So, in anticipation of card previews for the 8 new Second Summoners starting next week, I thought I'd give everyone something else to talk about until then.  Not only does each of these decks have its own playstyle that ties into its faction's core themes, but each of them really brings something unique, new and fun to Summoner Wars, so I thought I'd talk about those things this week before we get into seeing the cards.  So let's just dive right in!

Saturos - Shadow Elves

The Shadow Elves have always been about being able to strike where you don't expect them, and Saturos takes that concept to a new level.  And while doing that, he adds something new to the game - getting stronger on the opponent's side of the Battlefield.  Saturos loves to blitz the opponent, ramping up the pressure the further he pushes in, and he loves even more when that opponent tries to use their common units to block his advance.  Even Summoners hiding behind walls will fear the suffocating darkness that shroud's Saturos' charge!

Shiva - Benders

Shiva brings a couple of new mechanics to Summoner Wars, but the biggest thing she does is flip the movement phase on its head.  Shiva's units don't seem very mobile at first, but when playing against her, you'll soon find that they're far more mobile than you think.  And by the time you've figured that out, Shiva has repositioned your Units to be demolished.   Good luck hiding your Units or keeping them flanked when Shiva can just put them wherever she wants!

Scraven - Sand Goblins

While Scraven's mechanics are certainly cool, most of them aren't really something that Summoner Wars hasn't seen - but they're certainly done a bit differently and with a Sand Goblin twist.  However, the coolest and newest thing about Scraven are some of his units.  These guys have ways to reach unprecedented stat levels, and Scraven's opponents will have to work to keep this from happening, or suffer the consequences.  There's even one Unit that has Itharian's wondering if it actually exists at all, because no one seems to be able to kill it!  Also, it looks like Marek has taught Scraven a few tricks....

Malenatar - Mountain Vargath

The Vargath love to steamroll over the opposition, and Malenatar certainly drives the steamroller.  He brings a new mechanic to Summoner Wars in the form of discarding cards for a benefit.  Up to this point, only a couple of cards in the entire game dealt with moving cards directly from the hand to the Discard Pile (aside from just the normal play of Event cards), but it's at the center of Malenatar's strategy.  He also brings 3 superb Common Units into the game that will really make you think about whether you want to even summon anything else.  Mountain Vargath deckbuilders are sure going to have problems choosing Common Units once Malenatar hits the board!

Natazga - Swamp Orcs

So, are you one of those people that thinks attacking Walls really isn't worth it?  I mean, they have so much life, you don't get any magic, yadda yadda yadda.  Well, Natazga gives you an excellent reason to beat on those Walls, and with that comes a really fun magic economy to manage.  Many times you'll find it more advantageous to attack a Wall than a Unit, but before the opponent knows it they're completely overwhelmed and choking on mud and vines.  Throw in 2 copies of what might be the coolest Event in Summoner Wars history, and this deck is a blast to play!

Brath - Deep Dwarves

Brath's deck centers around a specific Common Unit, probably even moreso than Bolvi and his Assault Towers, but the synergy created is awesome to behold.  The new mechanic Brath brings along though is burning cards from her Draw Pile to gain nice advantages, which is a really cool risk / reward play and tons of fun.  She can setup those big attack turns the Deep Dwarves loves to concoct, but unlike her counterpart, she wants to do it fast before that Draw Pile runs out!  One of her Champions also brings with him another terrain element into the game, which the playtesters loved to abuse!

Little Meda - Filth

This poor little girl is a Filth Summoner, so obviously she gets all of the crazy Mutation fun that makes the Filth who they are, but we already knew that.  What makes this deck really interesting and unique in the Summoner Wars world is playing Little Meda herself on the Battlefield.  She brings an entirely new Summoner dymanic onto the game board that is very challenging to manage, but can be turned into a great advantage when its done well.  And oh by the way, she has a CHAMPION IN HER STARTING SETUP.

Farrah Oathbreaker - Mercenaries

So we met Farrah and some of her network of spies last week in Kynstri's Mission.  In her base deck, what she brings is exploiting the power of information in sometimes very crippling ways, and trying to take advantage of having 6 different Common Units that work together in her deck instead of the normal 3.  I promise that the base deck is very fun and rewarding to play on its own, but once you start deckbuilding, things explode.  You see, Farrah can't include anymore than 3 copies of a Common Unit in her deck, but a third of her Commons in a built deck can come from ANY FACTION.  Farrah has eyes and ears everywhere, and if she has them in your faction trust me, you're in trouble.

Man... I can't wait to start showing these cards off!  Next week, Preview Mondays are back, and it's gonna get real!  We'll be doing previews for the next 3 months, and they'll be lots of cards to show each week with 8 decks to preview.  Until then - anticipate and speculate away!