In case you haven’t noticed, a whole bunch of new cards were added to your collection a few weeks ago: the introduction of the Welcome Set serves as a great starting point for newcomers who no longer have to scrape together their first real deck exclusively from booster decks. In this article, we’ll highlight 27 of the most interesting options available to you to get started.
A Welcoming Environment
Gods Unchained’s new Welcome set does a good job spelling out the rules governing the different keywords, which saves newcomers the trouble of having to look up complex concepts in the middle of their early matches.
Having a small set of playable cards, customizable starter decks and information directly made available on the cards themselves goes a long way.
Harnessing the Power
Let’s begin with the creatures available to all as they are the ones you’ll see most often in the starting environment, including the Sanctum. Even though most of these cards may seem tame in comparison with your usual Mythic-level deckbuilding fare, don’t underestimate their relevance or importance: getting the basics of trading and card evaluation right goes a long way both on the lower rungs of the ladder and in the various different draft-based game modes.
|Does Dockside Prowler ring a bell, for instance? If you squint hard enough, it may remind you of Dryder Sailweaver, a mainstay of aggressive ladder decks (or its doppelganger, Wiccan Warrior).|
Similarly, Wild Hog and Riled Ursine can serve as a low-level replacement of many cards in the midrange-ish Nature archetypes for someone who’s just starting out. Though the “mere vanilla” stats of Hunt Warden may not be spectacular, these are exactly the sort of curve cards which make or break your deck in limited formats (and it has a tribal tag over Dune Cavalry, which is basically a net positive).
Following the same logic, Reckless Flamebreather can serve as reasonable area-of-effect removal in a pinch, and there’s no doubt it will be a popular Sanctum pick in the future.
That being said, if you want to find the real spicy stuff, you better delve into the respective realms of the six gods, for that’s where the true divine power of the Welcome set is to be found…
Death is the god with the highest thematic potential for gameplay lessons revolving around risk versus rewards.
|Soul Bargain doesn’t exactly fit this description though: at worst, it’s a one mana cantrip (basically a re-draw) even without any synergies, which is pretty good for people with small collections. Otherwise, it can help with void manipulation for decks revolving around re-summoning specific cards.|
Feast on the Dead can work wonderfully with beneficial Afterlife effects. Stygian Collector can be a powerful ally for someone with hyper-aggressive strategies. (Pro tip: if you have no cards in hand, the Afterlife effect does nothing! Even more pro tip: this card doesn’t work well together with Feast on the Dead.)
Last but certainly not least, Rebuild Differently may not be efficient removal at 7 mana, but it’s certainly a viable option for slower decks if you’re just starting out.
Next up, it’s Deception, perhaps the trickiest domain to master for newcomers with its focus on trickery and tempo. At first glance, the disruption potential of Glider Assailant and Ransom stand out, with Wiznapper also a potentially monstrous clincher in the late-game. The faster you go early on, the more valuable these effects become later in the game!
Moving on to Light, Pluck from Fate can be a nice source of additional resources in a long and grindy matchup while Radiant Spirit can be a decent option for budget Heal-based builds of the midrange variety.
Also keep an eye out for Peacebringer, for it may very well bring out the opposite of peaceful feelings from you if it hits a suitably juicy board on your side!
For my money, Magic has the nastiest Welcome set cards available to it – and as a card game player, nasty is an unquestionably positive adjective in my book. Illuminate works as a great budget alternative to Magic Carpet (or Ancient Texts), Third Eye Seer is a vanilla minion with a positive effect, while Versatile Conjuration is just as incredibly flexible as its name implies.
It might be overselling Rune Writer as a budget alternative to Runestorm but it’s certainly a pretty decent starter card in its own right.
|When it comes to Nature, both a token-based and a midrange-ish setup have received strong support in the Welcome set. Best Friends and Wildroot Staff address the former – both more than enough to leverage early wide boards. However they would still require some sort of a finisher.|
In terms of mid-range setup, Escaped Silverback and Charging Oryx can be great companions to the confused-but-overstatted creatures we highlighted in the neutral section.
So what does War bring to the table to round out the discussion? Both Fury and Boil-Blood Outlaw seem like useful cards for a budget aggro deck, and potentially even Ramshackle Hamlet for the very first iterations.
The flexibility of Over-proof Brew can also be pretty valuable in low power level gameplay scenarios.
There you have it, an exhaustive breakdown of the Welcome set’s best and brightest and everything they have to offer on the battlefield.
Even if you’re a Gods Unchained veteran with a large collection, the addition of the Welcome set is a great boon to your overall experience. Card games can be quite challenging to get into, after all: with so many keywords and combat rules and mana systems and turn planning and Sanctum and health total and tribes and gods (the list could go on basically indefinitely), every little bit helps when it comes to streamlining the learning process of a card game.
The Welcome set also opens up tantalizing new possibilities in limited and draft-based formats, as outlined in the announcement blog post, leveling out the playing field and giving opportunities to those who are just starting out to have a better understanding of what’s going on in those game modes as well.
Credit ~ Luci Kelemen