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Thread: Shadows of Viros vs Mist Guardian

  1. #1
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    Default Shadows of Viros vs Mist Guardian

    Along the lines of the Coal vs Maeoni thread, I thought I'd put this one out there, as it's the match-up I have the most experience with, having demo'd it for 10 hours or so last weekend.

    Over and over again, when two new players played these decks, Aradel dominated. My impression is Aradel is the "alpha" phoenixborn, in the sense that you need to adjust to her more than she needs to adjust to you. She's more likely to just do her thing.

    In most match-ups, the Blue Jaguars are a big part of the reason for her control over the action. And indeed, with 2 new players fighting it out, I often saw the Jaguars crushing Noah.

    But in reality, between experienced players, Noah is perhaps the BEST Phoenixborn at dealing with Jaguars. Look at all his anti-Jaguar tools:
    --Shadow Target: Exhaust Summon Blue Jaguar before it is used (or after haha).
    --Sniper: Ambush 2 appears to trigger ("when" this unit comes into play) before Gaze 1 ("after" a unit comes into play). (even if I'm wrong and they're simultaneous, active player chooses)
    --Shadow Counter... yeah that'll take care of it. Even a giant growth Jaguar would die. Also is able to do damage when units are exhausted.
    --Fade Away: when all else fails...
    --Small Sacrifice: doing wounds without needing unexhausted units (either to kill a Jaguar or to work without units)

    So yeah, 4 out of 10 cards plus the phoenixborn's ability help deal with Jaguars. Jaguars shouldn't be the problem, so new players' inexperience goes a long way with explaining the results of the demos.

    Nonetheless, I feel after watching/playing many times, although it's not an unbalanced match-up, it's a "tougher" match-up for Noah in which he has to work hard.

    Noah is actually the best at "keeping up" with Aradel's unit count. However, his units, while often being one attack away from death like Aradel's, have higher attack values and therefore tend to cost more. So ultimately what Noah ends up experiencing is an economic disadvantage when playing Aradel.

    Knowing this, and since Noah has more life than Aradel, you'll want to go after Aradel (and ignore the butterflies to avoid her healing) as much as possible. Unlike other Phoenixborns, Noah has a chance to keep up with her unit count and get through to her. You'll need to spend cards to meditate regularly (especially for maximum Wolf), use your Slight of Hand to get the cards needed, and go for the throat, as you will no doubt run out of cards before her.

    If something gets Steady Gaze'd, just Small Sacrifice it to death and move on.

    For a simple deckbuild swap, I'd be interested in throwing in Hidden Power in place of Sleight of Hand to keep the magic flowing.
    Last edited by joepinion; 06-12-2015 at 11:35 AM.
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  2. #2
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    It's great to see analysis' of match-ups like this. It is really enjoyable for me to see other players make connections and figure out strategies! You are right about ambush vs gaze joe, after triggers after when.

  3. #3
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    To my experience so far (with proxy) Noah is the most unreliable phoenixborn. High cost units with no way of getting more dices.

    Yes all the cards you listed counter the jaguar, but don't forget that Aradel can have one more (or more) next round for 2 basics and Noah's monsters can die even from the weak mist spirits! Then u might say that so will the spirits cause all of Noah's monster have 2 Attack... well, Aradel has more resources and easier ways to bring more units and faster than Noah.

    The problem with Aradel is that she is easy to play. Very powerful abilities with little to no skill to use (9/10 times you will use the gaze ability). Even her starting hand allows her to use dice side actions (the wolf most probably) to ruin the opponents first turn while other decks (e.g Noah) might not even be able to play their first 5 if they are unlucky! That could have been Aradel's weakness, the fact that " She need the "expensive" resources" but... NO she has sifting mist that allows her to not only reroll a dice but get the side she wants!! And on top of that it is a SIDE action.

    My take on how to beat Aradel is be fast and think outside the box!! Maybe sacrifice some of your first five and try to either exhaust her spellboard (whatever is more lethal at that moment) use dice side actions to either kill her conjurations or remove her dices OR if all else fails hit her FAST and HARD before she has the time to swarm!

