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The Twin Val’kyr – Is There Any Hope for Fjola and Eydis?

by - 5 years ago

Introduction to Light and Darkness

fjola-lightbane eydis-darkbane

Fjola Lightbane and Eydis Darkbane are two amazingly designed cards. Sadly, despite having good stats, they did not impact the meta in a significant fashion. I consider them to be control cards as they are value driven rather tempo oriented. Running them means you have to dedicate a good portion of the deck to their cause. This is normally achieved by including a sufficient number of buffs. The problem we face, is that playable buffs are rare. Atop, with the dawn of the Year of the Kraken, Spare Parts did vanish in Standard, making the twins even less viable owing the lack of cheap buff cards that do not occupy a slot in your deck.

Is There Any Hope Left for the Twins?

In order to activate the abilities of both cards, you need to cast a spell on the minion itself. Battlecry effects will not trigger the effect and neither does the use of a targeted hero power (e.g. priest’s healing). Both cards would be insanely good if the both previously mentioned actions would trigger, but they don’t. Therefore, you are stuck with casting either of four spell types on them: buffs, debuffs, heals or damage spells. Obviously, in most circumstances, you would not play debuffs like Humility on your own minion and, with the exception of Warrior (hello Battle Rage), would also not be willing to damage them. It is important to note that the spells have to be targeted spells, random hits or global buffs will not trigger the the divine shield or the 3 damage to a random enemy.

Following, I will give you an overview what classes have to offer in regards of targeted spells, that do not outright kill the twins or render them useless. I will name each of these cards, but I will subdivide in reasonable and unfavorable ones, e.g. Frost Bolt is simply too valuable in most circumstances to be wasted for triggering either effect. Mechanic-wise, regarding damage spells, Eydis is straight Forward, you deal damage to her and she ounshed 3 random damage to a random enemy (including the opponent’s face). Fjola will gain her Divine Shild first, then the spell’s damage is applied.

Druid

Reasonable

2-Mark of Y'Shaarj2-Mark of the Wild3-Mark of Nature3-Healing Touch2-Wrath

Unfavorable

0-Moonfire1-Living Roots

Hunter

Resonable

1-On the Huntexplorers-hat

Unfavorable

1-Hunter's Mark1-Arcane Shot2-Quick SHot3-Kill Command

Mage

Unfavorable

0-Forbidden Flame 1-Arcane Blast 1-Ice Lance3-Forgotten Torch3-Frostbolt

Paladin

Reasonable

1-Divine Strength1-Blessing of Might1-Blessing of Wisdom1-Hand of Protection2-Holy Light3-Seal of Champions4-Blessing of Kings5-Blessed Champion

Unfavorable

0-Forbidden Healing1-Humility4-Hammer of Wrath

Priest

Reasonable

1-Flash Heal  1-Inner Fire 1-Power Word Glory 1-Power Word Shield 2-Divine Spirit 5-Power Word Tentacle

Unfavorable

1-Holy Smite

Rogue

Reasonable

1-Bloodthistle Toxin 1-Briarthorn Toxin 1-FAdeleaf Toxin 1-Cold Blood2-Shiv

Unfavorable

0-Backstab0-Shadowstep2-Betrayal

Shaman

Reasonable

1-Primal Fusion0-Ancestral Healing1-Rockbiter Weapon2-Ancestral Spirit2-Windfury

Unfavorable

1-Frostshock2-Lava Shock3-Healing Wave

Warlock

Reasonable

1-Power Overwhelming1-Mortal Coil

Unfavorable

1-Corruption2-Demonfire3-Drain Lifebane of doom

Warrior

Reasonable

1-Blood To Ichor0-Inner Rage2-Slam 2-Rampage3-Charge

Unfavorable

3-Bash

Evaluation of Class Options

There are obvious class choices are Paladin and Priest, which thrive on buff cards. Sadly, in Priest, one of the best buffs (Velen’s Chosen) is not available any more in Standard. This leaves only Power Word Shield and Flash Heal as “staple” cards. Paladins normally do not run buffs in the first place with the exception of aggressive archetypes, wherein both cards do not fit optimally.

