Author Topic: Underplayed Gem, Has-been, or Niche: Unholy Writ  (Read 1777 times)

Offline Master Q

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Underplayed Gem, Has-been, or Niche: Unholy Writ
« on: November 06, 2018, 12:15:29 PM »
+1
How do people feel about playing this card nowadays (T1 more than T2, but T2 opinions welcome)?



I know this was pretty much a staple for the first 10 or so years of its existence, but in the last few years I've seen it less and less. I'm drawn to it every year, but with space so tight it never seems to make the cut. Yet, as characters grow stronger and stronger, with more and more ways around YWR and protection, and with Uzzah and 24 Elders to eat unneeded Arts, UW looks more and more appealing. Does UW deserve another look (UP Gem), or is it simply not (and never will be/Has-been) the 'catch-all' card it used to be? Or, is it just for certain decks (Abram's Army-type capture decks)? Genuinely curious since I'm leaning toward using it again.
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Offline sepjazzwarrior

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Re: Underplayed Gem, Has-been, or Niche: Unholy Writ
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2018, 12:22:28 PM »
0
Its a deck staple for me

Offline Bobbert

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Re: Underplayed Gem, Has-been, or Niche: Unholy Writ
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2018, 12:24:26 PM »
0
I'm in a similar boat as you - for me it's often a card that's considered as a possibility but gets cut as I refine a deck. Right now I'm running it in a deck with Tubal-Cain, since he can grab it and (usually) immediately activate it from reserve, which is kinda fun but definitely not an option every time.

To me, there's two major concerns with UW: Most anti-protection stuff is either blanket (and can be a double-edged sword) or only boosts enhancements; and more enhancements that can interrupt neutral cards are being printed.

That said, it goes well with decks that punish opponents for banding. It's absolutely an option, especially if you're on a budget or don't have much use for your art slot otherwise.
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Offline Gabe

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Re: Underplayed Gem, Has-been, or Niche: Unholy Writ
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2018, 12:45:43 PM »
+3
I like UW and always want to use it but find it’s not always as good as it seems. Strong offensive banding, protection (via SA or inherently for non-humans) and competition for the artifact slot have taken a toll on this card. It’s still good, but rarely makes to top 50 cards for my T1 decks anymore.
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Offline Red Dragon Thorn

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Re: Underplayed Gem, Has-been, or Niche: Unholy Writ
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2018, 12:57:02 PM »
+1
I like UW and always want to use it but find it’s not always as good as it seems. Strong offensive banding, protection (via SA or inherently for non-humans) and competition for the artifact slot have taken a toll on this card. It’s still good, but rarely makes to top 50 cards for my T1 decks anymore.

Agree with what Gabe says here. Additionally, even before Wages my defenses were running Damsel and or Astrologers more often than not, making it easy to justify a second magician and Charms, which somewhat mitigates both the banding and art slot concerns
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Offline The Guardian

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Re: Underplayed Gem, Has-been, or Niche: Unholy Writ
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2018, 02:40:51 PM »
+3
Quote
Right now I'm running it in a deck with Tubal-Cain, since he can grab it and (usually) immediately activate it from reserve, which is kinda fun but definitely not an option every time.

Sounds like we need a new High Priest Pharisee who can grab UW from Reserve and immediately activate it (similar to Tubal-Cain)--that seems fun.  8)
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Offline Master Q

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Re: Underplayed Gem, Has-been, or Niche: Unholy Writ
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2018, 03:24:44 PM »
+1
It seems to me with all the strong banding this card has only gotten better. Sure, it's not an auto-block 100% of the time, but it limits the opponent's options close to 100% of the time (barring Angels and CBN protection). Consider:

A. If the opponent has a negate answer to UW (Word of Christ or something similar), then that's a negate not spent on something in battle. Also, those kinds of good negates will often not remove UW, so it sticks around for the next battle anyway in those cases.

B. If all it serves is to be a Woes target before battle, then it's fulfilled its purpose, in my mind. Same goes for a discard target, since that means YWR is likely 'remaining' for my rescue.

C. With all the fantastic ECs (things like Damsel, Abaddon, The Great Fish, etc), having essentially an extra Martyr is fantastic for using their abilities more than once. Not to mention it boosts CM and FA (CoW).

D. It has use nearly 100% of the time at any point in the game when it's active (barring an Angel-based offense). You can't say the same about something like I am Creator.

E. It's essentially a battlewinner that works with anything and doesn't clog your hand. I can't think of too many Artifacts I'd rather have up in place of a block. Even if it doesn't win you the battle now, it may make future battles easier by removing a problem Hero.

F. It can make an opponent waste a rescue. If they don't have an answer to UW, I've seen people (myself included) throw out perhaps a weaker Hero with the express purpose of losing that Hero, only to lose the Hero to a strong block instead.


