With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 coming out on May 5th, it is no surprise that this month's season pass is focused on the Guardians as well. To start, our season pass card for this month is Nebula:
And of course, purchasing the season pass will also get a variant for the month's card plus 2 supporting cards. This month, those variants are:
You also get more gold than if you had spent the same amount of money on gold, some bonus credits, boosters, card backs (there's apparently 4 coming up this season, not sure how many are premium vs free), and avatars.
Let's talk about Nebula. She has great stats. "But Vin, she's only a [1/1], how is that great?"
Let's assume we play Nebula on turn-1 (33% of the time, we can do this if no Chavez). Let's then assume our opponent plays a card there on turn-2, turn-3, turn-4, turn-5, and...no wait, their lane is full now. They can only play there 4 turns without some way to remove cards (Nightcrawler, Destroy, etc). That puts her as a [1/3] if we play her on turn-1. That is already above rate and fully ignores the cost imposed on the opponent to play there every turn. An Electro deck may struggle. A Hit Monkey deck that wants 3x Mysterio on turn-6 may struggle...plenty of decks may struggle. And playing there regularly has an interaction cost as well.
I'm going to ignore the obvious benefit with the other Guardians (Rocket, Star Lord, etc) and point out that a ton of locations can benefit this (locations that add a card to lanes or restrict play in other manners) such as Star Lord or Professor X.
Lizard is another piece that has some synergy with Nebula. It's theoretically quite hard to both stop the Nebula growth AND proc the -3 on Lizard.
She is of course weak to Killmonger...so Armor followup has some solid value. On top of this, Armor shuts down one legitimate way that the opponent can play in her lane more than 4 times - destruction of their cards. The biggest question right now is if there is any reason at all to play Sunspot over her. Sunspot was recently nerfed and I truly think that Nebula will grow more on average. That said, Sunspot allows for pushing more power into that exact lane if desired by skipping turn-6 for example. Nebula, on the other hand, lets us use all of our mana. My thought right now is that the Sunspot nerf should perhaps be reverted, as I think in the vast majority of cases, Nebula is just a significantly better option.
Is she P2W? Nope. There will be a ton of decks that win without her, and a ton that win with her. The season pass is great value and relatively cheap, and that is the model for this game. I truly do not think that is pay to win - I pay less for it than for plenty of subscriptions that are required to play other games. Is she pushed? Sure, she seems to be quite strong to me.
What decks could she go in? Honestly, anything that wants a 1-drop, but let's look into decks that have at least some inherent synergy with her. Note, at least one of these decks is not good at all at the moment, and adding her won't necessarily suddenly make it busted, but I'm listing it as a potential home for her regardless (you can figure out which?!):
This one has a ton of different build options and can move into junk as well. A random first thought idea (towards cards that I like):
Debrii could be an addition if we want to move towards junk (and counter Galactus). Hobgoblin works well with Daredevil as well. Hazmat could be a thing if we want to run Debrii. Something like Enchantress to counter Patriot could make the cut as well.
Nebula fits great into this shell - she's the strong 1-drop the deck needs while not being unplayable after Negative and then giving Hit Monkey some more power. I don't know the best list, I don't know if Armor is worth playing. The synergy with Bast is really kinda cute - if we play Bast turn-1, it's kinda like 1 proc from Nebula...but if we then play her into a lane the opponent played a 1-drop into, that's like an added free additional proc despite being a turn late. Here's an idea:
Maybe Skrull is wrong, maybe the deck wants Sera, who knows! This is just a sample idea, for now.
[Edit: Rogue is kinda bad now with Enchantress OTA buff, which also makes Iron Man worse...so eh...]
This is an already top tier deck, and Nebula just makes it stronger. Sandman restriction provides synergy, and Aero theoretically could as well. Here's a start to a list:
I already wrote about this deck in the late season meta article, so check it out if you want more information here!
OTA Changes April 27
Four changes went live today:
- Shanna from [4/2] to [4/4]
- Lizard Ongoing from -3 to -4
- Sandman from [5/5] to [5/3]
- Enchantress from [4/4] to [4/6]
I really think Armor should have been nerfed in expectation of next patch...oh well.
Shanna Change is good, though I'm still not hyped to play her.
Lizard change is very good, he has a more relevant cost to interacting with him now.
Sandman change is good, and is an example of a card where such a change is perhaps the most relevant. When bother players get their play restricted, small amounts of power become far more critical.
Enchantress change does not seem good for the game. One large issue the game has faced recently has been counter cards being too strong as just vanilla bodies. Enchantress had a low play rate because the meta was very much not Ongoing based until a weekish ago when the Shuri nerf went live. Now, we are seeing a good deal of Ongoing (with Patriot for example), and this change just strangles a deck that was on the upswing and not problematic. Enchantress was likely to become more than playable regardless. It's like this change was one from weeks back when Enchantress was unplayable because Shuri Redskull was the most popular combo being run.
Edit: Perhaps worth noting, this was their comment from a bit back...
So this seems to confirm my initial thoughts, and removes a lot of hope for OTA patches in my mind. they are reacting to an already dead meta instead of looking forward to what may be problematic now or in the future.
I really think that unless you have a specific synergy with your 1-drop, Nebula is just the best option for that energy slot.