Specter Ops Review

Specter Ops Box


Specter Ops is a team game with hidden movement, deduction, and player powers.

Hidden Movement


One player is the Agent. Their goal is to stealthily complete objectives and escape.

Everyone else is a Hunter. Their goal is to stop the Agent.

(In a 5-player game, one Hunter is a Traitor secretly helping the Agent.)

Specter Ops In Progress

Game Overview

The Agent spends the game secretly moving around the board completing 3 of 4 objectives and then escaping. The Hunters must track the Agent and reduce her health to 0 or delay her for 40 turns.

Both the Agent and the Hunters are represented by miniatures on the game board. The Hunters visibly move their miniatures, but the Agent does not. Instead, the Agent writes down her moves and only uses her miniature to denote where she was last seen.

At the start of the game, the Hunters select characters with special Agent-hunting abilities. Then, the Agent selects her own character and 3 pieces of equipment to help evade the Hunters.

How to Play


Specter Ops Setup


There are 4 objectives, and the exact location of each is randomly determined at the start of the game. The 4 potential objective-location groups are shown on the Agent’s movement sheet. For each group, roll a die. Circle the corresponding location on the Agent’s movement sheet and place a mission token (blue side up) on the board at that space.

Specter Ops Objective


The Vehicle starts on space K17, and all of the Hunters start inside it. To represent the Vehicle on the game board, there is a Vehicle token. To represent the Hunters in the Vehicle, there is a Vehicle card.


Additional 4 or 5 Player Setup Rules

Line of Sight

During the Game, the only way the Agent can be seen is if she is in Line of Sight to a Hunter miniature. To be in Line of Sight, the Agent and Hunter must be in the same row or column, and there can’t be a structure in between them.

For example, if the Agent is on spot Q5 and a Hunter is on the spot Q10, the Hunter has Line of Sight and the Agent is visible. If the Hunter was on spot Q12, the Hunter would not have Line of Sight and the Agent would not be visible.

Specter Ops LOS

If the Hunter is in a road, the hunter can see both rows or columns in that road.

Specter Ops Road Vision


The Agent takes her turn, and then the Hunters take their turn.


At the start of each turn, the Agent may move up to 4 spaces. Diagonal movement is allowed. Moving through a Hunter is not allowed. Since the Agent doesn’t physically move a piece on the board, she must write where she ends her move on her movement sheet (Q5 for example). After moving, the Agent announces that she has moved.


Moving 2 or less can be beneficial because it nullifies the Hunters’ Motion Sensor, explained in the Hunter section.

If, before moving, she starts orthogonally or diagonally adjacent to an objective, she may complete that objective by flipping it over to its red side.


If, while moving, she passes through a space that a Hunter has Line of Sight to, she must place the Last Seen marker and her miniature in that space.


If, after moving, she is in Line of Sight of a Hunter miniature, she must place her miniature on that spot.

Specter Ops Visible

Finally, if after moving she has completed 3 objectives and is on one of the exit points, she wins.

Specter Ops Exit

Character and Equipment

At the start of the game, after the Hunters choose their characters, the Agent chooses her character. Each character has a special ability.

Specter Ops Character

The Agent also gets to choose 3 Equipment cards. There are four generic Equipment cards (Adrenal Surge, Flash Bang, Smoke Grenade, and Stealth Field) with two copies of each. In addition, each character has a character specific Equipment card that they may choose. Each Equipment card may only be used once in a game, except for some of the character specific ones that may be used twice.

Specter Ops Equipment

Equipment may either be used before or after moving, but only 1 Equipment card may be used in a single turn. Each Equipment card explains how to use it. Most of the Equipment cards must either be revealed or rotated to show when they are used. When any Equipment card is used, the Agent must write its initials on her movement sheet.


In a 4 or 5 player game, the Agent chooses 5 equipment cards and has 2 extra health.


At the start of each Hunter turn, the Hunters must decide their activation order.

A Hunter may either move, use a character ability, or activate the Motion Sensor (if in the vehicle and if it hasn’t moved this turn). Then, the Hunter may attack the Agent, if the Hunter is not in the vehicle and the Agent is in Line of Sight. Once the first Hunter’s activation is finished, the second Hunter’s activation begins, etc.


Most Hunters may move up to 4 spaces in a turn, if not in the Vehicle. The Vehicle may move up to 10 spaces in a turn, but it must remain in the double column/row roads. Entering or exiting the Vehicle ends a Hunter’s movement.

Specter Ops Roads

To move the Vehicle, a Hunter must start the turn in the Vehicle. The Vehicle’s movement may be split between multiple Hunters’ activations. If one Hunter moves the vehicle 6 spaces, a second Hunter could move the vehicle up to 4 more spaces. A Hunter may exit the vehicle after using it.

Instead of moving, a Hunter may either use a Character ability or the Motion Sensor. For example, instead of moving, The Prophet may use the post-cognition Character ability to make the Agent announce where she was two turns ago.

If a Hunter starts the turn in the Vehicle, that Hunter may use the Motion Sensor. The Motion Sensor may not be used if the Vehicle already moved that turn, and the Vehicle may not be moved if the Motion Sensor was already activated that turn.

When the Motion Sensor is used, if the Agent moved 2 or less spaces on her turn, she says “no motion detected.” If the Agent moved more than 2 spaces on her turn, she must say where she is in relation to the vehicle.

For example, if the Vehicle is on N9 and the Agent is on G9, the Agent must say West. If the Agent was on G10, Southwest.

Specter Ops Motion Sensor

After Moving

After moving, the Agent will either be in Line of Sight or she won’t.

If the Agent isn’t in Line of Sight, she must say “clear.”

If the Agent is in Line of Sight, she must place her miniature on her current location. Then, if the Hunter isn’t in the Vehicle, that Hunter may attack the Agent.

If the Agent and Hunter are on the same space, the Hunter automatically deals 1 point of damage to the Agent. Otherwise, count how many spaces away the Agent is from the Hunter (including the Agent’s current space). Then roll a die.

If the roll is a 1, the attack automatically misses.

If the roll is a 6, roll an extra die and add the rolls together. Every extra die that rolls a 6 grants another extra die.

If the total die roll is equal to or greater than the number of spaces, deal 1 point of damage to the Agent.

Specter Ops Attack

If the Agent is reduced to 0 health, the Hunters win the game.

