Epic: Base Set Wild Alignment

Wild cards feature dinosaurs, savage beasts, flames, lightning and other chaotic forces of nature. Wild has the best ground bodies in the game and the most direct damage via burn. Of course, this combination is completely unfair since it lets you sit behind huge threats (and walls) while throwing lightning bolts at someone’s face. Many of the Wild champions are so huge, they basically scream “kill me now or you die”, making them significant threats.

In addition, they can swing with those huge bodies, have an opponent throw something weak under the bus, and then the Wild player drop Lash or Rage to suddenly start dealing breakthrough at asinine numbers. More ridiculous is when you combo this with +10 Unbreakable from Mighty Blow and just kill someone in one turn. It happens. The huge threats, fireballs and surprise factor make Wild a serious opponent for anyone to face. In addition, because many of their huge bodies are flashes, which means they often get to serve as unstoppable effects plus having innate threat. This is a powerful combination when you drop a Kong or Raging T-Rex (or similar) and then just sit behind that threatening body, forcing some control from your opponent. This is an easy way to get ahead since you give up nothing.

What’s especially effective when using Wild is throwing down Champions on your own turn (usually creating a threat plus gaining a flash) then while your opponent is busy fumbling with responses, on their turn you’re waiting to drop 5-8 direct damage per card, with some of your cards being free. This is exacerbated by Fire Shaman which allys for 3 damage to a target. This is similar to, but not necessarily better than, Sage’s Forcemage Apprentice. You can usually guarantee about 6 extra damage per round out of this champion and if you play Flame Strike on one of those turns, you’ve dealt 14 easy damage. On top of that, you’re usually going to draw into at least one Fireball per game which you can save for a turn where you chain that in there and deal a total of 17 damage. This alone is 57% of someone’s starting life total! When combined with other sources of burn and an opponent screwed enough to mulligan against Wild you can easily deal so much damage that an opponent dies in 3 turns or less.

So in short, distract with big things (maybe they’ll even hit), smack them with direct. It’s a lot like Good’s Airborne strategy but with a backup.

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One of their most glaring weaknesses is the absolutely poor spot-removal. All of it deals numerical damage which isn’t just subject to the unbreakable problem but also managing Defense numbers. This means that their removal is entirely opponent-dependent, which is effectively probability-dependent. Worse, they only have one board-wipe—Hurricane! You might think of Wild as being hyper-destructive and wielding all the forces of nature against you but not really, they simply don’t have the removal to stack up like that. It can be said that cards like Kong and Chomp! are “effectively unlimited” but really it glosses over the fact that you will have things you just cannot kill, such as Thundurus and many things in Wild.

Speaking of things they have very little of, Wild has only one airborne champion—Strafing Dragon. Granted this guy will give you nightmares and make you paranoid as hell but he’s the only one Wild has in the base release. He has respectable offense, defense, is extremely fast (both Blitz and Ambush) and can hit something or someone for 5. This means that Wild’s only real offensive strategy is to use surprise huge-bodies or surprise-burn. Speaking of speed…

If you look at card speed, you’ll note that cards might have Blitz or Ambush. For Wild champions, 7/13 of them can attack or expend on your first turn since putting them into play (e.g. Blitz or Ambush) which is incredibly important for tempo. However, about 3 of these cards aren’t very playable in base set (Pyromancer, Pack Alpha, Bellowing Minotaur) so you’re left with an effective 4/13 which is only 31% of your total roster. Evil isn’t faring a lot better with its 6/12 absolute but 5/12 (Dark Leader) effective, which is 42%. Good has a crazy 10/15 with respectable 9/15 (White Knight) being reasonably playable, coming to 60%! Sage sports absolute speed 9/13 cards with all being playable, coming out to 69%! Every color has better speed unit selections than Wild, so please try not to fall for the trap of thinking that Wild is fast. By volume, Sage and Good are tied for the fastest and relative-wise, Sage is the fastest.

Obviously Wild isn’t all bad but it does have some glaring weaknesses for a mindful player to exploit. Basically everything not mentioned here will tear your face off though.

Best champions are always going to be partially subjective but after picking criteria, you can at least try to be impartial. So here are Strafing Dragon and Burrowing Wurm.

I challenge you to make a Wild deck better because these two are not in it. That’s a challenge you will fail for sure. Strafing Dragon is easily one of the best champions in the game’s card pool and completely restricted to Wild. The ability to ambush this in to block something while also hitting to the face is ridiculous. On top of being able to bring it out, immediately hit for 5 to the face, then swing in the air for 6 and you’re basically looking at a part-flash-part-threat champion. Any time you see something like that bundled together, it’s just a poptart.

Burrowing Wurm is horrifying and will cause people to wish they wore their brown pants that day. Sporting the highest offense and defense in the game (legally playable) along with Breakthrough so no one can escape its wrath, you should no longer care that it isn’t fast. Essenitally, this thing is going to swing and when it does, you’re getting hurt a lot. It’s probably the biggest threat card in the game alongside Avenging Angel. The best part is that it’s not color-locked at all.

Honorable mentions: Raging T-Rex and Jungle Queen.

I’ve never built a Wild deck to date without Raging T-Rex. The easy source of cards for something you want to put on the field anyway is just like free candy. Dropping this card is an excellent early play because it can bait out removal you’d rather not have spent on your other big stompy champions. Also, it sets your hand up for all of the diminishing that will happen to it in Wild.

Jungle Queen is horribly mean. If your opponent plays this card, they have something in mind for ambushing in, most likely a Kong or Burrowing Wurm. Basically assume horrible things will happen to you if you attack while she’s up. The fact that Queen forces the use of removal before an attack (or suffer the consequences) makes her so excellent for controlling someone who has control. The best part is that when she dies, you’ve already gotten a card out of her for your troubles. Both Raging T-Rex and Jungle Queen serve that similar purpose. Her ability to buff all of your already huge Wild champions is just extra.

To summarize, Wild has a lot of serious pressure it can place on opponent’s along with its threats being backed up by painful promises. At the same time, it lacks speed, air strategies (though burn could be argued to be as good) and decent removal. Supplementing Sage Freeze such as Frost Titan can really help Wild make the best use of some of its biggest things. The combination of champions being used to get flash effects while doubling as threats can easily give advantages to Wild that are hard to match. Even with perfect 1:1 control, Wild can come out ahead qualitatively.

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Alice

Alice is the webmaster of VMundi, author, editor, mathematician, and autodidact. She has over 6 years of publishing experience writing articles for various self-run sites. Her interests include game design, economics, Game Theory, graphical design, quantum mechanics and mathematics.

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