From newbies for newbies: Guide to the Flame DawnAS OF 30TH APRIL 2015 THIS GUIDE IS NO LONGER BEING UPDATED. FUTURE EXPANSIONS (OPPRESSION ONWARDS) WILL HAVE THEIR OWN GUIDES. PLEASE SEE "A STRANGE INDEX OF GUIDES" AS LINKED IN MY SIGNATURE. THANK YOU.
Hello all, and thank you for taking time to read this. Firstly, a disclaimer: I am not a veteran player, much less a pro at the game. I have no ranking to speak of and almost no experience playing TCGs. Having gotten that out of the way, I would like this guide to be judged on the information in it, and not about its author.
The IW community is one of the better ones around, yet there is an issue for new players with a multitude of cards available at their disposal. Many (including myself) feel or have felt overwhelmed especially in deck building simply due to the inexperience in picking out good and bad cards for the deck.
As such, this guide is written to help explain, faction by faction, some of the more notable cards in the game. The intended audience is specifically new and novice players. This is because some aspects of the game take time to get used to, and more experienced players might forget that newer players do not know these aspects by heart yet. The guide focuses on explaining cards keeping the faction in mind as either a pure deck or as the major part of a 2 faction deck.
Without further ado, I present: The Flame Dawn
2. Faction background
The Flame Dawn is the first faction in the tutorials, and is relatively simple to pick up and play right off the bat. It involves a strong offence, early attacks, and quick deployment for direct damage to a fortress.
User friendliness: 4/5. Simple mechanics with little to no activated character skills. Abilities are direct and straightforward.
Deck timing: Early. Capable of attacking straight from turn 1. However, most cards fall off late compared to other factions.
Focus: Offence. Many cards have high attack, but extremely low health compared to similar cost cards.
- Charge. Characters with charge go straight to attack zone, keeping in with the theme and purpose of the faction.
- Bounce. FD abilities mainly don't kill the opponent, but move them back to support or exhaust them.
The flame dawn can be summarised by an all out rush from the start, hoping to overwhelm the enemy before defences come on-line. It has ways to pressure your opponent whether they defend or not. Its abilities focus more on exhausting and returning opposing units to the support zone, instead of killing them outright. It is a very specialised faction, with a simple goal, easy to pick up, hard to master.
The weakness of the Flame Dawn is firstly in the high morale costs of the characters. This means, any death costs you much more compared to other factions. This is especially bad considering the flame dawn characters have some of the lowest health values of similar cost cards (there are some exceptions though). Beware of dragging the game out too long.
3. Notable Characters
Under this section, each card will get a little explanation on its suitability for different decks. I'll try to insert a little info for various styles. The main focus is on a pure flame dawn rush, with a few extra options thrown in for variety. Extra special cards are marked with an asterix (*)
a. Good all roundBromich, Field Commander
Of all the cards the Flame Dawn boasts, this one is one of the most impressive. He shines with the flame dawn's ability to put out attacking units quickly and cheaply, the damage increase becoming more effective the more units are out. This card is well worth a commander slot, and should be played as quickly as possible. If you play him, focus on quantity of units, not their quality for maximum effectiveness. Absolutely mandatory in a pure flame dawn rush deck.Protector of the Dawn
One of the beefier flame dawn characters, Protector of the Dawn is basically a guard for your guys. For those who don't know, untouchable makes all your characters untargetable by abilities. Beware, this does NOT mean they are invincible. They can still die to combat damage or to abilities that damage without targeting (area of effect like Mass Death
). A fantastic card for protecting high value characters like Bromich. Also good in most decks when you have stuff you want to protect from single target abilities, especially if you have something like an evolved agent coyle or some dragons.Sacullas, the Final Hammer
