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Awesome But Impractical / Shadowverse

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Various Gold or Legendary cards in Shadowverse look great on paper, but ultimately prove too situational or expensive for the payoff and thus hardly see play outside of dedicated decks. Some of them even fall squarely into Junk Rare territory. Bear in mind that this trope only applies for constructed play; what is awesome but impractical in constructed might not be so in Take Two.

Any card whose upside is too weak or comes with too many drawbacks to be useful goes under Blessed with Suck.


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  • Noble Fairy induces HP to 1 on the opponent's followers if two or more other cards were played that turn. However, being a mere 5pp 4/4, she's understatted for an underwhelming effect with an ability that restricts her from being played on-curve. Pegasus Elf has her beat in this regard, being able to debuff and then snipe away opposing threats while only requiring an evolve point for her point of damage.
  • Elf of the Gemstones grants your followers Rush when they enter play, but her stats are terrible for her cost, making it difficult to find an opening to play her before she gets removed, on top of even having an opportunity to play her alongside several followers. Fairy Driver already has her beat in her job, with a fairer cost and statline; while he only works with Fairies, Forestcraft already generates them en masse that he doesn't need to worry about deck dedication, and he also gives those Fairies a temporary power boost and Storm to push for face damage if there's nothing to clear.
  • Maahes looks like a solid card — 6pp 5/5 Ward is great, but the problem is that trying to trigger his board-clearing effect needs 2 additional cards to be played. At minimum, you have to spend 8pp for it, and by that point the opponent probably already has a board that won't be taken out by Maahes' effect. Trying to trigger his effect on-curve would involve stockpiling a few Fairy Wisps or evolving a Elven Princess Mage. Even then, it's Overshadowed by Awesome by Rhinoceroach for combo card dumps and doesn't compete well with other better control Forest cards like Crystalia Aerin. Not helping the matter that the Altersphere expansion introduced Forest Defender, who happens to a significantly better board clear for Forestcraft than Maahes and even Cassiopeia and Will of the Forest.
  • Deepwood Anomaly is an 8pp 8/8 Forestcraft follower that induces a One-Hit Kill if it attacks the enemy leader. A powerful effect, but marred by the fact that Anomaly has no protection from removal and can be stalled by Wards. Many have tried brewing combos to give Anomaly Storm so that it doesn't have to wait to attack, but they are often costly and unwieldy. At around the time of its debut, it's far more efficient to just kill with a Rhinoceroach combo.
  • Izudia has a jaw-dropping ability to set your opponent's maximum defense to 6, leaving them incredibly vulnerable to game-ending burst from something like King Elephant. The problem is that he costs a whopping 10pp, and usually cards at that cost are expected to win the game by themselves. There are combos involving using him with White Wolf of Eldwood like with Anomaly described above, but this is restricted to the faster-paced Unlimited format where games can end before you even reach turn 10.
  • Forest Oracle Pascale as a follower is considered to be better than her Runecraft version, as Forestcraft is a class that can establish board tempo relatively easily. The problem is that it requires the player to play 4 cards or more in the same turn to utilize her effect, meaning the only way the player can activate her effect is either playing 4 Fairies in turn 10, or utilize discounted Luxglaive Bayle and Will of the Wisps should the player wants to use her before turn 10 and even so, the board she presents isn't as impactful for Tempo Forest. By contrast, Gilnelise, Omen of Craving, who has better use in Tempo Forest since she buffs existing followers on board to push lethal damage and Yggdrasil's Wrath of Nature, which can bestow discounted Bayles Storm to push lethal damage.
  • Cleft, Dual Fencer is Forest's main Machina legendary card, who would have been a good card had he not been saddled with many conditions. Both his Fanfare and Evolve effect involve him being the third or later card being played, upon which he deals damage. The Fanfare is scaled to Machina cards in hand, while the Evolve effect only does 2 damage. He's so dependent on the rest of Forest's admittedly underdeveloped Machina set that it's difficult to get maximum value out of him. He would later be vindicated by new additions in World Uprooted which provided enough competent cards for Machina Forest and Cleft to be viable.
  • Life Banquet draws you 2 cards. If you played 2 other cards before it, you get a Furious Mountain Deity. If you played 8 other cards instead, you summon two copies of Deepwood Anomaly. This second effect is incredibly Difficult, but Awesome, and in the off-chance you do, you have two hulking behemoths that threaten to kill the opponent in one shot. But it will take a lot of setup to be able to play a total of 8 cards and still have 3 play points left for Life Banquet.

  • Stratagem is a draw spell that is stronger depending on how many followers you have in play. At maximum potential, it's 5 cards for 4 play points. In practice, it's usually 2 cards to break even, 3 if you're lucky. Any lower than that and Stratagem is not worth playing, and given the fragility of Sword's followers, you'd want to be playing Stratagem in the same turn as the followers you put on the board, as they'd be easily extinguished by the opponent when they get their turn. For many Swordcraft decks that can place down multiple followers and have more reliable card draw, a 3pp 2/3 follower that draws a card for each Neutral card is far more reliable.
  • Latham, Vanguard Captain summons a Knight whenever he attacks. A solid-looking card, but hampered by the requirement for the player to expend an evolve on him. Even in the game's debut, there are better 4pp cards to expend an evolve on, like the basic Floral Fencer who gives much more value without even needing to attack. Not helping matters is the introduction of Chromatic Duel, which generates Queen Hemera the White who can do Latham's job without even needing an evolve point.
