Call of the Archons House Review: Untamed

Written by Andrew Grandstaff

Untamed is the most aggressive of all the houses.  It is the least afraid to give their opponent aember so long as they are getting more.  It can afford to do this in part because it also has the cheapest and most common sources of forging keys outside of the forge a key step.  It also has a good amount of recursion so it can transition into a mid-range deck once their opponent starts to stabilize. It is weak in board control.  A lot of its ability to interact favorably with opposing creatures is limited to rare cards like Lupo the Sarred and Mighty Tiger.  Most of its action removal is also limited to either exhausting, bounce, or symmetrical effects that will take some work to become advantageous.

Top 5 commons Top 5 Rares
Nocturnal Maneuver: B Fertility Chant: B
Hunting Witch: B Lupo the Scarred: B/B+
Regrowth: B Scout: B/B+
Lost in the Woods: B Giant Sloth: B+//A
Dust Pixie: B//A Bear Flute: 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.

Cooperative Hunting: C+
Cooperative Hunting

  • Likely to take out at least one creature.  Depending on the match-up can do more work, but not the best against Sanctum and Brobnar.

Curiosity: C-

  • A+ in flavor but it’s just another narrow hate card.  Sometimes it will be great but most of the time is a do nothing

Fertility Chant: B
Fertility Chant

  • Nets you 2 aember, but could give your opponent a key while not assuring you will keep your aember long enough to forge as well.  That shouldn’t happen too often, but it is something to keep in mind.

Fogbank: C

  • House shifted Fogify still a good card probably stronger here due Untamed’s fragile but high-value creatures like Dew Fairy and Hunting Witch.

Full Moon: B-
Full Moon

  • I think it’s likely that you can play this and get 2 aember from it but not all the time.  Not good in a 2/2/2 hand but still good at any point in the game.

Grasping Vines: B
Grasping Vines

  • While it’s not actually removal it should buy you a couple of turns before the artifacts are back online.  Not as good against ones with passive effects like Customs Office or Pile of Skulls.  

Key Charge: D+//B+
Key Charge

  • Powerful effect but low chance of getting to use it.  What I don’t understand is why it isn’t “Play: You may forge a key at +1 Aember current cost” like other houses forge key cards.” Due to Untamed’s aggressive nature this card will be key in letting you charge ahead.  In a deck full of Dust Pixies and Hunting Witches you should be able to hit the 7+ aember requirement more consistently allowing you to speed up your win and protect your aember.

Lifeweb: C+

  • I don’t think playing 3 or more creatures in a turn is that common, but should happen a couple times a game.  Don’t hold onto this card waiting for that to happen.

Lost in the Woods: B
Lost in the Woods

  • At worst you are trading your two worst creatures for their two best and gaining 1 aember for it.  If you are way ahead on board I would probably hold onto this instead of discard for when the tables begin to tun.  This should help you maintain your advantage.

Mimicry: B

  • Gets better the later in the game because you will have more targets to choose from, but I think you should have plenty of decent targets by turn 3+.

Nature’s Call: B+
NatureGÇÖs Call

  • How is this a card? It’s is a drastically better version of Fear. It’s not even limited to enemy creatures.

Nocturnal Maneuver: B
Nocturnal Maneuver

  • It’s almost a better Fog Bank. Will help set up your next turn and they can’t even reap.

Perilous Wild: C
Perilous Wild

  • Not too sure on this one. I think Dew Fairy is going to be a key card in Untamed. Pretty much a Shadows hate card.

Regrowth: B

  • Gain 1 aember draw your best dead creature.

Save the Pack: C-/C
Save the Pack

  • I want this card to be good but it sounds like a lot of setup to ask out of a card.  It needs to overcome the chain and you have to find a way to add damage to your opponent’s creatures without just killing them already.  The flavor of the card to me suggest they expect me to send in my Dust Pixie ping some big Brobnar creature and then play this card. That is a 2 for 1 (if you don’t include the chain) which you can already accomplish with by trading 2 3+ power creatures in most cases.  This is like a worse Mass Abduction.  It gets better the more skirmish and Cooperative Huntings you have in your deck but this card will rarely add more to those cards.

Scout: B/B+

  • I think in most cases you should be able to trade this for at least 1 creature and maybe a second.  Works great if you have non-Untamed creatures on the board to do the scouting for you. If you don’t want to attack with any of your creatures and just gain the aember you could reap first.

Stampede: C+

  • I feel like have 3 or more ready untamed creatures is a big ask.  Psychic Network could steal 3 with that kind of setup and scales down better as well.

