Programming Note: There are a large number of cards to preview when you release 8 summoners at once. That means: (a) We are starting the previews before the pre-orders are available. Pre-orders will be up in 1-3 weeks! and (b) Preview Monday will be twice as nice as usual, with TWO previews per day. TWO! Look for 1 on Monday mornings EDT and the other after lunch the same day. In this afternoon's preview, Frank will be featuring Natazga, the Swamp Orcs Second Summoner.
Even though the Shadow Elves aren't one of the original Summoner Wars factions, they kind of are, right? Selundar was one of Colby's earliest designs and so many players who started Summoner Wars with the Master Set played as or against the Shadow Elves in their very first game. Even Melundak was a strong starting point for those who jumped in with Alliances last year.
So it's only fitting that this second round of Second Summoners begins its previews with Saturos, the Shadow Elves Second Summoner. And the word we've always used to describe the Shadow Elves is speed, but maybe, at their best, the Shadow Elves' word is more like scary.
First, a 3-ranged attack is powerful. Combined with a solid 6 life, Saturos might cost 8 or 9 magic if he were a Champion. And several of Saturos' cards push him into the fray like a true battle champion, starting with his own ability. With Blood Summon, you can get all kinds of units on the board without ever having to spend a magic. Saturos pushes forward and captures prey for himself, and life emerges from the death he creates.
Not unlike Melundak and Selundar at their best, Saturos will have your opponent's summoner cowering in a corner, but the further they retreat, the further you can press your advantage, thanks both to Blood Summon and a couple other cards in this deck.
Blood Summon places a unit on your opponent's side of the Battlefield during the attack phase. The aggressive position of that unit - and the way it can break through your oppoent's defense! - is great, but you'll need a way to leverage that forward position immediately with a common unit that will make your opponent's units dread not just the death that awaits them but the kind of death that awaits them. We bring you the Blood Drake.
I wonder if that Tundra Orc knew what has happening to him as his final thoughts ran through is head. Come to think of it, what is exactly happening to him?! Whatever it is, it isn't pleasant.
The Blood Drake is a 2/2 for 2 melee unit, which is always a solid summon. Off a typical summon, that's all the Blood Drake gets you, so without Saturos, it is rather ordinary. But off of a Blood Summon?
Imagine a sturdy champion with 3 life left, 3 spaces away from Saturos with the opponent summoner sitting with 2 life left 2 spaces behind that champ, all protected on both sides. Seems like a safe situation for the opponent, right? Suddenly, a 3 for 3 attack from Saturos kills the champ. With Blood Summon, you get a FREE Blood Drake from your hand in the space the champ occupied. That Blood Drake gets a free move, putting in position to roll 3 dice at the opposing summoner.
The Blood Drake is scary, and it becomes a true terror when Saturos plays 1 of his 3 Greater Blood Summon events.
Now, an event that costs 2 magic to play is rare, and there is good reason for that. Saturos' Blood Summon ability is magic-efficient, but even if it weren't, it would still a major play to replace an opponent's unit with your own. Greater Blood Summon gives this ability to ALL your Shadow Elf units, AND it works not just on your opponent's side of the battlefield, but on your side as well!
So whether you're pressing your advance or your opponent has realized that their best defense is a good offense, Greater Blood Summon will crush all your opponent's dreams. It's even got card draw to help make sure you have the commons you need.
Yes, for Saturos and the Shadow Elves, the key word is scary.
Come back later today for a Swamp Orc preview from Frank. Come back each Monday for TWO Summoner Wars preview articles. And check back soon for 8 Second Summoner decks ready to pre-order on the PlaidHatGames.com store!