  • Arthurian Light generates Knights and bestows Storm to 1-cost followers. However, it's an amulet, so you aren't affecting the board, and you get a Knight at the beginning of your turn. In addition, giving Storm to these cards, which are most likely sporting a paltry 1 attack, is very ineffectual in assisting with board control or pushing for face damage. If you really want to use this effect, Latham, Honorable Knight, although he comes in later, does the most of the same thing but comes with a large body and his Accelerate effect makes him useful as an early play or when you already played Latham.

    Curiously, Arthurian Light is more well-received... outside of Swordcraft. Specifically, Portalcraft generates a lot of strong 1-cost Artifacts that work marvelously with Arthurian Light's ability to bestow Storm. The one drawback is that they need to obtain that card through Treasure Map, so it's a 1-in-7 chance of striking the jackpot, with the remaining 6 results being very underwhelming.
  • Alexander has Rush and the ability to attack a total of 14 times! This, in theory, lets him function as Swordcraft's "board clear". However, he cannot ever attack the enemy leader, and while he does have a sizable 7 defense, it's very likely he'll only manage to clear out two to three followers before succumbing to accumulated combat damage, on top of just crumpling to anything with Bane. He's a bit more useful with Unsheathed Blade to basically play him 3 turns earlier, but the issue is you're using a niche card to make another niche card playable.
  • Captain Lecia provides your Officers with indestructibility and damage immunity from spells and effects... but only as a Fanfare (meaning Officers summoned afterwards don't enjoy this buff) and only while she's in play. While she does have good stats for her cost, she's designed for a player to want to play her in the later turns alongside other Officers, and in those later turns it's more likely for an opponent to easily answer her. Queen Magnus the Black and Charlotta, Tiny Justice do her job much better, as their protection also affects themselves and persists past their death.
  • Troya gains Rush if you have 2 or more Officers in hand, and +1/+1 if you have 2 or more Commanders in hand. While a solid card, she is most likely to be effective if you've got a well-stocked hand, and Swordcraft is not known for its card draw. Not helping matters is the addition of many more archetypes with and after her introduction. Due to her incompatibility with Machina, Natura, or Levin cards, on top of Sword losing its focus on Commander-Officer interactions (again), Troya doesn't see much play.
  • Oluon, The Chariot is a decent utility follower when played at its base form. But when enhanced for 7pp, it transforms into Oluon, Runaway Chariot, a hulking 8/16 behemoth. It can't attack, but at the end of the turn it randomly "fights" other characters twice. It can target leaders with this effect, so if you're lucky it can instantly kill the opponent if you evolved it as well. However, for every instance of Oluon winning the game on the spot, there is a story of a player getting severly damaged or even killed by their own Oluon. While you can combo with Steadfast Samurai's damage prevention to avoid instantly losing, it's a costly combo that only softens the worst case scenario instead of improving your odds of winning. Oluon is best used when you really need to answer a board while in a losing position, rather than a win condition.

  • First Curse damages an enemy follower before placing a Second Curse, which is more expensive but more devastating. Using that will replace it with Final Curse for the last iteration of a damage spell. All three are terribly overcosted for the damage they do, and Runecraft's removal suite is so well-stocked that there are many more efficient cards to use over the Curse set.
  • Fire Chain has the potential to completely clear out the opponent's board, especially if it's supplemented by Mysteria who at least doubles its damage output. The issue is that it needs to be spellboosted a fair amount to deliver any lasting impact, and is a terrible topdeck. Even Nova Flare is better in dealing with wide boards on curve.
  • Dragonbond Mage summons a Dragon each time you play a spell. However, a 7pp 4/2 is downright terrible and can be killed very easily before you commence your next turn. It's possible to cast a few free spells alongside him to quickly get as much value as possible, but in a spellboost-oriented deck there are much better ways to spend 7pp.
  • Arch Summoner Erasmus is theoretically a good card, being an 8pp 6/7 that delivers removal without needing to wait to attack. However, he doesn't fit into any of the archetypes, what with both Spellboost and Earth Rite being heavily synergistic, and as such he didn't get played much in constructed. Even his namesake spell saw some fringe use, but was never played at its Enhance cost.
  • Mythril Golem costs a static 9pp, and can be spellboosted to increase the amount of damage it deals to the entire enemy board. However, in a spellboost deck, it's usually much more efficient to dedicate your deck slots to the usual Flame Destroyer and Dimension Shift, which become cheaper with each boost. With the presence of Giant Chimera still being able to do something without spellboosts and capable of hitting face on fanfare, Mythril Golem has been eternally overshadowed.
  • Wild Golem has a terrible 2/3 statline and only gets to 3/4 on evolution. It also gets +1/+2 with a Fanfare Earth Rite, making it a still-underwhelming 3/5 to 4/6. Its end-of-turn ability can help in contributing to board control especially when mopping up enemy fields during the evolution phase, but after that point, Wild Golem can't affect the board state as effectively.
  • Class President Hanna is theoretically a solid card, with both spell tokens she generates being generally very good and the bonus being a great amount of value. However, she suffered due to the fragmented design direction of the Mysteria archetype during its debut,note  and the fact that most Mysteria low-cost cards (which you want to use to trigger her ability) were pretty terrible. She has since been vindicated by further development of the Mysteria archetype, with the addition of strong cards that discount themselves so that it's very easy to get her bonus spell, on top of a win condition for just playing a lot of Mysteria cards.
