Saturday, August 2, 2008

Creature Class Critique #8: The Disciples of Entropy

(Feel fre to elaborate or debate any part of this....)

Hot on the heals of yesterday's little cabal comes another one, found in the MidRealms near the Drifters Nexus: the Disciples of Entropy. The Disciples consist of a loosely knit group of nine Elementals, mostly with low Vitality, but some have stacking penalities. Three can fly, five can receive channeling. One has an AOE and none are command cards. And all of them are illustrated by Keith Parkinson (and very nicely, too). Most are rare.

All are bribable by either Beer or Gold. And by their very entropic nature, they're addicted to randomness.

Randomness usually isn't a good thing when planning strategies, but you can use their randomness to some advantage. So grab your dice and come along. (Note: DON'T forget to bring dice along!)

Four of the Beer guys work together well -- and, in fact, none of these guys work well by themselves. Mu Kir'Agavati, 2nd Disciple is the only one that's useful alone -- he's a 4 that can receive channeling. He also allows rerolls of dice. That's an ability you'll need a lot of in a Disciple deck.

Next is the Initiate of Entropy, who is a 2 that stacks as a 5 but gets a bonus of 1d6 to vitality in primary attacks. That put you, on average, .5 ahead of the curve. The problem is that you don't get the bonus as a secondary attacker and channeling is limited to 2 points, regardless of the roll of the die. This is why the ability to reroll a low number is important, if only to offset the disadvantages.

Garuda Khan, 1st Disciple is a little better. His stacking penalty is only two points higher, so as long as you have one other Disciple of Entropy out, you'll likely be ahead of the game. And again, you can reroll. But if you have no other Disciples, he's a little useless.

Finally, there is Demorgan the Inciter. He's a 6/11 Vitality, with a bonus of 2d6, but only when he's a primary attacker. He can't receive channeling, but he can fly. He can score anywhere from 8 to 18. Keep an Initiate nearby.

The last Beer drinker is Mendu Sada, the Havoc, who has a 0-5 point fear AOE, determined by die roll, of course.

The four Gold bribable are sort of independent contractors, each with their own purposes. Orella of the Mist is a random destroyer of creatures by border color (you can't plan ahead). Shin Chios (3rd) allows you some flexibility, but it will cost you an extra card. Shin lets you pull another card out of your hand as an Unchallenged card in combat and Shin gains their ability. (This is nice if you have a Merchant and a Super Model in your hand, or a similar combo.) Vikia Tso'Shan'Lu(I call her "Vicky") lets you pull cards from your opponent's combat hand, but she only makes an attempt if she wins (but she takes channeling, so that helps). Finally, there's Xaz, Thief of Twilight, who can steal a text box.

Note: when you steal a text box, you steal it word for word. If you steal "All creatures are immune to Pink Flamingoes", it doesn't become "All creatures are immune to Xax, Thief of Twilight" allowing the Flamignoes to squash her like a bug. Most Guardians cards, however, don't contain "subjects" in their sentences (e.g., "+2 in Swamps", "immune to fire", etc), so these cards would apply to Xax instead.


There are two major cards that you have to watch out for with this deck, one Mortal and one External. Can you guess them?

The External is less likely to show up, but causes much more havoc with this deck: Karnis the Transcender reduces all die rolls to 1. That affects all creatures, except maybe Orella (who would only be able to destroy Elementals). The second one comes right out of the Limited Edition: Major Party Animal. You have a bunch of alcoholics in this deck and the MPA would knock them out of your hand. With you Initiates out of play, you wouldn't be able to reroll on the others.

Cards You Need:

Iron Crag Bagglers: not only to defeat the Major Party Animal, but also for AOE command cards -- your Initiates are easily toasted.

Fiends: Mad and Greedy to protect from Beer and Gold Bribery.

Phil, the Bar Fly: As long as you have the Beer drinkers . . .

The Amazing Cider-Man: As long as you have the Beer drinkers . . .

Energy Wells: It takes 7 points under your stronghold, but it will allow 3 points of channeling to Elementals, which is a nice ratio, almost as good as the Grand Avatar's 6 for 12.

Amulets of Flying: You have three flying creatures (more if you add other creatures), but you need those Initiates and they can't fly. So make them fly.

Shroud of Grahzue: Karnis the Transcender isn't bribable any other way.

Summary: Disciples of Entropy know how to party. And they know how to shoot dice -- by cheating. The more they hang out together, the tougher they can be. Though they mostly get there abilities as primaries and though their bonuses go away for secondary attackers, a handful of these guys lead by Garuda Khan can take down any Guardian without the need for channeling.

Dave Gentzler defended the Disciples when this listing was first published. Dave maintains that, properly played, the Disciples are the most powerful class in the game. As part of the brains behind the game, I wouldn't go against him.

C. J. Burke
Keeper of the Flame

Alodu'Su Tha'Xuiw'Yi: Elemental, Vitality 2/6, OCB 0, Med, Beer, Gold, Disciple of Entropy, CMP 0, Green bar.
When Alodu Tha'Xuiw'Yi wins a primary matchup, roll 1d6. On on 4+, opponent's primary match-up creature is destroyed if opponent cannot pronounce the name of this card.

(Note: this one was a JOKE. Someone originally thought I was serious about making a card like this.)

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