Stunned Hunter

If the Agent stuns a Hunter with a Character ability or Equipment card, that Hunter may only move 2 spaces on their next turn, cannot use Character abilities, and cannot attack the Agent. To show a Hunter has been stunned, put a Stun Marker on the Hunter card; remove it at the end of the turn.

Specter Ops Stun

A Hunter may not be stunned while in the Vehicle.

5 Player Traitor


I love this game. I enjoy playing the Agent and the Hunter(s). Hidden movement is cool. As the Agent, trying to outsmart your opponents through feints, bluffs, and counter-bluffs is awesome. As the Hunter(s), locating, cornering, and attacking the Agent is incredibly satisfying. The addition of the Equipment and Character abilities also adds a lot to the game.

For example, with the Smoke Bomb you can make a 3 by 3 area within 4 spaces obstruct vision. So, you could throw it out at a road to block LoS when you run past that road. You could also throw it down and then move into it; you can only be hit if your opponent is on top of you in that scenario. (If you are The Cobra, you stun any Hunter on top of you.) Or, you could bluff; throw it out to block LoS in one direction, and then go in a completely different direction. That last one is my favorite, but I do like the idea of double Smoke Bomb Cobra.

Specter Ops Cobra Smoke Grenade

Unfortunately though, I have only met 1 other person who enjoys it as well. (After 3 games one of my other players no longer likes the game.) This game is certainly not for everyone, and there are 2 main reasons why it might turn a player off.

Some people feel overwhelmed and have a lot of trouble deciding what to do initially, particularly for Hunter players. Since, at the start of the game, you have 0 information about which Agent character is being played, what their equipment is, or where they went. This has really turned off multiple players. A few pieces of advice to avoid this for hunters are:

  • Use the roads for vision. Place your miniatures in such a way that the Agent will be forced to run past at least one of them. This is excellent for initially establishing where the Agent went.
  • Pick Prophet for your first game. Prophet’s post cognition ability makes it impossible for the Agent to completely juke (outmaneuver to stay hidden) the Hunters.
  • Don’t be afraid to not move on your turn if you are in a good position.

The second problem some people have with the game is they find it boring. As the Agent it isn’t really boring because you have to constantly plan your moves. As the Hunters, if the Agent is consistently moving 2 spaces a turn or spends turns waiting, it can get boring if you just wait for them to show themselves. This has never been an issue for me because I am highly competitive, and I have no problem waiting if I think it is a good move. But, I understand that this can be a boring, low action situation for people who just want to be engaged and have a good time.

I have not had a chance to play with the Traitor, but it does intrigue me. I have only played 2 and 3 player games so far, but I like the game so much that I already want to recommend it. For people that don’t like deduction games, I would avoid it, but for competitive players that love trying to outsmart their opponents, I highly recommend it.

Kingsburg Review

Kingsburg Box


Kingsburg is a 2-5 player worker placement game that uses dice as its workers. This mechanic allows for plentiful options without overloading the players.

Worker Placement


The goal of the game is to build buildings, score points, and fend off yearly attacks.

Kingsburg In Progress

Game Overview

The game is divided into five years. Each year has three Productive Seasons where players roll dice, influence advisors, and build a building (the meat of the game). These are separated by minor, kingly interventions, and at the end of the year, there is an attack that can potentially lose players points.

How to Play

Each year is divided into 8 phases:

  1. Aid from the King
  2. Spring Productive Season
  3. The King’s Reward
  4. Summer Productive Season
  5. The King’s Envoy
  6. Autumn Productive Season
  7. Recruit Soldiers
  8. Winter – The Battle

Kingsburg Calender Track

Productive Season

The bulk of the game takes place in the three Productive Seasons (Spring, Summer, and Autumn). In these Productive Seasons, players roll their dice, influence advisors, and optionally build a building.

Roll the Dice

All players roll their three dice. The player with the highest combined total will be last to influence an advisor in this season. To represent this, place that player’s colored disk at the bottom of the Turn Order Chart. The player with the next highest combined total is placed second to last. Repeat until everyone’s disk has been placed.


Influence Advisors

The advisors range from 1 to 18. Players use their dice to select (influence) these advisors. Each advisor grants the selecting player resources. The higher the number of the advisor, the more resources it grants.


The first player on the Turn Order Chart selects first. They can use one, two, or all three of their dice to select an advisor with a matching number.

For example, if they rolled a 3, 5, and 6. They could use all of their dice to select the 14-advisor. They could use two dice to select the 8, 9, or 11-advisor. Or, they could use one die to select the 3, 5, or 6-advisor.

Once the first player selects an advisor, the second player selects an advisor, etc. until all players, in order, select an advisor. After everyone has selected an advisor, players can potentially select a second advisor, in turn order. Any dice that weren’t used on the first selection, can be used for this second selection. For anyone with a die remaining after the second selection, there is a third/final selection. So, a player could either get one high numbered advisor or multiple low numbered advisors. The only caveat is that no advisor can be selected more than once in a season.

Build Buildings

After influencing advisors to gain resources, each player may use those resources to build a building.

Kingsburg Province Sheet

To build a building, you must turn in resources matching the cost in the circle on your Province Sheet. To show that you built a building, place one of your Building Tokens over the cost. You then immediately gain the victory points to the right of the flag (advance your token on the Scoring Track around the board). In addition, you gain the effect in the text for the rest of the game.

For example, if you spend two gold to build the Statue, you immediately gain three victory points, and for the rest of the game, anytime you roll the same number on all of your Productive Season dice, you may reroll one of those dice.

At the start of the game, you may only build a building in the leftmost I column. In order to build a building in the II, III, or IV column you must build each building in that row in the preceding columns first. For example, if you want to build the Embassy, you would first have to build the Barricade, then the Crane, then the Town Hall. Once those are built, you may build the Embassy.

The Rest of the Year

Everything else that happens in the year revolves around the Productive Seasons.

1) Aid from the King

The player with the least built buildings gains a white die for the next Spring Productive Season. This die is rolled in the Spring Productive Season with the rest of your dice. You can use that white die with at least one of your other dice to select an advisor. (The bonus white die does count for determining turn order in the Productive Season.)

If two or more players are tied for the least amount of buildings, the tied player with the least goods (gold, wood, or stone) gains the white die. If still tied, all tied players gain one good of the their choice.

In the first year of the game, since all players will be tied in buildings and goods, all players gain one good.

2) Spring Productive Season

**See Productive Season above**

3) The King’s Reward

The player with the most built buildings gains a victory point. If there is a tie, all tied players gain a victory point.

