Swamp Orcs symbol

Programming Note: Due to the large number of cards to preview, we are starting the previews before the pre-orders are available. Pre-orders will be up in 1-3 weeks. Plus, Preview Monday will be twice as nice as usual, with TWO Summoner Wars previews per day. TWO! Click here for this morning's preview.

This afternoon we get to look at Natazga, the Swamp Orc Second Summoner, and explore some of the ways she can do what the Swamp Orcs do - put a bunch of yucky vines all over the Battlefield!
 
Natazga
 
Natazga's stats aren't anything exciting for a Summoner, rolling with the fairly standard 2 ranged / 6 life statline. Her contrast to Mugglug is very similar to Torgan's contrast to Grognack in their cousin faction.  However, this particular statline has significance for Natazga thanks to her excellent ability, OVERGROWTH.  Much like Mugglug, it's an ability that's "always on" and allows all of your Units to spread Vine Walls on the Battlefield, but you're going to need to attack a Wall to do so, AND do at least 2 Wounds.

However, think about how that works.  One of the great things Vine Walls can do for Mugglug is choke off opposing summoning points when you can get a Vine Wall in the right position.  With Natazga, all you have to do is attack an enemy Wall and land 2 Wounds, and you automatically get a Vine Wall on a space where an opponent used to be able to summon.  And if your attacker was adjacent to that Wall, you've just eliminated half of the spaces he could use to summon from that Wall on this turn!  And that's just with one guy attacking it! Where Nat's 2 Attack Value becomes significant is that's about a coin flip to make a Vine Wall herself, and OVERGROWTH works on your Walls, too!  So while your starting Commons are jumping on the opponent's Wall, closing off summon points and creating threats deep in enemy territory, Natazga can start building the swamp on her side as well.  And one more thing - Vine Walls don't need to be placed on empty spaces, so don't forget you can trap Units that end their movement adjacent to Walls as well!

But... with just 2 AV on guys, it's only a 44% chance to make that wall, right?  Isn't that kind of hard?

Erosion
It's not hard when the walls are eroding!  Natazga gets a whopping 3 copies of this Event, and you can already see the ramifications.  Not only will this Event guarantee that you create Vine Walls when you attack a normal Wall (note that this doesn't affect Ice Walls or Vine Walls, or any Wall that didn't start the game with 9 Life), but it also guarantees that you can beat up a Wall (or Walls!) pretty badly this turn.  Erosion allows Nat to plan out her turn Prince Elien style to know where the Vines are going to be, and put immense pressure on the opponent by beating up on his Walls very rapidly while closing off his points of summoning and creating new points of summoning for herself in their territory.  It's nasty.

So, is that the only way Natazga can get the swamp growing?  Do I really have to just continually attack Walls?  Well, you'll find that you'll want to attack Walls quite a bit, but Nat brings a couple of buddies with her to keep the swamp growing:

Skrub

Skrub is a straightforward champion with a straightforward benefit. Give up an attack to get a Vine Wall 100% of the time otherwise for free. Mugglug players will know the benefits of using one of your attack slots to kill your own 1-life Common Unit just to generate a Vine Wall.  Skrub does something very similar, but can do so wherever he is on the Battlefield.  He can be a great help to Natazga getting the swamp going initially if she's having trouble getting at the opponent's Walls.  And speaking of other ways to get the swamp going...

Zur Lak

This super-duper swamp beast excels at just that!   Not only will his base Attack Value of 4 pretty much kill any Common or put a nice dent in any Champion, it will almost always generate a Vine Wall for Natazga when it attacks a Wall.  Zur-Lak does have the drawback of losing Attack Value as he is wounded, but this can be turned into a positive rather easily.  That drawback, combined with OVERGROWTH, creates extra incentive for the opponent to attack Zur-Lak rather than just run away from him.  If they ignore him, he can run rampant with his 4 Attack Value, decimating opposing Walls and scattering Vine Walls all over the opponent's Battlefield.  But, if the opponent chooses to engage him in order to drop down that Attack Value, he scatters the Vine Walls anyway!  This dude is a vine factory, and truly a swamp beast to be feared!

Well, that's it for today's previews, but man is it great to be back previewing cards!  Next week, we'll take a look into the new Sand Goblins and Mountain Vargath decks, which feature Summoners with very similar but yet very different abilities!  Until then, summon on!


Comments


Syurtpiutha commented:

Awesome. Does this mean that a unit attacking an Ice Golem with a card underneath can spawn a vine wall from it?

Follow up: Since standing on a vinewall counts as being adjacent to it, does that mean that particular vinewall could be summoned underneath that Ice GoleM?

Posted on 2016-03-14.

Sujoah commented:

Ignore what I wrote here initially.

These guys look really cool though! Should be interesting to combine them with both Mugglug and the Swamp Mercs.

Posted on 2016-03-14.

Prelate commented:

For a normal attack it would, yes. But not for erosion.

Posted on 2016-03-14.

jwalker commented:

interesting preview. Nice summoner ability, fit's to SO a lot. Zur lak seems interesting, but 8 magic cost is huge and I'm not sure Glarg cannot do a similar job beside the VW spawn. Maybe a great unit for Glurblub?

btw. great great artwork for natazga

Posted on 2016-03-14.

