Last week we saw the Swamp Orc half of the Swamp Mercenary alliance.  Now we will see the other half. 

The Mercenaries as a whole are a very eclectic bunch.  They include normal human soldiers like the different types of Grounders; more sinister criminals and sorcerers; mages following Rallul's unique cause; maverick individuals of the different humanoid races; and a wide variety of sentient animals. 

The Mercenaries in the Swamp Mercenary faction are all of the latter type: intelligent creatures found in and near the swamps who are willing to follow Glurblub.  They are also willing to follow Rallul and Mugglug, but any other Summoner who wishes to employ them will be disappointed, for the rules say:

Despite the fact that these Units are considered both Swamp Orcs and Mercenaries, Swamp Mercenaries do not follow Deck Building rules for Mercenaries .... Swamp Mercenaries can only be included in a deck with a Swamp Mercenary Summoner, Swamp Orc Summoner or Mercenary Summoner. You may include more than 6 Swamp Mercenary Units in your deck.

Now that we understand that, let's take a closer look. Just like last time, designer's notes will be italicized.

Boarboon, Common of the Swamp Mercenaries

First out of the gate -- I didn't want to stop him -- is a Boarboon.  It's tough (3 Life Points) and fierce (AV 2), especially when it is first summoned and its AV is one higher.  Of course, its magic cost is appropriately high.

Look at the card.  Then imagine it with one less cost.  Sick, huh?  Boarboons are still cool at 3 cost but are obviously tempered to avoid being super powerful.  The original ability of this card showed off what I thought of a dog or pig being assimilated into the Vine Army.  Basically, the beast was powerful (3/3/2) but had to be adjacent to a Vine Wall or he wouldn't live.  I think this version is more fun to play with, despite it being weaker.

Swamp Rat, Common of the Swamp Mercenaries

The Swamp Rat is at the opposite end of the scale.  It has zero cost, low LP and AV, and instead of running and hitting, it hits and runs.  After attacking it can be placed next to a nearby Wall you control -- probably on the far side of it where its victim cannot hit back for a quick kill and easy magic.  But to help ensure keeping the magic from its enemies, any friendly attack on a Swamp Rat makes him flee the field.  Easy come, easy go.

I think my original ability was more broken.  They had the PUNY ability and were ranged.  They started out being able to jump to any Vine Wall but the added restriction of range and being discarded when attacked by a friendly Unit were added to cut down on the Mugglug abuse.

Turt, Champion of the Swamp Mercenaries

Though not the first reptilian, the first turtle-like unit we see is named Turt, appropriately enough.  Also appropriate is his toughness, being half as likely to be wounded from attacks.  This wonderful doubling of his life span comes with the appropriate cost of his heavy shell: slow movement, moving only 1 space per turn.

I gave him the VETERAN ability (When you move 2+ spaces this turn, +1 Attack) when I first created the faction, something that my brother first cooked up.  I wanted this to be a Vanguard Champion but when the Turtle art popped up I had to change him to a SLOW guy, completely opposite of his original ability.  This guy got a defensive upgrade instead of a life upgrade and that made a bigger difference.

Prong, Champion of the Swamp Mercenaries

Perhaps the biggest surprise is Prong, a diminutive froglike Champion who is a true creature of the Swamps: not only can he move through Vine Walls with ease, he can deflect all damage from one attack per turn onto an adjacent Vine Wall, destroying it.  His apparent magery also has an offensive side, for tiny Prong can hit as hard as the ponderous Turt, or a Boarboon in its first rush.

His ability is pretty much word for word from what I started out with, except that it wasn't on a Champion, it was on an event that gave it to everyone (but could only block enough wounds as a Vine Wall had remaining).  He used to cost 3 and had unlimited range when he first came into testing, but the restrictions I had on him came back independent of myself, and he turned out to be a fine and cool Unit.

The fun is not over yet, of course.

Please stay tuned for the Events next week.  My favorite?  I nickname it Vine Pulse. 

Click here to pre-order the Summoner Wars Alliances Master Set.

Cave Filth: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Deep Benders: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Fallen Phoenix: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Jungle Shadow: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Sand Cloaks: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Swamp Mercenaries: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Tundra Guild: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Vargath Vanguards: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

 


Comments


This comment has been deleted.

blackholexan commented:

wooooooooooot!

Posted on 2014-10-20.

jwalker commented:

Wow, Swamp rats ability is interesting to line up with a ranged unit even without a Wall close. Turt and Prong are both very strong champions. Without auto wounds Turt is like the toughest Unit in the game atm.
Sadly Swamp rats ability keeps AM in Mugglugg ;(

Posted on 2014-10-20.

killercactus commented:

Wow - I didn't know I basically put back Prongs restrictions that TNS originally cooked up. I guess great minds think alike.

Oh, and Boarboons rule!

And before people cry foul about Swamp Rats, I added that second part of the ability to keep Mugglug in check, but also because I feel its thematic. Look at them - they're survivors. They hide from enemies, and if their own general decides to kill them, they hide from him, too.

Posted on 2014-10-20.

jwalker commented:

can a Swamprat destroy a unit and immediately use the ability on the new VW? I see that S-Rat has immediately while Mugglugg has not - so it doesn't work?

