Welcome to the fifth day of card reviews for the Magic Misadventures expansion! Today Pantheon vaults onto the battlefield, bringing some exciting new spells and followers with him!
Pantheon & Shield Vault
Pantheon joins Legends of Runeterra as a four mana 4/2 with a whopping THREE keywords: Overwhelm, Barrier, and Fated! His level-up condition required you to target allies in 5 different rounds, which means you won’t be able to level him much earlier than turn six or seven.
Once you do manage to unlock his level two form, Pantheon will gain a random keyword for each round you’ve targeted an ally! Granting himself a minimum of five additional keywords upon level up makes Pantheon a powerhouse unit that will hopefully be able to breathe some life back into a struggling Targon.
Pantheon’s level-up requirement poses a bit of a deck-building incentive, without a sufficient number of spells and units to allow you to target your units he will struggle to level up. Some regions (Noxus and Shurima are the first that come to mind) have much better spells for this kind of deck build. Of course, Targon itself has a multitude of options like Guiding Touch and Pale Cascade to get your build started. A new addition, Pantheon’s spell, Shield Vault, is yet another spell that will play very nicely with the new archetype he encourages. Shield Vault is a two-mana, slow-speed, spell that lets you both stun an enemy and buff an ally making it great for use on offence or defence!
There’s a LOT of different potential champion pairings for Pantheon.
In Noxus Draven and Riven, both generate spells that you can use to target your minions and expedite Pantheon’s level up. The region also has access to burn spells like Decimate or Noxian Fervor to help you close out the game, something I theorize Pantheon may struggle with.
Targon Bilge has been a devastating combination in the past, with the recent nerfs to Sparklefly the region combo lost its current meta deck (Zoe/Nami) but Pantheon’s arrival might be enough to put Targon Nami back on the map. Nami’s condition of banking spell mana means you’ll also need to spend it and you can double down on the payoff for doing so by pairing her with Pantheon and other Fated cards!
In Shurima we have Akshan, whose play patterns line up quite nicely with Pantheon’s own, while you countdown your landmark you’ll also work towards Pantheon’s level up. With a bit of forethought and some planning, you might even be able to synchronize the landmark’s completion with the turn Pantheon hits the board!
Ionia could also make some sense for Pantheon, maybe a shell similar to a current Lee Sin deck that looks to utilize buffs for Eye of the Dragon procs.
Pantheon looks to be a relatively strong card that will have an impact whenever he hits the board, hold him back until he’s levelled up, maybe do something spicy like buffing him with Destiny's Call and drop him on a later turn to try and close out the game. Alternatively, play him on curve to take a block or push some damage and leave yourself a premium buff target. Pantheon’s champ spell Shield Vault is just one more reason to consider playing him out early.
We talked a little bit about this card already but I want to highlight how great of a champ spell it is for Pantheon to have. The stun is a versatile tool that can be used on offence to take out a pesky blocker and improve your attack or it can be used on defence to stop a potentially deadly attack. The card also has a secondary buff effect that will let you boost up any unit you have on the board, allowing for better trades. Even better, Pantheon has the new keyword, Fated, this will let you get an extra +1/+1 out of your Shield Vault if you use it on him! The spell may end up being too clunky to main-deck but I can guarantee you’ll see it cast more than a few times when Pantheon has been double drawn.
Camphor, The Doubt
A six mana 5/4 with a very conditional effect, I don’t have high hopes for Camphor. While the keywords it gains are powerful, especially in conjunction with one another, the condition makes it unlikely to be playable on curve and it is already under-statted for its cost. The one thing Camphor has going for it is that it is a challenger unit in Targon. The only other challenger the region has access to is Diana who is a champion and requires less of a deckbuilding cost to unlock.
This is an epic card so it will enter the Loping Telescope Manifest pool, some would say Camphor being printed is a much-needed nerf to Loping Telescope.
Freed Colossus looks a bit more competitive, at five mana it is also a bit under-statted but it makes up for it by having a guaranteed effect on summoning. Generating a Gem is not the most powerful effect but Mountain Goat has seen lots of play and its gem is not guaranteed. In a deck that needs to target its units the value of a Gem increases dramatically, because of that, I expect to see a lot of this card in the early patch days. If you see Pantheon in your opponent’s deck, bet that Freed Colossus will be there too!
Against The Odds
Perhaps the hardest card to evaluate out of this bunch. For only three mana, this focus speed spell has the potential to grant one of your units up to +5/+5… Unfortunately, your position would have to be pretty dire to get that much out of the buff and it’s unlikely to save you even then. I would estimate this is on average going to grant your units +2/+2, that’s a more expensive rate than you would pay to cast Battle Bonds and because of that, I don’t expect to see this card making waves in the meta game.
That wraps it up for today’s reveals! If you think I’ve overlooked any crazy synergies or cool combos please let us know in the comments below!
Be sure to check back tomorrow to hear our thoughts on the next batch of cards!