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Okay, so while I'm waiting on my set 8 boxes to come in, I've been reading up on how the game works, and deck building tutorials and basics and such, and I'm hoping to eventually get a few local friends of mine in on building decks and just doing some casual games together.

What I kind of want to try is build a deck that will either use Tharja (specifically Dark Knight from Series 8) as my main character.  I know that I'll definitely need a bunch of support cards, but...past that I'm really not sure what card abilities work really well with her abilities, or what cards would help to make her viable as an MC.  Specifically, I feel like I want to try and do something that will play off of or exploit the "Spiteful Flame" ability: "Select a card from your opponent's hand and reveal it. If the revealed card has a deployment cost of 3 or less, send that card to your opponent's Retreat Area."

Offhand, can anyone think of cards that would synergize well with this or...ways of going about building a deck that might allow me to make use of this card?  I figure like in general this means that I can more or less force out cards onto the field, reduce my opponent's hand, pick off weaker units with more powerful ones, but...I really don't know how to make that happen or how to go from there.  Ideally, suggestions from Series 8 or cards from Series 8 would be great, but I'm definitely willing to invest or look into other series if there's something that would work well.

Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?  Any help would be hugely appreciated!

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I'm going to be honest with you on this version of Tharja. This card is very much in the camp of being a supporting character. And in my opinion, I feel like her set-1 4(3) is a much more viable main character.

 

Her Place From A Design Perspective:  From the cost of 3(2), IS usually sets these cards a little bit above the 1-cost characters with situational abilities that support the functions or abilities of other 4(3) cards. This reflects in both their effects and attack power.

Her Attack Value: With her attack at a base of 50 and without any self-increasing potential, you will be very hard-pressed to keep her from losing combat against even some 1-cost characters. The biggest margin for this is that the 4(3) lords usually have a base attack of 70 which is the benchmark of an average classed up main character. Winning on attacking with her, in a system where attackers win ties, relies on you needing to get a +30 while your opponent needs to get a +10. (You can't really hope that your opponent is going to draw a dupe for their support most of the time.) I bring this up because her abilities don't require her to exhaust herself to use them.

Her Abilities: From playing in other card games before, this card's abilities are actually quite difficult to get off. "Spiteful Flame", where you randomly choose a card and reveal, is only really a tempo play that can be used early in the game, and that's if you've drawn lucky into your opening hand, or mulligan'd for it. And even then, it's a random chance. It's difficult to perform with little payoff, as it's only a tempo play that's hinged on 2 luck-based factors. If your opponent knows that you'll be going for this effect, they could also mulligan aggressively for a higher cost hand, bond low-cost characters or play them out faster. The downside is you'll be losing a face-up card in bond and whiffing loses you out on any tempo and creates a loss for you that's much easier to counterplay than achieve.

"Jealousy", where you get to draw when they activate a skill, is also another effect that's difficult to work as it's relying on what your opponent is doing. Sure, you could get lucky on when they pull a mage support that has them draw and discard a card, netting you one card in advantage. But that's hoping your opponent's deck has them to begin with. Or if your opponents have draw effect abilities on their cards, they could even choose not to draw, denying the chance for you to get more cards. This gives them the potential to control your abilities.

These kinds of effects where you have cards that hinge off your opponents exist in another archetype, the thieves. 

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Take this Gaius for example. You could use his effect after you're done attacking to know what your opponent will be drawing next. And using Tharja's Spiteful Flame to reveal that card and discard it next turn if your opponent doesn't play it. This kind of knowledge can be beneficial but the issue is that it doesn't affect the board state or card advantage.

 

Truth be told, I wish there was more cards like this 3(2) Tharja that could be printed and be used as a strong meta play in order to counter what your opponent is doing with having this knowledge, but this game hasn't the infrastructure currently to allow her to be a viable card. In all of the cards, I don't believe I've seen a more give-your-opponent-options card before. These kinds of cards are inherently poor in other games as well, unless the information can be used to affect the board state or card advantage.

 

 

Edited by Myst

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Hi Myst, thanks very much for the response!  The frankness is hugely appreciated and yeah, given the relatively low attack from what I'd gathered from other tutorials and such I figured she wouldn't be great as an MC.  I'm definitely going to consider shifting the concept of whatever deck I run around slightly, but knowing that there's some synergy with Thief class cards helps too.

I've seen a couple deck concepts that work the Series 1 Tharja in really well, so I'll definitely look at possibly switching over to that as an MC as well.  Thanks again!

EDIT:

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It occurs to me that this particular Gaius might not be a bad replacement MC or supplementary card because of the ability:

Door of the Treasury - At the start of your turn, you can pay the cost. If you do, reveal the top card of the opponent's deck, and add 1 card from your Retreat to your hand with a lower cost than the revealed card.

Depending on the cards in the other deck I could see that lining up well with 3/2 Tharja, and could give me some effective card recovery options.  Plus would definitely help me keep more cards in my hand than my opponent if there are cards that hinge on that.

Edited by redshirtontherock

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Alright! It's time for...

~Scarlet Flame's Burnination!~

The first step in creating a Main Character for a deck is to consider what they can do. Generally, this refers to the three criteria, and if they fulfill at least 2 out of the 3:

  • Can they attain 100 Attack, a generally agreed-upon benchmark of combat, after supports, during either turn? 
  • Do they have strong skills that can be used well?
  • Can they provide strong board presence?

Sure, Gaius can reveal the next support AND let you heal yourself, but let's get serious, how many heavy cards is the opponent going to run? (Not a whole lot.) While he gains 10 ATK when you use Door of the Treasury (and more, if you use other effects), he's still 60 ATK, and vulnerable to high-cost mages and the MC, along with having 10 SUP, which further harms his usefulness as a supporting character.

Tharja does nothing by herself, as you will likely require a fair amount of setup or luck to pull off Spiteful Flame, has 50 ATK, and gets a very situational draw. Very... eh.

Let's look at Guardian of Hope, Sothe, however. Sure, he's got a Cost of 5 and 10 Support, but since he's indestructible as a Main Character, you don't need to worry about either of those, as Sothe being supported by himself would still be a support fail. (Cost 5 also means that you can always deploy Lady of Dawn, Micaiah, for free draws.)

 His skills are "Bane", which allows you to, once per turn, flip 2 Bonds to destroy a unit your opponent deploys (but not Class Change or Level Up), and "Green Shadow of Protection", which allows you to use the "Thief mill" (reveal top card of opponent's deck, and choose to send it to the Retreat or not) whenever Sothe destroys a unit by his own effect, or by battle. While Bane is an ungodly hell of a cost, Maiden of Destiny, Deirdre's "Taboo-Surpassing Love" alleviates this cost, and even allows you to build up a buffer, should she die in unfortunate manners. In addition, Sothe's neutralization of Deirdre's threats allow him to keep other characters in the Rear Guard safe, like Micaiah, Brigid, Leanne and Erin. While weak to aggro, Sothe excels against control and stall, often slowing them to his own enormously glacial pace, as they fear his slaughter from the shadows.

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Thanks for some of the suggestions on this!  And for some of the pointers relating to MC selection, that definitely helps point me in a few good new directions.  I've started looking over these and over a few cards from the new set and I hoping I'll be able to pull something a little more effective off now.

EDIT: Not as an MC but I'm definitely looking at Patty as an option for support as well.  The ability is risky and very conditional but looks like it could pack a lot of punch under the right circumstances.

Edited by redshirtontherock

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