In Codex, having a board full of aggressive units is like having map control in an RTS. The more map control you have, the more breathing room you have to expand to new bases for more resources, or advance through the tech tree to get to more powerful units. And so there are parallels in Codex; the more units you have on board, the easier it is for you to tech up.
The trade off in both games is that units cost resources. In RTS games, you’re spending time (construction time) and material resources (Minerals, Gas, Wood, Gold, Food etc.), and in Codex, you’re spending gold and cards.
All of this is not new, of course. So what is? My suggested build order/theory for controlling the opponent with Law, aggressively. (Credits to @Hobusu for the awesome template).
This suggested build order comes with heaps of caveats, because Codex is so complicated.
Most importantly, this assumes that you’re player 1 and have managed to rustle up some combination of units and heroes that leads to an aggressive opener vs your opponent’s starter and hero lineup.
This usually means either:
- Onimaru + 1-gold friend
- Spectral Aven, float the gold
All parts of this suggested build are subject to context though:
Turn 1: Spectral Hounds are great, but if you think that your opponent can target illusions without spending a card, you might reconsider. The key criteria is that they traded cards with you (such as Wither/Bloom). If they’re using abilities to deal with Hound, probably tech something like Brave Knight + Overeager Cadet instead. It’s not ideal, because Hound is so efficient on gold, but it’s better than being unable to contest for map control. Also, you might not normally Tech duplicates, but Spectral Hound is so good at what it does that I want the best chance of drawing at least 1.
Turn 2: This turn depends on the first Tech choice. If you’ve gone for double Hound and the coast is clear, this followup is usually quite good. Brave Knight is expensive, but as a one-of, he’s perfect for bolstering your hand size in the midgame (which can be depleted very quickly because you’re spending cards to further your map control and safely tech up behind that). If you couldn’t double Hound last Tech, consider Overeaget Cadet instead of the Brave Knight here. That way you have 2 Overeager Cadets, 1 Brave Knight, and an Injunction. Or Elite Training/Boot Camp instead of Cadet, as context demands.
Turn 3: This turn is where this build starts to become increasingly context sensitive. Commonly, you’ll have gotten to T2, have a strong board presence and are looking to boost that. Insurance Agents are very good if your opponent has chosen to use units to stop you (Injunction/Arrest should let you shift around patrols just enough that Insurance Agent will cash in on something very expensive of theirs). Insurance Agent + Injunction is reasonable if they have a lot of units that are cheap but beefy (Eg. Past/Demonology). If they’ve gone more hero-centric to stop your ghost dogs and Onimaru, some combination of Free Speech, Boot Camp, Elite Training and 1x Justice Juggernaut might be good.
Turn 4: This is where you really refine your strategy. Judgment Day is great to clean up all those Injunction’d units that are waking up. Arresting Constable is perfect if you need even more disables (Give it “haste” with Quince’s mid- and maxband", Censorship Council stops 2 card combos (Typically Now! or Bloodlust) and Justice Juggernaut is great for killing units and heroes (Again, give it “haste”).
Turn 5: This plan isn’t foolproof though. You might not actually be able to lock them forever because it costs you so many cards and gold that you’re always on the brink of not drawing the right cards when you want to, or having enough gold to do so. However, you’ve probably done 4-6 damage to their base through Tech building breakages, so Liberty Gryphons with Quince should win you the game before they can come back. Alternatively, play Lawbringer Gryphon or whatever other finisher seems appropriate for the game state.
So there we are. A strong start, followed up by controlling your opponent and stopping from playing the game with Injunction and Judgment Day, and then finishing the game before they can recover.
I’m sure someone could easily refine the rough idea of this build, but it’s been serving me well, so I thought I’d post it so someone can help me do exactly that: refine it.
I only have one example game on PBF because I have only recently started trying to learn how to PBF, however it’s a perfect illustration of the concept I have presented here.
I would absolutely love to see other games where someone has done something similar to study it. I couldn’t find any, but perhaps I wasn’t trying hard enough. I certainly don’t know of the history of PBF games, tournament or otherwise.
Cheers, find me on discord @Toan#2796 to tell me I’m wrong and that there’s a better way to do this.