  • Arulumaya bestows the leader with two effects — one that spellboosts a well-stocked hand, and another that refills a depleted hand. While in theory she's great for a Spellboost-focused deck like Dimension Shift or Giant Chimera, these decks already are stuffed to the gills with draw power that they don't need her help to refill a hand, and can manage many more boosts for a net 6pp.
  • Raio is a 7pp 7/7 that spellboosts everything in your deck 9 times, which is a pretty big deal when it means drawing 1-cost Flame Destroyers or 0-cost Darias. The problem is that he conflicts with the general play style of a Spellboost deck — normally these decks want to draw as many cards as possible to reach their win conditions and boost them quickly. Raio affecting only the deck means that either you're not getting a lot of mileage out of him, or that you've not drawn your win condition — and failing to do so as late as turn 7 is already a death sentence for the deck. And like with Arulumaya above, a Spellboost deck already has many ways to get a decent number of boosts at 7pp while going through their deck at the same time. However, he has since been vindicated come the release of Altersphere, with the addition of several cards to his Truth archetype that promote a viable midrange Spellboost play style.
  • Prophetess of Creation has an insane 20/20 body and also can't be targeted and is indestructible. She also costs an impossible 20pp, so the only way to get her out on the field is by triggering her Invocation effect by playing cards with base costs 1 to 10. Achieving that condition is just as hard as it sounds. Cards that reduce in cost like Flame Destroyer and Anne, Mysterian Prodigy are required for the higher cost cards, and drawing them and reducing their can become a finicky process. If you try to Accelerate a high-cost card, this condition will only look at the Accelerate cost instead of the card's base cost, which can complicate the whole procedure. That said, if you actually summon her, your victory is guaranteed within a few turns, as there are very few ways an opponent can deal with her.
  • Geos, Runehammer on his own is a 1/1 with Bane. When evolving, he draws your highest-cost spell without Spellboost and gains stats based on its cost. This generally runs contrary to Rune's design space in general — many Rune decks which run a good deal of spells run high-cost Spellboost cards on top of cheap spells to help accelerate them, so Geos is unlikely to get a very large buff. Some players have experimented with shuffling a high-cost token spell into their deck for Geos to use, but it ultimately stayed a niche strategy.
  • Wish Wielder gives the player a card chosen from a small pool of legendary cards from outside Runecraft (and even outside Rotation). If he's been spellboosted more, he gives more cards. The issue is that his cards are chosen at random, and each legendary is ideal for differing situations. They are also put into the hand without cost reduction, meaning the player has to at minimum wait a turn before using what they just gained. Wish Wielder has never found a place in a constructed deck, especially when there have been better Spellboost cards even in Rotation.
    • The Gems of Fortune Cup is surprisingly conducive to Wish Wielder. The 0-cost Gem spells help with spellboosting him into generating more legendaries, and any cards that are ill-suited for the situation can be converted into better cards with the Gems. Even if Wish Wielder has to be played on curve without boosting, he presents no loss in hand advantage which is critical in this game mode.
  • Regalore, Steel Chimera was meant to give the Machina Rune archetype a last shot in the arm before Steel Rebellion would rotate and take a majority of the Machina archetype with it. However, it ended up not doing anything useful. To bring it down from its prohibitive cost of 18, Regalore demanded that the player fuse Machina cards into it, discounting by 2 per card fused. While Machina Rune does put a lot of Machina tokens into the player's hand to facilitate this, it's still a non-trivial investment of four cards at minimum to become playable. When played, Regalore returns all other allied Machina cards in play to the owner's hand and creates a bunch of Assembly Droids, each of them given Rush and buffed based on the Fusion investment, but that also requires the player establish a board in the first place. In comparison, Natura Al'Machinus demands less to be playable, and offers far better returns in a hand refill and discount.
  • Pursuit of Truth provides an Instant-Win Condition... for fifty Spellboosts. With that amount you can push the notorious Dimension Shift to 0 cost many times over, and it will take the combined effort of multiple Kuons, Runies and Crystal Fencers to even approach it. It's seen as far more practical to use Pursuit of Truth as a 1-cost free Spellboost (with the occasional upside) rather than charge it for so long.

  • Zirnitra is an 8pp 3/1 with Storm. Poor stats, yes, but she summons a Dragon on Fanfare and evolve. The thing is that her stats don't change on evolution either, so while she does leave some sizable followers behind when she goes down, she'll do very little damage for an 8pp card and would only deliver in niche circumstances. Meanwhile, Forte is commonly seen as the better Storm legend, being cheaper and hitting harder. Her reprint, Zirnitra, Dragon's Flame is significantly better because she can give you one or two 4/4s with Rush to give you board control.
  • Orb Dragon is a 9pp 6/5 that destroys a follower or amulet on Fanfare. Essentially an Execution stapled onto a 4pp 6/5 body, it wasn't too bad, though the high cost prevented Orb Dragon from being played most of the game, and Execution would be a much more flexible card that was available even if the Dragon didn't find their ramp spells. Then Odin appeared one set afterwards, functioning as a far superior version of that card and leaving it overshadowed for good.
  • Poor Fafnir is a prime example of Overshadowed by Awesome. He already has a rather mediocre Fanfare that is only used for cleaning up swarms of small followers, but Rise of Bahamut went to introduce Breath of the Salamander and Bahamut which do his job more effectively, even after Bahamut's nerf. To rub salt in the wound, Chronogenesis introduces Frenzied Drake which can clear the board even better than Fafnir at the same cost for a negligible stat difference.
