The Fro Knows: Legacy Tentacles

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There’s no two ways about it; I’m an Eldrazi fan through and through. Ever since their inception, I’ve jammed them in every deck I could and in every format I could. As a Legacy aficionado, for the longest time that meant that I was playing Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. It was the only viable Eldrazi creature. I played it in OmniTell, 12Post, and even Doomsday, but I always felt like I could be doing more.

 

You can imagine my utter joy when Oath of the Gatewatch arrived and with it a horde of new playthings to work with. While everyone and their grandmother was frothing over the power level of Thought-Knot Seer and Reality Smasher in Modern, I quietly sat in the corner brewing up how to abuse these beasts in Legacy. In fact, I had written about an Eldrazi shell the very weekend of the Pro Tour where Modern Eldrazi premiered. Since then, Legacy Eldrazi has proliferated through the Legacy format, and to this day it is one of the most prevalent aggro decks going.

 

ELDRAZI AGGRO

 

4x Eldrazi Mimic

4x Endless One

4x Thought-Knot Seer

4x Reality Smasher

4x Oblivion Sower

1x Endbringer

4x Matter Reshaper

4x Chalice of the Void

3x Dismember

2x Warping Wail

4x Eye of Ugin

4x Ancient Tomb

4x Eldrazi Temple

4x City of Traitors

4x Cavern of Souls

4x Wasteland

2x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

Sideboard

4x Thorn of Amethyst

2x Warping Wail

2x Umezawa’s Jitte

2x All is Dust

2x Ratchet Bomb

3x Faerie Macabre

 

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So just what makes it so powerful in a format where Force of Will, Tendrils of Agony, and Griselbrand run rampant? On the surface, the deck looks like it just plays a bunch of big creatures and attacks, and frankly, that’s not inaccurate. Aggro decks in Legacy have traditionally used 3/4 Tarmogoyfs as the benchmark for attack creatures, and anything bigger had to be cheated into play with Show and Tell or Sneak Attack. Looking at the above list, we see a whopping 13 creatures larger than that Tarmogoyf, with Eldrazi Mimic and Endless One each being capable of growing even bigger. Couple this with just how quickly the deck can get rolling and you have a seriously terrifying archetype. On top of that, the deck runs many more creatures than traditional aggro decks. In a classic RUG Delver deck, you have a set of Delver of Secrets, Tarmogoyf, and Nimble Mongoose as your main threats. The Eldrazi deck runs nearly twice as many threats, and considerably larger ones at that, so it becomes clear why the former top dog would feel outclassed.

 

Another factor to Eldrazi dominance is its manabase. What made Modern Eldrazi so strong back in the day was the combination of Eye of Ugin and Eldrazi Temple in the manabase to power out your creatures at a faster rate than the opponent can handle. In Legacy, we not only have access to those lands, but Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors as well, giving the deck an impressive 16 lands that produce two mana. This not only gives you the power to get your creatures online at a blistering pace, but also to abuse one of the strongest cards in the deck: Chalice of the Void. Being able to potentially cast Chalice for 1 on the first turn can be a death knell for a dangerously large percentage of the metagame. Shutting off everything from Brainstorm to Deathrite Shaman to Entomb can obliterate a lot of strategies, leading to a large of amount of effectively “free” wins.

 

As well, with the way the mana-base is set up, you can reliably curve your creatures in such a way that you can net progressively larger amounts of damage through growing your turn one Eldrazi Mimics. A turn one Mimic into turn two Thought-Knot Seer nets you 4 damage on the second turn. Curving into a Reality Smasher on turn three is another 14 damage. Given how fetchland-dependent most Legacy manabases are, this can be game over on its own.

 

The manabase is also built to maximize the odds of jamming a five or six-drop creature on the third turn. The main reason the deck even runs Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth is to give the deck more ways of using Eye of Ugin to its full potential. By allowing it to tap for one more mana, you can turn otherwise awkward hands into a perfect curve. Normally an opening hand with Eye of Ugin and Chalice of the Void is incredibly awkward due to the Eye’s inability to tap for mana, but with Urborg you can still play Chalice on turn two and shut off the opponent’s spells.

