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Cardiology: Fated Blade

Decision: Should You Play Fated Blade? TL;DR:  If you'd like to rely on luck rather than proven statistical advantages to win (and lose!) games, you should run this.  If not, run one of the 3-hammer/2-damage attack-upgrades instead - or a 2-hammer/3-damage attack if your warband gets one. 
Factor: The Rules Quandary There have certainly been some interesting takes on this card and the way it interacts with other cards.  If you'll excuse our bluntness, many of them are patently ridiculous.  No one knows how the card was "intended" to work except the GW people themselves, and the devs have been mum on its trickier interactions.  While there's certainly a chance that Fated Blade's poorly worded timing could convey additional benefits (some seem to think it should avoid Rebound, we disagree) or saddle it's user with additional burdens (can you use Twist the Knife? We don't know), we think the most reasonable course at this point in the development cycle i…
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Bottomdecking: Paradox Armour

Decision: Should You Play Paradox Armour? TL;DR: In every new set, there willbesomegarbage.  This is it:  the Garbage.
Prelude: Thanks to Michael C from Steel City Underworlds for suggesting I tackle this card in his article on neutral cards from the Thundrik/Ylthari set, which can be found here.
Factor: Block Defenses Author's Note: Do not search "BDSM Orc" when looking for images for this section of the article.
Unless Bonekutta is some kind of secret masochist who desperately wants his leather-daddy to hit him and pull his hair, this card is terrible for anyone using a block defense.  This is easy enough to work out without getting into too much math: you lose one side of the defense die as a success and you gain a different side as a success.  If this was an even trade, you'd still be foolish to pay a glory to make it, but - importantly - it's not an even trade, as you now also automatically fail any defense where your opponent rolls a critical.  You've trad…

Cardiology: Double Feature! Branching Fate/One Fate

Decision: Should You Play Branching Fate/One Fate? TL;DR: Do you stride far? Then you should probably be playing Branching Fate.  Other warbands with high dice counts should consider playing Branching as well.  If you can manage to regularly roll 3 magic dice on spell attacks, One Fate is quite good.  Otherwise, pass on it.
Prelude:Double Feature! This week we're taking a look at two different cards for Cardiology; rest assured this departure from standard operating procedure is for good reason.  Namely, the math required to analyze One Fate is very similar to the math required to analyze Branching Fate.  We couldn't see a reason to stretch the same work into two articles, so this week you're getting a two-for-one special.
Factor: Warband In order to score either of the Fate objectives, you've got to be rolling three or more dice on attack or defense.  Rolling three dice on attack is pretty common (defense - less so), but some warbands definitely come naturally better eq…

Cardiology: Curse of the Dwindling

Decision: Should You Play Curse of the Dwindling? TL;DR: Is there a Mollog? Then, yes.  Are you already playing Cruel Taunt and want more control? Also, yes. Are you playing upgrades/ploys that boost your chance to get Channel results on magic rolls?  Still yes, then.  Otherwise, put in Cruel Taunt first.
Factor: Wizardry As we've discussed before, the utility of Gambit Spells is tied directly to the likelihood that you'll be able to cast them successfully.  Spells that require 2-Channel are among the more difficult to cast, having an only a 44% chance of success off an unmodified level 2 Wizard.  At the current state in the preview cycle, we haven't seen any warband restricted cards that will help Ylthari cast Dwindling, so she'll be dependent on universal cards to bump her chances of spellcasting successfully.  With a single innate Channel or one of the many "replace-result-with-channel" effects available, Ylthari's chances of successfully casting Dwindl…

Cardiology: Shardgale

Decision: Should You Play Shardgale?
TL;DR: Orcs and Fiends almost certainly should.  Farstriders and Reavers may want to try it out in specific decks.  Everyone else is likely better off playing something else.
Factor: Playstyle Shardgale is perhaps one of the most controversial cards in the Shadespire meta.  It's high risk, high reward effect all but insists on an all-out aggro playstyle that had largely fallen by the wayside prior to the release of Mollog's Mob.  However, with the big fella reigniting players' desire to smash indiscriminately, Shardgale may once again be entering the meta in a big way.  If, that is, you're playing the right kind of deck.

Simply put, if you're playing anything other than aggro, Shardgale probably doesn't belong in your deck.  There's virtually no benefit to be had from including it in a defensive deck - in fact, Shardgale will likely mess up some of your objectives, something we'll talk about more later.  Similarly, Ho…