4) Summer Productive Season

**See Productive Season above**

5) The King’s Envoy

The player with the least built buildings gains the King’s Envoy. In case of a tie, the tied player with the least goods gains the King’s Envoy. If still tied, no one gains the King’s Envoy.


The King’s Envoy can be used in a Productive Season to either:

A) Select an advisor a second time in a Productive Season


B) Build a second building in a Productive Season

For selecting an advisor a second time, the advisor can either be already selected by a different player or by yourself. Place the King’s Envoy marker next to your dice to show that you are using it.

For building a second building, you must follow the column rule (build from left to right) and have the resources to build both buildings.

When you use the King’s Envoy, return it to its starting spot. If the King’s Envoy is not used by phase 5 of the next turn, the King’s Envoy is reassigned.

6) Autumn Productive Season

**See Productive Season above**

7) Recruit Soldiers

Phase 7 directly relates to phase 8. I recommend reading phase 8 first.

In turn order defined by the Autumn Productive Season, players may recruit soldiers by turning in two goods (gold, wood, stone) per soldier. Players may recruit as many soldiers as they can afford. The goods could be the same or different.

Soldiers do reset to zero at the end of each year.

8) Winter – The Battle

Before the end of each year, one of five random enemies attacks. Each player is attacked by the same enemy.


Each player has a combat value and each enemy has a strength. If a player’s combat value exceeds the enemy’s strength, that player gets a reward. If a player’s combat value is less than the enemy’s strength, that player is penalized. If a player’s combat value ties the enemy’s strength, nothing happens.

A player’s combat value is determined by their soldiers, buildings, and the king’s reinforcements. Each soldier you have on the Soldier Chart adds 1 combat value. Buildings like Guard Tower, Fortress, and Farms add or subtract combat value. For the king’s reinforcement, one player rolls a die and every player adds that number to their combat value.

For example, Blue has two soldiers on the Soldier Chart for +2.
Blue has Guard Tower (+1), Blacksmith (+1), Palisade (+1), and Farms (-1) for a net +2.
For king’s reinforcements, a 3 is rolled for +3.
In this situation, Blue has a combat value of 7.


In addition, the player that beats the enemy by the most, gets a bonus victory point. In case of tie, all tied players get the victory point. If no player beats the enemy, no one gets the victory point.

End of Year

At the end of the year, advance the Year Track by one and place the season token back at Aid from the King. At the end of year 5, the game is over.

Winning the Game

The player with the most points at the end of the game is the winner. In case of a tie, the tied player with the most goods remaining wins. If still tied, the tied player with the most built buildings wins.


I enjoy Kingsburg because it provides me with a lot of strategic choice while still being fun for the family. I like being able to plan out exactly which buildings I am going to get in which order. Then, based on that, I like figuring out the best way to optimize my dice rolls in the Productive Seasons, taking into account what resources I need and what advisors my opponents might go after. Watching my strategy unfold as planned can be incredibly satisfying.

I have also played Kingsburg with minimal planning. In these games, I just start off with a general idea, and I leave myself open to potentially disrupt my opponents in the Productive Seasons. Whether or not I do disrupt my opponents, building buildings on a whim can be quite satisfying as well.

With regard to the dice as workers mechanic, I am a fan. This mechanic randomizes which of the 18 advisors you can potentially choose from each Productive Season; this keeps the game interesting because you have to decide the best potential combination of these random elements. I much prefer dice randomizing my options than determining success or failure. While consistently getting high rolls can be beneficial, a player won’t straight out lose for not rolling the highest consistently.

The thing I dislike the most about this game is that certain enemies can destroy your best building. If you don’t defeat specific enemies, generally the lower strength enemies of the year, you can lose your rightmost building. I really dislike this in theory because it allows for massive feast or famine strategies. You can completely ignore combat value bonuses, and if the King’s reinforcements are consistently high, you are in a better position than the person that defended themselves. If the King’s reinforcements are not high, you fall dramatically behind your opponents that prepared their defenses. In addition, no one likes losing things. Thankfully, this has not actually been much of an issue in the games I have played. The odds of losing a building are very low, but we basically all protect ourselves form them anyway. So even though this idea worries me, I still enjoy and recommend the game.

If you do like the game, I highly recommend checking out the first expansion, To Forge a Realm. The expansion adds more buildings and randomizes which ones you might start with each game. This alone significantly increased my enjoyment of a game I already liked. There is also a reworked combat variant that replaces king’s reinforcements that I look forward to trying. The added player specific powers also seem like they could add a lot.

Overall, I enjoy the game, recommend trying it, and if you like it, I highly recommend the expansion.

Constructed Epic: Combative Humans

Epic Box


I was inspired when writing my Epic: Interesting Combat Cards article to make this deck.

First Shot Deck List

Combative Humans

Evil (0)

Good (51)

Slow (12)
2x Lord of the Arena
3x Palace Guard
1x The People’s Champion
3x White Knight
3x Markus, Watch Captain

Fast (23)
3x Angel of Light
3x Angel of Mercy
3x Ceasefire
3x Feint
3x Forced Exile
3x Noble Unicorn
3x Quell
2x Resurrection

0-Cost (16)
3x Blind Faith
3x Brave Squire
2x Faithful Pegasus
3x Paros, Rebel Leader
2x Priestess of Angeline
3x White Dragon

Sage (0)

Wild (9)

Slow (3)
3x Triceratops

Fast (3)
3x Surprise Attack

0-Cost (3)
3x Rage

First Shot Explanation

I made this deck because I wanted to use Feint, Lord of the Arena, and Faithful Pegasus. Since I had Faithful Pegasus, I included Markus, White Knight, Palace Guard, and The People’s Champion, all of which are big humans.

Angel of Mercy and Noble Unicorn are just generally amazing so I added them. Resurrection is similarly great.

Ceasefire is excellent, and I wanted more card draw to go with Feint. I thought about including Urgent Messengers in place of some of the Ceasefires and/or Feints, since Urgent Messengers always guarantees two human tokens with the two cards, but I decided to stick with Ceasefires and Feints because the potential is greater. Feints in particular I fully assume I will frequently use outside of combat to just draw 2 cards. In the situations where I can use it in combat, it is considerably stronger than just gaining two tokens. Unfortunately, the only expend champion I can abuse with Feint when defending is White Knight. The rest of the expend champions like Rabble Rouser didn’t fit how I wanted to build the deck.

