A Field Guide to Treefolk

Discussion in 'K'Thir Forest' started by Gorebucket, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. Gorebucket

    Gorebucket Forum Royalty

    A Field Guide to Treefolk (and Other Sentient Plants of K'thir Forest)
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    For optimal viewing, resize the browser to create two even rows of treefolk above.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
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  2. Gorebucket

    Gorebucket Forum Royalty

    Welcome to the Field Guide to Treefolk

    K’thir Forest may be known for its elves, fairies, rainbows, and unicorns – but a forest is nothing without its trees. Treefolk are among the most interesting, most flavorful themes Pox Nora has to offer. This guide details the runes and strategies one should be aware of when playing the theme (or against it). Curious newcomers will find heaps of useful information inside, and treefolk veterans may also discover something worthwhile – or feel compelled to share their own insights, which is also welcome.

    Overview of the Tree Theme

    Treefolk are all about synergy between units. Each individual empowers the others through various mechanics. Surge champs become stronger with each plant the player deploys. Defender, Boost, and Shroud champs make nearby plants more durable, while Commanders and Greenhouses make them more dangerous. Large trees with limited mobility become efficient and effective when combined with champs and spells that alleviate their disabilities. These interactions, along more elaborate ones I explain later, make the tree theme fascinating, enjoyable, and well worth a try.

    Strengths of the Tree Theme

    Multiple Stat Boosts
    Commander, Defender, Boost, Surge Plant, Greenhouse, Take Root, Nature's Blessing, Treefolk's Blessing

    Abundant Healing
    Heal Champion, Transfer Life, Nature's Blessing, Treefolk's Blessing, Nature's Connections, Plant Regeneration

    Defensive Abilities
    High Health & Defense, Physical Resistance, Defender, Shroud, Camouflage

    Powerturn Utilities
    Lashdown, Greenhouse, Anti-lumbering
    Weaknesses of the Tree Theme

    Buildup Required
    As mentioned, a combination of mechanics is what makes treefolk effective. Unfortunately, this puts the theme at risk of being overrun by better standalone enemy champions. Both treefolk proper and the Devotee sub-theme take time to build up to the point where they can pound the opposition into fertilizer.

    Impaired Mobility

    Treefolk tend to be slow and this trait is reflected on the theme's champions in various ways. Patriarch, Lifegiver, and Oakthumper are slow-moving because Weighty gives them Lumbering after three steps -- doubling the AP cost of further movement. Oaken Defender has Lumbering outright and abnormally low speed on top of that. Sporegill, Dragonbark, and Naria Queen have to wait several rounds after deployment before they can move. Many treefolk are large champs, which can hinder movement as well. Launcher can move just fine but attacks cost additional AP. Twisted Fireoak can only move by teleportation. And poor K'thun can neither move nor be moved, save for the random steps he takes in the wrong direction. Still, don't these disabilities scare you from the forest. Plenty of treefolk can move just fine and even quickly -- plus there are several ways to negate these drawbacks for an unexpected advantage. Just keep the number of impaired treefolk manageable and you'll do just fine.
    Building a Tree Theme Deck

    I recommend starting with a base of:

    2 x Greenhouses - A powerful relic that increases stats and produces Saplings
    2 x Dryads - A flexible mid-range champ that can deal immense alternative damage
    1 to 2 Lash Down - Champ control combined with global AP generation for Treefolk
    1 x Pride of K'thir - Because warbanners are auto-include in any full faction deck

    Obviously, you're going to want more treefolk than that, but this is actually a functional module with 2 damage types, 2 forms of champ control, 2 stacking stat increases, healing, AP generation, Surge and a source of grunts to fuel it.

    The biggest decision to make concerns the Lumbering and Weighty champs because it will affect the way you build the rest of your deck. If you use lots of them, Willowind with the Light as a Feather upgrade becomes auto-include and you may enlist Spirit of Endurance or Elven Strategist to ensure the availability of anti-lumbering. In contrast, if you use them sparingly or shun them entirely, anti-lumbering is less of a priority and you can build these champs differently or leave them out.

    [Insert Updated Deck Examples here]
    Great. So just what is all that stuff? What does it do? And why should I use it?

    Good question. What follows is a detailed analysis of all of the theme's champs and a brief rundown of the out of theme champs and support runes that merit special consideration. Of course, you might find a rune not included in this list to be a better fit for your own battlegroup (feel free to share them). After that there is some general advice on actually playing with your treedeck. I hope you find this guide useful and enjoyable. =)
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
    Etherielin, Hekau718, Xzablaz and 4 others like this.
  3. Gorebucket

    Gorebucket Forum Royalty

    Gnarlwood Treefolk: A Lumberjack's Worst Nightmare

    Gnarlwood are the classic treefolk, strongly reminiscent of Tolkien's ents. They emerged as early as the release set and gradually grew into a full-fledged theme with numerous mechanics to build around. They tend to be very sturdy with ample health and defense. This is further reinforced by defensive abilities, healing, and (if you can afford to stay put for awhile) taking root. Many of the larger trees have restricted movement, but this can be negated by various means to surprise opponents who had carefully (and wrongly) calculated your threat range.


