Hey guys! Welcome back to Choosing Your Persona. This is the third part of a trilogy, which will focus on a random hand for a Wren player. If you missed my first or second article in the series, go ahead and read those first so you understand the rules.
The Opening Hand
What you see above is a setup that I put together on Tabletopia. I removed the three Prime cards from the Glory of Wren theme deck and shuffled it up. I finally pulled the five card starting hand to be able to discuss what we found.
Here is a gallery of the Primes:
Here is a gallery of the cards drawn:
Last week I made myself a note that I wanted to take a second to analyze the opening hand rarity ratio, since the Council and Clarity ratios were identical. Here is my note:
Coincidentally, just like Clarity last week, in this opening hand we have a collection of two rares and three commons. We also have two neutrals and three Council cards. When we look at Wren next week, I am curious to find out if we have the same ratio of rarities. — Me
This week, we again find ourselves with a mixture of two rares and three commons. If that were to be consistent with all of our draws, I would be super impressed. If you were interested, the rare-common mixture in a normal theme deck is 16 rares and 18 commons with three copies of each common. With this opening hand, I removed three of the rares, which are the Primes.
The other thing that I wanted to note is the house vs neutral draw, which is different this time as we have four Wren cards and only one neutral, but boy is it a great neutral.
Glory Seeker is an amazing tempo card and quick way to gain Prestige. We found that it appears in a ton more constructed decks than the Wren aggro deck. Specifically, it appears in Clarity splice decks quite often. Wren’s Claw Bouncer tends to appear underwhelming for most of the game, as it is simply a guard. However, once someone breaks into the Wren’s Claw Tavern (breaks the prestige threshold!), the Bouncer gets mad. Hero’s Meeting is a beating. Roman Jackson absolutely loves this card as he can exhaust for his team to gain Blitz, then the character who you meet comes in to play ready to go… including a Prime. Blackguard Captain is a ‘Lord’ character who increases the might of your Wren Followers. He also rewards you for recruiting more of them. Lastly, we have the Wren’s Claw Veteran, who is a Wren MVP who turns bad situations into crazy advantages.
I may come away as a little fanboy here as Sly has always been my baby. I love playing as Sly so I’ve been looking forward to this hand analysis since I get a chance to look through his lens.
As a Sly player, I tend to place less value on Followers in my party than other Primes, easy come–easy go. Therefore, outside of Jacques LeVanche or Prince of Thieves, Followers tend to hit the table, then the trash in a quick manner.
If I am on the play, I want to get Glory Seeker down quick so I can get the cheap four Prestige off of Glory, while hopefully trading with the opposing Champion (netting me six Prestige). If not, I probably lead with Heroes Meeting. The goal is to find a beatstick that requires removal like Towering Brute.
All of that said, the very first thing you should do each turn is sift: that is the term we have come to call an ability in which you discard then draw. The biggest ongoing feature that Sly has is that his hand keeps getting better as he sifts, making the next sift seem less needed. Resist that feeling! Always sift unless you are attacking their hand with his ultimate. It is free Prestige gain and constantly keeps your hand full of removal.
So Sly’s real question here is, what do I discard first, not play. The best answer in my eyes is Blackguard Captain. I don’t want to discard the Seeker or Veteran, and the Bouncer could be my beatstick if Meeting doesn’t find one. Keep the pressure on with fair card trading and Sly’s inevitable Prestige will win the day.
Roman Jackson absolutely loves to just drill people in the face fast and often. That is sort of his “thing”. He is also one of the few Primes who can’t generate Prestige by himself. Rather, he needs help from his people via Glory. Typically, a Jackson opener is searching for either a Follower with Blitz or Glory so that he can give it the other one. Seeing Glory Seeker in your hand is exactly what the doctor ordered.
The Glory of Wren theme deck does offer Jackson a few options for this opening hand. I do find it interesting that the two best options for him are neutral cards: Glory Seeker and Charging Ruffian. However, Blackguard Thug works just as well.
My first play is obviously to have Jackson give my Followers Blitz, then recruit the Glory Seeker. That is probably the easiest play of all of the hands we have seen so far. My second turn is most likely similar except play Heroes’ Meeting and hope to reveal a LeVanche, Blackguard Thug or even Towering Brute. The Brute is fairly underwhelming, but he shines in so many scenarios in limited play, especially when he has Glory or Blitz.
Jackson also becomes pretty potent once he reaches his ultimate threshold, which is only 10+. So keep pounding away with those Glory Champions and soon enough you will be getting two plays a turn!
Taren is a bonkers Persona in limited. She is very good in constructed as well, but highly efficient in limited as she can generate a ton of defenders without expending resources. With a five Follower opening hand, she can grab you the five Fighter tokens, then you can recruit one of the Followers (replacing one of the Tokens) and land six Prestige to start the game. None of the other Primes have that kind of explosive nature out of the gate.
Just like last week when we talked about how Council has the most Actions of any theme deck, Wren has the most Followers of the decks, which really comes into play with Taren. This allows her to have a good chance at that head-start and gets you closer to being able to call in Ginger to put the game away. This opening hand has four Followers, which means that Taren can only gain five Prestige on turn one. Rats!
On the play, I might take a risk with the unknown and play my Heroes’ Meeting. I am going to land a Follower, I just don’t know who I’ll get. Because of the unknown nature, I would probably play the Meeting first, just in case I land an awesome card like Taren’s Lookout that has Might issues. If I recruit the army second (Taren’s second ability), I can choose to place the Tokens at the front of the party, pushing the Lookout to the safer back position.
You may think that playing the Bouncer at the front is a good play, but I would recommend not doing that for a while. What you really want to happen is the opposing Champion attacking into your Token army and continue killing them so you can make more. Help the cause by attacking with your Champion. Just remember, you can’t use the game’s replace mechanic until the party is full. Once you can replace, be smart! The Follower you recruit goes into the party slot that it is replacing. So if you replace slot #2 with Glory Seeker, most likely your opponent is not going to attack, so it will get buried and probably never gets to attack.
Of the three Houses, I believe that Wren is best able to adapt to the opening hand. Each of the Primes are well situated to maximize on diverse draws. I also think that the neutral collection at Wren’s finger tips is stronger than the other two decks. Glory Seeker, Charging Ruffian, Towering Brute and even Desperate Charge are amazing cards to draw during the game and absolutely make an impact. I also think that Wren has the best Rare collection for Limited play. Both of these are most likely because we designed Wren first therefore it was developed along with the game rules.
This also means that Wren is the best House for brand new players to play first. You get a chance to learn the rules and get a chance to see every aspect of the game from recruiting Followers, to replacement all the way to playing Hidden Actions.
This concludes my trilogy of Choosing Your Persona. I don’t think it will be my last, as it was both fun and easy to do. I have not decided what my next article will be, but we have some interesting stuff in the works for you. Jake is developing a few video concepts that we are not ready to spoil yet and we are looking for a few more players to try out the game with us via Tabletopia. If you would like to test with us, all you need to do is contact us via Facebook and have Discord and Tabletopia ready for game time. We can talk you through all of that!
Don’t forget to let me know what you play would be for the Wren hand. Place your responses on our Facebook page so we can discuss your game! Also, if you have a topic idea that you would like me to discuss in the future, please feel free to let me know.
Until next time…