Rage of R’lyeh Starter Deck Preview

Spoilers by Ruben Sanchez and Mike Likes


Welcome to our latest article reviewing the officially spoiled cards from the Lapis Cluster Starter Decks.  Today’s review is of the Rage of R’yleh Starter Deck!  Most of you guys hear us talking about spoilers on The Imperishable Podcast but with this article Mike Likes and myself will be going a little more in depth on the cards being spoiled.  We’ll be reviewing these cards based only on how we think they’ll do for Constructed play (since these cards won’t be found in booster packs).

Our system uses number ratings to gauge how well WE think the cards will perform in Constructed play.  We will  list the pros and cons for each card and then Ruben and Mike will each give his thoughts and rating on the card for Constructed play.

How Our Rating System Works

5.0:  Format All-Star.  This card is a total Bomb card.  For those that aren’t familiar with this term, it basically means this card will win you the game if left unchecked for a turn or two.  These cards tend to be hard to defend against and can turn a game around in a hurry.  

4.0:  Format Staple.  This card is great.  It can be played in multiple decks and will have an impact on the game every time.  These cards can change a game quickly, get you back in the game, or shift the tempo of the game.  These cards are usually vulnerable to some type of removal (or are a removal spell themselves), but they they make up the majority of cards found in major tournament decks.

3.0:  Archetype Staple.  These are generally good cards, and many of them will be the majority of cards found in a tribal deck.  Cards in this category are usually similar to other (higher-ranked) cards but cost 1 Will more or or have a drawback in some manner.

2.0:  Niche Card.  These cards serve are very narrow function and are usually meant for your sideboard.  They could be removal spells that only remove 1 type of card, or cards with mediocre stats that have an ability that helps against opponents playing a certain Attribute.  For Constructed play, you will rarely play this card unless it’s from your sideboard or you want to be “cute”.

1.0:  Will Rarely See Play.  The worst of the worst.  These cards are rarely played (if they’re played at all).  These cards generally have bad stats, cost too much Will, or have basically no impact on the game when they’re played.  Overall stay away from this card if possible.

And now, on to the cards…

Lunya, the Wolf Girl / Nyarlathotep, the True False Legend

sure thing pencilvester the evil hate filled cthulhu from a dimension far away

  • Energize.
  • Judgment cost is high for an Aggro ruler.
  • Swiftness.
  • 800 defense seems low.
  • ETB effect on J-Ruler side can deal lethal damage.
  • Limit 2 seems mediocre.
  • Attacking resonators makes Lunya deadlier when you flip.

Ruben’s Rating:  3.5  (🌟🌟🌟½)

Ruben’s Thoughts:  Lunya seems fun but I just don’t like the judgment cost. It is a bit high for my taste. I like the fact that Lunya’s automatic ability can help clear a pesky resonator and when she flips could possibly kill another. The power she has is spot on but the defense is lacking which does balance it out.  I love that she has Swiftness. Solid ruler overall.

Mike’s Rating:  4.0  (🌟🌟🌟🌟)

Mike’s Thoughts:  Lunya, the Wolf Girl has the potential to be an amazing Ruler.  As I read her abilities, I can’t help but want to pair her with Certo, the Blazing Volcano to try to clear my opponent’s field while dealing damage directly to them at the same time.  I’m an aggro player at heart, so playing a deck with Lunya as my Ruler right up my alley.  I see a lot of potential for an aggro deck here, while also having control aspects as well.

Niggurath, the Shepherd

mint berry crunch

  • Good stats for cost.
  • Limit 1.
  • Filters deck upon ETB and attacking.
  • Can only have 4 Gentle Goats.
  • Must keep the Goat train going to keep her in play.

Ruben’s Rating:  2.0  (🌟🌟)

Ruben’s Thoughts:  Too early to tell with this card. Limit is like better Echo for MTG players. This card goes back into the hand if you don’t have counters on it. The stats are great but you have to keep ensuring Limit counters are on it to make it viable. Your opponent could just destroy it for less than 2 and you have done all this work for nothing. Still on the fence.

