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Pojo's Dreamblade Mini of the Day

Mantlet

Image from Wizards.com

Mantlet

Anvilborn



Reviewed May 8, 2007

Duncan Wilson Mantlet

Alright! Today we are starting in on the Anvilborn set! Why we haven't done this yet? I have no idea, but we're doing it now, and we're doing it with a bang - the no-aspect anvilborn Mantlet.

The Mantlet is an uncommon, costs 10 spawn, has 5 power, 9 defense, and 11 life. It's tough, and it lays down the beats. It has two abilities - intercept drive, and shadow field. Intercept drive is Mantlet's version of an ability every anvilborn has - a free spawn move according to a simple rule. For the Mantlet, the rule is, move closer to the ally with the lowest life. This can sometimes mean you're moving backwards, but usually means you're racing to the weenie fight in the middle of the board. Shadow drive is why this piece exists. Your creatures in the same cell as Mantlet can't be the target of abilities. This is awesome. Expel, scare, lure, warpstrikes, spur, venom, ferocity are all shut down by Mantlet. Admittedly, it only counts for the cell Mantlet is in, but if its sharing a space with an important scoring cell piece like Baxar, or Crypt Worm, neither of them are going anywhere. If its hanging out with a bodyguard piece, you've suddenly got the core of a team that is very hard to deal with. Toss in a couple passion beaters, weenies, or fear expellers, and you have a team that can roll over a hell of a lot.

So, how should you use this piece? I haven't played with it yet, though he's in my favorite band for a trial run, but I'm thinking there are a couple things you can build your band towards to get the most out of him. First, have a couple pieces with the same low life around, because when there's a tie, you, as the player controlling the piece with the ability, get to make the decision on which piece wins, giving you much greater choice on where the Mantlet goes. Second, go easy on the skirmish and advance - neither work, unfortunately, on cells Mantlet is in - it doesn't let your creatures be the target of abilities, even if you really wouldn't mind just this once.

In summary, the Mantlet is great, and fits in almost everywhere. It lays out the damage, soaks up a beating, races around the board, and keeps your band going. If you pull it, find a place for it.
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