Hello guys! Today is the last review of Trial of the Gods expansion set and of course, that means it is time to take a look at War and his champion, Valka. For those that missed earlier reviews, you can see them here: Neutrals, Light, Death, Magic, Deception, and Nature.
All of this data is subject to change before and after the release of Trial of the Gods.
Many card names are placeholders. Many cards do not have tribes assigned, but will prior to release.
Rarity of cards are not final. Some of these cards may be deleted. We may add cards prior to release."
Some cards in the War set are showing the Viking tribe but it was confirmed that we are getting a new tribe called Valknir so keep that in mind while scrolling through the list. Cards that are confirmed to have this tribe instead of Viking are Valka, Champion of War, Burrialist Helot (renamed to Bladesworn Warrior), and Berzerker Helot which isn't on the original list but we will take a look at it at the end of the review.
Valka, Champion of War
A 9 mana 8/8 legendary Viking creature with Frontline. Twin strike. Overkill. Roar: Deal X damage to all enemy creatures where X is equal to this creature's strength. Afterlife: Give all friendly Valknir in your hand, deck, and board +3/+3.
Easily the most powerful champion, and the most expensive one of course. It pretty much does something you would expect from a 9 mana card and I guess a bit more. 8/8 body with these keywords isn't too impressive but you should really look at it as a bonus. The main thing is a massive board clear with a buff to all future Valknirs played later. Such an amazing value-packed in one card with so much potential for a tempo swing.
A 6 mana 0/1 legendary relic that reads: After you play a War card, add 1 durability to this relic. Ability: Deal 4 damage to all creatures, then remove 3 durability from this relic.
Now we are back to the same problem with many of these legendary relics. Since it seems that the meta will be full of relics it is only reasonable to expect most players will run relic removal. Spending 6 mana for this card will most of the time cost you the whole turn which means that its durability will stay a 1 so it can get removed with even the weakest relic removal cards.
But let's ignore that now and see what decks will use this. The damage is done to all creatures meaning that developing your own board will be harder as well, so decks with larger creatures and/or more spells will favor this one. Onslaught decks come to mind as most of the time these decks don't have any problems versus decks that play one creature at a time but rather with those that go wide on the board. This card patches this problem a bit, so using its effect only once can be of a lot of help. It's not the worst card but it will be hard to include it in the more refined decklists out there.
A 5 mana spell that reads: Remove protected, hidden, sleep and backline from each creature, then deal 1 damage to each creature.
Hmm, very interesting one right there. On the surface, it feels like it does so little for 5 mana but it has a lot of implications in various situations so its power comes from versatility rather than the impact, if that makes sense. Removal of protected can help to set up clear with an Axe, if hidden ever becomes a problem... it's not anymore. Removing sleep from all of your creatures can setup lethal or just be used to counter stuff like Demogorgon, removing Backline is self-explanatory. And just for a finish, that 1 damage to all creatures can help versus Aggro or just activate cards like Tyr, the Just or Tamed Mammoth.
Even though this card can do a lot, that doesn't guarantee that it will be needed or that it will fit any competitive decklist. It may be obvious but I gotta mention that it will greatly depend on the meta if this is something you will include in the deck or not.
A 8 mana 1/1 legendary Viking creature with Roar: Summon five copies of this creature.
Oh boy, this one is gonna be wild! Of course, as an 8 mana 5/5 worth of stats, it's not gonna cut it but since it summons copies of itself the main focus is to try and buff it in your hand. And we know that War already has some tools available to do that, with this expansion it is going to have even more. Let's just say that it will be pretty easy to give this particular card at least +4/+4 buffs with only a couple of cards so we are not looking at 8 mana five 5/5s on the board or 25/25 worth of stats. I don't think I have to go further into explaining why this is incredible.
Blessing of War
A 4 mana spell that reads: For each War creature in any void, you gain 2 favor and your opponent loses 2 favor.
This one is also incredible, to say the least. I called for possible Divine Messanger deck in almost every card review but this time I mean it. If they don't nerf this that is. Just imagine, how hard is it to play around 10 War cards during the game before playing this card? Not that hard, isn't it? This means that you can get around 20 favor when you use this card, while simultaneously you remove that amount from your opponent. This can't be fair. Other than Pallas' Incantation there are not real counter for this card so it is kinda broken. I won't be surprised if they make it so that it is 1 per card or they just remove the part where your opponent loses favor.
A 4 mana 4/3 creature with Roar: If you have a relic equipped, give this creature godblitz
Nice support for Slayer decks. It's going to help those decks to finish up the game a bit easier or just fight for the board in an efficient manner. There is also potential to hold onto it while buffing it in hand for more finish burst but that doesn't seem to be the main purpose for this card. War is also getting more cheap relics and already has some, plus one in the form of Leviathan Hunter, so maybe even Vikings will have a bit more chance to compete in the meta this time around. This is a solid card for sure.
By the way, this is the first creature with godblitz in the game and I gotta say I really like this decision from the design team it can be frustrating to play against this type of cards that you don't have time to react to. So in small numbers and having a requirement like this one is a nice way of introducing them into the game.