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    This tree may be dead, but it's lively enough as a beater and tank. Rabid makes its damage output somewhat better than advertised. Ample health, defense, and Physical Resistance do a decent job of keeping him around. An Entangling Attack against a ranged champ makes it especially hard for them to run away and counterattack.

    Deadwood Strider could easily be the offspring of Gnarlwood Grapper and Wood Elemental. (Please do not imagine that happening...) All three are small, quick, strictly physical melee treefolk. Deadwood and Grappler share Entangling attack and are roughly equal in effectiveness. Deadwood and Wood Elemental share Resist Physical. The Strider is clearly less powerful than the Elemental, but remember that the latter is more expensive and hazardous to the health of its allies.

    Although Deadwood is a respectable include, the competition among physical melee champions in this theme is pretty stiff. Other competitors include Treecaller, Oakthumper, Patriarch, Ragevine, Spikewood, Heart of the Forest, Forest Giant, Ambling Frond, and even summoned Saplings. It wouldn't be an outright mistake to include him, but it also wouldn't be one to opt for any of the above instead.

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    Dragonbark begins life as a relic for two rounds so it must be deployed a safe distance from the action. If it survives this critical period, it proves to be a solid champ with a sweet linear AoE attack. Defender and Nature's Connections allow Dragonbark to protect and heal its fellow treefolk. If it dies, it reverts back to its relic state giving it a second lease on life -- assuming you can keep the relic from being destroyed. At the very least, the relic will soak up some additional damage or perhaps even a spell.

    Dragonbark combos well with the spell Overgrowth. Being a relic makes it a valid target for the spell, but the transformation will occur before the spell can destroy the relic. Eventually, the additional 30 nora yields 3 Young Saplings to accompany your freshly hatched tree-dragon. Grimlic's Mirror can also be used to copy the dragon and bypass the initial relic stage. The spell costs more than deploying the champion would, but the copy can move immediately.

    The risk of starting as a relic and the delay between the time it's deployed and the time it can be used is still enough to turn most people off of Dragonbark. As neat as the Overgrowth combo is, you can do it with Sporegill for half the nora. Dragonbark is neither so amazing nor so efficient that I wouldn't rather deploy a normal champ instead. Which is a shame, because a tree-dragon is so weird and cool! I guess Thirion will have to do...

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    The darling of the tree theme, Dryad creates a major alternative damage presence due to Surge and the racial boosts. She can heal occasionally and Charm to buy time if she gets in trouble. It is usually better to keep her as a mobile ranged threat, but Take Root is available if the situation warrants it. Dryad is powerful, flexible, and relatively cheap to deploy.

    Her downside is her frailty. With 40 HP and 0 Defense, it won't take much to put her out of commission. Don't let that dissuade you from using her though. Place blockers between her and the enemy. Cover her with Defender or Shroud when available. Use her and keep her alive because she has some of the biggest damage potential in the theme.
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    Its easy to mistake Treecaller for a support unit -- and in some ways she is. She has her choice of single target or area cleansing, can summon Young Saplings, and boosts the HP of plants when transformed. However, her ability to become a tree and beat the sap out of things makes her a strong contender as a physical melee champ. Treeform and Domain raise her modest base stats to 12 Damage, 4 Defense, and 49 HP without any external bonuses. That's some pretty formidable melee for a hippy chick to pack.

    The catch is the AP costs associated with her abilities make getting to the post-summoning transformation state a multi-turn process. Also, she can no longer summon Saplings while transformed. It's worth noting that, transforming resets the cooldown on her summons. This means that you can summon, transform, revert, and immediately summon again. However, Treeform will be on cooldown at this point, which means she'll be stuck as a passive hunk of meat for a few rounds.

    Treecaller compares favorably to most pure melee trees and brings some utility to the table as well. She's close enough in combat performance to champs like Grappler and Deadwood that the difference is only apparent when you're deploying at the front lines. She needs most of a turn's AP to prepare herself for combat, but the extras she brings are often worth it. A very good champion to include.
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    Borderguard has become one of the best melee treefolk in the theme. He has high base damage, a bit of reach, and deals magical damage -- a valuable asset for dealing with incorporeal champs. Empowered Defense lets him take an additional 9 damage (I would assume at a lower cost than an additional 9 HP) for a total of 63. On top of being a nice body and good alternative damage, Borderguard can have not one but two area attacks -- both of which knock back and debilitate the units struck.

