Happy Friday everyone! Now we get to talk about another one of my favorite races, the Jungle Elves of dooooom! I love these guys, they are pretty much the original rushdown deck for Summoner Wars (I don’t count the Cave Goblins), and I really do think they were a significant game changer because of the speed they brought to the playing field. Summoners weren’t necessarily safe if they were behind a wall anymore. Let’s dig in!
Lionesses just aren’t very exciting, but they do serve a very important purpose: nice, stable, two attack one cost unit. Don’t underestimate them, especially since they don’t take away from your movement. I like to lure champions in and pull them down with lionesses, especially if my summoner can get a shot in too. Most of the time, you’ll build them for magic, but every once in a while, they’ll be really important. Chant of Haste is a fantastic combo for them, it can move them out of the way of your other units, plus if your opponent was unwise and played too far forward, you might be able to reach him with these guys.
Jungle archers are amusing. One game I was playing against the Jungle Elves, my opponent managed to win the game by double chant of hasting them, and hitting my summoner by shooting over his blocking units. Other than an occasional special play like that, these guys are great for the magic pile.
And now, for my favorite, the Lioneer! I’ve seen (and done) horrible things with these guys. My glory moment was pulling down Krung with three of them. Of course, I’ve also lost a summoner to a surprise summon of two of them. Watch out for these guys, they change the face of the whole battlefield since they can move as far as they want in a straight line. With three attack dice, they’re a threat to most champions too. You do need to keep in mind that if you summon a couple of these guys, you may not be able to summon one of your champions, but that’s okay, if you play them well.
Shikwa doesn’t do anything for me. Yes, I know, she combos well with the summoner’s chant of growth ability (one extra dice to her attack), but remember my rule about one attack champions. I burn her for magic and summon an extra lioneer in my games.
Now, Makeinda Ru is a beast, and should terrify pretty much any champion, even Krung! With a possible massive 5 attack (her four, plus chant of growth) she’s pretty much death personified. Chant of Deception combos really well with her, because you can “move” her without moving her, so she can still get her power shot. If your opponent is being annoying and keeps maneuvering so she can’t hit one of his units without moving, start blowing away his walls.
Finally, we come to the mighty Miti Mumway. I feel like there should be an echo whenever I read his name. He is perhaps one of the few champions who can go toe to toe with Krung and have a chance at winning. Now, he combos particularly nicely with chant of haste to go a-tramplin’ with commons. He’s a great late game champion because, well, he’s so big and mean. You pretty much can’t go wrong with him unless you leave him unsupported; he’s big, but not invincible. Whatever you do, don’t let the Cave Goblins surround him!
Yes, I know, I’m breaking the pattern, normally events I leave up to you to figure out how to use, but with these guys, good timing of events is quite useful, and even though they technically don’t have any catch up events like Magic Drain, they can still really make a difference. I’m just going to talk about a couple of the events, I’m confident you can figure out chant of life and chant of salvation without me.
Chant of Deception is a beautiful, beautiful card. It can get your summoner out of trouble, or set up a surprise lioneer rush. Want a fun combo? If you see an exposed summoner within a straight shot from an unoccupied space next to a wall, summon a cheap common, chant it to switch places with your lioneer, charge in, chant of growth on the lioneer, and wham! And if you’re wondering, yes, I have done this before, and yes, it has won me the game.
Chant of Negation is wonderful against every faction except the Tundra Orcs. Good timing is absolutely critical, you have to use it proactively, anticipating what’s coming (or could be coming) the next turn. Sometimes you can really use it to screw up your opponent’s plans, or give you a turn of breathing room. It’s less flashy than Chant of Deception, but it’s really important.
Chant of Haste I mentioned a little bit in passing earlier, but a couple of important notes. Keep in mind it DOES NOT effect commons with a cost of 3 or more. Yes, that means you can’t use it on your lioneers. Yes, that makes me sad too. However, it can mega-boost a champion or multiple commons into a vulnerable unit's face. Especially if you have two of them at once. However, Chant of Haste can have other uses too. It’s great for escaping with your summoner, he’s really squishy. Or you can rush in blockers to protect him. Or even just repositioning a unit. A Miti Mumway with no one to kill is a sad Miti Mumway.
Jungle Elves are just plain fun for me. The events give them almost a Cloak like flexibility, but with an added super bonus of unbelievable speed and powerful attacks. The Jungle Elves have a huge toolbox of options that can really be quite nasty. They’ve got a great summoner, fun units, and they only got better when they got reinforced. Next week, we’ll be getting into deck building, and I’ll show you my preferred deck build, and even talk about a unit I hated when in first came out and totally changed my mind about later (this doesn’t happen very often).