The Common Cold: C
The Common Cold

  • The problem with most of these hate cards is they don’t do anything to affect the board, but this might provide some value even if you don’t run into a Mars deck.

Troop Call: C+
Troop Call

  • Not the biggest fan of Niffle Ape and if this is in the deck there is always at least one Ape in the deck as well.  Healing your ape or getting it back is pretty good but half the time you will also draw this card before you get the ape in hand so you won’t be able to get full value out of it.

Vigor: C/C+

  • I think the heal is worth something and even if you don’t quite get full value out of this card it is still a good effect.

Word of Returning: C-
Word of Returning

  • Odd kind of anti-sanctum card but most won’t have enough aember on them for the damage to break through the armor.  Has an odd interaction with Ether Spider. This card will move all captured aember onto Ether Spider and you will not get any.

Bear Flute: A-
Bear Flute

  • It’s a free Ancient Bear every Untamed turn.  There is so much value that can be generated by this card.  Even at two activations that is some solid value. Once you get to 4+ activations it will probably be too much for your opponent to bare.

Nepenthe Seed: C//B-
Nepenthe Seed

  • It gets you the best card out of your discard on the turn you need it most.  Is weak to additional forms of artifact removal cards like Remote Access, but shouldn’t be too much of a concern.  Outside of the Library Access decks with two of these, you could set up a nice value engine with cards that care about you playing or activating artifacts.

Ritual of Balance: C+
Ritual of Balance

  • I think you might be able to find at least two opportunities to activate this card, but that almost feels like a stretch.

Ritual of the Hunt: B
Ritual of the Hunt

  • House shifted Sigil of Brotherhood.  Untamed feels slightly more creature-oriented then Sanctum, but not so much so this card is better for being in this house.

World Tree: C+
World Tree

  • It will get the best creature card in your discard pile.  You will want to target a card of the house that you plan calling next turn.  It would be getting a better grade but this is not a card advantage just card selection.

Ancient Bear: B-
Ancient Bear

  • Mostly just a 5 power creature.  You will gain some extra value when attacking into an elusive creature, attacking something with 2 power or less, or if you just need to deal 7 points of damage.

Bigtwig: B+

  • Fighting is a last resort for most creatures and being able to “remove” a creature from the board for the next turn is big value.

Witch of the Wilds: B
Witch of the Wilds

  • Big threat that must be removed ASAP. Generates at 1 extra card every non-Untamed turn. Due to being a 4 power creature it will also likely trade with whatever your opponent throws at it in order to kill it.

Briar Grubbling: B-/B
Briar Grubbling

  • The Hazardous 5 is like a better version of Elusive.  No one will attack into this creature so it will have to be removed via an action card such as Twin Bolt or Mass Abduction.  It should sit on the board for at least 1 reap and eat a removal action from your opponent.

Chota Hazri: C//B+
Chota Hazri

  • This has basically the same requirement as playing a Kelifi Dragon in order to get full value and according to the data I shared in my Shadows review the dragon is only playable on 21% of all turns.  The dragon also isn’t limited by increased key cost effective so the actual number of turns this card is not a 3 power lose 1 aember creature is probably closer to 18%.

Dew Faerie: B
Dew Faerie

  • This is going to be a staple card in any Untamed aggro deck.  It essentially has double the aember generation of any other creature in the game. With elusive it might have just enough defense in order to reap once.

Dust Pixie: B//A
Dust Pixie

  • A better version of the Dew Fairy.  I would rather have 2 aember now than maybe 2 aember in the future.  There is a lot of synergy with this card if you have ways to keep recurring it.  In decks with multiple Witch of the Eyes, Regrowth, or Nepenthe Seeds this will be a key card to your victory.

Flaxia: B

  • I imagine that you should be able to trigger the playability about 60% of the time and with the 4 power body it should trade for one of your opponent’s creatures or reap at least once.

Fuzzy Gruen: B-
Fuzzy Gruen

  • It does net you 1 aember and is a 5 power creature, but the fact that this 1 aember could be the one that your opponent needs to forge a key is a real downside.  That said I don’t think I will ever discard this card I might hold onto and wait for my next Untamed turn or I might just give it to them if it’s for their first key.

Giant Sloth: B+//A
Giant Sloth

  • In order to gain 3 aember you will have to trade 1 from reaping with this creature and 1 whole card that you could have otherwise played this turn.  This would be the perfect creature to have out if you have a Chota Hazristuck in your hand, but aside from the best case scenario almost any card in your hand is not as good as 2 aember right now. In the right deck with a good amount a recursion it isn’t even really a downside.

