Thursday marks the release of D&D Icons, the first expansion for Spellslingers, the mobile game developed by Wizards of the Coast that’s somewhere between Magic: The Gathering and Hearthstone.

The new expansion includes only 41 cards (compared to 265 cards in Opening Ceremony, the game’s first expansion). However, the impact of these new cards should not be underestimated. They include a new spellslinger in Drizzt, the introduction of the class system, two cycles of Epic creatures, and more.

This patch also includes some changes to existing spellslingers Liliana and Ral, and a handful of card changes meant to bring balance to the metagame. Below I’ll go over the new spellslinger as well as all of the mythic and epic rare cards that were revealed ahead of today’s maintenance and discuss how they’ll impact the game, if at all.

New Spellslinger: Drizzt

Drizzt is the best place to start. A new spellslinger drastically changes the metagame. Drizzt shares a color identity with Ajani but they couldn’t be more different in strategy. The focus on Legendary creatures in the Drizzt deck is a fascinating choice, and the ability to add six off-color legends will seriously help with deck building.

The Guenhwyvar mechanic lends itself to wanting to put a large number of legends in the deck, and aggressive ones at that. There are plenty of existing legends that will work well with Drizzt in Selesnya colors such as Regna and Pir the Dreamer. However it remains to be seen if there are enough to build a cohesive deck.

For off-color legends, options like Drana and Zo-Zu could fit the aggressive theme and pump up Guenhwyvar quickly. I expect Drizzt to rely heavily on effects that draft legends into the deck such as his own signature spell Hero’s Call or the Survivor’s Regalia artifact from Opening Ceremony as well as the new land from D&D Icons: The Yawning Portal, which adds random legendary creatures to your hand.

Expect Drizzt to be an A- or B-level spellslinger, simply due to the ability to pack a lot of legends into the deck and fire off explosive aggressive starts with Guenhwyvar. The new set has a handful of anti-legend cards which might signal that if Drizzt gets too strong there will be plenty of answers, likely keeping him from being a top-tier option.


The new expansion will introduce a new mechanic to the game: classes. These are cards you can add to your deck which have a very interesting effect. Here are the basic rules.

  • You can have one class in your deck.
  • When you start the game you “level up” which puts the first class card somewhere in the top three cards of your deck.
  • When you play your first class card, you “level up” again, and the second class card is put into the top three cards of your deck.
  • When you play the second class card, you “level up” for the final time and the third and final class card is put into the top three cards of your deck.

There is one class for each of the five colors. White gets the Paladin class, blue gets the Wizard class, black gets the Warlock class, red gets the Barbarian class, and green gets the Druid class. These are all very powerful effects (and appropriately will require a mythic slot to craft or open) but they aren’t necessarily auto-includes in every single deck.

Paladin gets a fairly aggressive set of cards starting with the one-mana 1/2 Faithful Steed, which gives +0/+1 on debut. That curves you into the three-mana Divine Smite, which for most decks would allow you to cut back on copies of Path to Exile. Lastly you get the main reason for playing the class, the five-mana Aura of Courage which gives every friendly creature +1/+1 when they attack for the rest of the game. That effect alone almost makes this a must-play for Gideon decks, and will make a strong case to be included in Drizzt, Ajani, and Nahiri decks as well.

I’m not sure if Paladin is the right fit for Kaya decks which are more mid-range than aggressive, though you can certainly play her more aggressively and if you do Paladin may work out. The only white spellslinger likely to pass on this is Teferi.

Wizard has a fairly predictable kit built around casting spells. You open with a 1/1 flying creature who reduces the cost of a random spell in your hand by 2 mana on debut. That gets you the 2-mana Signature Spell which drafts a Signature Spell and puts it into your hand (a bit confusing but I think it makes sense). Lastly you’ll land the six-mana Elemental Mastery, which gives you a 5/5 Water Elemental every time you cast a spell for the rest of the game.

It’s fair to say that this should be an auto-include for Jace and Ral decks which heavily rely on spells. Teferi will also probably want to include this class as well. Kiora decks don’t make as much use of spells and may prefer Druid anyways and Ashiok decks will make use of Wizard or Warlock depending on how they’re built.

