I must confess: I’m a Griefer. I’m that annoying player who loves to mess with people. I enjoy the salty taste of my opponent’s tears of anguish. Some of my favourite cards to play are things that counter my opponent’s cards, force them to discard cards from their hand, or – best of all – screw with the opponent’s resources. There’s nothing better than watching my opponent writhe with frustration because they can’t play all the cool cards in their hand.
When I first started playing The Spoils I was surprised at the lack of resource destruction effects, but of course there’s a good reason for it: give Griefers like me too much power and nobody will have any fun. That didn’t stop me though. Back in the First Edition days I started building decks around Spastic Tentacles, because it was the only way to get the opponent’s resources off the board. I tried heaps of different ways of abusing the Tentacles, mostly by bouncing them back to my hand and re-playing them, while ramping up my own resources as much as possible. To maintain my resource advantage in the face of repeated Spastic Tentacles recursion I tried Research Assistants and Makeshift Contrivances at first, and then with the release of Seed 2 I switched to the Arcane Research ramp engine, which was a massive upgrade. (If you’re unfamiliar with the Arcane Research engine, it means using Arcane Research to find 4 Manifests, Hidden Ruins, Burly Assailments, or Accidental Inventions, and then using those to get a big early resource boost.) For a kill condition I used Living God of Thabbash, because it was a big beater as well as another way to recur the Tentacles. But no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get the deck to be competitive. In the end I gave up trying to make the deck tournament worthy, and kept it as a casual deck, even playing around with Count Mau.
Fast forward to the present day, and my dream of making a resource denial deck work is far from dead. Obviously the metagame has changed a lot since the days of the Spastic Tentacles, and lots of new cards are available to tinker with. Which brings me to the point of today’s article: new cards! I’m super excited to be able to unveil an upcoming card from the next set, Holy Heist. Without further ado, here is Uhluhtc Niudla!
As soon as I saw this card, I fell in love in love with it for a lot of different reasons. It’s visually awesome, and I’m sure you can all recognise the Lovecraftian inspiration for the name and art. It’s positively oozing eldritch flavour, and is a perfect fit for the Arcanist trade. But the mechanics are what really tickle me and get my deckbuilding juices flowing.
The first ability, Prevail Upon, is so reminiscent of Spastic Tentacles that I got an instant blast of Griefer nostalgia. For only 1 resource it allows you to generate an effect that is very similar to that of the Tentacles. Both players end up returning one of their resources to their hand. It’s not exactly the same effect however. It’s important to note that it can only hit your opponent’s resources if your opponent has at least one face-down resource. But that’s still pretty reliable, since most players will want to be playing resources as often as possible, even when they don’t have resource cards to use. That’s even more true now that Volition threshold is a thing; lots of cards require a number of face-down resources, so Uhluhtc Niudla can be used to lower your opponent’s Volition and prevent them from playing those cards.
Prevail Upon can be used as many times as you like, and at any time you like, so it’s very versatile. Late in the game, you can use it to return all your opponent’s face-down resources at once. In some matchups, particularly against opponent’s relying heavily on Volition or low-resource decks like 2D Rogue, Prevail Upon can basically reset your opponent back to the beginning 2 resources. If you were ahead of your opponent in resources at that point, that should be enough to win the game right there. As long as you still have 4 resources in play, you can immediately start accelerating out all the cards you returned to your hand, while your opponent will be forced to wait and recover slowly.
The second ability, Avail Anew, turns Uhluhtc Niudla into a game ending threat. For 1 resource and 1 Obsession discarded from your hand, you can make Uhluhtc covert for the turn. Unblockable minions with 5 strength have a tendency to end games pretty quickly.
It’s the combination of the two abilities that has the most potential though. There’s some nice synergy between them, because you’ll probably have at least one Obsession in your hand after you’ve Prevailed Upon Uhluhtc a few times to set your opponent back to square one. The first ability guarantees that you’ll be able to Avail Anew when you need to, at least three times. Once you’ve used Prevail Upon to shut down your opponent, you just need a way to kill the opponent before he or she finds a way to recover. Uhluhtc is both the engine and the kill condition wrapped into one beautiful card.
Ph’nglui mglw’nafh uhluhtc r’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!
With this preview, I encourage all of you to embrace your inner Griefer and try building a deck that’s designed to drive your opponent mad. Post your deck ideas in the comments or on the forum. I can’t wait for the release of Holy Heist, because with it, the dreamer in the deep shall rise!