From newbies for newbies: Guide to the ExilesAS OF 30TH APRIL 2015 THIS GUIDE IS NO LONGER BEING UPDATED. FUTURE EXPANSIONS (OPPRESSION ONWARDS) WILL HAVE THEIR OWN GUIDES. PLEASE SEE "A STRANGE INDEX OF GUIDES" AS LINKED IN MY SIGNATURE. THANK YOU.
Hello all, and thank you for taking time to read this. Firstly, a disclaimer: I am not a veteran player, much less a pro at the game. I have no ranking to speak of and almost no experience playing TCGs. Having gotten that out of the way, I would like this guide to be judged on the information in it, and not about its author.
The IW community is one of the better ones around, yet there is an issue for new players with a multitude of cards available at their disposal. Many (including myself) feel or have felt overwhelmed especially in deck building simply due to the inexperience in picking out good and bad cards for the deck.
As such, this guide is written to help explain, faction by faction, some of the more notable cards in the game. The intended audience is specifically new and novice players. This is because some aspects of the game take time to get used to, and more experienced players might forget that newer players do not know these aspects by heart yet. The guide focuses on explaining cards keeping the faction in mind as either a pure deck or as the major part of a 2 faction deck.
Without further ado, I present: the Exiles
2. Faction Background
The exiles are the seventh faction in the campaign, and inhabit the same world as the Cult of Verore and Descendants of the Dragon. They have heavy emphasis on demons, and 'chaos'. They have some unique mechanics, which I will explain below, as well as a higher use of RNG (random number generator, randomness) than perhaps any other faction.
User friendliness: 1/5 to 3.5/5, highly dependant on user and deck composition. Some mechanics can take a while to get used to, and it gets arguably worse when you increase the RNG in the deck. However, there are decks that can be more consistent.
Deck timing: Midgame to late game. Characters usually start out with average to below-average stats, but can grow with the consume mechanic. However, most of their lategame plays don't have the potency of finishers such as Oblivion or Omnitron.
Focus: Character-wise, they are reasonably straightforward, using demons to push down a fortress. However, their mechanics such as discarding and hand control for both a player and their opponent are aimed at slowing or shutting down an opponent's options and accruing advantages.
(note: this section will be a bit lengthier than other guides, just because there is quite a bit to explain)
- Exile. Exile is the ability to play a card the turn after it is discarded. Exile X refers to the cost, which is X resources. It can only be played the turn immediately after discarded. Using cards that have discard effects, or overfilling your hand past 8 cards are methods of discarding cards.
- Hand Control. More than any other faction, exiles can affect the opponent's hand by forcing discards. The Plunder mechanic also falls under this category. A card with Plunder X will draw you X cards if it hits the fortress.
- Consume. Consume is a mechanic that allows a character to grow off kills. A character with consume X will gain +X/X and heal for X upon killing another character, assuming it survives the combat. Note that although most times it appears like a +X/2X, the heal will not take it above its max health.
The exiles are the 'demon' faction, with a unique perspective on gaining advantages, with a touch of randomness thrown in, some good, some bad. In terms of creatures, they are in a similar vein to the Warpath, swarming mainly with mid-sized creatures. Indirect advantages such as hand control can be exploited by experienced exiles players, to retain more options than an opponent, or forcing them to discard key cards.
The exiles have quite a number of weaknesses, though. One of which is the inherent unreliability of RNG, especially random discard. It's a touchy subject, some get so fed up they won't use it at all, while some are more willing to take risks. The morale costs of exiles units are a little on the high side. But to me, the biggest weakness of the exiles is their timing window. They cannot rush like aggro decks, they don't really have super finishers, and they have to exploit their timing window before super boardwipes like The Calamity and Oblivion come out.
