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Max Dieckmann
2 months ago

This was a very interesting article and I agree with your point that Snapdragons are a very viable alternative to Ironrot or Magemasters in Guardian, but I believe that your numbers are off.

First of all, I agree completely with your assessment of Ironrot as being worth 1 Point and the caveat that this might be worth more when actually played out, as it can sometimes cover on-hit breakpoints.

However, I disagree with your evaluation of Snapdragon Scalers:
Let's examine the two possible scenarios where you would use them.

The first is off a three card hand, choosing the +2 mode of E-Strike and then following up with a swing of the hammer. This means we are coming in for a total of 11 damage off three cards - which is a good rate. It's pretty obvious that Scalers provided exactly 2 points of damage here, as they allowed us to select the +2 mode instead of the go again mode of E-Strike.

The other scenario has us choosing the draw mode of E-Strike with a two card hand. If we draw into a blue card, we can activate Scalers and swing the hammer for a total of 9 damage off two cards - an excellent rate. Again, we can see that Scalers provided 2 damage, as the other damage maximizing option that this hand provided us was to simply use the +2 mode of E-Strike to come in for 7 damage instead.

All of this can also be deduced by the fact that E-Strike itself already tells us what the value of go again is since the +2 damage clause on it is supposedly an equally valuable choice.

For Bravo, the discussion ends here, but for Oldhim there is another extra value hidden in this play, as swinging the hammer (as opposed to just E-Strike for 7) also potentially threatens a frostbite.

Now let's look at Mage Master Boots:

The best way to examine this is considering a two card hand, one of which being the Tome in Arsenal, and the other a blue card in hand. Assuming that one of the two cards we draw is blue, we get to gain 2 life, make a seismic surge token, swing the hammer for 6, and arsenal a card. This means we get 8-9 points of value out of just 1 card - this is represents a whopping 4-5 points of value coming from the boots (the other 1-card play - just swinging Anothos - is worth 4 points by comparison).

We have to mention however that this is only true for Bravo - Oldhim would only be able to turn this into 6 points of value (2 life and a hammer swing), as he cannot make use of the extra resource and having an extra card in the pitch zone is meaningless to him. So in this case, the boots are only as good as Snapdragons by repping 2 points of value. This makes sense as Mage Master Boots provide go again to something and as we learned from our previous examination, this keyword is worth 2 points.

Now 5 points of value from a piece of equipment is game winning amounts of value, but we have to consider a couple of factors before we get too excited: In order for this to happen, a lot of things have to shake out in our favor, some of which are basically impossible to control:

1. We have to set up Tome in Arsenal

2. We need to draw a blue card off of Tome

3. Both blue cards that we pitch have to cost 3 or more

4. The other card that we draw is something we want to put into Arsenal

  1. 5. We have to make use of the Seismic Surge token to make it's value count

  2. 6. Any additional copies of Tome will be bad draws that essentially take 1 point of value away again (one less pitch and one less block than any card we would play instead)

Some observations:

  • For both Guardians, there is the potential to get more out of your boots than what Ironrot Legs provide.

  • Oldhim plays Snapdragons better, Bravo plays Mage Master Boots better

  • You can always get 2 points out of Snapdragon Scalers (think of them as Goliath Gauntlet)

  • Mage Master + Tome is risky but potentially very powerful for Bravo.

  • Mage Master Boots has you committing your equipment before you know what you are going to draw

  • E-Strike draw lets you choose whether you want to activate Scalers and gives you the option to arsenal if we draw a red.

In conclusion, for Bravo I would advise to consider sacrificing two slots in your 80 for a single copy of Tome with Mage Master Boots for the slow matchups (i.e. Guardian mirrors). I would also advise to consider playing Snapdragon Scalers over Ironrot if you're happy to play E-Strike.

For Oldhim, I would (and have been for a while) always play Snapdragon Scalers, unless you are a very defensive Rampart-focused list that needs additional ways to convert an extra resource into value (blue pitch activating crown and shield will float one), in which case Ironhide Boots are another viable alternative.

Alex Truell
2 months ago

This was a strong analysis... so when are you submitting an article for us? ;)

Max Dieckmann
2 months ago

Feel free to hit me up if that's a serious offer ;)

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