Hi everyone. I’ve been playing TCGs and LCGs for just over three years, starting off with the second edition of FFG’s Game of Thrones LCG and then moving into TCGs with Star Wars Destiny. I’ve been playing Champions since the beta was opened to non-founders and made Master a couple of weeks back (Ionic@SWDHK in the app); it’s by far my favorite card-gaming experience so far. This is my first attempt at writing an article so I look forward to receiving some constructive feedback!
There’s already been some great Champions content produced, but I haven’t seen a good introduction to the art of questing so I thought I’d give it a go, so without further ado here are some tips on how to quest effectively.
Experienced players might want to skip straight to tip two – this one’s pretty basic!
In the early stages of app play, players did not fully appreciate how important it was to complete quests in order to reveal blessings. After a few weeks of play, there was a realization that blessings were extremely powerful and that getting them into play could – and probably would – determine the outcome of a game. This led to a recognition that some of the best champions were those that could quest quickly. These champions included the Rip-tooth Warboss, the Bloodreaver Chieftain and the Crypt-haunter Courtier.
Both the Warboss and the Courtier can be quested with just two cards. For the Warboss, the player can play a unit that does damage on its second corner to complete steps one and two. If their opponent has been foolish enough to deploy a unit opposite the Warboss on the turn following its deployment of the unit, then the last two corners can be completed with a Deadly Chop. Even if they weren’t this foolish, playing an ability on turn two would lead to quest completion on turn three if the unit in play had damage on its third corner.
The Courtier’s corners can be completed by a Freakish Crypt Ghoul followed by another Mordant. Although both units only need two cards, the Warboss steps can be completed in two turns, whilst the Courtier takes five (the Crypt Ghoul exhausts five turns after it is played leaving the lane clear for the second Mordant). The Chieftain takes three cards (two units and an ability) but can quest in three turns (a two damage corner unit that exhausts on turn three, allowing the second unit and the ability to be played).
Jason Michael (Zerris Valaren) has recently introduced me to a Death Quick Quest deck that uses two Courtiers alongside a Reaping Cairn Wraith (two turns, three cards) and a Crypt Infernal Courtier. This deck quests incredibly quickly and uses Royal Hunt as its key blessing. With three Mordant champions in play it has a great chance of getting that revealing that blessing and using it to burn the opponent down. This deck demonstrates that the power of the quick quest depends on the quality of the blessings revealed. As long as you have a Mordant opposite a 7 cost champion, Royal Hunt is comparable to Total Carnage.
In Wave One, Destruction had access to more than four Tier One blessings whereas Chaos only had two. This meant that Destruction Fast Quest was reliable but could be overpowered by Chaos if it hit one of its two Tier One blessings, one of which – Unrivaled Battle Lust – is arguably God Tier. Given that the average quality of blessing should improve for all alliances once Onslaught comes out, quick questing is likely to be even more of a priority and those champions that can quest quickly will be highly valued. Skarbrand (two turn quest using three cards: a unit with damage on its first two corners followed by two abilities on turn two) and Volturnos (three turns with two cards: an Aelf with damage on corners two and three and an ability on turn three) are good examples. This means that you should give priority to quick quest champions when deck-building unless there is an equally large benefit to an alternate approach.
The best blessings are those that result in major swings in the game state either by producing a damage swing through a combination of damage dealing and healing (Divine Strike, Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’, etc) or by changing the board state significantly by either deploying units (Ushering the Waagh) or making opposing units dormant (Supernatural Horror). My gut feeling is that for a blessing to be playable, it needs to lead to a damage swing of 8 health points (I’d be greatly if anyone could back this up with mathematical analysis). The very best blessings will have an impact equal to around 12 damage.
