Some folks find it fun to play “control” decks in other games that aim to keep the opponent from basically playing the game (and therefore keep them from having fun).
I don’t understand this desire at all, but I do think the the options in Codex that get close to this (limiting how the opponent plays the game) don’t go all the way to keeping the opponent from playing, and certainly (and remarkably) don’t make the games any less fun!
Side note: I think a lot of this is done by
a) having an asynchronous game with no counterspells (Codex was not originally this way, and I’m so happy it got there; counterspells are never fun for the one being countered) and
b) making a lot of control options buildings (often low-HP buildings), and therefore attackable with units/heroes. Awesome!
The following is meant to be a list of ways each spec can function as a “control” spec. I’m limiting my definition of “control” to mean “using means other than attacking/patrolling to directly limit the opponent’s ability to play what they want or use the cards they’ve played.”
I’m not including Wrecking Ball and similar building damage cards because it can’t disable a Tech building on its own, and therefore doesn’t directly undo an opponent’s play or prevent an opponent from playing what they want.
I’m also not including Tech III, because those should just win you the game, even if Lawbringer Gryphon and Octavian attempt to do so in a control-y style.
I am including direct removal, including direct damage even if the card in question is sometimes used as a combat trick (allowing something to be finished off) instead of direct removal.
But I’m not including direct damage and other abilities that involves exhausting or sacrificing units/heroes (effectively similar to attacking), because I think people don’t think of “haste” or “burn that means my unit can’t attack or patrol” when they think of “control.” I realize this is arbitrary.
First draft: Please update, add, comment, etc.!
- Granfalloon Flagbearer - Limits your opponent’s ability to target what he wants with abilities/spells.
- The Boot - Directly removes a unit
- Final Smash - Directly removes up to three units by killing, bouncing, and stealing
- Hired Stomper - Directly removes a units play with direct damage
- Discord - Directly removes (potentially) several units, as long as they have 1 HP each
- Appel Stomp - Directly undoes the opponent’s patrolling choices through sidelining
- Bloodburn - Not very control-y, but can become direct removal of a 1-HP unit every turn with direct damage
- Scorch - Directly removes a weak unit in the patrol zone, using direct damage
- Pillage - Reduces the amount of gold the opponent has to work with on their next turn
- Detonate - Reduces the amount of workers the opponent has to work with for the rest of the game or directly removes a building card
- Maximum Anarchy - Directly removes all units and heroes; analagous to “Wrath of God” from MtG
- Gunpoint Taxman - Potentially reduces the amount of gold the opponent has to work with on their next turn
- Marauder - Reduces the amount of workers the opponent has to work with for the rest of the game
- Kidnapping - Potentially undoes an opponent’s patrol choice and/or “removes” up to two of the opponent’s units/heroes by allowing favorable combat that does not involve your own units
- Bloodlust - Directly removes up to two of the opponent’s units/heroes, as long as they each have 1 HP, using direct damage
- Ogre Recruiter - Prevents the opponent from using one of their units by stealing it
- Fire Dart - Directly removes a unit with direct damage
- Ember Sparks - Directly removes a unit or hero in the patrol zone, or several weak patrollers, using direct damage
- Flame Arrow - Directly removes a unit or hero with direct damage
- Burning Volley - Directly removes a unit or hero, or destroys a building, or removes several weak units, using direct damage
- Bamstamper Lizzo - Directly removes a unit with direct damage
- Molting Firebird - Directly removes (potentially) several units/heroes, as long as they have 1 HP each, using direct damage
- Firehouse - Directly removes (potentially) several weak units/heroes, using direct damage
- Moment’s Peace - Prevents the opponent’s units from attacking you next turn (pre-emptive limited “Fog”)
- Nature Reclaims - Directly removes an upgrade, ongoing spell, or building card
- Tiny Basilisk - I’m breaking my own definition in including this here, because Deathtouch warps combat dramatically, often essentially preventing the opponent from attacking at all; because it kills without regard for HP, attacking with it often functions more like control removal than traditional attacks
- Faerie Dragon - Can effectively remove a unit from the patrol zone by making it flying (cannot defend against ground units), and can remove a damaged unit with damage on it by replacing its HP with 1 HP
- Potent Basilisk - Directly removes an upgrade or ongoing spell; Deathtouch is also somewhat “control-y” as explained above for Tiny Basilisk; untargetable limits opponent’s options for answering it
- Calamandra Moss - Midband makes it much more expensive to use spells abilities against your units
- Polymorph: Squirrel - Effectively removes a unit for your turn and your opponent’s next turn by turning it into a very weak unit