Summoner Wars Mega #8: Fallen Kingdom vs. Deep Dwarves
I was going to write some flavor text about how the Fallen Kingdom has invaded the great halls of the Deep Dwarves in search of endless crypts to reanimate into skeleton and zombie fighters, but I’ve been informed by my ever-astute partner that all my pre-game flavor texts are about her factions invading my factions, and a quick fact-checking mission revealed that to be mostly true. So instead, the Deep Dwarves have invaded the massive Fallen Kingdom looking for, uh, something magical. And now their Summoners are facing off in a battle to the death. Well, more death.
Somerset and I agree that this was easily our most exciting match, a worthy conclusion to our series, and filled to the brim with all sorts of different tactics, howl-inducing rolls of the dice, and more. Epic clashes! Magic! Feints! Organized (and disorganized) retreats! Kidnapping! Possession! Dark sacrifices! All that and more, below.
Somerset: Ret-Talus of the Fallen Kingdom
The Fallen Kingdom has always been one of my favorite factions. Bringing units back to life after they’ve been killed or built to magic is a lovely ability. I really enjoy playing them, and love having Zombie Warriors turn enemies into more Zombies! When Dan and I first got Summoner Wars, we almost immediately got the Master Set because we were having so much fun, and the original 8 factions fell by the wayside, so I haven’t played with the FK for some time. I’m glad for the opportunity to deal in death again!
Both FK and DD require meticulous hand management, but since the Deep Dwarves have to use magic to activate many of their abilities, I think Dan’s part in this fight will be much harder than mine. He excels at hand management though, so I shouldn’t get ahead of myself. His Summoner, Tundle, can help by turning discarded cards into magic, but doing so limits the number of attacks he can make that turn (all the better for me!). Several champions also help bring more magic in, which sounds like the type of champs Dan will bring in his deck. For my part, Ret-Talus can pay two magic to bring a minion back from the dead as immediate defense or as an alternate summoning spot.
Because of the Deep Dwarves’ need to use magic to activate their best abilities, Anica joins my army to loot their stockpiles with her Spirit Drain. Elut-Bal is always a menace with 4 melee attacks and has the added bonus of often costing next to nothing to summon. It isn’t uncommon to attack early and hard with this guy. And Skhull will be coming as well because his Fear ability is such a potent deterrent. Interestingly, the FK only have four champions to choose from (since we’re not putting Mercs into our decks for this series), so I believe these are the obvious choices since Dragos’s healing ability is not as meaningful as taking magic from Dan.
Of the original commons, my deck will include extra Zombie Warriors and Skeletal Archers, but I’ll be leaving my Reapers home. All the Cultists I own will get to come to Death Curse enemies when they die. I’ll also be bringing a couple Phantoms because who doesn’t love the potential of a good old Possession? I’m hoping to rush up and block Dan’s summoning spots, dealing death and raising new Zombies as soon as possible. I want to get out Elut-Bal to terrorize his units quickly, and I would love to see a combination of Legions of the Dead, Magic Drain, and Elut-Bal speed-dial for intense Dan demoralization! To the mattresses! To the death!
Somerset’s Fallen Kingdom deck (reference):
Anica, Elut-Bal, Skhull
5 Cultists, 2 Phantoms, 1 Reaper, 5 Skeletal Archers, 5 Zombie Warriors
Dan: Tundle of the Deep Dwarves
I’ve been told by reliable sources that the Deep Dwarves ought to be my favorite faction — that they would mesh well with my fastidious magic-counting play-style, my love of both trickery and defensive tactics, and the fact that I’m always wishing for a little bit of extra magic. That all sounds great to me. Which is why I’ve avoided them so far, because they sound a little too good to be true. As an old and world-weary soul, I’ve grown afraid of yet more disappointment.
Nah, just kidding! In all earnestness, the Dwarves Down Under are the one faction I’ve played least (I’ve played most teams a couple dozen times, if not more, and I think I’ve only played the DD once), which makes this match a bit intimidating. Since I don’t know what’s best to take, I’ll throw in a dash of everything: Mages of both the Battle and Gem varieties for their high damage potential, some Crossbowmen to synergize with my events (I have amazing events, by the way — I can’t wait to take control of one of Someset’s units with Illusionary Warrior, blast a pile of invaders with Magic Torrent, or freeze her line of credit at a critical moment with Magic Stasis), and Scholars to act as meat shields and set up some bonus dice with their Insight ability. The only thing I’m not bringing more of than my starting setup dictates is Miners, who feel more limited than my other commons.
As for champions, I hear Kynder is awesome, but I’ll be leaving him behind tonight. My focus is going to be on messing around with my and Somerset’s magic stockpiles. In addition to my Summoner, Tundle, who can consume two of my attacks to move a card from my discard pile back into magic, each of the champions I’m bringing somehow alters the way magic moves around on the board. Gren forces nearby destroyed friendly units to go to my magic pile rather than my opponent’s. Lun captures commons from 4 spaces away (enemy or friendly, though I’m mostly stoked about the potential to kidnap enemies and chop them up without fear of reprisals). And Piclo pulls a card from my discard pile and recycles it back into the magic pile when he kills something, which sounds like it would pair with Lun quite nicely. All in all, I’m hoping to establish a neat surplus of magic for my pricey abilities.
Tonight might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship with the Deep Dwarves. I’m looking forward to it.
Dan’s Deep Dwarves deck (reference):
Gren, Lun, Piclo
3 Battle Mages, 3 Crossbowmen, 4 Gem Mages, 3 Miners, 5 Scholars