Halacor: B

  • A strictly better Snufflgater.  When you first play it it will be a 4 power skirmish creature and most of the time it will give skirmish to one other creature.  If you have anything else to follow it up with that you would rather give skirmish to, then this card goes up in value.

Inka the Spider: C+
Inka the Spider

  • The 1 power is really killing the card for me.  Yes, it will stun one creature and it will probably take out their worst creature.  This is a must kill threat and it just about everything can kill it.

Kindrith Longshot: B
Kindrith Longshot

  • Due to being elusive, it should live long enough to be able to reap once.  If you are lucky you should be able to pick something off with it. I will continue to recommend reaping most of the time.  If you have the choice of choosing between killing a low threat 3 power creature or reaping and dealing 2 damage I would recommend reaping.

Snufflegator: B-

  • A worse version Halacor. I still like this card, it will do a good job at keeping your opponent from playing small creatures. That being said if you’re on the other side of Snufflegator just keep playing your creatures because you will eventually find an answer or if you just play out 3 creatures and it won’t be able to kill all of them.

Lupo the Scarred: B/B+
Lupo the Scarred

  • The big body is worth a lot and synergies well with skirmish.  The playability should be able to take out any pesky elusive creatures that would normally give this card trouble.  It just lacks the long-term advantage or large burst that I like to see in my higher rated cards.

Mighty Tiger: B
Mighty Tiger

  • This is going to kill something when it enters play and will either have a big enough body that it will live to reap or your opponent will trade something significant for it.

Murmook: C-

  • 3 power body is kind of small but large enough that you could trade it for something that was actually good.  The increased key cost is only relevant on at most 5 turns of the game so it’s not getting much of a boost from that either.

Mushroom Man: B-/B
Mushroom Man

  • I’m placing the expected value of this creature’s power at around 8.  I want to give it an extra bump because I think you will spend more time on your first key and the least amount of time working on your third key.  This will be one of Untamed best cards for just killing opposing creatures.  If Lupo can’t do it the Mushroom Man will.

Niffle Ape: C
Niffle Ape

  • 3 power is too small and has no way to survive long enough to attack though something with Taunt.

Niffle Queen: B//A-
Niffle Queen

  • This always comes with at least one Niffle Ape but that doesn’t mean it will always they will be on the board at the same time.  There are plenty of beasts in Untamed that this will give a plus to.  This will almost always have an impact when you play it, but I am most excited for a deck with 2 or 3 of these.  If you have 2 out they will each get the +2.

Piranha Monkeys: C//B
Piranha Monkeys

  • This reminds me a lot of Poison Wave.  I think if this is in the right deck it will do good work, but the problem is it’s really punishing you for reaping with it.  It will probably have to be in a creature light Untamed deck and paired with Sanctum because the number of 2 armor creatures will able to withstand its ability.  It won’t kill a lot of Untamed creatures when you play it, but it will finish off any that are still around if you try to reap with it.  If I see this on the other side of the table I would just leave it alone most of the time as it probably won’t be reaping anytime soon.

Teliga: B-

  • While you don’t get aember as reliably as Hunting Witch I think it will generally be reliable enough and gaining aember on during your opponent’s turn is generally stronger than on your own.  This card really needs something to protect it to shine. It will be really hard to play this card onto a board that is a reasonable number of creatures and 1 for 1s with most removal in the game.

Hunting Witch: B
Hunting Witch

  • It’s pretty easy to set this up to generate at 1 or 2 aember, but after that, you will need this 2 power creature to survive your opponent’s turn, and that is a big ask. This creature is a huge threat that needs to be answered right away and it can be easily.

Witch of the Eye: B-
Witch of the Eye

  • This is a powerful reap ability and gets stronger the later in the game it comes down.  The only bad thing about this card that it isn’t big enough to consistently survive until your next turn.  If you can find a way to protect this card it can generate some significant value.

Way of the Bear: C-
Way of the Bear

  • I might just be undervaluing assault but it feels like a generally weaker version of just adding flat power unless you can get it up to 3+.  Like most of these upgrades it is obviously stronger if you upgrade a usable creature the turn you play it, but still is a weak effect that isn’t worth a card.

Way of the Wolf: C
Way of the Wolf

  • Better than Way of the Bear, but not by much.  Definitely needs to be attached on something 4+ and ready to get a reasonable amount of value out of.

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