The title "Summoner Wars Alliances" inspires the idea of mutually beneficial partnerships between Itharian factions. But not all alliances are created equally, and some factions are more dominant than others. The Cave Filth alliance is a good example.
I'm curious as to the lore for this alliance, but the cards themselves suggest a Filth summoner with a talent for magical imprisonment who wields a summoning stone with harsh power and forced labor.
The prison pile mechanism comes with its own rule card, but it couldn't be simpler:
So the Warden has a new card pile that he can fuel with destroyed common units who can be transferred to the magic pile as needed (over time). The Warden will use his events and units to make use of his prisoners, including those who come from his own army:
This is certainly a creative new zero-cost common! It lives longer than your typical zero-cost Cave Goblin or Filth common unit, and so could be useful to Frick, Sneeks or the Demagogue if they can find a unit with a good use for the unwilling prisoners. (Any summoner can have a prison pile if they have a card such as the Prisoner who references it.)
But don't imagine that the Filth-Cave Goblin alliance is simple subjugation. It is somehow more complicated and disturbing than that, as shown by the other new Cave Filth common.
Taskmasters are great for the mobility of any multi-life common unit in your deck, and for prisoners especially. These goblins are not exactly freedom fighters. The Warden coerces his units to fight to the point of complete exhaustion, at which point they are taken to the prison.
However, heading to the prison pile after expending oneself isn't a journey toward rest. Life in a Cave Filth prison is short and miserable, whether you're a Cave Filth unit or not. And the many ways in which you meet your end are degrading and humiliating. We'll look at just one of them for today.
This card certainly makes the Warden a persistent foe who can sustain a push with the best of them. But the Warden is a caricature of what all summoners ultimately are: beings with outrageous power who treat their people's lives as mere resources to be splattered across the battlefield to buy victory with their deaths.
If only there were a fighter who knew the prisoners' plight, and who, fueled by the passion of the prisoners, in turn inspired them to rise up against their cruel masters!
The prisoners are certainly inspired to persevere by Scabbicus' bravery, but they have yet more horrors to endure. Until next week…