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What's the Play? #1

Analysis by Jedi_EJ - May 20, 2020

Welcome to What’s the Play. Above you’ll see an image of the current board state, and it’s turn 3 on the draw. Beyond the image, there is a little more information to help our decision making, so I’ll list it below.

The deck is splashing time. It is primarily a Hooru (Justice and Primal cards) deck.
The three splash cards are two Grodov's Favored and one Gravewatch Ancestor.

For today, we have Darth_Herman2, Jedi_EJ, and Johnholio all able to offer a unique perspective on what our plan of action should be.

Darth_Herman2: I would play the Token of Tradition for Justice and use an Edict of Kodosh on the Makkar's Bloodwolf to remove it immediately. There might be an argument for using the curse of Timidity to stop the Makkar's Bloodwolf from attacking, but it doesn’t feel as strong knowing Edict of Kodosh might not cleanly kill an enemy unit played later. I’m not a big fan of using the Token of Tradition for Time because there’s a chance you don’t get to play anything else except the Gravewatch Ancestor if your draws don’t cooperate.

Johnholio: I gotta admit, this is a tough question. I definitely wouldn’t play the Token of Tradition for Primal. Knowing that Time is our splash color, I am really tempted to play the Token of Tradition for Time and play the Gravewatch Ancestor next turn. As a splash, I don’t think there’s many Time sources left in the deck, and we have a better chance of drawing a Justice source to unlock the rest of our hand.

Jedi: In the moment, I actually took the same path you would’ve Darth_Herman2. I played the Token of Tradition for Justice and immediately used the Edict of Kodosh on the Makkar's Bloodwolf. Honestly, this feels like a choice based on preference. There’s an argument to be made that playing the token for Time, or playing for Justice and using curse of Timidity would be good choices as well.


I think both lines of play have a good amount of merit to them. If we dig a little deeper into the match up and the likely deck configuration, I think there’s a more clear path that should be taken. Starting with our current hand, it very likely doesn’t win the game on its own. We can’t play 2-3 cards no matter which influence we pick, and that should make us think about what our likely draws are. Knowing that we have two of our three Time cards, we are very unlikely to draw our last time card, and should assume our next few draws are likely to be Justice cards, Primal cards, Justice influence or Primal influence. Drawing more Primal Influence is bad and drawing more primal cards is good no matter which choice we make, so the only scenarios affected by our decision are whether or not we draw Justice Cards / Sigils in the next few draws.

If we play the Token of Tradition for Time, we can play the Gravewatch Ancestor next turn, and our opponent is very likely to get the mastery on the Makkar's Bloodwolf since the Gravewatch Ancestor doesn’t do a good job of blocking it. There is a good chance we draw a single power to gain access to the Grodov's Favored which does a good job of stopping a Makkar's Bloodwolf. Beyond that, if we don’t draw any Justice Sigils or just draw Justice cards, we likely cannot stop a second creature combined with a removal spell, which are common in limited, and in Fire / Shadow decks especially.

If we play the Token of Tradition for Justice, we can play either Edict of Kodosh or curse of Timidity immediately on the Makkar's Bloodwolf. This will force our opponent to play a second threat to keep the pressure up, and likely a third as well since we have two removal spells in hand (three with Ensnare if they play a flier). We do run the risk of drawing unnecessary Justice sources here, but we also have immediate access to any Justice cards we draw.

Ultimately, I think the correct play is to play the Token of Tradition for Justice. Yes, Grodov's Favored and Gravewatch Ancestor are very powerful cards. However, Gravewatch Ancestor cannot prevent the Makkar's Bloodwolf from gaining its mastery, and Grodov's Favored is one removal spell away from being a 6 cost silence effect if you haven’t developed a good board state. By gaining Justice now and using the Edict of Kodosh to for sure remove Makkar's Bloodwolf, we are making it very likely that the next creature our opponent plays cannot pressure us thanks to curse of Timidity. We are also ensuring the Makkar's Bloodwolf is not going to get out of hand therefore buying ourselves more time to draw out of a tense situation.

What are your thoughts? Would you take the same line, or perhaps a different one? Please let us know in the comments below.

Written by Jimbobway

Jedi_EJ Jedi_EJ+5344


imsobad Eternal Version: 20.06.02
im a little surprised no one came up with a third option to play primal sigil. if we do this we get one more turn of information before we play token next turn for either time or justice. waiting a turn does not prevent us from doing either ancestor or timidity/edict on the following and using our life as a resource could really help us make a better decision on the next turn.
Crylorenzo Eternal Version: 20.06.17
Hey! I didn't read your response here or on discord and that's what I came up with too! Yay!
belerino Eternal Version: 20.05.21
Interesting situation for sure.I think what to do with the token is pretty dependant on what other power sources are in the deck. If we have only one more time source vs multiple and how many justice sources are in the deck.
Also, if we see stonescar influence from the opponent, I think I would prefer to keep the Edict as we are really likely to find something else, more impactful to kill and rather use the timidity if we decide to go with justice right now.
Jedi_EJ Eternal Version: 20.05.21
I like the bigger picture approach you took, considering the over all power map of our deck. If I remember it was some where along the lines of 3-5 time sources and 8-10 justice sources. It is interesting attempting to make such long term plans with so little information on both sides of the board for sure!
PandaBroPound Eternal Version: 20.05.15
Thanks for the read! It reminds me of the puzzles in the main game. Really happy to see the article section getting some love! Keep it up!
Jedi_EJ Eternal Version: 20.05.21
It's my pleasure, I am very happy to hear you enjoyed it so much, I will make sure to keep them coming!
Jedi_EJ Eternal Version: 20.05.15
Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it! There are more on the way.