next expansion – Madness at the Darkmoon Faire – is coming on November 17 (Nov 18 in ANZ), and as the name suggests, it’s shaping up to be pretty insane. For one thing, fans of the Whispers of the Old Gods set from 2016 will be pleased to hear that all four Old Gods are back as new legendary minions, and once again, they’re big, build-around cards that can end games.
Instantly, in the case of Yogg-Saron’s wheel hitting Rod of Roasting.
Madness at the Darkmoon Faire also introduces a new keyword – Corrupt. Cards with Corrupt can be upgraded in hand by first playing a card of a greater cost than the corruptible card. The artwork also upgrades… well, it gets more tentacles and eyeballs at least.
We’ve seen quite a few cards in the set so far, and today IGN can add one more. Introducing our exclusive card reveal for Madness at the Darkmoon Faire, the Mage legendary spell, Deck of Lunacy:
Pretty insane effect, eh? And just to be clear at the outset – the transformed spells can be from any class, which certainly adds to the fun factor, but also means it will be harder to find clever ways to abuse it, such as knowing that any three cost spells will always transform into Blizzard, to give one example.
In any case, mana cheating always has the potential to be powerful, so let’s look at how this spell might fit into Mage decks. From what we’ve seen of Mage in Darkmoon Faire so far (which is actually not a lot), it’s all about secrets synergy, so Deck of Lunacy won’t fit into that at all – two mana to deactivate all your support cards sounds pretty awful, after all. In terms of where Mage is at right now, Cyclone Mage is perhaps the most obvious build Deck of Lunacy could slot into, so let’s ignore the fact that Cyclone Mage isn’t very good at the moment, and have a think about it.
The spells currently in this deck are primarily one and two cost, which means after playing Deck of Lunacy they’d be four and five cost spells… but still cost one or two. That means you could wind up with anything from useful options like Swipe, Starfall, Marked Shot, Fireball, Consecration, Hammer of Wrath, Mortal Strike or Potion of Illusion, through to a handful of epic whiffs, like Soul Split, Hunting Party, Blade Flurry! and Duel!
Looking through the cards currently in Standard there’s actually a pretty good chance for the transformed Deck of Lunacy cards to give you burn or the ability to clear enemy boards, and there are a few card draw and board generation options, as well as a lot of buffs. And to state the obvious – even weak cards can become pretty compelling when they cost three less. One mana Bite? One mana Power Infusion? Two mana Assassinate? Two mana Bane of Doom? Sure, why not.The real issue, however, is that Cyclone Mage’s spells aren’t just low cost for the sake of being low cost – they synergise with what the deck is trying to do. Magic Trick, Primordial Studies, Ray of Frost and Evocation all generate more resources to allow you to chain spells for Mana Cyclone, Chenvaala and Mana Giant. And both Cram Session and Arcane Intellect are super important to help you draw through your deck.
Deck of Lunacy will still be good with Mana Giant, but Cyclone Mage needs consistent draw. Perhaps the spell damage package could be swapped for minion-based card draw? But then it’s still a one-of in your deck with no way to tutor for it. And once Deck of Lunacy is played you can say goodbye to your copies of Conjurer’s Calling.
Where does this all leave us? Perhaps this is a card that slots into a completely new deck? Perhaps it’s a card that helps shore up bad match-ups by transforming weak spells into more powerful ones?
One thing is certain, at the very least, this is a card that’s going to pop up from time to time via discover or card generation. After all, cards like Magic Trick, Arcane Breath, Wand Thief, Kalecgos, Vulpera Scoundrel and Steward of Scrolls will all offer it, and sometimes it’ll be the right pick. Deck of Lunacy will also be generated by the likes of Mana Cyclone and Tome of Intellect, and occasionally be played on your behalf by Trick Totem and Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron.
And when that happens, one way or another, madness – and hopefully hilarity – will ensue.
Cam Shea is IGN’s AU Studio Lead and has been mixing a lot of rave era breakbeat lately. He’s on Twitter.