The current gas fee situation wreaking havoc on the Ethereum ecosystem has brought the Gods Unchained economy to a grinding halt. Players are unable or unwilling to pay a $20 transaction fee for a $0.50 card, and for good reason! As of late, this has largely prevented new players from building out their Genesis collection. But not for long!
Luckily, the release of Immutable's proprietary trading platform, Immutable X, is on the horizon! Immutable X will allow old and new players alike to buy and sell Gods Unchained cards uninhibited by the egregious gas fees. In preparation for this monumental release, I'd like to present a new player's guide to navigating the Gods Unchained market, and offer some suggestions as to where new players may want to look first when building out their Gods Unchained Genesis Set collection.
These cards are either staples in certain archetypes, or ubiquitous in many decks utilizing certain Gods. Whether you are an aggro player, a fan of the mid-range, or a control player hellbent on getting to 9 mana, there are certain Genesis cards that are currently must-haves for anyone hoping to fully optimize their deck lists.
Let's begin with some of the more commonly seen Neutral cards. These will provide their owners with the most play-ability and bang for their buck, by virtue of being playable with any God.
Demogorgon – A control player's ace in the hole.
An essential control tool, Demogorgon can single-handedly stop aggro and mid-range decks in their tracks, and turn surefire losses into epic comebacks. Putting your opponent’s board to sleep, and developing a 4/6 body with Leech is a massive swing play. Combine that with its passive ability, dealing 3 damage and healing its controller for up to 3 health so long as the opponent has a sleeping creature, and Demogorgon becomes an irreplaceable control tool for anyone looking to consistently make it past 7 mana.
Not to mention, arguably the most powerful combo in the game just so happens to be a second Demogorgon. It’ll put the opponent’s board to sleep again, and both of their passive abilities will proc, dealing a combined 6 damage to enemy creatures, and healing their controller up to 6 health. Often times, the difference between an easy victory and a frustrating defeat is determined by whether or not your opponent has Demogorgon on their first 7 mana turn. Demogorgon does what it does better than anything else in the game.
Ashen Drake – Offering versatility and a final push for any and all mid-range decks.
Ashen Drake is essentially an AoE removal spell, burst damage from hand, and a beefy 6/5 body wrapped up into one convenient card. It fits seamlessly into almost any mid-range deck, providing its user with the ability to remove or damage an opponent's threat, or providing that final bit of burst damage required to put an opponent's health to zero. Its 6/5 body is not something your opponent can ignore for too long, so even if Ashen Drake itself doesn't provide its controller a direct path to lethal damage, it'll almost always remove or absorb multiple resources which can be invaluable in the final stages of a mid-range match-up.
Expectant Chicken – An aggro deck staple providing extra stats and Afterlife synergies for one mana.
Expectant Chicken has been an aggro staple since day one, providing extra stats for its mana cost, multiple creatures on board, and offering potent potential upside with its Afterlife and sacrificial synergies. Essentially a 1 mana 3/3, Expectant Chicken outperforms its mana cost in stats no matter how you look at it. The fact that its Roar effect spawns a 0/3 egg that takes multiple turns to manifest a creature capable of attacking may seem like a downside at first, but when played in combination with sacrificial cards like Untold Greed and Daemonic Offering, it can offer some of the most aggressive and devastating openings in the game.
In addition, the fact that the Chicken Egg spawns a 2/2 creature as an Afterlife effect can help more fragile aggro boards sustain themselves against AoE board clears. A neutral staple for any aggro deck with a unique effect and multiple synergies should continue to see play for the foreseeable future.
Pyramid Warden – The most ubiquitous Genesis card in the game, improving almost every deck on any end of the play-style spectrum.
Pyramid Warden is a 2 mana creature, with 8 stats, and Frontline. Need I go on?
Sure, it has a notable downside, and definitely gets worse as the game goes on. But using a Bag of Tricks to play Pyramid Warden on turn one is currently the only opening in the game that cannot be killed on curve.
If new early game creatures with powerful Afterlife effects are introduced in new sets, it may bring down Pyramid Warden’s power level a bit. Until then, Pyramid Warden deserves a spot in most aggro decks looking for big creatures as early as possible, as well as control decks looking to survive the early game by virtue of its 6 health body and Frontline. A neutral card that fits in both aggro and control archetypes is going to be tough to displace. Did I mention it's a 2 mana creature, with 8 stats, AND FRONTLINE? Get 2x Pyramid Wardens. Seriously.
Jason, Medea's Muse – For the control player with a big budget.