 

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The creature base for the deck is the standard Eldrazi fare that is nearly a direct port of the Modern versions of old. Eldrazi Mimic gives the deck an early attack that gets progressively larger as the game goes on, while Matter Reshaper acts as both a chump blocker for Tarmogoyf and a cheap threat to pressure slower opponents. Matter Reshaper also has the advantage of netting you a card when it dies, either putting a permanent directly into play or drawing you a large creature like Reality Smasher to play the following turn. It’s also worth noting that hitting a land off of Matter Reshaper doesn’t trigger City of Traitors to sacrifice itself since you aren’t technically playing a land. Couple this with the fact we’re running 26 lands and we have a way to ramp ourselves even further through the drawbacks of our own fast mana.

 

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Thought-Knot Seer and Reality Smasher are the backbone of the deck, and are pretty much the main reason we’re playing Eldrazi to begin with. The sheer power of these cards in the metagame is staggering since they’re much larger than anything a fair opponent can do on turn two and three. Thought-Knot Seer outclasses Vendillion Clique at every angle, and a 4/4 body for effectively two mana makes it very hard to remove save for Swords to Plowshares, and even then we have Chalice of the Void to render such a removal spell useless.

 

Reality Smasher is the most aggressive play in the deck since the combination of trample and haste can cause some devastating blowouts. Even impenetrable defenders like True-Name Nemesis get flattened by Reality Smasher, and when coupled with Eldrazi Mimic, we can attack for massive chunks of damage much earlier than the opponent is prepared for. Smasher has the added bonus of requiring the opponent to discard a card when they target it with a spell; which, given the lack of proper card advantage in Legacy, can force an opponent into a situation where they have to choose between their life total and their resources for their subsequent turns.

 

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Rounding out the creature base is Endless One, Oblivion Sower, and Endbringer. Endless One is one of the most flexible creatures in the deck, being able to be cast as a 2/2 on turn one all the way to an 8/8 on turn four. Another fun trick with Endless One is that Eye of Ugin effectively adds two mana to its cost, so you can play Endless One as a 2/2 off of a turn one Eye of Ugin. This is great for swarming the board alongside Eldrazi Mimics early on. Also, and this is the corner case to end all corner cases, Endless One can also be cast for zero against Dredge to remove their Bridge from Belows from the game. Given how fast such a deck can go off, having a main-deck means of stifling their development is huge, and it just adds to the versatility of a card like Endless One.

 

Oblivion Sower, on the other hand, is just plain big in Legacy with its massive 5/8 body, but it serves a far more devious purpose in this deck. When cast, Oblivion Sower exiles the top four cards of the opponent’s deck and you can choose any number of lands from their exile zone and put them into play under your control. While this often results in whiffs as far as usable lands go due to most Legacy manabases being too fetchland-heavy, it does also mess with one of the most popular cards in the format: Brainstorm.

 

More often than not, players will cast Brainstorm in response to your Thought-Knot Seer to protect the cards they want to use. Following up the Seer with Oblivion Sower can exile at least one of these cards alongside whatever spells they would draw afterward.

 

Finally, Endbringer is a flexible tool for longer, more drawn out games through its card draw, pinging, and combat control abilities. Card draw is fantastic against Miracles since it allows you to dig your way out of Jace, the Mind Sculptor lock as well as restock your board after a Terminus. Pinging also helps against control by keeping Young Pyromancer and opposing planeswalkers under control. This is especially important for picking off nuisance blockers like Baleful Strix so they can’t trade with your other threats. Stopping creatures from attacking or blocking is particularly strong against decks like Sneak & Show and Reanimator which tend to rely on one giant attacker at a time. Preventing these creatures from attacking render them inert and you can easily attack around them.

dismember

The deck also employs Dismember and Warping Wail, because contrary to popular belief, Legacy does require you to interact with the opponent. Dismember is fantastic at dispatching the creatures in Infect, which typically rely on pumping a singular attacker through Invigorate and Berserk, so having a one-mana way to kill a creature even through Invigorate is a necessity. Dismember also shines in the mirror match since it picks off everything outside of Oblivion Sower, and while the cost of 4 life can be steep when you’re on the defensive, it can often provide enough of a tempo swing that you can claw your way back into the game. On the other hand, if you’re on the offensive, Dismember can be backbreaking since you can get rid of their biggest defender and swing for the fences. As well, Dismember does wonders against Stoneforge Mystic decks because it can kill the Batterskull token before they can get a chance to gain life with it.