  4. #4
    killercactus is offline SW App Champion Summer 2015, but still do what he says.
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    I need to start proxying. Different colored Heroscape dice should work nicely.
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  5. #5

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    Hey all, I don't post in these forums very frequently but Origins got me thinking about Ashes a lot and so I couldn't resist jumping into this discussion. I also demoed this matchup for hours at Origins and observed the same thing that Joe did. Aradel consistently beat the Shadows of Viros. However, I think that the issue with the matchup is not the Blue Jaguars. Noah summons a decent amount of units each turn, and although it definitely helps to exhaust some of them, it is not Aradel's most efficient way of dealing with his units. Additionally, as Joe mentioned, Noah has a lot of cards that help to prevent the Jaguars from getting out of control.

    In my mind, the biggest issue with this matchup is the efficiency disparity that Joe also pointed out. I feel that there are three main reasons that Aradel is able to stay ahead of Noah. First of all, Aradel's units trade favorably with Noah's units. By this I mean that although Noah's units cost more to summon and have more attack, if one of Aradel's units attacks one of Noah's units, they will typically both die. In fact, all of Noah's units die to one attack from a Mist Spirit which costs Aradel a single die to summon. The only exception to this is a False Demon supported by Bring Forth, but in this case Mist Spirits and Butterfly Monks can still be used to prevent the False Demon from doing anything.

    The second efficiency disparity that Noah faces is the fact that initially Aradel is able to summon four units a turn while Noah can only summon two units. It is not just that Noah's units generally cost more than Aradel's units, but that he will have fewer units than she will. This means that even if Noah is able to summon units efficiently, using the same number of dice as Aradel, Aradel can trade off some of her units and still have units left over.

    The final efficiency disparity that Noah faces is the numerous ways for his units to die without Aradel even needing to sacrifice a unit of her own. Aradel can use the Frog side of her Natural dice to deal one damage to Noah's units, which kills all of them but the False Demon. If Noah somehow manages to get a strong board, Aradel can use Mist Typhoon to kill many one life units at once. Finally, if a False Demon with Bring Forth becomes a problem, Aradel can use Out of the Mist to kill it off, or just have Butterfly Monks and Mist Spirits block it every time it attacks. Additionally, the ability for Noah to exhaust units with Small Sacrifice and kill them with Fade Away becomes less helpful when none of Aradel's units cost more than two dice to summon.

    I'm nowhere near familiar enough with the game to say this for certain, but I believe this is an extremely unfavorable matchup for Noah, even for experienced players. In fact, I would argue that unless Noah is exceptionally lucky and Aradel is exceptionally unlucky, two experienced players of equal skill level will see Aradel win more than 80% of the time. Noah's biggest weakness is the fact that three of his four units have only one life and Aradel has numerous ways of dealing one damage. Additionally, her creatures are cheaper and her access to the dice manipulation of Shifting Mists means that she will generally be expending fewer resources to stay even with Noah. Noah's best chance to win is to take advantage of Aradel's low life total, but he simply doesn't have enough burn in his deck to make this strategy work reliably.

    I hope those thoughts were clear. I'd love to hear other's thoughts on this matchup and whether it truly is such a poor matchup even for experienced players.

  6. #6
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    I don't think it's such a poor match-up for experienced players. But some of that is conjecture since I was generally watching new players or playing new players (and winning no problem in that case).

    As phillipliva mentioned, Aradel kinda just does her thing, she's one of the easiest Phoenixborn to play. So no matter who is going against her, they need to scratch and claw and be the creative one. In this match-up, Noah needs to find a way to compete with units... and as a civil war general once said, best is to get to the battle "firstest with the mostest." This definiitely needs leveraged in the form of Wolves (can appear turn 1 if needed), Snipers which are allies and do damage as they're summoned, and Black Widows to keep the momentum going. In the end, Aradel's economics will win out (i.e. the deck will run out), which is why these advantages need to be leveraged.

    It sounds like we all agree on most of the concepts, I guess I'm not comfortable putting such a high number like 80% on there.
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  7. #7
    killercactus is offline SW App Champion Summer 2015, but still do what he says.
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    So we're saying that Aradel is the Prince Elien of Ashes???
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  8. #8
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    Nah, Aradel is a way more likeable character than Prince Elien!

  9. #9

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    So no matter who is going against her, they need to scratch and claw and be the creative one. In this match-up, Noah needs to find a way to compete with units

  10. #10
    killercactus is offline SW App Champion Summer 2015, but still do what he says.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamenow View Post
    So no matter who is going against her, they need to scratch and claw and be the creative one. In this match-up, Noah needs to find a way to compete with units
    His ability can shut down Jaguars early and Snipers are also good at killing them.
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