In preparation for the upcoming Gods Unchained Season One set "Trial of the Gods" I chose the 21 cards (3 for each of the six gods, as well as 3 neutral cards) I believe will be among the most impactful cards in the set upon their arrival.
Nether's Advocate - 1 mana 1/1 Anubian creature w/ Afterlife: Summon a 3/2 Experimental Outcome
- Death has many strong cards that require sacrificing a friendly creature (Untold Greed, Daemonic Offering, Living Container) that all pair really well with early game afterlife creatures.
- Most Anubian synergies revolve around afterlife/resurrect effects.
- Zoo decks benefit from cheap, "sticky" creatures as it helps mitigate the effectiveness of board clears, or AoE effects.
Trial of the Underworld - 8 mana spell: Pull a random 5-mana creature from either void to your side of the board. Repeat this for 6, 7, 8, and 9 mana.
- A 9+ mana value finisher available at 8 mana. Once this spell is maximized by bringing back sticky creatures and creatures with an immediate effect or presence on the board, the only possible answer will ironically be another Death Control card, Apocalypse Now! Adding Trial of the Underworld to its tool belt gives Control Death the means to box out nearly every other control deck.
Ataraxia - 4 mana spell: Both players unlock one mana lock for each 3 points of health their god is missing.
- Another mana ramp tool for Control Death, this one offering the highest potential upside yet.
- When paired with cards like Dreaming Sceptre, Ray of Disintegration, and Blackblood Blast, as well as Control Death's overall tendency to be passive in the early game, Ataraxia is capable of ramping 3+ mana locks with ease, allowing access to their assortment of high-impact 7+ mana cards several turns early.
- This is Death's first asymmetrical mana ramp card, potentially allowing them to ramp ahead of their opponents.
Steadfast Scout - 3 mana 1/3 Amazon creature w/ Roar: If you control two or more creatures, give this creature +3/+2.
- This is essentially a 3 mana 4/5, with arguably the most valuable tribal tag in the game right now: Amazon.
- Synergizes well with Nimble Pixie and Pixielock, and its Roar effect is easily enabled by a number of other cards.
- Nimble Pixie + Steadfast Scout + Pack Stalk + Amazon Buff on turn 5.
- Or turn 4 with your bag of tricks^^
- 3 COST 4/5! AMAZON!!
Dionysus, the Bountiful - 9 mana 8/8 creature w/ Roar: Add nine random Nature cards to your hand and set their costs to 1. Deal 6 damage to each enemy character.
- An entire endgame in one card.
- AoE removal, PLUS 6 burst damage to your opponent's god, that is unaffected by Ward.
- A handful of random Nature cards reduced to 1 mana should mitigate the effects of burning one card off the top of your deck. Oh, and it could also very well win you the game!
- If you are able to attack with all 4 durability, summing 4 Black Jaguars over 4 turns is well worth 5 mana on its own. Adding on a cumulative 8 damage over 4 turns makes for some insane value.
- The 2 attack is enough to help clear out smaller minions, allowing for Nature to make better use of its "random" removal spells like Lightning Strike and Canopy Barrage.
- 2 attack can also help bridge the gap on some fairly common interactions for midrange Nature to run into. Ex:
Stolen Plans - 1 mana spell: Target an opponent. Delve a card belonging to that god's domain.
- A bit of an underwhelming choice, I know.. that being said, I was a bit underwhelmed with Deception as a whole.
- Stolen Plans has potential to be a high value card, and it's somewhat flexible in that you can cater your delve choice to your current game situation.
- Deception will have plenty of use for cheap spells that can pop Ward on an opponent's god come Season One.
Fevered Dreams - 3 mana spell: Target creature goes to sleep. Draw a card for each sleeping enemy creature.
- Deception has been a bit lacking in draw engines, and this helps.
- Synergizes with Demogorgon's end-of-turn effect.
Satyr Hypnotist - 2 mana 2/2 Mystic creature w/ At the end of your turn, a random enemy creature goes to sleep.
- An annoying little board presence that pairs nicely with several other Deception cards.
- At only 2 mana, it can come down well before any of the more popular anti-sleep measures can be taken.
- Only downside: does not proc Demogorgon's end-of-turn effect.
Veteran Hoplite - 1 mana 2/6 Olympian creature w/ Roar: Deal 4 damage to this creature.
- A Heal Light staple. At worst, it's a Skeleton Heavy. At best, it's a 1 mana Pyramid Warden with no Frontline, but no downside..
- Did I mention the Olympian tag?
- 1 mana. 8 base stats.
- Allows for things like this to happen.
Bardelys, Parthene Orator - 3 mana 2/3 Olympian creature w/ Ward. Roar: This creature gets +1 strength for each enemy creature and +1 health for each other friendly creature.
- At worst, it's probably a 2/4 or a 3/3 with Ward for 3 mana, which is about fair value.
- At best, it's absolutely nuts.
- On average, it's probably a 3/4 with Ward, plus an increasingly valuable Olympian tag, with lots of upside.
