and then use the remaining will to either push in or make it so your opponent will never be able to recover. While the life cost may seem a bit high, if you consider the fact that it might be killing 5, 6, or even 7 resonators that would all most likely be attacking you next turn anyway it doesn’t seem so bad. Decks like Turbo Fiethsing or Zero Death and Taxes, which pride themselves on swarming the field with creatures, have to think twice now because they never know if this card is going to come down and simply undo all of their work.
So with all this power, why is it not higher on the list? Well for one, it’s not foolproof. Spending life for this card is part of its cost, so if you get countered you have essentially just paid all that life for nothing. Not to mention if you are playing against a Fire deck swarming with swiftness resonators, your life might not be at a point where you can even afford to pay enough to make the card worth it. Final battle is a classic case of “when its good its good, and when its bad its REALLY BAD.” Just keep that in mind as you test it out!
Decks it is best in: Turbo Fiethsing to help clear out flyers, Darkness control decks like Charlotte or Alhamat who have an easy time following the spell up or gaining life to make up for the cost, or Fox primarily thanks to Ammit being able to help them gain life.
#6 Refearth’s Wall of Flame
Another spell, and the only Fire card in my entire list. Fire attribute decks have always been about dealing as much damage to your opponent as possible in the shortest amount of time. Whether that be relying on Resonators with Swiftness or with burn spells, if it ends the game quickly they want to play it. This card is no exception. Being a 2 cost card with Quickcast means that it is right up Fire’s alley, and putting a 1000/1000 token with flying into the field is a pretty big payout! Now while the token doesn’t have swiftness, if you cast this card during your opponent’s end phase, it will survive until the end phase of YOUR turn and it can get in a swing before dying to its own effect. This essentially turns this card into a 2 cost 1k burn spell, provided your opponent does not have any flyers.
The main disadvantages this card has come from the fact that it isn’t a true burn spell. If your opponent has any flyers, or a way to kill the token before it swings, it won’t be able to do its job. Not only that, but Fire decks tend to operate on a low number of Magic Stones so you might not always have the will to cast this card during your opponent’s turn. With all that being said though, if your opponent doesn’t respect this card, it could easily close things in your favor.
Decks it is best in: Very aggressive decks or decks that focus on burning your opponent rather than relying on combat damage such as Mars, Flute burn, Yggdrasil Burn, or even Pricia aggro.
#5 Gill Lapis, Usurper of Madening Power
Guess who finally decided to grace us with his presence yet again. Lapis is back as a resonator once again and he brings with him some very interesting effects. While his stat line is not the greatest for a 3 cost card, having Precision definitely makes him stand out a little. This means that your opponent can’t necessarily keep all their creatures safe by not attacking, because he can just pick them off anyway. When you consider how many competitive resonators over the past few sets have had defenses of 600 or less, Lapis definitely could pose a threat or help to keep things less cluttered so that you can push through for a win.
While he does have a stat pump effect, the real reason he is on this list in my opinion is for his ability to grab a Chant. While it is only a Light or Darkness chant, this set introduced some excellent options (such as final battle as we discussed earlier) and another we will talk about in a bit that make his searching effect pretty potent. The only reason he isn’t further up on this list however is purely because the main spell he searches for is just so much better than he is, and doesn’t even require him to be in the deck or in play to be great. We will get to that more in a bit though.
Decks he is best in: Control decks that have some issues with draw power or need creatures to be able to close out the game, or Adelbert decks so that you can gain a massive amount of advantage off of a flip of Adelbert (Gill would trigger 2 of Adelberts abilities, thus making your opponent discard a card and give Adelbert 2 +100/+100 tokens).
#4 Dark Alice, Manifestation of Rage
Another fan favorite character coming back to shake things up. This form of Dark Alice is a great call back to her original Ruler form, focusing on removing cards from her opponent’s graveyard to make herself more powerful. Not only that, but just like her original form, she becomes more powerful the longer you wait to use her. If you play her pretty early in the game, you may hit 1 or 2 resonators and thus give her an average stat line equivalent to other 2 drop resonators. However, if you wait for a little, or are playing a deck that churns through cheap resonators quickly like Turbo Fiethsing or Death and Taxes, she could potentially come in as a massive powerhouse that your opponent may struggle to answer. Not only that, but even if they do manage to destroy her, she leaves behind and army of shadow tokens to take her place! While the 100/100 tokens may not seem like much, imagine having 12 or more suddenly appear out of nowhere to use as blockers or rush down your opponent.
Not only is Dark Alice a great card on her own however, she also releases the seals of other darkness cards and spells you control as long as she is on the board. This puts your opponent in quite a predicament. They are staring down a card that is potentially very strong, that is allowing your other cards to generate additional advantage, and if they kill it they give you a potential army to swing back at them with. Talk about a rough place to be! Despite all this though, there will be some decks who don’t mind dealing with her, or would be able to deal with her quickly. In addition, the number of darkness cards that have amazing seal abilities in this set is a little lacking, and most of them won’t see major competitive play. Even so, Dark Alice is an excellent card that I think will see both mainboard and sideboard play so be sure to be on the lookout.
Decks she is best in: Zero Death and Taxes to help release seals and put an even stronger lock on your opponent, or in sideboards against decks like Fox or Turbo Fiethsing to disrupt or punish their playlines.
Before we move on to the final 3 cards in my list, I would like to briefly mention a couple of cards that did not quite make the cut, but should still be watched.
Wind has always had to rely on other colors in order to get creatures off the board, at least at instant speed. Well with Soul Debt, Wind can finally take care of those pesky resonators on its own. There are only 2 problems with it though; it can only be used on the turn the resonator comes into play, and if they have an enter effect it will still happen, which in the case of some resonators is all that they need to do to be worth playing. Wind might be better off just playing cancels for now, but maybe this card will make its way to the top tables as we see results from tournaments moving forward.
