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)