Silverfuse revealed Dominion Battlereeve during her stream. The Aldmeri Dominion gets a 3/3 for 3, which is one of the most popular stat lines recently. The High Elf comes with a plethora of opportunities to inflict damage to your opponent. He deals one damage when you summon him, another point when he dies and more pings whenever you slay a creature. And as if this is not enough, his drain keyword allows you to regain some life in the process. Since the Aldmeri Dominion is a new faction and we do not yet know about all the cards in the Alliance War expansion, let’s see how far we can go in evaluating the uses and synergies of the card. Also, be sure to check out Silverfuse’s reveal video.
Dominion Battlereeve During Opening
Played on curve, Dominion Battlereeve functions as a 3-drop that immediately heals for one and gets a ping in. He can be a good tool when you play him to Shadow Lane, opposing a creature. Most likely, you will be able to trade Reeve into that creature next turn, healing for another 3, 4 or 5 points and causing another one or two pings. This allows you to protect your first or second rune against an aggressive opponent. Overall this gives two or three points of damage.
You can achieve a similar effect in the Field Lane when you are able to dictate trades (see Strategic Lane Choice). For aggressive decks this is definitely a good way to go, although your opponent will have some combat tricks like shackle, silence, or warded creatures to deny you the value. But even if you are behind and want to regain lane control, you still get two damage and hopefully a trade.
Battlereeve is also most definitely an enabler for your actions with the new keyword, Empower. He is a strong card, particularly during opening, if you are ahead and follow a beatdown strategy.
Let’s look at the match-ups: against control, the additional healing doesn’t matter much, as they usually only break your runes once they have a lethal board position; in an aggro matchup, your opponent cannot race you as easily and needs to deal with Battlereeve, thus diluting their assault; against midrange, Battlereeve provides a great tool to fight for the board, but also gets a few points of damage in. And, finally, against combo, he can nicely get you out of OTK range.
Dominion Battlereeve at Parity
At parity, when both players are relying on their top deck, Battlereeve is not the biggest body, but certainly holds good utility. First of all, he deals a little bit of damage (hopefully not breaking a rune) when entering play and regains a good amount of life on his first swing. Your opponent will need to contest him, potentially allowing you to trade in successfully. Unfortunately, it is less likely that you will be able to trigger Empower on your actions during this stage of the game, since you have one or no cards in hand.
Dominion Battlereeve When Winning
When you are winning, Dominion Battlereeve helps with a little bit of additional damage immediately. Next turn he continues to do so and keeps your life-total up. Granted, he is not an 8/8 body, but he comes with reach and life gain. Particularly in aggro mirrors, the difference between winning and losing is oftentimes only one turn. Here in particular, Battlereeve can help you to continue your attack.
Dominion Battlereeve When Losing
When your opponent puts you on a two or three turn clock, Dominion Battlereeve can heal for a good amount. Although he does not improve your board position immediately, his drain can help a midrange or control deck to stabilize. Overall, you can get 5 life points or more out of him which is pretty decent and might buy you at least another turn.
Quadrant Theory Summary
The following table shows an evaluation of Dominion Battlereeve by quadrant on a 1-5 scale. Probably, we will see this as a staple in most Aldmeri Dominion decks, as it has uses for aggro, mid-range and control decks.
Rating Scale: 1 – Very Weak. 2- Weak. 3- OK. 4- Strong. 5- Very Strong.
Synergies for Dominion Battlereave
A card like Dominion Battlereave – with so many different effects – certainly brings a lot of synergies.
With Empower being the new mechanic for the Aldmeri Dominion, Battlereeve seems to be one of the key cards to trigger the keyword. You will definitely get one additional ping on the turn you summon him, which might be stacking with other attacks from creatures on board. Since the Empower mechanic is great for burn decks, Battlereeve might enable a 75-card burn deck. Whether you actually need the higher consistency of a 50-card deck to find your key cards remains to be seen.
In midrange decks, items are another option to get incrementally more value out of Dominion Battlereeve. One way to achieve this is by boosting his power, so you drain for more. A second option is to boost his health to make him survive his first slay.
Gavel of the Ordinator can be an excellent choice for Dominion Battlereeve as it boosts his attack to slay a big creature and still leaves him in play undamaged. Umbra can also be an interesting option, if your opponent does not have access to lethal creatures – with Umbra you get to swing at a random creature (potentially for a slay), while still being able to go face on your turn.
The blue Intelligence attribute also has a lot of great items to choose from: Mace of Enumbrance might get you an additional swing with the Reeve; Mentor’s Ring can give the drain keyword to your other creatures on board; Dragon’s Priest Mask can deal some additional damage and heal for some more as well.
Agility & Neutral
In Agility, Embassy Disguise can give cover, so that you might be able to hide your Dominion Battlereeve for another turn. And last but not least, Dawnfang / Dustfang can also allow you to boost either his slay or pilfer effect.
Pilfer & Slay Synergy
With Dominion Battlereeve dealing small increments of damage, he is a perfect card to be played after Thieves’ Den is out. When you summon him, he will immediately become a 4/4. You can continue to grow his stats
and heal for more by going face.
Similarly, if you have Brotherhood Sanctuary in play, you can trigger his slay ability multiple times, dealing 2 points of damage and healing for 2.
Something really fun can happen when you get Skooma Underboss and both of those supports out. In this scenario, Battlereeve even gains +1/+1 when he slays, removing a creature, healing for 5 and buffing up by +1/+1. Certainly, not a very viable combo as it involves so many cards, but there have already been some relatively successful House Hlaalu decks that leverage this ability, and Dominion Battlereeve clearly adds some spice to those.
Rune Breaking Synergy
Since Dominion Battlereeve deals one damage when summoned, you might want to leverage this to break an opponent’s rune, while having a Nord in play that benefits from breaking runes. For example, Dawnstar Healer can win an additional 3 health back. Alternatively, Morthal Executioner, the 2/4 Nord in Willpower, gets a +2/+0 buff when a rune breaks. With 8 magicka and your opponent at 16 health, you can also play Haafingar Marauder into Battlereeve to equip an item to him immediately.
With Dominion Battlereeve in your opening hand, it might be pretty likely that you can retain all your runes until 4 or 5. In this case, Undying Dragon can be an interesting option for you. If your health is above 30, the Dragon definitely needs an immediate (removal) response or the game can be over pretty quickly. Similarly, if your deck runs Ebonheart Oracle, you might be able to heal for 10 or even more from a Dominion Battlereeve. While Undying Dragon is more part of a midrange approach, the Oracle is a nice combo in a control-oriented deck strategy, as Battlereeve and the Oracle can function as a great stabilizer of your health points.
Dominion Battlereeve is definitely a card we will see in Aldmeri Dominion decks. He seems to fit best into a Midrange strategy, due to his versatility in fighting for the board, healing while dealing some damage in the process. I hope you found these synergies useful, and that they help to spark some additional ideas. If you are excited about another idea on how to use Dominion Battlereeve, please leave a comment below. To get notified as we publish more articles, please subscribe to the blog or follow us on Twitter.