Neo Barrier of Shadows
An excellent alternative to Tsukiomi Noble, this addition punishes decks that like to rely on activate abilities or will generating creatures but forcing them to have to pay in order to use them. Guinivere is not nearly as good if she also costs 1 will in addition to sacrificing a creature, and Sacred elf is worthless if you have to pay 1 will to produce one will. Not only that, but eventually this card can even lock out the activate abilities of Regalia, Resonators, Additions, Rulers, and J-Rulers. The only problem is that it has a very high seal count in order to be able to get the lock started, which keeps it out of the running for now.
Rezzard, King of the Damned
Rezzard fills a niche that I feel will need to be addressed (or at least considered) by most decks in the upcoming format; Graveyard manipulation. Without Horn of the Sacred Beast around, decks that make use of the Graveyard gain a lot of strength, and having easy ways to disrupt them can be incredibly important to make sure you come out on top. Rezzard does this for the simple cost of 200 life per card. It is also important to note that he can remove any type of card as well, meaning Fox has to be careful when sacrificing is killing stones lest it have them removed and run out of resource. However, with his life cost, below average stat line, and the fact that he only receives buffs from your own resonators that have been removed, he has enough drawbacks to keep him off the top 10.
With that out of the way, let’s move on to what I believe are the top 3 cards of Echoes of the New World. Oddly enough, all of them are spells!
#3 Heteroclite Excalibur
This card is probably one of the best removal spells we have ever had in Force of Will. An old staple back when Grimm cluster was still legal was the card Stoning to Death, which for 2 Darkness will at instant speed could destroy any Resonator. Since it rotated no card has been able to do its job, but Heteroclite is here to finally fill that void. For 1 Darkness will, you can answer any resonator, regardless of stats, and REMOVE IT FROM THE GAME!!! No destruction, no hitting the graveyard, nothing like that, just POOF and its gone. The only drawback to this insane power is that you have to lose 500 life to do it, but that is a small price to pay, and if you consider playing this card with Gill Lapis from earlier in the list you won’t even have to pay the life. Gill lapis can also search for Excalibur as well which makes it even more deadly.
While it is not instant speed, I would argue that making this spell instant speed would make it way too strong, so for now we will just have to kill our opponent’s large resonators on our turn and be happy with it.
Decks that it is best in: Anything with Darkness in it
#2 Dawn of the Earth
Moving into the instant speed spells of insanity, we have Dawn of the Earth. Harkening back again to the age of Grimm cluster, there was a card called Xeex the Ancient Magic that had not one, not two, not 3, but 4 modes to choose from, making it an incredibly versatile card that provided a lot of strength and stability for decks that wanted to be more reactive. Dawn of the Earth is the spiritual successor to Xeex in my opinion, not only because it has so many modes, but also because the modes provide so much utility. Not only that, but every single mode also lets you DRAW A CARD!!!! The first mode is excellent for punishing decks like Fox, Lumia Hook, Reanimator, Myths lists, Pricia cycling decks, you name it! By saying that their resonators they are trying to cheat in simply get removed from the game without hitting the board so that they can trigger their effects, this card delivers a massive blow that might even just win the game for you on its own because your opponent can’t recover.
The other two modes may not have as much strength, are still not to be taken lightly. Being able to recover a resonator, give it a +200/+200 buff, and give it barrier for a turn at instant speed could turn out to be a game saving play at the last second, or let a resonator attack your opponent twice to end the game. Not only that, but against decks that may still try to rely on Regalia or spam tokens on the board like Turbo Fiethsing will have a hard time when you clear their board of all there 0 cost cards and remove them from the game.
No matter what mode you use for this card, it is bound to generate a large amount of advantage. The only thing that holds this card back from being number 1 on my list though is the awkward color combination. Light and Water have never been particularly strong together, so some decks might have to struggle to make this card work for them. My number 1 card though doesn’t have that problem, and is probably going to see itself as a major competitive staple for quite some time.
Decks it is best in: Anything that can make its awkward color combination work effectively.
#1 Severing Winds
I am sure that no one is surprised by this card being at the top of my list, but it is here for a good reason. Cancel spells have always been strong in this game, especially ones like Seal of Wind and Light which can cancel any type of spell (summon, chant, normal spell, etc.). However, decks in the past have struggled to justify playing Light will JUST for Seal of Wind and Light. Well, with Severing Winds you won’t have to. This card becomes a free cancel spell as soon as your opponent plays their first card for the turn. From that point on that turn, if they try to cast something and you don’t want them to, simply lay down this card without using a single will and put a stop to it in an instant.
This card is hands down going to change the way that people play this game. Finding ways to generate advantage through creature abilities, rather than casting as many cards as possible, is going to be huge moving forward. It is also going to force all of us to slow down and think about what our opponent may have, as well as what order we may play our cards in, because even if they aren’t playing with stones that produce Wind will, they might still be able to cancel us. It will be very interesting to see if we see a rise to baiting style of play from the high level of players to try and feel out for Severing Winds before making their big plays, but nothing is for certain until those major tournaments start happening.
All in all, Echoes has brought a lot of strong cards that have good potential to shift things around competitively. Old ideas have received some much needed support, new decks may suddenly pop up out of the woodwork, and a new sense of caution has been created that we are all going to need to be mindful of. I for one cannot wait to see what comes out of it, and look forward to seeing what you all can come up with!
Tell me what you think though, is my list accurate? Any card that you think deserves to be on the list but isn’t, or should be bumped off my list? Feel free to comment or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts!
Until next time Rulers!
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