  • Dragonsong Flute converts low-cost cards in your hand into 4/3 followers with Rush, but only while you have Overflow. While the mechanic is interesting, it suffers from needing to time it properly - sometimes you want that low-cost card, like a Ward follower that could mean the difference between your survival or defeat. More importantly, it also transforms low-cost Enhance cards like Breath of the Salamander, which would otherwise be one of Dragoncraft's stronger cards. The transformed followers themselves are not that stellar, either, as they cannot close a game on their own and their 3 defense makes it unlikely for any of them to survive to the next turn.
  • Date Masamune is a fair 2pp 2/2 that can be played at 7pp as a 5/5 with Bane and Rush. It's a shame that just one set later the craft received Dragoon Scyther who is far superior to Masamune despite being a bronze card. Unlike Masamune, Scyther can gain Storm to close games, always has Bane, and doesn't consume additional play points to reach full power. Scyther lacks Masamune's extra stats, but to a Bane follower whose purpose is to kill giant threats, there's almost no difference between 2/2 and 5/5.
  • Dramatic Dragonblader is a 3pp 5/6 ward — ridiculously overstatted, but has a downside of summoning a Dragon for the opponent. But not to worry, as evolving her lets you remove that Dragon. The issue is this very requirement of needing an evolve point. When played too early, you don't have access to evolves, and when played too late, you've used up all your evolves, leaving your opponent with a nice 5/5 to use against you.
  • Red Ragewyrm starts as a 3pp 0/5 that evolves into a monstrous 10/10, but with the drawback of self-destructing at the end of the turn. It's a waste to evolve it on the turn it's played as the 10 attack is wasted on nearly any damaged mid-game follower that has 4 or 5 defense remaining, but if you want to leave it to the next turn you will need to protect it extensively, as no smart opponent would leave themselves vulnerable to a telegraphed 10-damage hit. The remaining viable option is to give it Storm, but it involves an inconsistent 3-card combo while preserving an evolve point.
  • Jabberwock is a bulky 8pp 7/7 follower that destroys all allied followers on board, then summon a random follower that cost more than a destroyed allied follower from your deck into play. In theory, this allows you draw out giant bulky threats like Zeus, Dark Dragoon Forte, Bahamut, and Genesis Dragon when you have a board filled with low pp followers. In practice, however, it does not work out that well due to the fact that Dragoncraft's playstyle focuses around putting down large, bulky threats while building up play points on curve and Dragoncraft as a class has a hard time maintaining a wide board when compared to other classes like Swordcraft (and Forestcraft in a lesser degree). More importantly, Jabberwock's effect is completely random, meaning a 1pp Goblin may end up pulling out another weak low play point follower instead of a Bahamut (not to mention, most of Dragoncraft's low pp followers tend to be very bad without the Overflow effect). For the best use of Dragoncraft's high play points on curve, an amulet that constantly summons a 5/5 follower with Storm or a reusable bulky follower that can deal 3 damage to an enemy has a much higher value in many Ramp Dragon decks.
  • In theory, Hastewing Dragonewt would supplant Dragon's endgame as a source of Storm damage after the Dragon player's played enough high-cost cards, which Dragoncraft is explicitly designed for. In practice, Hastewing is Overshadowed by Awesome as Prince of Cocytus has been functioning as a much better endgame. Not helping matters is that Cocytus himself replaces the player's deck, erasing any Hastewings waiting to Invoke themselves.
  • Powerforge deals damage scaled to your strongest follower. For 7pp, it summons a 5/5 Dragon before dealing said damage, so you also get a free body and are not rendered helpless with an empty board. However, this spell tends to get overshadowed by slightly cheaper or more efficient removal options at Dragoncraft's disposal, and so it never really finds a place.
  • Wildflame Dragon destroys all damaged enemy followers. It can potentially be a boardwipe... provided Dragoncraft has a convenient way to deal chip damage to an entire enemy board for cheap. The inability to do so without some foresight renders Wildflame Dragon largely unplayed.

  • Ghoul's Banquet generates a Ghost whenever you perform Necromancy, but not only does it take some set up to generate the prerequisite Shadows on top of playing the actual card you need, it ends up consuming precious board space for the simple purpose of generating a Ghost — not the most efficient play, even in an aggro deck. Phantom Howl is often seen as a much more efficient means of mass-summoning Ghosts.
  • Phantom Dragon is a 4/1 follower that gets Ambush whenever another allied follower is destroyed. Designed to work with Shadowcraft's Bad Boss playstyle of killing one's own followers for other benefits, Phantom Dragon is simply too frail to survive even the weakest of board clears, and is outright terrible in a vacuum.
  • Wight King's only effects demanded a 4-Shadow investment — a cost that's not the easiest to fulfill on-curve. Without it, he's more or less a vanilla follower. The only play he sees is when he's generated and made free via Immortal Thane, where he's not taking up deck space.
  • Pluto kills an enemy follower and then takes up its attack and defense, causing a pretty high-value swing in board when she hits anything particularly big. However, she is rather dependent on what the opponent has, and her stats become terribly underwhelming if she ends up killing a small follower that would otherwise threaten lethal. She is also commonly outclassed by Odin who has the same 8pp cost, has a consistent 4/3 body, but can hit both enemy followers and amulets, and banishes them to bypass Last Word effects. She gets brief redemption when summoned through Pact with the Netherworld, but that spell's main reason for seeing play is for its low base cost — calling out Pluto through its Enhance effect is mere icing on the cake.
