My second deck build of an alliances summoner: Hogar of the Tundra Guild. This was a very tough article due to a mediocre summoner in combination with a large variety of great units. In terms of general play-style I’d recommend playing him aggressive against most other factions. In this guide I’ll go into detail on what his ideal deck build looks like and how to play that build. As he is an alliances summoner you can also put in Tundra Orcs and Guild Dwarves units in his deck. I’ll include those but for now I won’t include Mercenaries. Summoner Wars is a game by Plaid Hat Games. It’s available on android / iOS / Vassal.
Hogar is clearly designed to be used aggressively. The first wall and unit setup, the champions, the commons and the events that give you advantages by drawing cards, the Ice Golem’s to have walls in enemy territory and finally the Rune’s themselves that can be used to strengthen your existing units. I think an aggressive strategy is the best one to win against most factions as Hogar lacks strong economic tools to out last opponents (without Etch at least). His only real options to winning an economic war is by making better trade’s (like Moyra; this is a possibility as he has a lot of high attack value units) and / or having the opponent pay to remove runes (which is really not that expensive). For your opponent this means he can often win by surviving the first big push in a decent state. And Hogar doesn’t really have many tools to do movement tricks / remove or move away enemy units, so once your opponent stabilizes it can become impossible to win / finish him off.
All in all I’d rate Hogar as mid tier power wise. His ability and his Rune events are not as powerful as many other summoner (mostly since you can only reuse one rune once). He can still definitely pack a big punch, especially with some of the excellent Guild Dwarves and Tundra Orc commons and champions, but because he can’t win economically as easy and he only has limited assassination options his strategy and tactics are easier to deal with then some of the stronger factions.
Basic tactic and combo suggestions:
– Vognar, Scribe’s and Zuggdin have interesting synergy because you can use Scribe’s to put a Built and / or Rune unit on top of the draw pile so that you can guarantee their ability triggering (even both in the same turn with three scribe’s and the right draw (that one is extremely situational though)).
– Take into account that your opponent can discard your rune cards in their event phase. This means you should play (aggressive) runes especially when you are about to make use of them or if they don’t have the magic to remove it (and rune’s on Ice Golems can get countered if your opponent has two magic). Also, you can try to bait out them discarding your runes to gain a magic advantage. Which is probably only worth it for the bad rune’s as it’s only a 1 magic swing (they spent 2 magic, you spent 1 magic you could have built instead).
– Figure out which runes are most effective with which champions (I’ve put up some suggestions per rune). Especially the two attack runes are best used on a champion and the best target for the Master Rune is generally one of those. Because of the Master Rune and because you only get three champions, don’t be too afraid to use some Runes on a common.
-Both Ice Golem’s and Avalanche can produce Ice wall’s. These can be combo’d with champions or commons that affect (ice) walls. An example would be using Avalanche, then healing the resulting Ice wall with Hailstorm or Architects.
I generally don’t like heavily specialized decks as I want my decks to be flexible about how you use them depending on what you draw first. Secondly, as I said before I feel an aggressive deck is the way to go for Hogar, so ideally champions and commons that are affordable and can be used aggressively. Affordable here is even more important as there are a lot of good commons to summon and you can’t easily kill a lot of your own units / you have very few ways to get free magic (so basically you’ll only get what you kill / build). Thirdly I can’t rely too much on Rune synergy as they are too easily removed / don’t give enough of an advantage to consistently win the game. Finally, while commons can be great to be boosted, there are too many anti-common events / ways to kill them to only go common heavy, so there has to be the option of going champion heavy. Note: I’ll definitely take Rune synergy into heavy consideration, I just won’t base the complete build around it.
