Community Review – The Duchess of Deception

Sorry about the delays guys, Thanksgiving weekend threw me off. Onward to the reviews!

For every card, I have selected usually one or two community members to write a little paragraph about each card.

Participating Members:

Tim K

Elliot Kramer

and me, Everett

Victoria’s raw dice per turn works out to be the one of the highest in the game when playing with her cycles, second only to Orrick (who comes with a much harder hoop to jump through to support). Not only does Victoria have a huge raw dice count, but she also makes power dice more effectively than any other Phoenixborn. Combine that with the dice power best at making the game a resource fight, and Victoria becomes the strongest Phoenixborn for playing the dice resource game. The cost, for all of this, is that her five battlefield can feel a little tight in slower metas (such as the current one), and she has no unique cards or abilities to otherwise push her offensively/defensively over other Phoenixborn. -Elliot


A deceptively good card. Hidden Power is probably the most powerful illusion card to date, and this gives you copies 4-6 (with different pro’s and cons over the original). One of the coolest things about the card is that it allows you to effectively have more dice as the game goes on. On average, later rounds will be filled with more cycles/be more likely to have cycles. This is especially good in decks that are trying to draw more Summon ready spells – such decks have an inherent higher dice cost as the game goes on (as more is on board, and the same amount of average costs remains drawn) – cycle helps you pay those costs and continue to play out your hand and/or use your dice to disrupt your opponent. The other great thing this does is let you make plays from 0 dice. An opponent can never be safe from a wolf dice – even if you are out of dice entirely. -Elliot

This card is definitely a diamond in the rough. While it doesn’t look that good on paper, Victoria can put this card to great use to help insure that she has as many wolves as she needs, even when she has no dice left to use! Cycle’s recycling ability is also great late game when you have a lot of books out and just need raw dice. – Everett


Focused (especially twice), this card threatens something very efficient. It’s as hard to kill (without attacks) as an Ice Buff’d Golem, and kills units as it comes down. The tough thing that you have to work around with this card is it’s triple illusion cost (which is expensive for both meditations, color, and raw dice). You almost have to have a strategy focused on focusing this book if you want to begin to make it work – but beware of the high cost in dice that it takes to do so; you’re going to have to find ways to not fall too far behind otherwise. -Elliot


The most raw powerful card to come out of Victoria’s deck. This is the single most efficient offensive unit in the game printed thus far at a reliable 2 power per dice – beating out even all allies which tend to have more aggressive stats. Once focused, those 2 power also become a lot harder to remove through pings. Shadow Spirits fit into most illusion decks looking for a unit to put on any sort of pressure, but they become a bit worse in metas filled with good unit guard units like Butterfly Monk (who can always step in front of the spirit and heal 1 for an equal dice cost). -Elliot

This card is raw efficiency, plain and simple. Two attack for one die is incredible, and it shines best in decks with low battlefields like Lulu to make the most of this efficiency. -Everett


A tricky card to make use of. Right now, the cards that benefit from your units being illusions (e.g. Bring Forth and Body Inversion) don’t give a huge pay off for using To Shadows on your own units. The other obvious use, on your opponent’s units, can be used as a pseudo-hypnotize when attacking with small units into bigger blockers. Turning this into a winning strategy however is tricky, and you will need to be exceedingly clever to make it work. -Elliot

At first you might want to run this as a way to push through small units, but people don’t often run Frostbite so it’s hard to see that as a good justification. I think it really works best with 2-power units, because if you spend a die making one those get through you’re doing well, while they’re still small enough to make the illusion effect relevant on an HK or a Bear. You still only net “1 damage” on that unit if the opponent gives it up, but for a deck not running Frog dice that’s an okay deal if you have the spellboard slot to spare. -Tim


Secret door is a tricky card to work with. On the one hand, one can see all the various things it can do and think that it is a top-tier card. After all, how can you argue with mid-game card draw followed by late-game recursion? But on the other hand, reactions are a very niche card type, so the recursion becomes significantly weaker if you have to wait for the right moment. And seeing as reactions are almost never found in more than 30% of a deck, you have to wonder how much card draw is actually going to come from a spell that also takes up a valuable spellboard slot without summoning units or dealing damage. -Everett


The oft-overlooked portion of Vanish is the double illusion cost. It can be much harder to keep up those dice, and the card, than it seems on paper. Drawing multiples almost guarantees some being stuck in your hand. Still, Vanish remains the only way to stop a fatal Molten Gold, while also providing a good answer to strong cards such as One Hundred Blades or Sympathy Pain. Best used in decks with lots of illusion dice (5+) – and don’t be afraid to leave the 3rd or 2nd copy at home. -Elliot


Spending a die to counter a damage to a unit is often every bit as good as using a frog to deal 1, and coming as an unknown from the hand adds to that value. The only catch is the deck / hand space it can take up – it works best in book-heavy decks that don’t need to draw into their fuel. -Tim


It’s unclear what the dream scenario is for Figures in the Fog. You are spending 3 dice (two class), exhausting some amount of units for an attack (and spending that main action) to “punish” your opponent for blocking (and countering) with their unit. It’s exceedingly expensive and should not be played in most decks or metas. The one saving grace that Figures in the Fog has going for it is that it doesn’t “affect” your opponents unit, so if the meta is filled with troublesome Seaside Ravens or future Magic Guard units, Figures in the Fog may be an (expensive) option to deal with them. -Elliot

Okay, let’s try this. Say you’re Victoria or Rin, Illusion-heavy build, lots of dice. Say you’re running Rose Fire Dancer, Shadow Hounds, maybe a Flash Archer or two. Illusion has a bunch of these fragile units. You theoretically, with some hands, may have the dice to spend three turning a trade into a kill, ideally as you have the first player token coming your way. If you ran a single copy in a deck with 3x CoP to feed it to, maybe (?) it can do more than some alternate 30th card. Maybe especially if you’re going mono-illusion for whatever reason and lack options. -Tim

Let’s just get to the point. This is a card limited to combos that haven’t been released, designed, and/or discovered yet. Until one of these combos surfaces, it’s probably best to check out some different cards. -Everett


If Nature dice become less popular with the two new dice (or if you’re Rin), False Demon can be an attractive target but for the most part you’re only playing this if you have Hounds. But free is free, so it’s hard to complain. It’s a little tricky to make good use of on its face – if you can get it on a Hound that’s going to connect with the opponent it’s quite good, otherwise you aren’t going to see many units with 4+ life to make it relevant against. Note that it also gets you two wolf sides back, so at worst it’s a smaller Call Upon the Realm. And it can always be paid for in full for trickery on a non-illusion. -Tim

As with any 4-die ally, you need to be careful with it given Blood Chains, Fear, etc., and in this case Ice Trap notably joins that list. You can’t build a strategy around it, but it’s a good one-of in some cases. Once they’ve burned some removal on other things in the round it becomes safer, and if you meditate it they have to think about respecting a possible second copy for the rest of the game. When it sticks, it can fill a good role in a deck that doesn’t have access to HK. -Tim




Seeing as this is the last pack that will be coming out for awhile it appears, perhaps we’ll go back and review Rin and Brennan! I’ll gauge interest on this, and if anyone is interested in contributing, shoot me a message on Slack. Thanks for reading!

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