  • Balor is a 6pp 3/6 with Bane, and on death he does 3 damage to all enemy followers. He trades excellently, and works as a boardwipe when he goes down. What's keeping him from seeing play is the fact that Shadow also has access to Lurching Corpse, Necroassassin, and Khawy all in the very same set, and that Balor's high play point cost makes it difficult to both play him and intentionally trigger his Last Words. When lumped together with all the removal effects available to Shadow, Balor's boardwipe just feels superfluous, especially if he's in the midst of a Last Words bonanza due to Nepththys's effect.
  • Minthe was a 4pp 3/4 who allowed her controller to use Necromancy effects without needing any Shadows. The problem is that she costs a bit too much — a lot of important Necromancy plays like Deathly Tyrant, Eachtar, Abyss Straddler or Death's Breath are rather play-point-intensive, and so Minthe either needs the player to have 10pp available to combo with them immediately or has to wait for Minthe to last at least one turn. And given the abundance of removal in constructed formats, it's highly unlikely the player gets to keep Minthe long enough to see the combos to fruition. What's more damning is her ability is a Fanfare, so not even resurrecting her with Reanimate spells will redeem her.
    • After years languishing in many players' collections as an unused card, Minthe would receive a buff and overhaul to her effect on 31 March 2020. She became cheaper and smaller, becoming a 3pp 2/2. Her main effect is changed to refilling used Shadows for Necromancy and is no longer a Fanfare, meaning that any low-Reanimate spells are now compatible with her. Also, if she enters play, she provides 20 additional shadows immediately which disappear when she leaves the field, the latter effect can be removed by certain spells, allowing the player free rein of Necromancy effects and also contributing greatly to Path to Purgatory, Aisha, Underworld Sovereign, and the new Gremory, Death Teller. These changes got her Rescued from the Scrappy Heap and made her the centerpiece for a new version of Unlimited PTP Shadow.
  • Mail of Obliteration holds infamy as one of Shadowcraft's worst legendary cards, even below the original Corpselord of Woe. While it does have the capability of reaching massive attack scores if the Shadow deck racks up a respectable body count, it is still held back by its lack of other abilities. When Shadowcraft has other much more effective 7pp followers like Eachtar, Khawy, or Arcus, a giant stat-stick that can't even protect itself from hard removal looks downright pathetic in comparison. The only real use it has found is as high power fodder in some Siren decks. That is, until Ceres, Bride of the Night was released were the spell that she produces is now being capable of giving Mail the Last Word of dealing all of it's damage to the enemy leader, setting up for a potential OTK. While still very much a meme card as it requires quite a few pieces to work, it is still a massive step up from the absolute joke it used to be.
  • Nicola, Forbidden Strength regenerates himself on death by putting an increasingly stronger version of him in his player's hand. When he has 4 attack or more, his attack resets and gives the player Forbidden Art, a 5pp spell that deals 4 damage to an enemy, or 10 if its Necromancy cost is paid. The problem here is that the Necromancy cost consumes a whopping 20 Shadows like Deathly Tyrant, which means that should the player want to use his spell to its fullest, they need to forsake a lot of other Necromancy effects. Even worse, Nicola himself is vulnerable to typical Last Words counters (such as banishes, transforms, or worse, Swordcraft stealing the Last Words with Octrice, Omen of Usurpation; which ironically, Swordcraft gets more mileage with Nicola than Shadowcraft), and that Deathly Tyrant offers more burst damage for roughly the same pp and Shadow cost. That being said, some crafty players utilize him in Arcus Shadow, where his regenerative Last Words turns him into a near-endless stream of Ghosts and the opponent being unable to answer him in this state.
  • Baleful Necromancer performs 3 Reanimates, flooding your board at a moment's notice. The issue with this is his reanimate values - all three total 12, but the numbers are determined randomly. So for every instance he performs Reanimate (4) three times, there's the possibility he'll do something like Reanimate (0) twice followed by Reanimate (12). Combined with how the rules of Reanimate work, it's most likely he'll fill your board with random cannon fodder that died on the way to turn 8 rather than anything useful.

  • Furiae deals 1 damage to the enemy leader and draws a card at the end of each of your turns. While it seems solid, her high cost clashes with her effect — she's too expensive for aggressive decks that seek to benefit off her draw power, while control decks have so much hand advantage that using Furiae seems excessive. The advent of Carabosse firmly overshadowed Furiae, giving aggressive decks her same effect for cheaper and without caring about Carabosse's survival.
  • Maelstrom Serpent is an 8pp 5/5 that clones itself on Fanfare, and if the player's in Vengeance, fills the board with copies of itself. There have been decks trying to make the most of it, and its greatest success involved the pre-nerfed Baphomet, letting a deck fill the board with Serpents on turn 6. In its current state without Baphomet being able to reduce its cost, Maelstrom Serpent struggles to find an opening where it can fill the board while its owner is in Vengeance — its lack of protective abilities makes it highly vulnerable to boardwipes, and the Serpent itself is unable to defend the player who could lose at any moment, having 10 or less life. Rotation may have given it the opening to see play, with its slower pace and weaker boardwipes, until Pure Annihilation shows up to utterly ruin its day.