Mike’s Rating:  3.0  (🌟🌟🌟)

Mike’s Thoughts:  I haven’t decided if I like Limit or not.  Until I actually play a game with it, I don’t think I’ll know for sure.  It’s hard to evaluate this card because of the Limit 1 on it.  On one hand, 1200/1200 ATK and DEF are pretty decent stats, so I’m inclined to give a good rating.  On the other hand, knowing that this card can only attack or block once before it’s Limit counter is used up and it returns to your hand makes me want to give a lower rating, especially since this costs 5 will.  But it also has an ability that happens when it enters play that you can potentially do multiple times, which seems okay.  I’m giving this card a 3.0 rating, but depending on how restrictive the Limit 1 is when it’s played could mean my rating is way off.

Gentle Goat

the worlds time is gonna be fine but our times gonna need a little time to stablize

  • Better stats with Cthulhu in play.
  • Better drops out there.
  • Main use is to have synergy with Niggurath.
  • It’s a goat. Gentle but still…
  • Cheap.

Ruben’s Rating:  2.0 (🌟🌟)

Ruben’s Thoughts:  This Gentle Goat will see play in a specific deck. It doesn’t have anything else working for it except some synergy with specific cards. This doesn’t do too much for me right now but it may be a wait and see card. Better one drops out there.

Mike’s Rating:  2.0  (🌟🌟)

Mike’s Thoughts:  For a 1-drop, this card’s stats are good.  They’re even better if you have a Cthulhu J/resonator.  However, I don’t see this getting played in any decks that aren’t Cthulhu based.  There’s just not enough cards yet to build a full-on Goat tribal deck.

Nightmares of R’yleh

dead cthulhu sleeps dreaming

  • Quickcast.
  • High specific costs.
  • Great combat trick.

Ruben’s Rating:  2.5  (🌟🌟½)

Ruben’s Thoughts:  If this card cost 2R it would be rated higher, but it wasn’t. This card can mainly be played in a Mono Fire deck. It will be way too hard to splash this card in another deck or you have to get your stones down pat. Great combat trick if it goes off. It could win the game for you if your opponent isn’t careful. Quickcast is key. Not bad but not great.

Mike’s Rating:  3.0  (🌟🌟🌟)

Mike’s Thoughts:  I think this card has a lot more potential to be a removal spell rather than a pump spell.  That being said, I still think this card is good.  The ability to have this in hand with 3 unrested stones means that a lot of the time you can kill on the spot whatever resonator they play.  In many ways this card would have been better costing 1 less will and only granting +600/-600, but that’s what I love about games like FoW.  You don’t always have the most optimal card available, so you need to work with the limitations they’ve given you.

Lightning Strike

uh oh sumersault jump

  • Thunder 2.0 but better.
  • (None)
  • Quickcast.
  • Cheap.
  • Modal.

Ruben’s Rating:  4.5 (🌟🌟🌟🌟½)

Ruben’s Thoughts:  There is nothing wrong with this card. It has everything a Burn player could ever dream about. Expect to see this as a 4 of in future Fire decks or anything splashing Fire. Way too good. Almost a crime to reprint this. Great card.

Mike’s Rating:  4.5  (🌟🌟🌟🌟½)

Mike’s Thoughts:  Yeah, Thunder is back!  Or at least a great functional reprint of Thunder is.  I love the versatility this card brings, and it provides so much value to an aggressive deck running Fire Magic Stones.  Lightning Strike is sure to see a lot of play.

Hastur, Chasing the Goats

are you kidding me two dots

  • Turn 3 and you can swing for 900? Kidding right.
  • Limit counter countdown is not a fun game to play.
  • Swiftness with Limit Counters.
  • Can kill resonators by just swinging.

Ruben’s Rating:  3.5/4.0 (🌟🌟🌟½ – 🌟🌟🌟🌟)

Ruben’s Thoughts:  I am torn on how to rate this card. This card can be really good. I just see you or your opponent swinging Turn 1-4 with just Swiftness resonators. I really think Hastur will see quite a bit of play. Early-late this resonator will shine. Dangerous.

Mike’s Rating:  3.5  (🌟🌟🌟½)

Mike’s Thoughts:  Attacking an opponent that has an unrested Hastur in play is a dangerous play to make.  She singlehandedly can take care of any resonator whose DEF is 1300 or less.  The Limit 2 ability will be annoying, but 3-will is likely to be the most I’ll be accepting of paying repeatedly for any of the resonators with Limit.  I think this card should see a decent amount of play.

