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Pojo's Dreamblade Mini of the Day

Arsonist

Image from Wizards.com

Arsonist



Reviewed May 03, 2007

Duncan Wilson Alright, I'm back, and I've got another review, this time for the Chrysotic Plague piece Arsonist. I got nothing for fun background stuff, other than to say that he is VERY on fire, so let's go right to the fig.

He's an uncommon, costs 6M, 2 power, 5 def, 11 life, and has 'Unmake' for one blade, which banishes a enemy's local or adjacent location to his reserves.

I'm not totally sure about him, to be honest. I think he'd be a great thing to have on your sideboard if Dreamblade did sideboards. He's mid range, but his power is very lacking at just 2. He still compares pretty favourably to the Slaughter Boots, my baseline for location destruction, being 2 spawn cheaper, giving up 4 power for a little more staying power, a lot more survivability, and location destruction that's more reliable (both for being only a single blade and not taking out your own locations), but not permanent. Strictly speaking, the Slaughter Boots and the Arsonist have the same 1 in 3 chance to activate their abilities on their own, though the Arsonist obviously gets easier to activate significantly faster as dice are added. But only 2 power and having such a limited ability gives me pause.

To a large degree, it's the fact that it only banishes instead of destroying that worries me. Unmake is still useful, because it means if your opponent rudely put his Arch of Triumph in the center cell where you wanted a Heartsblood Temple, you have a chance - but only if you win the next spawn phase - to make sure your Temple goes down where it's supposed to. Making your opponent lose tempo is pretty nice too, particularily if he keeps putting his locations down and you keep banishing them, which the Arsonist is pretty good at, with a fairly easy to disrupt but hard to kill 5/11. Compared to the Slaughter Boots, the Arsonist is nearly a tank. That you can hit adjacent locations means he cares about being disrupted one move less. But the fact that it's only banish means if he gets killed or is constantly pushed out, those buildings he burned to the ground are coming right back up.

Overall, I think he could be useful and I'll be comparing future location destruction to him. There are a few locations that see a lot of play, and if he's in the fight, even if the frontlines aren't on the location you need to get rid of, that location is going down. And given that a lot of the most important locations, like Pearlthorn, Heartsblood, and the Arch work their magic in the spawn phase, your opponent needs to consider spending spawn on that location he could be spending on creatures at a potentially critical part of the game. But that 2 power practically makes him ONLY good for location bouncing, and makes him need a hand to do that reliably. If you play against a lot of locations, and feel you're rolling enough dice already, see how you like having a pyromaniac around. Just remember that he needs someone to light the place up after he drenches it in gas.

Duncan Wilson (vorebane PLACE hotmail ENDOFSENTENCE com) vorebane on the pojo forums
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