 

Warping Wail serves multiple purposes in this deck through its first two modes. Exiling a creature with 1 power or toughness hits virtually every creature in Death & Taxes, Elves, and Infect, especially Deathrite Shaman and Stoneforge Mystic.

 

While the majority of the most powerful spells in Legacy are instants, there are some seriously terrifying sorceries out there, and having a two mana counterspell for them can make or break certain matchups. The most egregious one is Terminus, which is a board wipe that can often be played at instant speed thanks to Sensei’s Divining Top. This is the card that can singlehandedly cause you to lose to Miracles, since after this board wipe is when they typically get full control of the game and grind you to death with Jace and Monastery Mentor. Shutting down the Terminus during a clutch combat phase is often what clinches victory, and Warping Wail is usually the card to get that done.

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Another use for Warping Wail is stopping Show and Tell, which is especially troublesome in game one since it can go off as early as turn two even through a Chalice of the Void. Here it basically plays backup to Thought-Knot Seer by shutting down the subsequent Show and Tells that they dig for after ripping the initial one from their hand. The end step Intuition for three Show and Tells is seriously rough after a Thought-Knot Seer, so having a way of stopping them on their turn and using up the rest of their key cards can win the game on its own.

 

The sideboard is always in a state of flux given how the Legacy metagame shifts nearly weekly, but there have been tried and true staples that have always been a part of my lists. For example, a full set of Thorn of Amethyst is necessary for combating the faster combo decks like Storm, since adding an extra mana to their spells makes it incredibly difficult to chain spells together for their storm count. It also does a tremendous job of slowing down decks like Miracles since they tend to choke up a lot of their mana spinning Sensei’s Divining Top, which leaves them with fewer opportunities to actually cast spells.

 

As extra Miracles hate, I’m running an extra two copies of Warping Wail to go up to a full set to increase the odds of drawing one for those crucial “stop the Terminus” turns. I also like to board them in for Dredge since you can make a token and sacrifice it to exile their Bridge from Belows so they won’t get zombie tokens when they flashback Dread Return. The final nail in the Miracles coffin is All is Dust. This is a catch-all to Jace, Blood Moon, Monastery Mentor, and even the odd True-Name Nemesis. What’s also fun is that All is Dust is technically a colourless Eldrazi spell, so Eldrazi Temple and Eye of Ugin help cast it. This means you can potentially fire it off as early as turn 4.

 

I’ve also elected to run several cards that can handle the smaller creature swarm decks. While our deck can get explosive early turns, we really are a midrange deck and can get out-aggro’d early on. Ratchet Bomb and Umezawa’s Jitte are perfect for these roles since you don’t really have to invest much into them to be effective sweepers. The majority of creatures in aggro decks tend to be one or two mana, so a Ratchet Bomb on turn two can easily turn into a board wipe by the time you’re ready to start jamming threats. This is also perfect against Goblin Charbelcher as an answer for their Empty the Warrens plan in which they just make a dozen goblins and attack twice for the win. Since tokens have a CMC of zero, you can crack the Bomb immediately and blow them out.

jitte

While Jitte isn’t as fast as the bomb, it’s certainly flexible enough to warrant two sideboard slots. Being able to trade counters to pick off X/1 creatures, gain life, and pump up our own creatures is a boon in these matches, and all you have to do to recharge it is deal combat damage with the equipped creature. It doesn’t even have to be to the opponent! Attack a planeswalker or block a creature and you can rack up the counters. Furthermore, you can activate it even if you don’t have anything equipped, so should they remove the equipped creature you can still snipe their attackers and gain life so long as it has counters.

faerie-macabre

Last but not least is Faerie Macabre. Now, these slots have been occupied by everything from Spine of Ish Sah for OmniTell to Coercive Portal for Legacy to Trinisphere for Storm, but with the rise of RB Reanimator I’ve elected to run them as Faerie Macabre. The Faerie allows us to discard it to remove up to two cards in graveyards from the game. I’m running this over something like Surgical Extraction because we can use it through our Chalice of the Voids and the occasional Trinisphere unlike Surgical, and while most graveyard hate cards can be countered or destroyed like Leyline of the Void, Faerie Macabre isn’t actually being cast so it can only be stopped by Stifle. This isn’t even a concern since Stifle has declined dramatically in Legacy over the past year. Stopping the turn one Griselbrand/Elesh Norn/Blazing Archon is imperative, and not having to use mana to do it gives you an edge when you’re on the draw and may get comboed out before you can even play a land.

