Hey guys! After a short break, here we are. In the fifth review of Trial of the Gods card set and today, we are going to take a look at Deception cards. If you missed previous reviews you can find them here: Neutrals, Light, Death, and Magic.
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."
A 5 mana 0/2 legendary relic that reads: After you play a Deception card, add 1 durability to this relic. Ability: Return an enemy creature to your opponent's hand, then remove 2 durability from this relic.
It kinda looks just like a weaker version of Neferu's relic and for that reason, I can't say I like it too much. Being 5 mana instead of 6 can make a significant difference in how fast the relic can be employed so I can see how it could be playable. Deceptions aggressive part of the playstyle is aligned with this type of effect and if you are able to consistently compensate more than 5 mana loss of tempo it is definitely gonna be worth it to use. There are bad and good targets for this effect, Roar creatures aren't going to be a good one most of the time if they aren't drawback effects of course but Afterlife ones will be juicy to get rid of without destroying them.
One thing I would like to see in the final version of this relic is the ability to target your own creatures so we can try out as many shenanigans as possible with this card and possibly create something interesting with it. I would even want to see this if the relic costs 6 mana in the end.
A 8 mana spell that reads: Deal damage to each creature equal to its strength. For each creature destroyed by this effect, add a random card from your opponent's god to your hand.
A pretty expensive boar clear that can potentially give a huge amount of value. It's hard to assess this one because it heavily depends on the meta and if there are going to be enough creatures with equal or higher strength than health but overall it will definitely going to be tricky to use. For such a high cost it's really bad that it can't go around Protected effects and with Ward being in the mix it will only be even harder. What saves it a bit is that your own creatures will also grant you a new card if they are destroyed with this card. I don't know we gonna have to see with this one how it goes.
Orfeo, Champion of Deception
A 1 mana 1/1 legendary Guild creature with Backline, Deadly and Hidden for 1 turn. After you play a card, if this creature is in your hand it summons onto the board.
A high tempo card, with a narrow use case that mostly involves hyper-aggressive strategies. If drawn in the starting hand it can be really strong and your opponent will easily start losing the control of the board in the early game. It might be a bit weaker versus Magic, especially if they use the god power Blastwave. Other weaknesses are creatures that do chip damage to fight for the board like Athenian Archer or Wicke Fae but the Hidden at least buys you a turn before that can happen and for 0 mana that is a pretty strong effect. Now, obviously this costs you a card and you will be in the top decking mode faster than usual but new Guild synergies like we saw in the Neutral set with Frumentarri Instigator can mitigate these problems. Nevertheless a pretty strong card but pretty much tied to only one archetype, unfortunately.
Black Diamond Dagger
A 3 mana 0/3 relic that with the Ability: Target creature goes to sleep. Remove 1 durability from this relic.
I like this one for a couple of reasons. It is a cheap relic which is good if it gets removed immediately you didn't pay too much for it. Sleep effects are really strong when used right, and finally, we could be at the point where there are enough sleep effects in the game and this could be a nice activator for almost never used Darkdream Hex. It also goes well with Demogorgon, like that card needed any extra help. The good mix of the cost and the type of the effect this card has makes it usable in slower and faster decks, achieving tempo advantages more easily or just stalling until you are ready to clear the board. This card isn't anything special but it has a great chance of seeing a lot of play due to its versatility.
Blessing of Deception
A 3 mana spell that reads: Your creatures without hidden gain “Hidden for 1 turn.” Gain 4 favor.
This card could be quite strong... I think. Given that Deception has creatures that generate value when they hit face or at the start of each turn, enabling those to survive an extra turn can be quite valuable. Even without that, hiding your whole board is something we will see experimented with, in aggro for sure as it can create two-turn win conditions easily. 4 favors gained might not be a reason for running this card at all, but it's a nice bonus. Thankfully, Deception doesn't have access to many Ward creatures because this would make hidden effects like these significantly stronger.
Concoction of the Panther
A 5 mana spell that reads: Pick one: Add a copy of an enemy creature to your hand then reduce its cost by 3, or pull an enemy creature into their hand and increase its cost by 2.
