If I hadn’t had such a bad Tech II draw, this would be a great position for me. As it is, it’s time for me to spam the board and hope for a kind reshuffle. At least FrozenStorm skipped a worker.
Alternatively, I at least try to kill of that Ancient, to slow down the engine. Only Wisp and something else has overpower then, unless FrozenStorm has another Ancient in hand. It’s going to cost me, though: 6+5 damage requires at least four attackers. Rampant Growth would get it down to three, if I draw it with Young Treant, but then Merfolk Prospector is the only unit I can afford to add after building Tech III, and that’s if I don’t make a worker. And I definitely need to build my Tech III, otherwise FrozenStorm stomps over me in short order.
I suppose it depends on how many attackers survive in each case.
No Rampant Growth, don’t level Calamandra, Elemental and Huntresses trade with Centaur and Blooming Ancient, Calamandra limps away on 1 health. 5 gold remaining. I’d like to float some of that, to play heroes/units to protect a Guargum against a Tiny Basilisk.
Facing 7 attack on the board, including Elm runes. Up to 10 attack, if the Elm gives runes to the Shambler, since it can pass them on. I start with 0/1 Wisp and 0/1 Shambler to patrol, i.e. 2+1A health. Most efficient addition is Argagarg + Wisp at 4 health for 2 gold. That’s 6+1A health, enough to stop a tech break if FrozenStorm doesn’t have a Rampant Growth or something, but not enough to protect Calamandra. If I play Guargum next turn, it won’t have anything to Stampede. 8+1A defence if I also play Young Treant, which is still not quite enough to keep Calamandra alive, but I get a cleaner reshuffle. Merfolk Prospector lets her survive, but only if there’s no help from hand.
Young Treant + Rampant Growth, Huntress #1 trades with the Centaur, and Huntress #2 suicides into Ancient so it goes into reshuffle too. Calamandra kills Ancient and barely survives, Water Elemental trades with Playful Panda, kills Merfolk Prospector, or patrols. Only 1 gold left, so I play Merfolk Prospector.
Facing 5-8 attack, with 5+1A defence, or 7-10 attack with 8+1A defence. Alternatively, Elemental trades with Ancient, and Calamandra kills Panda or patrols. That’s either 5+1A or 9+1A defence, but Calamandra is exposed in the latter. However, the former sees Calamandra have 2 health left instead of 1, which is still not quite enough to let her live if FrozenStorm’s willing to play for full Shambler trickery. I have midband Calamandra and Young Treant to patrol with. She can’t quite destroy the Blooming Elm, unfortunately. If she goes in Squad Leader then 4+1A health is enough to require 2 attackers to kill her, except if Blooming Elm boosts Playful Panda. That still leaves me with nothing to protect a Guargum from a Tiny Basilisk if I play it next turn. Since the only Wisp already has runes, this makes overpower mostly moot. 2 gold is not enough to cover a Guargum against a Tiny Basilisk next turn, Midori won’t cut it. Facing up to 10 attack again, with 8+1A on patrol.
As for Option 1, but instead of Argagarg or the Young Treant I maxband Calamandra, gaining 4 health. The latter results in only 6+1A defence against up to 10 attack, but Calamandra now has 5 health, so can’t be killed without cards, at least. Rampant Growth still kills her, Ferocity doesn’t.
Without attacking, I get a little more health to patrol with: up 10+1A. However, I’m facing 14 attack with the Elm, plus whatever the Ancient gets in runes, which it could pass on to Spore Shambler after attacking, which that could pass on to something else after attacking, as well as the Elm runes if it’s given those.
Maybe I just need to hold off on Tech III for one turn? No, I don’t think I can afford to.
One thing the above options don’t account for is how many attackers I leave FrozenStorm with. I think this’ll only matter if I have Calmandra in patrol, which is the case where I don’t kill the Panda. I’d be facing a 2/2 Panda, a 1/2 Wisp, a 0/1 Shambler, and a 1/1 Merfolk Prospector. At most, an attacker gets 5 attack with overpower. This actually might be OK: if Shambler gets the runes first it, gets killed by a Squad Leader Calamandra, unless it gets Rampant Growth, so couldn’t pass on runes. Panda can take her out with Rampant Growth or Ferocity, but then can’t pass the runes on to someone else to use overpower. I’d have a 4/5, a 0/2, a 1/1, and 2 0/1s on patrol. This could actually let me hold on OK. I’ll go with that approach, since otherwise I’m having trouble choosing what to do here. Is that enough to not play the Merfolk Prospector, and stay on 5 cards? I’m not sure, but I really need a good cycle here. I can also then have 12 gold after Scavenger, and get Argagarg or Midori down next turn to try to protect against Tiny Basilisk.
Teching in Moment’s Peace instead of second Stampede: I’m skeptical of my chances to have a board to Stampede with this cycle, and Moment’s Peace at least holds off Tiny Basilisks for a turn until I can use the obliterate.