Deeper and More Greedily – Mastering Summoner Wars, Day 6 – Review

Welcome back to our Mastering Summoner Wars series on the Deep Dwarves. Up until this point, we have taken a look at the tools available to us, and constructing a custom deck. Here’s a review of where we’ve been already. Day 0 – Picking a Faction Day 1 – Tundle and Event Cards Day 2 […]

By Gojirazard On August 23, 2012 Posted In Other

Welcome back to our Mastering Summoner Wars series on the Deep Dwarves.

Up until this point, we have taken a look at the tools available to us, and constructing a custom deck. Here’s a review of where we’ve been already.

Day 0 – Picking a Faction

Day 1 – Tundle and Event Cards

Day 2 – Deep Dwarves Commons

Day 3 – Deep Dwarves Champions

Day 4 – Mercenary Commons

Day 5 – Mercenary Champions

Today, we’ll be looking at the overall strategy we intend to implement, and review everything works towards that goal. Let’s get started.

The Deck: At present, our deck looks like this:

  • Tundle & Event cards
  • Kynder
  • Gren
  • Rygos
  • 6 Gem Mages
  • 3 Miners
  • 5 Scholars
  • 4 Demon Hands

The Strategy: I believe I mentioned a few times that I have an idea of how I want to run Deep Dwarves, but I’ve been remiss in never spelling out my overall strategy. I hope to be able to rectify that now.

With Scholars and Demon Hands each having 3 health, we have a very strong deck in common defenses, ideally while building magic with Tundle. The Deep Dwarves act–well, like dwarves. Dwarves are not long-lived for reckless rushing at the enemy like certain goblins, instead they hide in holes, biding their time, and I feel Tundle’s Meditate captures a need for this style.

You could easily try to play Deep Dwarves without resorting to Meditate, but this is one of the things available to the Deep Dwarves all game long, possibly every turn, and it feels blasphemous not to try to milk it for all its worth, even if you only get 1 attack per turn.

And, that’s not to say the Dwarves cannot pack a punch when needed, Gem Mages and Demon Hands are capable of taking down smaller units with little difficulty, and even some Champions could fall to their focused fire.

Scholars themselves are a unit I particularly like. For 1 Magic Point, Insight is a fantastic ability that effectively allows you to throw up to an additional 3 dice on attacks. These dice can be split between units the Scholar is adjacent to, and the Scholar doesn’t even have to use his own 0 attack, could be other units entirely.

Our early-game strategy is to rush the generally underwhelming Miners at the enemy to hopefully harvest some early magic from opponent units, and get them distracted on Miners while I build up some magic to build defensive walls of Walls, Scholars, and Demon Hands. After that, Tundle will begin Meditating while I hold off enemy advance with Gem Mages and Demon Hands, until I can pull a champion to help stem the tide. For enemies I cannot take out so easily, I try to lure into a supernova turn with Insight and Gem Magics, perhaps fueled by a Wake the Father Gem event.

In short: Against Common units, use mostly Demon Hands and Champions. Against Champion units, use Gem Mages supported by Scholar’s Insight and their own Gem Magic.

Ultimate goal is to try to win the resource war, and have enough Magic Power to play our reserve units while the opponent has exhausted their options trying to reach Tundle.

Deck Review: Now we have to ask if what we’ve created matches this overall strategy.

Commons:

Miner’s aren’t a great fit, but they are required in setup. Swapping a Gem Mage for a fifth Demon Hand could be considered, otherwise I think we’re solid on units.

Champions:

Kynder isn’t quite the hero we need to stem the tide of enemy units, but his Mage Hand is very excellent multipurpose tool capable of doing so much, including pulling tougher enemy units into a major supernova turn of Insight and Gem Magics. A good choice to hold onto until late game.

Rygos does exactly as we want him to: help hold off enemy tide while Tundle Meditates.

Gren wants common units alongside him, which makes him a good choice to help build/deny Magic Points with wall units like Scholars and Demon Hands… But ultimately, I feel he wants more ranged units like Crossbowman, and less Meditating from Tundle so the units can attack more. Gren is an excellent Champion, but a poor fit for the overall strategy we have laid out (though could go extremely well in a Deep Dwarves deck that uses more Crossbowmen). Goodbye Gren.

