Happy Friday everyone!

This week we are going to talk about my most loathed faction, the uncontested most irritating faction in all of Summoner Wars, the Guild Dwarves. Yes, that's a lot of hostility, but there's a reason for it: these guys are nasty! They're easily one of the top factions in Summoner Wars, and it's not hard to see why.

Who Should (and Shouldn't) Play the Dwarves?

People who are annoying will love these guys. Only joking! All kidding aside, the Guild Dwarves are a great faction to teach people Summoner Wars. They have easy to learn units and events, but there's a lot of room for subtlety later on too. I used this faction to get my wife hooked on Summoner Wars. If you like sturdy commons, nasty champions, and handy events, you'll love this race. On the other hand, if you like a lot of high mobility, events that let you dramatically change the board, and charging into the fray, these guys may not be the right fit for you. Honestly, when they first came out, I wasn't super excited about them, they just didn't have that spark that made me really love them. They still don't, but I've seen my wife master them, and routinely kick my butt when she plays them, and she loves every minute of it.

Basic Play: Commons

The weak player here is the engineer. He's a one toughness, really situational unit. I've seen people suggest custom wall destruction builds, and those are worth considering, but we'll save that discussion for a later article. If you've just got the starter, these guys are great for magic fodder, but if you see a weak wall nearby, don't be afraid to summon one of these guys to take it down.

Now, the spearmen are fantastically useful units. They are flexible by being able to do ranged, but get an extra damage dice in melee. Plus they only cost one magic! Just don't expect them to last long, unless you support them with the most awesome dwarf common of all.

Defender

And here he is, the one we've all been waiting for, the humble but amazingly IRRITATING defender. Oh how I hate this guy. I really, really do. He mucks up all my plans. If you're playing the Guild Dwarves and not using these guys, you're doing it wrong. You can use them to close off-key attack paths and force the enemy to deal with them as he tries to get to your summoner. Use them to hold champions or high toughness commons in place so you can hit them. They are an automatic one turn stall (minimum).

Advanced Play: Events

The dwarves have a really nice balance of events. They have the much maligned "A hero is born," but occasionally it's worth using. They have two catch up events, magic drain and reinforcements. It's hard to go into all the complexities involved in these events, suffice it to say they allow pretty potent comebacks at critical times, and the threat of having one can be just as potent as using one. They really deserve their own article.

Now, the Guild Dwarves also have two events unique to their deck (so far). Besiege the Walls is an excellent way to put some early damage on all of your opponent's walls. Some people like to wait until they've got all their walls out, then hit them with both copies. Others use it sooner. You do get the maximum damage if you wait, but using it sooner can provide an early threat that may be useful, especially if you've got an engineer ready to take advantage of the damage.

Finally, the most obnoxious event in the deck is easily Heroic Feat. It's any unit, champion, common, or summoner, and so whenever that gets thrown down, it's not going to be good. It can kill an important champion very quickly if your opponent isn't watching out for it..

Advanced Play: Champions

Gror

Gror is probably the least subtle of the Guild Dwarf champions. He's a beat stick. Your opponent will want to pull him down as quickly as he can, but he can't afford to swarm him because of Gror's special ability. Watch out for other champions though, Gror's attack is too low to be really effective against them unless you have a heroic feat. To deal with other champions, you need...

Baldar

Baldar! My most hated champion. This evil little monster is dirt cheap and only costs four magic, but has a 3 attack. His ability makes him essentially impervious to your champions unless they're really lucky. He is vulnerable to swarm tactics, but if you save him for a late game champion, you'll be very happy with yourself. His low toughness does mean a lucky roll from your opponent may kill him if he's got a really high attack champion, but the majority of the time, this little fella is going to be a thorn in your opponent's side for as long as he's on the board. Trust me, this is the voice of bitter experience.

The new Thorkur doesn't worry me that much, but a 3 attack ranged isn't a bad thing. See, back when I started playing, the old Thorkur was a beast and PHG's swiftly corrected him, so now it's basically he can pay one to stop one damage per turn. It's still not bad, but he's not nearly as evil as the other two champions. My wife subs him out in her deck, but more on that in the next article.

Conclusion

Even writing about these guys makes me want to have a rematch with my wife. The last game, I was my beloved Mountain Vargath, and despite a massive early game lead on my part, she managed to stall me with defenders and pull those ridiculously under costed champions out to really ruin my game in the end. The Guild Dwarves are awesome survivors, great on offense and defense. They're easily one of the most well-rounded factions in Summoner Wars. They're not my cup of tea, but when someone pulls them out, I know I'm in for a tough fight.

So until next time, go out and kill some guild dwarves.

Wait, this article is supposed to be pro-dwarves, so I guess, I should end it with...

Make like a little teapot, and play it short and stout. Like the Guild Dwarves. Cause, you know, they're short... and stout... but I'm still making fun of them.


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