  • Venomfang Medusa has an effect which transforms two Serpents into a Medusiana at the start of your turn. What does Medusiana do? It's a 1/7 with Bane, Rush, and can attack 3 times per turn. But trying to keep Venomfang Medusa or two puny 1/1 snakes alive for more than a turn is almost impossible, not to mention there are only a few cards that can summon Serpents in the first place. Despite this, she's still usable in aggro decks just for building a board in general and being a potential game-winning threat. Her later iteration, Medusa, Evil-Eye Serpent, fares much better in summoning more Serpents at once and creating Medusiana for much less effort.
  • Diabolus Psema costs a whopping 9pp for a 6/7, but generates a Demonic Strike and Demonic Storm on Fanfare. If you're in Vengeance, you also get to regain 6pp to use one of those cards immediately. The issue is that he's designed to be a support for Control Blood, an archetype that has had very shaky replacements in Rotation and lost a lot of good healing options that actually lets the player survive to the endgame where they can play Psema. To rub salt in the wound, Spawn of the Abyss still exists and despite its nerfs it serves greatly as Control Blood's existing finisher, on top of being the same size as Psema, having Ambush protection, and costing 1pp less.
  • Purson is basically Jabberwock that's somehow even worse. His Accelerate effect has all the randomness of Jabberwock without the body and costs 1 more, but the worst part is the extremely limited number of cards you can combo with it. Unlike Dragoncraft where it has multiple high-cost Storm minions, most of Bloodcraft's strongest high-cost followers have low stats with Fanfare. The best you can manage on Rotation is Proto Bahamut and another Purson, and even on Unlimited your options aren't that much bigger. Its very high Accelerate cost makes it awkward to use, as you are required to play a 2-cost card with no Enhance effect to use it. It was even worse when its Accelerate used to cost 9 before being receiving an insubstantial buff to aid at then, one of the worst performing classes in the game's history.
  • When building a deck around the Omens, often their Apostles are strong enough to warrant consideration. Apostle of Lust... isn't. While his body is fairly-statted with a fairly symmetrical upside, many players are turned off by the fact that he grants the opponent a free draw, while Apostle himself is so costly that the player can't easily use whatever they just drew. Even Blood Pact is deemed to be better than him in the self-damaging card draw department.
  • Crimson Rose Queen, being a Blood-shifted version of Rose Queen, stands over her predecessor by having Ward, slightly better stats, and her Crimson Burst token spells providing a good source of healing and damage at the same time. The problem, however, is what gets converted into Crimson Bursts. Crimson Rose Queen converts Bloodcraft cards of cost 2 or less in the player's hand into those spells, but Bloodcraft lacks the resources to generate enough viable cards in hand to get good value out of her. One could build the deck around her effect, though it runs the risk of not having a strong enough midgame to get to play Crimson Rose Queen. On the other hand, the original Rose Queen is perfectly tailored to Forestcraft's numerous Fairy synergies. However, new cards introduced in Steel Rebellion have vindicated her, giving a lot of new ways to maintain hand advantage and contest the board without giving up too many 2-cost Blood cards.
  • Lykos Berserker, on death, puts a 1-cost Blood Moon in your hand for risk-free Vengeance use, provided its attack is 4 or higher at time of death. It's designed for use with Bloodcraft's various hand-buff strategies, and in a vacuum, an evolved Lykos Berserker can still provide the Blood Moon. However, at the time of printing, Vengeance Blood had better enablers in Unlimited or was generally not viable in Rotation, and Azazel would soon render this card obsolete by being a better Vengeance enabler in both formats.
  • Relinquish Reason follows on Bloodcraft's hand-buff strategy by giving +2 attack to all your followers in hand. If you're in Vengeance, the same goes for everything in your deck. However, hand-buffs are best used by aggressive decks which would prefer to spend 3pp on fielding a follower that could also happen to buff cards in hand. Chances are you're more interested in stacking many buffs on a single Storm follower than boosting all cards in hand.
  • Moriana restores two evolve points if Vengeance is active for you. She would be a great addition to the deck, but her cumbersome cost makes it difficult to play her with most other cards before the late game, and Vengeance Blood usually has enough perks in Vengeance that they don't need Moriana.
  • Spawn of Exile is the retrained version of Spawn of the Abyss, but it's also significantly less potent. Rather than deal damage when attacking from Ambush, it instead summons a bunch of Voice of the Abyss tokens. It amounts to a total of 12 damage split across all sorts of bodies, but is proven to be too slow for Rotation Blood decks of its era. Cradle of Dark Divinity proves to be cheaper and superior for the Gradual Grinder Natura Blood deck, while Permafrost Behemoth provides a game-ending burst damage for self-damage Blood.

  • Love's Gospel restores 3 defense to all allied followers and your leader. It offers nothing to assisting board control or developing a board, and is a very dead topdeck.
  • Dark Offering destroys an allied follower, and then lets you draw cards and restore defense equal to that follower's current defense. At 4pp, this makes Dark Offering very difficult to use in the same turn you played a follower. On top of that, most of the followers you don't mind trading out would have very little defense left, reducing the amount of payoff you get for sacrificing them. It is to be said that Shadowcraft's Soul Conversion does Dark Offering's job much more efficiently despite not restoring defense, due to its low cost and static draw magnitude.
  • Arch Priestess Laelia causes every follower to do damage according to their current defense. This also means that as followers trade off and take damage, they get weaker, resulting in very unconventional combat math that can even catch her player off-guard. Once she's left the board, her effect disappears too, making it difficult to base a deck around her. She's been overshadowed by Temple Summit, which can come in on the very first turn and dictate the flow of battle for just one side of the board, denying the opponent the opportunity to take advantage of it.
