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Call of the Archons House Review: Dis

Written by Andrew Grandstaff

Dis is a very disruptive house that has a lot of tools to control the game that are less direct than most.  Dis can attack their opponents though controlling which house they can choose, forced random discard, limiting the number of cards played in a turn, stealing creatures, targeted and mass creature removal.  Most of this comes at the cost of smaller more fragile creatures, but Dis still has many +5 power creatures are a real threat at every rarity. While Dis earns most of its card advantage though discard or removal actions it also has some of the most powerful card draw effects in the game.

Top 5 commons Top 5 Rares
Arise!: C+/B- Eater of the Dead: B
Control the Weak: B- Pitlord: B+
Dust Imp: B Key to Dis: B+
Pit Demon: B Overlord Greking: A-
Dominator Bauble: B Screaming Cave: A

Grading Rubric
All of these cards are graded in a vacuum. I firmly believe every card can be good in the right situation, but the goal here is to try and figure out how good the card is on average.  Without knowing anything about the rest of my deck and my opponent’s deck what is the expected value of this card.

A: Almost always provides an overwhelming amount of some resource and is generally difficult to remove or counter.

B: Almost always generates 2 aember or 2 cards or some combination of the two.  Creatures and artifacts get a bonus based on how immediate of a threat they are.

C: Almost always generates 1 aember or 1 card.  Creatures and artifacts get a bonus based on how immediate of a threat they are.

D: Cards that you are more likely to discard than play and gain you no aember.

F: Cards that are a trap and if you play are more likely to hurt you than help you.

Pluses and minuses are generally awarded for consistency or to acknowledge a powerful effect that will be relevant about half the time the card is played.

X//Y Grades: X is the grade of the card in a random deck Y is the grade in a deck it heavily synergizes with.

A Fair Game: C-
A Fair Game

  • I can’t see you gaining too much of an advantage off of this card and has the potential to backfire in your face.  I feel like I would be tempted to just discard this card most of the time its in my hand.

Arise!: C+/B-
Arise!

  • Obviously, the later in the game the better so if I’m expecting 2 or 3 cards and that’s enough to get some real card advantage.

Control the Weak: B-
Control the Weak

  • If you call the right house this can be a lot of value and at worst you get 1 aember.

Creeping Oblivion: C-
Creeping Oblivion

  • I have a creeping suspicion that purge 2 is flavor text.

Dance of Doom: C+/B-
Dance of Doom

  • There is a lot of control provided by this card and it probably will be able to pick off more of your opponent’s creatures than yours.

Fear: C
Fear

  • Can go neutral in card advantage, but sometimes just does nothing.  Best case scenario you bounce something and it doesn’t come back down for a couple of turns.

Gateway to Dis: C
Gateway to Dis

  • I’m really skeptical of the chains. Your opponent needs to have 3 creatures to your 0 for this to go neutral. If you need a get out of jail “free” card this will do.

Gongoozle: B
Gongoozle

  • The definition of a B 1 aember and 1 card

Guilty Hearts: C
Guilty Hearts

  • This reads like an anti-sanctum card. The 1 aember makes this card playable, and if there are any creatures with captured aember this jumps up in value

Hand of Dis: C/C+
Hand of Dis

  • Almost unconditional spot removal is hard to come by and earn you an extra reap if there is a problematic creature on the other side

Hecatomb: C
Hecatomb

  • This feels like a really aggressive card. Trading your creatures for 1 aember each better be a winning move or have something like Arise! to combo with.

Tendrils of Pain: C+
Tendrils of Pain

  • I’m mostly ignoring the extra 3 damage mode because you will generally only get 2 turns in a game to make them feel the pain. My hope is this will help Diss’ smaller creatures trade up but if not you at least get 1.

Hysteria: C+
Hysteria

  • I wouldn’t mind one maybe two in a deck. Early game it gets rid of a problem creature or two for just as many turns and late game it could generate a lot of tempo and card advantage depending on how diverse your opponent’s board is.

Key Hammer: C-
Key Hammer

  • There are only 2 turns in the game that this card gets it full value and all that extra text does is buy you an extra turn in the mid-game.

