One of the coolest things about Age of Primes is how choosing the Persona for your deck impacts your gameplay experience. I think new players may get caught up in the, “Which Prime is best?” conversation and lose track of the big picture when it comes to actually playing the game. Really, the question should be, “Which Prime best represents how I want to play the game?”

In this article, which is part one of a trilogy, we will be taking a look at a random opening hand for Clarity and will be talking about how the Persona decision will impact how the deck plays and your game setup.

The Opening Hand

Age of Primes -- Clarity Experiments Opening Hand

What you see above is a setup that I put together on Tabletopia. I removed the three Prime cards from the Clarity Experiments 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:

What we see here is an interesting hand of two rares and three commons. In case you were curious as to how to tell which cards are which rarity, the text box will have the house color as an outline on rare cards. We also happen to have two Neutral cards, which are gray schemed and do not have a house logo at the top left of the card.

Growth and Decay is amazing as both a combat trick as well as splice engine. Manic Genius is a game winner in a deck that draws a surplus of cards. Black Marketeer is a splice player’s dream, able to simply exhaust to enable a nasty mutation. Perilous Spy is a card that I believe will be greatly overlooked in this deck. Just read it then read Lain Cochrane again. Senior Researcher is a strong follower buffing card for Clarity that rewards you for your splicing efforts.

Normally, you will begin the game by selecting your Persona from a Prime in your deck. However, for this exercise, let’s assume that the Persona has not been selected yet. I’d like to take a look at potential game openings based on each Prime. Let’s begin!

Lain Cochrane

Under a Lain Persona, this hand is a little bit rough. Lain really wants to draw a lot of cards and do things by himself, so a lot of times, he doesn’t really need quality followers, rather, just people to keep the rabble at bay while he continues his research. The obvious powerhouse in this hand for Lain is the Manic Genius who really wants to wait a few turns so that the Perilous Spy can allow Lain to draw into a hand of 9-12 cards. Once that is accomplished, the Genius enters play and explodes for that many prestige (minus one since you played a card…).

The biggest thing to keep in mind with Dr. Cochrane is that he is drawing two cards a turn, pretty much every turn. Yes, so does your opponent, but they aren’t gaining the prestige. I mention that because his hand is going to turn over really quickly. Even if Lain goes first, he essentially has a six card opening hand, so we don’t even know what that bonus card is. With this hand, I probably play the Spy first (unless playing against Wren… blitz is rough!) and the next turn I begin playing followers with a higher might in front of him to keep the Spy safe.

Alana Gold

Alana’s game tends to start similar to Lain, in that she is interested in getting things done herself. Instead of doing research, however, Alana has a choice of either strengthening her own infrastructure (putting a card from her hand on the bottom and drawing a card) or sabotaging the opponent’s. I prefer to begin the game by stripping the best play available, or strongest rare in limited, from my opponent.

Once we finish the business aspect of her turn, it’s time to get started on the groundwork of her plan. While seemingly none of these cards scream out as Alana cards, the biggest key is to get followers on the table that will refresh and gain her prestige. I most likely play the Black Marketeer here in order to get him refreshed for next turn.

On my following turn, the game gets interesting as now I know my opponent’s hand and have an idea of their plan. Therefore, I can use Alana’s basic ability to build my own hand. Depending on what card I drew, I’d most likely put Perilous Spy on the bottom of my deck and hope to draw into a top notch defender like Khalied-al Far, Solerium Protector or Lone Mercenary.

Selina Vargas

Last but not least, especially with this opener, is Selina. Pretty much, the only things missing from this hand are Bloom and Favored Subject. This hand is an amazing start for Selina, and the only real help that she needs is in the form of a larger defender. However… she can perform injections on her smaller guys and give them a little extra juice to survive an attack.

Age of Primes Bloom Favored SubjectI think her opening play is fairly obvious… get Black Marketeer into play so he can get active as soon as possible. Don’t forget to have Dr. Vargas inoculate him for the extra point of prestige! Making the assumption that he survives your opponent’s turn, we then play the Senior Researcher at the front of the party to protect the Marketeer. We then use both the Marketeer and Dr. Vargas to increase the Marketeer by three might, giving us four more points of prestige (two from Selina and two from Researcher).

The third turn begins to get nasty as you can play Growth and Decay to select all of your Followers as well as your opponent’s followers (gaining a point of prestige for each, let’s call it four points). Your guys will then gain 1 might and your opponent’s lose 1 might. Follow this up by having your splice engine of Marketeer and Vargas both select the Researcher (unfortunately only gaining two prestige this time), making her a six might follower that can then attack and kill the enemy champion. This would put us at 11 prestige at the end of our third turn!

In Conclusion…

Should I just say… Primes are good in Age of Primes?!

Tune into my next article when I will introduce you to the Council and its Prime, but this lesson is not over yet! Now it’s your turn to take this opening hand for a spin. Your challenge is to select one of the Clarity primes and play out two to three turns in a vacuum environment where an opponent is not killing off your stuff. Also, if you want to predict the next few turns’ card draw, let’s see how diverse the play styles can be.

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…

Choosing Your Persona – Part I: Clarity
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