Of course, all the pros I've listed come with the cons Gabe mentioned- this is all based on theory of the game now and my past experiences with the card when it was heavily played. Of course if you have access to Magic Charms, you're doing that (though I believe I used both MC and UW in my Isaiah deck around 2011-2012). With angel offenses seemingly in a decline, I would probably put this card somewhere in the realm of UP Gem or Niche, by the way. It's one of the first cards I'd suggest to add if someone has a smaller defense or just doesn't have a lot of newer cards. And with all the outside of battle shenanigans and how valuable cards are that can affect battles while being almost separate from them (think Gates of Hell, YWR, Faith of David, the placer-negates, Ends, etc), it just seems natural to me that UW would creep back into the spotlight again sometime soon.
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Offline Josh

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Re: Underplayed Gem, Has-been, or Niche: Unholy Writ
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2018, 04:20:00 PM »
0
Sounds like we need a new High Priest Pharisee who can grab UW from Reserve and immediately activate it (similar to Tubal-Cain)--that seems fun.  8)

I can't wait to see an EC with both the Pharisee and High Priest identifiers!  All the current NT EC High Priests are Sadducees   ;)
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Offline Red

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Re: Underplayed Gem, Has-been, or Niche: Unholy Writ
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2018, 08:58:37 PM »
+2
It seems to me with all the strong banding this card has only gotten better. Sure, it's not an auto-block 100% of the time, but it limits the opponent's options close to 100% of the time (barring Angels and CBN protection). Consider:

A. If the opponent has a negate answer to UW (Word of Christ or something similar), then that's a negate not spent on something in battle. Also, those kinds of good negates will often not remove UW, so it sticks around for the next battle anyway in those cases.

B. If all it serves is to be a Woes target before battle, then it's fulfilled its purpose, in my mind. Same goes for a discard target, since that means YWR is likely 'remaining' for my rescue.

C. With all the fantastic ECs (things like Damsel, Abaddon, The Great Fish, etc), having essentially an extra Martyr is fantastic for using their abilities more than once. Not to mention it boosts CM and FA (CoW).

D. It has use nearly 100% of the time at any point in the game when it's active (barring an Angel-based offense). You can't say the same about something like I am Creator.

E. It's essentially a battlewinner that works with anything and doesn't clog your hand. I can't think of too many Artifacts I'd rather have up in place of a block. Even if it doesn't win you the battle now, it may make future battles easier by removing a problem Hero.

F. It can make an opponent waste a rescue. If they don't have an answer to UW, I've seen people (myself included) throw out perhaps a weaker Hero with the express purpose of losing that Hero, only to lose the Hero to a strong block instead.


Of course, all the pros I've listed come with the cons Gabe mentioned- this is all based on theory of the game now and my past experiences with the card when it was heavily played. Of course if you have access to Magic Charms, you're doing that (though I believe I used both MC and UW in my Isaiah deck around 2011-2012). With angel offenses seemingly in a decline, I would probably put this card somewhere in the realm of UP Gem or Niche, by the way. It's one of the first cards I'd suggest to add if someone has a smaller defense or just doesn't have a lot of newer cards. And with all the outside of battle shenanigans and how valuable cards are that can affect battles while being almost separate from them (think Gates of Hell, YWR, Faith of David, the placer-negates, Ends, etc), it just seems natural to me that UW would creep back into the spotlight again sometime soon.
The only problem with this well-crafted piece of theory is that Angel Party revolutionized Angels, and they are only on the upswing IMO.
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Offline Kor

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Re: Underplayed Gem, Has-been, or Niche: Unholy Writ
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2018, 11:22:20 AM »
+1
I think that Unholy Writ is definitely a strong card, but recently more and more competition for the artifact slot, strong protect abilities, and negates that target artifacts have pushed it aside. 

1.  Competition

These are some artifacts I would usually rather have in the slot than Unholy Writ as their effects cannot be replicated by an enhancement (I can always just play a capture or other battle winner, possibly CBN)

A few examples:

Hezekiah's Signet Ring
YWR
Eternal Covenant
Covenant with Death/Darius' Decree
Heavenly Censer/Image of the Beast
Great White Throne/I am Creator

2.  Strong Protect Abillities

Characters or rescue attempts that are resistant to Unholy Writ are more and more common.

A few examples:

Job
Auto/Gideon
Angels
Banding
Prophets (obadiah's cave)
Heavenly Temple/Z's Temple/Solomon's Temple all also offer insteads or protecton to various


3. Negates that target Artifacts

These are much more common with Three Woes/Image/Heavenly Censer (and in T2 DoN, Captured Ark and Treasures of War are also common).  Sure you gain some value if they use one to negate writ instead of something else, but if you use an enhancement instead to win the battle these can't be used against it (except for first use three woes if the enhancement isn't a CBN).
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Offline Master Q

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Re: Underplayed Gem, Has-been, or Niche: Unholy Writ
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2018, 03:05:54 PM »
0
I would honestly be surprised to see many Angel decks considering how few I saw this year, considering how little support they got the last set and now this one. Granted, my deck was pretty great against angels this past year so that might contribute to why I don't really fear them too much. If 1 out of 5 decks is an Angel deck, I won't feel bad running UW and not getting use out of it in that 1 game aside from Uzzah or 24 Elders.

Job is something I forgot and is definitely a contributing factor as to why I didn't run UW the past 2 seasons as 2 out of 5 is def worse odds. But I was also planning to use Goliath this year so that adds to UW's useability.

If angels truly do become a threat, there's always 7th seal. I have toyed with that, and the fact it can win a battle on offense gives it more appeal as well. 7th seal fits better in my deck too. I suppose we'll have to see what becomes popular, but I'm leaning toward seeing less angels and more humans (of course, I'm pretty much guaranteed to see 2 angel decks at our locals, so i might just use 7th in that case ;) ).
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