Posted on 2014-10-20.

killercactus commented:

Nah - Swamp Rats immediately is only on the 2nd part of their ability. The first part is a same time situation with Muggs, so it can kill something, Muggs makes a VW, and then it can HIDE there

Posted on 2014-10-20.

Lets play a game! commented:

That 1 space movement is very restricting though, at least stone golems get the option for 2 movements. I think Turt is going to be primarily a wall killer, but being summoned into enemy territory with vine walls will also make him deadly.


Posted on 2014-10-20.

Khayzhard commented:

wonderful artwork !!! I love Turt.

Boarboon : seems perfectly costed for me (I don't think its Cost is high).

Swamp Rat : original idea for a 0-coster, but I have a doubt:

after attacking a Rat that I control, I must place it in my discard, but this does not trigger Mugglug's Ability, right? (that is, if the Rat was adjacent to a VW, after "discarding" it, I cannot place a VW on the space it occupied)

Turt : solid and very thematic Champ

Prong : very very interesting Champ (I love new mechanics relating to VWs); maybe, I would have preferred it having the Bow symbol (even with an increasing in its Cost)

P.S. Vine Pulse speculation : discard any number of Vine Walls you control, choose a Unit you control, and add that number to its AV until the end of that turn (maybe it also may grant the Bow symbol)


Posted on 2014-10-20.

sitnam90 commented:

I understand wanting to xut down on Mugglugg abuse KC, but instead you made a unit IMO inferior to the 0-coster Muggs can abuse: apprentice mages. While I think that strategy is overrated, I dont understand why you'd limit swamp rats from making an already common strategy more thematic

Posted on 2014-10-20.

RMZ1989 commented:

I love the art of Turt, to be honest I've expected his ability to be slightly different than just Spirit of the Turtle from Niki, but he is amazing nonetheless.
Prong is good, I've expected him to be able to leap but he is occasionally very tough because of his ability, and he is very cheap.
Swamp Rats are cool, but I don't think that I'll be using them much and Boarboons are great for assassination, their art is also amazing.

I will try Turt and/or Prong in Mugglug deck, but I don't know how good they will be. Prong will be very solid with ton of Vine Walls, but Turt is very slow and you will mostly want to summon him from one of the Vine Walls that is deep into enemy territory.

Posted on 2014-10-20.

killercactus commented:

@sitnam - because it was broken, plain and simple. Packing 15 0 cost guys plus the fact that their ability inherently ends them in a spot where Mugglug could kill them to get a wall was just too strong.

And while ill agree that rats are inferior for that strategy, they're far superior for doing almost anything else. I also didn't want another Blaze Step - self kill bore fest.

Posted on 2014-10-20.

prometheuslkr commented:

Use Splack to get a vine wall under an enemy champion, and then use that wall to summon Turt so they can't just run away from him.

Posted on 2014-10-20.

sitnam90 commented:

Ah I forgot the 6 merc limit didnt apply to swamp rats. Still, unfortunate they couldn't be played that way. I still like them better then AM's myself, especially with certain tricks you could do. Attack with ranged unit, block with swamp rat. Attack with swampr rat, unblock for ranged unit hit. I just think it gets tiresome that a fun summoner like Mugglugg with tons of great units has a single merc used more then anything

Posted on 2014-10-20.

killercactus commented:

I agree, but I'd rather have App Mages used for that than a SO common, Just because they're inherently limited to 6 copies, and then it takes away your ability to play other mercs.

Posted on 2014-10-20.

Olivier commented:

I second Khayzard's question. What happens to Mugglug killing a swamp rat adjacent to a wall: vine wall or no vine wall?

Posted on 2014-10-20.

killercactus commented:

If a friendly unit attacks the rat, it gets discarded before it's ever destroyed, so no wall. As soon as an attack is declared, the rat is discarded.

Posted on 2014-10-20.

BuckWilde commented:

@Olivier No Vine Wall because the Rat is discarded, not destroyed.

Posted on 2014-10-20.

Slow Focus commented:

Great preview! I absolutely love Turt and Prong! Turt is an absolute beast and Prong makes me smile -- great art, fascinating mechanics, great cost.

Swamp Rats are cool even if I'm a bit bummed that SO got their very own 0-coster that can't be used as a more thematic App Mage for Mugglug. Oh well! The mechanics are super cool and great theme, and thanks killer cactus for explaining the decision here!

Boarboons are really intriguing! Love the art and the boar baboon hybrid idea! I'm having trouble speculating about their ability and how it'll feel to play. I was initially put off by the idea of an ability that has such a short life, but the more I think about it the more I like it. I expect that my opponent will see them as much less of a threat after the first attack, which will give them the opportunity to wreak havoc! Plus with vine walls it won't be difficult to make excellent use of that first attack!

I am loving this deck! Looking forward to the events next week!

Posted on 2014-10-20.

blackholexan commented:

I guess SM won't have any Barboon on the field in the setup. Sudden Strike would be totally useless on them, in that case, am I right?

Posted on 2014-10-20.

