Sir, 

I have the preliminary reports of the scouts we sent to the Bender Empire and Abua Shi's jungle. 

The activity among the Benders is due to the Cloaks, as we suspected.  It is disturbing to learn that the extent of their assassination is greater than we thought.  Not only do they use specialized assassination tactics, they have developed a class of special Assassins whose training helps counteract the advanced skills of their important targets. 

Assassin, Common of the Cloaks

There is a new champion among the Cloaks.  We don't know his real name because he is always called "Doc", for the simple reason that he has healing powers.  He is not as good as Sera Eldwyn and her Priests, but he can do it without any summoning magic expenditure; perhaps he is a renegade Bender.  This healing would be a welcome break from the usual disruption that the Cloaks specialize in, if we could be sure that he heals innocents as well as his fellow Cloaks.

Doc, Champion of the Cloaks

We have troubling news from the jungle, beyond the animal attacks we have heard of.  The Elves there have traditionally used poison darts to hunt for food, but now they have begun using it on people. 

Hunter, Common of the Jungle Elves

Fortunately, this poison does not slay large targets like Humans and Elves outright. But it does weaken them, and it is cumulative: the more darts hit you, the weaker you get.  The scouts believe that several days in bed will allow you to recover fully, but that is no comfort to people hit in the middle of battle. 

Poison Markers

They have also heard tales of warriors, and even animals, attacking at times in ferocious bursts with a strength several times greater than you would expect.  

Spirit of the Serpent

This is another sign of more Summoner activity.  They are now trying to get to the bottom of this. 


Comments


Adam commented:

So much awesome.
Spirit of the Non-Lioneer.

Posted on 2013-12-23.

glenn3e commented:

Heavily nerfed Heroic Feat that is not stackable lol!

Assassins are a much needed Anti-Champ unit that Vlox needs that is more reliable than Slashers. Vlox copying it will really help against Champ heavy play.

Posted on 2013-12-23.

Barliman commented:

The only real nerf of Spirit of the Serpent compared to Heroic Feat is that the unit has to be within 2 spaces of the Summoner. Woops, you're right, it is not stackable since it adds an ability. But the movement restriction is moot: the only Guild Dwarf unit that could even move more than 2 spaces is Grungor, and if he does he cannot attack anyway.

Posted on 2013-12-23.

tortugatron commented:

3 AV hunter on a champ threatening your summoner? Have fun rolling 6's!

Posted on 2013-12-23.

glenn3e commented:

@Barliman, I'm sorry you are wrong. Abilities do not stack when gaining it multiple times.

Edit: ninja-ed. Anyway its nerfed a bit since it doesn't work with Lioneers.

Posted on 2013-12-23.

Barliman commented:

A 5AV Lioneer is so frightening to contemplate, I don't mind the movement "nerf".

The report should have pointed out that against Champions, an Assassin is as good as a Sniper, for half the cost -- if not as far-striking.

Posted on 2013-12-23.

ZeeJr commented:

Man I love previews!

Assassin: Versatile. Much like an oath-sworn, but even better at tilting the advantage in the direction of commons. Especially with Vlox copying it.

Doc: Man, that's some heavy nerfing on this healing ability. 1) Costs an attack. 2) Only 50% chance to work 50% chance of wasting that attack. 3) Only removes one wound. The consolation is that it's the only way to heal a champ for free. This gives the Cloaks a bit of turtling power they didn't have before. Should combo particularly well with Bruisers and the Admiral. Useless with most Cloak commons, who have only 1 life. Will be fun to put him into the fray while Vlox hangs back and heals. Especially if Vlox heals the Doc himself! Same stats as Scam, so I can't see him replacing Scam unless the next previews change that.
Excellent artwork, by the way.

There's a small character limit in this news page, so I'll post the rest of my thoughts in the forums.

Posted on 2013-12-23.

glenn3e commented:

@Zee 3+ is not 50% chance. So the Doc has the same chance of healing as shooting someone with AV1. I think some serious end game potential here combining him with Vlox with Vlox healing him every turn while Doc pinging the enemy Summoner. He is also having a very good 'Scam' cost at 5. I say its possible to replace Scam in Vlox deck with Doc, which before this is almost a must-have.