  • Chorus of Prayer puts a random Countdown amulet from your deck into play, but its cost must match the card's current countdown time. For maximum efficiency the deck needs a good distribution of countdown amulets of all costs, and even that is not enough as it hardly contributes to the Haven player's immediate board state. 6 play points for a Havencraft player is better spent on something like destroying all followers.
  • Haven has an odd thing with Legendary cards that proc your own Countdown amulets, and each one overshadowing the previous until all but the latest fall into this category. Skullfane is the first, hampered by his poor statline and an effect that also blows up non-countdown amulets, and was unused even in his debut format. Eidolon of Madness came next, one-upping Skullfane by replicating his effect at the end of the turn, but also had the issue of being unable to contest the board. Heresy's Avatar followed, and while it took a bit to trigger its Last Words, it was selective with what amulets would be destroyed, thus seeing play in a few niche decks. All three were then overshadowed by Ceryneian Hind, which is far more versatile than the rest as it is usable in situations where the player had no amulets to trigger.
  • Jeanne d'Arc, original poster girl for Havencraft, costs 8pp for a 2-damage boardwipe while giving +0/+2 to all allied followers, and does too little too late by the time she becomes playable. Defense buffs are also seen as generally useless as they don't help followers trade better. Her parallels, Dark Jeanne and Beacon of Salvation, offer more effective damage by either hitting harder or performing it earlier, leaving the original Jeanne overshadowed.
  • Odette sees much less play than her arch-rival Odile, because the latter offers additional damage that can clear out an enemy board, while the former only offers healing that is less useful for board control. There may be some synergy with Elana's Prayer and Tenko's Shrine, you still need a developed board to benefit from the healing before the opponent inevitably answers Odette. Not helping matters is how Havencraft received De La Fille, who provides a healing effect that persists past her death, has Ward, and doesn't give the opponent a free follower that you need to dispatch immediately, all at the same cost.
  • Tutankhamen is a 6pp 6/4 who revives himself at 1 defense if he dies while having 2 or more remaining defense, ensuring he'll only revive once without any external help. While clearly designed to work with Haven's defense buffs and healing mechanics, the fact that a lot of Haven's own defense buffs are terrible doesn't do him a lot of favours. No deck can accommodate him due to his lack of synergy.
  • Vengeful Radiance fully heals your followers and then converts the missing health healed into damage, potentially creating a one-sided boardwipe. However, much like other healing-based cards described above, it's a dead draw when you don't have a board, and its effectiveness can vary wildly. And if you've established a board full of sturdy followers it's likely you're already winning and don't need this card.
  • The Untrue God puts two Havencraft amulets from your deck into play, triggering their Fanfares on the way. The drawback here is that the amulets must cost 4 in total, and The Untrue God randomly determines the cost limits. This makes it, in a way similar to Chorus of Prayer described above, very difficult to plan around effectively, on top of Havencraft amulets in Rotation generally fluctuating in quality.

  • Morton the Manipulator has a unique effect of taking control of an enemy follower... provided its cost is 2 or lower. The player could theoretically strike a jackpot in seizing an enemy Snow White, for instance, but most of the time they'd just be snagging a 2/2 without the ability to enjoy its Fanfare if applicable. Morton not gaining any stats on evolution also makes it difficult for him to trade well.
  • In the Dawnbreak, Nightedge mini-expansion, Electromagical Rhino is easily considered to be one of Portalcraft's most underwhelming legendaries. The follower itself can put 3 extra copies of its Artifact counterpart into your deck and has Rush (and the Artifact counterpart also has the same attributes as well), but the follower's attack (along with its Artifact's counterpart) is scaled based on how many Artifacts left in your deck. In addition, Electromagical Rhino itself when played is not an Artifact, meaning it does not synergize well with Acceleratium. Both the follower and its Artifact counterpart cost 7pp, which makes playing Rhino on curve incredibly clunky and not as impactful (and would feel awkward if the player does not have enough Artifacts). This is in stark contrast to the other gold card that was introduced, Heartless Battle, which was formerly in this trope until the Brigade of the Sky expansion when Puppet Portal was given subsequent support for its playstyle.
  • The Which Erases is a 7pp legendary that banishes a random enemy amulet or follower whenever an effect puts cards into your deck. Its high pp cost combined with the fact the effect only lasts when the follower is on board (and the banishing effect being random) is generally seen as non-impactful for Portalcraft.
  • Artifact Spark theoretically is regenerative burn that can finish off a weakened opponent akin to Chain Lightning. However, it can only hit the enemy leader, and the player must have an Artifact in hand to convert to another copy of Artifact Spark. This makes Artifact Spark a terrible topdeck. Players have managed to built an aggro deck around this spell known as "Aggro Artifact" by using Silva's effect, but it is considered very suboptimal since constantly putting 1pp Artifacts is generally detrimental in aggro decks while the Portalcraft itself doesn't have a lot of consistent Storm or burn damage like what Swordcraft and Bloodcraft has (not to mention, Forestcraft can play a better aggro deck than Portalcraft in both formats).
  • Enervating Mail is reasonable if played on curve. It's a good-sized Ward that, on evolving, can cheat an Artifact from your deck into play to assist with board presence. The impractical bit, however, is its Invocation condition — getting 10 Artifacts destroyed is no easy feat, especially with all the shuffling and redrawing of tokens that you have to do, and by the time you've gotten there, it's already the endgame, where a bonus 3/4 Ward isn't very attractive and you've likely run out of evolution points to use it on.