Forced Exile is included because I needed fast targeted removal in Good. I plan on using this primarily on my opponent’s turn, so I didn’t want to draw my opponent a card with Banishment. I didn’t take Vital Mission because I wanted this deck to be more aggressive. 2 human tokens for my opponent seemed to be the least of the drawbacks. In addition, Forced Exile does have the draw 2 option that the other two lack. (Since I removed a Faithful Pegasus, I no longer need these to be Good, so I might replace them with Transforms or Bittens.)

For zeros, White Dragon and Blind Faith are just incredible cards. Brave Squire and Rage allow my big humans to fight basically all of the other champions and win. Rage is included considerably more for the +4/+4, but the breakthrough is a big added bonus.

I like Priestess of Angeline in a heavy Good deck because it recycles and gains health. Paros, Rebel Leader is an incredibly strong zero for this deck. In my testing, that 1 offense boost has actually been quite helpful, not to mention the human tokens it spawns.

One of the strongest cards in this deck is Quell. Basically every deck should have at least some board clear, and Quell works wonders for this deck. I have a very strong 0-cost champion presence and a strong 1-cost presence. So, depending on the board state, I can potentially 1-sided board clear my opponent, while leaving myself largely untouched. The fact that it can also stop Insurgency attacks is a major added perk.

I did not include High King because I wanted my champions to be threatening on the attack. Royal Escort wasn’t included, even though it is a human with decent stats, because I want to play my Brave Squires and Rages on my champions.

I also avoided the big token cards like Insurgency, Secret Legion, and Courageous Soul because I wanted to focus on the big human champions. After more testing, I’ll see if this decision is wise, but I have been liking it so far.

Wanting 3 Rages forced me to take 6 1-cost wild cards, and I went with Triceratops and Surprise Attack. Triceratops was chosen because I wanted another big threatening body that drew me a card. Surprise Attack is generically amazing.

My first change to my original list was adding in the the Angel of Lights. I got absolutely destroyed by a deck running blitzing Wild airborne champions, and I had no great way to stop them. Angel of Light gets boosted to 9 offense with either Brave Squire or Rage which lets it break all other non-Thundarus airborne champions. In addition, the 10 health gain is great for fighting burn and letting me play more aggressively.

Overall, Quell, White Dragon, Angel of Mercy, and Markus have been the stars of this deck. I very much look forward to testing this deck further.

Epic: Interesting Combat Cards

Epic Box


In this article I go over some of the most interesting, combat-specific cards/effects. I break down the effects based on the primary card in the interaction.



Feint obviously has to be one of the cards I talk about because it only deals with combat, aside from drawing cards.

Chump Block/Attack

The simplest interaction with Feint is to chump block or chump attack without losing your champion. You block with a champion and then play this when you gain the initiative. Your blocker is removed from combat and prepared while the attacker remains “blocked.”

You attack with a champion. They block with a champion, flipping it. You play this so your attacker is removed from combat and becomes prepared. Then, after all of the remaining combat phases occur, you can attack again with that champion and your opponent’s flipped champion can’t block it.

This card becomes more interesting in either of those situations if you can draw out resources from your opponent. While attacking, your opponent might ambush in a blocker. Play Feint after blockers are declared and attack again, bypassing the ambushed in champion. Or, if your opponent unexpectedly buffs a defending champion, play this to get out of that unfavorable situation while still wasting a card of your opponent’s, and then you still get to attack again. (This also works if your opponent buffs their attacker.) Finally, if your opponent group blocks, you can use this to essentially flip multiple defending champions while also drawing 2 cards.

When This Card Attacks


Feint can also let you trigger “when this card attacks” triggers twice in one turn. Say you have Draka, Dragon Tyrant already in play. Attack with Draka, deal 3 damage to all defending champions. Play Feint. Attack with Draka again and deal 3 more damage to all defending champions. This also works with Courageous Soul for a double +2 offense boost, and to a lesser extent, Guilt Demon and Thrasher Demon. I’ll come back to Faithful Pegasus.

One very important aspect to note: when you play Feint, it removes champions under your control from combat, but it does not end combat. So, when you attack with Draka and then play Feint, your opponent will still get an opportunity to play cards before blockers are declared, and technically after blockers are declared as well. Due to this, you could Draka, Feint, pass. Then your opponent could play Ceasefire or Bitten etc. before you can declare the second attack.

**Edit** If all champions that were declared as attackers or blockers are removed from combat, the combat immediately ends. So, in the above crossed out text, if you attack with Draka and then immediately Feint, your opponent would not get a chance to play anything before you could attack with Draka again. **Edit**

If WWG ever creates a card with a “when this card blocks” ability, you could potentially get that to trigger twice, but your opponent would have to attack you again for you to be able to get the second trigger.

Raging T-Rex


Raging T-Rex must attack each turn if able, but if you attack with Raging T-Rex and then play Feint, that condition has been met for the turn. So, it doesn’t have to attack again.

Prepare Expending Blockers


If you have prepared, non-deploying expend champion(s) (Dark Assassin, Dark Leader, Murderous Necromancer, Necromancer Lord, Succubus, High King, White Knight, Djinn of the Sands, Forcemage Apprentice, Keeper of Secrets, Time Bender, Hunting Raptors, Pack Alpha, Elara The Lycomancer, Helion the Dominator, and/or Rabble Rouser), Feint can let you trigger them twice in one turn.

If you are brave enough not to expend your expend champions right when you play them (usually better to expend immediately) and your opponent attacks you on their turn, you can declare all of your expend champions as blockers. Then, assuming they survive until you get the initiative, you could expend all of your blocking champions for their effects. (Since they were already declared as blockers, they remain blocking even if expended.) After that, you play Feint which removes all of them from combat and prepares them, so you could use all of their expend abilities again, immediately. (This only works with non-deploying or blitz expend champions.)

Double removal or a lot of human tokens could be pretty strong.

Faithful Pegasus


Faithful Pegasus lets you group attack with it and another human. That human gains airborne this turn. (The human would not gain blitz, so it can’t be declared as an attacker if it is deploying or expended.)

Even if the Faithful Pegasus is removed, the human that gained airborne this turn does not lose it until the end of the turn.

