Hello all and welcome back to my Battle of the Aspects set review with part 3: Equipment. You can find my discussion of the abilities HERE and of the allies HERE.
Here's a reminder of the ranking system and a description of it: (Guide and style stolen shamelessly from Luis Scott Vargas' excellent articles on ChannelFireball.com):
5.0: Card that defines a metagame on release. If your deck can't effectively deal with it, it stops being a deck very quickly. Edwin VanCleef, Broderick Langforth, Tuskarr Kite.
4.0: Format staple. Good in a large number (or all) of the decks in the format. [Seeds of their Demise]. [Magni, the Mountain King]. [Cairne, Earthmother's Chosen].
3.5: Good in multiple archetypes, but not a format staple. [Loriam Argos], [Daedak the Graveborne].
3.0: Archetype staple. [Flame Lance], [Grand Crusader].
2.5: Role-player in some decks, but not a staple. [Darkstalker Soran], [Scimitar of the Sirocco].
2.0: Niche card. Unknown archetype. [Aaron Goodchilde], [Bromor the Shadowblade], [Thadrus of Teldrassil].
1.0 It has seen play once. [Sand Scarab]. Still awesome.
0.0 I'll eat my hat if this wins a tournament. [Gamon]. [Ubel Sternbrow].
[Blackfang Battleweave Tunic]
I'm sure we can find better.
[Blackhorn's Mighty Bulwark]
Actually much better than you might think. I believe this card is actually better than [The Horseman's Horrific Helm] so long as your deck can gain any amount of ATK. In addition, if your deck is going to play two helms, you're better off playing at least some of this as well (unless you're playing two-handed weapons). Expect it to show up in the lists of the craftier players. Preventing 5 is almost as good as infinity and this can do it twice sometimes!
[Cowl of Dying Light]
The light will be dying very shortly if we're forced to play this caliber of card.
[Deep Earth Mantle]
This one is a bit expensive, but the ability is at least reasonable. I doubt it's good enough, but it's food for thought if you find a deck that might fit it. It doesn't make a deck by itself, but if you find a deck that could play it, then it is worth considering.
[Necrotic Boneplate Gauntlets]
Yeah, NOW we're talking. This card does some pretty insane things in the Death Knight control decks. Even something as simple as this + [Blood Parasite] + [Shalug'doom, the Axe of Unmaking] is too much for most aggro decks. You can also add it into plays involving [Withering Decay] to kill their tokens. All kinds of craziness! This card is very playable in those decks. The only problem with it is [Jeishal]. That hasn't stopped them from playing Horseman's Helm, but will it stop this? Unsure.
[Timepiece of the Bronze Flight]
I expect this card to be too expensive to be playable, but armors that double as removal have been playable in the past (see [Cuffs of Devastation]).
[The Dragon Soul]
It combos with Sky Cap'n Swayze! I know (from sales) that this card is quite popular, so I already know people like to play with effects like this.
But is the card good on a competitive level? Cards like this usually aren't, but this one pushes the barriers. It's able to destroy resources, in addition to the normal targets you might want. I expect it might see some niche play, but it may just be too slow.
[Ataraxis, Cudgel of the Warmaster]
I would've thought the Warmaster would've found a better weapon.
[Fangs of the Father]
Wow, that is a lot of text. So let's analyze the card quickly: It's five to play, and two to strike with. It suffers against an opposing Horseman's Helm, but is otherwise quite good. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that if you're able to strike with this weapon, you're very likely to win the game. Its abilities are all extremely powerful. The poison one is less strong than the other two (although fetching two [Contagious Poison] or something is not easy to ignore, but a random two cards or two [Blackout Truncheons] every turn while 4'ing them is quite a thing. I like this card a lot, although it is expensive. I wouldn't be surprised if it found a niche, maybe in Pierre Malherbaud and co's [Joleera] deck?
[Gurthalak, Voice of the Deeps]
A three cost 5/1 weapon is fairly exciting, but having to go on topdecks to achieve that is much less so. [Sorrow's End] and [Scimitar of the Sirocco] both seem much better to me, and this card is really bad if you have cards in your hand.
[Maw of the Dragonlord]
And now something really exciting! I can definitely imagine a very quest-heavy deck that wants to play this card, with [Seeds of their Demise], [Traitors!], and [What's Haunting Witch Hill?] backing it up. Perhaps alongside [Valeera], [Mark of Cenarius], [Leader of the Pack]? Maybe somewhere very different?
Anyway, this card actually provides enough healing that it might be able to help out by preserving your life total in bad spots, without too big of a cost to you. It might show up, and I find it interesting.
[No'Kaled, the Elements of Death]
That's a really expensive weapon! Ten resources before it does anything? If it does hit (and stays in play) it's very powerful. But honestly, how often can you expect it to do that? I doubt that it is often enough to be playing such a clunky card.
It's a cool idea, especially with [The Forgotten], but I think it is too expensive. I'd be happy to have someone prove me wrong as it's a cool little tank engine, but I doubt it.
[Ti'tahk, the Steps of Time]
Expensive, but powerful. Definitely a card you have to build around, but it is impressive with cards like [Whiteout], [Frost Nova], and [Frost Blast]. I don't know if it will show up, but it really might, if there is a deck that can deal with the tempo loss.
[Visage of the Destroyer]
Expensive, temporary removal that heals you. Unlikely to be worthwhile, unless there's a deck that can make equipment very cheap.
[Vishanka, Jaws of the Earth]
Long-range [Edge of Oblivion]? AWESOME. For three more? Awful.
That wraps up this set!
Overall set rating: 2.5
It's a middle of the pack set, not super memorable, but R&D did a great job with the flavor and feel of the cards. The epics are memorable and cool, and [Ambassador Chromie] and the rest of the ensemble really add to the set.
What do you think? Am I on target?
Thanks, as always, for reading.