“The stalemate is broken and war is coming.”
These words on the main HexTCG announcement for Herofall are a tiny taste of the overall story that yearns to be told by the set. Now that the Ardent and Underworld races have been set out for us in the first four sets of Hex, we get to see them really explode in to action as the conflict begins to rise in Herofall!
And what better way to do that than with this crafty necrotic mage: the Matriarch of Flames! Everything about this card just teems with power, from the explosive flames that leap out from the background, to the halo of ruby Hexing gems that surround her!
Practically, this card is a bomb in pretty much every sense of the word. A 3/3 for three resources and a single ruby threshold is a pretty solid troop on it’s own… tack on speed, and you’re talking about an amazing aggressive card. Staple together two other relevant abilities, and you’ve got something beyond that.
The first ability the Matriarch brings to the table is pretty simple: every time you gain a ruby threshold, she gains a permanent buff of 1/1. On it’s own, this means every ruby shard in your deck becomes a weapon to turn her into something more ferocious than before. Also, with her natural gift of speed, this means that you can drop her onto the board, play your resource for the turn, and be swinging in with a 4/4 to devastate your opponent. Fierce!
Secondly, the Matriarch has a passive ability: so long as you have five ruby threshold already, she will create a Burn to the Ground every time she attacks! Card advantage is powerful on it’s own, never mind when you’re getting it in addition to an insanely powerful troop to boot… granted, you have to be able to have five ruby threshold, which might seem difficult, but thankfully we already have some help from two cards from sets before Herofall to paint our board ruby.
Crimson Clarity has often been left outside of decks due to it’s relatively tame effect compared to similar effects in other TCG’s. But paired up with the Matriarch, you get a bunch of utility that you otherwise might not be able to siphon out of the Clarity! First, you could possibly drop down your Matriarch on turn 2 with a Clarity in hand. Second, you could use the quick ability of Crimson Clarity as a combat trick, sneaking an additional +1/+1 onto your Matriarch during combat. Nevermind that you’re pushing your way closer and closer to the five required threshold to trigger the Matriarch’s ‘ultimate’ ability, allowing you to start gaining Burn to the Grounds even quicker than before!
Okay, so this one is a little bit odd. Obviously it starts off as Savvas’ Evocation, and has to randomly turn into the Brilliance at the start of one of your turns… but when it does, you get a hot piece of removal that can clear the way for your Matriarch or Matriarchs (they’re not unique after all!) and gains you TWO of those precious ruby thresholds. Sadly, it remains basic like the rest of the Savvas’ trio, but it still has a lot more use in a deck with Matriarch than it’s had with any of the previous sets!
There’s additionally a slew of other cards that generate a ruby threshold, but aren’t necessarily as effective as the ones mentioned above. Things like Ruby Infusion Device, Hex Geode, and Royal Herald. These are all ruby generating cards, but they seem to fit closer to a deck running multiple thresholds; which isn’t exactly what you’re looking for if you’re running the Matriarch, who is super powerful in a mono-ruby style aggro deck!
A few cards we have already benefit from having multiple ruby threshold, but at least one card stands out as heavily benefiting from being in a deck that’s trying to quickly ramp up it’s threshold as opposed to it’s resources!
As the name implies, this is a direct damage action that bases its power off the number or ruby threshold you own! You’re going to want to clear the way for your Matriarch, you’re going to be generating threshold in spades. This card has never looked as good as it does in a Matriarch deck!
Personally, I’m really excited to see where Herofall goes now that I’ve seen this spoiler! This legend is a limited BOMB, and a constructed playable card that inspires an archetype all of it’s own! Perhaps this is a sign that high threshold cards are going to be more important in the set, or maybe it’s just a gentle nudge to the power curve… Either way, stay tuned as we keep our eyes out for all of the Herofall spoilers that will be showing up in the coming days!