Hello true believers, it’s me, Stan Lee, here to give you a preview for the soon to be released Twilight of the Dragons. OK, it’s not really Stan Lee, it’s just plain old me, kirkwb. As a consolation for getting your hopes up, I’ll give a no-prize to the first person to post in the forums what a no-prize is.
“Shut up, geek, and show me the card...”
So many zeroes! Just like the paycheck Tim is going to give me for writing this.
[Shalug’doom, the Axe of Unmaking] fits the theme of the set outlined by Ragnarok of, “What Would Deathwing Do? (WWDD)” His influence is felt here as you are asked to destroy any number of abilities, allies and equipment to unleash the unmaking power of Shalug’doom! I think you should have to put an exclamation point after all written occurrences of the word, “Shalug’doom!” Also, when you say it out loud, it should be in a deep booming voice with echo.
Shalug’doom! doom. doom. doom.
That’s all I have to say about the name because I’m too lazy to google it and find out who Shalug’doom! is.
So, how good is [Shalug’doom, the Axe of Unmaking]? Well, first of all, before you play it you get to say to your opponent, “can I axe you a question?” That right there makes it at least a two-of in any deck that can play it. But you don’t come to DMG for fun stuff, you come here to read cutting edge strategy by the top players in the game.
Yeah, I don’t know why I’m writing this either, but I’ll give it a shot. (Next level self-deprecating humor. Smart! ...and bacon strips.)
In Limited play, weapons are king as a permanent ally removal that does double duty by hacking damage into opposing heroes. Even at the top of the card advantage food chain, not all weapons are equal. You have to weigh in the cost of playing the weapon and how soon it can impact the board. [Shalug’doom, the Axe of Unmaking] has a pretty hefty cost to make it effective as ally removal. You need to sack some non-resource cards for it to have any attack. On the plus side, it will always cost zero to play and zero to swing. In Limited you are only going to have at most a couple of cards in play because the format favors a card for card trade driven strategy, grabbing two for ones where you can. Shalug’doom! actually puts you behind a bit asking you to give up precious cards in play for it. It will take a couple swings and some damage on your hero to make up for the card advantage it lost you.
But what about, “WWDD?” The entire set is built around destruction and effects caused by destruction. There are already a couple of prime candidates spoiled that can help overcome the card disadvantage of playing [Shalug’doom, the Axe of Unmaking]. [Favor of Undeath], [Gardos Gravefang], [Zor’dul Deathbinder], [Terrastra] and [Obsidian Drakonid] all have effects that trigger when they are destroyed. If [Obsidian Drakonid] is a harbinger of the what type of effect all the Black Dragonkin will have, then Shalug’doom! may be one of the best enablers of the ebony flight.
I think it’s easy to see that it will be tricky to make Shalug’doom! effective in the early game without some help. But if you can pull it off, it will soon carry its own weight in free swings. It’s also probably easy to say if you can’t open or draft cards that take advantage of the destruction it can still make a pretty decent finisher. Although, if you have a lot of non-resource cards in play to destroy to it, it may just be a win more card. I think it has potential to be a bomb in the upcoming all Twilight of the Dragons pre-release parties as it will have plenty of cards looking to be destroyed. In block draft, it will be more difficult to make it super effective, but even a 1 damage weapon with zero swing can make a difference in draft. Time (and Tim) will tell me if it’s good.
In Constructed formats, you get the advantage of picking all the cards you want to support [Shalug’doom, the Axe of Unmaking]. Obviously you can approach this the same way as we did in Limited by finding cards that have destruction or Death Rattle effects. The card is playable by three classes: Paladin, Warrior and Death Knight. I haven’t been playing with a lot of Paladin and Warrior lately but I have been playing quite a bit of Death Knight since [Scimitar of the Sirocco] came out. Also, Death Knight is already keen to destruction, so I can think of a few nice combos without having to comb card databases. Because I’m lazy like that.
It’s going to be hard to to claim that Shalug’doom! can replace Scimitar in a well tuned deck but there is a precedence. After playing the deck in Orlando some players did voice that playing Scimitar in a deck with [Saurfang, the Younger, Kor’Kron Warlord] felt a little awkward. Now with [Gargoyle] in the mix, two of your best guys already have Ferocity. Scimitar starts to lean more on its Artifact key word than its Ferocity granting power in an aggressive Kor’Kron/Unholy Death Knight build.
We’ve been testing Death Knight and have moved to favor [Edge of Oblivion] when running Gargoyles and Saurfangs. While playing this deck there was just one big finishing move I seemed to miss the most in [Army of the Dead] and Scimitar. There’s nothing like taking advantage of an Army of ghouls with Ferocity, but if Edge fits the overall deck better, a couple of Shalug’dooms! might be worth a couple spots as a complimentary finisher with [Army of the Dead]. Imagine a turn staring down an opposing side of allies with a sad single +1 ATK counter [Edge of Oblivion] in play. Drop an Army and gain ghouls for all the opposing dead followed by [Shalug’doom, the Axe of Unmaking]. Sac the ghouls and the pathetic Edge and you’re back in control, swinging for the kill.
That may or may not be a realistic use in competitive play, but the Axe has a home in quite a few fun decks. I’ll leave it to you guys to come up with the decks, but a few cards I can see building with are [Mark of Undeath], [Unholy Ground], [Vanessa Fairgraves], [Alexi Barov] and all the McGillicutties.
Oh, and the axe works with a certain Alliance Warrior’s flip power from Worldbreaker. That’s worth some style points right there.