Benders

Eight Summoner Wars Second Summoner decks are now up for pre-order in the PlaidHatGames.com store! You can buy them all separately, OR for a limited time, if you pre-order all eight together, get them for $59.95, $20 off the MSRP! Pre-order today!

Eight weeks ago, we met Shiva and her puppets. Shiva has mastered the art of controlling the movements of others, and the world is her puppet show. Four weeks ago, we learned about the Sirens who take after Shiva, as well as Haku who adds some surprising survivability to the Benders.

This is our last Benders preview, and our first unit offers both control and heft.

Shifter

If the Shifter was just a 1/3 for 2 with no ability, they would be... well, just ok. The 3-life can be useful as a blocker for the low-life Bender/Deep Bender summoners, but there are other options. Add in Body Swap, though, and... wow!

Shiva definitely loves to take your Fire Beasts, your Rhinos, your Savagers, and other expensive commons with Body Swap. But even for a cheaper common, Body Swap is worth it when you can do something creative with your newly recruited unit. And having the base unit stats as a back-up when there's no decent target is nice too. Especially when you've got Wither in-hand for some creative tricks.

Wither

Wither works on all Shifters, no matter who controls them. So you could use them to wound enemies adjacent to your own Shifters and then get some of your investment back, or, even better, trade for your opponent's commons, then immediately destory what you gave them. It's the Settlers of Catan Monopoly card in Summoner Wars form.

And it works on Parasites. So there's that. Here's a link to Parasites since you forgot they exist. ;) Ok it's kind of funny, but I do love the way Frank and the others who developed these decks worked hard to create synergy with old stuff, especially neglected units like Parasites.

And finally, for those of you who have done your best to set up a Summoner Wars win and have been cursed by the dice, Lem feels your pain.

Lem

Wow, those are some awesome stats. But that downside is legit. Lem will not last long, but summoned at just the right time, he'll take some big guys down with him. If he's close to death, he may just give you a magic back when he would've otherwise been magic fodder for your opponent. After all, a 1-life Lem still throws 5 dice before he dies.

And so that's Shiva! This is a REALLY fun deck and a really cool design. I am so excited for these 8 decks. If you haven't pre-ordered the 8 new second summoners, be sure to do so today! Later today Frank wraps up Little Meda, and next week we finish the previews!

Eight Summoner Wars Second Summoner decks are now up for pre-order in the PlaidHatGames.com store! You can buy them all separately, OR for a limited time, if you pre-order all eight together, get them for $59.95, $20 off the MSRP! Pre-order today!

Second Summoner Previews:
Kynstri's Mission
Saturos: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Natazga: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Malenatar: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Scraven: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Little Meda: Part 1, Part 2
Shiva: Part 1, Part 2
Brath: Part 1, Part 2
Farrah: Part 1, Part 2

 


Comments


glenn3e commented:

Shifting+Wither combo here I come. Scraven will be so sad.

Posted on 2016-05-23.

Prelate commented:

Shìiiiiiiiifters!!!!
Had so much fun with these tricksters - they make mutations cry.....as well as turtling summoners with only a few HP left.....

Posted on 2016-05-23.

commandercool commented:

Awesome art. Shifters are my new least favorite bender.

Posted on 2016-05-23.

Colonel_S commented:

I'm not really happy Tacullu gets more Mind Control options, but 3 magic is a lot to throw away to get something.

Posted on 2016-05-23.

killercactus commented:

3 Magic + another card + you give your opponent a 3-life Unit unless you have and spend ANOTHER card to get rid of it, though then maybe you do some damage.

The clustering Summoners certainly don't like them (Scraven, Ret-Talus, sometimes NN and Moyra), and the Filth hate them for stealing their Mutants.

The theme behind Shifters is just really sweet though - its a very fun card. Some of the testers did pretty decently with Parasites in testing, too.

