Judging new cards without having played them is always a tall task. Some cards can seem absolutely broken, while others seem like they are just lacking some value. But everything changes after the public gets to experiment and play with them. Today, I am going to discuss 5 followers from Call of the Mountain expansion that I believe were underrated during the spoiler season.
Now, you might have realized the full potential of these cards I’m about to mention the first time you read them – and if so, great! This will be an opinion piece on why they have more power than most people gave them credit for initially. It is also important to note I am only including cards that you can put into your main deck, so no tokens like Celestials. With all that being said, let’s dive into the list!
When I first looked at Doombeast, I compared it to the Deadbloom Wanderer and Tasty Faefolk. I looked at this unit as a way of stabilizing your health on turn three while also putting 2 damage on your opponent’s Nexus. That is a 4 health swing overall, which did seem decent. The problem here was this would not stabilize as well as other cards.
But the true power of Doombeast comes from it being an offensive tool. This card is finding a home in a lot of burn decks and serves as a great finishing tool. You are getting 2 Nexus damage and a body for just 3 mana, with the stipulation of having to activate its Nightfall. This is also one of the best targets for Stalking Shadows since you are essentially finding 4 Nexus damage.
Thinking about Doombeast from a pure aggro perspective will let you find the most use out of this card. Originally this looked most decent in a Nightfall deck but is now seeing play outside of this archetype. Noxus/Shadow Isles, Bilge Burn, Mist Wraith decks, and much more are all slotting Doombeast in for some final reach power, and it is working extremely well. We’ve already seen Shadow Isles find a few different aggressive decks and this card will open that avenue for even more decks.
Invoke was a really hot topic during the spoiler season – and for many good reasons. The Celestial cards pool is filled with many powerful options, some that are completely game-changing. On top of this, there are also quite a few cheap Celestials that bring a lot of value. Spacey Sketcher allows you to dip into this pool, at the price of discarding a card from your hand. This isn’t the flashiest card out there, but it really is powerful and helps in multiple ways.
Firstly, it can make your curve insanely consistent. It is very usual that after mulligans at the start of the game, you have a card or two in your hand that you won’t be able to use for quite a few turns. These are typically good options to pitch when you play Spacey Sketcher on turn 1, to save you from missing a drop. There are a few good units in the Celestial pool, especially the Messenger which gives you a card draw and a decent 2/2 body. This in general allows you to run less early drops in Control decks and still have an efficient early game.
Secondly, Spacey Sketcher also gives you a lot of versatility, since some of the spells that Silence or Stun units can be very good in specific situations. In my opinion, the versatility of this card is why it is so great. Unlike most 1 drops in this game, this card still has value in the later turns as well because it will always give you options as long as you can discard a card. Typically late in the game, you have multiple cards that you don’t really need anyway, so the value you still get from Spacey Sketcher here is very lucrative. This card is having a lot of impact in various Targon decks and will continue to do so.
The Infinite Mindsplitter
The late-game drops always seem pretty crazy during spoiler season. I think most people knew Mindsplitter would be really strong, but it got overlooked a little bit in the midst of all the flashy big Celestials being revealed. Those large Celestials did seem insanely strong, but in reality, Mindsplitter is probably one of the most consistent late-game drops in all of Call of the Mountain.
It has a powerful ability that totally locks out two units, which is valuable when you’re either on offense or the defense. This obviously is a stronger effect against when facing two bigger units – a board state that is trivial for midrange or control matchups.
Besides this, Fury on a unit with a large amount of health is a pretty annoying thing to deal with. It might take trading into this a few times to kill it if you don’t have removal on the ready. Even on top of all of that, you also get the Dragon subtype on this for added synergies. There is just a ton of value surrounding this card, and it has a lot of solid lines of play. I think out of all of these cards, this is probably the one that a lot of people rated most correctly, but I think so far the Mindsplitter is even more powerful than people were expecting, and it is overperforming.
The first time I saw Fuzzy Caretaker, I was impressed with how many stats he can pass around. However, in my mind holding him back was that these stats were not permanent buffs, unlike to what a lot of the other support units in this expansion provide. On top of that, the 4 drop slot in these support style decks is crowded. Just looking at the available champions you have – Taric and Shen both are at 4 mana-cost, and depending which way you go you could have even more options in that slot.
But once you actually put Fuzzy Caretaker on the board, and have a few other units still alive, you can see the power. The “Conga Line” style of support decks can be very fun and also very frustrating to try and block against. Fuzzy gives out so much value for both the supported ally and also himself to keep everyone alive. This makes blocking even more of a nightmare when facing this archetype. Don’t take my word for it, if you have not tried out the Fuzzy Caretaker yet, get to it because he brings a lot of value to the table.
Jack, the Winner
Both of the newest Bilgewater cards from Call of the Mountain excite me a ton. Monkey Business is a great tool for Bilgewater burn decks, while Jack, the Winner is also a really strong unit there.
Jack is starting to see play in a few decks, and for good reason. Firstly, he has really strong stats as a 5 drop. 6 health is a lot to get through that early, and he still has 5 power which can really make for annoying trades. His ability is obviously where things get really fun. At the start of each round, you get a free slow spell that can burn your opponent down. When you target your own Keg, it goes up to 3 damage as well, which is a lot of burn! Add this to a region with a lot of Nexus damage as is – and you have some real firepower here.
The last big key factor for Jack, the Winner is that he is a reliable way to deal damage to your opponent’s nexus when on the turns you don’t have the attack token. This helps in finishing games and also leveling up Gangplank. My friends over at the Dongers of Runeterra put out a nice deck utilizing Jack, the Winner, check that out here.
So after all of that, what do you think? Were these cards, in fact, underrated – and what do you think about their power level now? Do you think any of these cards will become staples in the evolving Call of the Mountain meta? On top of that, what cards did I miss that were underrated and are now proving their worth? As always, thank you for reading and for continuing this conversation.