    The following differences are worth remembering:
    Tremor is not on the attack chain, does not hit flying champs, and gives Lumbering.
    Seismic Leap is on the attack chain, does hit flying champs, and gives Slowed.

    Seismic leap also closes the gap between him and his target - a talent coveted by melee units everywhere. Although he is the only tree with Detection available, I'm not so terrified of stealth that I would give up Seismic Leap for it (Tremor maybe... but that's in the other set). Nor are any of his other upgrades nice enough to skip having double area attacks. I'll take two magical, gap closing, earth rattling Borderguards for all of my tree decks thank you very much and have a nice day.

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    K'thir Forest's resident elf molester is a good but bland choice for physical melee damage. Like Deadwood, he has Entangling Attack base which can keep champs with long minimum ranges from counter-attacking. Melee Specialist will bring him up to 16 Damage and 4 Defense, assuming you are fighting in close proximity to 2 enemies. Those are some pleasing numbers, but they are both situational and the only thing he has to offer.

    The alternative upgrade choices of Clamp and Constriction aren't choices at all -- you're already paying 10 nora for Entangling Attack which serves the same purpose at the same range. Skimping on Plant Regeneration puts him in a more attractive price range, but without the self-healing he becomes even more vanilla. In the end, Grappler is good melee in situations where Specialist is active, otherwise he's nothing to get excited about.

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    The Launcher takes all of the boosting available to the tree theme, crushes it into a ball, and throws it at an enemy a mile away. Needless to say, that's a pretty valuable talent. Additionaly, Stone Bomb provides an AoE attack and also a source of knockback, useful for cliffdiving careless enemies and killing those smartasses that stand 1 space outside of a rooted tree's range. Taking root turns the Launcher into a 11 damage turret with up to 9 range.

    Launcher has good HP but no Defense and a weakness against fire. It used to have Lumbering, but traded it for Ponderous at some point. That trade makes Launcher as good a first draw as any other 7-speed champ and much easier to attack with (at least one time). My only real gripe about is an aesthetic one: abilities like Ponderous, Wandering, and Stationary are not mitigated by Light as a Feather and using them in lieu of Weighty and Lumbering devalue the spell/playstyle. But I digress...

    Launcher is the longest range you're going to get in the tree theme. Combined with the theme's boosts it can be very impressive. I hate feeling compelled to skimp on upgrades, but going from 73 to 80 nora only gets you a few more HP per round (if you're on the right terrain) and a few points of damage on Stone Bomb (when you use it). Run them cheap and take advantage of their threat range -- it can be as much of a deterant as it is a weapon.

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    Lifegiver is the theme's exceptionally efficient healer and the only long-ranged treefolk besides Launcher. It heals in large bursts (at its own expense) and can become a nice turret if you're willing to sacrifice its mobility. Between the whopping -30 nora in negative abilities, the 2x2 discount, and the savings associated with being 5 Speed, its no wonder that the champ's nora cost is absurdly low. It remains a great addition to any battlegroup despite recent reductions to its healing capabilities.
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    The Oakville Slugger is a consistently good front-line beater at a fine price. He is reasonably stout with 3 Defense and 53 Health. Lay Defender on top of that and he can shrug off a lot of damage. Surge pushes his damage from average, to good, to great as your army grows. Meanwhile, he can lay some serious hurt on any flying unit with the aid of Windstriker. The global damage on deploy can also be handy to soften, finish, or destealth units (provided they are flying, of course). Knockback is seldom used, but don't forget it's there if the opportunity to push an enemy out of a font zone or cliff-dive someone arises.

    Oakthumper is fast, but not fast. His 7 base speed becomes 8 in full faction, but Weighty limits his mobility. This is easily overcome with Light as a Feather, at which point he becomes one of the quickest, meanest trees in the forest. Light as a Feather can also be used to give Flying to enemies, which Oakthumper can then smack for 50% more damage. This combo can be an inexpensive way to dispatch a troublesome foe, so keep it in the back of your mind and keep the spell in your deck if you're running Oakthumper.
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    Pappy Gnarlwood protects nearby units from ranged attack, so he makes a great escort for your champs. The old tree can travel short distances unhindered, but becomes sluggish if you try to make a dash. Remain attentive when moving him, or you'll find him taking a nap halfway to his destination. It can take a fair bit of effort to remove him if you decide to take root. The big choice to make when configuring him is between Defender, Camaraderie, or Drive. I've opted for Camaraderie for the time being. Defender suits his role better, but it's hard to turn down the nora advantage. Besides, several other treefolk have Defender available to them. Drive is a relatively recent addition. It is extremely useful for the additional damage and AP, but it does push him into a higher cost bracket. This can be mitigated by skimping on Plant Regeneration, or you can just pay for your quality.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
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  4. Gorebucket

    Gorebucket Forum Royalty

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    Crazylegs is fun for harassing melee champs. With multi-attack, he can easily tap and entangle a champ before scurrying out of reach. His unmodified damage is unimpressive for a unit whose purpose is almost exclusively attacking, but Greenhouse, Commander, Battlemaster, and the like can remedy that. In addition to using guerrilla tactics, Tanglefoot's range is ideal for taking root and staking a claim in a font. The bonuses accompanying that layer nicely with his base stats and make the font harder to enter (though like all rooted treefolk, Crazylegs will be vulnerable to ranged champs with significant damage ratings).