Posted on 2013-12-23.

ZeeJr commented:

Oops. GlennE, you're right. I always mess that up when I see 3+.

I've adjusted my comment for posting it in the forums.

Posted on 2013-12-23.

Heitsola commented:

I like this way of impairing a unit compared to wounding over time.

The poison marker is essentially gradually wounding a wounded champ. The more poison wounds it takes, the harder it is to defend itself and the easier pickings it is for enemy units. Rhinos become nigh impossible to take down if the other faction is heavily poisoned.

Posted on 2013-12-23.

glenn3e commented:

Deleting double post

Posted on 2013-12-23.

killercactus commented:

SotS is not stackable

Posted on 2013-12-23.

glenn3e commented:

Another thought: Spirit of the Serpent + Shikwa is SCARY!

I figure this is why the Event is heavily nerfed to only work near your Summoner.

Posted on 2013-12-23.

Katabrok commented:

If an unit has 4 or more poison markers, they cannot hit or 6+ is always a hit?

Posted on 2013-12-23.

glenn3e commented:

Nope they cannot hit unless Mook boosted.

Posted on 2013-12-23.

This comment has been deleted.

sitnam90 commented:

I hate to say it but doesn't poison seem kinda broken? Since most factions have no way of getting rid of poison wounds through healing it seems that an expensive 8 cost champ will be completely negated within 8 wounds. i love the idea but the thought that every poison counter stacks the minus one to dice with no means of removal has me worried as to the balance.

That aside I like all these units. I see Doc and Assasins being great in Vlox decks. I also like Cloaks are getting a ton of range options for their commons; all of which should help a variety of Vlox decks. Very happy with the new CL units so far.

Spirit of the Serpent, despite being a nuetered Heroic Feat, is still pretty good. As been said, a 5 av lioneer is scary. I also like the idea of Shikwa + SoS.

Posted on 2013-12-23.

champrjk commented:

I love the poison markers mechanic. It is now my goal to inflict four poison markers on krung.

Posted on 2013-12-23.

killercactus commented:

Why is no one talking about healing (or double healing!) the Admiral?

Also, regarding poison, you can go ahead and try to spam Hunters if you like to get 4 wounds on a champ. By the time you're done, you're probably way behind in magic. We tried.

Posted on 2013-12-23.

Adam commented:

Unless a champ or event has poison, too, the only way to inflict a lot of poison on a champ at once is if you leave your champ unprotected or send him near the summoner when you know Spirit of the Serpent has yet to be used and a Hunter or wall is nearby.

Poison is scary, but its source is a squishy unit with one attack die, usually. Protect your champ with commons and be mindful of the new JE Summoner's position.

Ah, forgot Abua can boost their attack a little, too, from anywhere, but at no negligible cost (more the attack cost than the magic cost).

And summoning all three champions is not necessary. If you are facing the Jungle and see they are playing commons more, you can, too.

I don't know if these ideas are good since I never played against poison. Just tossing them out there.

Posted on 2013-12-23.

massimo commented:

How Would the Admiral and poison markers interact?

Posted on 2013-12-23.

MtS commented:

Doc+Vlox healing Admiral :) It can be hard to set up, but I'm looking forward to it. I usually like to use Admiral with Violet and Sin-Sin with Cloaks. I think replacing Sin-Sin with Doc can add interesting possibilites to the deck. I also like Assassins a lot. Cloaks always had a problem getting rid of heavier champs, hurray for anti-champ unit (i think I like them more than slashers).

EDIT: @massimo: You can transfer the poison markers to Admiral, because they are considered to be wound markers (that also means they can be healed).

Posted on 2013-12-23.

sitnam90 commented:

Good points on poison guys. I figured as much, but it still seems pretty strong to me. However, as a CG player I have no problems with poison. Doesn't bother my guys one bit. I do like that the push to a more balanced meta is still a big priority with the SS.