BuckWilde commented:

@blackholexan A Boarboon starting on the battlefield at the beginning of the game would not have the AV boost, but it is still a beefy unit to start with.

Boarboons are scary. They just need and opening and they can wreck and stick around. Fun units, but were definitely broken at 2 cost.

Posted on 2014-10-20.

blackholexan commented:

@BuckWilde: thanks for the confirmation. While it is beefy indeed, it is a pity it is "textless" when already in play at the start of the game

Posted on 2014-10-20.

WOOKIE commented:



Posted on 2014-10-20.

tortugatron commented:

Boarboons look like something out of avatar the last airbender! And I think Turt will be my new alter ego. Move over Doug Duggle and say hello to Turt Turtleman!

Posted on 2014-10-20.

fainez commented:

Rolling 0/3 with boarboons is going to be really painful. Turt and Prong are some of the coolest looking champions to date, and turt looks like he could really strong becuase of vine walls helping reduce his low movement as such a problem, since he can be summoned farther up the field, and the vine walls are already going to be hindering the enemies movement.

I wonder if this summoner will have a much harder time creating as many vine walls as Muggs...

Posted on 2014-10-20.

Justantula commented:

Prong's ability name doesn't fit. He doesn't look like a Vinemancer :p

Really nice cards! Well not the rat, his art is gross.
Turt looks like fun and a monster to take out. The Boarboons are great. I already run Rallul as an assassination deck and these little piggies will help.

Posted on 2014-10-20.

Da-Niel, Unicorn Bro commented:

Turt is a hunk! Or is he the Chunk? These are the questions that keep us up at night

Posted on 2014-10-20.

Barliman commented:

My initial description of Swamp Rat's vanishing was mistaken and misleading, so I fixed it.

@Khayzad: I agree about Boarboon's cost: I said it is appropriately high, not too high.

Posted on 2014-10-20.

glenn3e commented:

A Frog with a Fork named Prong. And a Turtle named Turt. And of course... the Boarboon. Lol



Posted on 2014-10-20.

NinjaKnight commented:

Now lemme get this straight. Hypothesize if you will, a match between the Swamp Mercs and the Vargath. Turt is on the board, as are two enemy Brutes. On brute manages to get a hit on Turt. He gets knocked back 1 space away, adjacent to another brute. The second brute hits him.... And he stays still?

Posted on 2014-10-20.

fainez commented:

@NinjaKnight Im pretty sure knockaround isn't limited by a units move speed. otherwise idk how u would knock a normal unit back 3 spaces.

Posted on 2014-10-20.

BuckWilde commented:

@NinjaKnight Turf can be knocked around. He can only move 1 space per turn, but he can be moved by abilities like any other unit.

Posted on 2014-10-20.

thenightsshadow commented:

IIRC, Turt can only be moved 1 space even by an opponent; Units like Clingers can be moved during the opponent's turn like normal, but Turt's ability prevents him from being moved more than one space, period.

Posted on 2014-10-20.

killercactus commented:

TNS is right. Even abilities can only move Turt 1 space per turn. I once thought about fast balling Turt down into enemy ground, but the wording prevents that. Nice little Kynder counter sometimes.

Posted on 2014-10-21.

BuckWilde commented:

Woah, sweet. Interesting development. Thanks, TNS and KC!

Posted on 2014-10-21.

mdowd commented:

Turt and Prong were my absolute favorite cards to play during play testing. Going into it I didn't think the Swamp Mercs would be my favorite Alliances faction or even in the top half. However, they quickly became one of my favorites (probably second after Sand Cloaks) of the new set. I watched Turt wreck games and then slowly meander around the board aimlessly trying to pick fights. Prong is so sneaky and there is a good reason for him not being ranged. The little guy is deadly.

Posted on 2014-10-21.

RustyKettle commented:

The Frog with a Fork was by far the nuttiest card during playtesting. I like where it is now, but at first it was very OP. When we were first trying it out, I remember referring to him with my friends and wife as 'that forking frog'. He would come out and lay waste to the whole battlefield.

Posted on 2014-10-21.

killercactus commented:

Well when you had 8 vine walls down, he was invincible for 8 attacks. A bit nuts.

That forking frog.

Posted on 2014-10-21.

Clarissimus commented:

The spirit of Thorkur lives on.

Posted on 2014-10-21.

thenightsshadow commented:

Fun fact: Prong's ability used to be on an event called "SHELTER" that gave Vine Walls the ability:
VINEMANCER SHELTER

Because the ability went on the Vine Walls, the ability could not be nullified. Essentially, Units adjacent to a Vine Wall could put up to 2 of the Wounds that Unit would have received on the Vine Wall instead.

Posted on 2014-10-21.

dok commented:

The superbroken early deck wasn't 15 0-costers. I was running, I think, 9 swamp rats in Mugglug. It was kind of like a combination of a Maldaria deck with a ton of fencers/firelings, combined with the Apprentice Mage Mugglug style. Then Prong came out at the end and was a SuperThorkur. It was awesome; I won every game for a week before they changed it. :D

Posted on 2014-10-22.

You must be registered for our forums and logged in to leave a comment.