    Various flavors of equipment removal are available on one upgrade path. Snatch is particularly interesting because it can affect multiple units, circumvents Impenetrable, and has the bonus of giving Tanglefoot AP. Since equipment removal is a rare commodity, this is a mark in the little guy's favor. The choices on the second path are rather bland. Mountaineer is at least useful in rare circumstances. Constriction seems largely redundant on a champ with Entangling Attack.

    Tanglefoot is a good harasser that can double tap more easily than most treefolk and thereby reap greater benefits from any damage increases. If his base damage is just a little too low for you to stomach, Naria Strangler offers the same range, similar talents, more damage, and greater staying power (all for a higher cost, of course). If you are really a fan of entangling, you can employ both and take advantage of the new Vine Whip ability that burrs and eviscerates entangled champs.

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    Willowind is a tight little utility champ. Cast: Light as a feather is incredible for mobilizing the theme's lumbering ranged units. Over time, she gains the ability to heal, and if you pass on the lumbering champs, she can focus more heavily on healing by taking Nature's Blessing instead. Defender and Cleansing Aura are both viable, though Defender may be best if you aren't running another unit that has it. She can deal modest amounts of magical damage, more with the right combination of bonuses. Overall she is a great addition to the theme who is gentle on your nora bank in her best configurations.

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    Heart of the Forest offers a unique mechanic that floods the area around your champs with vegetation that impedes the enemy. It's too early to tell, but I speculate that with lots of Saplings and other champs on the field, Verdant Force can provide some effective map control. The ability also doubles as anti-range by giving all allies camouflage. Heart's stats and abilities paint him as a support tank. Pairing Resistance with Scale Armor makes him the devil versus physical attackers. Relocate Ally is very appealing as a source of anti-lumbering or kill-enabling. It is possible to get him down to the mid-60s if you like really cheap meat, but you can see the sacrifices in his final kit if you do. Overall he looks like a very solid addition.

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    Despite constant attempts by myself to have him changed into a real champion that you can move around and do stuff with, K'thun remains the wandering summon sprouting son of a birch that everyone loves to hate. That's not to say he isn't good, because he certainly is. Just that I would rather he summoned less and cracked skulls more. Anyway...

    K'thun sprouts a Sapling on deploy and every 3 rounds thereafter. He can turn one into a Grappler with 32 Hp and no upgrades every 5 rounds. Apart from his random meanderings, he can't move or be moved. If an enemy decides to take a nap within reach he can give them a knock though. Apart from that there isn't much else to say. He generates a heap of meat relative to his cost and that seems to be his lot in life. Deploy him when you can take the tempo hit and let him do his thing.

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    I've heard of people being beat with the ugly stick, and I've always wondered what an ugly stick was and how you go about getting one. Now I know: they're carved out of Oaken Defender. Setting aside his appearance, the Defender is a great cheap tank. Start with 3 Defense and 58 Health. Take Root for +2 Defense, +10 Health, and Camouflage (among other things). Activate Defensive Stance for another +4 Defense. Cover him with a Shroud champ for Evasive 2. And if you want to get silly with it, go ahead and give him Treefolk's Blessing and let the good times roll! Or maybe just stay where they are, him being rooted and all. Oh, yeah: he increases the Defense of nearby champs too. That's probably worth throwing in there.

    Oaken Defender has received a steady trickle of under the radar buffs over the last few expansions. One of the recent ones is the addition of Reinforcement, a very nice upgrade for the notoriously slow Defender. Provided there are some other trees present, he can take a step or two then Take Root immediately upon deployment. This is great for fortifying a font or attacking a champ just outside an uncontested font zone. And with a Willowind or spell ready to delumber him, he can have a threat range on deployment comparable to any standard initiative champ.

    Also easily overlooked (but worth mentioning) are Punish and Unstoppable base. These are somewhat situtional yet very nice abilites to have. If you happen to catch an enemy with Ap you can deal some additional damage (loss of life actually). And if you happen to get hit with certain forms of champ control you can just ignore it.

    The biggest obstacle to the Defender finding a home in your deck is (strangely) the other lumbering treefolk. If you're already running Launchers and/or Lifegivers and/or K'thun, the number of champs that you can't rely on as a first turn draw is already starting to get a bit high. Since the massive range of the other champs is more desirable, the Defender often gets the pink slip right then and there. If that doesn't do it, the proliferation of bombs and other defense ignoring mechanics greatly reduces his survivability (though even with 0 Defense he's still well over the 1:1 Health/Nora ratio).