What we’re looking for is a champion that can help stem the tide of opponent units, ideally without using up an attack turn. Duggle catches the eye, since he seems to be from the Deep Dwarves, and like Rygos does what is needed to help kill off enemy units. Doubling up on these kind of anti-common Champions feels reasonable, since we’re hoping to keep Kynder is reserve for later on. Using a second Mercenary Champion does limit our Mercenary Common count to 4, so we will not be swapping a Gem Mage for another Demon Hand. Either way, Duggle is being added to the deck.

Now our deck looks like this:

  • Tundle & Event cards
  • Kynder
  • Duggle
  • Rygos
  • 6 Gem Mages
  • 3 Miners
  • 5 Scholars
  • 4 Demon Hands

This still needs to be play-tested, and once Duggle is added to the Vassal module, I will be bringing battle reports for these play-test games.

This concludes today’s look at the overall strategy and review of our Deep Dwarves deck. If you have any questions, comments, or criticisms, please feel free to comment.

Join us again next time as we begin to look at the first of enemy factions, and review our strategy and chances against those decks.

(The factions we will look at next time are Tundra Orcs, Phoenix Elves, Cave Goblins, and Guild Dwarves)

  1. If I’m not mistaken, the Scholar’s ability triggers off of him being adjacent to the enemy being attacked, not the units doing the attacking.

    I played Deep Dwarves a few days ago and loved them. I played them very offensively though, jumping out with Gem Mages, plinking away, and then using their ability to hide behind my walls. They can run a crazy denial game with that “can’t spend magic points” event.

    I’m very interested to see how you approach the defensive game with them. I might have to give it a try next time.

    1. Magic denial is a strong point for several factions, but I think Deep Dwarves do it best. Gem Mages blinking away, 4 events that interfere with the opponent’s magic supply (2 Magic Drain events as well), and some champions that deny as well (Gren, Kynder, Sprog, Lun) make for a whole host of methods that can all combine with one another toward that task.

      I’ve been running DD with a lot of Battle Mages and just a few Gem Mages, playing basically the same game Marcus does unless pressed hard by the opponent. I’m finding DD a bit hard to play at moments because they have 4 events that can’t play unless you have fewer units on the board than the opponent. You really have to watch how you go about things.

      1. I agree, Magic Denial is a very strong option for Deep Dwarves. If you want to focus more heavily on that, I hear Rune Mages are very good in Deep Dwarves.

    2. What I meant was Scholar’s ability isn’t on a single target, but any enemy unit adjacent to the Scholar. I’ve been known to use Kynder’s Mage Hand to move Scholar after killing one unit to continue the Insight-boosted attacks on another target.

      1. No worries, will definitely give this deck a try, mostly will be trying your first build. I am a fan of DD way before I gotten the game itself and has been reading many articles on it as well.

      2. I’m a believer in everyone has their own style, and they need to bring a deck that reflects their style for their own maximum enjoyment.
        Note that I didn’t build this deck as a powerful tournament-level deck, but as a fun deck with a faction I’ve not played too much, in my own particular style. Your own style might easily be different. I would actually recommend going though the process quickly on your own, and consider how to make things work for you.
        Replacing Duggle for Gren, and switching the Demon Hands and a Gem Mage for five Rune Mages would make for a deck that’s heavily invested in Magic denial. Or you could consider Deep Troll, Sprog, and Etch for a more wall-centric strategy.
        Personally, I like the complexities of positioning that Kynder and Scholars can bring to the board, and most of this deck is built around that, with a lot added to support those ideas.

      3. I know what u mean Marcus, just that your deck posted is for me to test it out and make adjustment to the deck to suit my play style. I also believe playing a deck which suits my play style is important.

  2. I really like this deck concept. I mostly play Jungle Elves and Cloaks on iOS, assassination strategy for both, so it is hard for me to resist the urge to go after the summoner constantly, even when playing a deck that isn’t meant to do that.