Foreword: Lord Tacullu, with our entrance into the iOS (released last week), here's a quick peek at the other faction that has recently emerged, the Mountain Vargath. They're nearly the opposite of us in every way: large, brutish, and relying on physical force. They should not be taken lightly.
-Praise The Third Eye
The Mountain Vargath rely on delicate unit placement as well as battlefield control in order to win their battles. Do not take their physical toughness for granted though, without the proper command and discipline, they're no stronger than any other faction. The Vargath are an all around faction that can play defensively as well as very agressively.
Sunderved – The High Commander of the Vargath is the mighty Sunderved. He is tough as nails, being able to even trade blows with the likes of Grognack, Mugglug, and most other Summoners and Champions. Sunderved has shown extreme discipline over his troops, and they rally around his very presence. The best use of this Ability is to keep several commons in a tight knit formation around Sunderved, not only protecting him, but also granting them a large combat advantage at an efficient Magic cost.
Rushers – These troops of the Vargath have tremendous speed in their initial push (and subsequent ones if you keep them on your side of the field), and are often seen in Sunderved's army. An effective method of Rusher use is to push Sunderved up, so he can Command his nearby Commons, and then summon Rushers to RUSH up and replace those Commons who die during battle. They are excellent Wall crowders as well, and handy assassins under the effects of Greater Command.
Warriors –The Warriors are truely an anti-personnel Units of Sunderved's army. They don't back down from challenges, as seen in their aggressive nature when fighting enemy Commons when in the enemy's territory. They are formidable foes under normal conditions, but when matched up against enemy Commons while Sunderved is near by, they are a devastating (2 Life, 3 AV Melee, for 1 Magic) foe, even capable of toppling a Jungle Elf Elephant!
Brutes– The "Brutes" as they are known (and for good reason), are truly the backbone of Sunderved's army when under an advanced tactician's control. They are the ultimate defensive unit for the Vargath, being able to KNOCK AROUND an enemy unit that they damage but don't kill. Don't let their defensive appearance fool you though, they are also incredibly powerful when put on the offensive! Here are a few ideas of different ways that they have been known to be utilized:
-Defensively: Knocking back advancing enemy Champions away from Sunderved and the army. Melee Units cannot reach attacking position the following turn if they're Knocked the full 3 spaces away from your troops.
-Defensively: Knocking allied Champs or Commons into a defensive position (to be used with caution, as it will injure your allies).
-Defensively: If necessary (and only used with extreme precaution) knocking back Sunderved away from the fray so that he can attempt an easier escape.
-Offensively: Knocking an enemy Summoner into the fray of battle.
-Offensively: Knocking an allied Champion (such as Quen) into an advantagous position where she can Chain Lightning a Summoner (this is also known as the Chained Fastball Special)
-Offensively: Knocking a Storm Mage into your enemy's Summoner so then they may call Lightning down onto them, and then grant you some magic back (this is also known as the Fastball Special). This is better done when the Brute is not effected by COMMAND, as you have a 44% of accidentally killing the Storm Mage with the extra AV.
Storm Mages– There is almost no downside to summoning these Vargath Commons. They have a fairly decent stat line with 2 Life, 1 melee AV, for 2 magic, which is rated at a +1 Magic Cost. Their Ability to deal 2 automatic damage to an adjacent enemy in exchange for 1 damage to themselves can be devastating, but they're overcosted if you're not using that Ability. A powerful combination is to use them with Brutes in a "Fastball Special" (coined originally by Killercactus), being KNOCKED AROUND by the Brute towards an enemy Summoner, then CALLING LIGHTNING down onto themselves and that Summoner. They'll die in the process and give you Magic (just like if you'd Built them as Magic), thus dealing 2 auto damage in exchange for 2 Magic total!
Wardens– The role of Wardens may not appear very straightforward at first glance, but upon closer inspection it becomes clear that the Wardens are meant to accompany Sunderved and his Champions when he is aggressively assaulting his enemies. They are meant to Wall crowd the enemy, and while they may not be destroying the walls, they're making it extremely difficult for the enemy to summon new units or repel the invasion. They are most defensive when played offensively, so use them wisely. If you're not planning on aggressively wall crowding this game, Wardens may not be your most costworthy investment, although their 3 Life makes them worthy of 2 Magic to Summon them when they are under COMMAND.
Growden– Field Marshall Growden is possibly the best physical champion at Sunderved's disposal. With 6 Life, 3 melee AV, for 6 Life, he's a good bargain. His ability truely grants him his spot in most aggressive Vargath builds as it allows him to put massive pressure on enemy Walls. He is best used when accompanied by couple of Wardens, protecting his flanks while he hammers away at the helpless enemy Wall.
Quen– Quen is a virtue among the Vargath, as she is the only unit in the base deck that is equipped with Ranged attacks. She is frail as far as the Vargath are concerned though, having only 4 Life and 2 AV for 5 Magic. She can potentially throw 4 dice against her enemies from Range if you have some extra Magic laying around, and can fry a blocking Unit and then CHAIN LIGHTNING onto the enemy Summon or Champ. A very powerful strategy is to use KNOCK AROUND with her similarly to Storm Mages, though it should be done with much more caution, as her Summoning cost is much heftier than that of a Storm Mage and she is almost certainly going to die when Fastballed. So keep in mind, 5 magic, if wasted, could mean the difference between a win and a loss, and is best done if it secures you the win on that turn.