    All things considered, if you do feel like you can handle having one more lumbering champ in your deck, this guy is worth including. You might consider an extra anti-lumbering champ/spell or a higher than average champ count if
    running a high number of lumbering champs.

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    The 'hidden champ' in a tree deck is the faction's avatar. Because Sapaleh is Treefolk, he is eligible for the same stat bonuses as his lesser brethren. Stack Boost Treefolk and a Greenhouse or two and you have a real monster on your hands. He's also serves as a source of healing, cleansing, and psuedo-detection for your army.

    That said, I don't usually transfigure unless absolutely necessary. The 25 nora penalty per turn is a pretty compelling reason not to. Nevermind all the risks associated with using him as a combatant. Still, it's nice to know you have a powerful friend ready and willing to intervene when the situation sours.

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    Saplings play a major role within the theme. They come in droves (or perhaps: groves?) bolstering the amount of health and AP you have to work with. Blocking enemies, bedding down in fonts, increasing the damage of surge champs, serving as Transplant fodder, and becoming sacrifices for the Devotees of Delim are just some of the uses for these little fellows.

    Young Saplings: Treecaller, Wood Marshal, and K'thun produce summoned Young Saplings, easily identified by their greenish hue and lack of upgrades. These only have Attack Physical and Bind to work with, cannot contest fonts, and do not provide Devotees of Delim with the healing and health bonus, though they can still be sacrificed for the damage bonus. Their purpose is to serve as blockers and do what damage they can before being destroyed. Overgrowth also produces Young Saplings with no upgrades. However, these are real rather than summoned, meaning they can contest fonts and grant the health benefits to Devotees when they die.

    Saplings: Greenhouse and Germination engine produce real Saplings with Skirmisher and the default upgrades, Domain Vegetation and Take Root. These are stronger and are real champions for all intents and purposes. Take Root makes them especially adept at bedding down and contesting a font. They can also run up to enemies, Take Root, then attack twice if they have 6 AP remaining. Saplings deployed from the rune dock are the most expensive and most powerful. By selecting the Surge Plant and Hidden Vegetation upgrades, Sapling becomes a sneaky glass cannon. With this build it can no longer Take Root in fonts, but it can dash out of the nearest patch of grass to smack the sap out of a nearby foe.

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    The original Plant super champ, Wood Elemental packs Resistance Physical (20-50%), Resistance Poison, Psychic, and Disease (50%), Fearless, Iron Will, and Plant Regeneration (1-3). These can make him a tough nut to crack in certain match-ups. Surge Plant gives him very nice damage in theme and at some blessed point he picked up the correct race to benefit from all of the theme’s boosts.

    Transplant is his trademark ability. Anytime the Wood Elemental dies, the nearest friendly plant is destroyed and he respawns in its place (with whatever Hp the destroyed champ had). With enough Saplings behind him, the Wood Elemental can become nothing short of immortal! Muwahaha! However, as popular fiction never tires of pointing out: Immortality hardly ever lives up to the hype. If overpowered by the opponent, the Wood Elemental will indiscriminately jump from body to body, killing Dryad, Launcher, Willowind, Oakthumper, and anything else you were counting on to win the battle. Smart opponents will attempt to kill your champs in an order that forces the Wood Elemental to Transplant into something you want alive instead of the Saplings you've positioned for that purpose.

    Wood Elemental is the fastest treefolk beater and has excellent defensive capabilities. The risks involved in using him are the only thing that keep him from being a clear auto-include. One will generally include Wood Elemental in the absence of big ticket beaters like Oakthumper, or when deck focuses more on spamming Saplings and other cheap units. Decks with a Devotee module can also make excellent use of him, since the Transplant ability triggers Devotee of Delim twice. Just remember that targeting him with Fuel or Sacrifice of Delim will prevent him from respawning.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
  5. Gorebucket

    Gorebucket Forum Royalty

    Plant Champions: Fronds, Fungus, and... Flying Plant Horses?!

    No longer second-class citizens in the tree theme, plants now qualify for most of the theme's mechanics. The only remaining exceptions are Lash Down, Fuel, and Sacrifice of Delim. Keep this in mind to avoid any deck building or battlefield mistakes.

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    The Ambling Frond is probably the cheapest champ based form of shatter available. If you think of him compared to Shatter or Diamond Mace, he's not too terrible. He offers health and font contesting capabilities in addition to shattering whatever ails you.

