Thursday, July 31, 2008

Creature Class Critique #6: Trolls

Similar in nature to the previous Ogres are today's Trolls. (Depending on your fantasy source, Trolls are either big, fierce and nasty creatures or they're just
repulsive little goblins.) Actually, in Guardians terms Ogres and Trolls have little in common. Ogres are Mortals, Trolls are Externals. Ogres works together and have many common themes. Trolls are just . . . there.

There are five Trolls (four from Dagger Isle, one from Drifters Nexus): Greated Horned, Grotto, Lowland, Valley and Woodland. Their vitalities are low, ranging from 3 to 8. Four are bribable (one
Gold, two Babes and one Beer), none have terrain bonuses (though one gives bonuses in Rivers & Lakes). Two are command cards. All have special abilities, but no two are the same or even similar in nature. There's nothing to build on as a creature class.

Individually, they can aid different types of decks. But the best that I could do with pairing them is as follows: imagine a shield containing a Grotto Troll, Lowland Troll, Woodland Troll and either 2 Water Nymphsor 1 Water Nymph and 2 Wild Nymphs, all sitting on Rivers & Lakes.

With this mystical shield, your Grotto Troll, which is only a Vitality 3 command card, something that I approve of greatly, gives all of your creatures +2. If your attacking, your Lowland is 8+3+2=13. Your Water Nymphs are 7 +3 (for R&L) +2 (from Grotto) = 12. Your Wild Nymphs are 4 + 2 = 6 (or 10 with channeling). Finally, your Woodland is 4 + 2 (from Grotto) + 4 + 4 = 14 or 18 for the third Nymph. That's 55 points of primary attacking Vitality, without channeling!

But, as always, "dream" shields are few and far between.

Troll/Nymph decks are possible, and they would be great if there was a Woods/River & Lakes combo location terrain. (They might even move onto "Phenomenal" in that case, actually, because the bonuses start adding up). But since that Water Forest doesn't exist, you're better
off with creatures with River & Lakes bonuses and hoping for the Water Nymph/Woodland Troll combo to pop up, or go with Woods and Woodland Trolls and take the other Nymphs.

Summary: Trolls don't work well as a deck themselves, but they can support other creatures, particularly Nymphs.

C. J. Burke
Keeper of the Flame

For Whom the Bell Trolls, Spell, Up 8.
Play on any Troll in current match-up. That Troll and its opponent become unchallenged Creatures in melee.

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