Monday, 13 October 2014

Specific Card Analysis #1 (Oratek Explosives)

In the first instalment of a (hopefully) weekly series where we analyse a card by evaluating its role in the deck that it is included in, synergies with other cards and potential decklists.

Today, we’ll be looking at Oratek Explosives, a recent addition to the Allied roster with the advent of Set 3.

As a spell, Oratek Explosives serves primarily as removal and minor pump on a chosen creature of your choice, or in less than ideal cases, a glorified Heavy Artillery to serve as a combat trick (or when you miss the Allied trigger. Don’t do that, it's backbreaking)

Another thing of note is that as an Allied Tempys card, when building a deck with this card, a bare minimum of 12 Tempys cards are advised (On average, you’ll miss the allied trigger one hand per game), with 14-15 Tempys cards being the optimal amount.

Perhaps most importantly, while Oratek Explosives can be potent, it is dependant on several conditions:

  1. You have an active creature that is on the offensive.
  2. There is an empty lane for said creature to hit your opponent.
  3. There is something to blow up (Well then you could just not play it, *shrug*)

With these conditions in mind..


.. Let us talk about synergies with Oratek Explosives, in order to fulfil the above conditions.


What’s better than trading your Frostmane Dragon for the opposing Grimgaunt Doomrider over two combat steps? Sidestepping it, reducing the silly grimgaunt to ashes and leaving a 9/6 with Mobility 2 on the board, thats what. In all seriousness, Mobility is the reason to play Oratek Explosives right now in Standard, with the sheer ease of getting off a good Explosives, several of the most notable cards include:

Frostmane Dragon

Mobility 2 with a solid body at all levels? Explosives and Frostmane Dragons have been best friends since high school and been hanging out even since. One of the greatest accomplices for Oratek Explosives, the only issue is the Frostmane Egg taking up lanes to dump Explosives into, but can be cancelled if you so desire.

Brightsteel Gargoyle

With its intelligence to not slam into combat on your opponents’ turn, Gargoyle makes a prime target due to its proficiency in using the attack boost even after you nuked a poor sap on the opposing board, its level one however, is extremely susceptible to Xithian Direhound, which might put a damper on your shenanigans.

Zyx, Storm Herald

What’s better than blowing up one creature you ask? Why not two? Zyx, however, scales poorly at level 2, and even with a reasonable level 3, blocking with it is extremely lackluster. While Zyx’s text is extremely synergistic with Explosives, it is let down by its average stats, although it is still worth the consideration.

Other honorable mentions in the Mobility department include: Cindersmoke Wyvern, Oratek Warhammer and Agamemnon.


Remember what I said about active creatures? Aggressive creatures just fulfil the first condition right out of the gate, shame there are so few of them..

Korok, Khan of Kadras

Beefy body, and nifty ability to give your underleveled mobility creatures the ability to move the moment they drop, has a problem with wanting to be leveled, however, it is a card that demands to be leveled to remain relevant.

Pyre Giant

Many of you might be surprised by this inclusion, whereas the rest of you, no doubt raptured by my utterly amazing writing so far, are about to close the page. There is one saving grace with Pyre Giant however, is that it provides more reach than Korok, especially when combined with a Warmonger’s Mod. Furthermore, its relative effectiveness remains the same even while underleveled.

Now putting all of these cards together..



2x Burnout

I hope you enjoyed the first iteration of Specific Card Analysis, for the next one, we'll be going through Skill Nethershriek!

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