I see. That would have been my guess given the hour, except that I posted my response literally 1 minute after you posted your offer, and I thought it was unlikely that you posted the offer and then immediately logged out, so I figured you must be waiting for something. I guess that’s exactly what you did, though. In any case, GLHF, I’m delighted to be playing with you
Player 2 Turn 1
Sacrifice the Weak
Jandra, the Negator
Tech 0 card(s)
Get Paid - ($5)
Worker - ($4)
Pabst Blue Ribbon - ($2)
Orpal Gloor - ($0)
Discard 3, draw 5
[I]Squad Leader[/I]: PBR (2/1+A)
[I]Elite[/I]: Orpal lvl 1 (2/3, damage as -1/-1)
Base HP: 20
I’ve heard people saying the black starter is one of the strongest. I can see why-- there are a lot of strong cards in it (Deteriorate, Graveyard, Imp), but I’ve struggled with it a fair amount. I think, though I’m certainly not experienced enough yet to say so with confidence, that while it might be the strongest long-term, and can often help to dominate board states in the early game, thanks to its cheap removal, it’s more sensitive to draws than other starters. Not having any 2-hp units for less than 3 cost is pretty rough, particularly in cases like this. I also always seem to draw both my removal spells on P1T1, for instance. In any case, my point is, I don’t like my draw. I’d like to lead of with Vandy, but I see no way to do that safely. If I had either of my removal spells, I’d be much happier.
As I see it, I have 2 options. The first is to play Orpal in Elite behind either PBR or Javelineer. This won’t guarantee my hero’s safety, by any means, but it will punish him for killing it. Rook becomes a lot less scary with two -1/-1 runes on him. While I like the idea of floating a gold, I think PBR is the better blocker in this case, because it’s a threat that needs to be dealt with. Javelineer could be safely left alive, but PBR forces him to kill it or risk -1/-1 runes on his hero next turn. It also trades better against a sensei’s advice/grappling hook play.
The second option is to play Garth+Jav+Skeleton Token and patrol both skeletons, but not Garth. This is the only way I see to guarantee I still have a hero on turn 2 (though snapback means it might not be the same hero). I’d likely put the token in SQL, and the javelineer in scav. I’d go scav/tech in most cases against the same board, but I don’t like patroling in tech on turn 1 unless I played two cards. I don’t want to trigger a reshuffle before I get my first tech choices in.
Weighing these options against each other, they seem to shake out as follows: Option 1 gives me better board presence, the second gives (potentially) better economy, and greater security. The first gives me Orpal, the second gives me Garth. I tend to prefer board presence over economy, particularly since I’m P2, so already have an economic advantage and a board disadvantage, and the former will stop mattering if I let the latter get too large. Comparing the heroes, Garth provides better answers to Rook (Nether Drain, Doom Grasp), whereas Orpal has good ones as well (Spreading Plague, Carrion Curse to take out Bird’s Nest), and is a bigger combat threat, but lacks the chump blockers and draw potential Garth provides.
A third option that just occured to me would be to play Imp+Javelineer and patrol in tech. This provides cover for Vandy to come out next turn if he leaves them alive, and if he doesn’t, I recoup the card loss, and Vandy + removal is likely safe. In fact, since I’m a mono deck, my tech 1/hero’s hall (I haven’t decided which I want yet) is cheaper, which really opens up my options. I could go midband Vandy + tech 1 next turn, or if I patrol in scav and he kills it, I could even Midband Vandy + Heroes’ Hall. I also have deteriorate and pestering haunt in my pocket, which give me good options for playing a card down even as I spend all my gold on Vandy. This may be my most aggressive option. Vandy is certainly the scariest of my heroes, but her spells, while amazing, are the weakest at countering the Rook/Birds’ Nest play. Shadow blade can slow down his draws, but it can’t hurt rook if he doesn’t patrol. Dark Pact speeds up my draws, but doesn’t improve my board state on its own. This seems like a strong option, but it’s one that focuses on developing my own threats, rather than preparing to counter his, which is a bit risky as P2, though Vandy is certainly capable of it. Also, a big part of early Vandy play is the threat of Metamorphosis, and Snapback goes a long way toward neutralizing that threat.
Hmm… three options, all with pros and cons, and all interesting. The more I think about it, the more I think that Imp + Javelineer into Vandy is probably the right play. However, I’ve been playing a lot with Vandy and Garth lately, and I’m interested in a change of pace, so I’ll go with the Orpal play and see where that gets me. No clue on my tech choices yet, though plague spitter seems likely as a way to at least delay Birds’ Nest shenanigans while I figure out a way to get rid of Rook. My other tech choice will depend on what happens here. Man, soul stone on Plague Spitter seems nasty, almost enough to make me reconsider the Vandy play, but not quite. I just want to try Orpal, if I’m being honest, so that’s what I’m going to do.