In the last days and weeks I have seen a lot of players curse about flyers, in particular about the Drakkar Skycaptain.
I can not agree with those statements. The captain is a 4 cost minion with 2/4 stats, which is (in comparison to the 4 cost neutral minion Maceman 4/4) understated by 2. If you get his effect to trigger once before it gets removed you will get an equal result. Yes it got Flying as a bonus, but costs one more land as well.
The effect will also only trigger if you draw a flying minion, but with yellow being a color with in general unterstated minions and strong spells in comparison to other colors it is not that easy to manage drawing into the flying minions when you need them.
All in all the Skycaptain is a balanced card.
On the other hand his effect being a permanent buff for every draw you get features a different problem for the player who played him. A lot of the deck synergy depends on the skycaptain staying alive to buff the other creatures so that they can trade favorably with the opponent’s creatures.
So the player invests 4 Faeria into a gatherer the opponent wants to remove for two good reasons. The big problem with this is that a gatherer being a primary target for elemination already and with an added benefit to it forces the Yellow player normally to play very defensively in the earlygame to protect his Skycaptain from nasty minionbased attacks.
The issue here is that losing the gatherer/harvester not only results in a crumbling economy, but also in a lost synergy for every card drawn until a new skycaptain is in play. This is even worse when early pressure gets applied as well.
The other problem is that flyers have to already mulligan for Khalim or Skycaptains to get their deck ready to roll. In case the player playing flyers does not get either of them early on their whole gameplan crumbles. The same happens if the opponent has suitable removal ready to answer a Drakkar, Skycaptain early on.
Normally decks play far more than just one or two harvesters and can also afford to lose said harvesters without actually having major drawbacks other than Faeria shortages.
But the Flyer-Decktype does not really get to play many other Harvesters, but also has added benefits stacked upon those few harvesters.
It is a concept which suits the high risk, high reward playstyle of the deck overall quite well.
Yes, they can deploy for example a Skyguard, but then its effect gets pretty much lost while the 4/3 stats for 4 Faeria are already understated (and quite easy to remove for most colors as well).
The effectivness to trade in with a high attack value and a mediumsized healthvalue is in general a downgrade for traditional harvesters.
An additional problem is also the Dune Drake. It is a really effective tool in the flyers list when it comes to trading (as a 5/5 with the Skycaptainbuff), but the only card in the entire game which is not allowed to gather Faeria by default.
It is also (excluding the champion) the only card which would pass the vanilla test in comparison to its cost (cost * 2 = stats), which at the same time has an effect on its own.
The last thing is something I want to talk about today. I do value the option to bring a Flying Unit with 4/4 or 5/5 stats (Skycaptain buff) with additional charge 2 for just 4 Faeria into play. That’s for sure.
But I would like to have a slight rework of this card. My idea is to increase its Faeria cost to 5 while not increasing its stats, but let it harvest faeria in order to make up for the increased cost instead.
This has some additional benefits to it.
Flyers get a strong harvester which can even compete early faeria well control and harvest at the same time.
While having a higher cost - and with that a higher risk put into playing the card - the reward if you do increases as well.
A theme which suits the principle of high risk, high reward the Flyers deck already has even a bit more than the current version of the card. It could work as a “Pseudo” Khalim (but worse), which improves the consistency of the Flyersdeck in general quite a bit while giving some more options to respond and get back into the game after getting rushed early on.
Overall it gives the Flying themed deck the option to have a stronger early and midgame while still having to close out games before controldecks can shut them down, but with a bit more early consistency thanks to the potential of a second harvester in the opening hand.
The big problem which might arise on the other hand is that the proposed version of dune drake might improve the aggressive playstyle too much by using it as a fast threat near the opponent’s orb while also harvesting faeria along the way (flashwinds to move faster) which results in a 4/4 dune drake for possible 3 faeria at your opponent’s orb turn 3/4.
But I would love to see this change being made and adjusted afterwards if it might be too strong or weak.
The mechanic that flyers in general can not harvest was lost quite a while ago.
Why not lose it even for the last Flyers card as well ?
If you want you can leave your feedback here or PM me as well.
I hope you enjoyed reading my post.