Immolation initially seems like a bad deal: a player has to sacrifice a creature to obtain the same amount of quanta equivalent from the Nova spell (with additional quanta). However, because of its free cost and impressive synergy with several other creatures, Immolation is a commonly used card in decks that revolve around playing offensive (Fire) creatures as quickly as possible. Thus, its potential in speed is almost unmatched when it comes to quanta generation.
- Requires a friendly creature target for it to work (cannot be used on the opponent’s creatures)
- Generates 6 quanta and 1 quanta of every other element (8 quanta when upgraded into Cremation)
- Has no quanta cost to play, and thus is always available to use
Immolation generates exactly one quanta of each elemental type (except Fire, which generates 6 quanta unupgraded, or 8 upped) upon sacrificing a creature on the user's side of the field - this means that it must target a player's own creatures for it to work, and that it cannot be used on the opponent’s creatures as an instant-kill card. While losing a creature may seem detrimental in a battle, being able to pump out hard-hitting Fire creatures is easily accessible by using this spell on cheap or non-useful creatures.
Trading a weak creature for a stronger Fire creature specialized in attack will greatly boost one's offense in the long run, all the while providing you additional quanta to either utilize (using upped cards from other elements for cheap CC) or hoard (to prevent things such as Devourer or Discord from disrupting your quanta completely).
It should be noted that although there are no direct counters to stop the person using the Immolation spell, that the effect of using Immolation can be halted or slowed by certain forms of creature control. For example: using Rewind on any creature that is played with the quanta generated by Immolation could essentially waste the effect, unless there’s another reliable source of quanta generation that supplements the burst (Fire Pillars/Pendulums or Brimstone Eaters). Damaging spells are often the bane of the Fire element as a whole; most of the creatures are frail to various spells, as most of them have 1 HP upon being played. Halting creatures with Freeze or Basilisk Blood can also slow down the pace and ruin the speed of a Fire rush (in some situations however, being able to sacrifice one of your delayed creatures can also be useful). Black Hole can also be used to heal against Immolation, and prevent the usage of other cheap splash cards (such as Improved Fog, Vampire Dagger, or Precognition).
One of the most commonly used cards with Immolation as a basic sacrifice critter is Spark | Ball Lightning (which requires no quanta to play). Their free costs combine well with Immolation for this very aspect. Oftentimes on the first turn, players find themselves being able to avoid mulligan situations because of the 0-cost cards in-hand, and in addition, having all of these free-cost cards prevents the exploitation of Earthquake. As that card focuses on denying quanta by destroying pillars, Immolation alongside a Spark cannot be countered by one of the top cards for quanta denial.
Phoenix | Minor Phoenix is hard to get rid of using traditional damaging spells like Lightning or Drain Life, as it can self-revive again to continue doing damage. While the non-upped version will often consume the rest of the quanta used from a single Immolation, several Minor Phoenixes can instantly come into play due to their cheap cost (only 2 upped). Phoenix can obviously be sacrificed by Immolation to help generate more quanta, which can then be resurrected from Ash the following turn. Thus, this majestic winged creature serves as immolation fodder (a constant cycle of quanta generation) and decent offense, making it one of the most highly sought out combinations within Fire rush decks.
Many decks often have an Earth mark to help supplement the Growth ability of the Lava Golem | Lava Destroyer, with Cremation to generate the quanta needed to play them (alongside other Fire cards). Unless the opponent has massive forms of CC, such decks often overwhelm the opponent before being able to set up suitable defenses or tactics. The overall speed and efficiency of playing Lava Golems with Immolation is hardly underestimated, and fully upgraded Fire rushes that have Cremation scarcely forget to include this creature.
Other Cards With Synergy
Various rush decks that use Immolation often counter CC or stalling tactics by using special creatures or spells to ensure that their momentum isn’t stopped. Explosion (1 ) can help destroy dangerous permanents, while Unstoppable (1 ) can help your creatures punch through annoying shields. Nova can also help supplement quanta for other elements to provide other cheap critters - Giant Frog, Elite Graboid, and Flesh Recluse are good supplemental (or main) damage dealers in a deck with Cremation alongside Phoenixes and Lava Destroyers, provided the right quanta.
Because of its overall speed and versatility, Immolation | Cremation is a very lethal card to use against various opponents. As a spell that is specifically designed to provide fast offensive potential against both A.I. and players alike, it would be wise to be prepared when facing someone with Immolation, because you may find yourself at a major disadvantage quickly…
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