Happy Friday everyone! The Mercenaries are another very interesting faction for me. They obviously offer the most options for deck building, but beyond that, they are a rather intriguing, unique faction, capable of laying out massive amounts of pain and possessing some of the most ridiculously cool events in the game. Not to mention, they have some ridiculously fun commons.
As usual, we’ll start with my least favorite and work up to my favorite. Rune Mages just don’t do that much for me. I know how useful they are, and if you can manage to get them up against a wall they’re great, but they’re such a high priority target that I don’t think they’re worth the effort it takes to get them in place, unless you’re playing a lockdown type strategy, which I don’t like to do. Still, you Benders fans (you know who you are) will like these guys, I’m quite sure. One useful thing you can do with them is threaten with them, keep them back in the 3rd row, and dare your opponent to summon a forward wall. So that way, even if you don’t get to use them, they can force suboptimal plays, especially against a more aggressive faction.
Okay, so you may start looking at the apprentice mage and think, eh, that’s nothing special. You’d be very, very wrong. Now, let’s just start with the fact that he costs zero. I’m a big fan of zero cost units. They’re great for chump block and surprise summon attacks if you have an empty magic pile. And these guys have the ability to burn a magic if you have one to turn them into a two attack common, if only temporarily. Apprentice mages are a great, fun, solid common.
What’s better than the apprentice mage? The monstrously scary stone golems are! Oh sure, if they move more than one space, they can’t attack, but who cares? They are difficult to pull down and pack a champion size hit. Think about it, you can drop two of these guys for less than it costs to summon most champions and have a combined attack of 4 and combined 6 health. That’s my kind of math! Add in the events and these guys are ridiculously good.
Now, I’m really basically just going to geek out about how crazy these events are.
Channeled Summon: are you kidding me? So, basically, if I can get a Golem near the enemy summoner, I can summon something big and ugly right next to him? This is madness. Please abuse this event and tell me about it in the comments.
Oh, and I did I mention you could combo this with Wall Transference to move your golems around on your side of the battlefield? Look, my golem can teleport!
Bonus points if you combo with a third event, Fury of Godshome. So, all my Golems count as walls, can be teleported anywhere on my side of the battlefield, oh, and I can move their wounds as well as my walls wounds onto commons or champions adjacent to them? Of course, the only fine print here is that you do have to have all of these events to pull of that mega-combo, but that’s where the Seer comes in handy.
Champions are where the base deck really fails me. Fortunately, it’s modifiable right out of the box, and you’ve probably already got mercenary champs to add in, so it’s not that big of a deal. The real issue with this deck was that while the champs are cool, the metagame right now is really reliant on big heavy bruiser champions. The champions in the base deck, well, let’s just say they’re neither heavy nor bruisers. I suspect the idea was to encourage you to deckbuild right out of the box. Still, these champions are cool, but I don’t think I’d keep more than one of them in a serious deck.
Etch has a great ability, but he has the same problem as the Rune Mages, he’s going to be a high priority target because of his ability. Now, the one big difference is that unlike the rune mages, he can do this to your walls (not a recommended strategy against guild dwarves). Unfortunately, this does cost you an attack, which will quite possibly be a problem if your opponent is playing a deck with tough champions (i.e. not the benders). I still haven’t found much of a use for him, he’d be the first I’d replace (but you’ll have to wait to next week to find out with whom).
Mundol is pretty crazy, but you’d have to play the deck completely around him to make it work. I’m thinking with added Magos, time mages, and maybe keeping the Seer. We’ll talk about this build next week. I think it could be fun, and I love the mage theme.
The Seer I actually really like. He’s dirt cheap for 3 magic. Sure, he’s fragile, but if he’s on the front lines, here’s a hint: you’re doing it wrong. He lets you build a free magic too if you want, or pop a card right into your hand. And as a bonus, he can put your opponent’s cards into the discards if you’re crazy enough to put him up against one of their walls. If you’re brave enough to do that, just make sure he’s escorted, 3 health won’t last very long.
This deck, more than any other deck in Summoner Wars, begs to be exploited. I can’t wait for it to hit the iOS to see what kind of builds people run. The only downside is that there are so many options it may be overwhelming to newer players. There’s a lot more champion choices in particular to fine tune your decks. Next time, I’ll make some recommendations for mercenary builds to cause mayhem.