Jason, Medea’s Muse has been the most expensive Genesis card since the market first opened, and for good reason. By virtue of its Roar effect, Jason gives any player access to any Legendary in the game, provided RNGeezus is on their side. Regardless of which specific Legendary cards it delves, Jason is an invaluable tool for any deck looking to expand its list past the 30 allowable cards, especially in control lists that may be expecting to eventually go all the way to fatigue.
Jason’s Roar effect is not irreplicable; Deuteria, Manashard Mage offers a similar effect. And sometimes, control decks don't benefit all that much from playing Jason in the earlier stages of the game, as the 3 random Legendaries can dilute your deck and prevent you from drawing essential cards in a timely manner. That being said, the potential upside of Jason is more or less irreplicable, and if something with a similar mechanic were released in the future, odds are the control lists that already run Jason would simply run both options. For that reason, it is all but assured that Jason will always have a distinct and important role to play in control-oriented metas. Jason will certainly command a heavy allocation of capital, so I can't recommend him to new players on a tight budget. But if money isn't an object, Jason is certainly a worthwhile investment.
If you favor a specific God or Gods a bit more than the rest, and you're looking to build out your collection to maximize your win-rate within them, these Genesis cards will often play an essential part in fortifying your deck lists.
Highborn Knight – A must-have for any Light player, who wants to do what Light does best.
The stickiest 4 mana creature in the game, Highborn Knight comes with a plethora of keywords that have solidified its standing as a staple Light card for aggro, midrange, and control archetypes. Frontline and Protected helps to hide your other early-game creatures, and gives your opponent a headache and a half to get past. Combine that with Ward, and the result is a creature that is all but guaranteed to require multiple resources to remove. Just watch out for Amazon Hearteater, or as I like to call her, Amazon Knighteater, when you're playing against Death. Despite Hearteater’s presence, Highborn Knight is a consistent threat that benefits every Light list, and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon.
Canonize – Perhaps the best buff card in the entire game.
Canonize can turn your smaller creatures into massive threats, and your threatening creatures into absolute game-enders. Canonize's greatest utility is often achieved by buffing a smaller creature into overstatted territory, and using the Protected buff to make a game-swinging value trade without losing any health. If the above scenario is achieved, your opponent is left with one less resource available on board, and still has a massive creature to deal with that will likely require multiple resources to remove.
With the amount of Warded creatures Light has access to, it's often too easy to stick Canonize on turn 4 or 5, and finish out the game on the back of the value it provides. The 2 or 3-for-1 value plays that Canonize provides are difficult, if not impossible to overcome. I don't think they will ever print a buff card that will outclass Canonize, lest they make Light even more OP than it arguably already is.
Master of Indulgences – A unique effect that will prove useful against any creature with high health.
Master of Indulgences is not your average 4 mana 2/2. With a Roar effect that swaps its health in hand with that of a targeted creature, it can bring any opposing creature with a thick body down to a manageable size. Considering the amount of 2 attack relics that Light has access to, and the fact that they have a God Power that churns out 2/2 bodies for 3 mana, it's all too easy to play Master of Indulgences on a massive threat like Echophon or Demogorgon, and trade it away without issue. And to do so while developing your board with a 2 attack, high health creature? Those types of tempo swings can decide games by themselves.
The added benefit of Master of Indulgences' Roar effect being uninhibited by Ward only adds to potential range of targets it can help to neutralize. Just another answer to a wide range of potential threats for Light to have in their arsenal.
Underbrush Boar – Recapturing early-game tempo, one Pyramid Warden at a time.
Underbrush Boar is an overstatted 2 mana creature, sporting a 3/3 body with pseudo-blitz. Rather than its controller choosing which creature Boar will attack upon entering the board, it’ll attack a random enemy creature at the end of the turn. That includes enemy creatures that may be otherwise inaccessible with Blitz, such as those with the Backline or Hidden abilities.
Due to the nature of its effect, Boar will also attack at the end of turn if it’s brought back from the void, making it a powerful counter to one of the highest usage-rate cards in the game: Pyramid Warden. Its unique interactions, combined with its generally powerful 3/3 body on a 2 mana creature, Underbrush Boar is a staple in most every Nature deck. Whether you’re looking to out-tempo your opponent, or simply survive the early game, you cannot go wrong with 2x Underbrush Boars.
Avatar of Nature – A well-rounded 5 mana creature with upside.
