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 1-2 weeks. Plus, Preview Monday will be twice as nice as usual, with TWO Summoner Wars previews per day. TWO!
The Mountain Vargath have always been one of my favorite factions, not only because they look cool, but also because of the way my brain tingles when I look at a goat-filled Summoner Wars battlefield and examine the hundreds of possibilities those goats offer. Sunderved and Moyra both offered a high number of tactical options each turn, but Malenatar multiplies those potentials.
You can move up to five (FIVE!) common units near Malenatar each turn. These could be commons that have already moved this turn (or will move), in which case you could move a few units twice, or they could be units that haven't moved, in which case you could theoretically move 8 different units on a turn by using just 1 unit's ability. The reach and the tactical possibilities are incredible.
Of course, it is not free. Malenatar repeats a mechanic we first saw in Korbolden of Alliances fame, in which you discard from your hand in order to gain an immediate effect. The cost is interesting, as it's not just 1 less card you could play; it's 1 less magic you could've built as well. Luckily for those who choose Malenatar, he comes with some tricks to balance the cost of Strategic Positioning.
This is a very strange card in that there is no way to play it in and of itself. What's its use, then? Battle Procurement's use is that, once you discard it using Strategic Positioning or some other ability that demands a discard from hand, it comes back to your hand automatically during the next turn. It's like getting a free use of Malenatar's ability each turn!
A subtle bonus to this card is that it doesn't come back to your hand until AFTER your draw phase. With as many cards as Malenatar can discard during a turn, one of the limits on his ability is simply having enough cards in hand, and activating Battle Procurement gives him 6 cards to work with instead of 5 most turns. There's only 1 copy of this card in the deck, though, so hopefully you can find a way to get it early and kick off that nifty cycle.
Speaking of card draw, Superior Execution does that and so much more! This event lets you draw 1 card; it's nice that it replaces itself so that Strategic Positioning isn't slowed down. (By the way, I have to say Malenatar reminds me a bit of this guy, with an ability that requires discards from hand plus a spell that replaces itself.)
But of course the crazy bonus of this card is that it lets you get all those cards you discarded during your turn back! All those abilities that normally cost you a precious card from hand can be played guilt free - go crazy for a turn! Think Wake the Father Gem, but way cooler because you're a ferocious goat instead of a pale-skinned miner.
If you haven't guessed yet, there are a couple other units in Malenatar's deck that feature the discard mechanic, helping you take full advantage of Battle Procurement and Superior Execution. Here's a first look at one of them:
The versatility of Varden is powerful. He is simultaneously 2-attack, 3-attack, 4(!)-attack, and 5(!!!)-attack champion, depending on the situation and the cost you are willing to pay. And that's with range! Hide and cower, opposing summoners.
With the simple discard mechanic and the events that support it, Malenatar multiples a player's options, and in Summoner Wars, more choices always means more fun. Can't wait to show you more!
Check back later today for our first Scraven preview from Brian!