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 soon. Plus, Preview Monday will be twice as nice as usual, with TWO Summoner Wars previews per day. TWO!
And we’re back with another edition of “Vine Walls and you!”
Actually, this set of cards out of Natazga’s deck isn’t really all about Vine Walls, though the Swamp Orcs wouldn’t be Swamp Orcs unless they did something with the vines. Well – I take that back. This guy really is all about Vine Walls… so much so that its basically his lifelong dream to become one.
About as straight forward as they come, folks. Give up an attack, deny the opponent a magic, and make a Vine Wall. Kind of like Skrub, who must be his idol. To be honest about this card, I used it more for its 2 AV for 1 magic than I did for its ability, but sometimes there just aren’t cards on the board that you want to attack, and this will give you something to do with an extra attack slot. However, thanks to his 2 AV, you can always just beat on a Wall instead and try to use OVERGROWTH to get that Vine Wall. But in Natazga’s deck where you can’t just kill one of your own guys to automatically get a Vine Wall when you’re trying to grow that swamp, these guys have a place.
Thinking about it further though… everyone likes Mugglug’s Event, Vine Growth, which lets you place a Vine Wall adjacent to a Wall. This guys basically says for an extra magic and one of your attacks this turn, you can place a Vine Wall up to 3 spaces away from one of your Walls. And if you can keep him alive for a turn or two, you can get some attack dice in before you do that.
Here’s a card though where its ability gets used all the time:
The 2-ranged / 1 for 2 statline isn’t something the Swamp Orcs have had up to this point, and this card is a great addition! The ability to attack through Vine Walls with 2 dice is potent – oftentimes meaning that these guys can snipe safely as opponents won’t want to risk moving through the vines to engage them. And there’s that 2-attack value again – key in Natazga’s deck for being able to trigger OVERGROWTH, and this time from range. It’s a big deal to be able to sit back on your side of the Battlefield (potentially even protected by a Vine Wall!) while dumping more Vine Walls onto your opponent’s side.
Perhaps the most interesting common that Natazga fields, though, has nothing to do with Vine Walls at all:
All he wants to do is kill you and take your skull. Obviously the big thing here is the statline – 2 Life / 2 Attack Value for 1 magic. We saw Shiva’s Puppets a couple weeks back with the same excellent stats, but the statline is even more prominent here. Considering that these guys don’t get magic for killing Units, and Natazga’s deck gives you extra incentive to attack Walls, using these cheap, beefier Units to beat on Walls seems like a match made in heaven. Or rather, in murky swamp heaven. Skull Takers excel at bashing down walls and creating more Vine Walls to choke out the opponent. They do lack the ability to freely move off of Vine Walls, though if you do manage to get a card under them due to TROPHY, moving off of a Vine Wall and failing is a nice way to self-kill them and get that extra magic!
But if you do manage to take a TROPHY, you might want to try and keep them around for a while…
…to use that skull and level up! A drawback to pounding on Walls all the time or using Skull Takers as part of your main attack force is that Natazga is oftentimes short on magic. She likes to summon these 3 Common Units to keep up the pressure and pound on enemy Walls or otherwise jump out of deeply placed vines, and, with her short magic supply, this can sometimes make Champions tough to field. Battle Champion is a method she has for easing up on that a bit. Using this on a Skull Taker with just 1 Unit under it will give you a 4 magic discount on any champ. If you can manage to pump one up a bit, you can get some of the bigger champs out for next to nothing! Taking skulls can have its benefits!
Thanks again for reading, everyone! Check back again next week for more from Scraven and Malenatar, which includes a couple of blasts from the past!