Avatar of Nature provides 6/6 stats for 5 mana the turn it is played, so we're already starting with an overstatted creature as a baseline, without considering any secondary effects. Its 5/5 body is a solid threat in and of itself, and the fact that it generates a 1/1 Walking Plant at the end of its controller's turn means the longer it sticks on board, the more value it provides. Now, consider the fact that those 1/1s it generates every turn also heal their controller for 4 health upon death. The fact that it provides a solid mid-range threat, can help aggro lists continue to go wide, and can provide more control-oriented lists with invaluable heals, Avatar of Nature is one of the most flexible Legendaries in the game, and deserves a spot in almost every Nature list, regardless of archetype.
Full disclosure: Avatar of Nature is one of the few Genesis cards that can be indirectly nerfed. Due to the fact that the Walking Plants it generates are technically a part of the Core Set, while the text on Avatar of Nature cannot be changed, the stats and/or effects of the Walking Plants can be changed. While this is definitely something to be aware of going forward, the balance team would have to make Walking Plants an actively detrimental creature to lower Avatar of Nature's power level in any sort of significant way. Even if they removed the Afterlife effect of the Walking Plants, Avatar of Nature would still be an excellent card, and that change would only lessen its impact in control lists. All things considered, Avatar of Nature is excellent right now, and should continue to be for the foreseeable future.
Avatar of Magic - A one-card combo, so long as Magic plays spells.
Avatar of Magic opens the door for Magic OTK decks by virtue of its incredibly unique effect. Stick Avatar of Magic (a less-than-difficult task, considering its 9/9 body with Protected and Ward), play any spell, and make your opponent watch in horror as you spray their creatures (and maybe your own) with endless Beams. Due to Avatar of Magic providing +2 spell damage, each Beam deals 5 damage to a creature, and 5 damage to your opponent’s God.
With Magic’s arsenal of cards that can reduce the casting cost of your cards in hand, there are several avenues to OTK combos built into the Genesis set itself, that will only become more versatile as additional sets roll out. If a 9 mana card is going to make it into your collection, it better provide a win condition, and Avatar of Magic does that and then some.
Portal Wrangler – A combo enabler, with multiple avenues to providing high value, high tempo plays.
Portal Wrangler receives a spot by virtue of another unique and flexible effect. Copying the last creature played has mighty implications in Magic decks, allowing it to be played in combination with reduced mana-cost creatures, buffed creatures, and even extra value generators, like Jason, Medea’s Muse. Playing Portal Wrangler in combination with Deuteria’s final form, Heptaria, can provide its controller with two 7/7s and a 3/4 for 6 mana, unparalleled value for its mana cost. Reducing any 7+ mana creature to 2 mana with Frey, Archmage of Selene, and following up with 2 mana creature → Portal Wrangler → 2 mana creature can make for some absolutely ridiculous end-games. Portal Wrangler also provides flexibility in the late game, in that you can neutralize an opponent’s threat with Ratify, and follow up with Portal Wrangler to receive your own copy of their threat to play on your next turn.
Portal Wrangler also unlocks an infinite combo when combined with the Magic Genesis spell Clone, in addition to 2x Warped Engineers. This allows you to reduce the cost of your Portal Wrangler to 0, and Clone it, resulting in never-ending waves of free 3/4 creatures for your opponent to deal with. Good luck pulling that off, and in less fortunate cases, dealing with it.
Daemonic Offering – An essential tool in any aggro Death zoo list.
Daemonic Offering generates two random Anims, which are 2 mana creatures by nature, for only 3 mana. In order to offset this extra value, it requires you to sacrifice one of your own creatures. But what if we could turn that perceived downside into extra value? By synergizing with other aggro death staples like Expectant Chicken, Nether's Advocate, and Soul Jar, all of which generate extra creatures with their Afterlife effects, we don't just mitigate the sacrificial aspects of Daemonic Offering, but we turn it into an additional benefit.
Expectant Chicken on turn one, and a Bag of Tricks into Daemonic Offering on turn two, has been and will continue to be one of the most powerful opening turns in the entire game. Daemonic Offering doesn't offer much to the more control-oriented player, but it is an absolutely essential tool for any aggro pilot.
Apocalypse Now – A late-game board state reset button.
You will find two copies of Apocalypse Now in every top-tier control Death deck, and for good reason. If your opponent plays any Afterlife creatures that drop additional creatures upon their death, or any Ward creatures in anticipation of your AoE board clears, Apocalypse Now will still clear the board by destroying the Afterlife creatures and popping Ward on its initial iteration, then clear the subsequent board (if anything remains) with its second iteration. The only creature in the game that can leave something on the board after an Apocalypse Now is The Iron Horse, which is an Etherbots Set card and will eventually be rotated out, while Apocalypse Now is here to stay. In its current form, Apocalypse Now is an auto-include in any control death list looking to make it to 9 mana.
