Written by Jesse Bergman
Card of the Week
Every week the team here at Punch-It Entertainment will be featuring a card of the week. Each member of the team will weigh in on the card and provide various levels of feedback and insight regarding it.
This is a new series for us and any feedback regarding perspectives on the cards is very much appreciated. In addition we'd love to here your thoughts on the card, whether that be an epic moment in game play, or just simply your impression of the card.
From Whence Though Came is the perfect tech card for the Jotune. The Synthien are particularly effective and playing large costing combatants. From Whence, gives the Jotune player a tempo swing. It allows them to force the Synthien player to spend sularium resources on a combatant, then return you can return it to their hand. It is especially good against those combatants with sularium maintenance such as the Hekaton Warhulk, or Assault Synthoid.
In my mind it is debatable as to how many copies of this card should be played by the Jotune player, it certainly should go along side the Art of War and Spoils of War cards, but whether a player needs a full play set fully depends upon their meta. If their meta is heavy Synthien Aggro or Hybrid Aggro then a full play set of From Whence's could be necessary. It has also has a very strong match up in the mirror Jotune matches to pressure those Type 1's like Oathki, Worgana, and Fenris.
When this card was introduced into play testing, I was really excited about it as it is the type of card that begins to peel back a layer of the Jotune that was not really highlighted in the original starter set – The Battle Begins – both in terms of mechanics and, most importantly for me, the fiction. Up until this point, we had detailed how the Jotune are this highly militaristic faction – with combatants skilled for both air and ground assaults. This card begins to demonstrate that not only are they advanced physically in martial combat, but also in alternative long-ranged warfare – harnessing energy in massive blasts to repel their opponents. Unlike a saboteur that uses infiltration tactics and incorporates explosives to instill a sense of chaos before and during the primary attacks, this card eludes to psionically enhanced foot soldiers whose techniques are used during those primary attacks to assist in maintaining the tempo and momentum of a Jotune Battle Commander and their forces. With that in mind, the art direction revolved around a 'caster' thematic. Therefore, we wanted a piece that would capture the essence of a classic mage wielding a staff and obliterating the opposition. We were fortunate enough to have the talents of Justine Cruz work on the piece. He captured the pose perfectly and maintained that dramatic lighting quality we continue to develop and associate with the Jotune. The mechanics, combined with Justine's stunning imagery, has made this one of my personal favorite Jotune cards.
Jotune needed something like this for their decks. In the meta I have seen prior to BPG, the Synthien could pretty much have whatever they wanted in their deck and it could be all offense. With this card out there, it makes them think about playing some Evasions. If they have to put Evasion in their deck, they have to pull out something else. If they decide they are OK with having something bounce back to their hand, the K.Y.Z.R.\Hekaton combo is going to hurt them more than they think. Say goodbye to your Hekaton and bounce the K.Y.Z.R. back to their hand.
From Whence Thou Came is a great proactive card for the Jotune line up. It shows that while they do not get access to hard removal they can certainly make a tempo play. Returning a combatant to its owners hand is also stronger than it may seem at first blush. This comes down to two ways this card can really slow down your opponent. First if you return a combatant while it is attacking, your opponent can’t play it again in the same turn; they already passed their combatant phase. In addition when they do replay the combatant on the following turn it will most likely come into play activated meaning they will have to wait another full turn to use their combatant.
The major drawback to the card is actually a metagame consideration and has nothing to do with the card itself. Synthien tactics and abilities are very powerful at the moment so most people run Evasions. The Jotune have far fewer abilities so it is a relatively high probability your From Whence will run into an Evasion. If you were to run a different interactive card such as It’s A Trap you could sidestep your opponent’s Evasions entirely.