 

Legacy Eldrazi has cemented itself as one of the top decks in Legacy, and it might just be my favourite non-Dredge deck that I’ve ever played. The versatility and size of your threats coupled with an immensely powerful prison element push the deck above and beyond the competition. It’s something that every Legacy player has to at least respect as a part of the metagame, whether they want to or not, and it’s something I wholeheartedly recommend for players looking to jump into the format since so much of the deck is Standard and Modern legal. The cost to build this deck is paltry compared to most decks since you can buy it all for less than a set of Underground Seas, and if you’ve ever played the Modern version it’s very easy to understand the majority of the lines of play. If you’ve been on the fence about jumping into Legacy, grab a pack of sleeves, a box of Oath of the Gatewatch, and start playing!

 

Commanding in Kaladesh By Abe Park

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Oh man! With all of Kaladesh finally released, I can safely say that it’s going to be a good time for all Commander players out there. Here’s a quick summary: all-new mechanics, all-new resources, DWARF SUPPORT, more tribal, and more artifacts, and did I mention the masterpiece series? That Sol Ring is going to be in every Commander player’s dreams… So yeah let me tell you my thought process, speculations and how I think this is going to change everything.

First off, we got so many new mechanics, such as Vehicles, Fabricate, and Energy. So let’s talk about these new Vehicles. In commander they’re not so great unless you’re planning on playing either artifact tribal or playing something like Diao Chan, the Artful Beauty, plus the new legendary Vehicle isn’t technically a creature so it can’t even be your commander, but they do dodge the oh-so-common board wipes, since they aren’t going to always be creature.

Fabricate, on the other hand, may be just what the artifact decks want. The flexibility of either having a fatty or a 1/1 Servo is not too bad plus, it adds artifact bodies to the board, making metalcraft easier to access, or giving access to easy sacrifice fodder for things like Ashnod’s Altar or Throne of Geth. On top of all that the new cards with Fabricate tend to have other abilities, but I’ll talk about that later.

Finally we have the new resource, Energy. Oh boy, this is the new OP! The new cards that use this resource tend to be pretty powerful, casting free spells, or bouncing whole boards, etc. Here’s the thing about the new resource though: it’s pretty hard to accumulate, but there are easy synergies. Thing’s like Strionic Resonator, or Panharmonica help since they allow for triggers to go off twice, so if a card enters the battlefield and adds energy you can double that number. Or even better you can use Proliferate, that’s right, you can Proliferate Energy counters. Thrummingbird is the new OP… All jokes aside, these mechanics synergize incredibly well, especially since there are quite a few cards that proliferate, we can build whole decks on just the use of Energy counters. But enough about the new mechanics and cards for now. We have more urgent news.

dwarves

Wizards finally deigned to grant one of our oldest wishes and have given us new Dwarves. Of course I’m specifically talking about the new Dwarf lord, who is so flavourful it might as well be vanilla; I’m talking about Depala, Pilot Exemplar. Of course they made the Dwarf lord dig, (ha) plus she likes vehicles, (SO MUCH FLAVOUR). This is really great since Dwarves have always been an underused and underrepresented tribe. This is true of a lot of tribes, but dwarves have always been a personal favourite along with Angels, and Druids. But now, now we have the commander that we needed AND the one we deserve. And, like Batman, she comes swooping in with her cool new Vehicles. Although there are quite a few Dwarves, there still isn’t enough to fully build a deck, but thankfully WotC was nice enough to put Vehicles into the Dwarf category, allowing us to fill our commander decks. On a side note, Wizards created another tribe, which I’m sure they will never complete, I’m talking about Gremlins. Man I really want some Gremlin tribal now…

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Now for the collectors and people who wishes to pimp out their commander decks, Wizards have granted us the Inventions, the latest in the Masterpiece series. All-new foiled art of Commander staples such as Sol Ring, Mana Vault, Mana Crypt, Scroll Rack, and the list just keeps going. And probably like the BFZ expeditions, these brand new cards will be insanely expensive.