Another strong one indeed and versatile also. Copying an opponent's creature is going to be pretty situational and it will solely depend on the moment if its worth it. The other effect is the one I like the most. Returning the creature and making it cost 2 more mana is amazing, not versus aggro of course. Not only does the creature becomes harder to play again it can also become impossible. If you target creatures that cost 8 or 9 and when they return to hand they are now 10/11 mana so you basically destroyed them. If used on creatures that cost 4 you can delay them for 3 turns to be played or if you target a 7 mana creature, you basically delayed it for 7 turns! This is a costly spell but its flexibility might be worth enough that we see this card played, not a bad one for sure.
Concoction of the Snake
A 6 mana spell that reads: Target a god, each of their creatures get +3/-3.
Here we have an interesting hybrid, finisher/board clear card. For 6 mana we can say that it can be like a deal 3 damage to all enemy creatures but surviving ones get buffed, or we can use this for an extra reach on our healthier creatures. It is another very flexible card that if used right can be really powerful. Since you can't buff any creatures, specifically the small ones, this card won't see play in aggro but it will be perfect for more Midrange or even Control type of decks. Even though the card itself is flexible it has a bit of a requirement in terms of deckbuilding choices you should consider so I'm not sure how much playtime it will get.
A 4 mana 2/3 Nether creature with Roar: Destroy all sleeping creatures.
We are getting even more support for sleep effects and this one looks like it will use it the most. On its own, it's pretty bad obviously, only 2/3 body for 4 mana is horrible but there are some combos to consider. The easiest one to pull of would be with Spellbound for only 1 extra mana you can now destroy two creatures and this can also be further comboed with Black Diamond Dagger we covered earlier. A whole board wipe for full 9 mana with Exorcise is also possible, the only problem would be creatures with Ward but still not bad. There are also other ways to use this and with further support, this card will be amazing.
A 2 mana 1/3 Nether creature with Hidden, Flank, and reads: When this attacks a god, steal 3 of their favor. (In addition to the favor gained.)
With a fairly weak body, it won't be of much use to fight for board control. Similarly to Vault Vagabond, it can give you card advantage. In this case, it is through stealing Favor from your opponent so you can deny them cards in the Sanctum or effects that trigger on certain Favor amount owned. It doesn't make sense to run this card in aggressive decks and it does compete with already mentioned Vagabond so this will be more dependant on the player's preference rather than its power, or perhaps because of its Nether tribe tag.
Eris, Goddess of Chaos
A 9 mana 7/7 legendary creature with Hidden and Deadly that reads: When this creature attacks a god, obliterate the top 10 cards in your opponent's deck.
A pretty unique win condition card. 7/7 is a crappy body for that mana but hitting face only once will most of the time do the trick. Other than versus control Death decks this will be hard to get rid of so it will most certainly be competitive enough on its own in slower Deception decks. Even if your opponent has something like Amplureal, Sentient Shard they will be on the clock with limited resources to keep up and finish you up. This is going to be a solid option for a win condition card.
Figure in the Crowd
A 4 mana 3/3 creature with Roar: Draw a card then swap a random card from your hand with a random card in your opponent's hand.
I'm not sure I understand what this card is actually for. Considering it is so random I would label this as a meme card. If anyone has some ideas I'd love to hear them. Not to mention its body is weak so that won't be a reason to play it.
A 2 mana 2/3 Guild creature that reads: After this creature attacks a god, shuffle a random card in their hand into their deck. Then they draw a card.
This effect is kinda silly. You can't be sure if this card is helping you or your opponent, on average the effect isn't doing much unless you are lucky. The body is okay and the only reason someone would include this card in any deck is the Guild tag. Since this tag is getting so much support that could be good enough of a reason by itself. There is one, weird synergy I should say, and it is coming up a little bit later in the review.
A 2 mana 2/3 Nether creature that reads: At the start of your turn, sleep a random enemy creature.
Okay, now this one is really strong. Especially if you already have board control, your opponent won't stand a chance if they don't have removal for this creature. Being a 2/3 it has a decent chance to fight for early board control and because of its effect, it will make trading even easier to go in your favor. Goes well with earlier mentioned Corrupt Infilitrator and another potential activator for Darkdream Hex. Because it's a 2-drop it will be able to fit in many decks and just for that, it will see a lot of play.
A 1 mana spell that reads: Look at target opponent's hand. Shuffle one of their cards into their deck. Both players draw a card.