    As a champ though, he's kind of... well... what you'd expect for 41 nora. He's not useless though. Deployed early, he can grab side fonts while you focus on the center. Afterwards, he can lie stealthed and forgotten until a shatter opportunity arises or you need a few points of damage for a kill. Should you be lucky enough to be fighting on a grassy map, he can contest fonts invisibly, then Turtle when discovered for another round of contesting. Hiding him between your ranged champ and a melee champ that is likely to rush foils the charge and engages the melee champ where your ranged champ can take advantage of him. And of course, he's Surge and Transplant fodder.

    That said, Tanglefoot is more combat worthy and can also remove equipment, and the Elven Artisan costs only slightly more than the Frond while having both Nora Miner and the speed to grab fonts. More than anything he's a semi-useful mascot character that you can include if you have space and be no worse off for doing so.


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    COMING SOON!

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    Skyshear Pegasus is a font contester, pure and simple. Initiative helps get him there and One With Nora makes him difficult to remove once he's arrived. Drop a Treefolk's Blessing on him for some additional staying power. Charm can buy him another round of safety, but Abash seems kind of redundant since the attacking unit can't attack him a second time anyway in most cases. He can make an occasional ranged magic attack and with Initiative he can be used to generate "damage out of nowhere." Like all plants, he is precluded from Boost but can gain some helpful stats from Greenhouse. Pegasus is a solid include, though not the best aesthetic match for the theme. Include him if you're fond of him, find yourself lacking fast units, and/or need a substitute for some inacessible champ.

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    Spikewood Abomination is extremely versatile and full of synergy. He manages to perform just about any role without making any of the more specialized champs obsolete. Deadwood Strider can tank better without any kind of support. Lifegiver has long range, alternative damage, and costs much less. However, this champ can do what you need him to do when you need him to do it and that makes him great to have in your deck and on the field.

    Healing: Transfer Life is auto-upgrade. It lets him heal a single target for a large amount, while the health loss he suffers is easily recovered by Regeneration 3 (from his free equipment) and Nature's Connections. This ability heals him any time a nearby friendly champ attacks. And when those champs are Plants they are healed as well.

    Tanking: High health and self healing protects him from being chipped away, but doesn't keep him from being one rounded. The Defensive Turtle upgrade will save him once (if you choose it), but he'll need a Treefolk's Blessing if he's tanking for the long haul. If it comes down to it, Take Root also greatly improves his tanking ability, as does Shroud, Defender, and anything else you can cover him with.

    Beating: Unless you're using Pedestal, Spikewood lacks the race to be eligible for the theme's damage boosts. However he does have access to Improve Range and some damage increasing abilities to help make up for it. If you choose Domain Vegetation he'll have 10 Damage, 3 Defense, and Mobility as long as he has his Seed. Encouraged makes his damage climb every time an ally attacks. Just remember to attack with Spikewood last for maximum damage. And of course, you can Take Root for a damage spike if necessary.

    Contesting: Seven speed and the ability to drop a relic with Font Defender makes him great first draw. Casting Overgrowth on the relic will bring reinforcements in a few rounds. Damage Shield Physical and Entangling Attack can give him a little edge in a 1 vs 1 situation, but if he's facing high damage or multiple champs you'll want to get him some support fast.

    Tanglefoot and Spikewood are the best of friends. Flurry lets the former attack many times per turn greatly increasing the damage of the later. Each flurry attack heals both champs as long as they're reasonably close. This is especially important for an injured Tanglefoot because Pariah prevents single target healing. Don't forget that Tanglefoot can either Pick Up or Pilfer the Seed of Potential to get Regeneration if Spikewood doesn't need it anymore (because of Treefolk's Blessing).

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    Sporegill is a cheap little poison damage plant with a bomb attack. Anytime it dies, it leaves a mushroom relic behind. If the opponent doesn’t kill the relic in two rounds, you get a new Sporegill. Pretty sweet, huh? Well, the catch is that the champ starts out as a relic on deployment and it takes a total of 3 rounds before you can do anything with it. Not very ideal for a fast paced game. On the plus side, it combos well with Overgrowth. Just deploy your Sporegill and cast Overgrowth. It will cease to be a relic before the timer can destroy it, netting you a Sporegill and 3 Saplings for 65 Nora. With Boost and/or Foment and/or Warbanner can turn that into a heap of hit points on the field. Still the delayed return is enough to keep Sporegill out of decks of all but the most determined fans.

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    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
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  6. Gorebucket

    Gorebucket Forum Royalty

    Devotees of De'lim: Making friendly fire a winning strategy

    The Devotees of De'lim are a radical branch of the Eternal Circle who believe extreme measures are required to obtain the strength necessary to defend K'thir Forest. One of these measures is the sacrifice of Treefolk, which empowers every Devotee present. When a Treefolk champion dies, all Devotees gain 3 Max Health and are healed for 6. The Wood Elemental's Transplant ability also causes this to trigger twice, once for his own death and again for the death of the body donor. On top of this, intentionally killing a tree with Fuel (spell) or Sacrifice of De'lim (ability) gives a 50% nora refund and +2 Damage to all Devotees. These mechanics make the theme a viable supplement or alternative to a traditional treedeck.

