Leading the Realm of the Phoenix King to War
A Warhammer: Invasion The Card Game spotlight
More than any other race in Warhammer: Invasion The Card Game, the High Elves feature means of winning games by launching volley after volley of indirect damage at their opponents. While the fact that you don’t control where your opponent assigns indirect damage means that it’s not the most immediate and efficient means of burning your opponent’s zones, it can still wreak havoc as your opponent must decide between sacrificing units, taking damage to his zones, or spreading out the damage, leaving everything hanging to life by a thread, hoping your final volley won’t arrive before he has his chance to retaliate.
The High Elves prepare for war
With The Capital Cycle and Realm of the Phoenix King, the High Elves get another powerful tool to boost their volleys of indirect damage. The High Elves’ Capital Center, the Eataine War Room (Realm of the Phoenix King, 32), dictates the High Elves’ battle plan as soon as it hits the table: Level your enemy through volleys of indirect fire. Arrows will rip through the air to strike true. Dragons will drown their foes in fire. War hosts will advance to impale their foes upon the ends of their spears. And after four turns, the elves will rush forth from Eataine, through the battle lines their skirmishers have softened, and they will cleave to the heart of their opponent’s realm, striking like lightning.
Any player building a High Elf deck focused on indirect damage should look at a number of their other powerful cards that deal indirect damage. Most notably, the Outpost of Tiranoc (The Silent Forge, 47) adds a point of indirect damage each time you deal a point of indirect damage. With one or more copies of the Outpost of Tiranoc in play, a Spearhost of Asuryan (The Fourth Waystone, 86), which normally deals two indirect damage in addition to its two power, becomes a swift-striking and lethal squad, dealing up to five indirect damage with each attack. With an Outpost of Tiranoc in play, the Descendant of Indraugnir (The Silent Forge, 46) deals at least five indirect damage in addition to its four power. The Dragon is expensive at six cost, but it’s possible to bring it into play by your second turn, and its indirect damage can quickly pile up. Even without the Outpost of Tiranoc, the Descendant of Indraugnir deals eight damage per attack, four direct and four indirect. Because your opponent can redirect four of the damage, the Dragon’s power is almost hidden, but it deals enough total damage per attack to burn an unprotected zone.
An Attachment, the Moon Staff of Lileath (Bleeding Sun, 108) allows you to deal two indirect damage to your opponent each time you attack or defend, making it extremely versatile in a deck that defends its battlefield or in one that sends units to quest at Defend Tor Aendris (Assault on Ulthuan, 11), from which they can defend any zone.
While you risk your units anytime you attack a zone your opponent can defend, the High Elves have means of launching volleys of indirect damage without fear of repercussion. Each Elven Warship (March of the Damned, 14) fires two indirect damage at the start of your turn, and this damage can quickly put your opponent on his heels when it adds up over multiple turns or from multiple Warships and Outposts of Tiranoc.
The best laid plans
The Eataine War Room, then, offers High Elf players another tool in their indirect damage arsenal, but it suffers from the same vulnerabilities as the Elven Warship and Outpost of Tiranoc. These investments in your indirect damage strategy need to be protected, and if your opponent can destroy them through such means as Demolition! (Core Set, 23), Pillage (Core Set, 78), or the popular Empire tactic, Judgement of Verena (Core Set, 49), you will likely fail to build a critical mass of indirect damage in time to crush your opponent before he assembles a lethal strike force.
Accordingly, High Elf’s Disdain (Assault on Ulthuan, 21) should be an integral part of any High Elf deck focused on indirect fire. Saving resources for High Elf’s Disdain may slow down your early development, but the beauty of indirect damage is that when your opponent can’t prevent it, it marches you inexorably toward victory. Meanwhile, if you run multiple copies of From Beneath the Waves (March of the Damned, 15), you can spend your resources at the beginning of your turn to pump out more indirect damage before generating resources again immediately afterward in your kingdom phase.
With several or more of these cards working together, the Eataine War Room can serve as a devastating finisher. Dealing between ten and thirteen indirect damage (with three copies of Outpost of Tiranoc), the Eataine War Room won’t destroy your opponent on its own, but it can catch your foe bloodied and swiftly render him utterly defeated, destroyed, and burned.
Look for the Eataine War Room to fuel more High Elf indirect damage decks soon when Realm of the Phoenix King releases.
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