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Advice on white vs blue spectral aven opening

I asked this question in discord and there was a bit of discussion but we didn’t really get to any conclusions, so I thought i’d try again here.

the situation is (me) white p1 vs (sirhandsome) blue p2. i open rook and sensei, blue plays aven and floats 2. what should i do on turn 2? i have only fox primus and flagbearer in hand for units. what to tech, what to play, how to patrol?

or is rook just a bad first hero when playing against blue?

link to discussion in discord
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Seems to me like the best option would be worker and Tech I, then play Fox Primus and patrol it in Lookout or Scavenger (and don’t patrol anything else).

If they have Aven just attack anything it dies to anti-air (and if they trade it with Primus you’re still pretty happy to only spend 1g more than them to get rid of a constant source of damage, or the same amount if you chose Scavenger), Manufactured Truth isn’t really useful because the extra ATK won’t make a difference unless they can already get Primus out of the way, and Arrest costing 2g and a card (or 3g if you chose Lookout) to only temporarily disable it isn’t great for them since the Aven still can’t safely kill it and you can get some use out of it later unless they spend even more resources to kill it.

You would probably also want to tech a copy of Bird’s Nest, since that can keep Aven busy pretty well.

patrolling with fox primus at any point in the early game is a bad idea because when it gets arrested you lose a ton of value.

the opening i settled on is just to leave sensei in scavenger and summon fox primus in the backline.

I’m not sure I agree, if you put it in Lookout they have to spend the exact same resources (3g and one card) to only temporarily remove it from play while not advancing their own board at all. Playing anything more from hand that turn will put them down on cards, too.

Regardless though, Bird’s Nest is probably your best actual answer to it, especially if you can build a Tower.


I generally ignore the possibility of Arrest until turn 4 or so. Spending 2 gold & a card in the early game to, at best, kill a Hero with a favorable attack usually ends up not being worth it when the Arrested unit comes back on turn 4-5 to make a key block / finish off a hero.

Mid to late game Arrests are crushing because it eventually becomes “2g: eliminate a unit for the rest of the (relevant) game”


I agree with the consensus here that unless Oni’s already on the board, Arrest isn’t a massive threat in the early turns (and even then, it’s a rough trade for the Blue player to use it).

I think Tower + Bird’s nest tech is a fine answer, as is Primus Scav / Lookout. If they do go for Arrest, you have yourself setup to potentially maxband Rook on the next turn via a midband walkabout to kill the hero Arresting Primus, so I’d honestly probably go Scav.

From there it shouldn’t be too rough to deal with

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how it played out in the original game- i thoughtlessly patrolled primus in sql. blue floated 2, so they started with 8 gold and spent it on quince + newsman + arrest + worker + tech 1. aven kills sensei, newsman blocks 0 cost spells. newsman goes in sql, illusion goes in technician. this would be impossible if i played primus in lookout. but since primus was in sql, i was left in a very bad situation.

on my turn, i had just rook and a disabled primus. couldn’t kill anything except newsman (after midbanding), and on their next turn the mirror can guaranteed copy primus for big damage.

What’d you tech? Sure the Mirror can copy Primus but that costs 4g (or MTruth for a gold and a card, but still…) That isn’t the scariest thing if you drawing into your Tech1s or Birds, Rook can take a punch in SQL and Quince isn’t a threatening combat body

@Omniraptor you want to play a quick 3 game series where we fix the Turn 1 start as you proposed here, and I play out the white side? Might help the theorycrafting here to see it in motion

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