The most interesting interaction with this card is Feint. If you attack with this and a Time Walker (granting Time Walker, a human, airborne), and then play Feint, both champions will be removed from combat. You could then have Time Walker attack alone with the airborne it gained from Faithful Pegasus. After that, you could attack with Faithful Pegasus and a different human, giving that second human airborne too.

Lord of the Arena


Lord of the Arena has a bunch of really cool effects, mostly concerned with combat. When you first play it, it is a 13/9 blitz, unbreakable, must be blocked if able champion. So, you can use it for 13 unbreakable blitz offense, or as removal. If you opponent only has 1 prepared champion, that champion (or one that gets ambushed in before blockers) must block it.

On your opponent’s turn, if you get the chance to play a 1-cost Good card before it is removed, it gains unbreakable for that turn. Then on your next turn, it can attack again and force another block. It’s also really nice that you can see how they block before you trigger Lord of the Arena‘s ally ability (if you don’t want to preemptively make it unbreakable that is). If its 5/9 body is big enough to get the job done, you don’t need to play a 1-cost Good card. If it isn’t, you can play a fast 1-cost Good card before damage.

Attacking with Lord of the Arena first also forces your opponent to block it, so you can follow up with a Rampaging Wurm afterwards if your opponent is out of blockers.


This card also works with Feint, since if your opponent has 2 champions and they block with the one you didn’t want to block, you can Feint and force them to block with the second one (since the first blocker remains flipped).


Since Lord of the Arena is a human, it also works with Faithful Pegasus for an airborne, 13/9, blitz, unbreakable, must be blocked by an airborne champion if able champion. In that scenario, the blocking champion would probably direct all of its damage to break the Pegasus, since the Lord of the Arena is unbreakable.


If you returned this to play with an Angel of Mercy or an already in play Necromancer Lord, you would get the tribute trigger, and then you could play a 1-cost Good card to get the ally trigger too. This would leave you with a 21/9 unbreakable blitz champion.

Turn/Helion, the Dominator


The simplest and frequently the best use of Turn is to permanently gain control of an opponent’s champion (especially if they ambush one in on your turn during combat). Since this doesn’t have much to do with combat, I’m largely ignoring that part for this article. This leaves us with the ability to steal a champion for a turn, prepare it, and let it attack (if it is your turn).


Temporarily stealing a champion on your turn and letting it attack can sometimes be stronger than stealing a champion permanently. This is especially true if your opponent has spent their gold for the turn, even more so if you are playing against a control deck. Attacking with a big body champion can get a lot of damage in that your opponent might be unable to stop. Say your opponent Surprise Attacks in Time Walker. You steal it for the turn and attack for 10 damage. If you take the Time Walker permanently instead, your opponent can wait until their turn to deal with it, potentially playing a Sea Titan returning their Time Walker to their hand.


Temporarily stealing a champion on your turn can also allow you to use a powerful expend ability like High King, Necromancer Lord, etc.

One interesting quirk with Loyalty 2 -> Blitz effects is that the champion never loses blitz (unless a Blind Faith strips it). So, if your opponent played Necromancer Lord with Loyalty 2 -> blitz and didn’t expend it, you could permanently gain control of Necromancer Lord and still expend it on the turn you Turned it.


Even with these uses, stealing permanently is so powerful, that the first option is usually only used on your opponent’s turn. The most common use of Turn on your opponent’s turn is to stop an attack. They play and attack with Gold Dragon, you Turn it, gaining control of it, preventing the attack from dealing damage to you/giving your opponent health through righteous, and you gain a blocker that your opponent won’t want to remove (since they will get it back at the end of the turn). If that is all you use it for, it’s okay, but not great.


The more champions in play and the more champions attacking at once, the greater Turn‘s  potential. Say your opponent attacks with 2 Draka, Dragon Tyrants at once. All of your champions will take 6 damage, but then you could Turn 1 of the Drakas, and, assuming your opponent doesn’t play anything, you can declare your stolen Draka as a blocker to the other Draka. This will cause both Drakas to break, netting you removal of 2 1-cost champions for 1 1-cost card. Even if your opponent only attacks with 1 Draka in this situation, you could still steal the non-attacking Draka and declare it as a blocker.


Another excellent option is a combination of block and expend. Say your opponent has a Dark Assassin that they expended to break one of your champions, then they attack with Pyromancer. You could turn the Dark Assassin, declare it as a blocker, and then expend it to break one of their other 1-cost champions. In this unlikely situation, you would remove 3 1-cost champions with just 1 1-cost card. Even just stealing Elara to chump block a Steel Golem and then transform herself giving you the wolf token is strong.


Another great thing about Turn, is that you can target your own champions. You want to Rabble Rouser again? Turn. You want to attack with your Lashed Kong again? Turn. Another use of Necromancer Lord, etc. You could even attack with Dark Assassin and then if they ambush in Lurking Giant, play Turn on your Dark Assassin, expend to break the Lurking Giant, and then let your attack finish.


Finally, one really fun one. Elder Greatwurm cannot gain blitz from Turn because of its “this card can’t gain powers or abilities” ability. But, if your opponent has Elder Greatwurm in play, you can play Blind Faith and strip Elder Greatwurm‘s can’t gain abilities ability. Then, you can play Turn on the Elder Greatwurm, give it blitz, attack, and play Lash on it.

That’s right WWG remainder text, I just gave it both blitz and breakthrough.


Helion, the Dominator can do some of the same things. It does not prepare the targeted champion though.

Sea Hydra and Angelic Protector


If you have Sea Hydra in play and you get attacked by a big champion (Steel Golem for example), you can block with your Sea Hydra and then play Angelic Protector before damage. Sea Hydra still takes 13 damage, but it doesn’t break because it is unbreakable. At the end of the turn, it will gain 13 +1/+1 counters. This can also be done with Brave Squire.

Thrasher Demon really appreciates unbreakable as well.

Army of the Apocalypse


Army of the Apocalypse can do a lot of crazy things: a lot of blitzers, Drinker of Blood combos, etc. Specifically related to combat already in progress, I really like it with dragons.

Attack with White Dragon. If your opponent doesn’t block, play Army of the Apocalypse to return 3 Thundaruses and a Gold Dragon to play. Your unblocked 20/20 righteous will then hit. If your opponent still isn’t dead, you can swing with your 21/23 airborne, blitz, righteous Gold Dragon.


As I come up with more, I’ll be sure to add them here. Let me know if I missed any that you would like me to add.

Constructed Epic: Evil Board Clears

Epic Box


This is a highly-experimental deck focused around Evil board clears.