Syurtpiutha commented:

I wasn't talking about erosion, just overgrowth. Man, I am loving this already.

Posted on 2016-03-14.

killercactus commented:

Yes you can attack an Ice Golem with a card under it and generate a Vine Wall, and yes that wall could be under the Ice Golem. It only works if the attack doesn't kill the Ice Golem though.

Posted on 2016-03-14.

Jarrema commented:

but if Natazga herself attacks Ice golem, it wil generate vine wall

Edit: ninja'ed.

I am so excited about her. I love swamp orcs and I am eager to play with her, and to put Skrub in other decks

Posted on 2016-03-14.

Syurtpiutha commented:

Swamp orcs ftw!

Posted on 2016-03-14.

Justantula commented:

I can see Skrub having some good synergy with other Swamp Orc Champions and pretty good in Glurblub if you're not a fan of killing your own Units for Vine Walls with Spore Carriers.

These two champs are more tree and less vine. Which is nice to see.

I hope her bio explains the void cloak or whatever that is on Natazga.



Posted on 2016-03-14.

glenn3e commented:

@Syurtpiutha

During playtesting, I had a situation where the Ice Golem was going to spawn a Vine Wall after taking two Wounds. The Ice Golem also had Ice Armor under it, and my opponent had a choice: discard Ice Armor to prevent the Wounds and Vine Wall, or let the VW spawn but not lose the Ice Golem forward summoning point. He chose to keep the Ice Armor as the summoning point was crucial to winning the battle. Take that for weird interactions heh.

Posted on 2016-03-14.

m_glenn commented:

Another good set of units. I like how the designs so far are pretty simple and fun - I think some of the Alliances units were overcomplicated and hard to introduce to casual players. These will be great to give to someone who's played just a game or two of SW as you can just start playing without pre-reading every card.

Posted on 2016-03-14.

Alexandre Limoges commented:

I must say that Swamp Orcs have always been my least favorite faction. I find the mechanic consisting in moving off and on a wall to get a bonus, and in general, vine wall generation, to be somewhat clunky. But that's very subjective. I can see how others might love them.

I am not sure that I will like this new Swamp Orc summoner either, though. I find that wall destruction and blocking is well-balanced in SW. It prevents too passive a strategy and can be used to force your oppponent to change his plans, without becoming a "main" strategic avenue to win the game. I lost a few times only to destroyed or blocked walls, but each time, the game just fell flat. I abandonned with a bitter taste. It was my fault, but I can't say that the ending was either pleasant or exciting. I am not sure that I like a strategy based on walls blocking/destruction fueled with powerful tools to do so. Again, that's very subjective and I might be surprised and find it interesting in the end!

Posted on 2016-03-14.

-Sarge- commented:

SO is one of my favorites. Can't wait to see the commons...

Posted on 2016-03-14.

Iliad_Keys commented:

Love love love the new cards and how streamlined they are with current summoners. I was afraid the new SO summoners ability wouldn't compete a the original one, but proved me wrong!

Posted on 2016-03-14.

commandercool commented:

Can't wait.

Posted on 2016-03-14.

jtberman commented:

I posted this over on the forums, but let me reiterate it here. Zur Lak! He's really great! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twjPDf0P8iM

Posted on 2016-03-15.

commandercool commented:

This deck seems cool, but seems like a lot of excitement of it is about how the Units and Events relate and interact w/one another, whereas Saturos' ability is immediately exciting. Can't wait to see the rest of Natazga (I really like how we get, yet again, another different way to grow a swmap) and see how all the pieces interact.

Skrub and Zur Lak both seem like they'll be incredible in Glurblub. Zur Lak, I imagine, is really good for aggressive pushes, and maybe can make Glurblub a little more aggressive. (I like Glurblub as he is, but would be exciting to have the option to play him a little differently.)

Posted on 2016-03-15.

Alba commented:

PHG, could we pace out the previews? Two on Monday was fantastic, but now we have to wait a whole week.

Maybe one preview on Monday and the next on Thursday?

Posted on 2016-03-15.

killercactus commented:

Only other day that's possible is Friday, and that's typically not the best news day. Just need to come up with some more stuff to talk about for these guys this week!

Posted on 2016-03-15.

commandercool commented:

Natazga's illustration is awesome, but not sure I like the other two illustrations as much. Skrub is kind of bland and Zur Lak's has a little too much going on.

Posted on 2016-03-19.

Justantula commented:

I'm wondering why Natazga doesn't have a name like the rest of the SO Champs/Summoners. It doesn't sound like anything like getting your boot stuck in a swamp and/or trying to pull it out.

Posted on 2016-03-21.

killercactus commented:

Well she's the only female that we know of... maybe they get different treatment? Maybe they're named after the sounds the swamp bugs make...

Posted on 2016-03-22.

Justantula commented:

lol maybe. that might just be it!

Posted on 2016-03-22.

McBehrer commented:

Wait, to vine walls block summoning? I thought you could summon onto them, since "on top of" counts as "adjacent to."

Posted on 2016-04-14.

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