Ace in the Hole: Early Thoughts on Azalea in Limited – Metrix Daily

Ace in the Hole: Early Thoughts on Azalea in Limited

Welcome to another limited set review for Arcane Rising. Today we are looking at Azalea, the new Ranger hero. From the spoilers we have been provided, there are two main avenues to explore with Azalea, firing off multiple arrows using Reload and Go again mechanics and building up a single massive attack using pump effects and her hero ability to give it Dominate. For as brief overview of the hero visit the preview page on the official FAB website (link below)

https://fabtcg.com/articles/silent-grave/

In this article I will be evaluating the currently released Ranger cards and scoring them out of five based on how well I think they will perform in limited, primarily sealed. The ratings are loosely based on the following:

5.0: The best card available to the class.
4.5: A powerful card worth playing the class for.
4.0: A good high rarity card.
3.5: Top-tier rare or common cards.
3.0: Good cards that will almost always be playable.
2.5: Solid cards that rarely get cut.
2.0: Good filler cards.
1.5: Filler cards
1.0: Bad Cards
0.0: Unplayables

First off, an overview of the hero herself

Azalea  

Rating: 3.5

Azalea’s hero power is pretty strong if you can pull it off, giving an arrow Dominate can turn a seemingly innocuous attack into a game winner. Her weapon is just straight up card advantage for one mana which gives you a significant advantage in the early game. It also allows your to set up your turn perfectly by playing a go again card from arsenal then setting an arrow. Personally I think Azalea is one of the strongest o classes released and I expect her to be one of the default picks for many players on pre-release day.

Endless Arrow  

Rating: 4.5

One of the best cards in Ranger, being able to buff this up with pumps then returning it to your hand to setup all over again next turn or even on the same turn if you give it go again makes this something like a super-charged Snatch.

Hamstring Shot

Red:3.5
Yellow: 3.0
Blue: 3.0

A solid arrow attack, causing actions to cost additional resources to play is a good on hit bonus.

Nock the Deathwhistle

Rating: 3.5

While this card is strong, I don’t think it is game breaking in limited. In general I expect it to be better to use your weapon to setup most of your arrow attacks. The best thing about this card is that it blocks and pitches for 3.  

Rapid Fire

Rating: 2.0

The effect on this card is unique but costing a card is a real downside in limited. A powerful card in some pools but in general I expect another pump or attack to make the cut over this card unless you also have Endless Arrow which seems busted with this card. Blocking and pitching for only two is also a downside.

Red in the Ledger

Rating: 5.0

This card is up there as the best card in the set. Note that this prevents your opponent from playing actions not just preventing Go Again . Every class in the set so far uses additional action points in some way and this will more than likely brick your opponents entire turn.

Ridge Rider Shot

 

Red: 3.0
Yellow: 2.5
Blue: 3.5

A very powerful arrow attack, allows you to gain additional value from your weapon and then replace it with your hero ability. The red version even hits for 4 which is a decent rate for 0 resources.

Searing Shot

Red: 3.5
Yellow: 2.5
Blue: 3.0

Being able to hit for 5 from one card for 0 resources is the highest damage rate offered on a single card to date. The Red version is my pick for the best common 

Take Aim

Red: 3.5
Yellow: 2.5
Blue: 2.0

The red version of this card is very good, offering three damage and the ability to play two arrows from your hand in a turn if required. As it only blocks for two, the blue and yellow versions of this card are not great unless you need the reload ability. 

Take Cover

Red: 2.5
Yellow: 1.5
Blue: 2.0

In limited the only upside for setting a defense reaction to prevent dominate is against Ranger. There are no generic dominate effects (that have been released so far) and no punishment mechanic for defending from the hand. No attack reactions exist either meaning that it has limited uses as a reaction card. Unless you really need to block for four, against all classes other than Ranger, any aggressive card is better. 

Three of a Kind

Rating 1.5

A unique effect but hard to take advantage of in limited. Unless you have a high quantity of Go again reload cards in your pool, I would consider dropping this card.

Generics:

The Ranger plays very well with some of the aggressive generic cards released so far like Force Sight, Life for a Life and Ravenous Rabble but by far the strongest interactions are with Plunder Run.

This card seems like it was made for Ranger and can allow you to set up some absolutely busted turns when paired with Reload effects.      

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