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Old 08-14-2018, 09:08 PM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
I have a Plan
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
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Writhe

Checklist
  • Reliable Damage: Yes (Umbral Siphon)
  • Ongoing/Environment Destruction: Yes (Unquiet Night)
  • Team Support Abilities: Yes (Cloak Projector, Nowhere to Hide)
  • Big-Ass Attack Option: Yes (Darkly Dreaming, Concealed Assailant, Lurking Shadows)
  • Deck Control: Yes (Grasping Shadow-Cloth)

Not done with brawlers yet, and we're about to explore one of the weirdest examples of this archetype. Writhe has a scant 19 HP, less than any non-Sentinels character in the game, but he's also one of the most survivable out there, with easy access to the Shadow Cloak, his signature gear. He's also fairly versatile, with access to several handy effects, which can get even better if you have or even destroy the Shadow Cloak in the process.

Strengths:
  • Hard To Kill: Writhe is, like Nightmist, a character who doesn't initially look that sturdy, but who can take on many of the biggest and baddest fighters the multiverse has to offer. The Shadow Cloak's innate damage reduction and ability to discard to prevent the first hit each turn both help out a lot, and being able to summon it back as a base power is incredibly useful. He's also got one of the ever-handy damage-reduction-on-a-target powers with his Cloak Projector, letting him share the love by blocking for his team as well.
  • Versatile: Unlike most brawlers, Writhe can do a wide variety of other things as well. And with his card draw being fairly decent (which it has to be to keep up with the discard-fueled negation effect of the Shadow Cloak) he will almost always get a hold of the tool he needs to do the job. As with most other jack-of-all-trades characters, don't worry so much about playing to type, and just do whatever the situation might call for.

Weaknesses:
  • Tempo-based: With most of his effects requiring the destruction of the Shadow Cloak, but it being such a vital piece of his kit, you need to have a very good sense of where and when to use it. There are cards that can retrieve it in addition to his base power, but usually if you're in a position to need that effect, you'll already be fairly defenseless for being the likely lowest HP character without your chief protective gear. And if you aren't destroying the Shadow Cloak regularly, you're just not playing to the most useful level that you could be, really.
  • Low Max HP: Yeah, you're hard to kill, but this is a legitimate drawback for a number of reasons. You won't be able to make good use of healing effects if they are common, and you'll be an easy target for anything preying on low health heroes. And since a lot of these effects also tend to block your damage, this also means you'll have a hard time doing damage when those keep tagging you. And discarding each time to block meager hits can be very costly, as anyone who plays Nightmist (or now Benchmark I guess) can tell you.

Notable Cards
  • Umbral Siphon: It's a 1 and 1 damage attack, ho hum. Well, you have a damage booster built in more often than not, so Umbral Siphon is usually worth it on that count alone (and it doesn't require destruction of the Shadow Cloak for maximal effectiveness, either). The cool part is that it blocks HP recovery on the target. That is, if memory serves, the first time healblocking has been available to a heroic repertoire in the game, and the applications of that are very handy indeed.
  • Lurking Shadows: So the damage boost is nice, not least because Writhe has lots of 1 damage attacks. Being limited to one target and only damage from Writhe is less good, but eh. The trick is that you really need a damaging power to use first. Concealed Assailant is perfect for this, since everyone loves a 3-3-3 attack, but of course Umbral Siphon isn't a bad choice either. Or if you want, you could use some of your other, more supporting powers. The point is that with this card granting a power use during the play phase, you can then use your power phase to bounce the Shadow Cloak back.
  • Erratic Form: Dominion for a new generation. It's not limited and it accelerates your card draw (although it only has two copies) when a very common trigger for your character happens. It also allows you to filter your hand at the end of your turn if you just keep being saddled with cards that aren't helpful right now. And don't forget, Somber Tinker can revive Equipment cards from your trash, so if you have that card, chuck Equipment at the end of this turn and just bring it back into play the next.

Variant Strategies:
Cosmic Inventor Writhe
Losing decksearch as a base power on a character who needs his decksearched stuff to survive is pretty harsh, and only gaining 3 max HP is not a very nice consolation prize. On the other hand, it's not that hard for Writhe to get the Shadow Cloak out anyway, especially not with your card draw accelerated. Moreover, Mk II Shadow Projector now carries the damage negation effect of the Shadow Cloak, but without the discards and for whichever hero you choose. This can save heroes from all kinds of mishaps and let them survive situations that would kill anyone else.
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