Day 8 of Empires of the Ascended (Kindred’s Reveal)
Welcome back to all the hard-working Ascended’s here to check out today’s fine crop of Shurima spoilers.
Every morning (around 9AM PST), head to Mobalytics to see the cards revealed live!
I’m Jordan “WhatAmI” Abronson and I’ve got the spooktastic down low for y’all. Let’s open it up!
Here are the new Shadow Isles cards from Empires of the Ascended:
- Kindred (Champion levels 1-2)
- Spirit Journey/Kindred’s Spirit Journey (Kindred’s champion spell and standalone spell)
- Lamb’s Respite (spell)
- Spirit Leech (follower)
- Etherfiend (follower)
- Fading Icon/Prey (follower/follower)
- Mask Mother (follower)
- Unto Dusk (spell)
- Song of the Isles (spell)
Learn more about today’s reveals with additional breakdowns from Swim below.
- Kindred Level 1
- 5 mana 4|4 champion, Quick Attack
- Text: “The first time you Slay a unit each turn I mark the weakest enemy. Round end: Kill units with my mark.”
- Level Up: “I’ve seen you Slay two enemies with my mark.”
- Kindred Level 2
- 5 mana 5|5 champion, Quick Attack
- Text: “The first time you Slay a unit each round grant me +2|+2 and I mark the weakest enemy. Round end: Kill units with my mark.
Holy value-engine friends.
Five mana is an awful lot of investment to get started, you can get a game-ending blind monk for that price, but once you get them down Kindred is going to grind your enemies to dust.
In a deck that wants to utilize Kindred, you are likely going to be able to proc the Slay trigger almost every round.
Between your own attacks, Glimpse Beyond, and all the removal we know control-based Shadow Isles decks pack, the Kindred tax is going to be a real thing.
Anybody remember playing against Rhasa and the terror inspired by trying to keep two bad units alive to keep your important targets safe?
Yeah, that’s coming back and it starts at five mana.
I think this card will need some serious testing to figure out if five mana is too much of a board commitment for the ridiculous value it brings, but this looks like a solid control tool and a midrange mirror breaker to me.
Spirit Journey/Kindred’s Spirit Journey
- Spirit Journey/Kindred’s Spirit Journey
- 5 mana Fast spell
- Text: Kill a unit then revive it
This one I am seriously less impressed by.
We’re paying a full extra mana from Chronicler of Ruin for the privilege we usually won’t want to use of targeting our opponent’s units?
And we are losing the 3|3 body that so nicely clogs the board in the process?
Maybe I’m missing something but main decking this card to proc your Slay triggers seems like an absolute bait.
You’ll occasionally get it off a Kindred and stop a big body mid-attack or reset a scary Twisted Fate Level with it, but even then that’ll be a desperation move, not something you are happy you had to do.
If you want defense, play Vengeance, if you want the effect, play Chronicler.
Other than being a nice trick to pull off Kindred I’m really not seeing where this card fits into decks.
- Lamb’s Respite
- 2 mana Slow spell
- Text: Give the weakest ally “I can’t take damage or die this round.”
Another one that really just leaves me scratching my head.
If this was Fast speed I could see it being some interesting and powerful interaction for single unit boards.
As is if you’ve got a wide board it’s never covering who you want it to, and if you’ve got a small one then the cards you’re scared of can kill your single unit in response anyway.
Maybe this is trying to be a combo with one large unit and a Ruination? But really that seems like we are living in magical Christmas land rather than reality.
- Spirit Leech
- 4 mana 4|1
Text: Play-Kill an ally to draw two
- 4 mana 4|1
Wow, I’m speechless.
I’m the writer and that’s really not supposed to happen.
Seriously though who thought that giving Glimpse Beyond a body and making it effectively burst-speed was a good idea?
This is going to be an absolute pillar of card advantage in any Shadow Isles based slay deck, happily gobbling up Cursed Keeper’s, assorted 1|1’s, and Undyings to its heart’s content.
Look for it to make waves alongside Nasus, Kindred, and potentially even Endure or Go Hard.
- The Etherfiend
- 7 mana 6|4, Fearsome
- Text: Play-Kill an ally to kill an enemy.
This is another one that I am really just not seeing.
It’s taking all the bad parts of Crumble, and deciding that adding two mana and stapling on a respectable body is going to be enough to see play?
And right when we are getting all the shiny new Shuriman landmarks that desperately need removed?
I really love the idea of this card, but I think perhaps it got lost a bit in execution.
Seven mana feels like way too much to pay for this effect.
Maybe I am underestimating how powerful the 6|4 Fearsome is here and how much this can swing tempo, but right now bird-reaper here is not making my decks.
- Fading Icon
- 2 mana 3|1
- Text: When I’m summoned, summon a Prey
- 0 Mana 0|1
Not going to lie, I was actually starting to get a little bit worried about the consistency of the theoretical Shadow Isles Slay archetype I was trying to construct.
This little dude has got my back though.
He’s no Cursed Keeper, that’s for sure, but who is?
This is your Cursed Keeper copies number 4-6 to make sure that your deck gets rolling on time each and every game, and I am extremely happy to see his creepy smiling face.
- Mask Mother
- 2 mana 2|2, Fearsome
- Text: Play-Kill an ally to grant me its stats and keywords
Did somebody order a side of combo with their value deck? Goodness, but this card has a lot of permutations.
Eat a Ruthless Raider to make a turn three giant beat stick.
Eat an Undying and get two sizable threats.
Eat a Braum and destroy all of your aggro opponent’s hopes and dreams.
If this only takes good keywords as many have before it then you can even drop this on turn five alongside a Darkwater Scourge and REALLY go to town.
I’m not sure if or when mama here will find her place but I for one am looking forward to testing a variety of permutations on “Make the big scary thing eat my opponent’s face”
- Unto Dusk
- 2 mana Burst spell
- Text: Draw 1. Nightfall: Activate an ally’s Nightfall effect, ignoring any target portions.
The first thought I am sure pops into mine and every other traumatized players’ mind with this card is “Aphelios.”
This card with Aphelios reads “Draw your Phased Weapon and another card.” Right behind him is Diana who would like to get another Quick Attack Challenge off, please and thank you.
Bringing up the rear are friends like Doombeast or even Crescent Guardian ready to make their mark.
The mana cost on this is definitely a real thing though, and it looks to drag nightfall into more of a midrange archetype.
Definitely a role player.
Song of the Isles
- Song of the Isles
- Two mana Burst Spell
- Grant an ally Lifesteal, Fearsome, and Ephemeral.
Our last card for today is extremely interesting.
At first blush, it looks like maybe a one or a two of in more midrange Shadow Isles Slay decks as a response to aggro, kind of along the lines of Fiora/Shen’s Spirit’s Refuge tech.
But if we look a little bit deeper it has some potentially interesting synergies with Mask Mother, as well as fan-favorite from Ionia Death Mark.
Is this enough of a boost to let Death Mark finally shine? My gut says probably not, but it’s definitely an interesting enabler and deserving of its turn in the testing Que.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, feel free to ask WhatAmI during his streams (around 10AM PST basically every day).