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Best and worst spirits.

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phantaskippy
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Best and worst spirits.

Understanding that the nature of this game seems to lead different players to have very different power rankings for spirits, I wanted to see what spirits people found stronger or weaker when they play as them.

Here's mine:

Strongest

River.  In multiple games, not only am I undefeated as river, but have yet to play a game where I didn't clear my board early and go help others.

Bringer of dreams and nightmares.  Dominant, I love using all of his innates and watching the Dahan wipe out terrified invaders.  The 3 moon innate is incredible.

Weakest

Vital strength of Earth.  I keep getting overrun, but I have hope, as we dominated with Earth and Bringer, and I see Earth isn't as much a protector as it is a slow hammer.  Looking forward to trying again.

Shadows flicker like flames.  I don't get this one yet.

grysqrl
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Because there are so many different strategies that you can employ, I really don't think there is a general best/worst spirit. They can be stronger/weaker at different things, but in general? Nah.

Now, there are certainly spirits that I enjoy playing more, spirits that I understand better, and spirits that pair better/worse with particular spirits and against particular adversaries/scenarios.

Also, Ted made a good point over on BGG that a spirit that excels in lower difficulty games may be less powerful (relative to other spirits) against higher-level adversaries, particularly when setup-heavy spirits have to sacrifice growth to deal with threats.

Bunston
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I agree that no spirit is inherently stronger or weaker than another, but my favorites are the aggressive spirits like Thunderspeaker, Wildfire, and Fangs. I find their ability to consistently kill off invaders of all kinds to be really useful.

grysqrl
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Well, if we're listing favorites, I tend to like indirect and/or support spirits. Green, Bringer, Serpent, and River are top of the line for me. Ocean as well, for some reason, though it's pretty aggressive. I guess they all (except for River) are pretty extreme in terms of their strengths and weaknesses, breaking fundamental rules of the game rather than just being better or worse at certain things.

Foote
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It's funny because I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum totally from Skippy. I struggle using river and Nightmare effectively and I find huge success using spirits like lightning, keeper, oceans, thunder, ect. 

phantaskippy
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Lightning I'm not great with, and Ocean was ridiculously good, but those 2 games were with river and bringer so we just pushed everything into the ocean.  I expect I'll be good with green once I stop sacrificing a presence and then not having a sacred spot to use my slow power from.  I keep doing that.

 

What I am looking for is more what people find when they start the game, what spirits they are successful with, and which ones they struggle with.

I wanted to see what others experienced, since mine were different from others.  If I had posted this last night it would have been "How can you ever win with Earth, it is terrible," but I have seen it played well now.

Silverleaf
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I started with River and continued with them - I remember Eric asking for playtesters to become "experts" in either one spirit or one adversary so I picked the spirit with the name I liked best. :) (Never got to the expert stage but I love River anyway and almost all of my games I choose them.)


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lynkfox
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I am -loving- Thunderspeaker, and Oceans is fun to play outside of Solo (or play with 2 spirits) - I just added Branch and Claw but I think I'm having some trouble parsing all the new data, so Im not sure yet about Sharp Fangs or the Keeper. - I played a solo single board game with Wildfire, and that was stresfull, trying to make sure I didn't Cascade too badly and run out of Blight. I won as soona s I hit Terror 3, but it was a close thing Blight wise. I think that spirit is very interseting in the 'Good/Bad/Self Sacrificing strategy and wonder what it be like in a 4 player game  with more room to spread out.

 

Wife is all about Shadows though. She has a blast blowing stuff up and causing a ton of fear.


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tedv
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I once taught a pair of new players the game and just assigned them spirits that I thought would fit their sensibilities.

"Aaron, you're going to play Lightning because you like blowing things up. Alan, you're going to play River because you like feeling clever."

I wasn't wrong either. Different people just have different spirits call out to them. I never got the hang of Sharp Fangs, for example. My wife had to do all the testing on it.

Arcanist Lupus
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lynkfox wrote:
 I played a solo single board game with Wildfire, and that was stresfull, trying to make sure I didn't Cascade too badly and run out of Blight. I won as soona s I hit Terror 3, but it was a close thing Blight wise. I think that spirit is very interseting in the 'Good/Bad/Self Sacrificing strategy and wonder what it be like in a 4 player game  with more room to spread out. Wife is all about Shadows though. She has a blast blowing stuff up and causing a ton of fear.

I did that!  Wildfire is exciting in a way that the other spirits aren't.  Very powerful, but very "I'm going to die" at the same time.  I've nicknamed it 'Tigger', because it's bouncy, orange, and prone to breaking things.  My game (which I think I mentioned in some other thread) ended with exactly one blight on every single land.

