I wanted to set up bird’s nest early, but there wasn’t a point at which I could bring out Rook early. Turn 1 he’s vulnerable to Rampant Growth even in SQL, and he’s vulnerable to Forest Favor + Rampant Growth if I throw the wisp up as cover. So I only could have done that and not run the risk of throwing if I’d gone Cub in SQL or Elite, w/ Rook behind. That might have worked out, but the one thing I did NOT want to do was give Midori free levels, so I erred on the side of avoiding a hero. Obviously it didn’t work out, but it felt like my best chances each step of the way. Really needed the Birds Nest + Ancient combo on turn 4
FF + RG is a bad trade for him, and he’d be passing on his Tech 1. Plus he’d be wide open to either FF or RG on your side with the panda.