Posted on 2013-12-23.

Lord Brighton commented:

Presumably, when you remove a wound marker from a unit with Doc or a Priest, etc. you can choose whichever particular wound marker comes off. So poison markers could always be removed first.

Posted on 2013-12-23.

thenightsshadow commented:

You are correct. Healing Wounds removes Poison Markers like regular Wound Markers. This makes Sera and Priests much more valuable *hint, hint*

Posted on 2013-12-23.

Recna commented:

Suddenly Rhinos seem that much better with poison. Can't wait to see what other poison units there are for jungle elves.

Doc + The Admiral seems like a fun combo. I don't know how practical it would be but fun nonetheless (bonus points if Vlox heals too).

Also if Kalu gets a poison marker does Talu get a poison marker as well or just take a normal wound marker from Mind Link?

Posted on 2013-12-23.

Rwould commented:

Some very nice options there for both factions. Love the idea of poisoning champs and then ignoring them :)

Posted on 2013-12-24.

xMagox commented:

Since Assassins get the bonus against summoners too, its a good way to deal with Sundreved, Gorognack and so, when they advance on late game. Or, sending vlox with a raid and CoS Against Ret Elien and Tac and then copying an assassin on next turn is a risky but good move.

Just wondering what Jexik Does, i'm sure he can move the Cloack units, probably with an event... to combo with CW. So, CW + assassins is an great anti champion maneuver. But i'm wondering what's Jexik ability.

And Hienas, Gorrilas with SoS could be a havock... lol, specialy if there's a event that adds poison markers to a common unit attack during 1 turn.
Anxious about the White tigger champ. : ]

Loving the SS and how they're more common focused

Posted on 2013-12-24.

Agzaroth commented:

wait a minute...so poison markers count as wound marker too? i mean, they kill in the same way? If i have 4 life points and receive 4 poison markers i die, but before i become weaker and weaker...
...isn't it too strong for the cost of the hunters?

Posted on 2013-12-28.

JanE commented:

"The Elves there have traditionally used poison darts to hunt for food, but now they have begun using it on people."

What the heck? They poison their food?

Posted on 2013-12-28.

thenobleknave commented:

@Agzaroth: 1R/1/1 is a pretty weak stat line, and every time you pop a Hunter out there's a 33% chance it whiffs. You spend 2 Magic (since you didn't build the Hunter), and your opponent can probably kill it and get a Magic back. It is stronger with Spirit of the Serpent or Abua Shi's Chant of Growth...

@JanE: I've spent the last several years developing an immunity to iocane powder.

Posted on 2013-12-30.

Agzaroth commented:

Ok, but i still think poison is very (too?) strong. -1 cumulative to attacks results is enough...but it "breaks" one of the core mechanism of the game, too!
I shot once (3 spaces distance), you reach me in melee. Now I shot (66% hit) and you can't attack me, so I move and shot again and again and again...
...of course I trust Colby. He gave us 16+ well tested armies, so I want to believe that these new JE won't be overpowered.

Posted on 2013-12-30.

JanE commented:

You just have to play Cave Goblins against them... =)

Posted on 2013-12-30.

Agzaroth commented:

;)

Posted on 2013-12-30.

Justantula commented:

Back to the Elephant/Rhino debate, the poison mechanic pretty much gives your units the ability Tough in a sense, so Elphants will be able to help the JE's take on the horde of commons you'll be facing with Trample.

I think both factions and summoners will become favorites again.

Posted on 2014-01-01.

hardstor commented:

The wording for Spirit of the Serpent has me a little miffed...

If a Mimic event removes it from the hands of the JE player, would the card be playable but only on the summoner? Or is it just plain not playable on anything but a JE unit?


Posted on 2014-01-02.

Justantula commented:

@hardstor It says "When attacking with this Jungle Elf Unit..." so unless you Mind Controlled a Jungle Elf unit that's near Tacullu, it's a free magic build :)

Posted on 2014-01-05.

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