Ever since Winds of Exchange tokens were first spoiled, one has stood out as the highest impact token: Prospector. The difficulty is that there are few good ways to answer it. As such, I thought I would give some initial thoughts on potential ways to answer Prospector.
Faced with a Prospector token on your opponent’s side of the board, what do you do? Do you destroy it to prevent your opponent from reaping? If so, you are giving your opponent cards, leading them to a bigger next turn. Do you let it sit there and reap? That means you’re likely letting your opponent have up to six free reap Æmber a turn, a quick way to lose a Keyforge game. Maybe you destroy them one or two at a time as they come out? If so, you are generally letting your opponent play each turn like they have a Daughter or a Zenzizenzizenzic in play, which is not likely to be a good way to win in Keyforge. You can’t even bounce them, or you are giving your opponent cards.
In this article, I am going to suggest some cards that work well against Prospector. I want to thank nedmike and r0gershrubber for their help in coming up with some of these ideas.
The most obvious choice here is First or Last. This powerful Sanctum card from Dark Tidings allows you to purge all the lowest power creatures in play. Given that Prospector has 1 power, it should always be the lowest power creature in play, and thus you could purge a bunch of them at once, avoiding their ability. Not only that, but it also allows you to purge a significant chunk of your opponent’s deck, which could cost them cards that they needed but had been tokenized.
Oubliette allows you to get rid of Prospectors without triggering them, but since it only does one at a time, it isn’t likely to be particularly impactful. Other similar cards like Cyber-Clone or Special Delivery have the same drawback. Harvest Time can purge a bunch, but it’s unlikely that you want to give your opponent that much Æmber. Still, if they were just going to reap anyway, it could be worth it.
Bounce to Deck Effects
By sending the cards back to deck, Adult Swim avoids the Destroyed effect while at the same time getting rid of the Prospectors so that they can’t reap. Mælstrom is another card that accomplishes this same goal. “Bubbles” also accomplishes this goal, but again, only one at a time. Note that cards like Hysteria are specifically bad here, as they just give the opponent a massive hand to play from. Same with Mind Over Matter.
Bounce and Discard Effects
As far as I am aware, there is only one of these effects in the game, and it is making its debut in WoE. The card I am referring to is Catch and Release.
This gets around Hysteria’s biggest drawback by forcing your opponent to discard to six cards after it is played. It will remove your opponent’s Prospectors and mess up their hand composition at the same time. A win-win.
Mass Stun Effects
Mars has Phosphorus Stars, which is bad, but might actually do some work here. Warriors’ Refrain is another typically bad card that could be effective against Prospector. Even Orb of Invidius could seriously slow Prospector reaping down.
When token creatures leave play, they revert to their printed
card types. When General Sherman leaves play, all of the cards
that were purged try to reenter the battleline, but any card that
is not a creature cannot do so. Any non-creature cards that were
token creatures when they were purged by General Sherman’s
Play ability cannot return to the battleline, as they are no longer
creatures. Those cards will remain purged. If a token creature
was purged and reverted to a creature, that creature will return
Thus, General Sherman could end up purging some of your opponent’s cards that had been tokenized, but at the cost of flipping over all their Prospectors. Maybe that’s worth it, though. It all depends on the game state.
Prospector is likely going to be the top token creature in WoE, and find itself in archon competitive decks. The two houses that seem best equipped to deal with it are Sanctum and Unfathomable. Given that few players will be playing Sanctum in high level competition, the best answer to Prospector might well be WoE Unfathomable. Be looking for those Adult Swims when you open your WoE decks. You just might need them.
If you have any other ideas for ways to deal with Prospector, or just want to talk Keyforge, I can be reached on most Keyforge Discords and on TCO as SecondAct. Thanks for reading!