Also, Farrah loves Shifters ;)

Posted on 2016-05-23.

jwalker commented:

seriously? Shifters seem to be really really bad design (for my taste). Sorry don't want to hate too much but how can you now play Jungle Guards, high cost mutations or even Rhino/Bruiser and other 3 cost commons vs. Tacu, Endrich and Shiva. Especially Tacu can even Summon a Shifter, pay the magic and Body Swap a 4 cost common then use mind control to even get the shifter back if you feel like it. Otherwise just enjoy the trade.

I really really do not like "high cost common hate". I was really hoping for more heavy common support. I'm totally ok with 1-2 cost commons being disposed easily but not 3-4 cost commons.

5AV was long time a total nogo, now we have several units that have more than 4 AV in their stat line. Lem will be a 5 life unit if he only attacks twice - that's still a lot better than Grungor, but I'm fine with him.

Posted on 2016-05-23.

Harlow commented:

My only question is this: Do Shifters, when stealing a common with cards under it, also get all the cards under it? Obviously it does for mutations, but can you steal upgrades from Bolvi, Event Abilities, cards stacked under Skull Takers/Scavenger?

Posted on 2016-05-23.

Prelate commented:

I like Lem - he reminds me of Frankenstein's monster. Some poor, experimented-on creature who only desires to be out of pain. Typical Bender cruelty there.
As for Shifters - they are not cheap to use, and definitely not OP in Shiva - she needs the help. Taculla can't get any use out of Whither, so his opponent keeps the Shifter at least - and if he mind controls the Shifter back he just spent 6 magic to gain a 4 or 3 cost unit. Is that really an economic gain?

Posted on 2016-05-23.

jwalker commented:

@Prelate a 4 cost common + a 1/3 blocker. Yes it is - as the 4 cost common is removed as well.

Posted on 2016-05-23.

glenn3e commented:

You also use a Mind Control card so that's potentially 7 magic. I'd say situational unless its a Mutation or 3/4 cost Common.

Posted on 2016-05-23.

Irisches Glueck commented:

Shifters are fun, especially with Wither. I really feel they are balanced because 3 cost is expensive and you are giving the opponent a 1m/3 creature, so it really has to be worth it. I do like that they also can replace Stone Golem's roll in Tacullu decks. But with Wither, having them include Parasites is very nice. I liked playing a mix of shifters/parasites. This way you have options verse low life swarm decks (parasite) and in decks with valuable commons (shifter).

Lem on the other hand just doesn't feel bender-esk to me. I really get a tundra orc vibe to him. With his ability, I just don't see myself playing him at all.

All in all, I do love Shiva's deck and see her as a top 10 deck.

Posted on 2016-05-23.

Skydragon222 commented:

I was not expecting parasites to suddenly become viable.

I've loved every card in Shiva's deck, but Lem feels strangely out of place. As Irisches Gluck said, he seems like a Tundra Orc Champion in a Bender deck.

All in all, though, of the eight new decks coming our way, I think this is easily my second favorite (behind Meda.) She has all the crazy movement tricks of Tacullu without the turtlyness or magic drain.

Posted on 2016-05-23.

commandercool commented:

Agree on above comments about Lem.

Really think he's in tension with the Benders theme. Even if you were to argue for an expansion of previous bender theme, you can say this is bad because he represents a convergence of benders with other factions, making factions less unique. Which is a bad thing. There's more parody in themes now in these second summoners.

Specifically the high health and heavy hitting and infliction of damage to self on misses. These are qualities that previously fit in better in other factions.

Posted on 2016-05-23.

Harlow commented:

Lem is at least cool with Endrich and a Gem Priestess to heal him while he pounds things to death. But yeah, what's with the 2 beefy, hard hitting champions?

Posted on 2016-05-23.

killercactus commented:

Lem is not beefy at all, and Haku isn't "hard-hitting" - he has 3 AV just like Sorgwen and Kalal.

Posted on 2016-05-23.

zfs commented:

How many copies of Wither are in the deck, KC? That card is going to scare the living crap out of Maldaria, who has to wonder if she can safely use Save the Queen, and Ret-Talus as noted above, who can no longer just sit back and turtle late game with Raise the Dead.

