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Setsuki Hiruki Opening

Hey all, new here.
I’ve been playing Codex for a while now and have recently come across an opening that’s been giving me some trouble. It goes as follows:
As first player, open with:
T1: Setsuki plus worker
T2: Max Setsuki, attack, worker (teching 2x her ultimate spell)

This demands an immediate answer from player 2 else the game spirals out of control before it’s even begun from her Upkeep: Draw 2 ability. The answers I’ve found are
a) Snapback
b) Rampant Growth
c) Captain Zane
d) T1 Feral/Demonology/Peace hero, plus a unit to patrol (don’t patrol hero, to play around Grappling Hook) or plus 2 levels for Feral/Demonology (to guarantee survival)

Notably, her tier 1 ability stops Garus Rook from being a good enough T1, since the cost to play him, max him and make 2 workers is 2+7+1+1=11, which doesn’t leave enough to pay for Setsuki’s band 1 ability.
Any advice on how to deal with this opening in general? It seems like many specs can’t deal with this at all, and for those relying on Snapback or Rampant Growth, what can you do as player 2 if you draw these on T1?

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Welcome to the forums!

Could you elaborate on turn 2 a bit? Setsuki only has 3 attack at maxband, even with Swift Strike that allows you to block her with a fast-levelling midband combat hero, without considering other issues. For example, Green can just go

  1. Worker, midband Calamandra
  2. Maxband and kill, worker + 2 gold to do whatever

Half of the factions have a hero that can do this: Calamandra, Grave, and Vandy.
If they also put down Aged Sensei on Turn 1, though, that could be a problem… however, they’ll have spent a lot of gold on a hero with little health and not much else, so you might just be able to economically win out by putting up a tower and some cheap blockers. The tower would help with Fox’s Den Students, too.

Sure. The main threat is Grapping Hook; with it she can kill anything but a 4 health unit/hero patrolling. Playing any set of units/heros that don’t meet the 4hp threshold leaves her able to kill one for free - usually making you unable to finish her off.
These heros are good options, I haven’t explored much with openings that don’t use at least one card from hand on turn 1.
Aged Sensei isn’t so scary, since to max on turn 2 along with workers doesn’t leave 1g spare, which gives you another turn before +2 cards happens. The problem with the tower is her swift strike - she finishes off any patrollers after the Fox Den Students get them down to 3 and then the tower hasn’t helped much at all. Equally, without enough patrollers she can just take down the tower herself.
What can you do as mono purple, for example? All the openings seem to leave you helpless against Grappling Hook.

Well, true, but that means they’ve spent 4 gold on Students to help take down that patroller, maybe another one with the remaining Students. That’s a lot of gold so early in the game, which the extra card draw doesn’t help with, and they’ve already skipped getting Tech I on Turn 2. Plus, the tower still hits her for one, so she’s already at 3 health and can’t be levelled again to heal.

I think you’d have time to get something more powerful out before she gets out of control. For Purple, that could be setting up Prynn to come in and immediately cast Origin Story, which is the go-to spell to deal with max-level heroes, while they take tower damage knocking down the cheap Fading Argonaut, or take unreprised damage from Nullcraft. Or take damage knocking down Mox, because it’s indestructible and gets to return damage to attackers with Swift Strike.

These are just my initial thoughts, I haven’t played against Setsuki much. I’m sure the more experienced players here can go into more detail.

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If she gets up, the +2 cards per turn feels absolutely unbeatable, she can just chuck out all the cheap units too fast to contest. The problem with an answer like Origin Story is that it just comes too late - even teched on T2, you’ll only have it about half of the time on T3, and even then they’ve 2 cards up already. Filling the board with blockers feels just as bad, since they don’t stand up to the swift strike.
Thanks for your input, I feel like I have lots to learn about potential openings like this.

If you want, we could test this on the forums via play-by-post. I’d be willing to take either side of the matchup, and if you use white I’ll take whatever color you want.

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That sounds good, I should have some time at some point this weekend. I’ll need to figure out how play-by-forum works too.

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I’d definitely be willing to help you with that! The first match or two would be especially relaxed while you get used to things.

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