Scouring the Storms for Fragments of Power
A Warhammer: Invasion spotlight by guest writer Torsten Krämer
A month ago I wrote a spotlight for Warhammer: Invasion The Card Game that offered a deck list focused on hand destruction. Now it’s already time to revisit the subject. But there’s a good reason for this! We will soon get our hands on a card with a potentially powerful hand destruction effect, one that might find its way into many decks: Swift-moving Storm (Fragments of Power, 34).
Taking them by storm
This Dark Elf tactic is quite costly at four resources and three loyalty, but it grants all of your units the Scout keyword until the end of the turn. This means your opponent will have to discard a random card from his hand for every one of your units that participates in combat and survives. Normally, only a handful of units in any deck possess the Scout ability, and even the Dark Elves, who excel at hand destruction, only count a single Scout among their number: Shades (Assault on Ulthuan, 25). Swift-moving Storm will do nothing for your Shades or Gutter Runners (Tooth and Claw, 56), since they already possess the Scout ability and Scout does not stack like Toughness or Counterstrike. But the Storm will turn all your other combatants into a much greater threat for your opponent. For example, Beastlord Rakarth (Signs in the Stars, 75) will make your opponent lose one card to his innate ability when he attacks, and another one to Scout when he survives combat.
While a Swift-moving Storm can cripple your opponent at any time in a match, it can be especially useful to help you land a devastating blow during one of your earliest turns. Paying four for the tactic may set back your own build-up, but if it leaves your opponent with an empty hand at a time while he might still be drawing just one card per turn, his loss should be much greater than yours. And nowadays the Dark Elves are able to muster quite a few cheap early attackers. Druchii units like The Ebonblades (City of Winter, 89), Dark Initiate (Assault on Ulthuan, 22), and even Walking Sacrifice (Assault on Ulthuan, 23) can allow you to launch a great number of attackers at an unprotected zone. You can even bolster their ranks with neutrals like Veteran Sellswords (Path of the Zealot, 38), and thanks to Swift-moving Storm, your opponent will lose a card for every one of your units that sees the end of combat.
It pays to remember that units do not need to deal damage to trigger their Scout ability, they just need to participate in combat and survive. This is also why popular damage cancellation effects like Master Rune of Valaya (Core Set, 25) and My Life for the Hold! (The Fourth Waystone, 82) won't protect your opponent from your Scouts. And let's not forget that Swift-moving Storm is a tactic you can play during any action window to surprise your opponent. Your opponent may choose not to declare defenders against your attack because he doesn't want a precious unit to die on defense. Then you can play Swift-moving Storm and make him regret his decision.
Headed into harsh winds
Scout usually is triggered by attacking units, but it also works when you're on defense. Normally, though, if your opponent recognizes your Scout units as potential defenders, he’ll take care to destroy them first to avoid the loss of cards, or he might simply choose to attack a different zone. But, again, the Swift-moving Storm can take your opponent by surprise. It can be played even after combat damage has been assigned. Maybe your opponent will assign all his combat damage to a single big unit in the defending zone in order to take it down, only to find that all the small ones he ignored now cost him a card each. Finally, you can even choose to play the tactic early purely as a defensive measure to make your opponent reconsider and choose not to declare any attackers if he can't take out all your defending units.
Now is the calm before the Storm, but, soon, you can see for yourself how the winds of change will blow with the release of Fragments of Power!
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