I think Shifters seem like a fun card and are also a good exercise in blind deck building, since they are amazing against certain factions (Filth, Jungle Elves) and far more mediocre against others (Cave Goblins for example - I mean I guess you could steal an oaf or a berserker but against base Sneeks you're doing him a favor by giving him a 3 life common to block with). If there's a tourney setting where you're not allowed a side deck, building a lot of Shifters into your deck is a risky proposition.

Posted on 2016-05-23.

killercactus commented:

Shiva has 2 copies of Wither. And yes - Maldaria, Scraven and Ret-Talus really don't like it.

Posted on 2016-05-23.

zfs commented:

Good design choice to max it at 1 wound per unit, otherwise Scraven's match-up versus Shiva would be nearly unwinnable. As it is now, Shiva can usually count on getting 2 wounds on Scraven through Wither, but still has to finish the job the old fashioned way.

Posted on 2016-05-23.

Steamtech commented:

Since it has not yet been mentioned, and seems somewhat relevant, I offer this thought:

Shifters/Wither against formation fighters, ala Moyra/Sam

Posted on 2016-05-23.

Aargau commented:

Looking forward to using deceivers and gorgons with Endrich to auto kill any body swapped shifters.

Posted on 2016-05-23.

philipliva commented:

Ummm maybe I am reading it wrong...

but why are all these summoners afraid of shifter? When u use his ability he switches places with an enemy unit and then they switch control. So the "where" my units and the enemy units are stays exactly the same...the only difference they now have a meat shield and I have something that I think will help me in the longrun...

I really hate Shiva. Benders is my favourite theme but Shiva is so bad in my opinion. I think she is overhyped but I cant see her perfoming well... :/

Posted on 2016-05-23.

zfs commented:

@philip, Maldaria, Ret-Talus and Scraven are afraid of Wither more than the Shifter in and of itself - since those Summoners have abilities that put commons adjacent to them (in Scraven's case, he *has* to put them adjacent unless they didn't attack or he used that one event card), it's very easy to summon a Shifter, switch with one of their adjacent commons, and put a quick wound on the Summoner. Maldaria obviously is so squishy that she can't afford to be taking extra damage, and Ret not only has pretty low health but aggressive FK players put wounds on him from Forced Summon.

The other factions that I assume will have trouble with Shifters are ones that tend to have high cost commons, like the JE or the Filth, whose mutations can all be Body Swapped.

If you combo with Wither, a Shifter that uses its ability is basically an event card that costs two magic, steals an enemy common and potentially puts some wounds on enemy Units.

Posted on 2016-05-23.

philipliva commented:

@zfs I agree with you, the combo with wither is so good. But still 3 magic points and an event card? Just to damage only a handful of summoners (those who care about taking this wound I mean). I don't know, I feel like other factions offer much more with an event and 3 magic points :/

Posted on 2016-05-23.

Alexandre Limoges commented:

As mentioned by many, I think shifters need more details. If they can steal cards placed under units and mutants, augmented units (Enrich) as I think they can, then there will not be playable against several armies, unless actively deckbuilding (and even then, many won't work).

Posted on 2016-05-24.

killercactus commented:

Yes they can steal cards under Units or boosted, mutated, what-have-you Units.

They don't make anything unplayable, though. Endrich has the distinct ability to not boost his Units if he doesn't want to. Deep Dragons are a solid target for a Shifter, but the other 2 aren't even that appealing. Plus, Endrich can pack his own Shifters and take them back.

Marek and Scraven have issues with their Event Abilities, but they can always choose to put the ones they're afraid of losing on themselves or their Champions to keep them safe from Shifters. Hogar can do the same with his big runes.

Stuff like Torgan's Ice Armor or Bolvi's Upgrades are difficult for those Summoners, especially Bolvi. Torgan can probably build the Ice Armors and be fine. Bolvi needs to make sure he puts 1 Upgrade on Grundor's Tower for sure, and get good use out of the others the first turn he plays them. It's still not crazy terrible.

Posted on 2016-05-24.

Jarrema commented:



Posted on 2016-05-25.

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