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The Card Spotlight series reviews cards that we don’t typically see in competitive play. In the spotlight I’ll talk about each card’s strengths and what decks could use them.
Imperial Drain once saw a lot of play in rush style decks. The goal is to stop the defender from harvesting Faeria and then overwhelm them with your efficient creatures. Imperial Drain is a great support card for rush strategies because Faeria is so important for a defender. Defenders that aren’t collecting Faeria will often get overrun because they can’t afford to play re-actively.
Imperia Drain doesn’t last forever. The structure deals one damage to itself every turn. The card will only be in play for two turns but it does cost zero Faeria. Imperial Drain’s two Life makes it vulnerable to removal. One Groundshaker will accelerate its destruction by a turn.
Imperial Drain reflects the strength of its favoured archetype. In the current meta-game, rush strategies are weak and no match for powerful tempo and mid-range decks. Finding space in a deck list can be another complication.
If you’re a rush player then Imperial Drain could be a perfect option for your deck. Starving your opponent of Faeria is often more important than pushing Orb damage. The less Faeria your opponent has available, the less likely they can react to your aggression. Imperial Drain enables you to ignore board control and push damage.
This alone won’t be enough to fully utilise Imperial Drain’s power. You may need to destroy an enemy creature even when you play the structure. This is why good timing of a Drain is important. You want to play Drain at two key moments.
- When you want to push damage and ignore harvesters.
- When your opponent is desperate for Faeria and plays a creature.
These two instances allow you to ignore your opponent’s board and force them to play defensively. This gives you opportunities to push damage and set up a win.
Any rush deck can make use of Imperial Drain. I’ve seen the card feature in many styles of rush in the past but Red is the colour that has used it the most.
This version of Red Rush is based around the Combat mechanic. Traditional Red Rush’s build around Firebringer but this list doesn’t have enough synergy for that finisher.
Instead we use the Underground Boss duo to gain Faeria. Imperial Drain will lock out the wells while you can get ahead in economy with their Combat ability.
Rush is one of the weaker archetypes in the current meta-game. Faeria is such an important resource and being able to shut down the wells is a powerful ability. Rush might make a come back in the future with Oversky and perhaps we will see more of Imperial Drain.