As my goal is to be aggressive I first looked at which champions have the most synergy with the rune’s and are still affordable enough to get out pretty early / consistently. One important consideration here is how likely they are to be killed in one turn as that will influence heavily whether or not an opponent will bother removing runes from them. This ended in a short list: Baldar, Blagog, Ragnor, Raldag, Krung, Gror, Grungor and Thorkur. In the end I decided on Ragnor (5), Baldar (4) and Blagog (6). Ragnor for his extreme flexibility; he’s a good champion that can deal with multiple commons and can make great use of multiple runes. Baldar because of his cheap cost and great anti-champion ability. And Blagog to assassinate / also deal with big champions. I really want to use Raldag (or Tordok) but using the strongest runes on commons is a bit too situational due to anti-common events; but still I’ll probably try that eventually as well.
I actually seriously considered most champions; here’s their evaluation (roughly in order of preference):
– Baldar (Rune of Power and incredible value at 4 magic, Rune of Shielding is useless on him though)
– Blagog (Rune of Power is great value on him and at 6 magic he does a lot of damage for his cost)
– Ragnor (Rune of Power and Rune of Heroism, extremely flexible unit against both commons and champions, not too expensive)
– Thorkur (Rune of Power and three ranged dice are pretty useful for assassination).
– Gror (Incredible with Rune of Heroism and his AOE attack, he can be hard to use with other units though. Rune of Power is also pretty good)
– Grok (Somewhat interesting as he also works with normal walls and can easily get 2 or 3 AV ranged because of that)
– Tordok / Ulfric (A bit more interesting due to being able to use rune’s on strong commons, but still not worth it; Tordok is the most interesting one)
– Rukar (Rune of Heroism is great, but Rune of Power is useless; in Hogar I think he’s slightly worse than Blagog)
– Krung (Rune of Power and Rune of Heroism, very strong, but too expensive for an aggressive deck)
– Grungor / Ugg (Rune of Power and at 6 magic not that expensive for 4 AV)
– Dwaf (Only interesting in a specialized deck focused on wall destruction as he’s not good enough otherwise )
– Krom (Too situational because he requires more specialized setups then Grok and only works with ice walls)
– Bragg (Only interesting in a specialized deck focused on Ice Walls as his ability doesn’t give you enough of a benefit otherwise)
For commons the biggest rune synergy is high AV commons as those can use both the Shielding, Power and Heroism rune effectively and ideally don’t die instantly. High health commons can also be interesting as the Shielding, Shackling (Ice Golem) and Power runes can keep them alive / make them stronger. Common wise Ice Golem’s are my first pick. Mostly because of their ability to become summoning points (and get protected by Hogar’s ability / healed by Hailstorm) when one of the weaker runes is used on them.
Secondly I want a common that can pack a really big punch and can potentially be a recipient of one of the stronger Rune’s. I mostly considered Smashers, Berserkers and Crushers and ended up including primarily Berserkers. Smashers don’t work well with the Shielding Rune and Crushers don’t benefit much from the Power rune. Thirdly I want a situational common that has the reach to really help with assassination (and can throw two dice). For this I considered Marauders (2 health, 2 magic + rune), Shamans (1 magic, 2 health) and Shooters (1 magic, 1 health with 2 AV if next to an ice wall). In the end I ended up including Shooters as these will either be built or used to throw a lot of dice at a target and if I’m using them to throw a lot of dice I can probably get them next to a wall for one turn (Marauders being pretty expensive (4 magic)) and Shaman’s too unreliable without Raldag. Finally some Defenders to potentially lock down annoying units and deal with 1 health commons. Note: I need to test whether this build lacks ranged punch.
The other commons I seriously considered, but didn’t include (yet):
– Architect: This is one of the commons I might try eventually; I didn’t include them to be as aggressive as possible.
– Thwarter: Interesting to frustrate high damage champions. I didn’t include them because this is an aggressive deck.
– Fighter: I’d rather have a two magic mêlée unit or a one magic ranged unit; these don’t really fit well.
– Scribe: I don’t think adding more adds much to this deck.
– Guardsman: Possibly in combination with Raldag / Tordok; otherwise no.
– Spearman: Probably pretty good with a Rune of Shielding.