3. Notable Characters
This section will consist of explanations of the strengths, weaknesses, and usefulness of the character cards in the Exiles. I'm going to examine the characters in an arbitrary order. Extra special cards will be marked with an asterix (*).Vasir, the Demon Prince
Although technically an Exile/Verore mercenary, I feel he fits well enough here to deserve a spot, especially since he, along with Princess Hinekri seem to be the "monarchs" of the Exiles. His main effect is to force an opponent into a tough decision whether to sacrifice a potentially valuable character or take fortress damage. The fact that he is also a 22/22 flying demon doesn't hurt much either. Do beware of getting your sacrifices nuked, though, as his effect cuts both ways.Princess Hinekri
Similarly to Fleeting Footman
, the Princess doesn't like fighting, instead preferring to win enemies over by her *ahem* charms. She works pretty decently when blocking a huge unstoppable guy your opponent is relying on to punch through your defense line, but fares really badly against swarms of attackers. It's not easy to find a place for her either, as her stats aren't great for 5 cost.Agent Coyle, Hellbringer
I find it difficult to like this particular Agent Coyle for some reason. He transforms into a 20/20 flying, unstoppable dragon with consume 3 if your hand is empty, which is nice. However, I find that being a 7/7 for 8 cost is a little ridiculous. You have to use his active in order for him to get better stats, which is a random discard with 4 cost and exhaust, and if you discard a character, Hellbringer gains the stats. He lacks the usefulness of the other Coyles and needs quite a bit of babysitting to accomplish anything.Cresill the Mad
This card is quite a staple in many 3 purity Exiles decks, and for good reason. The exiles are probably the only faction that actually wants their cards to be discarded, and as such this guy can really pressure your opponent into a tough decision. Do you remove him and discard your hand, or play passive and let the other side gain advantages in the meantime? He is especially valuable for the aforementioned Coyle as well as the next guy...Tygrugh, the Insane
The Exiles' Titan, his cost works in an opposite manner to the others, increasing for every card in your hand. At the start of the turn, you're probably going to have at least one card in your hand, so realistically his cost is 8 or more. Once you get him out, your opponent is pretty much running on topdeck mode, as any cards left in their hand at the end of the turn are yours.Hungry Abomination
Hungry Abomination is a card that thrives on the random discard that goes on, as it gains the stats of any discarded character. It's great if you can keep up the discards, as 10/10 for 6 cost is hardly anything to write home about. If your discarding engine (usually Ritual Master) dies things may become problematic, but these ugly buggers usually make good bait for Assassinates etc. while your deck keeps rolling.Nysrugh the Hungry
This fellow is quite interesting. On the one hand, he's a sacrifice engine, and he needs to eat otherwise he will die. On the other hand, he has consume 3, which means every turn he's healing and his stats are going up by 3/3. Returning every killed character to play once he dies is another quirk of his. After some testing, I found that he does not return characters that have been removed from the grave, e.g. by Purify
or Grave Rob
. Therefore, eating a couple of Sleeper of Avarrach
, letting them grow in the grave, and grave robbing your opponent's creatures away can be a decent tactic involving this guy.Devil of Despair
This little beast can, with some babysitting, turn into one of the scariest guys around. Like Nysrugh, he has consume 3, which is quite a lot. On the other hand, he's untouchable and immune to kill spells such as Mass Death
, although damage spells can still hurt him. When he gets big, it's so tough to stop it isn't funny. However, do beware of immolation such as from Kali (all variants), as it can reliably burn down your devil's health even through the consume. Best with buffs/protection that do not target e.g. Martyr Golem, Ritual Master, Guns of Goliath etc.Alpha Demon
With decent stats for a 4-cost, as well as buffing all demons on the field by +2/2 when on the battlefield, Alpha Demon is usually a staple of the demon "tribal" style decks, which rely on getting a lot of demons buffed up to assault a fortress. The buff stacks with other Alpha Demons, which can provide a substantial boost for your consuming demons to grow further.Demonborn
A commander-worthy card, this card grows off of demons played, much like Aether Acolyte
grows when you play abilities. This card works best with lots of low-cost demons to ensure a fast growth, and a commander slot means that they will gain buffs from the very beginning. The on-demand flying might be a little costly, but sometimes people forget about it and it can be used for a surprise attack or block.Infected Devil
A card that behaves similarly to a "2 lives" character, the transform ability allows Infected Devil to block and trade effectively with enemy characters. Do be aware that the Sleeper of Avarrach produced does not have demon typing, so if you're running Alpha Demons etc. he won't get the buff. 8 attack is also fairly decent for the cost, and at the worst you're probably going to trade with a character.Mindbender
Aside from Plunder 1, Mindbender is unique in that it actually forces your opponent to discard cards. That makes him an extremely potent pressure hitter, and can direct your opponent's attention onto him, whether it's in the form of kill spells, or forcing a blocker out. The forced discard makes him, in my opinion, a cut above the other plunderers.Demonic Mercenary
These are the Plunderers, and they have a decent attack, but a little lower health than is comfortable. More draws are usually a good thing, especially if you get to overfill your hand for discards. Do beware of decking out, though, as the increased draws will make you run through your deck quickly.Demonic Disciple
, Unstable Demon
, Suffering Verorian
These are your main exile characters, which can be played if you discard them from your hand. If you exile them, although they can be a little slow, they are extremely cost-efficient, although with some drawbacks. Their morale cost in particular can run high, so do be wary when facing morale decks.Ritual Master
, Waste Chucker
, Frenzied Monstrosity
Rounding out the list we have some major discard engines. These cards can be used to discard cards with exile in them to get them played, usually for a lower cost or some other benefit. The drawback is that the discard is random, so you do have a chance of discarding something useful. Ritual Master tends to be a prime target for a Lightning Blast
but he's usually the most accessible of the discard engines, so that's something to consider.Demon of Solitude
This card works well when you can get a really strong discard engine going to empty out your hand. With an average hand of 5 cards, he's an average 8/8 demon, but if you empty out, you get 13/13 for 3 cost, which is pretty huge. Not for every deck, but a worthwhile early-midgame play.Dirty Devil
This unlimited character opens up a new way to play exiles without having to rely on the somewhat unreliable demonic disciples, instead letting you get demons for a playstyle with Alpha Demons in the same way as Warpath with Pack Leaders. It's a cheap drop with an average size, but the demon typing makes it synergise well with quite a few options from exiles.Xac
This guy is a high risk, high reward card. Alone, he's a 3/3 for 6 cost, which is pathetic. That is, until he enters combat with a character, during which he transforms into a 15/15 demon, which is a decent size all by itself, but also with consume. As a bonus, if he has killed a character your opponent has to sacrifice a character the next turn, which can allow you to gain board advantage over them.