Hello happy people! I hope that you are having an awesome day today! I want to rank the 8 new cards from the Street Fighter Secret Lair that is coming out. We'll look at synergies for Commander, multiplayer, Type Four and 60 card play and I'll talk about a few ways to build around them. I have played a lot of Street Fighter 2 on home video but not the rest of the series. I first won with Chun Li and then Blanka and Edmund Honda. Then I gave up. Ready?
#8. Guile, Sonic Soldier
We'll start today with the American soldier in Red, White, and Blue. He is in a popular color combo since you get Blue's countering and card draw, White's pinpoint and sweeping removal and Red's burn and game winners to draw into. When Guile enters the battlefield you can toss a charge counter on him. Note that there are ways to add charge counters to things like proliferate. When you swing with Guile, you can either remove a charge counter or add one. That's why you'll want to add charge countries elsewhere.
When you attack, you can pull off a counter to do one of two things - Lightning Blast anything for 4 damage (Red) or give Guile lifelink (White) and indestructible (also...White) for the turn. No idea what the Blue mechanical aspect of this is, but I get it flavorfully. Guile's damage comes from himself, so if you give him lifelink, then you'll gain life. Also note that he really wants to attack as much as possible, which means you'll want ways to swing without your foe blocking like Rogue's Passage and Whispersilk Cloak. Also note that Guile is in the color of extra attacks, so if you have at least two charge counters on him you can cast Relentless Assault and deal 8 damage from your Sonic Booms and 8 damage in combat. You can also get extra attacks by taking another turn with Time Warps. Good stuff!
#7. E. Honda, Sumo Champion
Our only mono-colored color identity is this six mana 0/7 mono-White dork. I built around him my article this Tuesday which you can find here. As you can see, he deals 7 damage on your turn only so not on defense, as well as friends and enemies alike. He also will grow your stuff when he swings to a big butt for more combat damage, up to 100, with the butt increase equal to your hand size, which is in the wrong color for mass card flow, so he's harder to break. This is our first mono-White toughness matters commander, although we have white with Doran and Arcades, although Arcades is more of a defender matters leader since E. Honda wants to swing and pump swingers for the turn.
#6. Dhalsim, Pliable Pacifist
A 4-mana for a 1/3 reach in Selesnya feels a little off. When he isn't swinging, he gets hexproof, which is nice to play keep away in a Commander deck. When your reachers attack, they untap and cannot be blocked by larger powers, and since the Spider tribe that mostly has reach are usually running low power, that's not a lot. Then when your dorks smash your foe, you, once per damage, draw a card - nice card flow for Selesnya. This is the first "reach-matters" Commander we have, and he seems better leading a reach team than in the 99. My favorite Spider to run here is the massively powerful game-changing Silklash Spider which can repeatably sweep the skies and won't harm your reachers. Nice pair!
#5. Zangief, the Red Cyclone
Hello happy Zangief fans! This Jund-colored 5-drop 7/4 is pretty beefy and on your turn has indestructible, which is good for the swinging. He must be blocked and when he deals excess damage to a creature, that creature's controller sacrifices a non-land non-creature. That's good recursive removal over time.
There are a few ways and synergies to use here to build around. In Commander he will kill in 3 turns of Commander damage and you just Voltron him while his indestructible keeps him safe. Run this version with mass removal effects like Damnation that keep him alive, as well as unblockable like Rogue's Passage and Whispersilk Cloak.
Another way to build around him is Zangief's Fight Club. Since he's in Green, on your turn cast fight removal spells when he has indestructible to control the board and then swing on an empty board. That's also flavorful since he is a Street "Fight"er and will trigger his ability.
However, the dude is in Black and you have more reliable but less synergetic Murder effects and exile removal where fighting won't touch it. What I'd do if I built around him is to force blocks, and then, surprise, cast instant -X/-X effects that will deal excess combat damage when not expected and you will force them to sacrifice the goods they were protecting. For example, Bloodline Culling gives the target -5/-5. If you manage to find another way for Zangief to deal excess damage outside of combat and fighting will force loads of sacrifices. Might I suggest Chandra's Ignition which here will be a massive game changer. Also damage doublers and triplers will sure that you deal excess damage. Enjoy!
#4. Ryu, World Warrior
Ryu grows as he swings with bigger stuff. He is a key protagonist in the series, and he can spend mana and untap to discard a card and deal damage equal to his power to any target and maybe draw a card.
Again, an excess damage effect. Ryu and Ken have identical power suites in the game I played but in future games they are differentiated more. The untap symbol is how you use his ability in SF2. He has base white and Boros color identity. You can use this with ways to pump his power in a Voltron deck, a +1/+1 counter deck. You can harness his discard in a madness deck or a tapper deck where you untap him after tapping him to use a key piece of equipment or an enchantment or go wide with training. He really likes proliferate stuff like Karn's Bastion.
#3. Ken, Burning Brawler
Speaking of Ken. He's also a 3-mana mono-colored dork with a Boros color and is a 4/2 to Ryu's 2/4. They trained together and are best friends. Ken is the showoff of the two. You can see him showing off in this scene. He has prowess to pump himself for your non-dork spells and spend a white/red hybrid mana to give him first strike. When he deals combat damage to a foe, you can cast, for free, a sorcery with that much damage mana value or fewer. On his base without any pumping from prowess or other things that's a free four drop each combat.
He'll want things like Rogue's Passage and Trailblazer's Boots to ensure he punches. You'll want a sorcery only spell base to lean into like red's discard to draw like Unexpected Windfall, exile to draw like Act on Impulse, and sorcery speed removal like Aftershock and Vandalblast. Love him a lot with some power increasing things like Equipment, Auras, or sorceries all three of which will pump up his prowess as well as pumps from being equipped or enchanted. Great card!
#2. Blanka, Ferocious Friend
I adore Blanka! I wrote a deck about him over here. Blanka is a 5-mana 5/5 haste, which is on curve. Then you get two abilities. When anyone targets him with a spell, he gets +2/+2 and shoots your "friends" for two damage each. When the third time you've cast a spell, this turn happens he gets trample. Nice!
In the Command Zone, he has a few options. One common way I've seen him get played around is with self-targeting cheap instants and sorceries that replace themselves, like Crimson Wisps that can draw another card, hopefully another cantrip, and then you can keep on going. I ran him in an enchantress deck where you targeted him with Auras, draw cards with Enchantress effect, and then kept on. There are three repeatable Auras that you can cast and bounce and replay like Whip Silk and Crown of Flames in my deck. Then we have equipment like Livewire Lash and Grafted Exoskeleton that have mad synergies with this self-targeting trigger. He's a game winner!
#1. Chun-Li, Countless Kicks
Ah yes, my first game winner. Chun Li can multikick a bunch of times for just one hybrid mana. For each kick you can exile an instant from your graveyard and then put a kick counter on them. When she swings, you can cast the kick counter exiled cards without any mana. Nice! That's powerful and Azorius has a lot of instant synergies just like Boros had with 4 mana or fewer sorceries. Brainstorm, Consider and Opt will cost one to draw a card and can be cast prior to dropping Chun-Li.
Unlike Ken there is no limited factor so card-drawing powerhouses like Fact or Fiction can be kicked. You can also do it with removal like Swords to Plowshares and Pongify. It plays nicely with discard effects that will put a big fat instant into your graveyard from your hand, like looting effects.
And there we go! What card are you most looking forwards to building around? Did I get these in the right order? Let me know!