Happy Friday everyone!

The Cloaks are without a doubt one of the trickiest factions to use in the game.  They are unusual because they are not a brute force faction.  Most factions ultimately don’t mind going toe to toe in battle, but if you do that with the Cloaks you are going to lose every time.  Trust me.  I’ve tried.  The only way to reliably win with Cloaks is to out-maneuver, trick, and surprise your opponent.  I had a great game with Colby on the iOS where he humiliated my beloved Phoenix Elves by killing me without ever summoning a single champion!  How?  Read on to find out!

Commons

Thief

Thieves are my least favorite common for the Cloaks, but they can still pull some nasty tricks.  See, for the Cloaks to win, you need to get early hits on the summoner as much as you possibly can, because you won’t be going toe to toe against their champions, you’ll be trying to weasel your way in to land the killing blow on the summoner before his champions manage to murder you.  Thieves are great for this!  A well time Thief with Raid can rush up, poke his summoner for one, steal a magic from his hand (hopefully a champion if you’re really lucky), and then teleport back.  Remember, Vlox can do this too!  That means you could conceivably do a multi-turn chain combo with him, but more on that later.  Suffice it to say, thieves give you some really handy options for Vlox.

Gunner

Gunners are sneaking little jerks.  This is how Colby beat me as the Phoenix Elves.  He had multiple forward placed walls and kept rushing right past my defenses to poke my summoner for one until he died.  Do not underestimate the power of greater sneak, especially if you’re playing a summoner with hitpoints under 6.

Scrapper

Scrappers can easily win you games as Cloaks, and are definitely my number one common from the original set.  My Vlox imitates them more often than anyone else.  I’ve used them to nail summoners, pull down wounded champions.  You usually want to have at least two on the field, preferably far apart, so you can have multiple threat zones.

Champions

Scam

I’m not the biggest fan of Scam.  I’ve seen him used well, and his escape can really allow for some great repositioning, and late game he can be annoying, but overall, he doesn’t impress me.  Maybe if he had 3 attacks, but that would be so wrong.  His escape can come in handy for Vlox to imitate to get away from an enemy though, so you can’t rule him out entirely.

Dagger

Dagger is a little more my speed.  He can really produce some nasty damage, and he’s great when you’re on the defensive and can trigger his ability, but you have to time him really well.  This can result in a game of champion chicken, where you and your opponent both have enough magic to summon a champ, both of you know it, and neither one wants to summon first.  Use your gunners and scrappers to put pressure on him to force him to play first, don’t give in and summon him before your opponent has a champ on the field.

Violet

Violet is actually my favorite champion.  Her low health makes me sad, and I rarely finish a game with her alive, but while she is alive, she can cause great pain and suffering.  I especially like her against turtling fallen opponents.  She doesn’t care if there’s a common in the way!  And once again, Vlox can imitate her ability for even more fun.

Vlox

Vlox

Vlox is a really different summoner to play, you don’t want to overuse him and get a bunch of wounds on him, but mid-late game, you’ll need to use him to get sneaky hits in on opponents, and strike the finishing blow on a summoner!  To use him right, you have to plan multiple turns in advance.  So, for example, you could play Cloak of Shadows on Vlox, so he only takes wounds on a 6, assassinate a blocking common, hit your opponent’s summoner with a scrapper, bounce Vlox in (hopefully in the back row), hit his summoner with Vlox.  Then, next turn, have Vlox imitate a thief, steal a card, and bounce back to safety, ideally after hitting his summoner one more time.  Totally different from every other faction?  Absolutely.  Really hard to pull off?  You have no idea how hard until you’ve tried.  Will you pull off that super combo every time?  No, but it gives you an idea of what the Cloaks can do, and there are lots more combos than that one, you just have to see them.

Conclusion

The original Cloaks are tough to win consistently with because they really rely on getting the right dice rolls at the right times, a missed Scrapper attack can cost you a game.  In addition, without a single common with a 2 attack, they really did have trouble putting out enough damage to pull down the big champions.  Fortunately, the reinforcements fixed some of these problems, but more on that next time!  If you’ve got any other super Vlox combos, post ‘em!  I want to steal them and use them against my enemies!