First Shot Deck List


Evil (41)

Slow (16)
3x Angel of Death
1x Drinker of Blood
3x Murderous Necromancer
3x Necromancer Lord
1x Raxxa, Demon Tyrant
3x Reaper
2x Soul Hunter

Fast (15)
2x Apocalypse
3x Final Task
3x Medusa
3x Plague
3x Raxxa’s Displeasure
1x Zombie Apocalypse

0-Cost (10)
2x Guilt Demon
1x Heinous Feast
2x Plentiful Dead
2x Spawning Demon
1x Unquenchable Thirst
2x Wither

Good (6)

Slow (0)

Fast (4)
3x Ceasefire
1x Inner Peace

0-Cost (2)
2x Blind Faith

Sage (9)

Slow (0)

Fast (6)
3x Ancient Chant
3x Lesson Learned

0-Cost (3)
3x Arcane Research

Wild (4)

Slow (0)

Fast (3)
3x Surprise Attack

0-Cost (1)
1x Flash Fire

First Shot Explanation

I have been playing against a lot of Brachiosaurus decks recently, which is part of the reason why I wanted to make a board clear heavy deck. (I also wanted another Evil based deck.)

To compliment the board clears, I added the Reapers, Murderous Necromancers, Medusas, and Necromancer Lords. All of these are incredibly powerful champions that are either removal or need to be removed. Medusa can be played off-turn, and all the rest will control the game if left alive. I did not include Dark Assassin because it is too easy to remove with a single 0-cost card.

Soul Hunter is included almost exclusively to be played when one of my Reapers is already in play. In that situation, I can use Reaper‘s ally ability to target Soul Hunter. This breaks the Soul Hunter dealing 5 damage to my opponent, puts a demon token into play for me, and put the Soul Hunter in the discard pile to come back on my turn. Reaper will also trigger its ally effect whenever you use a 1-cost Evil event to draw 2 cards. This does not work with 0-cost Evil events due to the nature of ally triggers.

The Ancient Chants and Lesson Learneds are included primarily for the 4 card draw combo, explained at Epic Insights. Lesson Learned also has a lot of other strong events to copy such as Surprise Attack, Final Task, Ceasefire, or any of the board clears.

Surprise Attack and Final Task can provide me with more fast removal. One of the best targets for this is an Angel of Death for an off-turn board clear.

3 Arcane Researches are included for a variety of reasons outlined by Derik M in an earlier comment.

Unquenchable Thirst can clash a bit with Arcane Research. I am not sure if I want both, or I might just adjust the quantities of each.

Plentiful Deads are included primarily for fast chump blockers.

Since this is a control deck and I have the Arcane Researches, I might add in some more singletons like Lightning Storm and Lash.

I avoided some strong non-Evil cards like Brave Squire and additional Flash Fires because I wanted to keep my ratio of 1-cost Evil cards high. It would be nice to cut the Sage and Good 1-cost cards altogether, but the 0-cost cards I gain from them are quite nice. If I were to cut them, it would help my Reapers, Spawning Demons, and Plentiful Deads. It would also be more incentive to add Infernal Gatekeepers.

The main reason I labeled this highly experimental, aside from heavy board clears, is the card draw situation. Most of the slow or 0-cost cards included do not draw cards. In addition, the board clears don’t draw cards when I use them for their “if it is your turn” effect. Due to this, I included the Ancient Chant/Lesson Learned combo and the Cease Fires. I might have gone a bit overboard though, since this deck only has 9 zeros that don’t replace themselves or come back to hand.


Push Fight Review

Push Fight In Progress

Game Overview

Push Fight is a two-player abstract strategy game where the board rapidly changes.

Object of the Game

Players fight to push one of their opponent’s pieces of the board, utilizing only two moves and a push each turn.

The Pieces

In Push Fight there are 3 pieces: Circles, Squares, and the Anchor.

Each player controls 3 Squares, 2 Circles, and the Anchor alternates between the two players.

Squares can push.


Circles cannot push.


The Anchor prevents the last square that pushed from being pushed.



The light pieces setup first on one side of the center dividing line. Then the dark pieces setup on the other side. The anchor does not start in play. The light pieces take the first turn.

For your first game, I recommend the standard setup below:


For future games, there are no restrictions on how you setup your pieces on your side of the line. You do not need to put a piece in all 4 spaces adjacent to the line. You are also allowed to place pieces on the edge of your side of the line.

Playing the Game

Each turn consists of two optional moves and one mandatory push. You do not need to use both moves, but your moves can only be made before your push.


When you move one of your pieces, you may move through any number of unoccupied spaces in a single move. You may not move diagonally.

For example, this would be a legal move:



After you have finished making your moves, you must Push with one of your Squares. How pushing works:

  • You must Push your chosen Square in the direction of at least one adjacent piece (that piece can be an opponent’s piece or your own)
  • If you Push into a row of adjacent pieces, you push that entire row


  • After you push, take the Anchor and place it on the Square that Pushed


  • You may not make a Push that would move the Square with the Anchor
  • You may not make a Push that would move a piece into the top or bottom wall


  • The first player to Push one of their opponent’s pieces off either edge immediately wins the game


This is one of my favorite games. The rules are very simple, but, due to the move and push mechanics, the state of the game changes rapidly every turn. I almost certainly have played over a 100 games of this. When you first start playing, the games are pretty quick because it is easy to fall into a trap. As you play more, the games get longer and the turns get a lot more interesting. Once you know what you are doing (I say it takes a minimum of 5 games before it starts to click), the staggering possibilities start revealing themselves. I do not want to go into too much detail, since I think that the discovery is part of what makes this game great.

Before you buy this game, I would recommend trying it out online here. If you want to buy it, Penny Arcade is the current distributor. As a heads up, the price did jump up by around $15-20 when Penny Arcade became the distributor, so I would recommend waiting for a sale. It is currently marked as limited edition.

Epic Card Game Combat

Epic Box


Epic implements combat in a TCG/CCG-like game better than all of the other games of that genre I have played. Attacking is a fluid part of your turn because both you and your opponent have a lot of decisions to make.

You must decide:

  • When to attack on your turn (if at all)
  • How many champions to attack with at once
  • When to “chump block” to prevent damage
  • When to play “combat tricks” that enhance your champions
  • Which of a plethora of other possibilities you need to consider

In this article, I will discuss first the generically correct answers to these questions. At the end of each discussion, I will link to an article that goes into more detail about that specific aspect of Epic combat.

