A Guide to Enclave Tournaments

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A Guide to Enclave Tournaments

Post by D0m1at0r on Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:09 pm

Ok, just thought I'd start with the type of tournament that I think I know best. Basically, if you know what you're doing and enter these for 5k gold (not really worth paying the 40k unless you really want those enclave cards) you can make a healthy profit of (usually at least) 5k or 10k gold. It can't all be that bad. I'll subdivide this topic into card overviews (description of each card and its strengths and weaknesses), deck building, and playing the actual games. This is still a work in progress, and if you think I've got anything wrong (which is quite likely), then feel free to tell me so. Enjoy.
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Re: A Guide to Enclave Tournaments

Post by D0m1at0r on Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:25 am

Well now that I've realized that I don't need to put the commanders in a different section altogether, I shall reproduce them here:
Ok, now we shall take a look at each enclave card and its relative merits and faults:
Commanders:
Invasion Coordinator-Obviously fairly good in this Xeno-packed set. Exceptional if you have a glaive or 2 or lots of fast xeno cards (i.e. speculus). Also usable as the basis of a fear deck-good cards to include in this are glaives, dreadships, spectres, shivers, glorious assaults and any other fast xeno card. His siege also comes in handy for destroying the opposing structures such as tesla cannon and encampment. However, bear in mind that invasion coordinator does not heal and so your deck may suffer from Ajax or a deck with several anti-xeno cards. Play over other commanders if you can construct a fear deck or if you have glaives. Otherwise, Ajax/Ryoko can be better.
Dementia-Seems a little out of place in this set. Has lots of health which can be useful against fear decks, but is otherwise unremarkble. Consider playing this if you have a few blood spouts/gore crawlers/smog tanks (especially these). Also worth playing a scavenger if you have her and a blood spout or two. There are very few anti-bloodthirsty cards in this set (Reshaper tank and piranha being the only ones), but if you have little or no bloodthirsty then this commander is obviously poor. Play only with a fair few bloodthirsty cards, especially blood spouts.
Ajax-A fairly strong commander in this xeno-rich set. Also, as he is only an uncommon, you will find him in your pool a fair amount of the time. Many people forget about his strike xeno one so he can be extremely powerful-he is notably good against invasion coordinator. Bear in mind that your opponent will either refrain from playing xeno cards or will simply play as many as possible to 'dilute' his strike effect. A good choice regardless of your pool-play over Ryoko unless your pool has many cards with high health (i.e. monstrosity, Mind controller etc).
Ryoko-An extremely good commander at only common level;expect to get her often. With her non-faction specific heal she can prove a great asset to your deck, and her weaken raider 1 can render opposing cannon walkers useless and tremor hunters/toxic blades much less effective. Many people forget about her weaken raider 1-bear this is mind. However, she is a little low on the health side and can be vulnerable to fear rushes. Play over Ajax if you think it would benefit your pool more (i.e. cards with lots of health).
And finally, Hydraulis-The most noticeable thing about him is his serious lack of health. As such, Hydraulis is extremely vulnerable to fear rushes and glaives-expect your opponent to start with one if you are using him. Playing a mirror wall/xeno forcefield etc is recommended with hydraulis, simply to keep him alive. There are quite a few good cards which Hydraulis is effective against-most notably, he renders revolver less than optimal. However, nearly all of the other mimic cards in the set are better. Play Hydraulis only if you have no other options and you have a wall. If you don't have any walls, then it is worth considering Lord Alexander as your commander instead.

Ok, now we'll take a look at the three instants which can be found in the Enclave set:
Death from Above-The bomb card of the set. Opening a death from above is similar to getting an EMP in gold tournaments-it all but guarantees you a top 25% finish even with poor other cards. ALthough it may not seem like much, the strike all 1 is lethal to many good enclave cards (rabid corruptor, the otherwise hard-to-kill tremor hunter etc) and can often be used to finish off/deal that needed damage to others. As a bonus, it even comes with a free jam that just might help you that little bit extra-it is unreliable though (jam usually is). Play this card no matter what your pool is: you will be rewarded.
Chaos Wave-Another rare instant, this one is sadly nowhere near as good as the one desribed above. That being said however, it can still prove a useful card-its heal 2 can save one of your powerful cards from dying, strike 2 can finish off or kill an otherwise difficult enemy assault card, and its mimic may just give you something nice. When using it, do bear in mind that its abilities are all random target and it is best used when the chances of something you want happening are high-it is sometimes useful to kill a rabid corruptor which your opponent, who went second, played in response to your opening card. It is an especially good card should your opponent be foolish enough to play a tremor wyrm. Despite its lower effectiveness (than death from above), you should always play this card.
Glorious Assault-At first glance this card may appear rather pathetic-but don't understimate it-in a xeno-filled set, it has its uses.Primarily it is used in fear decks (usually playing Invasion Coordinator too), as it can often deal that extra bit of damage to the enemy commander and kill them when they thought they might have survived. Outside of fear decks it is a lot less useful, as the rally is often not needed/unlikely to target the right card. If you have a fear deck, then this card is a must-play; otherwise, you might consider leaving it out (although it is an instant and as such can suprise your opponent).

