This creature card is based on the fictional species of sandworm of the same name that acts as the primary antagonist of the Tremors monster movie franchise. The second stage of the Graboid life cycle is the Shrieker, first seen in Tremors 2.
Graboid is one of the most frequently used creature of the Earth element, due to its extremely low summoning cost and ability to transform itself into the Shrieker, a creature with high ATK. For only 3 and 1 , the Graboid can turn into a creature with 8 ATK, or 10 when upgraded; such a high damage-quanta ratio is unheard of from any other creature in this game.
- The Graboid can evolve into a Shrieker upon using its Evolve ability.
- Graboid is automatically Burrowed upon entering play. It cannot unburrow itself.
Graboid is one of the few creatures in Elements with two abilities, the innate ability, Burrow, and its actual active, Evolve. The Evolve ability by itself is quite simple: it transforms Graboid into an entirely new creature, the Shrieker. Because of its high attacking power, 8 regular and 10 upgraded, the Shrieker is often used in speed decks as a heavyweight beatstick. Players may ask: Why not summon the Shrieker directly, instead of playing the Graboid, splashing another element, and waiting 1 turn for the Graboid to evolve? The answer is simple. Shrieker, while having high ATK, is very costly; it needs 8 quanta to summon it. But for Graboid, its summoning cost is only 3 , almost a fourth of the Shrieker's cost. Using Graboid requires two elements, and quanta, but it may not be as inconvenient as some think; the quanta required to Evolve your Graboids can be taken care of by a simple Mark of Time.
For other growth creatures such as Lycanthrope and Forest Spirit, they are vulnerable to creature control on their first turn of being summoned. However, with Graboid, that is not the case. Graboid is automatically Burrowed when it enters play, rendering itself invulnerable to all but opponent shield effects. Essentially, a Graboid is simply a less expensive Shrieker with a 1-turn delay. Comparing this to the 8 Shrieker, the low cost of Graboid is an absolute steal.
While the previous statement of the last paragraph above implies that Graboid is greater than Shrieker | Elite Shrieker in terms of pure ATK-cost ratio efficiency, combining the two creatures can create an incredible Earth rush (given quanta from the mark). In upgraded formats, the Graboid and its evolution often deal huge amounts of damage within several turns, capable of taking down opponents before hitting a double-digit number of turns. In addition, having Shrieker in a deck with several Graboids allows a player to have more than 6 copies of the offensive powerhouse in a deck, and can be tricky to deal with even if the enemy has numerous CC cards (Shriekers can burrow as well).
Sometimes, players might end up having a little extra quanta on their hands and no Graboids to evolve (either because the player hasn't drawn them yet or all of them are already in play). Because of this, Reverse Time | Rewind is an easy CC card to play against the enemy. The incredibly cheap cost of 1 quanta can often provide a significant card advantage should a player find themselves low on damage in the beginning or facing creatures with tricky abilities that might destroy or affect their deck.
Finally, Nova | Supernova seems to be a very generic card to pair up with Graboid, but the possibilities obtained with having a few Novas to power up the Graboid's Evolve ability has innovated a new deck archetype: the 'Grabbow'. As Nova are free spells to cast, a player can essentially fuel the quanta needed for a quick Graboid and its eventual evolution while also being supplied additional quanta for other cheap cards. It's important to note that the upped version, Supernova, is not effective compared to the non-upped version, Nova, as Supernova cannot be used in succession and requires quanta to use.
Other Cards With Synergy
Given Nova, Lightning, Shockwave, Improved Fog, Vampire Stiletto, Arsenic, Poison, Lycanthrope, Explosion, Momentum, Forest Spirit, Freeze, and Purify can act as support cards for a Graboid-based rainbow deck, and as one can tell; the variety of cards ranging from CC, PC, and alternate damage is almost limitless. As every element has access to a few cheap cards that require 2 or less quanta, there is practically a Grabbow for every element-deck, although some are made easier than others.
In more traditional Earth-based decks, players can also use the Antlion has support damage, given its slightly cheaper cost than Graboid (only 2 quanta instead of 3). Earthquake and Iridium Warden often act as respective quanta and creature control options in various Mono-earth decks.
Graboid is a popular creature, and for good reason. Because of its ridiculously cheap summoning cost, safe entry into the battlefield, and unique ability to transform itself to a powerhouse at will, many players (both newcomers and skilled veterans alike) highly respect the iconic Earth creature.
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