Defending the Realm of the Phoenix King
A Warhammer: Invasion The Card Game spotlight
Every tenth year, the court of the Everqueen goes forth upon a seaborne pilgrimage to the hidden Tower of the Sun south of the equator. The Queen alone can hold back the slow encroachment of the gravid orb Morrslieb that occurs with every eclipse… The Everqueen gives up her own moonblood in a great ritual that ensures Morrslieb is held at bay for another decade. Such is the Elven way; to save the world and expect nothing in return. –Warhammer, “The Eclipse Wars”
Mostly disdainful of the Old World’s other races, the High Elves rarely rely upon any strength other than their own. Over a history of warfare, this has led them to develop strong defenses, wrought both of stone and of spell. With the upcoming release of Realm of the Phoenix King, the second Battle Pack in The Capital Cycle for Warhammer: Invasion The Card Game, the High Elves gain new defenses–and a new Fortification–to help them stand tall against wave after wave of their opponents’ assaults.
The Straits of Lothern
Last week, we looked at some of the options High Elf players gain to defend their Capitals, including the Star Dragon (Realm of the Phoenix King, 28). Of course, in order to marshal enough resources to pay for their more expensive units, the High Elves need to play power to their kingdom, and Straits of Lothern (Realm of the Phoenix King, 30) can help accelerate matters nicely. Between the Straits of Lothern and a character or two–like the Herald of Morai-Heg (Realm of the Phoenix King, 27)–played to the kingdom’s defense, your High Elves can quickly solidify a protected supply of resources.
While the Straits of Lothern turn a solid investment in your kingdom zone’s protection into valuable resource generation, your High Elves need to shore up their defenses in at least one other zone. A new Fortification in Realm of the Phoenix King can help your High Elves dissuade their opponents from attacking. Phoenix Ward (Realm of the Phoenix King, 31) is a zero cost Spell that plays in a zone and forces each of your opponents to discard a card from hand in order to attack. A single Phoenix Ward can disrupt your opponent’s plans, forcing him to look at the cards in his hand and decide if they should be played, developed, or discarded to permit an attack. But if you play two or even three copies of Phoenix Ward to a zone, you can seriously disrupt your opponent’s plans to attack it.
Questing for the combination
The chances of drawing two or three Phoenix Wards early are relatively low, yet with increased card draw, the odds increase that you can protect your zone before your opponent mounts a lethal attack.
The new Quest, Planning for War (Realm of the Phoenix King, 40), helps provide your High Elves the card advantage you need to mount your defense. Not only does it play to your quest zone for free, but it lets you draw a card when you play it. Because your units assigned to Quests count their power to the quest zone, it’s an easy decision to send a unit to start Planning for War as soon as you put it into play. Then, as soon as you have a unit Planning for War, you gain the ability to return a unit from your discard pile to your hand each time you play a non-Attachment support card from your hand. This means each time you increase your defenses with a Spell like Phoenix Ward, play a Location like Straits of Lothern, or play a non-Attachment support card for any reason, you can pull one of your defeated defenders from the discard pile, then put it back into play on your next turn. This gives extra weight to units such as Silver Helm Detachment (Tooth and Claw, 67), Dragon Prince (Assault on Ulthuan, 9), and the Valorous Mage (The Eclipse of Hope, 89) which have powerful effects when they come into play, and can make valiant sacrifices as defenders afterward.
Meanwhile, you need to send a unit to the quest in order to start Planning for War, so why not send Caradryan (Assault on Ulthuan, 5)? While he’s in your quest zone, he can cut off your enemy’s resources, or he can accelerate your card draw. You can even discard a unit from the top three cards of your deck when you’re certain to draw a support card to trigger Planning for War.
After long years of war, the High Elves remain unbroken. Due to their powerful defenses and their keen planning, they stand tall even when they stand alone.
Look for the High Elves to renew their claim for the Old World with the upcoming release of Realm of the Phoenix King.