Mind Barb: C+
Mind Barb

  • Random discard is reasonably strong in mtg, but here it’s more of an attack on tempo then card advantage unless you get lucky and hit a key card.

Pandemonium: C-
Pandemonium

  • Not a big fan of capture and while Diss’ creatures are mostly small enough to die after one fight I can’t see how this will be anything more than a last ditch effort to not lose

Poltergeist: C+
Poltergeist

  • While there are some important artifacts out there most aren’t worth a card, but if this is in your hand you might as well use it. Just be careful not to play it when you control the only artifact.

Red-Hot Armor: C-
Red-Hot Armor

  • More anti-Sanctum and not actual removal.  It might help you trade better, but doesn’t feel good even against Sanctum.  It doesn’t do anything except gain one aember.

Three Fates: B-
Three Fates

  • While dis has the hardest removal this is still a good answer to most Borbnar and Sanctum creatures that will threaten to remove your utility creatures. I think there is enough wiggle room in defining most powerful that you should be able to get two of theirs most of the time.

Annihilation Ritual: C-
Annihilation Ritual

  • I think this will shut down the Doomwind style combo decks that rely on a big Arise!. If you can land this anywhere in the early to mid game against either it should seriously hamper them. Aside from those situations, it’ll probably hurt you just as much as your opponent except for the aember it gives you

Dominator Bauble: B
Dominator Bauble

  • Basically, a copy of any non-Dis creature you control except its dis. If you get 2 activations out of it that’s probably a little above average value because it gives you access to powers normally not available on a dis turn

Key to Dis: B+
Key to Dis

  • While you can’t blindside your opponent like Gateway to Dis, it is still a powerful effect and can be a bit of a get out of jail free card. Also, it never has to rot in your hand.

Lash of Broken Dreams: C+
Lash of Broken Dreams

  • 3 aember is a big increase if things are going right you might be able to activate this maybe twice in a game and have it be impactful. Works well with Shadow’s steal actions.  This is a temporary fix; if they are ahead, make sure your dreams don’t depend on this card or they will be broken.

Library of the Damned: B+
Library of the Damned

  • Every deck is going to want a way to keep drawing new cards after they have established board dominance and especially in their most creature heavy house.

Lifeward: C+
Lifeward

  • Not too sure about this one. It seems strong kind of like a weaker Control the Weak except on an artifact.

Sacrificial Altar: C-
Sacrificial Altar

  • There are no humans in Dis at this time and it doesn’t let you cheat out guys like Kelifi Dragon or Truebaru. You’re looking at 3 turns until you can use this card and then a 4th if you actually want to use the creature you summoned.

Screaming Cave: A
Screaming Cave

  • Never run out of Dis cards again! Call dis every turn. Unfortunately hurts any Arise! or Sacrificial Altar plans. I know I’ve only seen two houses in the set but probably the best card in the set for sure top 3.  Should start calling this Ancestral Cave.

Soul Snatcher: F+//C
Soul Snatcher

  • In a random deck, I think this will hurt you more than it helps.  With the two board wipes and couple hard removal actions, why would you want this it makes those bad. Even in the right deck, I feel like this card will just be ok.

Charette: C+
Charette

  • If you can capture the full three this will turn it into a must kill creature. Should trade with most things short of Brobnar or Sanctum.

Drumble: C+
Drumble

  • Probably shouldn’t count on the play effect but with something like Lash of Broken Dreams it becomes more likely. I am a fan of just playing an elusive creature and soaking 2 attacks or part of a removal spell.

Dust Imp: B
Dust Imp

  • Almost always will get you 2 aember and maybe a third.

Eater of the Dead: B
Eater of the Dead

  • Almost a must answer threat that will quickly grow into one. Could also gain extra value against other Dis and Untamed decks due to cards like Arise! and Regrowth.

Ember Imp: C+
Ember Imp

  • It’s passive is good and will require a quick response.  Unfortunately with only 2 power just about anything will be able to take care of it.

Gabos Longarms: B-
Gabos Longarms

  • Sometimes this is just a 5 power creature and sometimes it provides the reach you need. This card gains value against shadows decks or just any board with elusive creatures. Pop their shield take no damage and still deal full damage against another creature even if it too has elusive.