Torodin– Torodin is a powerhouse. He ties for the most Life among all of the Vargath Champs, and on top of that, he has the ability to damage Common units by moving through them via TRAMPLE. This, in combination with the Event Torodin's Advance (and possibly some Superior Planning so that he can move 6 or even 8 spaces in a turn) allows him to wade through enemy Commons with ease, while putting a significant hurting on them in the process. The Brutes' KNOCK AROUND does not allow you to TRAMPLE enemy Commons, but it can be used to quickly get Torodin deep into enemy terrain so that he can TRAMPLE or Advance on the Summoner the next turn. These great combos definitely allow room for Torodin in any kind of Vargath build!
Varn– Varn is a Champion who truly fits the Vargath theme of high use of powerful Commons. He finds his true power when pushing through enemy lines with 2 or so Commons covering some of his flanks, while also EMBOLDENing Varn up to huge AV. If he's surrounded by 4 friendly Vargath troops, he'll throw a truly absurd 5 dice at his target! His ability to destroy Walls in this situation nearly rivals that of Growden, and he can also tear enemy Champions to shreds when he's fully EMBOLDENed.
Luka– This she-goat levels the playing field in several of Sunderved's bad match ups. She is nearly essential in match ups against Factions such as the Benders, the Filth, and quite a few more. Be warned, her ability can often be a double-edged blade, especially when facing Factions that have several negative Abilties such as the Tundra Orcs. She also brings the second use of Range for the Vargath to the table. This is quite useful as she can often take a shot at an enemy before they try and close in on her, thus preserving herself for a longer and greater effect and disabling their counterattack Abilities. Her 6 Life is pretty sturdy, but make sure you protect her and the +1 Magic you've invested. A good strategy is to bring her in your deck, and Summon her if the Match Up requires her or Build her as Magic and use the 8 Magic you've saved on lots more Commons for Sunderved to COMMAND.
And last, but certainly not least, the big man on campus, the star of Bellor's Retribution:
At 2/7/6 stats, Bellor ties for sturdiest Vargath Champion with the mighty Torodin, and can wreak havoc on enemy Melee Commons thanks to his mighty RETRIBUTION. Note that this Ability is not considered an attack, so it does not trigger enemy Abilities or Events such as RIPOSTE, DEATH CURSE, SHIELD OF LIGHT, Cloak of Shadows, UNDYING, and even an enemy Bellor's RETRIBUTION. He is most useful against melee heavy Factions, such as Cave Goblins, Tundra Orcs, Fallen Kingdom, Swamp Orcs, Vanguards, and mirrored Mountain Vargath. Bellor is most effective against enemy Commons, as Champ's higher AVs tend to destroy his 7 health much more quickly with fewer chances for RETRIBUTION. Growden and Bellor make a nasty (albeit expensive) tag team that can quickly tear down enemy Commons, Champions, and Walls alike if you keep them well protected.
It should be noted that the Mountain Vargath are a very Event dependent deck, as many of their best strategies depend on Event usage.
Muster (x3)– Muster is essential when attempting an aggressive push with Sunderved. It allows him to pull reinforcements from his side of the battlefield, right up into the action, so then they can protect him and deal some damage also. It can also be used to effectively Wall crowd, to pull injured Commons back from the fray so they will last longer, to set up Varn's EMBOLDEN without wasting Movements, to get free of Deceivers, Kogar, or Vine Walls, and a plethora of other uses.
Greater Command (x2)– This event is in some ways the opposite of Muster, as it allows Sunderved to hang back and watch the action from afar for a little bit. It more than triples the total Area Of Effect for COMMAND, almost being able reach every space on the board when Sunderved is in the middle. A great combination is to play Greater Command on Sunderved when he's hanging in midfield, and then hit your enemy with 2 Dice with that Rusher that just rushed him out of nowhere. If Sunderved is far forward, consider Building these as Magic and, if they're needed later, retrieving them with the next Event:
Superior Planning (x2)– This is quite possibly the most important and useful Event in Sunderved's deck. Heck, it may even be one of the most useful in all of Summoner Wars. It allows you to essentially pull any other one Event of Sunderved's that you could want or need at a moment's notice. It can be used to Fall Back multiple times throughout a game, or Muster a few extra units up to Sunderved's aid, or even allow Torodin to TRAMPLE some extra units by playing Torodin's Advance with one or both of them so that Torodin can move up to 8 spaces! They're great for preventing hand cloggage by Building Events as Magic if you don't need them, and then retrieving them from the Discard with Superior Planning at the perfect time.
Fall Back (x1)– This is the Emergency Exit of Sunderved's deck. For example, say you're putting the hurt on Grognack, and then all of a sudden, ol' Groggy hits Sunderved for 4 Wounds, well now you're in a bit of a pickle, so what do you do? Play Fall Back of course! It allows Sunderved to make a hasty retreat, but not before allowing him to get in one more big attack on the enemy and an extra round of COMMAND. It's especially wonderful to use Fall Back early in the game, and then push with Sunderved again, just to SUPERIOR PLANNING another Fall Back! Note that you have to select the Wall when you play this, so consider how your troops (and the enemies) will be ending your turn.
Torodin's Advance (x1)– This Event has two very different but almost equally useful powers.If you use Torodin in your decks, it allows him to make big TRAMPLE pushes into enemy territory, while wreaking havoc on the enemy Commons who stand before him. Note that you cannot TRAMPLE the same Common multiple times in a single Movement. If you don't use Torodin in your decks, it makes a wonderful no hesitation +1 Magic!
"I do not know why you have bothered to tell me all of this information..." Tacullu spoke with no emotion in his voice, "I have already forseen all of this in my visions."
"YEAH WELL DID YOU SEE THIS COMING!?" Sunderved shouted as he brought down the hammer on the psychic overlord.
Moral of this Article: Vargath Rule!