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    Our abnormally pigmented Flamemage is an efficient alternative damage champion. Her presence in a treedeck is best described as parasitic, since the benefits are reaped by herself and the player at the expense of the actual treefolk. Flame Siphon should be used at every available opportunity to generate nora and produces even more when used on the many treefolk with Fire Vulnerability. As treefolk die, she recovers health and can surpass the health of even the hardiest treefolk if she lives long enough. Flamemage is an excellent and very popular as both a standalone include and a component of a Devotee sub-theme.

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    The Fuel theme began with Outcast of the Flame, but remained completely inefficient and unused until it was expanded to include an entire release of new champions. As it stands, the Outcast is not bad using his cheapest build, but is clearly outclassed by the Flamemage, who costs the same without Dissipate. That ability drops his damage to a mere 5 at his maximum range, and it takes quite a few sacrifices to bring him up to snuff. Worse, it also reduces the damage of Incinerate, eliminating a potential saving grace. Still, he is runnable in addition to Flamemage, though you would never deploy him instead of her given a choice.

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    COMING SOON!
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
  7. Gorebucket

    Gorebucket Forum Royalty

    Naria Treefolk: Dryads Behaving Badly

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    Last edited: May 16, 2016
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  8. Gorebucket

    Gorebucket Forum Royalty

    Spells, Relics, and Equipment: The Tools of the Trees

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    When including treefolk with restricted movement, it can prove invaluable to have a means of suddenly removing their disabilities . While champion abilities are a more economical way of mobilizing your trees, the opponent can see that coming and position accordingly. In contrast, a spell comes out of nowhere and has the potential to surprise an opponent dealing with visible concerns.

    [Insert Details and Comparison Here]

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    Brambles is half AoE damage spell and half champ control spell. It does both fairly well and is an all around solid spell. It's also the cheapest AoE damage spell available to the faction. While it doesn't have any special combos or synergy with the theme, it certainly fits the theme's image well.


    The great thing about Thorn Collection is the more champs you hit with it, the less the spell costs you in the end. On particularly large groups, you can often recover enough nora to drop a second AoE (wreaking even more havoc on the unfortunate masses). There is some mild synergy in that the affected spaces become vegetation, but mostly it's just a really good AoE spell.

    Nature's Wrath is a magical damage AoE spell that halves the affected unit's defense. If that's not attractive enough to warrant consideration, you can also combine it with Soften on Willowind for some nice extended powerturns. Just remember to cast Nature's Wrath before you use Soften for the maximum Defense penalty.


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    The new and improved Burning Oak Seed gives a champ Fire damage on demand. It costs a little more than Frostcall Quiver but it works for both melee and ranged attacks and still allows the champion to use it's original basic attack if desired. It also works on Passive champs (if they have base damage) and gives Immunity Fire.

    When first released, there weren't many good candidates in the theme to equip Frostcall Quiver (because it only works with ranged attacks). However, the Wild Alliance expansion added lots of good quiver bearers. Oakthump and Tanglefoot both have the reach and damage output to make this a wonderful source of drag and drop alternative damage. The damage over time also adds a fair bit to each attack.


    [​IMG] Cleansing Emerald

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    Combined Effort is a spell that trades all of your available Ap for an equal amount of nora. The cost of the spell itself is instantly refunded and the rest is all profit. If you have rooted champions sitting idle with full Ap, this can produce a significant amount of nora. Timing is the main thing. You want to drop it when the Ap loss isn't going to get you killed. Ideally this is during a lull in the action. Spending most of your combatant's Ap then reaping the excess from your rooted trees also works. Just remember that summons and illusions lose Ap but generate no nora so you don't overestimate the return.

    [​IMG] Cultivate the Earth

    Cultivate the Earth produces a wide patch of vegetation for a long time. It then gradually refunds it's cost making the spell free (or even generating a small amount of nora via Favor or other such abilites). Theoretically it's a good spell, but the impact and concentration of vegetation related effects aren't high enough for it to be worth the deck space to most people.

    [​IMG] Fuel

    Casting Fuel on a dying or expendable treefolk champion will refund half of it's nora cost and give all Devotees of Delim +2 Damage permanently. This is in addition to the +3 Max Health and 6 healing they will receive for the target's death. Note that sacrificing a champion in this manner negates any type of respawn. Specifically, Wood Elemental will not Transplant and Dragonbark will not leave a relic behind.

    The ability version of this effect is called Sacrifice of Delim and can be found on the Wood Marshal. One will generally use the ability version due to it's superior cost effectiveness, but one might find space for the spell when pushing Devotees foremost with just enough trees for cannon fodder.


