With PVE right on our doorstep and some finalized talent trees available for us to peruse, the FiveShards crew is here to give their initial impressions on our first tier of talents.
Keep in mind that no one without an NDA or a paycheck from HEX Entertainment has fully experienced PVE in this way before, so when we look back at this in a year there will almost certainly be some things we can point and laugh at ourselves for saying. Still, hopefully this can give you a guide for thinking about how to start spending your talent points as you explore the amazing deckbuilding and playing space we all will be going through.
Finally, the Warrior!
Fury – Free Talent – -4 Health, +1 Starting Charge
Wurtil: Is -4 Health worth a charge? Heck yeah it is, getting to activate your power a turn earlier is a big deal, especially once you start augmenting your charge power with more and more talents. Obviously there will be some encounters where the 4 health matters more (and you may want to wait to take this until you have a few riders on your Charge Power), but for the most part this is a positive trade to make. B+
Funktion: For starters, the warrior class seems to be all about punching things in the face and this talent lets you punch things in the face faster. A few less health? Meh, not worried. Just give me more free charges please!
Second Wind – 1 Talent Point – At the start of each game, if you mulliganed to 5 or lower this game, draw a card
Wurtil: I’m always down with more shard-screw mitigation! Especially once you start entering farming mode with some of these champions, what you really will be looking for isn’t more ways to increase your deck’s power but rather better ways to mitigate the few paths that remain for you to lose. Especially given how vulnerable the Warrior’s 6-card starting hand is to shard issues, having a mitigation feels important. B-
Funktion: A 6-card starting hand is brutal and if you have to mulligan even once then you’re in a bit of trouble. This helps mitigate being crushed by mulligans at least somewhat but keep in mind that you won’t know the card you get until after you’ve decided to keep your hand. I’d say it makes keepable mulligans better; meanwhile, the terrible ones are probably still terrible. With all that said, this talent is probably deceivingly good.
Warlord: Agility – 1 Talent Point – Your charge power costs 1 less to activate
Wurtil: Warriors thrive upon getting a quick advantage and then using Battle and some talents associated with it to slam the door shut. Agility won’t really shine until you start getting further synergies with your Charge power, but once that happens you’ll be happy to have it available to you. B-
Funktion: Maybe I am just a huge fan of Arena Regular (and its equipment that does 2 damage anytime you use a charge power) but this just seems like it is really solid. Pair it with Affinity: Warriors and you may very well be activating your charge power almost every single turn. This talent helps make the warrior an unstoppable juggernaut! Unlike the cleric or mage, the warrior is out there dishing out the hurt right alongside their troops.
Battle – Default Charge Power – 5 charges: Deal 2 damage to target champion or troop. If dealt to a troop, that troop deals damage equal to its ATK to you.
Wurtil: You can always go for the throat and deal to a champion, but until you get incentivized later down the tree to do so the best use of Battle is as easy removal. It won’t be relevant as that in every matchup, but it can swing harshly in your favor the encounters where it can kill something. A-
Funktion: From an aggressive standpoint I am totally in love with this charge power. I will say though that I am definitely not a fan of the orc racial making it cost one more charge. 6 charges to do 3 damage doesn’t seem nearly as good. Removing the enemy’s chump blockers seems great.
Warlord: Strength – 1 Talent Point – Your charge power deals an additional 1 damage
Wurtil: Really not in love with this one compared to other talents that impact Battle. It is hard to tell when 3 damage instead of 2 is going to really matter. I feel like I could be wrong and this opens up the Warrior to dealing with enough wider problems that it becomes important, but my default is that I’m only taking this if I need to use it as a node to go further down its tree. C-
Funktion: In most cases I think that I would rather make the charge power cost less than make it do more damage so this talent will be playing second fiddle to Agility for me. The orc version would be dealing 4 damage though which is pretty nice if the opposing champion has a low life total and you are just going to the dome early and often.
Affinity: Warriors – 1 Talent Point – Warriors in your deck get “When this enters play, gain a charge”
Wurtil: Now we’re talking, as we can create an insane number of charges if we fill our deck with Warriors. The real reason that is so good with Warrior is because you have other talents that skew you towards wanting to be aggressive anyway, so there is a big payoff to getting more and faster charges. B+
Funktion: My gut tells me that I will ALWAYS take this talent, but I also know that I probably shouldn’t be speaking in absolutes. It probably comes down to whether I am packing my deck full of warrior cards but I do feel like the incentive to do so is pretty high with this. Hopefully we see a couple really nice PVE reward cards that fit well here. Also as mentioned earlier, this makes Arena Regular crank out a ton of damage.
Weight – Free Talent – -50% chance of choosing to go first, +5 Health
Wurtil: Would I give up 5 Health in order to go first more often? To me, this is an extremely interesting trade space, even more than the charge power one. Since Warriors are often going to be built with aggressive decks in mind, going first gets a bit more value added to it—but by the same token it isn’t as if going second is necessarily a death knell for most warrior decks. Historical data from PVP has rarely shown an enormous gap between who goes first and who goes second, but there will certainly be encounters or situations where going first will be a bigger deal. I expect discussion from both sides of this talent going forward, so pay attention to how that goes. My initial gut feeling says that the Warrior’s low starting hand size lends it towards being fine going second anyway to get an additional card. C
Funktion: I think I will pass on this talent even though it is free. Extra health to reduce my chances of going first just is not that big of a deal to me. Right now I assume that if I am playing as warrior that I am also trying to be fairly aggressive and that first turn can be pretty important. Just to make sure we are on the same page this means that I now have a 25% chance to go first?