1-aewmarvelAlright! With all the new mechanics, tribes, and masterpiece series out of the way, comes deck building thoughts ideas and such (my favourite part). So just continuing the idea of Energy and Proliferate, let’s talk about Throne of Geth. Sacrifice an artifact and Proliferate. This card is going to be a mainstay in this kind of deck, using cards with Fabricate or even Investigate, we can sacrifice some 1/1 bodies or Clues to generate Energy, allowing for some shenanigans with cards like Aetherworks Marvel, basically we can keep casting cards for free, and with cards like Voltaic Key or Unwinding Clock, we can keep using this multiple times a turn, every turn. Another card that goes into this deck is Inexorable Tides, every time you cast a spell, Proliferate. Cards like these will be the driving force of this deck, and to boost the power of this deck you can add planeswalkers, since you can target your planeswalkers and add more loyalty counters onto them. The possibilities of this kind of deck is endless, and I’m sure when the next set comes out we can add even more to this new deck archetype.

 

2-aereservoirAnother card from Kaladesh which is going to be a commander all-star, is Aetherflux Resevoir. This card isn’t even fair in some decks. Pay 50 life, deal 50 damage, the one-shot, one-kill, you play this in Oloro the couch potato and you’re set for a free kill… at the cost of basically your whole life, but I digress. To be honest this card is good enough to just build a deck around, play literally all the tutors and counterspells and protect this card, and watch as you nuke people from orbit.


 

 

 

rashmiFinally what is probably my favourite general to come out in this set, Rashmi, Eternities Crafter. So here is a little something I like to call value. Any first spell you cast per turn you either get to cast the top card of your deck for free, or you draw a card. Wh… what is this, I don’t even… and like Void Winnower in commander, this card is bonkers. All you need for this card to be amazing, is top deck-filters and lots of instants and Flash cards, since the ability says first spell EACH turn. So here are a couple of cards that will be core to this deck: Scroll Rack, Sensei’s Divining Top, Brainstorm, Jace the Wallet-Sculptor, Seedborn Muse, Vedalken Orrery, any card with Cascade, Future Sight, you get the point. One thing you don’t want to get sucked into is over-committing. This sort of deck is not an all-in deck, meaning your general is not a key piece and therefore your deck must function without it. So essentially Rashmi will act only for value so make your deck as independent as possible and also make sure to curve it out.

There is too much awesome to talk about in Kaladesh, and I haven’t even scratched the surface (didn’t even talk about the new planeswalkers!) but alas this is probably getting too long, and to all who read this, continue Commanding and I’m sure you’ll all find ways to break this set.

Cheers!

The Budgetmander: Commanding on a Budget By Abe Park

budgetmander

Here’s an oxymoron; budget commander. With the prices of magic cards going up, filling up a hundred card slots with one hundred different playable cards on a budget may seem impossible, but after reading this you may have second thoughts. Now here’s a quick disclaimer; although you can create a budget list that does not mean it will always be at its full potential. Due to the nature of magic there will always be better cards, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create a competitive list.

To start off a good commander list, in my eyes, begins with an idea. This idea is the foundation in which the deck will be built around, one of these ideas that we will work with is token combo. We then proceed to build on this idea by starting to look for a commander that fits this idea. In this case we can try Zada, Hedron Grinder. If you’re playing on a budget often times you’ll find that finding a good commander that can be reliably cast with a relevant ability will be the core to your strategy since you may not have the funds to spend on powerful cards. Essentially the commander is a re-castable, always-present combo piece or ramp or what have you, this allows for consistency without expensive tutors.

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So now that we have a relevant commander we can begin the deck building process. I usually begin by thinking of creatures or token generating spells, especially since we’re playing a token deck. Let’s start with the creatures; first off is Mogg War Marshal. This card does everything we’re looking for when playing a token deck, it is a creature that comes in with a friend, and is on the low end of the curve. Another creature we can choose is Siege Gang Commander. Although he is on the higher end of the curve, he comes in with 3 other tokens and gives the relevant ability to sacrifice a creature to shock your opponent. As a side note when building decks, even in commander, you should always check your curve. Every turn casting a spell or reacting to one is a turn well spent. Other spells you can add to this list is Krenko’s Command. This card, although not a creature, brings in two tokens, adding to your creature count when taking Zada’s ability into consideration. This brings up the point, especially in budget commander, think of your strategy and play around it, sometimes you don’t need expensive cards to strengthen your deck, cards like Krenko’s Command and Dragon Fodder are commons that cost under a dollar.