Other deck builds
This is the first time I really feel the need to discuss some of the alternative deck builds that are possible and why I didn’t go for those / don’t consider them as good in general:
1) Aggressive, Built units focus: Use Zuggdin and include Ice Golems, Assault Towers and Scribe’s and probably Architects. The idea here is to get Zuggdin out as early as possible and keep getting lots of free units in enemy territory. I don’t like this build as much due to it’s reliance on one champion (and Assault Towers not being as good here as in Bolvi).
2) Defensive, Ice fortress: Use Ice Golems / Shooters / Grok / Krom / Bragg / Avalanche / Ice Fortress to stay back and destroy the enemy from a distance. In its pure form this is not that good in my opinion as you will get out turtled (unless you include Etch, which might increase it’s viability).
3) Aggressive, wall destroying: Use Dwaf / Architects / Engineers / Ballista / Hail Storm. In its pure form I feel it’s too hard to quickly wall destroy consistently and this deck build is not flexible enough. Also the Tundra Guild lack the mobility to make this work consistently.
4) Aggressive, Raldag + commons: Use Raldag and include Ice Golems, Shamans and Crushers to maximize his effectiveness. I don’t think building the deck around Raldag is worth it (as it’s too dependent on one champion). I really want to try including Raldag in the main deck though as Raldag + Rune’s can be incredible. Tordok could also be interesting.
Playing the faction
The starting setup is extremely aggressive. Still, unless you can get a few easy kills it’s probably best to go second as you can’t summon off your Ice Golem’s without Rune’s under them. Another reason to go first can be to safe your Marauder. Ideally your starting hand will contain a Rune of Shackling or Shielding to use on one of the Ice Golem’s to make it a summoning spot. It’s best to build magic pretty quickly as you want to be aggressive. I’d probably kill the Scribe pretty early, unless you don’t need the magic yet and can get draws from it. Don’t be too afraid to use the two powerful rune’s on the Marauder or even the Ice Golem if your hand is clogged (building one of your champions is not a bad idea either). Moving Hogar forward is also a good idea as he starts way back.
The basic idea to win is to quickly summon a strong common or champion off of the Ice Golem / your starting wall. Towards the mid game that means you can either go immediately for the enemy summoner due to a good draw / good dice / enough magic or you need to first deal with his units / walls. In that last case you can use your Berserkers / Shooters / champions to quickly take out walls & champions while your Defenders / Ice Golems / Shooters give protection / block off summoning spots. Key at this point is identifying whether you want to take a risk and throw lots of dice at a high priority target or whether you have enough of an advantage to slowly take down his defences. Hailstorm, Shielding Avalanche and the Rune of Nullification can be very useful here to keep up the pressure. Your champions (and some of your commons) don’t have the most health, so try to protect them from their sides. I’d recommend always trying to use the Master Rune, being able to reuse a Heroism or Power rune is very useful.
If towards the end game your opponent survived by sacrificing walls / dispelling your rune’s / giving up a champion to Avalanche, then you can still be in a great position as you applied enough pressure to gain a sufficient economic advantage. If not, then you are probably screwed. Baldar can tip the scale to your advantage; but other than that, there are no real tools in the end game to outshine most opponents. The rune’s are useful yes, but because they are so easily dispelled you can’t count on them. I’d recommend saving your Heroism / Power Rune’s for champions, but if you can for instance only summon two, it’s perfectly fine to use it earlier on a common.
Match up analysis
I might do a faction by faction analysis eventually, but I’ll start this off with a few general observations. Factions that have an innate economic advantage and that (can) survive your initial onslaught are very hard to deal with. Factions with strong anti common abilities are also particularly devastating. Finally anti-wall events. Yeah, there are a lot of bad match-up’s.
Summoner specific cards
[table id=37 /]
Tundra Orc generic cards
[table id=38 /]
Tundra Orcs generic cards
[table id=22 /]
Guild Dwarves generic cards
[table id=24 /]
– All Tundra Guild cards (especially strategy section and comments are useful)