Reply – Re: strategy esays
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Re: strategy esays
— by Quintivarium Quintivarium
Game Changers

Have you ever felt a Spellcraft game to be going along well, when all of a sudden everything changes?  Or have you ever felt absolutely hog-tied from the very start?  You are definitely not alone!  In this article, I want to identify the cards that tend to do that – both so I can counter them and so I can use them.  

Let me begin by identifying some of those game-winning cards; later I will add a more general discussion.  In the list below, the parenthetical comment is the frequency with which I have observed their use in PVP.

Fire faction:
   pyrohydra (very high) – strength easily gets out of control
   rubydragon (very high) – cannot be blocked for long
   primeval flame (low) – magic immunity thwarts typical counter-measures
   meteor (very high) – destroys nearly any major minion
   catastrophe (very low) – nothing changes board more dramatically
   fire rain (moderately high) – multiple minion deaths possible
   implode (moderately low) – “invincible” units aren’t so invincible
   burning world (moderately low) – ongoing damage across board
   inferno (low) – lots of lost units
   rage (moderately low) – disruptive of strength balance
   lavapult (moderately low) – disrupts blocking strategy

Forest faction:
   living essence (moderately low) – bolsters threats by reducing vulnerability
   evolve (low) – transforms creatures in potentially dangerous ways

Ocean faction:
   deepsea thing (high) – grows beyond control
   dragonfish (moderate) – 5 strength
   giant volta (moderate) – impacts up to three lanes
   triton aquamancer (very high) – persistent thorn that becomes increasingly hard to remove
   crushing waves (low) – potential mass creature elimination
   calm seas (moderate) – auras become unreliable
   floods (moderately low) – short lived strength shift dramatically alters lane control
   lost at sea (moderate) – deprives players of creatures at worst possible times

Underearth faction:
   darkling assassin (high) – killing potential; hard to block
   deepspawn (moderate) – grows out of control
   primal ooze (moderately low) – cancels relied upon effects
   darkling slavers (moderate) – your best becomes opponents
   taken under (very high) – most widely applicable creature removal available
   psychic vortex (low) – dramatic impact on cards and tandems playable

Swamp faction
   bone dragon (very high) – hard to block
   ancient ghost (very high) – combat immune and unblockable
   undead giant (moderately high) – high health, erodes opposing force
   stitched golem (moderate) – potential 5/5 stats with no drawbacks
   blood vapour (moderately low) – can grow out of control
   bodyswap (high) – your strength becomes dangerous to you
   blood orb (moderately high) – potential for quick damage at low cost

Air faction
   sky hydra (moderately low) – grows out of control
   archmage (moderately low) – can be hard to stop
   astral armour (low) – spells lose impact
   uncontinue (moderate) – entire creature type disappears.
   spell net (moderately high) – suddenly your cool spell is used against you.

Jungle faction
   giant constrictor (high) – quickly erodes blocking opponents
   ravager (moderately low) – 5/6 stats and massive disadvantage transforms board
   gargantula (moderately low) – minion loss can really become oppressive.
   strangle vines (moderate) – can erode opposing forces
   drums of war (low) – magnifies advantages/disadvantages

1.  I’m sure this is not a comprehensive list.  It is not intended to list all good cards, but those that can change the complexion of the game.  Please add other cards to this list as appropriate.

2.  The large number of fire cards is due, in part, to several with similar effects.

3.  Even though I call these game changing cards they usually don’t act alone.  It may seem like these are the cards that defeated you, but a skilled opponent usually bolsters them in subtle ways and they are far less effective when one does not know the little tricks that make them really work.

4.  The large number of these cards makes it infeasible to expect to plan independent defenses against all.  One needs more general defenses.

5.  Several game changing cards require skill to make the change beneficial.  The only time I had catastrophe used against me, I had a favorable board wiped out, but, because my deck was generally stronger, I simply rebuilt a superior position.  On the other hand, I’ve had my ravagers destroy my cards far more effectively than my opponent’s.  Many of these game-changing cards are used with low frequency because they are two edged swords.

6.  Kudos to the goblins for excellent balance.  Several game changing cards help mitigate others.  For example, meteor can help with an overgrown pyrohydra, while bodyswap or darkling slaver is excellent against an opponent who pours all his resources into deepspawn.

7.  Sometimes it is not just one copy of a card that is overwhelming – it is multiple copies.  One astral armour will rarely be a big problem, but when a player gets four or five magic immune cards on the board, the opponent becomes very restricted in possible response.