Oath of Blood has officially hit the shelves, and I am extremely excited to see what players are starting to brew for the upcoming Dragoborne Championship regionals in California, and of course, in the Finals. Will we continue to be oppressed by the power of Tauris, or will other nations steal the limelight and clinch the top spot instead? We cannot be certain, but it’s safe to say that the current tournament environment will definitely be shaken up by the new release!
Of the many types of abilities available, some of the most debilitating ones mess with your opponent’s ability to play the game in the way that he or she planned to. With Oath of Blood now in the fray, we have access to a multitude of ways to deny your opponent’s options during their turn. I define “options” here as the amount of choices a player can make, and the amount of resources (not necessarily just the cards in his resource, mind) they have to make those choices. How viable is a deck centered on crushing your opponent’s options?
One Very Angry Dragon and His Dislike for Large Hand Sizes
No Resources for You, Sir
One method that armies of old used to win sieges against garrisoned forces is by cutting off their supply routes. It stands to reason, then, that a card game like Dragoborne can be won in the same way.
We can do that quite literally with Remorseful Succubus, a new card from Oath of Blood that temporarily disrupts your opponent’s resource count by shuffling two of their resources back into their deck. Against decks that aim to play powerful, high-cost threats early, hampering them for one turn can be enough to throw off their tempo and buy you time to make a play of your own.
Vainglory Incarnate and Merciless Punisher from Oath of Blood and Reaper’s Gift respectively are capable of destroying opposing resources as well, although they both come with restrictions on their use. Vainglory Incarnate can only destroy red and black resources, while Merciless Punisher has a hefty Siphon 6 on it.
If you want to completely crush your opponent’s hopes and dreams, there’s Devour as well, but beware - it gets rid of resources from both players’ resource zones, so you will be left without much resources to work with either. Devour would be a great card in aggressive decks looking to disrupt opposing mid-range, control, or Offering of Souls decks before they can stabilize the board.
You can never truly lock your opponent out of their resources though, because they will still keep their banners, so while they won’t be able to drop their big threats, they can still field smaller creatures.
I Can See Your Future, and All I See Is Bad Draws
The Board Must Be Emptied
Of course, we cannot forget the most basic form of control - creature removal. With Oath of Blood, our removal suite has expanded greatly, with cards like Righteous End, Violent Gale, Sudden Eruption, Supreme Power, and Raid, just to name a few. Even with such a large number of choices, though, players still have to choose carefully as to which ones they want to include, as each spell has its own limitations.
Making your Opponent Hate You - The Reality