One point to bear in mind when evaluating damage is when it will happen. Damage that happens this turn is worth more than damage that happens in three turns time. Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’ does 12 damage, but that damage is worth more in a Gordrakk deck because his Heroic Act can rotate two Orruk units to their final corners on the turn that Cruisin’ is revealed so that the 12 damage will be inflicted next turn. A Destruction deck that can’t spin Orruk units that quickly might be better off taking the 9 damage from Might of Gork as it is guaranteed that all of it will have been inflicted by the beginning of the second turn after the blessing was revealed.
I would also regard blessings that do damage as better than blessings that heal damage unless you are trying to deck your opponent. The win condition for almost all decks is reducing the opponent to 0 health. Damage moves you towards your win condition, healing moves your opponent further away from theirs. Advancing your own win condition is usually better than delaying your opponent.
Blessings win games. This means that every action you take should ideally advance one of your Champions quests. You should only take an action that does not advance a quest if doing so will either slow down your opponent’s questing significantly or have a very significant impact on the board state, such as removing a spell that’s going to hit you for seven damage next turn.
Even if a card will do seven damage to you next turn, you need to weigh up the game situation before making the decision to remove. If it’s not going to kill you or bring you within kill range then you may be better off leaving it alone and focusing on your own game plan. Revealing your own blessing might have far more of an impact on the result of the game than preventing the seven damage.
In my experience, it’s always best to focus on your own game plan rather than preventing your opponents. In Season One, I played KTM DustyJessie’s Gordrakk build from Diamond III to Master. When he first shared the deck with me, I was surprised by the lack of Sweeping Goregruntas in the deck. After playing it for a while, it began to make sense to me. The Goregrunta does one damage and removes units in a T. It takes three turns to take effect unless it’s played in front of a Savage Boar Boss, which speeds it up by a turn, or a Loudmouth Megaboss who can use a Heroic Act to rotate it to its final corner in the turn that it is played.
This seems great: three units removed and all their damage prevented by one unit. The problem with this play is that it often had negative unintended consequences. Firstly, the removal of my units by the Goregrunta would allow me to quest Champions with unit corners more quickly. Secondly, it began to feel like the effort expended on using the Goregrunta slowed my opponent down by about as much as the removal of my units slowed me down, provided that I hadn’t placed too many of my best units in the way of this play. Given the first unintended consequence, this meant that I would come out ahead in the exchange.
Think about which blessing might be under a champion before you complete the final step of a quest. Let’s say you are a Destruction player and one of your blessings is Smash and Bash. If you reveal the blessing at a time when you have no units in play or all of your units are on their final corner then you aren’t going to get maximum value out of the blessing. You should therefore try to position suitable units in other lanes before completing the quest so that if it is Smash and Bash, you get good value from it. Getting five damage from the blessing and seven from a Big Stabba Crew is much better than the basic five. More to the point, if my earlier suggestion that a blessing needs to impact the game by 8 points of damage is correct, then Smash and Bash is a bad blessing unless it generates impact by rotating units. In other words, if you haven’t played into it correctly, you might as well not have put it in your deck. A lower skill cap blessing like Might of Gork would have been a better choice.
If you’re a Chaos player, you don’t want to hit the Unrivalled Battle-Lust jackpot without the cards in hand to take advantage of it. You delay completing a quest until you have units on the board and abilities in hand so that if the blessing revealed is UBL you will be able to get the damage bonus as many times as possible. As a Chaos player, there’s nothing worse than revealing UBL and not being able to make use of UBL’s 3 corner because you have no cards with which to trigger it.
Be aware of your opponent’s quest progress. If you are considering removing a unit in a lane, look at the remaining steps in the champion’s quest. If the remaining steps include playing a unit, you may want to pass on the removal so as not to speed up the completion of the quest. I played a lot of Destruction on the way to Master and was often delighted if the opponent removed say a Pouncing Wolf-Rider on a Savage Boar Boss, allowing me to put the next one into play followed by an ability, completing the Boar Boss’s quest. Think about the impact of your removals and don’t make your opponent’s questing any easier than it needs to be.
I hope you’ve found this a useful foray into the world of questing. If you have any other tips on this aspect of the game please let me know.