Force of Will: Panda and Gem cards to consider!

Force of Will recently released The Time-Spinning Witch, a set that included a few resonators and spells that related to Gem’s. I have played Taegrus and his Panda tribe casually since his update in Advent of the Demon King. I have enjoyed how the Ruler can be built in many different directions. This article will review the cards I consider to be important when generating and spending Gem’s with Taegrus Pearlshine.

Honourable mentions include:

Orphica, Dancer in the White Mist:
Many Panda’s have great enter abilities, and Orphica can generate additional value by “flickering” those in and out. I’ve also run Orphica in an aggressive Taegrus J/ruler deck to remove potential flying blockers. Orphica didn’t make the Top 5 because she is very clunky to use. A 2 Will resonator that implies a positive board state is difficult to play despite the possible up-sides.

Angler Panda:
I love Angler Panda with Orphica in the same deck. In a Water and Light Taegrus deck, I have played Angler Panda and Gem Blade Sapphire and started with a Water Gem. These cards offered medium aggression with a high burst potential from Taegrus gaining flying for a huge lethal range.

Discovery is a card that started off in every Panda and Gem deck. A cantrip plus a Gem is good enough, and fortunately it is Quick Cast. Discovery is a very straight forward card and I wanted to highlight other options in this article.

#5: Gem Minister, Garnet

This beefy Panda is a value machine. He triggers Taegrus’ automatic ability to generate one Light Gem, then gains a Gem of any Attribute and draws a card. He may be slow, but he can allow you to keep going in the late game. He’s big enough to block most two cost resonators and survive another turn. He started at number 1 on my list, but has been dropped down to 5 due to a Laurite meta and the inability to contest Scheherazade’s Doll’s in stats before Judgment.

#4: Rainbow Shimmers

There’s a lot of text on this card, but it only has two modes. You can filter the top cards of your deck for any card of your choosing, or you can kill an Addition. One of the few counter play options to beat a control Taegrus is resolving a Neo Barrier of Shadows. Rainbow Shimmers allows you to have Addition destruction main-board, and a dynamic card to cycle when that option is not needed. It allows you to pull out a combo piece too, if you’re playing a combo oriented Taegrus deck.

#3: Gem Mallet Panda

I theorised in ADK that we needed a proper one drop Panda to synergise with the cards that buff your Panda tribe, and with Taegrus’ automatic ability. What I didn’t expect was a pseudo-mana dork. Gem Mallet Panda allows you to have explosive turns if he can stick on the board for a turn. Generating a gem from the automatic, and then with Taegrus’ automatic, this Panda is a card that needs to be played in Taegrus decks despite the prevalence of True Blade of Spirits.

#2: Rose Quartz, the Panda Queen

Rose has become the win condition in many Taegrus archetypes, earning her my #2. Taegrus’ J/Ruler discounts her naturally, so even on a clear board, she is a four cost 1000/1000. She enables surprise lethal and the ability to be aggressive.

#1: A New Radiance

This may come as a surprise to many, but the value of this card to generate two Gem’s is incredibly important once you use Judgment with Taegrus. If you banish a Darkness Gem (which I recommend you should), this card can represent -1000/-1000. I would even play A New Radiance in an OTK Panda deck, so you can gain Light gems without having to resolve a Panda Resonator. Fierica’s Expedition was released in TSW and offers a higher Gem generation potential, but because a typical Panda list plays many 1 and 2 cost cards, there isn’t much upside and a lot more down side. I would consider A New Radiance to be more consistent.

Taegrus has been a lot of fun to play with. After seeing some spoiler images from Winds of the Ominous Moon, we may get more Panda support again! What Panda and Gem related cards are your favourite? What do you hope to see in the next set for Taegrus Pearlshine?

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