Written by: Chris Newton
Hey guys! Welcome back to Choosing Your Persona. This is the Wren Theme Week version of a new Choosing trilogy In this article series, we are taking a random opening hand and talking about how the game would start using each Prime of the House as your Persona. This allows us to explore how diverse the game can be relative to the different Primes.
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:
Getting started, we actually have an interesting draw for Wren as we don’t have a single rare or a big beater like Blackguard Thug. This can easily turn into a small hiccup for new players who may not understand what this means, which makes it is an excellent time to talk about non-Follower opening hands. No… This isn’t the end of the line.
The other thing to take note of is that we did end up with three Wren cards and two neutral cards which seems to be a tend in Limited play.
Recover is a great trick card that protects your prize Champion and also disguises Shelter and Ambush in the hideout. Cold Blood is possibly the most misunderstood card in Wren. Newer players are very scared to play a card that causes themselves to lose Prestige. Trust me when I say, in testing, we rarely found that you lose the game over the loss of 5 prestige. Rather, you lose because of the nasty character that you didn’t kill with Cold Blood! Glory of Wren is a straight up beating. Under Taren Blaine, it is extremely easy to have five tokens in your party. Playing Glory of Wren will increase your Fighter token Champion by 6 Might (it counts your Primes too!). That makes your token a 7 Might with Glory. Yikes! Call to Arms is a very sneaky card, as you will find out in a minute. As a matter fact, let me skip it for now… Last but not least is the Taren killer, Lurking Informant. Informant is a paralyzer for Taren’s normal prestige engine. She has to kill him or find other ways to win the game.
I really like this hand as a Sly player. As mentioned earlier, Call to Arms looks like a pretty crummy card. But… What if I told you that the card really gives you 3 Prestige and prevents two attacks? That’s exactly what it does for Sly.
I talked about Cold Blood above, now let’s abuse it. Sly tends to make cards that look bad play pretty damn good. That’s not too say that Cold Blood is bad, but when Sly sends in the assassin, two cards go to the trash, so you only lose 3 Prestige overall.
So how do we play this hand? For starters, you Sift at every opportunity to begin your turn. The only exception is late game when his ultimate comes online and you can pillage the enemy hand. I would most likely discard Informant unless I’m facing Taren. My first play would be Call to Arms followed by whatever Follower I end up drawing over my next two turns
I’m not going to lie to you… This is not a good hand for Roman. I would most likely take a Mulligan and draw five more cards since there are no Followers here.
However, if you want the challenge, based on the fact that you’ve drawn four Actions, the odds are pretty good that your next few draws will be Followers. So if you feel comfortable playing off of the top of your deck, the hand may turn out pretty strong.
You could lead with Recover to get it on the table early. This allows it to be available to protect the first Follower you draw and make sure it sticks. Second turn Cold Blood will help keep you in the game and get you a second card draw and hopefully a second Follower.
Taren can work with this hand a little better than Roman. The saving grace here is Call to Arms. On the first turn, Taren can use her second ability to create a token with the Informant in hand, then make two more Followers with the Call. If you are playing first, this means you have a good potential to get a full board on your second or third turn by using Taren repeatedly.
Getting the board full is important because that will not only give you some Prestige from Taren’s first ability, but then you can hopefully get Glory of Wren to make one of your tokens big and nasty, which chains into being able to recruit Ginger Hind using Taren’s ultimate.
Once Ginger shows up, her size coupled with her Glory ability should spiral the game into your favor, and you can use that old Cold Blood to help stop whatever monster Follower your opponent hopes to counter with. It’s not Taren’s best kind of hand, but Glory of Wren does a lot to compensate for a slow start.
Don’t forget, there is only one copy of Ginger in the Theme deck, so be sure to get Recover on the board before searching for her. Imagine your opponent’s surprise when they spend resources to kill Ginger only to watch Recover flip over!
Of the three Houses, I believe that Wren is best able to adapt to the sub-optimal opening hand. Each of the Primes are well situated to maximize on diverse draws. However, I would still heavily consider taking a mulligan if I were under the Jackson Persona in a tournament setting.
This concludes part one of my Theme Week trilogy of Choosing Your Persona. You can expect another installment during the upcoming theme weeks for Council and Clarity. Also, if you like what you are seeing so far, please contact us via Facebook and have Discord and let us know. If you’d like to get in a game, tell us and we will set up a table for you on Tabletopia.
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…