Euryleonis, Spartan Charioteer
A 3 mana 3/3 legendary creature that reads: At the end of your turn, give a random creature in your hand +X attack where X is equal to the number of creatures in your hand.
Kinda meh. Not the worst but for a legendary, its power doesn't seem too impressive. Buffing only strength on creatures rarely gives extra value, it is better suited for Aggro (in most cases) so looking at its body, 3/3 isn't so bad because some other creature will get 1 or more extra strength. Other than that, I don't think we'll see this card used much elsewhere because there will be better options to choose from.
Figure in the Mountains
A 4 mana 2/1 creature with Roar: Summon a copy of this creature.
Much like Berzerk Helot and maybe even better, solely because it can come into play much earlier before some serious board clears are available to be played. To make this card worth it, won't be a hard task if your deck is equipped with all of the support cards for this new archetype of buffing creatures in hand. Even though it costs 4 mana I wouldn't consider this a 4-drop because it will rarely be played on turn 4 unless you can force early buffs on it first. I wonder if cards like these will be a good enough reason to start playing War with Intense Training god power. Even though it is synergistic I'm not so sure this will be the case. We'll have to see.
A 3 mana 3/3 Viking creature with Twin strike and Leech
Most Twin strike creatures are perfect for Onslaught decks, this one is also. It is maybe a bit weaker overall than Trojan Blademage but it will be much better versus aggressive decks if sustain becomes an issue for Onslaught to hold consistently. It will be tricky to implement them without sacrificing some power versus a more value-oriented deck but now we are in the area where we need to see how meta develops to reach any further conclusions.
A 2 mana 1/2 relic with Godblitz. Roar: Give a random creature in your hand +1/+1.
Kinda meh, but it is a cheap relic that might be important for some decks that include Burrialist Helot and the buff needs to find a decent target to matter enough, on something like Figure in the Mountains or a higher health creature since you are paying this weak relic 2 mana or you lose tempo for such a minor upside. Still, it is possible it will find its place in an aggressive decklists.
A 1 mana 2/1 relic with Godblitz.
On its own not that good, but again, a cheap relic that can be used to compliment aggression. Being only 1 mana it can easily fit in any turn for a surprise burst in combination with Burrialists and Sharpen/Whetstone. Yeah, Krypteian Gladius can be used in a similar way, but 1 mana can make really a huge difference for these combos. Including all of the available cheap relics could potentially create an opportunity to make Slayer-like decks with other god powers, like Enrage for example.
Maynard, Tool of War
A 6 mana 3/6 legendary creature that reads: At the end of your turn, if this creature is in your hand it gains strength +1. Roar: This creature deals damage equal to its strength to an enemy creature.
Damn, this card is strong! If we only take a look at this card's power on the first turn its drawn. It is a 3/6 for 6 mana, kinda meh but it also does 3 damage to a targeted creature and we can see that it is more or less the same as Frost Giant Deadshot, which isn't the best card indeed although it can be useful. But already on the next turn, it is considerably stronger than that, and so on with infinite potential. Because of this potential, we are most certainly gonna see it used across Onslaught decks that can hold on cards for a longer period of time and judging from the new archetype forming it could even get an accelerated growth and become even stronger.
Might Makes Right
A 4 mana spell that reads: Give each creature in your hand +2/+2 and leech.
Another pretty nice card, and even in the case versus Aggro deck I would call it a showstopper. Especially in the Onslaught decks where every creature will be able to attack on the same turn they are played and give you some health back and basically you can't lose versus aggressive decks that don't focus on board control but rather on rushing the face damage. Other than that, it is one of the stronger additions to decks that will include cards like Berserk Heliot and Figure in the Mountains.
Power is Knowledge
A 8 mana spell that reads: Add four random War creatures to your hand then give them +2/+2.
Definitely a card packed with value but as we saw already in the earlier reviews that other classes, Nature and Death, for example, are getting much more value-oriented cards, this on its own doesn't make much sense. Sure, this card in a vacuum is pretty good but considering how the meta will shape, War decks won't be focus on acquiring value the whole game but creating pressure so that other value decks don't have time to utilize too many resources. Of course, this is just a prediction but it looks like we won't see too much of this card, at least not in the meta during this expansion.
A 3 mana spell that reads: Set the strength of each friendly creature to X, where X is your relic's strength. If you don't have a relic equipped, draw a card.
Mostly meh, because with all other ways to buff your hand this one seems the weakest. Most relics that are used have around 4 strength so this will be something you can count on seeing most of the time from this card so it looks like it will only go well with really small creatures or more precisely with Aggro/Slayer decks. Now, if you use this in those decks you might consider combing it with something like Whetstone to get even more out of this card. But now we are getting to a new problem. Since you are playing Aggro, you won't expect to have more than 3-4 cards in your hand at any moment in the game and since you need this card and one extra card to combo with, it means that you will at most buff two creatures. It just seems like it is too much work required to utilize something like this so why even bother trying if there are more consistent way aggressive decks create the pressure. Probably the only reason one would run this card is because of its "failsafe" that allows you to cycle the card if you don't have a relic equipped.
