This week's battle challenge theme is the Goblin Shaman. Not a bad card, but as a non-combatant, he's a bit boring to showcase on his own. So for an added challenge, we'll be adding a second card to the mix: Fire Elemental. Let's find out what this dynamic duo is capable of!
Normally I'd show off these cards in their full max level glory, but since both are available in the starter set, we're going to focus exclusively on level 1 this week. Let's check out what these cards can do straight out of the box!
First we have the Goblin Shaman, a 3 mana Fire monster with 2 speed and 4 health. With no attacks, the Goblin Shaman's only real utility lies in its Weaken ability, which reduces the health of all enemy monsters by 1. This can be quite useful in low mana matches, where enemy monsters are likely to already have low health. Goblin Shaman can bring them down even lower so that they can be killed in a single hit, giving your team a huge advantage.
Now let's meet his partner.
The Fire Elemental is a 5 mana card. With 2 ranged attack and 4 speed, it packs quite a punch, but it's 2 health also makes it very vulnerable. However the Fire Elemental also has the Blast ability, allowing it to damage monsters adjacent to its target. This is what gives it an advantage over Spark Pixies, a similar card that is even faster and costs less mana. Due to Blast, Fire Elemental can target the enemy tank but still deal damage to the enemy behind it, hopefully killing off a valuable asset.
The combo potential should be obvious. We lead with Pyre to make our Fire Elemental even faster. Goblin Shaman lowers the health of the opposing team, hopefully setting the monster in the second position to one health. Then the Fire Elemental takes an early turn, hits the enemy tank, and also kills off the monster behind it. Rinse and repeat.
Easy, right? But can we make it work in practice? Let's find out!
Our first attempt was a bit of a weird one. Based on past battles, I suspected that my opponent would use a magic-based team, so I filled out our trio with a Venari Heatsmith up front to tank and a Fire Beetle to snipe. At 17 mana, those felt like my best options, but I wasn't very happy about only having 2 damage sources on my team.
My opponent did bring magic as expected, and it allowed me to pull off the combo perfectly! Wood Nymph in position 2 was lowered to 1 health, and our Fire Elemental killed her with Blast damage on the first turn. The other enemies then killed off our elemental, but our Fire Beetle was able to easily dispatch the rest of their team.
Amazing victory, but I felt the enemy's team comp was a bit weird. Could we repeat our success?
This time I had a little more mana to work with, so I was able to bring a stronger team. I used Cerberus as my tank and also included Spark Pixies for extra ranged damage. Kobold Miner filled out the team for a little Sneak damage.
My opponent came with an anti-magic team, leading with Unicorn Mustang and Failed Summoner, and backing them up with a few ranged monsters. Unfortunately, they also brought Lyanna, who canceled out the effect of my Shaman. We had the speed and firepower to quickly chew through their team, but unfortunately the Shaman/Elemental combo was unable to do their thing.
Let's try again.
This time we had an Equalizer battle, which was going to raise the health of enemy monsters and make it tough for our combo. But it was still worth a try. I brought Cerberus again, whose healing pairs well with Equalizer, and used the remaining 3 mana on Serpentine Spy, whose 2 damage and Opportunity would hopefully get the enemy low enough to kill with Blast.
My opponent brought Unicorn Mustang again, setting all monsters to 10 health. Not the best start, but they didn't support it with a very impressive back line. It was an easy win for us, but our combo had no chance of working. Since the enemies all started with equal health and we always did the most damage to the front monster, we never had the opportunity to kill off anyone else early.
One more try then.
We had 18 mana again, so I used the exact same team as before. But this time there was no Equalizer, so we had a much better chance.
Our opponent brought a very strong team, leading with Living Lava, and also bringing Kobold Miner, Serpentine Spy, and Fire Beetle. At a glance, I would say that they had a clear advantage over us. However, our combo saved the day! Shaman lowered the Miner to 1 health, allowing our Elemental to kill it off immediately, just like we wanted. Pyre allowed our Spy to go before theirs and kill it off. Fire Beetle was no threat, as it could only hit our Shaman. However, the Living Lava was still scary. It had enough damage to kill off our Cerberus quickly and take out everyone else in one hit each, all while taking reduced damage from our attacks. Luckily we had just enough time to finish it off before it would have killed our Shaman and left Elemental on the front line, unable to attack.
Our team really worked like clockwork this time. What a perfect example of the Goblin Shaman/Fire Elemental combo's power!
It was a lot of fun showcasing the synergy between these two cards, but don't get too carried away. Most of their power relies on facing low health monsters, so they become much less reliable in high-mana battles. However, if you do have low mana or are fighting in the lower leagues with limited cards, Goblin Shaman and Fire Elemental can often turn the tide of battle in your favor. Give it a try for yourself!
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