How far would you go to achieve your mission? Would you be willing to be branded a villain? Greetings once again, rulers, Welcome back to another Echoes of the New World preview article! It's been long discussed with lore articles and teaser images, and now its finally here. The (mostly) full force of the enigmatic Wanderer Brigade! At long last we get to have a look at their leader as well. Today promises to be chalk full of interesting cards, so let's dive right in!
Not wasting any time, let's have a look at our J/ruler card. Swordsman of Fire has a Judgment with a total cost of four. Technically this is the most expensive Judgment we've seen thus far in the set, as both Book of Light and Book of Dark have total cost X for their Judgment. Four is admittedly a little high for a Judgment cost. Especially for a fire attribute card, an attribute that traditionally doesn't have much will ramp to pay the cost quicker. There's a way around this though, so don't worry, we'll get to that in a little bit. Swordsman of Fire has Energize for fire will of course, giving the player to go second a little boost to keep up the pace with the opponent. However the ruler's real meat is the two continuous abilities it has. The first allows you to pay the attribute cost of Wanderer resonators with will of any attribute. Alright this is pretty big. There have been a few wanderer resonators throughout the course of the game. And while they've all had fairly interesting effects, they've never been especially playable with each other due to them being scattered across all the attributes. Swordsman of Fire's ability fixes all that however and now suddenly every Wanderer resonator legal in New Frontiers is accessible to us! Its not just past cards though, Echoes of the New World itself also supplies us with a good number of Wanderer resonators too! (Like Valentina from last time!) The ruler's final ability grants all of your Wanderer resonators First Strike, which is fantastic. This gives them the combative edge against resonators with ATK high enough to destroy them but DEF low enough to lose them. Since First Strike resonators deal damage before those without, we can attack and destroy our opponent's resonators while keeping ours safe, making our field all the more powerful and threatening to our opponent.
The Wanderer support doesn't end with the ruler side though! Once you bust out Swordsman of Fire's Judgment ability, it becomes Dimension Brigade's Leader, Adelbert! Those of you who've been keeping up with the lore likely recognize this name. He is the leader of the wanderer group we've seen sneaking about in the lore articles and it is certainly reflected in his abilities. Adelbert hits the field with 1200 ATK and DEF, which isn't too shabby considering he has a judgment cost of four. However, as soon as Adelbert enters the field, you immediately get a lot more value for paying his Judgment cost, because he allows you to play a Wanderer resonator from your hand to your field without paying its cost! Considering that cards like Valentina, the Crumbling Illusion, Gill Lapis, the Pure Youth, Gill Lapis, Usurper of Maddening Power, and Black Heart Alice are all wanderer resonators, this ability alone opens up a lot of possibilities. Valentina and Gill Lapis, the Pure Youth are particularly enticing. Need to wipe the field? Play Gill Lapis for free and destroy everything! Just be ready to have Adelbert be destroyed too. Though that may not be too bad, because unfortunately, Adelbert loses his will fixing and First Strike granting abilities on his J-ruler side. As such, playing Gill Lapis, the Pure Youth and wiping the field (therefor returning Adelbert to his ruler side) may be advantageous. And if you don't need to wipe the field, you can drop Valentina who'll start resurrecting your other resonators at the start of every one of your turns! That's only one of this mighty J-ruler's abilities however. Adelbert has an automatic ability that triggers when resonators of certain attributes enter the field (multi-attribute resonators trigger all appropriate abilities.) Whenever a light resonator enters your field, Adelbert will gain two +100/+100 counters. Nothing major, but a nice little bonus to give him some extra oomph and survivability. A fire resonator entering your field will allow the J-ruler to deal 500 damage to a resonator, great for picking off lower cost resonators or setting up a timely Demonflame! A water resonator entering your field triggers an ability that allows you to draw a card, which is arguably the most useful of these abilities. A wind resonator entering your field allows you to grant Adelbert both Flying and Barrier until end of turn, which is fantastic if you need to attack with Adelbert for lethal damage but fear a blocker or other sort of rebuttal is standing in your way. Finally, when a darkness resonator enters your field, Adelbert will force your opponent to discard a card. You don't get to choose what card they discard unfortunately, but a little bit of hand control is always welcome. Remember that whatever wanderer you play with Adelbert's first ability will trigger these abilities, depending on the wanderer resonator's attribute(s) of course. While he loses the will fixing and First Strike granting abilities, Adelbert is a veritable Swiss army knife of abilities and essentially allows you to get two bodies on the field (J-ruler and the free resonator) as well as a cheap Chant-like effect all for paying his Judgment. That is some good value.