A 6 mana 1/1 Olympian creature with Roar: Summon 2 copies of this creature. Afterlife: Deal damage equal to this creature's strength, split randomly among all enemy creatures.
This is, umm... wow! I am now really strongly convinced that we might be seeing Intense Training in use more than ever. This card has almost exactly the same potential as Figure in the Mountains but for 2 more mana. Although on top of that it has that nasty Afterlife that will prevent your opponent from developing their board. It is also a 2 in 1 Olympian card which has its other advantages inside the tribe synergies which is only a bonus to this crazy strong card. When combined with Might Makes Right, it gives insane value and sustain as if anything more was needed.
A 4 mana 0/3 relic that reads: After a friendly creature attacks, give your friendly creature with the lowest strength +1/+1. At the end of the turn, remove 1 durability.
It's an interesting relic for sure. Obviously, to trigger its effect as much as possible you will need a wide board, so aggressive decks will be employing this one into their strategy. To make something like this worth it, it will be enough to trigger its effect around 4 times. This sounds easy enough but actually it does more that it looks like. Since it will always buff the weakest creature you have on the board. It will be easy to manipulate where the buffs will go, and if you have a full board of 1/1s that are weak to many soft board wipes, you can easily make all of the 2/2s to protect them. With careful use and planning, this card can be insanely strong but the usage of it kinda limits the deckbuilding flexibility so I don't think we will see it all that much unless Zoo style of War deck appears in the meta.
Trial of the Innocents
A 7 mana spell that reads: At the end of your turn, double each friendly creature's strength and give them "Afterlife: Deal damage equal to this creature's strength, split randomly among all enemy creatures."
I don't like this one that much. It feels a lot like a win more card but at the same time, you are using your whole turn to play it while it doesn't affect anything on that turn that it is played. But as I said, if you are already winning and you aren't playing versus Control decks that use board clears to regain board control, you pretty much win on the spot. Other than that, this card doesn't do much, especially if you are losing it is just a card that sits in your hand and you are unable to use it. Not impressed, won't be surprised if we don't see it being used at all.
A 1 mana 2/2 Viking creature with Roar: Gain 1 favor.
Even though it isn't confirmed, its name suggests that its tribe will be Valknir instead of Viking and that's kinda sad. It looked like a pretty natural fit in the aggressive curve for the Viking tribe on turn one with pretty average 2/2 stat line with a bonus of 1 favor. With Valknir tribe that, it looks much less impressive and I don't think it will be that useful unless there will be a deck that requires this specific 1-drop for some reason.
A 5 mana 4/4 Viking creature with Twin strike and Roar: If you have a relic equipped, give this creature and your relic +1 attack.
As a 5 mana 4/4 its pretty meh but with an addition of Twin strike it will find its use once buffed or even just used with the Onslaught god power. Roar effect is more or less irrelevant to its overall power but it is a nice addition that can give it additional use cases in different types of decks. It does kinda go well with Raise Helot but I wouldn't count on that too much.
A 3 mana 3/3 Viking creature that reads: After this creature attacks a god, destroy their relic.
Well, this is certainly a worse way to destroy relics as it is much less reliable than just playing a creature that does it with its roar effect. On the other hand, this doesn't have a limit on durability it can remove and simply by playing it on the empty board you can deny your opponent from even playing their relic in the first place unless they are playing the relic to destroy this card of course. Just because there are better options to destroy relics I don't feel like we will see this card too often but if ever for some reason there will be a need for some extra relic hate cards this will be a go-to for War players.
We came to the end of the list so we have one more to take a look at. On the Valka reveal stream, which you can see a shorter version on Immutable youtube channel there is a card similar to Berzerk Helot and kinda looks like a replacement for it even though it is not a legendary creature so it makes it a bit confusing so we won't speculate too much about it and just take a look at it.
A 9 mana 1/1 Valknir creature that reads: At the end of your turn & Roar: Summon a copy of this creature.
As a 9 mana creature, it will definitely spend much more time on average in your hand than other cards, so its effect synergizing with hand buff effects is going pretty well together. Once played on board, you have two of these and when you end the turn you are already on four of them on your board. This is a lot, even if you only buff it to a 5/5. Now if your opponent doesn't manage to get rid of them, the next turn you will only have more of them without actually having to play anything. This is one of the most threatening cards we've seen so far and if your opponent isn' ready for it you pretty much cannot lose. That said, it doesn't have any protective effects on it such as Ward so some decks, mostly Control Death will be pretty "immune" to this one but others will struggle much more. Pretty neat card, definitely gonna see one of those in any late-game oriented War deck that uses at least a few hand buffing effects.
That's it for today's review. This is the last one in this series. In a couple of days, I'll make a little recap to showcase some of the best cards in the new set and some of the new strategies that we might see in the new expansion. I'm not sure when will that be as they haven't given us any information about the release of the expansion and to my knowledge, they changed many cards so I don't want to make more content on this just to redo it later on.
Anyway, what do you guys think we will see the most used in War decks and what type of decks will come up? Are there going to be more uses for Intense Training or is that just a dream? If you have any questions or want to discuss some cards in more detail please leave a comment below.
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