Friday Deck Highlight: The Jungle Elves
Tricks, Deception and Champions
David is on vacation so I'll be filling in. I don't want to interrupt his Master Set rhythm, so I'll cover the Jungle Elves. Do you even remember these guys? They were printed a few months before the Master Set, and have since been "overshadowed" by the new Shadow Elves (sorry, couldn't help myself). The Jungle Elves under Abua Shi will always have a special place in the Summoner Wars universe as a strong, fast, but frail faction. "But this sounds like the Shadow Elves," you say. Allow me to retort, "Shadow Elves don't have a walking tree. Besides, Jungles Elves have emphasis on champion play whereas Shadow Elves (and Cave Goblins) power lies in the commons."
Who should play the Jungle Elves?
People who love champions. People who play Magic the Gathering and use Green decks with giant creatures (For the two of you who haven't played MtG before, play it and you'll understand the example below). Back to Summoner Wars, Jungle Elf players generally hate wasting magic on commons (unless necessary). They love the strong champions the Green Elves have to offer.
Basic Play: Commons
Two of the three standard commons aren't anything to write home about, so I'll save the best for last. The Jungle Archers are arguably one of the worst ranged units in the game. They have 1 health, 1 attack, and their ability is very circumstantial. That said, if they are in the right spot, archers are handy for that extra hit.
Lionesses are very cool on paper, but 9 times out of 10, I find them in blocking my other units, especially in the first few turns. But they do come armed to the teeth with 2 attack value. They are handy for ambushes and bonus movements never hurt.
Lioneers are my favorite of the three base units. Lioneers are grenades you throw at hard-to-reach Summoners. I remember many games where I have been on the losing side, only to summon a Lioneer in an open lane to ambush an enemy summoner for the win. They are expensive at 3 magic cost, but they are worth it when timely played.
Advanced Play: Events
Other than big champions, the main theme of the Jungle Elves involves the title of the movie starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock...That's right folks, SPEED. Two events (4 cards total) in the Jungle Elf deck involve manipulating movement. Chant of Deception switches two units. Remember earlier, where I was complaining about Lionesses getting in the way? With Deception, you can simply switch that frail Lioness with Makeinda Ru and blow stuff up. Chant of Haste helps you move your commons or a champions.
New players often ask me what they should use Chant of Salvation on. Here is my answer: There is no magic formula you can follow to determine what you need most; the necessary card is relative to many factors including what's in your hand, what's left in the deck, who is winning, what units are on the field, etc. Experience will teach you about which cards you need at a given moment be it a common, champion, or event. Also, don't limit your choices to what you card you can play at the moment--you can use Salvation to also thin your deck and get walls out.
Advanced Play: Champions
All three champions are buff females (Miti is debatable). Remember to use the summoner Abua Shi's ability to add 1 attack value to these already strong cards. First up is Makeinda Ru. Her ability gives her an attack of 4 if she doesn't move. She is effectively a wall-mounted cannon. Wall placement is crucial here. Other than destroying units, an alternative use for the Ru is to destroy enemy walls; this is easy for her because walls won't run away. Don't want to weaken Ru, but still want to use her potential? Use Chant of Deception on Ru because that doesn't count as a movement!
Shikwa is the moving counterpart to Ru. However, she needs Abua Shi's ability to make her powerful, so keep in mind that her cost is actually 6 + x. x is the amount your are willing to spend on this broad. Also remember her ability can allow her to attack two different units in one turn.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce to you today's MVP. He is the walking, talking tree...Sudowoodo...err..the treant from Lord of the Rings...I mean, Miti Mumway!
This guy is a beast. The reason I bad mouth Jungle commons is to justify burning every common for magic to summon Mumway. Its stats are among the best and its ability allows Miti to bypass commons in your way. Miti is not only strong, Miti is fast (remember, SPEED). Double Haste this bad boy to the enemy summoner. Your opponent will be fretting over how to commit deforestation before this walking tree ends the game.
This concludes my highly opinionated strategy article on the Jungle Elves. You don't like the Champion-only strategy? Or you agree with my awesome skills? Or plain and simple, you miss dkartzinel, our regular strategy writer? Sound off in the comments!