Okay, admit it. When you got your first starter pack, what cards drew your eyes? Babes, Snow Daughters and the Nymphs. (And, truth be told, I went through three starters and a half-dozen boosters before I got a Babes card. I only knew it existing from the rule book illustration!). Sure, there are a couple more cards, if you can get them, but these were the first.
Now that you're done looking at them, what do you do with them? Strike that! I don't really want to know. I meant how do you use them in a deck. The answer: nothing fancy.
There are only three Nymphs and one supporting card:
Wild Nymph, a Small channel receiver with a bonus in Woods.
Wood Nymph, a Medium creature with a bonus in Woods.
Water Nymph, a Medium creature with a bonus in Rivers & Lakes and a Gold bribery icon.
Additionally, the Woodland Troll gets a bonus for each Nymph in play.
It's also the only reason to use the Water Nymph in a Nymph deck.
(As for the aforementioned Snow Daughters, they're Spirits. I'm not sure why -- they could just as easily have been Nymphs, which are female Greco-Roman dieties that represent parts of nature. Snow Daughters could represent either the mountains, the snow or both. And consider the graphical representations of the Wood Nymph vs the Wood Spirit!)
The obvious route to go is to take the Nymphs and use a Woods/anti-ranged attack deck. Iron Crag Bugglers help with this (and they're low Vitality). So do Haba Naba Kaba and Smoke Spirits. Sprinkle in some extra Woods creatures.
Suggestions for other creatures:
Blackthwaite Jumpers - Vitality 1, +1 in Woods. That's a 100% bonus. And they're immune to all AOEs.
Wood Spirits - Vitality 6, +4 in Woods. That's a 75% bonus.
Hair-de-hobbins - Vitality 6, +3 in Woods. That's a 50% bonus. Incidentally, Hair-de-hobbins is a Medium Fairy (which is one of the answers to a mini-quiz in a previous critique) so it doesn't turn up in too many Fairy decks, which are usually keyed to Small creatures. Here's a chance to use it.
There are other Woods creatures, but most of them are high Vitality with little bonus. They do have their uses (Fire Elementals have a 4 point fire AOE and fly, which are nothing to sneeze at, but the 2-point bump to its normal 14 is not the best in the game for a terrain-based deck.)
Barnacle Bazluee is useful to give a little bump to your Water Nymphs, so they can get some kind of bonus.
Other Classes to use Nymphs with:
Trolls -- see Critter critique #6, and notes above.
Gnomes -- Why Gnomes? Why not? It saves me from writing another critique. < g >
Seriously, though. There are 3 Gnomes. One gets a Woods bonus. One can channel to your Wild Nypmhs (only a point, but it's something). And the final one gives bonuses to small creatures (your Wild Nymphs and Fairies, except for Hair-de-hobbins).
Fairies -- I've already mentioned a few of them, so add in Winterseed's Maiden and Mistress for channeling support. Be careful: add in too many Fairies and you may not want to pull the Nymphs from your deck. (Obviously, Fairies are formidable by themselves. They don't need help.)
Knights -- No reason. Knights are boring, strong guys, so they might want to get together with the ladies. Leave the Archers home. I love Knights, I like Nymphs, seems as good a combo as Kngiht & Angels.
Summary: Pleasant to look at, but lacking in numbers or a unifying strategy. This was allieved a little by the addition of Trolls to the game, but still a disappointment given the game's roots as more of a roleplaying card game. Trolls & Nymphs could use help from an extra border color, and all terrain-based decks are stuck in defensive mode. Try them out, see if they work for you.
C. J. Burke
Keeper of the Flame
Beautia, Queen of the Flowers: External, Vitality 9, OCB 2,
Medium, Nymph, CMP 0, red bar.
While Beautia is in play, all your Nymphs are +3 Vitality.
Only one Queen per Shield.
(If anyone has a better name for the Floral Queen, I'm open to suggestions. It's the first one that came to mind.)
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