Hi @Legion - GLHF! This is my first time against PPA, so it should be an experience, one way or the other!
Tech 0 card(s)
Get Paid - ($4)
Worker - ($3)
Mad Man - ($2)
Calamandra - ($0)
Discard 3, draw 5
- [I]Squad Leader[/I]: Calamandra lvl 1 (2/3+1A)
- [I]Scavenger[/I]: Mad Man (1/1)
- Base HP: 20
- Hand: 5
- Deck: 0
- Disc: 3
- Gold: 0
- Workers: 5
What a strange opening hand. Normally you want one of Bloodrange Ogre or Nautical Dog in your opening hand with the red starter, or failing that at least a Bombaster. But no such luck, all are in my second hand. I only have 2 units, both of them relatively weak but with haste. I feel out of my comfort zone already, and that’s before I even think that this is my first game against the feared Past/Peace/Anarchy deck.
So what options do I have? I could spend all 3 of my gold (after playing a worker) on Bloodburn. He has no haste other than Nullcraft, so there’s no huge danger to this play - and it could be useful later for killing off Nullcraft. But that’s probably its only use - 1 damage per turn is not going to do much, and for 3 gold, as player one, with a deck that really needs to take the initiative early, it seems silly. There, that’s my worker decided.
The overall plan for this game has to be to hit him hard and fast through the early and midgame, so that he doesn’t have time to build up the full Peace Machine. I have no counters to buildings other than destroying them in combat, so I have to rush tech 2 and rely on my powerful Tech 2 units and heroes - with good Tech 1 units to keep me safe through that part of the game. I’ll definitely include a Huntress in my first tech, in order to combat Nullcraft.
Back to this turn: having ruled out and workered Bloodburn, I see two realistic choices - hero plus Mad Man, or Makeshift Rambaster to hit his base for 3. You don’t often get the chance to do the latter, so I’m quite tempted. Then what next turn? He’ll probably play Fading Argonaut or Plexus, together with possibly a hero, and/or Nullcraft. Rambaster isn’t good at breaking through that, and I have no haste in my next hand. Next turn I’d have to play worker+hero+ogre to build board, thus delaying Tech 1 till turn 3 - which might be OK, although I’d be relying on shuffle luck a little.
What of the other option? He not only has Nullcraft, but also Zane (I got way behind early on, perhaps fatally, in my round 2 game by somehow forgetting all about Zane), so there is no point putting MM in squad leader. So MM will go in Scavenger, with the hero in Squad Leader. I think I prefer this option, as I will have enough cash next turn to play Ogre (or Dog), build Tech 1, and perhaps even level up the hero.
Yes, that’s what I’ll do - the purple starter is solid but slow (apart from Nullcraft), and given my strong Tech 1s and strong heroes I think the best way to exploit that is to go for Tech 1 and heroes straight away. For that reason, I’m going to choose Calamandra as my opening hero, because Ferocity is great when I’ve got a reasonable board, which I expect to have early on, and her midband will be good protection against all the annoying bounce effects he has (Forgotten Fighter, Undo, later Prynn’s maxband). I do have to be wary of Origin story, and not overinvest in heroes - but that is even more reason to choose Calamandra, because her low-level stats are stronger, she costs less to level up, and I think Ferocity will be better than Bloodlust early on in this matchup (and I might even get use out of Behind the Ferns). So that’s decided - and unless something changes my mind, my first techs will be Ferocity and Huntress. There, I shouldn’t need to put any “thoughts” post at all next turn!