Written by Machinae (Member of the Shadow Nexus)
Wordwielder Ginger is a strange card. Released in Tempest of the Gods, one of the most powerful sets of the game, in terms of game warping ability, she was little more than a joke at the time. Although her ability is certainly powerful, when placed next to other cards that came out in the set, such as Demonlord Eachtar, Heavenly Aegis, and Ouroboros, can be considered one of the weaker cards in the set. Other win-conditions were either powerful enough to win the game on their own or had an easier setup to enable.
But recently Wordwielder Ginger has been seeing play competitively. How come?
Effect: Fanfare: Change the cost of all followers in your hand to 0. Give allied followers the inability to attack the enemy leader. Give allied followers that come into play the inability to attack the enemy leader (if this card is still in play). Allied followers’ and amulets’ Fanfare, Necromancy, Enhance, and Earth Rite abilities that activate upon being played from hand will not activate. These effects will last until the end of the turn this card is played.
When she first came out there were very few cards that were able to support her. Her ability asks you to invest a lot of cards into a big board flood, and those cards had to come from your hand. This means you have to both have enough draw to reliably assemble the pieces you want and have big enough followers to make the investment worthwhile. Aside from the fact that most of Tempest was dominated by Shadow and Dragon, Ginger still lacked the tools to keep up with other decks. Hard removal board clears also kept her from reaching viability, as you would effectively invest your entire hand into a massive push, only to have it wiped away.
With the release of the following expansion, Wonderland Dreams, the game saw the rise of the neutral package, which gave Ginger a solid early game foundation to build on as well as the addition of Falise and Israfil, the latter which would combo nicely with Sahaquiel for an excellent board clear. Both were crucial to controlling the board until you reached Ginger. It also provided some additional card draw in Sweets Witch, but it still wasn’t enough to keep up. All the most common board clears were still around to completely ruin your plans.
By this time the ball was rolling, and Ginger was slowly but surely gaining more cards to fulfill its game plan. It still couldn’t quite compete though as it was overshadowed by the much more common and much, much more powerful Dimension Shift deck, and it wasn’t until rotation hit with the release of Chronogenesis that Dimension Shift was out of the picture, and Ginger would finally begin to shine. Gone were Themis’s Decree and gone was Revelation. Ginger finally had enough cards to reliably gather a full hand of strong followers in time for turn 9 with followers such as Zeus and Israfil, and a strong enough early game to stand up to what most decks had to offer. The only board clear powerful enough to deal with a full Ginger board now was Bahamut, which was a problem, but could still be dealt with to some degree with the clever use of Elta and a saved evolution point to completely lock out Bahamut for that one turn. And often that single turn of lock-out was all it took to win.
With the second round of rotation, Ginger lost Sahaquiel and with it its only reliable board clear, but with the same rotation, Bahamut disappeared as well, meaning Ginger had no go-to counter anymore. Some players have turned to Abomination to replace the Saha-Isra combo, and others to Master Mage Levi. But this is the golden age of Ginger, where the win condition of the deck is very hard to deal with cleanly, outside of a heavily powered-up Magna Legacy.
Unfortunately, Ginger will be rotating out soon herself, which means the cards and decks she struggled against will once again be holding her back from viability, at least until she hopefully gets more support in the future. So take this time to play Ginger while she is at the peak of her performance, because when she rotates, she may not have much competitive power anymore.