Happy Friday everyone!  I’m really excited about this article, because for me, the reinforcements took the Cloaks from a tricky cool but nigh on impossible to win faction to a faction that really has a lot of neat tools and tricks up its sleeves.  Do I win every game I play with them now?  No, they’re still tricky, but the reinforcements expanded the options and definitely made them a lot more viable.

Commons

Slasher

Let’s start with the humble Slasher.  Sure, her ability almost never triggers, but she’s a zero cost common, and in the off chance that you get lucky, or have shaved your dice, she’s really nasty.  Where she really comes in handy is when Vlox imitates her ability.  Suddenly, Vox turns into a ranged 2 attack, who if he rolls a six when adjacent, inflicts 3 hits.  And with two dice, your odds of rolling a six definitely improve, because you’re using both Vlox and the Slasher together, so that’s three chances to roll a 6.  And come on, it is possible to roll double sixes, and that’s enough wounds to put down most champions.  Yes, I know the odds of that happening are low, but the threat of it happening can be an asset in its own right.

Sniper

Now, the Sniper is absolutely fantastic, except for one thing: 1 health.  That really makes me sad.  I know it was probably necessary for balance, but these guys die really easily.  But that’s okay!  They’re great targets for Cloak of Shadows, or surprise “reach out and touch” attacks.  My personal favorite move is to summon them and pop an enemy summoner from four spaces away when he thought he was safe.  Again, combo with Vlox, and you can have two snipers for the price of one. 

Champions

Sin-Sin

Sin-Sin just doesn’t fit my playstyle.  You probably shouldn’t be surprised, you know my rule, no one attack champions!  That being said, if you play against common heavy opponents, she can be a real nightmare for them.  To use a term from a certain popular collectible card game, I’d use her as a sideboard character.  I can see her being really, really irritating against factions with heavy hitting commons like the Jungle Elves lioneers, and she’s absolutely punishing against the Mountain Vargath because they are all about the commons!  Still, I think I’d rather have…

Hawk

Hawk!  He’s death to commons, and him and Vlox moving up together can really clean up commons fast.  I do find myself wishing Hawk had just one more health, but that’s where the next champion really comes in handy.

The Admiral

The Admiral I was not impressed with at first.  Then I suddenly realized how awesome he was.  Snipers keep dieing?  Don’t get mad, get the Admiral.  Violet having trouble?  The Admiral will help.  Hawk getting pounded?  I think you get the idea.  He gives the other Cloaks a much needed feature: lasting power.  Plus, it’s optional, so you don’t have to put wounds on him unless you want to.   He’s become a key feature in my main deck.  The one issue with him is his expense, so you have to play carefully and plan on summoning him well in advance.  It’s pretty helpful to get both of your magic drains off if you can so you can afford him without sacrificing too many of your own guys (this may be hard against more experienced players).

Deckbuilding

Okay, I’m going to show you three iterations of my deck build for the Cloaks, here’s the first one:

1st Iteration
1 Vlox - Summoner
1 Violet - Champion
1 Scam - Champion
1 Hawk - Champion
7 Scrappers - Common
4 Gunners - Common
1 Thieves – Common
4 Slashers – Common
2 Snipers – Common

As you may guess, this deck just didn’t work very well, it was pretty much a complete failure.  It didn’t end up doing anything well, and especially against decks like the Guild Dwarves and Tundra Orcs, it really had problems.  I persevered though!

2nd Iteration
1 Vlox - Summoner
1 Violet - Champion
1 Hawk - Champion
1 Grubs - Champion
6 Scrappers - Common
4 Gunners - Common
1 Thieves – Common
4 Slashers – Common
3 Snipers – Common

Now this deck may not look like that much of a difference, but trust me, it was.  I would call this one a success.  I think Malevolence is a better choice than Grubs for this deck if you manage killing your opponent’s commons with your other unit, she gives you the punch that this deck really needs.  I’ve been playing mostly on the iOS, so I haven’t tested it, but I also think Hulgorad would be nice in this build.  I still wasn’t happy with it yet though, I wanted something more Cloaky, because Vlox can’t imitate mercenaries, and that’s annoying.

3rd Iteration
1 Vlox - Summoner
1 Violet - Champion
1 Dagger - Champion
1 Admiral - Champion
6 Scrappers - Common
6 Gunners - Common
3 Thieves – Common
3 Snipers – Common

Now this deck shows a marked change in my Cloaks playing style.  I use the Admiral to give all of my units sustainability and work on the defensive (where Dagger is best) to kill champions as they come thundering in on my side.  It’s sort of a Vlox turtle deck, you want to be on the defensive, and use your Scrappers, Vlox, Admiral, and Dagger to pull down enemy champs, but there’s enough variety to go on the offensive with a Scrapper rush too, it just depends on which faction you’re facing.  I added back in the Thieves to try to steal enemy champions whenever possible.

Conclusion

The Cloaks are still a tricky faction to play, but the reinforcements really give you a lot of different options to play, and even minor adjustments of one common here or there can totally change the feel of the deck, more so than just about any other faction.  I still think I’m tinkering on a final build with them, especially as I look at some of the new mercenaries and look forward to what second summoners may bring, but for now, I think I’ve got some really nasty fun decks to play as the Cloaks.


Comments


SaintManiac commented:

Don't ignore the fact that you can use Sin-Sin on your own commons.

Posted on 2012-08-31.

Joseph commented:



Posted on 2012-08-31.

Klaxas commented:

my cloak deck is sin sin, violet, and hawk. gunners scrappers and snipers. basicly it focuses on pot shotting the enemy summoner with gunners and surprise snipers, and going in for a scrapper kill if an opertunity presents itself

Posted on 2012-08-31.

champrjk commented:

I once got off three sixes with a slasher and vlox on my opponent's hydrake right after the turn he summoned him. It was one of the most satisfactory feelings seeing the dismay on his face.

Posted on 2012-09-01.

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