Welcome back to Hex Essentials. In our previous articles we dissected the Blood shard and gave our opinions on the most important cards that is necessary to obtain before Set 3 arrives.
Last week we also had some discussion about combining both Set 1 and Set 2 in the same article. So this time around, we will be discussing Diamond and we will not be splitting it into two separate articles! So let’s jump on in and see what Diamond has to offer!
Although there are not many troops in Diamond that stand out, the ones that do are quite powerful.
Investing into a playset of Living Totem is advisable. Preferred in a control deck, a Living Totem can single handedly win a game on its own by slowly growing into an enormous threat. Late in the game, this becomes easier as all of your excess resources can be poured into it.
Hopeheart Unicorn was one of the first cards of Set 2 that made it to the finals in Season 1 of the FiveShards Blood Cup. Due to the popularity of Blood and all of its removal, Hopeheart Unicorn popped up quite early in the meta. Recently, the card has lost strength, but can easily gain popularity when board removal (such as Extinction) becomes popular again.
Any card which has potential to hand you “free wins” is not something to be ignored. It becomes slightly less exciting in the late game but still offers the ability to top deck one and hold back a countermagic so that you can fight your opponent on both fronts. The feeling of a turn two Angel of Dawn can be enthralling or aggravating. Although it is quite expensive, we recommend that you get these before Armies of Myth goes live. The price of these angels will definitely increase once Set 1 packs are no longer being drafted and Armies seems to be bringing quite a bit of deck manipulation to the table.
Actions / Constants
Diamond has the strongest constants in the game. Not only that, Diamond has decent Actions that both pacify and destroy opposing troops. Prevention is the key word here.
If you are playing or playing against Diamond, expect this card to pop up. This flexible card is quite powerful because both of its transformations are quite strong. Soul Marble is one of the most played cards in the constructed scene and has a strong history of appearing in tournaments. Armies of Myth is looking to be very troop centric and we both agree that Soul Marble should maintain its strong position for quite awhile.
Solitary Exile is the best removal that Diamond currently has. It does things that Murder can’t for the same cost! Sure you might not be able to play it during your opponent’s turn but it can void constants, artifacts, and even invincible troops. When you need a swiss army knife that can tackle most problems this is one of the first cards to consider. Solitary Exile is still popular in both Blood / Diamond and Diamond / Ruby based decks.
These are cards which might have at best seen marginal play in constructed but have some sort of powerful potential that could be unlocked in the future. Keep an eye out for these!
With the introduction to the new Shift keyword, we expect some crazy interactions with Reversion. We can revert a troop that has Shift to give back its ability and apply it to another troop or we can remove the Shifted ability on an opponent’s card. Even still, Reversion is a strong reserves card that we seem to underestimate. Reverting a Soul Marble can be quite detrimental to your opponent and its small resource cost means you can easily catch them off guard Reversion is quite cheap and easy to pick up.
Freeze! Frost Wizard is an interesting reserves card that counters Escalation, troops that survive through death (Xentoth’s Inquisitor) and troop generation in the deck (Ancestor’s Chosen)! Not to mention that it stops Sapphire’s boogeyman, Cerulean Mirror Knight. If you are playing Diamond, we recommend considering Frost Wizard somewhere in the reserves. You won’t regret you did.
Much like Frost Wizard, this card can put your opponent into a very awkward situation. During your own turn you will have free reign to play whatever you like since your cards will not be able to be interrupted. It is entirely possible that this card never sees a whole lot of play but we’re keeping it as a sleeper because it has the potential to shut down entire strategies and that is always something to keep in mind.
Lifedrain, Flight, and Steadfast…oh my! Spearcliff Cloud Knight feels like a powerful card, but has not been popular in constructed. What Spearcliff Cloud Knight is missing is a good 1 or 2 drop that compliments it. Maybe in Set 3 we will finally get that “something” that allows Spearcliff Cloud Knight to shine. Until then, Spearcliff will be warming the benches. We advise getting a playset of this card before Set 3 comes around.
Piecetinker’s Final Say: Diamond has been quite popular in the constructed scene. Any D/X variation (besides Diamond / Wild) are quite frightening to play against. As of yet, I have not seen a Diamond card in Set 3 that stands out. Honestly, the strength of Soul Marble and Angel of Dawn alone could still make Diamond a rough contender in the next set.
Funktion’s Final Say: Diamond has always been able to pack quite a punch. I played it combined with blood throughout most of the Shards of Fate meta, usually in decks which tried to set up a single large threat and take it all the way to victory. Definitely keep a close eye on Reversion, it offers a bit less than most other cards which revert but it is able to do so at such a small resource cost that it may have a place. It definitely feels like Diamond’s power is highly concentrated within a very small number of cards and it will be interesting to see if Armies of Myth shakes that up.