Welcome back adventurers!
The previous article went over the importance of discovery tokens. Well, with the importance of discovery tokens and a few tactical means for using them out of the way, time can now be taken to go over our first character.
This article will focus on the warlock, Sandrai Darkshine. Sandrai is a difficult character for new players to use effectively. All of her spells serve a purpose, but none of them serve the same purpose. Using this warlock requires patience and a keen eye from her player.
Players need to look at playing this character with two different opponent types in mind. The first opponent is afraid of taking risks and likes to win by avoiding danger. You can easily scare this opponent by placing discovery tokens on important spaces. The second opponent is a risk seeker and is not afraid of death. This type of opponent will go for a space no matter how many tokens are on it. Knowing your opponent’s play style is going to determine how you should play Sandrai. The first opponent can be directed, and you can do much to disrupt their play style with careful placement of discovery tokens. The second play style is easier to do damage to, as they will move onto your discoveries and spring the nasty traps you have lain for them. These characters are also ideal targets for your curses, to further the effect of the discovery tokens.
Speaking of discovery tokens, take the Bomb and Curse discovery tokens for instance. Both are already nasty traps to spring, and they are only a couple of the nasty things potentially placed on the board. Now imagine how scary spaces with discovery tokens are to a player with one of the many warlock ability cards attached to them. A player may think that a Curse of Recklessness, which grants a bonus to attack value but a penalty to defense, is actually helpful. They won’t be thinking this way after a Bomb goes off taking away 2 of their health, because now they no longer have health to spare and with a low defense the chances are high that they will be shortly making a trip to the closest city. This is especially effective as an encounter only provides a reward if the attacker stays alive. For the Curse token, how about adding another curse to them such as the Curse of Agony? The Curse token already is subtracting from their health and now there is another curse that can potentially deal two damage at the end of their next turn.
Featured above are the Bomb discovery as well as the forthcoming Black Lotus and Goblin Landmine
Darkshine is all about controlling the game. In the above example, look at what the opponent’s choices are. They can waste a turn to get rid of ONE of the attachments IF they are on an empty Large Health Potion resource, or they can simpy take the damage. If a player is playing the warlock correctly then Large Health Potion spaces become very attractive to opponents. Placing the Green discovery tokens on Large Health Potion spaces can often scare opponents and delay their ability to get rid of curses. Remember, a player does not get to use a resource if a discovery token is on that space, so even the helpful discoveries can be used to prevent characters from healing.
The other feature that makes Sandrai slightly more difficult to play is the fact that as a warlock she does not have access to a large number of directly offensive abilities. Shadow Bolt, Death Coil, and Corruption are her options for dealing damage directly. The best target for Corruption is another player, especially if you are Green Level. The upgrade allows Corruption to be attached to a player, where it will deal 1 damage at the end of that player's turn.This leaves Shadow Bolt and Death Coil. Death Coil is great at the beginning of the game and when you need health. Shadow Bolt is best for the beginning stages of the game, as it is a fairly strong and inexpensive ranged attack, and for getting rid of Aggro encounters in the later stages of the game, as as Red level if you miss your target you may discard the encounter entirely. Patience plays a big part of the attack strategy, when to use the weapon replacement cards versus when to make a weapon attack.
Lucky for Sandrai, she has multiple cards to help her when it comes to avoiding damage while biding her time. She has many abilities that add to her defensive play style or reduce damage taken, such as Consume Shadows, Demon Armor, Fear, Health Funnel, Master Summoner, and Sacrifice. All of these abilities cost two or less energy to play, and all of them either heal or increase her defense. As for Sandrai’s Voidwalker, use it to take damage for Sandrai in combat involving another character or in order to keep her alive during Level-up encounters.
Sandrai has a very strong defensive strategy, and can use this to draw other players to her. Once she has them close, she can make a number of curse based attacks to slow them down, giving her the lead. She can use Summon Felsteed to gain additional movement, and if played when Red level, up to three spaces of additional movement! Summoning Ritual is another way for Sandrai to disrupt opponent's strategems, as it is used to bring a character to her space from up to four spaces away.
The following is an excellent strategy, but by no means the only one available for Sandrai.
When selecting your starting city, follow the character that you think will be the early leader, such as Grumbaz (warrior), Brandon (paladin), or Artumnis (druid). These characters are very fast to gain levels and complete quests, so you will want to be near them to attach your curses.
On your opening turn head immediately towards one of the Level-up spaces. As Sandrai depends on discovery tokens, make sure to move to spaces that give you the option of placing a discovery token when given the choice. Many of these are found on the way to leveling up.â€¨â€¨Once you level up, go after the green encounters, as they provide improved rewards. Three green items are ideal, once you have obtained them head to a Yellow Level-up encounter, attacking any characters on your path for their items. As you do excel at sniping at characters, don't be afraid to attack other characters if you can take them out with a Curse. Every character you take out is another item for your arsenal. If you die do not fret, as it saves you time traveling to a city space to use the much needed Merchant resource. Use the Merchant resource for multiple turns until you feel happy with a good weapon and armor. As you focused on placing a number of Discovery tokens on your way to level up, your opponents should have a fair amount of work ahead of them.â€¨â€¨Sandrai takes damage for a purpose. A player should not waste turns landing on ability drawing resource spaces when they have the Life Tap ability. Not only does this allow her to draw more Ability cards, it deals her damage bringing her closer to defeat which in turn means a quick Merchant resource. Remember, as a warlock Sandrai rejoices in death, so disregard health potions. Overall Sandrai is a character that takes some skill to use effectively. Her abilities can create some excellent combinations, and she can disrupt near every character on the board with her Curses. Sandrai is a force to be reckoned with, both PvP and in the race for victory points.