Back in February, I created a mono-Blood deck that revolved around sacrificing shin’hare troops. The deck attempted to make the best use out of Monsuun, Shogun of Winda’jin by sacrificing troops to improve other troops (Shin’Hare Eulogist, Hop’Hiro Samurai, and Wakizashi Ambusher). You can read the article here.
Fast forward four months with Set 3, Armies of Myth hot on its tail, we received a spoiler that makes me want to revive this deck from the grave, and make it even stronger than before! Muahahahaha!
This card is quite powerful and could be that small push to get Monsuun to be in a constructed tier one deck. Other than Monsuun, another card that you definitely want to pair with Devouring Doomspore is Minion of Yazukan (MoY). MoY is an easy target to allow Devouring Doomspore on to the board. Especially since MoY benefits from it being destroyed while on the board.
The faster you can get Devouring Doomspore on the board, the better (especially if Monsuun is still tunneled). Other troops such as Shroomshaw allow us to quickly put more weak bodies on the field that we want to quickly sacrifice. Another consideration is Wretched Brood, and if you are trying to win quick, taking 1 damage a turn means nothing to the amount of pressure you are putting on your opponent.
The only problem I have with this card is that it has trouble getting damage through. If your opponent is playing many troops, they could be able to stall for quite a while. Eventually, they will have an answer for it.
However, if we have some tools in the Blood shard that can allow us to get through, Devouring Doomspore could be quite a frightening abomination.
Now this is a nice card that I get to write about! Devouring Doomspore is a 0 cost 6/6 with Rage X which is quite the bargain. One of the rules of Hex is that you must pay higher resource costs to play your more powerful cards. Any time you have a card that allows you to break the rules of the game you have to take note and see what tricks you can do with it. This is a clear first pick in limited and will be useful for both the alternative cost and sometimes the regular cost. In competitive constructed this is also good, but this is not a card you will play for 8 resources and you have to build around it a bit.
For some perspective on its power level let’s see how this card compares to the Tetzot champion power in the new Azurefate combo deck. The Tetzot ability gives us a 0 cost troop that is random in its size, needs a single Ruby threshold and costs us 6 charges. With a standard 24 shards in deck Tetzot makes an average size of 4/4. With some help the Tetzot ability can be activated as early as turn 4-5 in the new combo deck. Devouring Doomspore by comparison costs us a card in hand, 3 Blood threshold and 3 troops to give us a 6/6 with Rage X. Doomspore is better than the average Rock Elemental so the trick then is to find a way to put these together by turn 4-5 or earlier to make this work.
Of course one of the downsides people will note is this card is very bad against targeted removal. Fortunately this card is in Blood so we can play Inquisition or Withering Touch to see if the coast is clear before we put this in play. In addition we can play Doomspore as a transformational reserve plan to bring in after our opponent has brought in Heat Wave, Noxious Glory, or other similar cards that destroy small troops.
Here are some ideas that interact well with Devouring Doomspore to get you started:
- Shinhare, especially Monsuun or Ritualist of the Spring Litter
- Darkspire troops for sacrifice fodder
- Spiderspawns. I think Xartaxis, Bishop of the Azure Fang is the most constructed playable, but there are multiple other options to generate them.
- Spiderlings. There are a lot of new cards that make these and we’ll have to see what else we get!
- Any inspire troop that wants a large body (Lord Alexander, the Courageous and Azurefate Sorceress with Speed/Damage come to mind).
- Monika’Shin or Bertram to generate bodies to sacrifice
So, on the first glance the card is not really impressive, mostly because of having triple blood threshold on its ability. Numerous combo’s have started swarming in my head, only to crush on a threshold wall. So, this card really wants us to go mono-blood, and that’s why the ancient archetype of Mono-Blood Shin’Hare Suicide comes to mind. Recently, Piecetinker have already brought that archetype in view, switching the focus to buffing the small troops like Eulogist and Hop’Hiro, but I think the Doomspore better fits the older strategy: the Hideous Conversion / Wretched Brood ramp. And the best part, the previews that fit this archetype are not limited to the Doomspore: the Armies of Myth also bring us Noxious Glory and Merciless Culler – they both feel like a good fit for the deck. So, if you were about to build the deck, you would probably start with an engine:
3x Blood Bearer
Add some removal:
And you have 12 slots left for your win cons, for example:
3x Life Siphon
1x Rise Again
Another possible, while less obvious, option, might be building some kind of the reanimator deck, where you wouldn’t care for Doomspore’s threshold and put it back with Rise Again, Rutherford Banks or even Midnight Shepherd/Resurrection—there, Doomspore would take place of plain beater, among slower utility-wincons like Uruunaz and Argus. Speaking of Midnight Shepherd, the 5-color deck already operates at BB threshold and runs a number of threshold fixing cards, so reaching triple blood might not be that hard. In this case, for the sacrifice fodder, the deck will probably run the number of utility troops, that generally would let you stall the game while you are setting up your rainbow: Phoenix Guard Messenger, Shroomshaw, Buccaneer, or even Cerulean Mirror Knights/Lixil themselves when you need that huge body on board ASAP.