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Pojo's Dreamblade Mini of the Day

Image from Wizards.com

Whirlwind Dervish
Base Set

Reviewed December 20, 2006

Constructed: 4.35
Sealed: 4

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating


Whirlwind Dervish

Here. We. Go.

Whirlwind Dervish is not only one of the best pieces for Valor, but one of the best pieces in the GAME. No, it may not be up there with Scarab Warcharm, but it's definitely on a par with Dreadmorph Ogre. Teleport is quite possibly one of the best abilities out there, simply because you can get WHEREVER YOU WANT TO GO. Warcharm still needs a bit of set up, but Dervish here can go wherever she feels like, whether it's helping out a few buddies with her 4 power or just claiming an otherwise ignored cell. It's unlikely you'll be using her ability right at the beginning, but with a good roll and some extra spawn points from one or two creatures dying, and she is packed up and ready to move.

Stat wise, she is very solid. 8VV does mean she's gonna be sticking to mainly Valor Bands, but that's ok, really. 4 power is good, could be stronger, but still more than adequate, and 8|9 D&L is nothing to sneeze at. If you really want to play mean, teleport her somewhere nice, then spawn a Steelborn Griffin or Eagle-Feather Warrior next turn to back her up, and suddenly you have 7 or 8 power salvos coming right behind your opponent's front lines. Might not necessarily kill too much, but you will definitely be shunting critters waaay on back, and that means you earn a good 5 conquest points. No matter how you slice it, that's just nice.

As for activating her teleport, 2 spawn points hella beats Unspeakable Freak's cost of 7 for his warpstrike. The only things you could summon with 2 spawn points are Spellbound scissors or Cannibal Pariah, and even then, they will be 3 points if you don't already have some Madness or Fear figs out already. So long you have at least two Valor figs already on the board (rather likely, I would assume) then all you need is 10 spawn points to spawn and teleport this chick wherever you want to go. It's a bit up there, but hardly impossible, and for 10 spawn points in Valor... there ain't much. Inscribed Axebeast is the only thing for that straight cost, though there are a few 8 and 9 costed critters, and since they would take a good deal longer than Whirlwind Dervish to get anywhere... Yeah, she's a must play, really.

Constructed: 4.5/5 If you have her and are even THINKING about playing Valor, then you play Valor and her. No questions asked.
Limited: 4/5 Little bit less because of the spawn investment required, but that does not mean she's really any less good.

Rolf the Ruf

Whirlwind Dervish


Power: 4

Defense: 8

Life: 9

Ability: 2: Teleport

Whirlwind Dervish is a very cool Valor mini that, like the Chrysalis Spinner, does not fit neatly into any category, but its ability is uniquely awesome. But let's start with the basics. For an 8-drop, she has a modest 4-die attack, which is not uncommon for Valor and a solid but not overwhelming 8/9 Defense/Life. Okay, so what this means basically, is that when you spend 8 spawn, you are going to get quality numbers, but among other 8-drops, this one is pretty average. So if this is such a great mini (and it is), what makes it great? Simple -- Teleport. For 2-spawn this agile little minx can transport itself to any cell in the Dreamscape except the two Portal cells. If you think Reinforce is cool, you're gonna love this. Reinforce works only once and it has to land in a cell already occupied by a creature of the required Aspect. With Teleport you can do it over and over and without the limitations of Reinforce. The way this babe can zip around would even make Scotty jealous. Think of the possibilities. With the initiative, she can jump into a contested cell and tip the scales in your favor. Or, if your opponent has taken a scoring cell that your pieces in the field cannot easily contest, she can drop in and deny him/her the conquest. Or, if your opponent has left a portion of the Dreamscape undefended, she can materialize in an empty scoring cell and grab some easy conquest points. Her versatility and unpredicability will be giving your opponent headaches trying to cover all of her options. Another nice thing about the Dervish's Teleport ability is that it is a spawn ability. Not only does this mean she can do it every turn without having to rely on blades to make it work, but spawn abilities in general provide you with a great alternative to use up extra spawn points and make efficient spawn choices. One of the problems that can happen in the late game is that you find yourself left with only fatties in your reserves and nothing to do with a low spawn roll. Having creatures in the DreamScape with spawn abilities is a great way to effectively use points you would otherwise have to waste. When it's time to fill that 8-drop slot in your warband, consider reaching for this one... hey, where'd she go?

Constructed: 4.25/5

Sealed: 4/5 (The double aspect hurts a little, but this creature's versatility is too good to pass on.)

Artwork 3/5 (Kinda cool in an Arabian Nights sort of way.)
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