Combat Overview

I have included my Epic Turn chart below to provide context for how attacking/combat works in Epic.

In Summary, Passing initiative during combat works like this:

  • Both players get a chance to play fast actions
  • Then, instead of playing fast actions and passing back to their opponent, a player may end the passing initiative cycle
  • The attacking player goes first after declaring attackers
  • The defending player goes first after declaring blockers
  • Explained in further detail later in the article


On April 6, 2017, WWG announced a couple of rules updates during the “Attack” phase and “Try to End Your Turn” phase. The currently accurate diagram and examples are above, click below to see the changes and old diagram.

When You may Attack Overview

After you perform all of the Start of Turn actions, you can initiate an Attack Phase at any point on your turn. You can attack, then play a champion, then attack again, then attempt to end your turn, then, since your opponent played a card, you can attack again, etc. As long as you have prepared champions that aren’t deploying (similar to “summoning sickness” for Magic player or non-charge minions for Hearthstone players), you can initiate an Attack Phase on your turn.

When Each Player may Play Cards in Combat Overview

(updated with April 2017 changes)

During an Attack Phase, there are 2 windows where both players may play Fast Actions: After attackers are declared and After blockers are declared.

An Attack Phase starts when the current player declares 1 or more champions as attackers. Then this attacking player may play any Fast Actions (events, champions with ambush, or activating a card’s power like expend on a champion in play or recall on an event in your discard pile). After the attacking player performs any number of these actions that they would like, the defending player gets that same chance. So, the defending player can play events, champions with ambush, or activate cards’ powers.

If the defending player doesn’t want to play any Fast actions, they can instead move directly to the next step (declare blockers). However, if they play one or more Fast actions, the attacking player gets another chance to play as many Fast actions as they would like. From here, players may take any number of Fast actions and then pass back to the other player, until, one player decides to move onto the next step (declare blockers) instead of playing 1 or more fast actions.

Once both players have passed, the defender assigns 0 or more champions to block the entire group of attacking champions. If at least 1 champion is assigned as a blocker, than none of the champions will deal damage to the defending player. (This is complicated by airborne, unblockable, and breakthrough.)

Once blockers are declared, repeat the same process that occurred after attackers were declared, except, the defending player gets the first chance to play Fast actions: defending player may play Fast Actions, attacking player may play Fast Actions or move onto the next step, etc.

Once both players have had a chance to play Fast Actions and then one player passes instead of playing a Fast Action, damage is assigned. The controller of the champions assign the damage. So, the attacking player would determine how much of the attacking champions’ offense is dealt to each defending champion, and the defending player would determine how much of the defending champions’ offense is dealt to each attacking champion.

When to Attack

You (almost) always want to attack with your champions before spending your gold.

At the start of the turn, you know all of the champions you have in play, and all of the champions your opponent has in play. If you see an attack you can make that is advantageous to you currently, make it. Your opponent will either have to play something to stop you or take the damage.


Example 1 (Lone Attacker)

The most simple example is if you have a champion in play and they do not. If you have a Medusa in play and they have nothing in play, attacking guarantees that you will either do 6 damage to them, or they will need to do something to prevent it.


They could either remove Medusa by breaking/banishing/bouncing (returning it to hand) it or ambush a champion in to block it. Once they have committed to something, you can then potentially have an answer for it.

Scenario 1 (Opponent Ambushes in a Champion)


Scenario 2 (Opponent Uses Removal)


Example 2 (Multiple Attackers)

Attacking before spending your gold is even more important when you have more champions in play than your opponent. The greater your advantage on board, the better it is for your opponent to play a board clear. If you attack with your small champions first, you are almost guaranteed to do at least some damage to your opponent.

Say you have 2 demon tokens, Infernal Gatekeeper, and Triceratops in play. Your opponent has Sea Titan in play.


If you attack before spending your gold, your opponent can only block 1 of the champions, or they can board clear early.

Scenario 1 (Opponent Board Clears Early)


Scenario 2 (Opponent Holds onto Gold)


Relevant Supplementary Articles

When to Spend Your Gold Before Attacking (Coming Soon)

How Many to Attack with Simultaneously

You (almost) always want to attack with 1 champion at a time.

There a few major disadvantages when attacking as a group:

  • If any attacker doesn’t have airborne or unblockable, the entire group is treated as if they don’t have it
  • If even 1 champion blocks the group, all of the champions in the group are blocked
  • Cards like Spike Trap affect all attacking champions

If you attack with 1 champion at a time, you are more likely to deal damage to your opponent.


Example 1 (Chump Block)

You have Thundarus, Knight of Shadows, Kong, and 3 human tokens in play. Your opponent has a Thrasher Demon in play with 2 +1/+1 counters on it.


Scenario 1 (Attack with Everything at Once)


Scenario 2 (Attack One at a Time)


Example 2 (Pack Attack)

You have 5 wolf tokens in play. Your opponent has Triceratops in play. You can either attack as a group for 10 damage, which would break Triceratops (and all of your wolves), or you can attack one at a time.


Scenario 1 (Attack with Everything at Once)


Scenario 2 (Attack One at a Time)


Relevant Supplementary Articles

When to Attack in Groups (Coming Soon)

When to Chump Block

“Chump Blocking” is when you block an attacking champion with a smaller one. The attacking champion won’t break, the defending champion will break, but you won’t take any damage.

You (almost) never want to chump block with a 1-cost champion. If you can’t break an attacking 1-cost champion and you have a token, you (almost) always want to chump block.

If you chump block with a 1-cost champion, you can fall behind in champions on the board. If you chump block with tokens, you protect your health and don’t lose much.


Example 1 (Emergency Chump Block)

You just spent your gold playing Inheritance of the Meek on your opponent’s turn, clearing the board. They then spend their gold on Rampaging Wurm and attack for 14. You play Plentiful Dead to get a zombie token.


Since your opponent doesn’t play anything before blockers are declared, you declare it as (chump) blocker. Neither player plays anything so your zombie breaks to Rampaging Wurm‘s 14 damage, Rampaging Wurm gets tickled by the zombie, and you take no damage.

Example 2 (Airborne Lethal)

You have Ice Drake in play, Inner Peace in hand, spent your gold, and are at 16 health. Your opponent has no champions in play, 4 cards in hand, 3 health, and spent their gold. They play Draka, Dragon Tryant, revealing Flame Strike and Flash Fire for loyalty 2->blitz, and attack with it.


