Card of the Week

Revival Card of the Week

Card: Aragog
Type: Creature - Spider - Unique
8 Care of Magical Creatures
Heir of Slytherin
Piotr Siwerski
Effect: To play this card, discard 1 of your [ComC] Lessons from play. Whenever another of your Spiders does damage, it does 2 more damage.
Damage: 2
Health: 8

Jimmy: Aragog is a card that SCREAMS for you to build a deck around him. Forest Spider, Baby Acromantula, and Giant Tarantula are the only other creatures that are Spider type. Aragog (sort of) takes 2 lessons to play, since you’ll need to discard a Care of Magical Creatures lesson to play him. Overall, this drives me to prefer Rubeus Hagrid to Aragog, even though you could combine them. It is easier to play Hagrid for 1 action instead of 2 than it is to offset the cost of discarding a card you’ve played for Aragog.

If you’re going to play Aragog, consider using Hagrid’s House as your location to get lessons back when your Giant Tarantula or Aragog discard them. The additional 2 health isn’t meaningful in most matchups from Aragog’s Lair.

Steelclaw is a great card to combo with Aragog as well since you’ll be able to play it immediately after him, giving your opponent no time to remove him (or your Spiders) from play.

Aragog is the big payoff to one of the new Care of Magical Creatures strategies introduced in Heir of Slytherin focusing on spider-type creatures. Aragog helps take an otherwise average group of monsters and help them punch above their weight class with the drawback of being an 8-cost card that also sets you back a lesson. One of my favorite new creatures from HoS, Baby Acromantula, helps you to flood your board with Spiders that can take advantage of Aragog as well as help you reduce the cost of Forest Spider. Each spider, especially Aragog, is exceptionally weak on their own. You're going to want to make sure you start the Baby Acromantula search chain as early as possible by playing cards like Desk Into Pig or Substitute Cat.

When you do eventually get the swarm of spiders down, try to build to an explosive turn where you play Aragog and follow up with Steelclaw to take advantage of the damage boost before your opponent gets a chance to answer Aragog. Aragog is at his best supporting the swarm of spiders, so if you want him to stick around make sure you follow him up with cards like Deboning, Cornish Pixie or even Frog-Spawn if you know they're dealing damage. (Read a bit about Cornish Pixie in our last Card of the Week!) Aragog is so critical to the other spiders being able to do lethal damage that you may want to include Hannah Abbott or Hedwig to help get back Aragog or any other spiders who end up in the discard pile.

classic card of the week

Card: Fluffy
Type: Creature
10 Care of Magical Creatures
Quidditch Cup
Kevin McCann, Michael Collins
To play this card, discard 2 of your [ComC] Lessons from play.
Damage: 12

Jimmy: Fluffy is the biggest, beefiest, most exciting, and most iconic creature in the HPTCG.

Larger than life, Fluffy (like Aragog) demands your deck be constructed around him. Steelclaw definitely makes the list, but what else?

Hermione/Wand Shop is probably the most economical way to get Fluffy out, but you’ll still need 2 CoMC lessons, for a total of 8 cards (Hermione, Wand Shop, 4 Charms lessons, 2 CoMC lessons). The problem with blistering to getting Fluffy out as fast as possible is your opponent might have an answer for him in their hand already. Trying to use Draco Malfoy and Cornish Pixie will probably help ensure that once your Fluffy hits the table he doesn’t leave. (Read a bit about Cornish Pixie in our last Card of the Week!) Your opponent will only have a turn or two before they’re completely debilitated if you’re able to pull it off.

Playing Fluffy is like trying to shoot the moon – pretty unlikely to work, but definitely super-fun if you manage it.

John: Fluffy is such a flavorful card in many ways. It's big, it's exciting, it's scary, it's ferocious... and it's probably not going to see much action. At an incredible 12 damage and 21 health, Fluffy is a terrifying top-end for any Creatures deck and is held back only by it's prohibitive cost of 10 Care of Magical Creature Lessons plus losing 2 in play. Much like Fluffy in the Harry Potter world, the best counter-play to Fluffy is often to completely ignore his power and how tough it would be to defeat him and to just deal with him in other creative ways. Fluffy's health is so high it's irrelevant, nobody is ever going to attempt to deal it 21 damage. They will, however, use any of the countless popular ways to remove a card or creature from play. While there is no harp available yet, beware cards like Picking on Neville, Dobby's Disappearance, Scribblifors, Raven to Writing Desk, Petrifying Stare, Vera Verto, the list goes on. While reviewing this card I counted over a dozen ways to remove Fluffy without dealing 21 damage off the top of my head. Building past 8 lessons in a Care of Magical Creatures deck is almost a dead giveaway, and Fluffy isn't the kind of card you can afford to play more than once. If Fluffy sticks, a follow-up Steelclaw can be debilitating.

If the challenge of taming Fluffy's raw power is too alluring and you decide to build around this beast, protect Fluffy by using cards that remove your opponent's options. Don't bother playing cards that reduce damage. Fluffy isn't going to come down until your opponent has had plenty of time to develop their own strategy as well as a plan for yours, so make sure you have a good idea what they are capable of before investing. If possible try not to drop Fluffy until you are able to immediately follow it up with Steelclaw or protective spell like Deboning. I don't recommend building up to or around Fluffy, but sometimes it's about sending a message.