As you probably know, the reveal of the Trial of the Gods cards was advanced by the inadvertent release of a preliminary Season One card list, which is now available for all players to see, in the spirit of transparency. On the bright side, this gives us a great opportunity to pick through the bones of that now-infamous spreadsheet to highlight the most exciting cards in the 151 card set.
Keep in mind that everything is subject to change and many card names and rarities are placeholders, and that certain cards may even be deleted (or new ones added) by the time the release rolls around. As an side, we also tried to look beyond the Champions themselves in this article, since it goes without saying that they are some of the most exciting cards in the set already.
Most Neutral cards in the set revolve around the Favor mechanic, so we thought we’d highlight one with the most insane payoff potential.
Divine Messenger, a 7 mana 7/7 creature with a Roar of “If you have 80 favor or more, each creature in your deck gets +5/+5, then lose your favor” is a monstrous late-game boost for your deck if you can make it that far, and the fact that it’s a Rare instead of a Legendary means there’s added consistency to this kind of a strategy.
On the other side of the spectrum, don’t underestimate the unassuming little Parthene Guardian, a 2 mana 1/1 with a Roar that summons a copy of itself with an Afterlife effect which gives all friendly Olympians Protected. A double AoE protection on a wide board coupled with an aggressive gameplan (albeit with tribal restrictions) sounds like the source of incredible tempo potential if you can capitalize on it.
Thananomics is a brilliantly named card with an exciting effect. For 2 mana, you deal ten damage to… your god. As an upside, you refresh a whopping 7 mana on the backswing. Any time you can cheat mana in a card game is a terrifying prospect, and this could enable some incredible swing turns with disgusting potential to turn the game on its head at any moment. High risk, high reward, and a guaranteed source of exciting moments.
Excuse me, have you got a moment to talk about our lord and savior Corrupt Infiltrator? Of all the cards listed here, it’s probably the one that tops my list as a whole. Roar: Destroy? You have my attention. Roar: Destroy all? Well, now you have my interest. Roar: Destroy all sleeping creatures? Well, now you have a brutal tempo tool available to you.
Any beatdown strategy will now have an extra turn to aggressively wipe and Frontline or otherwise relevant creatures the opponent may summon as they desperately try to stem the tide. Also, have you thought of those magical cuckoo wonderland realities where you cheat it out alongside Demogorgon for a highlight moment?
There’s also Eris, Goddess of Chaos. There are many different potential late-game strategies in a card game, one of which is “let’s make sure our opponent doesn’t have a late-game strategy at all”. In most cases, this involves brutal aggression, but you can be so much more elegant than that. Why damage their God if you can damage your deck? It does take some time to set up the plan, but Eris packs quite a punch.
Not just her 7/7 statline with Hidden and Deadly, but it’s the rest of the card text that makes the Goddess of Chaos such a salivating prospect: when this creature attacks a god, obliterate the top 10 cards in your opponent’s deck. That is an obscene advantage in Control mirrors, and a very flavorful Deception card.
At first, Veteran Hoplite seems like an unassuming creature, doesn’t it? Then you take a second look and consider the possibilities. Turns out, a 2/2 for one mana already crushes the Vanilla Test, and the fact that you can heal it up to six makes it a very sticky and versatile minion without sacrificing any early-game potential. It may not be bombastic, but the numbers suggest it will be really, really good.
There’s also Ecclesiast Order, a spell made interesting by its baffling specificity. For 3 mana, you get to draw a card for each creature you control with strength 2. This means you basically get your money back by drawing two cards, but it’s fascinating to see such a scalable reload tool, one which can completely run dry in certain gameplay scenarios. Is it powerful enough in the right builds to tilt certain archetypes in its direction? It will certainly be fascinating to watch.
Antemion’s Reflection is a flavorful card with a nasty response potential. A 5 mana 5/5 Aether which essentially copies the keywords of each enemy creature, it serves as a flexible tool in any slower deck. Even a single keyword added makes it worth the 5 mana cost, and copying Blitz or Godblitz can serve as a great response to aggressive strategies.
Meanwhile, more defensive-minded keywords like Ward and Protected make it a decent tool in the value game as well. Of course, its real strength lines in combining multiple keywords across the entirety of your opponent’s warband on the field, and the potential for combos like blitz and twin strike or protected and deadly on a 5/5 body makes this a standout card from what we’ve seen so far.
Meanwhile, Hypnea, Arithmancer is another card where the potential mana cheat makes it stand out in my eye. A five mana 3/3 Legendary certainly needs some help to become viable, and a text of “Ward. After you cast a spell that costs 3 or less, refresh 1 mana” makes it a source of a powerful effect with non-negligible staying power. It basically makes Runes free while on the board, and with many of the set’s other Magic cards revolving around spells which cost three or less, what originally seems like a 5 mana 3/3 can easily be turned into a swing turn with decent bang for your buck.
With most Nature cards revolving around random class card generation, it’s difficult to predict their effectiveness without seeing them in play for an extended period of time. This is especially why I gravitate towards the flexibility of Wandering Amazon, nominally a 1/3 creature for 3 mana, which gains +3/+2 if you control two or more other creatures, immediately becoming a strong tempo option in case fast Nature decks ever take off in the new metagame. If the board state isn’t right, the Amazon gains Frontline instead, allowing for some minor stall while the cavalry arrives.
Such little bonuses when the main condition doesn’t go off are certainly appreciated, and their value can be the difference between a card that never makes an impact in the metagame and one which is treated as a Swiss Army knife. Only time will tell which category will Wandering Amazon fall into, but it’s precisely the sort of card that makes theorycrafting so interesting across a wide variety of archetypes.
Raise Helot seems like an aggro player’s dream come true. Its re-draw potential is certainly nothing more than just a consolation prize, but using this with a high-strength allows you to transform an early-game board into a serious mid-game threat, with even an immediate lethal push behind it under the right circumstances. For only three mana, this seems like a very exciting tool in any War player’s arsenal.
These are the twelve cards which caught my eye scanning through the expansion card list. Which ones made your top twelve as well and which ones would you have added alongside them on your personal hype-o-meter? Let us know and be on the lookout for further discussions about Trial of the Gods going forward!
Written by Luci Kelemen