I’ve been brewing different decks with Gilded Glaive, which is a very powerful beatdown card. Its versatility, recurring damage, and synergy with Silverwing Familiar make it a very powerful Justice card.
Usually Gilded Glaive goes with pushed Justice creatures such as:
- Silverwing Familiar. The aegis, evasion, and lifesteal makes this the best glaive holder.
- Crownwatch Paladin.
- Valyrie Enforcer.
Silverwing familiar is the best glaive holder. You should almost always save glaive for silverwing if you have silverwing in your hand. Against other beatdown decks, the lifegain on silverwing is back-breaking. Against control decks, the evasive flying damage can be game-winning if unanswered. And of course aegis makes this unit more resilient against removal and Harsh Rule.
Against Rakano, you have to be careful about Sword of Icaria. Rakano players will usually kill silverwing right away with Sword of Icaria if Sword of Icaria is in their hand. You might consider playing out a bait creature first like Valkyrie Enforcer before playing out Silverwing. Against armory-style decks that run Rakano Artisan, you want to make an aegis creature really big. Weapons cannot take out a really big creature. These decks also run Vanquish and Harsh Rule, so ideally you want a really big aegis creature.
Suppose you have Crownwatch Paladin and Glaive in hand. Should you equip Paladin on turn 3 or turn 4?
Against Feln, the key blockers are Feln Bloodcaster and Steward of the Past. Both have 5 toughness, so a turn 3 glaive is sufficient. Chump blockers include Scouting Party and Feln Stranger.
Against Combrei, some key blockers are Sandstorm Titan (6 toughness) and Predatory Carnosaur. A turn 4 glaive might be better. (Combrei runs Xenan Obelisk, though you can’t really play against it.) Combrei might also run 2-of Scorpion Wasp, which will make life difficult for you.
Sometimes a gilded glaive on a naked creature without Aegis is fine. Vanquish is usually the removal spell that you need to think about, since Glaive can put a creature within Vanquish range. If you have a Valkyrie Enforce that’s already vulnerable to Vanquish (e.g. due to Warcry), then pay attention to your opponent’s lines of play. If the don’t vanquish your enforcer right away, they probably do not have Vanquish. If Enforcer is beating down in the air, it usually makes sense to Vanquish it before it wins the game.
You may want to drop glaive onto enforcer to prevent 1-3 turns where the opponent can draw an out (e.g. predatory carnosaur, sandstorm titan, vanquish, etc.).
Against Feln, pay attention to priority at the end of your turn. If the opponent has deathstrike or annihilate power open, then they will get a priority step at the end of your turn; you will have to wait for the opponent’s response. (This will happen with Wisdom and Levitate too.) Feeding Time does not get a priority step, though Feln decks usually do not run too many copies of it.
Glaive in controlling decks
I’ve been messing around with Primal-Justice decks that run all the sweepers (Lightning Storm and Harsh Rule). The play style of glaive in these decks is different. Without aegis units, you sometimes want to hold onto glaive until it is immediately lethal or puts a 1-3 turn clock on the opponent. With levitate, you can often sneak in lethal glaive swings on an opponent. Levitate and glaive can be a good combination to hold in your hand. Dropping opponents to lethal range with levitate hits is also good because it forces their units to not attack for blocking duty, and can force the opponent to make bad blocks.