Welcome to Sky #11: Top Cards of 2019 - Pt. 2
Coulter L. Baker
Jan 15, 2020
In this post, we'll look at Discovery Mode's top cards from 2019. Since decks in Discovery mode are randomly generated, there aren’t really any “popular” cards, as all cards have an equal chance to appear. However, we do know the win rates of cards themselves.
Cards’ win rates are also affected by the average win rate of their Prism as a whole. Since decks are randomly generated in Discovery, instead of just looking at the top 10 overall cards, we’ll be showcasing the top 3 cards from each Prism instead, to get a better overview of the best cards across different Prisms.
To learn more about Discovery mode, check out our post on it Here.
Wisdom's Top Cards
Wisdom currently has the lowest overall Discovery win rate, due to its more defensive and Spell-based playstyle which serves it better in Constructed, as opposed to Discovery, where Units and tempo hold more weight. However, if Wisdom can survive the earlygame, it’s likely to outlast nearly any foe with its powerful Spells and resource generation cards.
#3 Ponderous (48.8%)
Ponderous is an interesting microcosm of Wisdom’s general playstyle and the challenges it faces in Discovery. It’s an amazing value card with its attached Study. However, the spell takes time to use, and Ponderous’ body offers almost no tempo. So while it can win the value game on its own, it needs support to really shine. However, if you can support them, cards like this can dominate, even in Discovery.
#2 Mr. Whiskers (49.12%)
Mr. Whiskers offers a pretty great overall package. Being able to develop a 2/6 Guard while simultaneously removing a small Unit via his attached spell is a great deal. Mr. Whiskers' primary weakness is that his attack is low, leaving him vulnerable to Armor and Wither Units, and it takes a 6 mana investment to play him and his Spell in the same turn, which can be hard if you've fallen behind on tempo, which Wisdom frequently does.
#1 Toh Tem (51.58%)
Toh Tem is an undeniably powerful card, and its win rate is likely only this low because it's part of the Wisdom Prism. Its combination of Banner, Guard and Ent Mask is useful on its own, but its real power lies in the fact that it summons a trio of small Units upon its Death, making it really hard to kill off entirely, which is fantastic in the tempo-driven Discovery game mode. All these factors make it a clear choice for Wisdom’s best Discovery card, and likely one of the best Discovery cards overall, only held back by Wisdom's weaker status overall.
Strength's Top Cards
Strength is a great Discovery Prism. Boasting powerful Units and damaging Spells, it's fantastic at fighting for the board and overwhelming foes with high-tempo earlygame plays. The reason it has a lower overall win rate is due to the number of new players using it, which curves the overall win rate down. Despite this, it still boasts a respectable win rate, and is by far the most played of any Prism in Discovery.
#3 Storm Rider (51.18% Win Rate)
Banner Units are excellent in Discovery because they allow you to use your Hero more proactively and maintain tempo. As a 3 cost 3/3 Banner Guard, Storm Rider provided a great offensive option and reasonably durable statline for its cost. It has dropped to a 2 cost 2/2, which is weaker, since the 3/3 statline was appealing, but it's still a great card overall.
#2 Edgelord (51.4% Win Rate)
Edgelord brings durable stats and Guard to the table, but its real value is in the Wall of Dead Spell it gives you on Death, allowing you to summon up to 6/12 worth of stats in the form of Zomboids. This dual purpose lets Edgelord provide a good early tempo play, and a terrifying follow up that can often force your opponent to avoid killing it right away, just to stay safe from the Zomboid army its Spell will provide.
#1 Honor Guard (51.78% Win Rate)
Honor Guard is similar to Toh Tem, and provides a similar benefit of a fairly powerful Banner Guard Unit that generates more Units on its own death, making for a great offensive and defensive presence that rarely disappoints. With the added benefit of Armor on itself and its Armored Guard, it makes them trickier to kill than something like Toh Tem.
Heart's Top Cards
Heart is a strong contender in Discovery mode, offering many good options for tempo in the form of both durable Units and Death effects, as well as powerful buff cards and removal options to help you build your own Units up and tear your opponent's Units down.
#3 Garuda (57.91% Win Rate)
Garuda offers a fairly bulky Stealth body out of the gate, but their real power lies in both their Glory and Spell. They can Buckler Up themselves to become a 5/6 with Armor and Guard, an extremely durable statline, and if they manage to trigger their Glory, your Hero will instantly gain +2-7atk from the Banners, making for a huge tempo swing. Overall, Garuda may be a bit slow, but can really carry you if it gets through just once.
#2 Cleo (58.35% Win Rate)
The same traits that make Cleo popular in Constructed serve her even better in Discovery, where high stats and Death effects have even more value due to removal Spells being scarce, and the greater overall focus on tempo.
#1 Throne Blade (58.81% Win Rate)
Similar to Sinlord, Throne Blade provides the one-two punch of being a strong earlygame Unit that provides additional value on Death. Armor and Shroud are both excellent, and help protect its fragile health, and even if it dies, you gain Wind Sword, another great card, which can then be used to toughen up another Unit and grant it Shroud. This makes Throne Blade excellent in terms of both tempo and overall resource efficiency, as it is effectively two cards in one.
Agility's Top Cards
Agility boasts the highest overall win rate in Discovery, a feat it owes to its high tempo cards and aggressive nature, as well as being played more frequently by more experienced players, but only three of its cards could stand at the top of the top!
#3 Roundhouse (57.91% Win Rate)
In a tempo focused game like Discovery, a reasonably costed 1-sided board clear that has banner and does 2 Wither damage repeatedly is nothing to sneeze at. It also forces your opponent to either lose even more tempo paying to remove the Flames from their Hero, or else risk burning out completely, making it a powerful midgame tool that can either reset your opponent's tempo advantage, or push your own even further.
#2 Lightning Vial (58.83% Win Rate)
It seems unassuming, but Lightning Vial can annihilate several other top cards on this list, like Toh Tem and Honor Guard, negating their death effects entirely. Beyond such massive swings, Vial is also a powerful piece of removal. Due to the less consistent nature of Discovery, decks, even aggressive ones, usually won’t be able to get as many Units in play earlygame, allowing you to have greater control of Lightning Vial’s effect. Just a really solid card at most stages of the game.
#1 Engine Blade (59.09% Win Rate)
Engine Blade really serves to showcase the value of tempo and board presence. It may seem an unassuming card, but can quickly build up to deal 8+ damage if your opponent tries to kill it with their Hero, which will also give your Hero +8hp thanks to its Lifesteal. If you can manage to buff it via other cards, especially by giving it more health, Armor, etc. it can potentially win entire games on its own via its constantly escalating attack. Be sure to give Engine Blade respect!
And with that, we’ve come to the end of our top cards of 2019! Thank you all so much for a great year! We’re all very excited for what the new year will bring, and wish you the best in 2020!
See if you can figure out how to defeat your opponent using the game state presented below, in just one turn! Solution will be in the next post!
The solution to post #9’s lethal puzzle is also right below! Congratulations to everyone who solved it!
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