Like Bromich, this guy's effect gets better the more cards you have. Unlike Bromich, Sacullas doesn't care about defenders. This is because he does direct damage to an enemy fortress equal to 2x the characters you control. Great with cards like Call the Crusade that get lots of cheap units out fast. Also useful as a finishing move, as befits the name. He works best as an all round direct damage to the enemy fortress, and can be part of some amazing combos with token generators that can crank out lots of small and cheap attackers. Not necessary in command as he still does damage when played from your hand into the support zone.Kali, the Flaming Blade
, Kali, the Purifier
, and Kali, Ascended
Kali might seem a little underwhelming at first glance, having only 8 health (quite low for her costs) and only slightly above average attack. However, her greatest strength is in her immolate ability. Any character she attacks takes 5 damage at the end of each turn, similar to a burn effect. She can basically burn through almost all blockers and at the very least, trade 1 for 1. Kali the Purifier has an added bonus of removing any card she kills from the game. This works best against decks that want you to send stuff to the graveyard, like sleepers (zombie deck) or genesis (unending drones). Best for clearing the way for your other attackers, or can be buffed to be an attacking force all by herself. She is worth a slot in command just so she gets where she is needed quickly.Nix, the Justiciar of Dawn
Nix is truly an epic card in the best way possible, and it's all due to his effect. He's able to effectively stumble as many characters as you have resources to pay for, and is able to clear out attackers or defenders like no other. With 10/10 and charge, he isn't easy to spot, and insanely difficult to stop. The timing of the effect is also such that cards like Deflect won't help either, as the stumble resolves when he is deployed. He's a great card for a final push for victory, and should be exploited fully.Knight of the Flame Dawn
This card deserves a special mention for being perhaps the card with the best stats with 2 resource cost. With a beefy 7/7, he can attack or block well, and is a nice change from other squishier cards. He is even worth a commander slot if there is nothing else to fill it. A decent attacker and defender, he is, if not the best, at least not useless in virtually any deck.Paladin of the Flame Dawn
* and Calvary Paladin
Paladin is one of the most sought after cards, and with good reason. He cannot be killed by non-damage sources. This means, no assassinate, death ray, called shot or any other kill spell will work. Buff him enough and force your enemies into throwing bodies at him to try to stop him. Charge means he suits a rush deck quite well, and he is also good when buffed e.g. in a Genesis Industries deck. Now with the release of Order, you have two versions, and the new paladin gives Flame Dawn a little better midgame presence instead of having to rely on small characters.Noble Protector
Just what the Flame Dawn needed to deal with damage, Noble Protector nullifies all damage based abilities from your opponent towards whichever zone he's in. That makes him an invaluable defensive asset, as he is able to protect the command or support zone as well. Having multiple copies out on the field is rewarding too, as you can increase the coverage of the protection. It can protect from both AoE damage and targeted, which helps a lot since one of FD's major weaknesses is damage based nuking that their small characters cannot survive.Flame Dawn Commando
This card went from being weak to strong overnight, as a 4 damage blast to a character on the battlefield is usually as good as a Lightning Blast
, except it can't target command, and you get the stats of an aspirant to boot. Great for taking out Wealthy Noble
s, Brings Life by Passing
, Secluded Constructor
s, well, you get the idea.Emberstarter
This card is kind of like a smaller Agent Coyle, Firestarter in that he has slightly lower stats and only multistrike 2, but coming with only a 4 resource cost. Unlike the Firestarter, this card actually helps slightly better with early aggression, for the simple reason that he comes out much, much earlier. Like firestarter, he's actually very good with damage and health buffs, especially if you can get free hits on the fortress.