Berserking – 2 Talent Points – Increase all damage dealt to all champions by 1
Wurtil: Don’t bring this on your raid, but for solo PVE it is a good deal for a class that wants to be attacking early and often. This makes swarm tactics super viable (Shin’hare swarms might finally have found their home!), and supercharges things like Arena Regular and others who turn otherwise small pings into better damage. A
Funktion: So long as you are careful not to use this during encounters that repeatedly hit you for 1 damage I think you will be in good shape. On that exact same note however this makes everything you do hit that much harder. More often than not your opponent will be taking significantly more damage from this than you will. When I have spare points I will probably be taking this talent.
Rage – 2 Talent Points – When you are dealt or prevent damage, for each damage dealt or prevented you have a 10% chance of gaining a charge.
Wurtil: Warriors start with high health anyway, and can gain even more with talents. I see Rage much like Second Wind as primarily a mitigation talent for those times things aren’t going according to plan. Mostly that is because if you execute Warrior how most people will want to, you won’t be taking a lot of damage anyway unless the game has turned hard against you. Not a huge fan. C-
Funktion: The charge gain is pretty minimal but we did see the armor mechanic in the dwarf cleric reveal and it is pretty nice that this will synergize with that. Overall though I don’t think I’ll be spending my points often on this one.
Warlord: Parrying – 1 Talent Point – Prevent damage that would be dealt to you by opposing troops when you activate your battle power.
Wurtil: What are you stopping? 2, maybe 3 damage off your first activation? After that, likely the hope is that the game isn’t going much longer anyway, and with the high health of the Warrior that means you aren’t buying a whole lot here—especially when you combine it with Concussive Strikes who wants you to Battle champions instead. D+
Funktion: The best case scenario for this talent is where you are using your charge power on something like a Rampaging Tarasque or Zombie Vulture. Even when that isn’t that case you’re still going to be saving yourself a few life here and there over the course of the game. Perhaps the most important point of all though is that this will prevent on-damage triggers from happening when you battle an opposing troop. This talent feels more situationally useful than most others. So long as talent respecs are not too expensive you might toggle this one on and off as necessary.
Unlock: War Machine – 1 Talent Point – Unlocks 1 War Machine or 2 War Machines for 100 card decks. (War Machine is a 3-cost Artifact Troop with Must Attack, Rage 3, Crush and with ATK and DEF equal to the number of Warlord talents you have).
Wurtil: Not incredibly impressive with only first tier talents to select from. Only 4 Warlord talents, and while one is a must-have I’ve graded 2 poorly and 1 as mediocre. Likely you are at least taking this when you can make it a 2/2, but even then that troop is merely good instead of game-winning. Gets much better if you find ways to give it Speed, but otherwise I’m likely staying clear of this talent. C
Funktion: I’m with Wurtil on this one. It costs 3 resources to play, you need to draw it in order to play it, it must attack every turn and it probably does about the same thing most of your troops are doing. The other classes have a similar style of talent which is totally awesome; it is a shame that this one feels lacking to me. Considering that this is a talent that is supposed to synergize with your other warrior talents it feels like you should be able to unlock more static abilities on your War Machine for doing so. I really hope there is something that I am missing here, because the War Machine feels like it has quite a bit of potential that it isn’t living up to.
Warlord: Concussive Strikes – 1 Talent Point – When you battle a Champion, it becomes dazed until the start of your next turn
Wurtil: We’ve been told that dazed is somewhat equivalent to preventing the champion from having a ready phase. While it is likely that Raid Bosses and most Dungeon Bosses have some sort of immunity from this condition, being able to Daze your opponent in each encounter out of an aggressive deck is going to be the go-to plan for most Warriors. So good that after you figure out what you want your final talent tree to look like you’ll try to figure out how best to make a beeline for this talent. A+
Funktion: Based on what dazed sounds like it is doing this sounds pretty bonkers… potentially on the verge of being brokenly good even? Stop for a second and think of a situation where you are swinging with Scourgecrag Witch draining all of the opponent’s resources and then playing something big… like Charge Colossus. I remember at one point during the Kickstarter there was a ruby gem which was on par with this interaction but that it never saw the light of day. The more I think about it, this just seems too good to believe and makes War Machine look even worse by comparison.
Training: Combat – 1 Talent Point – At the start of each game, each troop in your deck has a 25% chance to become Trained (a troop that is Trained gets +1/+1).
Wurtil: While not specifically a benefit to the swarm aggro strategy, it greatly benefits it by giving you even more chances at getting a Trained troop. Filling your deck with one-drops for instance can mean that you get a better shot at having one in your opening hand and get a big advantage from. Affinity: Warriors, Training: Combat, and Warlord: Concussive Strikes seems like the way to start most Warrior builds. B+
Funktion: This seems like all upside and it only costs a single talent point. There are so many other talents that trigger off of having this one that it is hard to imagine many situations where you would not take this. Furthermore, it is enabled by Affinity: Warriors which to me is another must have.
Training: Deployment – 1 Talent Point – Trained troops also gain speed
Wurtil: 25% of your troops now have speed. While random, it also is fairly strong at giving you a big leap by providing buffed-up speedy troops. Combine with Berserking and you can see how even a deck full of Shin’hare Militia could be a powerhouse at bringing the beatdown. B
Funktion: While this is pretty solid, I do feel like you’re probably already including some troops in your deck that have speed and might not be getting the full benefit of this. However, when you start building with cards like Lord Alexander which are more reliable, but not always available, then this becomes somewhat of a backup plan which is pretty nice. With the potential to give any troop in your deck speed it does help you live the topdeck dream! This isn’t bad by any means but I don’t consider it a must have in the same way Training: Combat is. I will take this talent every so often.