Warlock is a fascinating class built around draining your opponent’s life as your own creatures bite the dust. Like the other classes you open with a one-mana creature. This one is called Pactbound Quasit and is a 2/3 that you drain 1 from every turn. This gives you the three-mana spell Sign of Ill Omen which gives an enemy creature -3/-3 or -5/-5 if another creature died this turn. Lastly you’ll get the 3-mana Whispers of the Grave spell which lets you drain 1 from your opponent every time a friendly creature dies.

Let’s not beat around the bush, this class was made for Liliana and could very well make her a top-tier Spellslinger. Vraska and Kaya should also use the Warlock class given the churn of friendly creatures both of those decks go through. Ashiok decks already do a lot of draining but might want more. I’m leaning towards Wizard for Ashiok but I could see builds that use Warlock and more of the colorless creatures who put cards in your hand on debut. Angrath could use Warlock but will likely pick Barbarian (see below).

Barbarian is the only class that doesn’t give you a creature at level 1. Instead you get a one-mana artifact that gives friendly creatures +1/+0. More importantly that gets you Mindless Rage, a 3-mana spell that deals damage to an enemy creature equal to the power of your strongest creature. Lastly you’ll play the six-mana Indomitable Strength which deals 5 damage to your opponent whenever one or more friendly creatures with 5 power attack.

This is the Domri class for sure. Chandra, Nahiri, and Angrath might make use of it, but Indomitable Strength might not work as consistently in those decks. Still, it’s a strong enough effect to possibly warrant building around. Obviously this class is not for Ral Zarek decks though it could be fun to build.

Druid is the last class to discuss, and opens with a two-mana 3/2 creature that heals you for 2 on debut. That brings you to the three-mana spell Wildshape Brontosaurus, which gives you an empty mana gem and a random friendly creature +1/+1. Lastly you’ll get an eight-mana creature which has 8 power and 10 toughness plus Trample and Ward and any damage dealt to you is dealt to the creature. Also it heals for 2 every turn.

This is a powerful class but really wants to be in a ramp deck making it perfect for Nissa and Kiora. It won’t be as effective with Vraska, Drizzt, or Ajani, but they likely want to play with Warlock or Paladin respectively. That leaves Vivien, which can be built to use Druid but may not be necessary.

Epic Dragons

Next up we have a cycle of five mono-colored dragons at epic rarity. In white we have Icingdeath, an 8-mana 5/6 who on debut destroys all creatures with power greater than their toughness. Blue gives us Imryth, a 3-mana 1/4 who mills yourself for 2 on attack and gets +1/+0 for every 5 cards in your graveyard. Note that this effect happens every time Imryth attacks, so you’ll keep getting +1/+0 (or +2 if you have 10 cards for example). Black features Ebondeath which is also an 8-mana dragon but is a 6/5 who on debut summons the strongest creature from any graveyard back into play and is relentless (so they survive Icingdeath’s debut).

Red gives us arguably the strongest dragon in the cycle in Inferno, a 4-mana 5/6 with haste who on attack summons a random artifact with cost equal to Inferno’s power and sets its charges to 1. Last but not least is the green dragon, Old Gnawbones, a 6-mana 5/3 which gives you mana equal to its power until your next turn any time it damages your opponent.

This is a strong cycle for sure though I expect to see a lot more of Inferno than the others, since they’ll easily slot into almost any red deck at 4 mana, possibly replacing or joining Zo-Zu in that part of the curve. In fact, Inferno would likely be the first off-color Legendary creature I put in a Drizzt deck.

Old Gnawbones is the most limiting of the group, likely only seeing play in Kiora and Nissa decks. Icingdeath probably costs too much for the effect and likely kills too many friendly creatures in a mid-range Kaya deck. Sun Titan is likely a better option for the cost, or Akroma to close out the game. Ebondeath also costs a lot but lends itself to a reanimator strategy with Liliana, who is almost certainly going to be very good after this patch especially if you splash blue to add Imryth to her deck. You’ll very quickly put your best creatures in the graveyard and bring them back from there.