Now we shall examine the structures. Don't forget that as your first card won't tick down if you are starting, a structure can often be a good way to commence the match:
Power Generator-A fairly ineffective structure in this set. Its 2 health renders it useless against anyone playing invasion coordinator and cannon walker/tyr's hunter will both destroy it in one hit. Even if it does manage to active, there are not so many raiders in this set and so it really isn't great. It can, however, act as a counter to Ryoko's weaken raider 1-especially for cannon walker which would otherwise not attack. Leave this card out of your pool unless you have a large number of raiders (which is unlikely) or really want to be able to boost your cannon walker.
Artillery Encampment-A nice card in Enclave, with many possible targets to strike. It has decent enough health to survive Invasion coordinator for long enough (cannon walker will still be a problem however) and will often force your opponent to play his non-xeno cards even if they are sub-optimal in the current situation. If you have Ajax, this card is even more effective; bear in mind that a heavy anti-xeno deck will not work against many cards-there are several good non-xeon assaults in the set. Play this card in your pool as a decent 'filler'; if you have Ajax and/or a lot of anti-xeno cards already, consider leaving it out as it does nothing against non-xeno cards.
ComSat Terminal-The jury is out on this one I'm afraid. This card can obviously give you a massive advantage once it is active as most of your opponents assaults will be unable to attack; it is slow to get out and can be slightly underwhelming in certain situation however. Obviously the rally all imperial 2 can be useful if you have arc troopers/razor hawks/revolvers/trap setters (don't play this one unless you have a ComSat), but without many imperial assaults this card may prove inconsequential. I personally have never played this card, and I have seen it used to no great effect, but something tells me that I underestimate it. I would recommend not play it; if you see something in it that I don't then go ahead and play it-you may be suprised. Obviously with a few imperials in your deck you should definitely play this card.
Tesla Cannon-One of the best rares to open in Enclave sealed. Not only does this card have enough health to survive being sieged out, its strike 3 and jam will end the game within just one or two turns of its activation. It is the missile silo of the enclave set. However, it does have wall, which in most cases will be a little unhelpful as it provides your opponent with a simple means of destroying it. This CAN be a blessing in disguise against fear decks-they will not like the effective 7 more health gained by your commander. Needless to say this is a must-play card, and it is a great one to open with if you are starting the match (watch out for an opposing Invasion Coordiantor; apart from him, only Cannon Walker is any real worry).
Xeno Forcefield-hmmmm. A structure which does nothing but stall/absorb siege? Interesting... This is a rather poor uncommon structure which should not be played except in very special circumstances-the two main ones being; a) You have a tesla cannon and wish to protect it being sieged/attacked, and b) Your commander is Hydraulis. With these two situations, in only the latter does it really merit its place in your deck-the former is often just a wasted card. If your deck fulfils neither of the above criteria then do not even try to put this card in your deck-even against fear rushes, you would probably be better served by some other card.
Mirror Wall-Well this card does what it says on the tin-principally, it's a wall. With 5 health, it's likely to protect your commander from a fair bit of damage and can also take a little bit of sieging without too much trouble. It does have mimic, which can be a nice addition in some situations but can just as often be completely useless. Ironically, it's best use is with Hydraulis to protect him (in this situation your opponent will be careful not to play any cards with mimicable abilities); playing it to protect Ryoko from fear rushes is also a viable use. Play this card if you are low on mimic/have a low health commander, but bear in mind that there are many better cards which you could be playing.
And finally, Panopticon. I don't think much of this card-granted it has a lot of health and is unlikely to be sieged out, but what can it actually do? It has mimic, which is fairly unreliable/predictable on a card with a wait of 3, and heal xeno 1. This card has always seemed underwhelming for its high wait time and I have never used it. I would recommend that you don't play this card unless you have a heavy xeno deck with liitle/no other sources of mimic and healing.
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