(Metagame Archive) Sealed Pack 101: Heralds of Galactus Sneak Preview

By Doug Tice

It’s new set time! I just got home from my local Heralds of Galactus Sneak Preview event, and playing with the new set was a blast. I always enjoy Sneak Preview events, but I think my first impression of Heralds is that it may be the best set yet for Sealed Pack.

I thought I’d share my card pool and then attempt to illustrate the thought process that led me to the thirty cards I chose to play. One of the teams in Heralds of Galactus has me really rethinking traditional curve methodology. When you see my build, you will probably understand what I mean.

Here are the seventy cards I received:

Doom

Klaw, Sonic Construct

Moloids, Army

Valeria Von Doom, Heir to Latveria

Mole Man, Moloid Master

Iron Man, Illuminati

Divinity, Vampiric General

Invisible Woman, Baroness Von Doom

Mr. Fantastic, Doom’s Adversary

Ultron ◊ Ultron 11

Purple Man, Subtle Manipulator

Dorma, Atlantean General

Heralds of Galactus

Galan, Famished

Frankie Raye ◊ Nova, Optimistic Youth

Destroyer, Soulless Juggernaut

Frankie Raye ◊ Nova, Soul Searcher

Plasma, Replacement Herald

Morg, Corrupt Destroyer

Frankie Raye ◊ Nova, Harbinger of Death

Air-Walker, Harbinger of Despair

Firelord, Harbinger of Havoc

The Fallen One, The Forgotten

Morg, Harbinger of Extinction

Inhumans

Lockjaw, Inhuman’s Best Friend

Luna Maximoff, Only Human

Franklin Richards, Creator of Counter-Earth

Black Bolt, Illuminati

Tonaja, The Responsible One

Crystal, Elementelle

Nahrees, The Negative One

Black Bolt, King of the Inhumans

Karnak, The Shatterer

Maximus the Mad, Mental Manipulator

Invisible Woman, Flame On!

Kree

Captain Att-Lass, Starforce

Dr. Minerva, Starforce

Commander Dylon Cir, Lunatic Legion

Mar-Vell ◊ Captain Marvel, Soldier of the Empire

Lunatic Legionnaires, Army

Ronan the Accuser, Starforce

Kree Public Accusers, Army

Supremor, Starforce

Legacy

Wolverine, Skrunucklehead

Litterbug, Killer Cockroach

Titannus, Alien Conqueror

Plot Twists

Assault and Battery

Astral Suppression

Conquered Planet

Cosmic Order

Elemental Battle

Extended Family, Team-Up

Final Decree

I Hunger

Intergalactic Summit

Interstellar Offensive

It’s Slobberin’ Time!

Pacification

Power Struggle

Pressed into Service, Team-Up

Remnant Fleet

Sworn Enemies

The Infamous Seven

The Rapture

Locations

Arsenal of Doom

Elemental Converters

Hala

Penal Colony

Taa II

The Kyln

Equipment

Mind Gem, Infinity Gem

Nega-Bands

The first card that caught my eye was Wolverine, Skrunucklehead. Why? The artwork portrayed a gremlin-like Wolverine that just looked a little strange at first glance. “Whoa, Wolverine is a Skrull?” I thought. Then I noticed that this 3-drop could reach heights of 10 ATK. That seemed pretty cool. After realizing that there weren’t too many Skrulls in my card pool, I set Wolverine aside, thinking that he might be a pretty good filler character. His power would allow him to team attack and reinforce, so his drawbacks would be minimal.

Next, I recognized one of the cards that I had read about a few days before the event. I remember seeing Karnak, the Shatterer and thinking that he looked good but also wondering if his cosmic power would be worth waiting for (and possibly passing up an opportunity to attack for). Now that Karnak was officially on the table, I figured I’d do a check to see if there were any cards in my pool that might let me add his cosmic counter without waiting around for the recovery phase. Before delving into my plot twists, though, I went ahead and set out my characters by team and cost to see where my depth along a typical curve would lie.