Epic Multicolor Legends

Also at epic rarity is a cycle of 10 multicolor legends. The opening ceremony expansion also has a cycle of 10 multicolor legends, but at mythic rarity. These creatures are, for the most part, less powerful than the ones in Opening Cycle, but some of them are bound to shape the new competitive ladder. Let’s quickly go through them.

Catti-Brie is a Selsnya fighter who can significantly upgrade the strength of all of your creatures on debut. She’s expensive at six mana and seems designed specifically for Drizzt decks, but could do well in Ajani, Nissa, or Vivien decks as well.

Davil Starsong is an Azorius bard with armor who draws cards whenever a friendly creature loses armor. This is an interesting effect and could slot into a blue-splash Gideon deck that’s armor friendly. Even on his own getting to draw a card when he loses his own armor makes him a strong card in Teferi decks. I wouldn’t expect to see too much of him however as neither blue-splash Gideon or Teferi are that powerful.

Hlaavin, Lord of the Unseen is a seven-mana Simic monster with eight power and toughness that gets every creature’s keywords on debut (flying, trample, sneak, etc.). Very Simic in flavor.

Karazikar, the Eye Tyrant is a four-mana Izzet beholder (monster keyword) with ward and flying and some unique “ray” effects whenever it attacks. One of those effects reduces the cost of spells in hand and another adds random spells. This is a must-craft for Ral decks and could help maintain their competitiveness despite the nerfs in this patch.

Matron Malice is another reason to splash blue with Liliana going forwards. She’s a one-mana 3/1 who returns from your graveyard to play if four creatures enter your graveyard on a single turn. She could also be a good inclusion in Drizzt decks. Ashiok decks are unlikely to actually trigger her ability, but I could see a Warlock Ashiok build with more creatures (see above) possibly making good use of her.

Oswald Fiddlebender is a Rakdos artificer who gives your entire team +1/+0 whenever you play a spell. This is likely a great inclusion for Angrath decks but unlikely to get splashed elsewhere. I don’t think this will significantly improve the performance of Angrath relative to the rest of the metagame.

Strahd, Lord of Ravenloft is an unplayable Orzhov card. There, I said it.

The Tarrasque is very flavorful and while I don’t expect it to see play, I could be wrong and it could be a critical part of Vraska decks. Without trample though it doesn’t feel like it has the ability to close out games on its own. Maybe Vivien or Nissa are the true home for this Golgari monster?

Wulfgar is a three-mana 3/5 creature who should be an auto-include in Domri decks and might be good enough for Chandra players to splash green and for Nissa and Vivien players to include as well.

Yeenoghu, Beast of Butchery, is a Rakdos demon with haste and trample who eats your other friendly creatures on debut. If your Angrath deck has a lot of finale effects, or your Liliana deck is splashing red for some reason, this could be an interesting inclusion.

It’s easy to see how these new cards are going to shape the metagame. Even though it’s a small selection of cards for an expansion, the impact is massive. Here’s a quick list of the decks I plan on building and trying out once the new cards are live.

  • Ajani (Paladin) – Zoo
  • Angrath (Barbarian) – Aggro
  • Ashiok (Warlock) – Artifacts
  • Ashiok (Wizard) – Control
  • Chandra (Barbarian Splash Black) – Burn
  • Domri (Barbarian) – Zoo
  • Drizzt (Paladin) – Legends
  • Gideon (Paladin Splash Red) – Zoo
  • Jace (Wizard Splash Red) – Control
  • Kaya (Paladin) – Mid-Range
  • Kiora (Druid) – Ramp
  • Liliana (Warlock Splash Blue) – Self Mill Reanimator
  • Nahiri (Barbarian) – Boros Aggro
  • Nissa (Druid Splash Blue) – Ramp
  • Ral Zarek (Wizard) – Tempo Spells
  • Teferi (Wizard) – Control
  • Vivien (Druid) – Zoo
  • Vraska (Warlock) – Finale Sacrifice

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