b. Good for rushingFlame Dawn Aspirant
1 cost, straight to the attack zone and you can have as many in your deck as you want. Aspirants are the bread and butter of most Flame Dawn rush decks, allowing pressure straight from turn 1. Bear in mind their high morale cost, as factions like DoD and Verore will kill you if you mindlessly throw aspirants at them. Even worse is their abysmal health, as a simple heat wave or winds of war will wipe them out. However, with stumble and exhaust to take care of defenders, even these can do some serious damage to a fortress, especially paired with cards like Bromich.Flame Dawn Fanatic
The Flame Dawn Aspirant's bigger brother, this guy does high damage at little risk, as he returns to your hand at the end of the turn. This means that, barring AoE abilities and blockers, this guy is nigh unkillable. Do be careful where you put him, though, as even an unending drone can kill him. Also great if your opponent plays calamity or tome of the dead, to hit him just after the board gets wiped.Harbinger of Light
This character comes with a free stumble thrown in, as well as a charge ability. Great for sending back defenders when you don't have exhaust or stumble handy. Although she has multiple uses, she works best in a rush deck to get rid of defenders and get an extra attacker in simultaneously. She also has nice stats for a charge character, and is worth considering even if you don't intend to run a rush deck.Reckless Zealot
Playing this card can really be a reckless move, especially with the free extra resource you give your opponent. This means faster blockers, faster Area of Effect nukes, and a faster counterattack from them. Being behind on resources due to cards like assassinate is bad enough, but to give your opponent one extra resource seems mostly suicidal to me. Mostly useful as a finishing move, when the extra resource given won't matter. 10 attack is nothing to sneeze at either.Torch Bearer
This card runs along the same lines as sacullas with emphasis on direct fortress damage, and it is a guaranteed hit. In any other deck I would opt for other cards, but in a rush deck this is quite strong. On turn 1, aspirants still get slightly better damage barring the opponent playing a blocker like jinhai militia, but ultimately the decision to include this in a deck falls to you.Flame Dawn Centurion
This guy, as well as most Flame Dawn cards in the ascension set, really emphasise the attacking in numbers style of the Flame Dawn. Similar to Eagle Eye
, the Centurion instead gains power for every character in the same zone. However, as your attacking forces die his power depletes fast, so perhaps placing him at the head of an attack may be best to take out a tough defender.Fleeting Footman
Fleeting footman was once one of the best blockers in the game, being able to hold of even unstoppable characters due to being able to retreat easily. However, since the change, he's pretty much only useful for attacking and testing the waters, as he will retreat from most surprise strong defenders. He is a relatively low risk probe to test your opponent's defense, but is a far cry from his former blocking prowess.Hilderic, the Fist of Dawn
Rounding out the list of rush characters we have the Titan of the Flame Dawn, Hilderic. He costs 17 resources, but has it reduced for every character that attacked the previous turn (reduced by 1 for every character). Now, getting many characters to attack and survive is no easy feat, especially with AOE abilities wiping your board, but you are rewarded with a +5/0 buff to all attackers, effectively a better Bromich with charge.
c. Good for other decks (non all-out rush)Agent Coyle, Firestarter
Although his starting stats are pretty bad (7/7 is the same as a knight of the flame dawn), this is still one of the most damaging cards this faction has to offer. Firstly, he has charge, which protects him from an enemy snipe before he comes out. Secondly, he attacks 3 times. To put this in perspective, any damage buff gets amplified x3 especially when attacking an enemy fort directly. E.g. Brutality
can allow coyle to damage a fortress for a whopping +24 extra damage, almost a quarter of the base health of 100. The evolution is nice too, but a little high on the cost. Although he has charge, he comes on-line a little late for a rush deck, but is still worth including in some decks.Ireul, Vanguard of Ruin
Aside from the usual charge, this guy has unstoppable, which means he keeps on attacking if he kills a character. The reason he is valued is that he can pull all the characters your opponent wants to keep safe out of the support zone and into the defense for him to decimate. This is especially effective if your opponent has many weak characters like Wealthy Noble
and Brings Life by Passing