Lunya’s Best Friend

flying through gates of madness and into your heart

  • Good stats.
  • Nothing too special after ETB trigger resolves.
  • ETB trigger is decent.

Ruben’s Rating: 2.0  (🌟🌟)

Ruben’s Thoughts:  This wolf does nothing to really change the game when it is played. The King of 2 drops is Lancelot. I don’t see this guy taking his spot. I will pass.

Mike’s Rating:  3.0  (🌟🌟🌟)

Mike’s Thoughts:  Lunya’s Best Friend is a very solid card.  For 2 will, its 600/600 stats are good, and the ability upon entering your field is very nice.  This card is all about practicality.  It’s not a flashy card, but it will certainly get the job done.

Fayli, the Charlatan

until earth shows them it has a new catchy original hit song

  • Good stats.
  • No Evasion.

Ruben’s Rating:  2.0  (🌟🌟)

Ruben’s Thoughts:  Fayli will not sell seats at your event. 3 drops for New Frontiers laugh at this card. It won’t see play and if it does, then you don’t have any Pricias, Snow Whites, Athenas or Hasturs at your disposal. Not impressed.

Mike’s Rating:  2.5  (🌟🌟½)

Mike’s Thoughts:  Fayli is an okay card, but isn’t fabulous.  Her stats are good and she should be easily splashed into any deck, but there’s really nothing great about her.  She’ll likely shine more in a human-based deck, but it’s hard to imaging choosing to include her when there are more appealing choices.

Charlatan’s Tricks

show me what you got

  • Cheap.
  • Too many things need to happen to make this effect worthwhile.
  • Search effect can filter deck.
  • Synergizes with another card.

Ruben’s Rating:  2.0  (🌟🌟)

Ruben’s Thoughts:  This card can be good but it will take quite some setup to make this work. If your opponent kills your resonator, then it just fizzles. Very good for the starter deck. Nothing flashy. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Mike’s Rating:  2.0  (🌟🌟)

Mike’s Thoughts:  Here’s another example of poor wording on a card.  It would be easier for everyone to understand if it said “Search your deck for a card with the same name a target resonator or addition you control…”.  Force of Will needs to get better with its templating in the future.  But enough of my complaining about the wording on the card.  Let me complain instead about the cards effect.  This card seems like it’s either a win more type of card, or it won’t help me enough when I play it to get ahead.  And let’s not forget, if the card you target gets removed with this card still on the chase, this spell will fizzle and nothing will happen.  Someone will play this card, but I don’t think it’ll be me.

Emissary of R’yleh

I want to see what you got

  • Swiftness.
  • Cannot attack opponent.
  • Good stats.
  • Cthulhu.

Ruben’s Rating:  2.0  (🌟🌟)

Ruben’s Thoughts:  I believe this card will beg to see play but may just be riding the bench. The fact you cannot attack your opponent kind of limits this card immensely. I am saddened to see this card not be good. It could’ve been a contender.

Mike’s Rating:  2.5  (🌟🌟½)

Mike’s Thoughts:  This is an interesting card.  It has great stats for a 1-drop, and Swiftness is always nice.  However, not being able to attack my opponent is severely limiting.  This is a card I don’t want to play on turn 1, but I also don’t want it in the late game either.  The best use for this card will be to remove a troublesome resonator your opponent has blocked with this turn that still has a little DEF left.

R’lyeh, World of No Lies

cookie sandwich yum

  • Anthem effects are great for Tribal decks.
  • One time effect when it enters.
  • Cheap.
  • Adds Limit counters to your team.

Ruben’s Rating:  3.0  (🌟🌟🌟)

Ruben’s Thoughts:  Back in the day while playing MTG I loved the ability to pump up specific types of creatures with enchantments. Now with Lapis Cluster it is clear that FoW wants us to use these cards and make the J/resonators stronger. This card will see play in those types of decks. Good card for its purpose.

Mike’s Rating:  2.0  (🌟🌟)

Mike’s Thoughts:  This card definitely has a home in any Cthulhu-based deck.  I like that it has an ability when it enters, and also has a continuous ability.  I can’t see any reason to play this outside of a Cthulhu deck though, since there hasn’t been any non-Cthulhu cards previewed that have Limit.

kick punch kick punch combo

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