Warlock has no real playable option besides Power Overwhelming that makes sense casting on the twins. Neither do Hunter or Mage with targeted spells belonging mostly in the damage or the debuff category. Rexxar’s Explorer’s Hat is simply not good. Druid seems interesting at first glance but all buffs outside of Mark of Y’Shaarj aren’t played. Playing the latter on either of the two Val’kyrs would not lead to card draw. Malfurion’s damage spells are simply too important to be wasted for the effects. Maybe you could make an argument for a Wrath cycle in the right circumstances. Shaman is in a better spot. Valid options are Primal Infusion and Rockbiter Weapon. On paper, Ancestral Healing and  Ancestral Spirit may be options, but they are normally too weak. Healing Wave is just to big a healing and Lava Shock and especially Lightning Bolt are too valuable to be wasted as already mentioned for druid.

Rogue on the other hand looks more promising than I thought. Three of five poisons from Xaril, Poisoned Mind can be used to trigger the effects of Eydis and Fjola. Cold Blood is also a valid buff that actually sees play competitively. Shadowstep is only reasonable with Eydis or a heavily damaged Fjola because the latter will benefit from the Divine Shield granted. Atop, you can make an argument of cycling a Shiv, Backstab is not reasonable on Fjola with the Divine Shield being destroyed immediately (see above). It would only make sense with Gadgetzan on the board to cycle a much needed Card if your Opponent has no undamaged minions in play.

Warrior is the second surprise with some really good and cheap synergies: Inner Rage and the new Blood to Ichor. Similar to Rogue, in some circumstances Cycling a Slam to enable a favorable trade with Fjola or to possibly snipe a 3 health minion (hello Tunnel Troggs and Mana Wyrms) seems reasonable. Bash seems to be a less viable option, it can be right in some circumstances and would not harm Fjola but gain you three armor. Anyway, it is normally suboptimal.  Rampage as well as Charge are regularily played only in conjunction with Raging Worgen in OTK (one turn kill) style decks wherein both do not fit well and the buffs are needed to pull off the OTK combo.

Hearthstone Screenshot 06-04-16 09.57.11Hearthstone Screenshot 06-04-16 09.57.26Hearthstone Screenshot 06-04-16 09.57.21Hearthstone Screenshot 06-04-16 10.01.33

(Eydis turning around the game: Blood to Ichor on Eydis killing a 5/3 Bloodsail Raider; click to enlarge)

Final Thougts

To summarize, there are 4 classes which might be able to run Eydis Darkbane and Fjola Lightbane without too many changes: Paladin and Priest as well as more surprisingly and potentially even better suited Rogue, Shaman and Warrior. I will definetly test latter in the new season and I will post a list if I find a combination that is working well. I will try Patron and Tempo in warrior archetypes besides I think that the more promising archetypes are Miracle and perhaps (Reno?) N’Zoth Rogue (Xaril’s poisons and Cold Blood) and a modified version of XIXO‘s Midrange Totem Shaman (Primal Infusion and Rockbiter Weapon). I listed my decks that I am testing right below.

One thing I realized in almost all matches: opponents tend to panic when they see one of the sisters and do almost everything to remove them as fast as possible – and rightly so! This means, even if you are not holding any combo piece in your hand, both cards are strong turn 3 plays because your opponent will most likely take unfavorable trades or waste e.g. a fireball just to get rid of your Val’kyr. I am still not sure, but my gut feeling is telling me that perhaps, one of the twins is enough. I still have to figure out which one. In Rogue this may not be true because you can gain a lot of options because of the heavy cycling with the Auctioneers. Also concealing a twin, probably with Gadgetzan, feels amazing

The final questions are a) how many cards do you need to interact with the twins and b) how many times should you be able to pull the effects off for being worthwile?

I think you do not need to stack your deck with buffs. Both minions have good stats for 3 Mana. If you get to trigger the effect twice or thrice in a game the value is great, once or twice is ok. I would assume that 4-6 interactions options will be enough if you paly both, 3-4 if you just play one of the Val’kyrs. To proof this theory, some playtesting has still to be made. I would really appreciate your inside on these questions and comments on the deck lists below, so please send me a tweet with your oppinions @OtakuMZ1978.

To conclude my article, below you will find my takes on the “Twin Val’kyr”. Also I amended a deck by Amaz called “Fate”, which he recently posted on twitter and which inspired me to write this article.

Good luck and have fun!

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Martin "OtakuMZ" Z.

Real life physician and afterhour card battler. Martin "OtakuMZ" contributes to the Hearthstone team of BlizzPro since late 2015. Additionally, he contributes analytic articles for Hearthstone and Gwent as a member of Fade2Karma and in his collumn on the Gwentlemen site. He is best known for his infographics which can be accessed at a glance at https://www.facebook.com/hsinfographics and https://www.facebook.com/gwentinfographics


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