The Grand Tournament’s Coliseum Manager: A Bust?
Alex talked a little bit about the Ball of Spiders yesterday as one of the reveals from The Grand Tournament. That means I get to discuss the Coliseum Manager! This is one of the few cards in the set that utilizes the new Inspire mechanic in this expansion. At first glance, the Manager will cost you 3 mana. It comes in a 2/5 body and when you use your Hero Power, he will bounce right back into your hand allowing you to cast him again.
Upon first glance, why would anyone want to play a card like this with such a drawback? When you use your Hero Power, you’ll lose any momentum gained with the Manager in play. You’re practically Sapping your own minion when you use your Hero Power. On the other hand, think of it as a roundabout way of healing a wounded Manager. You can trade into an opposing Knife Juggler or a Wolfrider and then bounce it right back to your hand and play it again. It can provide a solid re-usable defense against Zoo Warlock and Face Hunter decks before it loses effectiveness. Heck, you can even pair this with Power Overwhelming and then Hero Power after you attack resulting in you keeping the Manager instead of sacrificing it into the void where all Power Overwhelmed minions go.
Practically speaking, I can’t see any of the major deck archetypes using this. There are simply better 3 mana cards to be played. Animal Companion? Harvest Golem? Aldor Peacekeeper? Each class has their own set of must-have 3 mana drops, and I don’t see the Manager knocking any of them out of contention.
Now the arena is a different story. The Manager becomes much more useful because that drawback is a little more beneficial. You can choose to sacrifice it by not bouncing it back to your hand. In addition, it does give you options later in the game if you don’t happen to draw into the cards you’re looking for. The Manager can attack into something on turn 5, you can use your Hero Power, and then play it again. Naturally, if you don’t already have a turn 5 play, you might be in trouble. Still, it’s strong enough to survive a random Flamecannon, it can outlast a Flamestrike, and it can’t be Swiped in one shot either. If anything, playing against a Manager is annoying because it can’t be left alone. It would harass your minions and you have to have enough damage available to burst it — which is 5 damage not going anywhere else. If the Manager had a taunt, it would upgrade from “Meh” to “Uh oh.”
So dust or keep?
Matt’s verdict: Dust
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