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Spirit Pairings

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Trajector
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Spirit Pairings

My wife and I have been playing primarily two-player, two-spirit games. We've certainly been enjoying the heck out of Spirit Island!

We're starting to notice that two-player games are sensitive to the pair of sprits that we choose to play. For example, today we played two games in a row - one in which we got trounced, and another where we ruined the Invaders more thoroughly than we've ever seen before.

In the first game, we played Lightning's Swift Strike and the Serpent Slumbering Beneath the Island. Lightning was able to place Presence on the board quickly for the Serpent to absorb, and things seemed to go well for a while. But we neglected to really account for the fact that Lightning's Swift Strike occasionally has to take a down turn to recharge. Whenever it did so, Serpent was unable to pick up the slack - and the Invaders got really out of hand. Neither of us could do anything about Blight, and soon we had too many cascades during the Ravages and lost to Blight.

In the second game, we chose Spread of Rampant Green and Thunderspeaker. The difference was amazing. We broke the Invaders' link to the island interior almost immediately, and soon roving bands of Dahan and overpowering foliage tore the Invaders off of one entire board, and we actually managed to meet the Terror Level 1 victory condition, banishing Invaders from the island completely. (Vital Strength of the Dawn in Thunderspeaker's hands is uh-MAY-zing!)

The initial choice of Spirits seems to make a huge difference in two-Spirit games. When playing with Ocean's Hungry Grasp, we have to make sure the other Spirit has good control inland. When playing with Vital Strength of the Earth, we have to make sure we pick a faster-moving Spirit to accompany it.

I think we'll start doing some three- or four-Spirit games to compare, but with two it does seem like there are a few bad pairings, and a few really awesome pairings.


Arcanist Lupus
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I think you may be under-estimating the variablility of Spirit Island.  I played a game with Ocean's Hungry Grasp and Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares where we were immediately trounced.  We didn't make it through the fourth round.  Inland filled up, blight filled the island, everything.

Then I restarted that game using the same spirits, same adversary, same island.  And this time we trounced them.  I think it went to the fourth round again, but this time in our favor.  And two of the lands the invaders explored (Including the surprise stage three land courtesy of Level 3 Prussia) were the same in both games.  In fact, the two that were repeated were Jungle and Jungle/Mountain.  Which is notable because the two farthest inland corners were Jungles on both boards.  And yet in one game I was trounced and in the other I did the trouncing.

Sure, some pairings are going to be more synergistic than others.  But don't assume that you can judge a pairing from a single game.


"Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?"

- Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

Bunston
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I've found Lightning and River to be a stellar pair. River's ability to grant energy based on card plays allows Lightning to have several explosive turns in a row and Lightning's ability to allow River to push invaders Fast is phenomenal at clearing out the center of the island early on. Also, they can both spread across the island very quickly, which is always useful.

phantaskippy
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I think it is more that certain styles tend to work well in smaller games, serpent is really strong, but not early, and with fewer spirits there is less leeway for one to fall behind, and fewer spirits to pick up the early slack.

Someone like green, though, who excels at slowing everything down a bit but never gets really powerful can cover for serpent better.

Trajector
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Thunderspeaker and Oceans' Hungry Grasp make a simply phenomenal pair.

We were able to use Thunderspeaker's abilities to dramatically secure the interior of the two-player canonical map, while looking at an incoming Ravage+Build in the interior mountains. Its ability to have Dahan destroy Invaders, THEN move the Dahan, THEN destroy more Invaders cleared out three neighboring mountain lands in the same turn. Choosing to play Lead the Furious Assault as a slow power, even with four Air available, was a key choice. Meanwhile, Ocean's slow build on the coast up to the ability to drown multiple buildings eventually gave us our Terror 2 victory.

One combo we found (but did not really utilize) was Ocean's ability to port Thunderspeaker's presence around: Tidal Boon can wayfare Dahan all the way around the island, and Thunder can accompany them. This could allow for really fast expansion of presence to problem areas.

VisforYoshi
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So... I'm surprised it wasn't mentioned here yet, but Ocean's Hungry Grasp and River Surges in Sunlight are incredible together.


"A delayed game is eventually good. A rushed game is bad forever"

-Shigeru Miyamoto