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Pojo's Dreamblade Mini of the Day



Image from Wizards.com

Bloodhawk Barag
Passion

Reviewed October 27, 2006

Constructed: 3.75
Sealed: 4.0

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

That Guy That Plays DreamBlade

BLOODHAWK BARAG

Ok so work has completely destroyed, but much like this new Passion figure, I fight on no matter what. This guy intoduces a sweet mechanic I hope Wizards exploits more in Gambit, but we have to wait til next set for more. Barag is a 8 drop, which really doesn't have too many hot contenders for as of now aside from the forgotten Leopardman and the experimented Flame Harrower. This guy IMO tops both. He has 6 power (aka good for his cost), and stats of 5/7, which is better than both characters. No wonder he's a rare. But now for the effect. Energy Gambit is one of the 4 Gambit abilites released in Baxar's War and its a game-breaking and strategic ability. All you do is sacrifice a turn on the victory count to each opponent to get a sweet effect. Now we'll dig deeper, as Energy Gambit is a unique form of Gambit. If Barag is in a scoring cell, all you have to do is give up a turn in order to gain 4 spawn points. Now with Heartsblood being teched to spill out strong characters faster, this guy fits in so well. Not only does he help give up early turns to set up a very powerful late game, but he adds 6 power. Not too many warbands have that much power for that cost. Maybe Dreadmorph or Noble Dragon, but those are huge costing. This guy helps fuel blade abilities as well. So basically, he clears out small guys quick, and helps bring out bigger guys for the late game. Test him if you pull one in the next few weeks.

Constructed - 3.5/5 I wish he could give us another spawn point or two, but still decent and has good stats for Passion

Sealed - 4/5 Probably more bigger guys you want to dish out here, which he helps out alot.

Artwork - 3/5 Its funny, when I first saw him he looked ok, but now he's just a midget with a spear on a giant bird.
 


Charninja

Yay, another Baxar's War piece!

Bloodhawk Barag is a pretty nice looking top end piece with, I am sure you have noticed, a brand spanking new ability, along with a more than adequate old one. Relatively more rounded stats than Passion usually gets, with a life total that's actually MORE than his power (it would be funny if it wasn't so true) also helps him out considerably, but he is a rather high end figure.

So let's take a closer look:

First up, 8P. Like I said, a converted cost of 9 is kinda up there, but it is certainly managable, considering how much Passion likes spawn-point generation with the Temple and the Orangutan and the Walking Tree. Heck, with those puppies, you could get a Barag and maybe another piece out and STILL have a point or three to waste. For that, you get 6 power, which is pretty dang good at nearly any cost. 5 Defense and 7 Life are rounded, like I mentioned earlier, and are actually pretty solid for a Passion piece. Nowhere near say, Valor or Fear, but hey, Passion has always been the glass cannon so no big surprise there.

Now here's the juicy bit: Energy Gambit 4. To be honest, I am a bit confused because this piece says "victory track" while Cyclopean Sprite says "scoring track" and off hand, I have no idea if there is a difference, let alone what that is. For now though, you basically give your opponent a free point and bringing them that much closer to winning the game, but in return you get an extra four spawn points to play with. I most certainly would not every do this if they had some 3 or 4 points already, and even less so if I was already behind, but I could definitely see this as being used to cement an already firm control of the board. At the VERY least, a splashed Voodoo Manipulator or Thunder Sultan will get an extra two shoves, or net you another Boneclan Hunter or Bloodthirsty Redcap, or fuel a Shard Troll or Flame Harrower. Heck, it would also make the other big beaters that much easier to summon too.

And hey, to top it all off, you get Crit 2 for a blade. Always nice.

All things considered, I do not consider the Gambit abilities something I would actually gambit with. If you are losing, you just do not want to help your opponent even more. Unless you are absolutely, positively 100% CERTAIN, I'd only use them to grind my opponent's face a little further into the dirt.

Constructed: 3.5/5 Solid stats, Crit 2, and a nice kick in the teeth for your opponent. Sounds like fun to me.
Limited: 3/5 I'd be careful, but who knows, if you have an actual plan, I could see Gambit lucking out for you here.

Oh yeah, sorry I haven't been keeping up much with the reviews. College ya know? We can't all have a Scarab Warcharm scurry us across campus.
 


Rolf the Ruf

Bloodhawk Barag

8P
Power: 6
Defense: 5
Life: 7

Abilities:
Scoring Cell, Spawn 0: Energy Gambit 4
Single Blade: Crit 2

Woooo-Hoooo! Baxar's War is here at last! We begin our reviews of the new set with a Passion Raptor called Bloodhawk Barag. This guy features a new ability called Gambit. Gambit can enable various effects as you will no doubt see in upcoming reviews of other Gambit equipped creatures. The basic mechanic works like this: Forfeit a turn to your opponent to get a specific advantage. In the case of the Bloodhawk, that advantage is an extra 4 spawn points for immediate use. The obvious question is, why sacrifice a turn to gain a few spawn points when I can get the same 4 points by running a couple of Heartsblood Temples and give my opponent nothing? Simple answer: Why not do both? By now, if you've been playing this game, you know that early leads can quickly be erased when the trailing player gains a strategic advantage. I've seen games in which a player went up 4 or 5 to zip and ended up losing. Setting the table for yourself by giving up a turn can be a strategically wise decision. I see this guy being used earlier rather than late game, in order to roll out key pieces sooner and faster than your opponent.

The bottom line is, there is really no good reason not to run the Bloodhawk. Laying aside his Gambit ability, you get a solid Passion beater, with attack, defense and life numbers that are equal to or better than comparable 7, 8 and 9 drops. And, you get a nice little Crit 2 bonus with the deal. Keep in mind too, that the Gambit ability is a spawn ability, so it is entirely at your option when and how to use it. I prefer the Bloodhawk to the Greenlife Dryad, mainly because the Bloodhawk gives you a spawn edge, while the Dryad provides your opponent the same advantage. The sculpt is pretty cool, but looks more like a Valor piece than Passion. One last note: Baxar's War introduces the biggest fatty yet in the form of Passion's Insated Ragedrake -- a 13-drop! With that kind of spawnage, the Bloodhawk may just be a necessity.

Constructed: 4/5
Sealed: 4/5 (Just as good!)
Artwork 3.5/5
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