  • Orb of Desecration is an oddity: An amulet with a whopping 25 Countdown which speeds up quickly as the player's followers die and evolve. When it finishes ticking down, what comes of it? Avatar of Desecration, a 4/4 Bane token that summons two random Portalcraft followers from the player's deck. Getting free stats on the board each turn is nice, but a lot of commonly-played Portalcraft followers will lose out on their very beneficial Fanfare effects. The effect triggering at end of turn also means the player won't get to attack with any Storm or Rush followers that get summoned. Ultimately, it's excess effort for poor payoff... until Belphomet comes around and replaces your cards with his incredibly strong tokens.
  • Shin, Lawful Light is a fairly efficient 2/2 Ward. He gives the player a unique spell when they evolve him, and it can offer a nice buff and even transform Shin if that spell is used on himself. The problem is that Portal has a lot of beneficial effects that require evolves, like Maisha and Lishenna that give actual win conditions on evolving, and many won't want to waste their evolve points on him.
  • Aerial Craft has a nice ability that discounts the cost of all Machina cards in your hand. It would be useful if Portalcraft's Machina suite wasn't terrible — the only frequently used Machina cards are designed to assist with drawing Artifacts. Even the Machina boss card Belphomet doesn't benefit very well as he puts very costly Machina cards into the deck. This card would eventually be Rescued from the Scrappy Heap with World Uprooted introducing a plethora of new and competent Machina cards that can benefit from this.
  • Cannon Hermit Crab is a curious card that generates a copy of itself with half the stats at the end of the turn if Resonance is active or the player controls a Naterran Great Tree. However, the very unfocused state of Portalcraft's Natura package makes it hard to fit in a Natura engine, much less find room for this card.
  • Vertex Colony and Absolute Modesty joined the growing list of underwhelming Portal legendary cards because of the whole "Artifacts with different names" shebang — the most popular Artifacts were Portalcraft's two cheapest ones, and players would generate them en masse. Other distinct Artifacts were usually too impractical to be worth generating and may turn into dead draws at inopportune times. This meant that any supplementary burn from Modesty or Colony capped at a measly 2 or 3. Colony's Crystallize added two more distinct names with its unique tokens to push it up to 4 or 5, but this still wasn't enough for relevance. It wasn't until the next set, World Uprooted, which thoroughly turned the whole Artifact philosophy on its head by adding cards that directly summon Artifacts as opposed to shuffling and drawing them, on top of introducing multiple sources of Paradigm Shift, a discounting token spell which could produce one of three different strong Artifacts. Only then were these two legends Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.

  • Demonic Simulacrum is a 0/3 Ward for 2pp, but gets a monstrous +4/+2 if you control two evolved followers. This condition is very difficult to achieve, given the low life expectancy of followers, and its terrible base stats means it's useless all around.
  • Harnessed Flame and Harnessed Glass have poor stats for their cost and generally underwhelming effects, but if they survive a turn together they combine to form a nigh-unstoppable Flame and Glass. However, they're so easily removed it's nigh-impossible to see them fuse, though if it actually happens, it's a very impressive feat.
  • Archangel Reina, on evolving, will cause every other follower you have to evolve. The issue is that she is so high-costed it's very difficult to play other followers with her, and if you already have established a good board presence, she isn't needed as you can use that 8 play points for other maneuvers that can end the game. To add insult to injury, you have to preserve an Evolution point for her because her unevolved form is abysmally awful, being a 5/5 with no abilities, and she doesn't even get any stat gains when you evolve her, meaning she'll never be better than an appalling 5/5 for 8. The only deck she's played in is Ginger Rune, which allows her to be played alongside several other strong followers for free, albeit on turn 9 at minimum.
  • Legendary Fighter is a 2/2 2pp follower that gains multiple effects when certain conditions are met. He gains the ability to attack 2 times when another allied follower is evolved, gains Bane when a spell is played, and gains Rush whenever an amulet is played. If he gains all three abilities, at the start of the player's next turn, he also gains +8/+8, thus ensuring a one-turn kill on your opponent if he isn't dealt with immediately or stalled with a Ward. While this seems powerful in theory, in practice, this is considered to be Difficult, but Awesome since not many classes can get all three effects off as easily since some classes have one specialized niche (for example, amulets for Havencraft, spell for Runecraft, and followers for Swordcraft). Furthermore, it is very likely that Legendary Fighter will be dealt with on the opponent's turn due to his 2/2 statline, making it easy for many 2pp removal spells to dispose of him. The only deck archetype that can consistently proc all three effects off for a OTK combo kill is Dimension Shift that mixes Earth Rite sigils (since they count as amulets from a gameplay perspective) such as Commence Experiment and save the evo point for the OTK combo kill with the Legendary Fighter; and even so, Dimension Shift have more reliable ways to OTK the opponent with Giant Chimera.
    • However, the Awesome But Impractical trope only applies to trying to grant him all his abilities; when not focusing one's efforts on him, Legendary Fighter is still a reasonable 2pp 2/2 that can fit into nearly any deck, and just giving him Bane alone will allow him to make very valuable trades.
  • Hamsa's effects are hampered by its dependence on your opponent's followers. If there's an enemy follower with stats worth copying, it is also within one's interest to remove it. Hamsa also selects a random enemy follower to copy, so there's a chance it may mimic your opponent's stray 1/1 token than their biggest follower. And without any convenient way to gain Rush or Storm to use those stats quickly, Hamsa barely helps in most decks.

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