Overlord Greking: A-
Overlord Greking

  • A must answer threat and can only really be answered with action cards. Ideally, when you fight with Greg he will kill a creature that belongs to one of your houses even better would be Dis so you can keep attacking with him and use your new underling.  Might be a B- if you share no houses in common with your opponent.

Guardian Demon: B
Guardian Demon

  • Good play ability not to hard to capitalize on it. Is a strong threat almost regardless of the board state.

Master of 1: C+
Master of 1

  • This is mostly a 4 power body but on the off chance you catch someone with just a couple one power creatures good for you but I wouldn’t count on it happening that often.

Master of 2: C+
Master of 2

  • This is mostly a 4 power body but on the off chance you catch someone with just a couple two power creatures good for you but I wouldn’t count on it happening that often.

Master of 3: C+
Master of 3

  • I think this one is the best of the bunch. While it will miss on the smaller utility creatures I think the greater number of 3 power creatures that still provide some utility is the sweet spot.

Pit Demon: B
Pit Demon

  • A serious threat with a serious body.

Pitlord: B+
Pitlord

  • This is the kindest pit lord I’ve heard of. Protects his neighbors, gives you 2 aember, and all he asks is you continue to call on him over all others. As scary as it is to be locked out because of Restringuntus this guy is probably worth the risk if they have enough creatures you can eventually trade it off.  He’s at his best if he is protecting at least one creature with a great reap ability like Snudge or tocsin or a great passive like hunting witch or ember imp.

Restringuntus: C+
Restringuntus

  • The effect is good but I have little faith that it’ll be nothing more than a small hindrance for a turn. He will most likely cost your opponent a reap by attacking and it is very unlikely to be a trade.

Shaffles: C
Shaffles

  • Good control card or at least anti agro.  Your opponent will have to spend some resources to remove it and the sooner the better. Will probably cost your opponent at least 2 maybe 3 aember in total.

Shooler: C+/B-
Shooler

  • The play ability should hit fairly often and when it does this is a solid B. 5 power is a big enough body that it should be safe to play onto almost any board and get a reap out of it.

Snudge: B
Snudge

  • As mentioned earlier a powerful reap and fight ability. If you get a chance to activate there are a lot of cool things you can do from simply returning it and replaying as a faux heal, bounce an artifact that gains you aember when you play it, or gets rid of one of their creatures for a turn.

Stealer of Souls: B/B+
Stealer of Souls

  • A better version of Pit Demon in most cases it will earn you at least the same amount of aember and you will generally cost them a card or two instead of aember.

Succubus: C+/B-
Succubus

  • While you won’t always get a card off of them it’s a strong enough persistent effect that it almost demands an immediate answer.

Tentacus: C+
Tentacus

  • 5 power creatures are good.  The passive on this creature is just so narrow that I think it will be unlikely that you ever make one off it.  I do like that it is outside the range of Mighty Javelin

The Terror: C+
The Terror

  •  Just another 5 power creature with an ability that will rarely trigger, but when it does is good.

Tocsin: C
Tocsin

  • It’s basically a worse version of Succubus.  If you call Dis every turn it’s better but that is a lot to commit it for a minor improvement.

Tolas: D//B
Tolas

  • It could be really good especially in the right deck.  I would hope this is in any deck that is light on creatures and/or is heavy on removal.  A lot of Diss’ creatures are small and don’t have defensive abilities so this card could easily backfire.

Truebaru: B
Truebaru

  • Kind of like Pit Lord in that it is a big creature with taunt and it should earn at least 2 aember and probably more.  The loss of power and the initial aember cost is higher than the must select Dis. If you get this while on your last key there is a reasonable chance this won’t be destroyed before the game ends.

Collar of Subordination: C
Collar of Subordination

  • It’s a straight removal card, and if you can steal a good creature that is in one of your houses then this card is around a B.  It avoids the inherent card disadvantage of other upgrades by being placed on your opponent’s creature.

Flame-Wreathed: C
Flame-Wreathed

  • Hazardous doesn’t seem like a strong ability.  While it will prevent less than 3 power creatures from attacking, but you’re relying on your opponent to make the decision to activate it. The 2 power and 1 aember are ok but not really worth the risk of an upgrade.

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