Lysander's Spear - 3 mana 0/3 relic w/ After you play a Light card, add 1 durability to this relic. Ability: Give +2/+2 to a creature, then remove 2 durability from this relic.
- At 3 mana, it can come down alongside a 1 mana Light card as soon as turn 3 (w/ bag) in order to get its durability to 4 and out of Iron-tooth Goblin range.
- Light has access to several excellent frontline/protected/ward (sometimes all three) that would greatly benefit from a +2+2 buff on the turn they're played.
- Heal Light is well positioned to compound the advantage gained by buffing health.
- +2 attack enables value trades from the plethora of 1 and 2 attack creatures at Light's disposal.
Valka, Champion of War - 9 mana 8/8 Viking creature w/ Frontline. Twin strike. Overkill. Roar: Deal damage equal to this creature's strength to each enemy creature. Afterlife: Give +3/+3 to each friendly Viking in your hand, deck, and board.
- 9 mana cards should have an immediate impact and presence on the board. Valka's Roar effect, similar to Dionysus', acts as an AoE removal spell that goes through Ward, although Valka's effect only damages enemy creatures, not your opponent's god. You also leave a massive presence on the board in the form of an 8/8 body with Frontline. That being said, Valka does lack Ward and is therefore susceptible to single-target removal.
- Valka's Afterlife effect may become more relevant if games continue well past 9 mana.
Might Makes Right - 4 mana spell: Give each creature in your hand +2/+2 and leech.
- Too good with Onslaught.. Might Makes Right makes Protected and Twin Strike creatures even better with Onslaught. Too much synergy between handbuffs, blitz, and leech.
Hyrtacus, Brazen Hero - 6 mana 3/6 Olympian creature w/ At the end of your turn, if this creature is in your hand it gains +1 strength. Roar: This creature deals damage equal to its strength to an enemy creature.
- If it sits in your hand for just one turn, it's plus value with a lot of upside, that gets better and better as the game progresses. Theoretically could be held to kill an unprotected Echophon.
- Essentially a guaranteed 2-for-1 with Onslaught.
Form of Unity - 3 mana spell: Deal 2 damage to a character for each friendly creature on the board.
- If executed properly, in coordination with spell boost, Form of Unity offers potential for a sub-7 mana OTK combo.
- Unlocks an entirely new Aggro-Magic archetype centered around achieving wide early-game boards.
Academy Familiar - 1 mana 1/3 Aether creature w/ Whenever you cast a spell that costs 3 or less, give this creature +1 strength until the start of your next turn.
- Synergizes nicely with Magic's arsenal of 1 and 2 mana removal/direct damage spells.
- Strength boost sticks throughout the duration of your opponent's next turn, which may prevent them from making value trades.
- Fills an early game void in the Aether Magic archetype, along with Aether Herald. Previously, the only 1 or 2 mana Aether creature worth running was Trial Spirit.
Archimea, Arithmancer - 5 mana 3/3 creature w/ Ward. After you cast a spell that costs 3 or less, refresh 1 mana.
- It took [tst]Freedan less than a day to discover and execute an OTK combo with Archimea and Avatar of Magic (Watch Here!). How consistent that OTK combo can be once decklists are refined and the S1 meta settles remains to be seen. In the meantime, I can guarantee that if a consistent OTK combo list is found, Archimea will be included.
Helios Illuminator - 7 mana 6/6 Mystic creature w/ Ward. Roar: Draw a card. Give +1/+1 to each other friendly creature, and remove sleep from them.
- A tailor-made Demogorgon counter.
- So well rounded. Large body with Ward is difficult to remove. Draws a card. And the buffs make it useful with creatures on board, whether or not they are affected by sleep.
- Invaluable with creatures on board when they ARE affected by sleep.
Ironclad Minotaur - 6 mana 5/6 creature w/ Protected. Roar: Give ward to your god. Remove sleep from each friendly creature.
- Solid stats with Protected lines up well against other 5/6/7 mana staple creatures.
- One of only a few tools available to give your god Ward.
- Another Demogorgon counter for all creature-heavy midrange/aggro decks.
Satyr Outcast - 1 mana 1/3 Mystic creature w/ Roar: Give ward to your god, and gain 1 favor.
- Along with Ironclad Minotaur, Satyr Outcast is only other Neutral card capable of giving your god Ward. I think that's an incredibly valuable effect, and a 1 mana 1/3 body with a tribal tag is solid on its own.
- Even if this card doesn't see a ton of play throughout the course of its life cycle, I think its existence alone will have an observable effect on shaping the meta, by limiting the potential effectiveness of Death and Magic's burst-damage spells, as well as Deception's hand-thievery spells.
That concludes my Top 21 Most Impact Trial of the Gods cards!
For more Gods Unchained Season One card analysis, be sure to check out the Trial of the Gods Card Rating Event I got to participate in! Myself and several other talented, dedicated Gods Unchained players went through every single card from the new set and graded them using an in-depth ranking system. Check out the full videos and conversations via the links below!