Vanilla is boring. No-one likes a generic 5/5 for 5. That's why skills were created, interesting and unique ways to spice up otherwise bland creatures. However, not all skills are created equal. I'm Mary, and in this article, I am going to attempt to rank the skills in Eternal, from best to worst.
: This, as with any ranking, is a matter of opinion. Chances are, you may disagree with some of my choices. However, all this article intends to do is provide some food for thought. With that in mind, onto how I ranked the skills!
How I ranked the Skills!
There are lots of ways to go about doing this, however, I settled on ranking them in a vacuum, as that seemed like the only reasonable way to assess skills, not the cards they are attached to. For example, cards with echo are deliberately made bad, to offset the power of the echo ability. So while a card with echo may be lacklustre, the mechanic itself is incredibly strong. Skills, in their categories, are also ranked alphabetically, rather than sub-divided. Anyway, onto the list!
S TIER Destiny
I was deliberating for a long time over how many skills should go into the "God Tier", but eventually, I settled on Destiny being far and away the only skill of its power. Allow me to justify myself. Destiny is a mechanic that has never actually been on a card itself, only added by other cards, revenge, etc. This is because, should destiny ever be printed on a card, even if that was, say, a 1/1 for eight, every single deck would play 4 copies, as it provides deck thinning, and card advantage. Aegis and Double Damage may be incredible skills, but neither of them make a card an autoinclude in every single deck, regardless of the card itself.
A TIER Aegis
Aegis is, in a word, versatile. Attaching it to a threat makes that threat incredibly difficult to get rid of, as it negates kill spells, board wipes, and unit effects. Trying to get rid of an Aegis unit invariably results in a 2 for 1 on the side of the Aegis owner, and as such, it is hard to try and justify Aegis being any lower than A. The only reason it is not in S tier is that, just giving a unit Aegis will not automatically make every deck play it, whereas Destiny will.
Double Damage, as the name suggests, provides a unit with Double Damage. Any unit that is given this skill normally has quite a low attack value, but as we are ranking these skills in a vacuum, that doesn't apply here.
Echo is inherent card advantage, in a vacuum. In reality, the cards given are sub-par. However, the skill itself is incredibly powerful, as having an extra card over your opponent can swing games.
Lastly in A tier, we have unblockable, a very powerful aggressive skill. Not being able to block a creature puts your opponent on an uninterruptable clock, and presents an immediate threat to deal with. In most cases, unblockable is, in essence, a better flying.
B TIER Berserk
Berserk allows a unit to attack twice on one turn, at the cost of giving it Reckless. This effectively allows a unit to have double damage for a turn, which, while naturally not as good as actual double damage, can make a very good big push for damage, especially when combined with pump effects, as it doubles their effectiveness.
Along our running theme of aggressive keywords is Charge, which allows your unit to attack the turn it comes into play. This is undeniably very strong, as it allows for an extra attack's worth of damage, a boon to any aggro deck. Convincing cases were made to put this into A tier, however, I didn't feel that it quite made the cut, as the battle skills in A tier normally come at the cost of stats to a unit, to counterbalance their own strength.
Deadly allows any unit to trade upwards on the curve, which can provide a tempo advantage. Additionally, opponents will be fearful to attack into a board if you have a deadly creature, meaning the actual use of the effect can stretch beyond the one creature it kills, by preventing attacks.
Flying makes a unit a lot trickier to block, which pushes through a lot more damage. The only reason this skill did not make "A" is because Unblockable is, in most cases, simply better.
Killer allows your unit to function as a removal card once, which can provide easy 2 for 1 trades, generating natural card advantage. However, your opponent does need to have weaker creatures for you to pick off.
Natural card advantage by playing off the top. I cannot overstate this enough, CARD ADVANTAGE WINS GAMES. However, being forced into playing the card that turn to get the advantage limits this to B tier.
C TIER Ambush
Being able to disrupt and surprise an opponent is a valuable ability to have, and redirecting relic weapon attacks is no joke, either. However, unless your opponent is attacking with a smaller creature, Ambush can just end up being played at the end of the opponent's turn anyway.
Exalted allows a unit's stats to persist beyond the grave, and this, on paper, seems excellent! However, this does require another unit to give the weapon to, making it useless in the face of board wipes.
Lifesteal is an excellent tool for fending off the aggro decks in a format, as all their resources are devoted to bringing your life total as low as possible, and lifesteal counteracts that nicely. However, it provides no additional board presence, so unless you're against aggro, the keyword is next-to-useless.
Revenge allows a unit to come back for seconds after a short period. which is a natural 2 for 1. However, the lack of choice in regards to timing, and randomness of where it goes, limit this ability.
Pledge, while it does nothing while on the battlefield, allows your deck to have a far smoother curve, and a greedier powerbase. However, past turn 1, the skill does very little, except for a few cards that name it.
Warcry, the site's namesake, allows units to provide bonuses to attacks, which is incredibly useful at giving aggro decks late-game sustainability, by scaling their threats! However, a lack of control over what unit receives the buff holds this skill back, again, as well as a lack of usability on more expensive creatures.
D TIER Bond
Bond allows you to exhaust a unit that shares a type to cast a unit for cheaper. However, this requires already having units on board, so this ends up with bond being somewhat of a win-more effect, and being restricted to tribal decks holds it back, somewhat. I'm sorry Pokpok, it's not personal.
Permanent damage seems good on paper, however, blocks are normally blocks to kill, so decay only matters when chumpblocking, which is already a losing situation to be in. One good Rolant is not enough to redeem a skill of a lifetime of wickedness, apparently.
Attacking and blocking may seem like a good way to get double-duty from a unit, however, if you can safely attack with your unit and it not die, then blocking is most likely not going to be necessary. Somewhat of a win-more effect.
A keyword that 2 for 1s yourself? No thank you. There are only two remotely viable cards with this skill, being Buh-ton, Death's Reach
, as he utilises his imbue to kill an enemy unit, and Maveloft Huntress
, who does similar, and will most likely die in the process, hence freeing your stunned unit.
Overwhelm, similar to Endurance, is a win-more effect. If you can swing with a big beatstick, and your opponent has to chump it, you're already winning, rendering Overwhelm somewhat moot.
Very situationally useful, but works nicely with pumps, I guess?
Where did E go, I hear you ask? Well, F tier is reserved for the skills that are actually downsides, hence "fails".
Having to attack predictably isn't that great, and this has no upside. Boooooooooooo!
Not being able to revive a unit is less annoying that having to attack every turn, but this is still a downside, albeit a less noticeable one. F tier for you, Voidbound!
And so, that concludes this tier list! If you're interested in more card rankings, please comment your thoughts!