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Now begins the process of adding in utility spells. Cards that I would consider utility are basically everything that isn’t a win condition, so cards that draw cards, removal, counter spells, etc. First I begin by adding in some ramp. This is important as having mana means your able to cast more spells or your getting closer to casting one big spell that wins you the game. Since we are in red we don’t have much access in the ways of ramping with lands, however that doesn’t prevent us from abusing artifacts. Some relevant ramp artifacts are Sol Ring, Fire Diamond, Mind Stone, and Hedron Archive. On a side note, remember to play to the colour’s strength, in this situation we don’t have access to land ramp like green, but red does have access to tinkering with artifacts with cards like Goblin Welder or Hoarding Dragon. Next we add cards like Magmatic Insight and Faithless Looting. These cards help by allowing us to toss lands and draw more cards later in the game where mana is less relevant. Some other hidden gems especially with Zada, include Accelerate, Expedite, and Crimson Wisps. Although they usually only draw a card, with your commander and just three tokens, whether they be 1/1 or 9/9, draw you four cards in total since Zada’s ability allows you to copy the card for each other creature. Other cards you may want to add are, Chaos Warp, Blasphemous Act, Vandalblast, Lightning Bolt, and Reverberate. Remember to be prepared to deal with everything. Also as a little fun addition you can Reverberate Counterspells, effectively countering the counter to your spells and leaving the blue player speechless.

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With all that taken care of we begin the win conditions. In this case they are as simple as Brute force, Adrenaline Rush, Downhill Charge, and Fists of the Anvil. Since Zada copies all instants and sorceries that target her, she can replicate pump spells for your whole team, meaning you can attack for 80 damage out of nowhere! However, since this deck is essentially a combo deck, remember not all win conditions come in the form of pump abilities; there may be infinite combos or just really, really big creatures.

In the end what matters in Commander isn’t necessarily the power level of each individual card, it’s the consistency, and the synergistic aspect of the deck. So to improve the consistency of a Commander deck, cards that have the same abilities, also known as effective reprints, like Krenko’s Command and Dragon Fodder, are very important; the more cards with the same text the better, and also don’t ignore the curve. As a final note, the deck list below was made with most of the cards being under a dollar and no card exceeding 4 dollars, and as mentioned in the disclaimer although this deck can win consistently, it can still be improved.

With everything taken into consideration here’s a fully built list:

A final thought. If you are a budget player, try staying away from blue as your main colour, although very powerful tends to be on the expensive side since many of the decks rely on very powerful combos to win the game.

Wrath of Kings: A New Take on Wargaming by Alex Tarasick

 

 

51wnabjOycL._AC_UL320_SR250,320_The miniature wargaming market is one that tends to be fairly stagnant. It is rare for a new wargame to be able to break into the market, as it has to compete with much older and better known games, notably games such as Warhammer 40,000 and Warmachine. Wrath of Kings is a game that has done just that. It’s success in breaking into the market can be attributed both to its innovative and deep game system and the ease with which it can be picked up.

The Lore:

Wrath of Kings takes place in the fictional land of Arikania. Which is split into five warring kingdoms. These kingdoms were once one, larger kingdom, ruled by the legendary figure of the Ancient King. The Ancient King split his kingdom into 5, smaller kingdoms, and granted one to each of his children. These kingdoms slowly came to reflect the ideals and beliefs of their rulers. The sibling rulers of these kingdoms had inherited their father’s power, longevity and ambition. As such, over the years they began to dream of one day ruling over all of Arikania. These dreams quickly became obsessions, as such, when the Ancient King died the kingdoms were at war almost instantly. Each of the siblings has mastered very different technologies or magic and has equally different views on how best to rule Arikania.

The Factions:

Wrath of Kings has 5 unique playable factions. Each one has a very distinct aesthetic and play style.

