Competitive Card of the Week #1: Squonk
Hey, Casters! Kevin here, back again introducing a new weekly series!
MetaZoo has 159 cards in the Base Set, which is a lot players can worth with. While it may be daunting to start memorizing the card pool, fear not! Many cards are not viable for competitive play: in fact, competitive players only need to memorize less than half of the current card pool at the moment.
This series is aimed at shedding light to MetaZoo's most competitive cards, particularly the ones that aren't always in the spotlight. And what better card to start the series with than the beloved Squonk!
Why Squonk is Good
Squonk may seem like a frail and weak Beastie, but don't let its appearance fool you. For only one Forest Aura, Squonk has 40 base Life Points AND Attack Damage when considering it's Tribal Boost bonus. Those stats are about double we can expect for the average one Aura beastie. No wonder we can only have one Squonk per Spellbook!
Because of Squonk's high base damage, we can one-shot the majority of early game threats with another Fearsome Critter ally. If you have a Squonk and control at least two Fearsome Critters, Squonk can destroy the following Metagame threats in one attack:
Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp
Ghost Deer (if Squonk is defending)
A Dingbelle with up to five Spark Counters
ALL Aura Artifacts
Wow, those are some powerful tears! Not only does Squonk hit like a truck in the first few turns, but they even counter other Tribal Boost cards. Since Squonk's damage scales with other Fearsome Critters, Squonk's base 30 damage is enough to deal with any Roperite or Rumptifusel that may be annoying you.
Playing with Squonk
Squonk may be great on their own, but with the proper team they can wreak havoc. Squonk pairs well either in an Aggro or Midrange Deck, before bombs like Jersey Devil or Tizheruk can make quick work of them. Since we can only have one Squonk per Spellbook, it's best to minimize the number of cards in your Spellbook to about 40 cards. That way we can maximize Squonk's draw chances.
In terms of card support, nothing screams better than Lightning in a Bottle. Aggressively attacking with Squonk is key to making good use of them, as we want to target our opponent's Aura Artifacts if they play them first turn. If you can't contract another Fearsome Critter in time to one shot an Aura Artifact, consider splashing a couple Chaos Potions for a damage boost.
Above: Some cards that work great with Squonk! All of them accentuate Squonk's aggressive early game playstyle.
Roperite pairs fantastically with Squonk, due to the Tribal Boost support and Convert trait. Bonus points if you can play both Roperite and Squonk on turn one using a Lightning in a Bottle (awakening Roperite to Convert an Aura to play Squonk).
Along with Roperite, Gumberoo and Rumptifusel make up the only other one Aura Fearsome Critters. So jam pack those Beasties into your deck!
Squonk may seem high and mighty, but there's plenty Casters can do to deal with them. The most simplest counter is Fireball, which deletes a Squonk before they can cry! Giant Salamander also works well as a reliable Beastie answer, especially with Lightning in a Bottle support. Paralysis from cards like Lightning Bolt or attack effects will shut down Squonk's attack steroids and leave it vulnerable to attack. And if you're playing your own Fearsome Critter deck, don't forget about Gumberoo's bounce effect!
Above: Some cards that counter Squonk! Cheap removal spells can usually deal with Squonk. Additionally, Squonk can't handle powerful Beasties that are hard to attack, like those with Flight.
Even if you don't have any of the above cards, one Squonk alone is usually not enough to win a game. As long as you have some bombs to play, like a Mothman or Piasa Bird, Squonk will be easy pickings late game. You just gotta hold out!
Squonk is not only a well loved Fearsome Critter, but a necessity for all Forest decks. If you're running Forest Aura, you can't go wrong adding in a Squonk. Hopefully we'll see a bright future for the little guy, as he's won a place in our hearts.
Thanks for reading! Come back again next week for a new competitive card analysis, and please leave a comment below!