A leader isn't much without some followers though, so let's have a look at some Wanderer resonators that Echoes of the New World has to offer! First up is Scheherazade, making a return to the mainline boosters after a longtime absence. Scheherazade, Speaker of Yet Unknown Truths is a total cost three Will of Despair resonator making her easily accessible with both Swordsman of Fire and Book of Dark. She's also packing Quickcast making her even more playable. She sports a fair 800 ATK and DEF, which is standard for a resonator of her cost. She's only got one ability, but it's a rather unique one. When she enters the field she triggers an ability that remains until Scheherazade leaves the field. Once the effect resolves you target a resonator. That resonator cannot attack or block and its controller can't play any of its activate abilities. Scheherazade is essentially a control type chant coupled with a resonator body. Quickcast allows you to lock down your opponent's strongest resonator during their turn immediately after they've foolishly overcommitted their magic stones to playing it, and prevents them from using any activate abilities it may have while also providing you with an 800/800 body, possibly even with First Strike, assuming you're running Swordsman of Fire as your ruler.
Our other Wanderer resonator for the day is Sun Wukong, Enforcer for the Future. He's a total cost two Will of Despair resonator with Flying, and 600 ATK and 500 DEF. Considering he has flying, his stats are actually quite good for a total cost two resonator, and Swordsman of Fire's First Strike granting ability helps make up for his 500 DEF a little. Like Scheherazade, he's only got one automatic ability, but a handy one. When Sun Wukong enters the field you'll be able to bounce a non-magic stone, non-J/resonator card back to your opponent's hand. While not a game changing ability, this is a handy effect to have on a low cost Flying resonator body, allowing you to get troublesome addition cards like Barrier of Shadows or Refarth off the field, forcing your opponent to expend will on their next turn to play them. That said, Wukong may not be a go to card for relying on constant and consistent usefulness. Rather he's better kept as at only a few copies in the main or side deck (where you can call him in to play with Book of Dark) for when you need to use his bounce effect to get something off of the field.
That's all the resonators we're looking at today, but certainly not the last we'll see of the Wanderer support in this set. Want proof? Have a look at these Wanderer supporting chant and addition cards! Words of Scheherazade is exactly what you'd want out of a total cost one chant card for a Wanderer focused deck. The chant lets you search your deck for any Wanderer card and put it right into your hand! If you're planning on running Swordsman of Fire this card is absolutely invaluable, allowing you to easily pull out whatever Wanderer you need. It also means that you can easily set up for a power play with Adelbert's ability that allows you to put a Wanderer resonator into your field for free. Use this card to search out Valentina or whatever other Wanderer you want to play, and then field it immediately with Adelbert!
Our other support card is the fantastic Interdimensional Space. This total cost two addition has three continuous abilities. The first reduces the cost of Judgment for wanderer J/rulers, so we can get Swordsman of Fire's Judgment going as early as turn three now with this addition. The second ability reduces the cost of wanderer resonators by one void. This effect makes cards like Gill Lapis, Usurper of Maddening Power and Kaguya, Lunar Researcher playable for only two will, greatly increasing their value and speed. The usefulness doesn't stop there though, as the final ability of this addition increases the ATK and DEF of wanderer J/resonators you control by +400/+400. That is a pretty big boost, especially when you consider that this addition helps you play those J/resonators for less will and that the abilities of this addition stack, meaning that multiple copies of this addition in your hand aren't a total waste.
Our last two cards for today are another two chants. They don't directly only support wanderer cards, making them a bit more accessible for other decks. That doesn't mean you should disregard them though! Adelbert's Crossflame is a total cost three Quickcast fire attribute chant card. When played it will deal 800 damage to target resonator and every other resonator that shares a name with it. This chant is a good sideboard card for clearing out a field over clogged with tokens and similar sorts of field states. However its usefulness as a main deck inclusion very much depends on the type of decks you expect to go up against. If you face off against tent pole type strategies this card will undoubtedly fall flat, but against more swarm type decks this is a very valuable chant that can completely turn the game in your favor!
Last for today is another Super Rare chant card, and boy is it a doozy! Severing Winds is a total cost four Quickcast chant that lets you cancel any target spell. Normally, this effect for total cost four would be awful, especially when we still have access to Seal of Wind and Light in New Frontiers. However, here's the kicker. Severing Winds comes packed with a torrent like ability that becomes active when your opponent has played (played meaning put into the chase, not resolved) two or more cards this turn. Once this condition is fulfilled, you can play the card for free. Yeah. That's pretty monstrous, and makes the card accessible to any deck, even ones that aren't running wind will. This card throws a huge wrench into early game setups that require playing multiple cards in the same turn like Gwiber beatdown and OTK Pricia formations. This is a card that could show up in any deck so be sure to play your most important card first, and the card you don't mind as much if you lose second, so as to give your opponent the least amount of value out of using this chant card. Likewise, this card will test your abilities to play it well yourself. Do you play it for free the first chance you get to counter something? Or wait for a stronger play from your opponent to cancel it? Blowing the chant to early means you won't have it later when you might really need it, but on the other hand there's no guarantee your opponent will play two cards on the the turn you really want to counter something later on. It's sure to be a tough decision, so train hard and build your intuition!
That's all for today, but Echoes of the New World previews will be posted on every Monday and Thursday at 10PM EST/7PM PST, so check back soon for more new cards! And don't forget to look for Echoes of the New World in stores, June 23rd, 2017!