For those that are hating on Cutthroat Insight, this will upset you even more as this one is just insane. Just looking at your opponent's hand is enough to give you plenty of foresight to develop a plan for the next couple of turns. Getting rid of one problematic card they currently hold is so tasty. On top of that this card recycles itself so you don't even spend a card for all of this and all that for just 1 mana. If this card stays in this version, which I doubt it will. We will most certainly see this card in every Deception deck there is, Aggro, Midrange, Control, whatnot, it is just that damn good. It can be blocked with Ward effect on the god but still doesn't make much difference.
A 2 mana spell that reads: For each sleeping enemy creature you draw a card.
This is kinda meh. The problem is that you already need to play another card just to activate this one so sleeping only two creatures and then drawing two cards won't be much better than having 2 cards that you can do something more with in the first place. Maybe it will find its place in the Sleep deck archetype but it just feels so clunky to use. Guess we'll have to see with this one, my hope isn't too high for this one.
A 6 mana 7/3 Guild creature with Roar: If you control another Guild creature, add a copy of two random cards from your opponent’s deck to your hand.
Guild tribe is pretty aggressive so this type of body isn't too bad if you are consistently having a firm grip on the board. So combined with its Roar it further helps this archetype to generate resources for continuous pressure. 3 health might be too low since it can get removed with almost every single removal spell in the game and getting two cards from your opponent's deck might as helpful as drawing two cards but still, it could be good enough to fill up the higher end of the curve for these Guild-based decks.
Shadow of Lethenon
A 1 mana 1/1 Nether creature that reads: At the end of your turn this creature gains hidden. At the start of your turn this creature deals 1 damage to your opponents god.
I already hate this card. It will be 100% annoying to play against this card when you won't be able to draw cards that can clear hidden creatures and that is a bit too much power for just a 1-drop. I can see this easily deal 6+ damage to face to almost anyone, except Magic with Blastwave. Just imagine going all-in into buffing this card just to enable it to stay alive and possibly even buffed out of range of a board clear that your opponent can't even use yet. This card is obviously a good card for Aggro and there is not much else to it.
Silenus, Corrupt Drunk
A 4 mana 3/1 legendary creature with Roar: Give all friendly creatures "Whenever this creature damages your opponent, copy the top card of your opponent's deck and add it to your hand."
This effect is a bit funny as you could potentially give this to a bunch of creatures and then hit your opponent like 5 times and get the same card on top of your opponent's deck 5 times. Now depending on the top card, this effect could be insanely powerful or just, good. 3/1 body should be only considered as a bonus on this card and in that case, it isn't that bad. This is maybe one use case I can find for Guild Siren as you can change your opponent's top card if you don't like the one you are getting but this is all considering you have like 3-4 creatures that you can attack with after you gave them this effect.
In any case, if your opponent's top card doesn't suck too much and you can get a couple of them this is gonna be a good option to have for resource generation for aggressive decks.
A 1 mana spell that reads: Delve a card from target opponent's god.
A solid card for a flex spot in the deck. Spending one mana to get something more fitting in any particular match-up isn't that high of a price to pay. It is a random card but does give you options and sometimes strong god specific cards with broken interactions that you wouldn't otherwise be able to put into your deck. There is only one problem and that is that it can be negated by Ward effects on the god, but then again, it can be used as a cheap removal for Ward instead.
Trial of the Shadows
A 7 mana spell that reads: Fill your side of the board with Shadow of Lethenons.
Now even though I hate this creature. The spell is absolutely fair and maybe weak even. The strength of these 1/1s is coming early on the board as soon as turn one. But in this version, playable only after 7 mana it becomes so easy to get rid of. It is a spell that needs to be timed correctly, like just after your opponent used a board clear. And if they don't have a quick answer, they will lose only in 2-3 turns against this. Okayish card, not sure where you would use it. It looks like a Midrange/Control card but it will be heavily contested for the spot on the decklist.
This is it for today's review. Deception is getting a lot of aggressively stated Guild cards and also quite a number of tricky cards for the Control archetypes. Sleep mechanic is getting a lot of support so this might spark some new things in Deception also. There is also Ludia's Deception which might be a newly hated card or even Shadow of Lethenon that I already hate myself. Deception as it is, high skill cap with a dash of annoyance. If you have any questions or want to discuss some cards in more detail please leave a comment below.
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Thank you for reading!