Mistral Guide Evaluation

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#Mistral Guide
#####by Zaldinfox

This guide discusses uses and approaches to the new Yellow card, Mistral Guide. It is, to my mind, the most interesting and complex of the 6 new additions, and after much testing, I have found that it offers unique precision and exciting gameplay to those willing to master it. What follows is an evaluation of the card, its synergies, and some thoughts on its impact on our view of the board. Check out some excerpts from my latest stream, where I deploy Mistral Guide in some pretty fun ways.


###Card Evaluation
Mistral Guide is a 4/4 Flying creature which requires 4 faeria, and 4 deserts to play. In addition, it offers a permanent effect: ANY creature summoned adjacent to the Guide will immediately be granted Dash 2 and Flying.

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The body is decent for a 4 drop (not overwhelming, but average if we compare it to a 4/4 Maceman without any text). In addition, it possesses Flying, which is quite useful for control decks which often seek to operate on both sides of the board simultaneously. In particular, it reduces the opportunity cost of operating in any part of the board (i.e. it costs less land to be there). This is offset by the hefty 4 land requirement, which make splashing this challenging and taxing. We will consider further card synergy in the next section. For now it is enough to note that this card, on its own, likely does not warrant a spot in most competetive yellow decks. However, with some tweaks to the traditional yellow kit, or a relaxed vision of deck-building (i.e. FOR THE MEMES!) it is functional.

###Synergy Evaluation
What follows is a consideration of cards that are bolstered by the presence of Mistral Guide, and find new or improved functionality. It is a representative, not exhaustive, list.

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Windstorm synergy offers positional setup and flying to two powerful and efficient cards in Yellow. For charger this often means setting up double-collect away from your land, and for Archer, a central or safe position from which to wreck enemies.
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Haste units in yellow (and even cards like Freedom Fighter or Ninja Toad) gain a lot of interesting utility and extra efficiency, maximizing the reach and Faeria collection of the yellow player.
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Yak Attack benefits more than any other card from the Dash and Flying on offer from Mistral Guide. Each Yak, when summoned, is dashed BEFORE the next Yak is summoned, meaning they can all be summoned on the same Hex, or they can be sent from different, adjacent hexes. The flexibilty, particularly from the central positions of the board, is immense, and it makes for hilarious gameplay.

###Board Evaluation

Mistral Guide reorients our view of the board, giving a new tool which can be centrally located and generate influence in the well areas. One of the strongest features is the ability to set up double-collection (within the wells) without the need for establishing a network of lands. This eases up the specific positioning requirements, and allows the thoughtful pilot to readily navigate the board from a position of power. Two cards come to mind in this regard:
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Traditionally, Flash Wind is favoured over Desert Twister as a movement trick, in part because of the lower land requirement. However, Mistral Guide synergizes so well with Desert Twister, that it allows for some truly spectacular combinations. The unique precision granted by the Dash 2 and flying allow for far more flexibility in gaining efficiency for double and triple collecting, arranging the demise of some poor taunt, or freeing up lethal from the back lines. Check out some of the videos for the kind of synergy between these cards.

The strongest objection to Mistral Guide is the inflexibility of the land cost. Following this is the criticism that Guide combines the element of a creature with a trick in a fairly complex package, meaning that our deployment of it is often at the mercy of circumstances. It can flop, or be a huge success. Figuring out when to play it can be a headache. A final objection is that it is competing for a slot in a colour that already has a very well-defined (and diverse) place in the meta. Yellow Control and Yellow Rush are both strong in their own right, and Mistral does not quite fit into those traditional moulds. These are reasonable objections, and it is one of the reasons why I do not see this card being overly competetive in the current iteration of the game. One of the better arguments for including it (in the face of these objections) is the 4/4 body. Eating more than one removal spell from Red as a baseline is always a usefel thing. But it remains contentious whether the 4 desert requirement impose too great an impediment to deck-building.

What follows are clips from my stream which showcase 3 instances of Mistral in action.

Mistral Guide is a breath of fresh air for those of us who enjoy deck-building and new mechanics in Faeria. While there remains many more cards and ideas to test alongside this new addition, I hope this post inspires you to give this card a look and see what kind of fun it can generate!

Enjoy ~Zfox