House Nasier:

NSswordsman3_frontThe Scion King Nasier and his house rule over the nation of Kartoresh. Their armies are powered by magical masks that, when worn, imbue their wearers with demonic powers of many descriptions. House Nasier on the tabletop is the most aggressive army in the game. Each of their units has incredible offensive power, making them a dangerous foe. However, they gain that offensive power at a cost. House Nasier units are not terribly durable. A House Nasier army will strike with incredible force, but will wither rapidly if they cannot overwhelm their foe quickly.

 

House Hadross:

The Scion King Hadross and his house rule over the underwater nation of Hadross.Their armies are powered by a pact with the godlike HDspearman2_frontbeings known only as ‘The Deep Ones’ who transform the people of Hadross into amphibious creatures with capabilities far beyond those of normal humans. On the tabletop House Hadross is the most defensive army in the game. Each of their units gets better as the game goes on. A House Hadross army will try to draw the game out as long as possible, slowly weakening their foe until they can destroy them entirely.

House Shael Han:

SHironlotus_frontThe Scion Queen Shael Han and her house rule over the kingdom of Achrion. Their armies are powered by the blessings of the celestial gods and powerful technology which allow their soldiers to accomplish incredible feats of skill and endurance. On the table House Shael Han is an army that can adapt to deal with any foe. Their units, when taken individually, are some of the weakest in the game. However, when these units work together, they buff one another and become capable of reaping a horrific toll upon any enemy. A House Shael Han army will be filled with units working in concert to defeat enemies far more powerful than themselves.

House Teknes:

TKworker1_front The Scion King Teknes and his house rule over the kingdom of Felskar. Their armies are powered by their mastery of technology. On the tabletop House Teknes is the most durable army in the game. Each of their units can take much more punishment than their equivalent in other armies, and gets more powerful the more punishment it takes. A House Teknes army will play defensively until a suitable portion of their army has taken damage, and will then use the empowered units to smash through their foes.

House Goritsi:

GOskirmisher1_front1The Scion King Goritsi and his house rule over the kingdom of Telloria. Their armies are powered by the corrupt blood of their ruler, whichtransforms his descendants into twisted monstrosities. On the table House Goritsi is the fastest army in the game. Their units possess abilities that allow them to employ hit-and-run tactics. A House Goritsi army will slowly pick their enemy apart with hit-and-run attacks, using their superior mobility to always be out of reach of retribution.

The System:

Wrath of Kings uses an interesting system for the resolution of player turns. Rather unlike many wargames, where when a player takes a turn they move and take actions will all of the units in their army, Wrath of Kings has the players taking turns ‘activating’ units. At the beginning of a turn both players roll off. The winner of this roll gets to choose one of their units to activate, they will then move and take any relevant actions with that unit. After this is complete, their opponent will choose a unit to activate and do the same. These alternating activations will pass back and forth until all of the units in play have been activated, or one player has no more units to activate. At this point, the turn ends and the players roll off once more.

Wrath of Kings uses an innovative D10 based system for combat resolution. Each unit has a stat card that is supplied with the model. This card holds all the necessary stats for the unit, including descriptions of its base size, its role, and all of the special actions or abilities it possesses. Also on the card is the unit’s defense chart, which is a chart that is rolled against when the unit is attacked. This can produce a variety of results, ranging from Critical hits to a dodged attack. Each type of defense result has potential benefits or drawbacks, as certain units can ignore certain types of defense.

These systems are simple and easy to pick up, but also allow for an enormous amount of tactical depth. Attacking enemy units before they have activated, or countering your opponent’s activation with one of your own. Even choosing carefully which units attack certain enemy units can be important, as certain units will have an easier time defeating specific opposing units.

The Verdict:

Wrath of Kings has shown itself to be a game with simple systems that allow for huge tactical depth and variety. This alone puts it a step above most wargames on the market today. Coupled with beautiful miniatures and a constantly developing storyline Wrath of Kings is a game that every wargamer, from the aspiring novice to the most seasoned veteran, should try.

Wrath-of-Kings-logo-e1362783442877_3For more information on the game check out their website: Wrath Of Kings
Wrath of Kings will soon be available at Hairy Tarantula North.
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