[Runestrike] Pandemonium Preview

All is fair in love and war.

If you’ve been around for a while, you probably know I have a thing for the undead. It could be zombie movies, stories about the living dead, or as we are discussing today components of games. Regardless of their form I’ve always enjoyed unearthing fun concepts involving the shambling, wailing, and ever hungry hordes. The preview I’ve been provided fits right in with that sort of ravenous crowd. Who’s to blame them? They are trying to make the most out of their unlife. Although “You Only Live Twice” doesn’t quite roll off the tongue in the same way “YOLO” does…

Which finger does the ring go on?

What’s not to love about our new friend here? Aside from my affinity for the walking dead, you may have heard me chime in here and there about aggressive strategies. Just once in a blue moon. Cursed Lover provides a significant shot in the arm to those gameplans. In addition, it is well positioned within the scope of an already aggressive leaning realm (shadow) on top of having relevant tribal synergy both in and out of an aggro shell.

If you’re smitten with the idea of your aggressive bodies having “draw a card attached” then you’ll probably be head over heals about the idea of being able to influence what that card is with our reveal’s bury. Especially since you have a pseudo “draw two” on this one. There’s more about that later, but just keep it in mind as we take a romantic stroll through all the various options this card presents.

Eternity is a very long time. Why would you sign up with Cursed Lover until whenever the end of undeath parts you? Well there are a number of reasons. Allow me count the ways:

Gentle isn’t his thing
  1. You have a respectable body for a 2 drop. While we could alternatively have a 4/4 in Hired Steel a 3/2 isn’t making me too unhappy. You’re presenting a reasonable threat if you have to drop this card early on. Now you may not actually want your undead significant other to hit the board early, but you aren’t cursing yourself when you have to. In a pinch it will support you in your early or late game.
  2. Cursed Lover provides a large amount of resiliency. If you really commit to your beloved, you’ll reap the benefits of her friends always backing you up. In doing so you are able to combat one of the big issues for aggro right now: sweepers. Runestrike is awash in removal up and down the curve, both single target and area of effect. Your slightly expired amour gifts you with the ability to sustain through the many removal effects that dominate the game. As long as you bring the friends and family along for the ride. Loyalty to your lover can really pay off.
  3. Sometimes relationships need support. The undead tribe loves having minions stick around, and are very good about propping each other up. If nothing else they are a stubborn and determined bunch. Clingy is how one might describe it and they are absolutely attached to sticking in play which grants you more options for how to leverage your board position. Whether you want to start an undead tidal wave or have some spare snacks for your dragons to consume, there are options aplenty.

While the passion may seem hot and fast initially, love isn’t such a fleeting thing. Love takes work, every day. It takes time to cultivate and nourish. Routines are built and cycles are created. Cursed Lover introduces exactly that to midrange and control builds that want more mileage out of their other minions. Although you can certainly build a deck out of solely undead minions to take a bite out of the ladder, there are other more delicate plays that can be made. Cursed Lover notably returns the recovered undead to your hand. While this requires you expending mana to replay it, you have to recognize that it also allows repositioning. Whether that means presenting a threat in another lane, a timely block or even a surprise 187 through Umbral Slasher, Cursed Lover gives you flexibility.

I bet he is crunchy

The embrace of Cursed Lover means something significant. You’re in this for a while. If you are careful with your choices you can ensure that powerful undead effects just keep recurring. Plague Lord is one example. Getting multiple copies of it over the course of a game means that your opponent’s board is likely to be very, very bare. As mentioned above, it doesn’t need to be an army of the undead. Just the simple union of one undead and another can reap massive dividends if you navigate the courtship appropriately.

What’s that smell?

It isn’t just the undead that can get in on the fun though. That’s the beauty of things that loop like this. Sometimes you can create scenarios that are absolutely bonkers. How likely is it that you can Cursed Lover back a Grisly Voidcaller to clone more minions? I can’t say for certain but I bet it is going to happen at some point. There’s a plethora of undead lining up for a second date, and Cursed Lover provides that exact opportunity.

Just be happy that the Voidcaller doesn’t actually zombify things!

Overall, I am excited to try out the newest edition to the undead ranks. What’re your thoughts though? any particular pairings you’re looking forward to testing out? You’ll need to check out the other content creators and the official Runestrike channels for other Pandemonium previews. That will do it for this one though.

As always everyone, thanks for coming by and Black Lives Matter.

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