for you to chew on. One of his better uses is to pull characters into the sights of big damagers like dragon of summer flame. Especially valuable if you have other strong unstoppable characters like Skraar's Young
.Dragon of Summer Flame
With the second highest cost of any flame dawn card, the Dragon of Summer Flame is built to wreck defences whether they have many blockers or not. Aside from unstoppable and flying, it has two immolates, one onto whoever it attacks and the other to the defence zone. In a nutshell, everyone in the defending zone takes 3 damage per turn (except whomever it attacks, taking 5) This is usually enough to melt the whole defence within a few turns. One of the more reliable combos with this card is to send it to the grave somehow and then awaken it, but this requires a sleeper commander.Herald of Dawn
Herald of dawn has moderate stats for a 1 resource card, but that's not why he is picked. Basically, use him to give charge to anyone you play on the next turn. This means ANYTHING, from a dragon of summer flame to a lowly wealthy noble. Use him to bring out anyone directly into battle. You can pull some surprising plays with this especially with stronger cards that you don't want to risk being assassinated before they can do their thing.Vicious Ransacker
Great attack, bad health. This nasty guy does a similar job to Iruel (mentioned above), but without dragging characters out of the support zone. Having 2 or more out can make your opponent very unhappy, especially if there are cards in the support zone that need to be protected like wealthy nobles. Works well with ferocity (see below under abilities), and if brimstone is in play, he applies immolate to ALL support zone characters, which is a huge debuff.Greedy Ransacker
I think this card is quite situational in that he's in a similar situation to Vicious Ransacker. Both have low health but decent attack, and both have an effect that works upon hitting the fortress. Card advantage is helpful, no doubt about it, but it's quite rare to be lacking options as FD if you tailor your deck right.Aerial Commando
Worth a mention as the only flying character that Flame Dawn has aside from the dragons. Without the proper blockers, this guy is pretty much free damage on the opposing fortress. Especially useful against Veroria, the Lone Keep
and getting around particularly nasty blockers.Infected Purifier
A 7/5 that turns into a 8/4 upon dying the first time, infected purifier has a decent use as a blocker, and in fighting decks that are very heavy on removal. His first form shouldn't be buffed that highly, though, as the additional stats aren't carried over into his second, undead form. This is one of only a handful of cards that actually changes animation due to an effect (other examples include Dropbear
and Rabid Rabbit
With two lives and multistrike, Duelist is a very tempting target for buffing, as well as able to dish out some serious damage if given an opportunity. She's a decent commander choice if building for pauper mode, and can work given some buffs e.g. through Strength in Numbers. Two lives protects against a lot of things, and stats are retained, but beware of direct stat debuffs which drop her max hp to zero, as this will burn both of her lives at once.
d. Situational/weak cardsAberion, the Hammer of Dawn
Aberion looks fine at first glance, especially to anyone reading the card text for the first time. I mean, he's freaking invincible when attacking! Great, except that there are many cards that can force him out of attack zone, and then he's not such a tough guy after all. Another downside to him is just the horrible stats on him. That's like an 8 cost for a genesis construct worth of damage and health, that can easily be blocked.Mark 1 'Brimstone' Battle Tank
I thought this card was good at first, but now think better of it. Reason being, 5 cost is huge for a flame dawn deck. It is easily the cost of 2 characters or more, and it does not help your assault at all. Perhaps viable as a supporting commander in another deck, but otherwise not that great, especially as the damage is pretty inefficient for it's cost. It definitely has its uses, but I wouldn't recommend it.Tithe Collector
Tithe collector can be trouble for an opponent if left alone, especially decks like warpath that want to get lots and lots of characters out quickly. However, he has appalling stats for a 4 cost card, and 10 morale cost to boot. Playing him is asking him to eat a firebolt ASAP, and 10 morale is a heavy hit considering Flame Dawn cards already suffer a lot due to high morale costs.Aberion's Apprentice
Like Aberion, I think his apprentice is lackluster, for the simple reason that his health is far, far too low. He requires you to make way for him with other cards, and is unable to stand his own against even tiny blockers. Another use for him would perhaps be to take out a blocker instantly with 8 damage, but as of now I don't think the card is worth it.