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Foote
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As Eric pointed out in another thread, due to my gaming sensibilities I'm having trouble wrapping my head around spirits with soft defensive ability (River, Nightmare, Shadow for instance), although I'm compfortable with Speaker. 

I just got finished a solo game with River and Nightmare against England lvl2. I figured I'd put these soft defensive spirits to a test with a heavily building focused adversary. I won by clearing the fear deck once I got into stage 3. Really poor events hurt me early, but I tried to play Nightmare sorta like Eric did with a pure focus into energy track and not sac midnight dream off the bat. I started to feel the crunch when Downward Spiral hit, but I was able to get off some good Dahan defenses and a back to back tsunami with Nightmare that blew through the fear deck (added with a -1 building health from an event one of those tsunami turns). I did a lot better with planing out turns with the fear card reveal this game and thought I underused it in previous attempts. 

River was alright for me. Some good power draws helped when I needed it. Instsruments of Their Own Ruin was picked up at one point and I'm very unsure if I played the card correctly, but I really liked its unique effect. I had a great combo at time with Rivers Bounty + Pact of the Joined Hunt minor power. It's a great combo and very powerful for its measly 1 energy cost (though lacking water element on Pact does hurt your innate). 

I think I'm getting better with these spirits but I still find them much harder to play than some others

Rabit
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Silverleaf wrote:

I started with River and continued with them - I remember Eric asking for playtesters to become "experts" in either one spirit or one adversary so I picked the spirit with the name I liked best. :) (Never got to the expert stage but I love River anyway and almost all of my games I choose them.)

This, for me, but with Earth. I love support and Earth is great at it, plus that slow build Earth has is wonderful. 


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jffdougan
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Rabit wrote:

 

Silverleaf wrote:
I started with River and continued with them - I remember Eric asking for playtesters to become "experts" in either one spirit or one adversary so I picked the spirit with the name I liked best. :) (Never got to the expert stage but I love River anyway and almost all of my games I choose them.)

 

This, for me, but with Earth. I love support and Earth is great at it, plus that slow build Earth has is wonderful. 

It looks like I won't be moving after all, and therefore probably around to help with Who's Yer Con next year. Could we set aside time for us to play a game of Spirit Island with Michelle? (I think I remember that's Mrs. Rabit's name, right?)

Rabit
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jffdougan wrote:
Rabit wrote:
 This, for me, but with Earth. I love support and Earth is great at it, plus that slow build Earth has is wonderful. 

It looks like I won't be moving after all, and therefore probably around to help with Who's Yer Con next year. Could we set aside time for us to play a game of Spirit Island with Michelle? (I think I remember that's Mrs. Rabit's name, right?)

Might do, might do. smiley 

We received our copy, but life's been insane, lately. Hoping to get our first game in tonight, depending on what the gaming group wants to do. cool


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jffdougan
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Well, I'm talking about next April, not anytime soon. :)

 

Unless you two feel like driving over to my neck of the woods anyway. Door's open for guests any time I don't have my kids.

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My favorite spirits, in order, are probably Keeper, Wildfire, Thunderspeaker, and Serpent. I find that I can be generally effective with any spirit, but those four bring me the most joy to play.


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Rabit
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And I should clarify: I took Earth when we were playtesting and made that the spirit I focused on. I had an opportunity to play Oceans and loved it. Also played Rivier once and loved it. 

I love the game. I focused on Earth for playtesting as it fit my play style. wink

Now that I have it, I'm looking forward to ALL THE SPIRITS!!! laugh


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As I mentioned elsewhere, I love love love Vital Strength of the Earth. I think it is the steady security of that defend 3 that really sells me. I greatly enjoy just sitting on invaders and ignoring them while doing things at my own pace. Plus, Earth has the only easy and innate Blight removal I can think of.

 

I think part of my struggle with River is that pushing towns and explorers is not something I'm very good with yet. IT feels like a gamble (move them to a place that hasn't had a card yet, or move them in with a bunch of other people and hope to destroy the lot of them later) and delaying the ineveitable (yes, they didn't build/ravage this turn, but three turns from now they are still going to be somewhere on the board and causing me problems, plus I can only push from one land at a time and they hit 2 at a time minimum)

 

 

I suspect I'm going to love Keeper, it seems to fit my defensive minded strategy, and I'm really nervous about Wildfire. I know it will probably be fine, but I tend to avoid causing Blight myself even with particularly useful powers, a spirit who is kind of focused on that is like... well, thinking about putting my hand inside a bonfire which is oddly appropriate.

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Chaosmancer wrote:

plus I can only push from one land at a time and they hit 2 at a time minimum

This is not always true. Taking out a town far inland early on can isolate areas on the map from exploration, reducing problem areas later on. Try and limit exploration sources whenever possible, even at the cost of some blight, as trading early game blight for late game control is a pretty good deal.