Darkforge Uprising Preview: Valifrax, Iztek’s Champion

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Iztekbegan his climb, one he had made many times in the past. Few could boast of making this trek, his Asir markings glowing brightly as his mastery of both fire and ice made the cold less a nuisance and more the greeting of an old friend. However, today, something was different. There was an urgency in his stride, brought on by the rumors of something strange, something…dark.
Iztek had never heard of anything like it. His youth was spent seeking strength, power, and glory for Arrachtor. All of these he found and more when he had discovered his unique ability among the Asir to wield not only fire, but ice as well. He was named Khan of Arrachtor and even traveled to Kadras to test his strength in the sacred tournament of Kadras. He met Korok there, and though he lost to the future Khan of Khans, their already legendary struggle revealed they shared at least one thing in common: they were the only Asir to share an affinity for multiple elements. He returned to Arrachtor amid swirling rumors of a new, deadly enemy: creatures forged from shadow, rising from the depths of Solis.
And so, he climbed.
He reached his destination, a cave unlike any other, one that he had sculpted for a specific…use. Molten pools greeted him, their bloody radiance illuminating massive pillars of ice wherever the heat could not hold them back. He looked around, the shadows clinging to something massive — and moving toward him. The shadow grew until he could see it clearly, a two-headed dragon of ice and fire. A dragon he raised from infancy. His friend, his ally…his champion in battle. Iztek smiled.
“It’s time, Valifrax.”

Hey everyone, it’s Foxhull again! I hope you’re all pretty excited because we’re back in spoiler season, that magical time of year where theorycrafting and speculation are all the rage! Now, I know you all love sweet new cards that can lend a little extra spice to the game, and today’s spoiler will be no different. In fact, if you read the lore excerpt above, you’ve already got a pretty good idea of what to expect. However, before we dive right in, let’s talk a little about some history, specifically, Iztek, Khan of Arrachtor.
Iztek is one of the very first, if not THE first card we ever saw with Solbind, and boy, the possibilities presented by his spells were enormous! Iztek’s Frost? Fantastic removal in Tempys, and it scales well to boot! Iztek’s Flame? Fantastic burn that scales well too! Even Iztek himself isn’t too shabby, and he synergizes really well with his spells. There’s just one problem. Playing Iztek means you’re playing a thirty-six card deck! That’s a scary proposition. We all know that consistency is king in any game where luck is present, and SolForge falls into that category just like many other game. Increasing your deck size by an additional 20% is a huge deal, and as such, poor Iztek and his spells have often been left by the wayside. Today, I’m going to show you something that might just change that. I present to you, Valifrax, Iztek’s Champion:


You can read it again. I’ll wait.
Done? Good. Now, let’s move on to the implications.
First off…DRAGONS! Who doesn’t like dragons? We’ve already got Dragonwake, and another sweet dragon that seems custom built for it gets an A+ in my book! Not to mention that art. That. Art.
So, let’s break it down. Valifrax, of course, plays well with Iztek. Why wouldn’t he? Iztek raised him! Valifrax provides more ways for you to trigger Iztek’s transformation, while also being useful in other locations! He creates extra decision points, because his role drastically changes based on whether or not he’s blocking or going into an open lane. There’s something here for everyone! You don’t even have to feel bad about playing him without Iztek on occasion – after all, he’s Iztek’s Champion.
However, Valifrax has a very real drawback. The cards he gives you don’t go away. That means that just playing Valifrax over and over will quickly lead to your deck getting thicker and thicker, and that can be a major problem. Luckily, this is a problem that we can combat: Overload and Banish seem like they were custom built for times like this – you can pull extra cards from your deck while filling those spots back in with Iztek’s spells, meaning that if you play it smart you have the potential to remove unleveled cards from your deck over the course of a game and replace them with the leveled spells that Valifrax gives you! In a way, it’s like you’re leveling extra cards without actually leveling them. There’s lots of interesting ways to play around with him.
Before we move on, I’d also like to talk about Valifrax’s stats. At level one, he’s a 4/8 – respectable, not bad, but not great either. Level two? He’s an 8/12, so he’s on track for not falling too far behind. Level three? He goes full dragon with a 16/20 body, ready get into fights and win! Add in his Mobility at every level and we got a recipe for a good fun dragon that looks to be competitive! With that in mind, I’ll leave you with a couple decklists and let you guy go to work brewing up decks to take advantage of this unique dragon!

A/T Overload Dragons

3x Valifrax, Iztek’s Champion
3x Flamebreak Invoker
3x Frostmane Dragon
3x Dragonwake
3x Static Shock
3x Ambriel’s Edict
3x Perilous Insight
3x Rage of Kadras
3x Stormspear
3x Burnout

This deck can take full advantage of Dragonwake and Valifrax, while putting Iztek’s spells to great use. You have great control of the board while using your dragons to take down your opponent and thin extra cards out of your deck.

N/T Deathweaver Dragons

3x Tarsus Deathweaver
3x Valifrax, Iztek’s Champion
3x Iztek, Khan of Arrachtor
3x Dragonwake
3x Tomb Pillager
3x Xithian Direhound
3x Burnout
2x Varna, Immortal King
2x Immortal Echoes
2x Shallow Grave
2x Suruzal, Emissary of Varna
1x Ebonskull Knight

This deck is a bit tougher to use but still very fun – you’ve got some great synergies available, as well as the tools you need to keep your deck sized managed and plenty of dragons in play!
I hope you all enjoyed this preview and I look forward to seeing what you guys do with Valifrax, Iztek’s Champion!

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