You could either chump block with Ice Drake, causing only Ice Drake to break, or not chump block.

Scenario 1 (1-cost Chump Block)


Scenario 2 (Don’t Chump Block)


Relevant Supplementary Articles

When to Chump Block with 1-cost Champions (Coming Soon)

When not to Chump Block with tokens (Coming Soon)

When to Play Combat Tricks

A combat trick is generally a buff (like Rage and Brave Squire), but the term can be broadened out into any Fast effect that can be used to modify combat (fast removal for instance).

You (almost) always want to play your Combat Tricks after blockers have been declared. The obvious exception to this is playing an ambush champion that you want to declare as a blocker before blockers are declared.

As the attacker you want to wait because how your opponent blocks can determine which combat tricks you want to play, if any. In addition, if you play a buff on an unblocked attacker after blockers are declared, the defender cannot change their mind and block the now buffed attacker.

As the defender you want to wait because your opponent might buff their attacker, and then you can use 1 card to answer 2 or more cards, the champion and the buff(s).


Example 1 (Token Buff)

My favorite example is when you have Mighty Blow in hand, you have at least a token and 1 more champion in play, and your opponent has at least a token in play.


You could either play your Mighty Blow before or after attackers.

Scenario 1 (Play Mighty Blow Before Blockers are Declared)


Scenario 2 (Play Mighty Blow after blockers are declared)


Example 2 (Lying in Wait)

You are at 22 health. Your opponent attacks you with Raging T-Rex. You have no champions in play so you declare no blockers. After blockers are declared, your opponent plays 2 Brave Squires on Raging T-Rex. Now, you play Lying in Wait and remove 3 cards for the price of 1.

Relevant Supplementary Articles

When to Play Combat Tricks Before the Declare Blockers Step (Coming Soon)

When to Play Burn Removal in Conjunction with Combat Damage (Coming Soon)

Additional Articles

Included above are the main considerations for Epic combat. Below you can find articles that cover in smaller and/or rarer situations. Articles denoted as Coming Soon have not yet been written. So, if a particular one catches you eye, let me know in the comments, and I will prioritize it.

Bluffing (Coming Soon)

Breakthrough (Coming Soon)

Chump Attacking (Coming Soon)

Interesting Combat Cards

Epic Recycle Interactions

Epic Box


I saw a question on the Epic Card Game Facebook page about how recycle works, and it motivated me to go into detail about it, mainly because I thought of some cool interactions with it.

Recycle Definition

Taken straight from WWG:

5.5.1 Recycle means: “You may put two cards from your discard pile on the bottom of your deck in any order. If you do, draw a card.”

In the 1st print rule book, recycle said you “banished” 2 cards, but it was updated for ease of play.


I will add any other recycle questions received to this list.

  • For cards like Blind Faith, can you choose itself as a card to recycle?



  • What happens if I have less than 2 cards in my discard pile, and I play a card with recycle?


  • Can I put just 1 card from my discard pile on the bottom of my deck with recycle? For example, it’s my turn and my opponent has an expended Necromancer Lord in play. I want to put the Kong in my discard pile on the bottom of my deck to prevent them from taking it later.


  • Can I recycle an unbanishable and/or an untargetable card in my discard pile, like Thundarus?



  • Will “when this card leaves your discard pile” triggers, like Ancient Chant, work when I put that card on the bottom of my deck with recycle?


Interesting Interactions

Warrior Golem


Warrior Golem can recycle itself to its own recycle trigger. This is because Warrior Golem‘s trigger resolves when it “goes into your discard pile from anywhere” (instead of while Warrior Golem is resolving in the Supplemental Zone). Due to this, it will be a legal target in your discard pile while the recycle trigger resolves.

Warrior Golem‘s recycle trigger will also occur if you have to discard it. This can either be because your opponent played a Thought Plucker etc. or if you have more than 7 cards in your hand at the end of your turn.

**Edit: After checking with WWG, if anything triggers during the end phase, you start the end phase again. So, you would discard, recycle, draw to 8, and then discard again.**

If you are the owner of the card, you would get the recycle effect if it was under your opponent’s control when it breaks, since it goes to your discard pile.

Keeper of Secrets


Keeper of Secrets is interesting because it puts Recycle onto an Ally trigger. This means the recycle happens, after the 1-cost card that triggered it finishes resolving.

So, if you play an Ancient Chant with this in play:

  1. You would put the recycle trigger into a batch to occur after Ancient Chant resolves
  2. Draw 2 cards
  3. Put Ancient Chant into your discard pile since it is done resolving
  4. Resolve Recycle trigger
  5. Since Ancient Chant is already in your discard pile, you choose Ancient Chant and 1 other card to put on the bottom of your deck
  6. Ancient Chant‘s “when this card leaves your discard pile” trigger gets put into another new batch to resolve after the recycle trigger finishes resolving
  7. Draw a card from recycle
  8. Draw a card from Ancient Chant trigger

If you play Stand Alone with a Keeper of Secrets in play, as long as you don’t choose the Keeper of Secrets (causing it to break), your 2 chosen cards could actually be both the Stand Alone and the Keeper of Secrets that triggered the recycle.

Reaper, Final Task, Ogre Mercenary




With this combo, you can recycle 2 of the cards that triggered the recycle to themselves.

Reaper is in play, then play Final Task and target an Ogre Mercenary in your discard pile

  1. You would put the Reaper Ally trigger into a batch to occur after Final Task resolves
  2. Final Task puts Ogre Mercenary (or any other Tribute->Recycle) champion into play
  3. Ogre Mercenary‘s recycle trigger gets added to the batch to occur after Final Task resolves
  4. Ogre Mercenary gains blitz etc.
  5. Final Task finishes resolving and goes to the discard pile
  6. Resolve the Reaper and Ogre Mercenary triggers in any order
  7. Use Reaper trigger first to break Ogre Mercenary (put a demon into play)
  8. Resolve Ogre Mercenary‘s recycle trigger
  9. Since Final Task and Ogre Mercenary are already in your discard pile, they may be chosen as the 2 cards to put on the bottom of your deck
  10. Draw a card from recycle

All Of The Things



It’s your turn and both you and your opponent still have a gold.


Your Opponent

Quiz: Assuming you play Surprise Attack and draw a Priestess of Angeline and later a Flash Fire, who wins?