Full Disclosure: Apocalypse Now has been a bit controversial for awhile now, mostly because of its interaction with Warded creatures. The given definition of Ward is “Characters with Ward are protected from 1 enemy spell or God Power effect.” Some players, myself included, feel that Apocalypse Now is an exception to this definition, considering the fact that regardless of its text, Apocalypse Now is 1 spell, and therefore, it should not kill Warded creatures. Despite my best efforts, I have been unable to get the balance or design team to directly address this perceived discrepancy. Surely, if the interaction is changed at some point in the future, it'd be severely detrimental to Apocalypse Now's value as a catch-all AoE board clear. But until then, in its current form, nothing comes close to its effectiveness.
Avatar of Deception – A solid, well-rounded creature with effects that benefit a wide range of Deception decks.
Avatar of Deception brings a 4 attack creature with Hidden to any aggro Deception list, making it difficult to remove on curve for any God except Nature, and all but guaranteeing its controller is able to attack with it at least once. Combine that with its secondary effect, putting an enemy creature to sleep and giving it Confused, and you have a useful control tool that hinders an enemy creature and provides a board presence to trade with in the mid-game. Just an all-around solid creature; not too flashy, but very flexible and will provide positive value for 4 mana in almost every Deception list.
Shade Walker – A snowball creature that can win games single-handedly.
Shade Walker is a key component in any aggro Deception list utilizing the Cheat God Power. Its attack increases by 1 at the end of your turn, and with Cheat, you can give it Hidden again each turn after you attack, which can present an unsolvable problem for almost every God, with the exception of Nature and Magic. When played in combination with Phase Touched Golem, it can be nearly impossible for your opponent to remove on their terms.
Ideally, you play Phase Touched Golem on turn 3, and Shade Walker on turn 4. On turn 5 you attack for 5 damage, and Cheat it. Next turn, you attack for 6 damage, and Cheat it again. On turn 7 you can swing with a 7/1, that your opponent still needs to remove, lest you hit them for 8 next turn. In that scenario, you've hit your opponent for 18 damage before they've even had a window of opportunity to remove it. Shade Walker can get out of control awfully quick, and therefore deserves a spot in any aggro Deception player's collection.
Avatar of War – A proactive threat and reactive healing for any control War list that expects to get to 8+ mana.
Any 8 mana card needs to provide an immediate impact on the current board state, and ideally provide a threat the opponent feels compelled to deal with immediately, or suffer lethal consequences. Look no further than Avatar of War, an 8 mana 8/8 with Leech, that threatens to heal its controller out of lethal range, or put their opponent into lethal range, if it isn’t dealt with immediately. Combine that with a very unique Roar effect: equipping a 5/2 relic with Godblitz that heals the attacker for 5 health whenever it swings, and you have an insanely well-rounded late game threat. It can provide burst damage, immediate late game heals, and an 8/8 body threatening MORE damage and MORE heals, all in one card. A solid addition to any control War deck, that will be tough to outclass at any point down the road.
Master Tactician – A sticky early-game creature with an underrated secondary effect.
Master Tactician offers very fair value in the early-game, possessing a 2/2 body with Protected, which is extremely difficult to remove on curve. Its Roar effect gives all of your friendly creatures Flank until the end of your turn, allowing aggressive, wide boards to sneak past an opponent's Frontline creatures for lethal damage, or to gain access to any enemy creatures with Backline. As a Viking, it also has one of the more useful tribal tags in the game, which gives it further potential upside as more Viking synergy cards are released down the road. While it's most effective in aggressive decks, it also offers mid-range War lists another very solid option in the 2 mana slot.
This list is meant to serve as a starting point for new players looking to make their first Genesis Set purchases upon the arrival of Immutable X, and is by no means all-encompassing. These are simply the cards that stand out most to me at this point in time, and may well be usurped by new cards printed in future sets.
If you feel like I've missed some other obvious buys for a new player looking to build out their collection, please sound off in the comments below! I'm eager to hear your thoughts, critiques, and suggestions, and I'm sure any new players reading this are interested as well!
Written By: @cautionfun
cautionfun streams Gods Unchained on Twitch as a member of TeamStreamTeam. A winner of multiple Weekend Ranked events and community tournaments, he prides himself on sharing his insights with anyone and everyone willing to listen. He is a Raving Fan of Rolling Watcher. Find him in the TeamStreamTeam discord at @cautionfun#3236.
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