Arriving at a build consisting of almost exclusively two teams was easy this time around. After setting out my characters by team and cost, it looked like Heralds of Galactus and Inhumans were the strongest candidates for teaming-up.

With only a little time to process so many new options, here are the cards I finally decided to play. They are sorted by type, team, and cost and then listed alphabetically. The non-character cards are just sorted by type and then alphabetically.

Heralds of Galactus

Frankie Raye ◊ Nova, Optimistic Youth

Frankie Raye ◊ Nova, Soul Searcher

Plasma, Replacement Herald

Morg, Corrupt Destroyer

Frankie Raye ◊ Nova, Harbinger of Death

Air-Walker, Harbinger of Despair

Firelord, Harbinger of Havoc

The Fallen One, The Forgotten

Morg, Harbinger of Extinction

Inhumans

Lockjaw, Inhuman’s Best Friend

Luna Maximoff, Only Human

Franklin Richards, Creator of Counter-Earth

Black Bolt, Illuminati

Tonaja, The Responsible One

Crystal, Elementelle

Nahrees, The Negative One

Black Bolt, King of the Inhumans

Karnak, The Shatterer

Invisible Woman, Flame On!

Kree

Ronan The Accuser, Starforce

Plot Twists

Power Struggle

It’s Slobberin’ Time!

Sworn Enemies

Interstellar Offensive

Pacification

Pressed Into Service, Team-Up

Extended Family, Team-Up

Locations

Taa II

Elemental Converters

The Kyln

Aside from Ronan the Accuser, Starforce, I was able to play only two teams, which is ideal. The entire card pool was light on 4-drops except for the Doom team. I’m a sucker for characters with concealed—optional and I liked the Heralds of Galactus and Inhumans’ team-stamped blue and green cards more than others. Ronan the Accuser proved to be a very powerful filler character. In the final round of the event, I was on the other side of Ronan the Accuser. It was not fun. I imagine that my opponents were pretty frustrated when I had Ronan the Accuser in play, also.

You may not have noticed, but I played a slightly awkward characters curve: three 1-drops, two 2-drops, four 3-drops, three 4-drops, four 5-drops, two 6-drops, and two 7-drops. My only explanation for playing the strange counts at 1 and 2 is that I just played the cards that I wanted to play. I was unsure about Destroyer, Soulless Juggernaut, so I just cut it as I was making my final decisions. I’m still not sure if Destroyer is any good. I wanted to play all four of my 5-drops, so I just did it. I felt that I needed a slightly higher count of characters with a cost of 4 or greater to fuel a few cool effects generated by Heralds of Galactus–stamped cards. As I mentioned above, the Heralds team has me rethinking the traditional curve. I’m not really sure how to make the most of their “4 or greater” mechanic, but I plan to try to build many more top-heavy Sealed and Draft decks to test it out.  

Here are the cards that were seriously considered for inclusion but missed the final cut.

Galan, Famished

Destroyer, Soulless Juggernaut

Wolverine, Skrunucklehead

Litterbug, Killer Cockroach

Invisible Woman, Baroness Von Doom

Divinity, Vampiric General

Maximus the Mad, Mental Manipulator

Cosmic Order

Elemental Battle

Final Decree

I Hunger

Intergalactic Summit

Mind Gem, Infinity Gem

Of these, I think Final Decree had the most potential. Cosmic Order was probably the thirty-second card. Intergalactic Summit was in the deck because I had initially overlooked Pressed into Service, Team-Up. I prefer to play two or more Team-Ups in multi-team decks. This time, though, with only the Extended Family, Team-Up and Crystal, Elementelle to go find it, I would probably have been fine.

Well, to make a long story short, the deck played out well. I didn’t have many issues with hitting my curve, and the cards that I chose to play interacted well together. Karnak, The Shatterer was very good, as I thought he would be. Adding and removing cosmic counters was fun and paid off throughout the day.

I really like the set and I look forward to playing with the cards again. Heck, I may even make my way up to New York to play with them in a week or so. If I’m fortunate enough to bring home a trophy, then I will write about the experience, but either way, I plan to start a comprehensive breakdown of the new cards next week. See you then.

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