Happy Friday everyone!
Ah, at last we come to the Vargath. Why the Mountain Vargath last? It's really simple actually, they were the last of the master set factions I learned to play. It's probably a good thing too, because I'm going to be playing these guys a lot in the future, they fit my playstyle really well, and they're just so much fun to play.
Who Should (and Shouldn't) Play the Mountain Vargath?
Defensive players, beware, you won't like the Vargath. No turtles here, only mountain goats! They're all about getting in their opponent's face and staying there all game long. These guys are the martial arts equivalent of grapplers. No plinking from a distance, no darting in and out, just sustained pain with the occasional regroup.
Basic Play: Commons and Summoner
The first thing to notice is how tough Vargath commons are, two commons with toughness two for just one magic, and one common with toughness three for two magic. These commons have some serious staying power, and it's a good thing too, you'll need it to stay in people's face. Just don't leave your summoner behind. I learned this lesson playing the vanguard, high toughness commons aren't good enough if you aren't killing your opponent's units. Sunderved changes all of that and turns your commons into the equivalent of many champions, giving them plus one attack if they're within two spaces. If that doesn't make you feel happy inside, I don't know what will. So, that means don't leave him behind! He moves up with the commons! I know that's unusual, but go with it, you won't be sorry. This means for the Vargath, you must control the board. That means you can't make mistakes like "Oops, he just summoned a champion right next to my summoner on that wall I wasn't paying attention to." You do have to pay attention to how much damage Sunderved is taking, but if you play smart, you can minimize the damager to him.
Warriors are common killers. Their ability only effects attacks on commons, but that's okay, if you've got Sunderved nearby, you've got a two health, two attack common for 1 magic. What a bargain! Against normal commons, that means you could be swinging with a 3 attack. These guys are particularly useful if you're up against a large common type faction.
Brutes are just awesome. I think I like them more than they strictly deserve, but 3 toughness, two attack (if near Sunderved), and the ability to knock people so far back they can't get to you for a turn is pretty nasty. Defensively, use them to keep champions and commons away from Sunderved on the front lines. Offensively, use them to knock champions or a summoner into attack range.
Rushers are freaking sweet when you use them right! Now, these guys can be used to get shielding up to Sunderved, but they can also be used for a surprise attack if you place a forward wall in your third row. Those 4 spaces can really get them over to the enemy Summoner to get some hits in early to mid-game.
Advanced Play: Events
They have lots of great events, one meh event, but there is one event you should never, ever, burn for magic: superior planning. It lets you go fetch any event from your draw pile or your discard! And you've got two of them!
Fall back is a great retreat and regroup card, it's especially useful for either changing angles of attack by removing him and his group to a forward placed wall or for a full retreat if Sunderved's taken too many hits or has been separated from his common guards.
Muster performs a similar function to fall back, but lets you call units to your summoner, letting you stay on the offensive longer and not have to wait for units to slog across the board. It can also let you create a larger knot of commons to really put pressure on your enemy's side of the field.
Torodin's Advance just doesn't do it for me. I know it can come in handy, but for me it's just too situational. The nice thing is you can burn it for magic and fetch it back with superior planning if you ever are in a place where you need it. I do have a friend who swears by it, but so far, it just hasn't got the umph of the other Vargath events.
Finally, Greater Command is epically powerful. It can let you remain further back and still make your commons have a nice attack. Use it to help support commons in a pincer attack, or if you've pushed too far with your commons and left Sunderved behind. It's also a great way to give a surprise Rusher a 2 attack on an enemy unit.
Advanced Play: Champions
Quen is interesting, but he just doesn't quite fit what the Vargath need. His attack is worth taking advantage of, but only use him if you've got plenty of spare magic. His low health really makes him unfavorable for how I like to play the Vargath.
Torodin is a monster, 7 health with trample. The two attack is a little low, but for 6 magic, I can't complain too much. Where he really shines is in the pressure he puts on your opponent to keep commons away from him. Use him like a sheepdog to herd commons where you want them to go. You can also use him as a common discourager if he's right alongside Sunderved.
Now, my personal favorite is Growden. He's a 3 attack beatstick who is a huge threat to walls, but his 3 attack lets him threaten enemy champions and summoners too. If you can, get him early and get wounds on a wall, but he's great any time. He's easily the most versatile of the 3 champions of the Vargath.
The Vargath are just brutal. I like them just as they are, so I'm not even sure how much I'll change when the reinforcements hit! I may eventually swap out Quen for someone with a bit more staying power, and I might consider taking some warriors out if one of the commons really catches my eye, but that's about it.