Isle of Madness – Madness Beckons: 6 Card Reveal
Sheogorath beckons the first six cards of the Isle of Madness story expansion in a sneak peek deal during the Festival of Madness.
After Cheesemancer, this is the second card to allow a glimpse of the upcoming Isle of Madness expansion.
The deal includes three premium art copies of the 1-cost action Madness Beckons in a special deal for €9.99 or 2,000 gold. Note, this card is actually not part of the Isle of Madness story expansion. It is only available during this special offer but might become available later again in another special offer.
CVH confirmed that Madness Beckons is currently limited to fetch one of the six cards discussed below. Once Isle of Madness is released, though, Madness Beckons will beckon any card from the story expansion. This article is only focused on the first six cards revealed. [Editor’s note, February 2019: Madness Beckons can also fetch random cards from other sets now. These RNG cards are introduced in one story of Isle of Madness, but cannot be crafted or added to your collection. They simply pull a random 2-cost, 3-cost, 4-cost, etc.]
Madness Beckons is not intended as a competitively viable card. Acquire it only for fun to pre-play some of the Isle of Madness cards already now. The best use of the action itself might be in a Unite the Houses deck. But before we look at the uses of the action itself, let’s look at what Madness Beckons can fetch. It allows you to put a random Isle of Madness card into your hand. This picks randomly from the following six cards.
Fortress Guard is the yellow Willpower card that Madness Beckons can summon. The 4-cost 3/4 comes with the Guard keyword. When summoned, you may discard a card to summon a 2/2 Colovian Trooper from the purple Endurance attribute in the other lane. Obviously Fifth Legion Trainer is great to buff both. Fortress Guard allows you to slow down a Goblin Skulk, while you can keep contesting the other lane.
You get to summon the Trooper for no additional magicka, which is great in a Token deck. However, you will need to discard a card. Maybe a low-cost card, like the dagger from Crown Quartermaster or the guard provided by Marked Man? Or discard a higher cost dragon that you had to retain during your Mulligan to make Alduin happy? Maybe a card you want to fetch back with Falkreath Defiler (see Discard Pile Tutors in TESL).
Grummite Magus is a 7-cost 5/5 Guard that will be part of the red Strength cards from Isle of Madness. His special ability is a very interesting tech choice. Your opponent must discard the highest cost action from their hand. This is the first card that requires your opponent to discard a card from their hand. It’s even the action with the highest-cost, i.e. most probably something powerful. This can provide card advantage and be disruptive against control decks. As oftentimes, these decks are solely relying on their Ice Storm, Dawn’s Wrath, Arrest, Cast Into Time or Tullius’ Conscription to manipulate the board in what can sometimes appear to be unfair.
Grummite Magus, a real beauty by the way, can finally put that smirky smile onto the non-control players face. Or can it? Wait, what if the opponent doesn’t even hold an action in hand? What if he finishes you before turn 7? Then, it’s a very high price to pay for a 5/5 body. Consider using Grummite Magus as a tech-choice in Tournaments, where deck lists are open and you can influence the match-ups.
Icy Shambles is the blue Intelligence card that Madness Beckons can fetch from Isle of Madness. The 4-cost Skeleton comes with poor 2/3 stats, but offers a pretty special effect. This might be slightly buffed by Skeleton synergies around Bone Colossus, although these are currently not strong enough.
When summoned, Icy Shambles deals 2 damage to a creature, which might provide a tempo play when you manage to remove an opponent’s creature. Furthermore, Icy Shambles also shackles any creature that it damages. This also slows down your opponent and may hit a Goblin Skulk (who was just recently changed into a 3-cost card with 3 health). Icy Shambles will also be a very good addition to Shackle-based decks running Dres Tormentor.
The 2-cost 0/2 Crazed Hunger is the green Agility card that Madness Beckons might pull from Isle of Madness. The Daedra comes with Charge and gets a +2/+0 buff on your turn. Unfortunately, the card can be removed by your opponent easily, without his creature taking damage. The Charge attribute gives Crazed Hunger reach and it can be used for both removal or some face damage. After the IoM release, it could work in Telvanni Conscrption, or in Aggro Hlaalu, where it can benefit from House of Manor and Divine Fervor. Relentless Raider might also enjoy the company of a 2-drop dealing two damage. Whether it’s better than Battlerage Orc, a 3-drop charge with 2/3, will remain to be seen.
Another Daedra from Isle of Madness is the 8-cost Dark Seducer. Her power is set at 7/7, providing decent offensive and defensive capabilities, although there are better cards in that slot in Endurance and other attributes. Her Guard keyword protects you against face damage, while the Drain keyword allows you to regain life which makes her a strong turnaround card. Dark Seducer even Drains during your opponent’s turn. Thus, if she is attacked by your opponent’s creatures, you will also regain life according to her attack value. This can potentially make her an interesting option for Control decks. The card also justifies the need for mid-range to run silencing cards.
The Giant Chicken is the neutral Isle of Madness card that Madness Beckons can get. The 7-cost 5/5 comes as an under-powered Animal with a Last Gasp effect which puts up to four 1/1 Confused Villagers into the lane. When combined with Divine Fervor or other support cards buffing your creature with +1, you get a total of 13 damage from this 7-cost which is not bad. Play Waves of the Fallen to convert your Confused Villagers into an army of Hulking Draugrs, or use the Villagers to build-up your Discard for a Flesh Atronach OTK. Surely a fun, meme-ish card.
Uses for Madness Beckons
make a gesture with the hand, arm, or head to encourage or instruct someone to approach or follow.to beckon/ˈbɛk(ə)n/
Madness Beckons provides a first glimpse at a few Isle of Madness cards. It’s a fun card, that can help you for a little bit of magicka to get another card with some fun effects. It’s not necessarily something you can 100% rely on, and the cards are a bit too diverse to see a deck where this might fit. If anything, it’s giving you at least a 50% chance for a Guard in a mid-range deck, and a 25% chance for a 2-damage removal (although at a much higher cost than Firebolt with some additional benefits). The most consistent option to bring it to use is probably in combination with Unite the Houses.
Unite the Houses decks require you to have at least one card of each attribute in play to win the game. In this type of deck, Madness Beckons does replace itself potentially with a creature that might help. The odds are 1 to 6 for all colors. Purple is the exception here, as it’s also generated by the yellow Fortress Guard if you can discard a card. Madness Beckons can bring additional consistency to Unite the Houses decks.
The other deck archetype that Madness Beckons could potentially find a home in, are low-creature or even creature-less action control decks. Here the 1-cost action can put a creature into your hand, although what you are getting is not particularly predicable. It will need a lot more supporting cards to make these decks viable on the ladder though.
Overall, Madness Beckons is fun to play with while getting acquainted to some of the new cards from IoM. However, the price of 2,000 gold or $9.99 seems a little bit too high to make the cut for the majority of players.