Scabtongue the Gnoll By VBPlayer of Team Clockwork
Here we are again with another Adventure Zone 2 preview! While last time, we had a gnoll troop to share, this time we take a deeper look into the gnoll subculture in AZ2.
Scabtongue is a mercenary already available in game, and this is our first glimpse into what he might do. There is a lot going on with our friendly neighborhood junkyard dog, and many of the abilities work together. So let's start by breaking down what the abilities might mean, what they need to function properly, and then let's build something that we can work around with.
The main charge power of Scabtongue requires four charges and the sacrifice of two separate artifacts of cost 5 or less, and produces a random artifact that has a cost equal to or less than the combined cost of the sacrificed artifacts. On the cover, it seems we are generally getting rid of two things for a chance at something bigger and better. This can be thought of mainly in two ways:
Using disposable, unwanted, or otherwise perishable artifacts to generate some additional value or...
Playing the RNG game and really trying to aim for getting something big.
The first method offers very low risk with a generally low upside, while the second method likely incurs higher amounts of risk for the chance of a much higher reward.
Scabtongue comes with a passive ability that plays well with its' charge power. Whenever a non-junk artifact (nearly everything besides all the scrapyard robots) we control is destroyed, we get an extra Scrapyard Dynamo for our efforts. Note that we can sacrifice these junk robots to the charge power, we just won't get the extra value out of it. There isn't a lot here to note that isn't already obvious. We get extra value when our artifacts die or are destroyed, troops and non-troops, whether they are sacrificed to our charge power or are destroyed normally.
Once Scabtongue is upgraded, however, he packs on a very powerful, albeit narrow, ability. One time on our own turn we can pay two resources to destroy each opposing robot, netting us a Scrapyard Dynamo for each robot we manage to destroy this way. Wow! Without knowing what we will encounter, and using some other PvE experiences as our outlook, we can already pinpoint a number of situations where this power comes in rather handy, or outright game-winning. With a dungeon being teased that seems to feature other gnolls and artifacts, there may be nearly an entire dungeon that ol' Scabby here might turn into man's best friend. In many other areas, however, this ability is irrelevant.
Scabtongue's party passive ability, which is applied to all encounters in which Scabtongue is in your party but not the active deck being used, is a small token but should always be useful as long as you plan on playing any troops. If you start the game with no troops in your hand, however, this passive ability is lost for that game. Otherwise though, you will likely end up with a small bonus when the chosen troop meets its inevitable demise.
The parameters of deck building are fairly straight forward. No dwarves. No plans. Heavy allotments of ruby and artifact cards, a sturdy backing in wild, and a dabbling in sapphire. Scabtongue starts each game it is used with 19 health.
So let us look at a deck idea that we can use with Scabtongue. I decided to take a fairly straight forward approach, using his ability to utilize full compliments of both ruby and artifact cards, and keeping his affinity of artifacts being destroyed in mind.
EQUIPMENT: Aerodynamic Helm - (Your War Bot Bunkers have: "Robots you control have Steadfast.") Sapper's Boots - (Your Sapper's Charges instead deal 3 damage.) Archer's Longbow - (When Command Tower enters play, look at target opposing champion's hand.)
Everything in this deck is fairly streamlined to meet the main charge power and passive abilities of Scabtongue. There are cheap artifacts sacrificing themselves for affects and extra Scrapyard Dynamos. There are expensive and expendable artifacts to sacrifice for chances at larger random artifacts. The rest of the deck is built to take advantage of these things happening, either by gaining advantage of having multiple robots in play, having artifacts in the crypt, or by having a supply of smaller artifacts being available to make bigger. With a small supply of removal and card drawing, this deck can find its pieces while dealing with early opposing nuisances.
The exciting aspect of Scabtongue is the flavor he brings, both to lore and to the anticipation of what dangers we will face in AZ2. This little doggy gives us an interesting tool at our disposal.