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    Germination Engine is a great relic for Sapling production, supporting all of your Surge, Transplant, and Sacrifice of Delim shenanigans. It can add weight to a font contest/defense, but remember that an enemy attack will quickly cut it's production short. Combo with Overgrowth when it's down to 5 HP for the maximum return on investment.

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    In order to keep this from devolving into an unreadable wall of text, I broke it into easily digestible chunks. Basicly 'what Greenhouse does' followed by 'how Greenhouse does it'. Here it goes:

    Greenhouse increases the stats of Treefolk. It raises them by quite a significant amount actually. This bonus stacks both with itself and other mechanics (such as Boost Treefolk and Battlemaster). These stacking bonuses help you get the most out of a treedeck. The fact that it can be dropped on demand for a spike in your damage output makes it one of the many ways to pull of a 'treestyle powerturn'.

    Greenhouse produces Saplings. If desired, you can get a Sapling out of your Greenhouse every other round for 20 Nora. The discount is nice and perhaps more importantly it allows you multiple instances of the champ without wasting deck slots. These Saplings are real (not summons) and the fact that they are enables some neat tricks that we'll go over now.

    Greenhouse doubles as a good first turn draw. For 55 Nora you can drop a Greenhouse at the edge of your shrine's deployment zone and spawn a Sapling outside that zone. Between the +1 Speed bonus from the Greenhouse and the 1 space headstart, this Sapling has the same first turn reach as an 8 Speed champion. Only for one turn of course, but it's the one that counts.

    Greenhouse allows you to capture fonts that you can't reach. Simply move a champ within 1-2 spaces of a font zone, deploy the Greenhouse, and spawn a Sapling into the font zone. Because it's a real champ that you paid nora for, it can capture the font fair and square. I'm sometimes amazed at how frequently I use this maneuver.

    Greenhouse allows summons to capture fonts. Now of course, summons can't capture fonts. But they can deploy relics! Using the same trick described above your seemingly harmless summon can capture a font.

    [​IMG] Horn of Order
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    Last edited: May 19, 2016
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  9. Gorebucket

    Gorebucket Forum Royalty

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    Lash Down is an incredibly solid combination of champ control and Ap generation. You can use it as either or both (i.e. tying down one champ while using the Ap to kill a different one). The damage it causes to the target is really just icing. Every treedeck should have at least one copy of this in it.


    [​IMG] Nature's Balance
    Nature's Balance is (if you'll forgive the pun) a relic of the past. It negates the fire vulnerability found on older treefolk and chokes off damage amplification. Fortunately Willowind has Nature's Balance in ability form so there's no longer a need to waste precious deck space and nora on this relic. Good riddance as far as I'm concerned...


    [​IMG] Overgrowth
    Overgrowth is a surprise and surprisingly good addition from the Endless Wonder expansion. You cast this spell on any relic and in two turns the relic is destroyed (assuming it's still there) and 3 Saplings are spawned (whether or not it's still there). Note that they are spawned not summoned, making them as real as any champ deployed from your rune dock. Also note that they spawn on your turn in time to gain Ap, allowing them to be used immediately. Further note that the spell can be cast twice on the same target. Is your notebook full yet? No? Good, because I can talk about trees all day long...

    There are several ways to use this spell. The most obvious and cost effective is to cast it on an opponent's relic. If you're opponent isn't considerate enough to deploy a relic for you, you can use it on your own relic instead (preferably one that will surely be destroyed or is no longer of any use to you). But the third and most awesome option is to deploy a Sporegill (who spends 2 rounds as a relic), wait 1 turn (this is important), and then cast Overgrowth on it. You will get both the Sporegill and the Saplings all with Ap to burn at the same time. What's more, you can cast Overgrowth on the Sporegill twice and get a full 6 Saplings. How awesome is that?

    Overall the spell is a solid way to get Saplings on the field in addition to being a good relic counter. That last point is also one for the notebook because people have the annoying habit of deploying relics next to your rooted trees and then laughing because they can't attack them. Casting this spell allows you to have the last laugh.

    [​IMG] Pride of K'thir
    Don't forget your Warbanner! It's typically thrown into every battlegroup for stat boosting and font contesting anyway, but you definitely want that health bonus to get the most out of your Saplings. And speaking of Saplings, you can also use it produce those by using it as a target for Overgrowth. You'll miss out on the +5 Hp for doing so, but at 20 nora you can redeploy it relatively soon.

    [​IMG] Reclaim
    Reclaim is a good (albeit expensive) champ control option that is uncleansable and also happens to produce vegetation. The reason it's worth special mention for treedecks though is the fact that it combos well with Constriction (found on Grappler and Wood Elemental). You can Reclaim then Constrict a champion to neutralize it for 2 full rounds (in addition to the guaranteed 1 round for anything you caught in the AoE. Reclaim also happens to work on Avatars if it comes down to it.

    [​IMG] Rejuvenation Ring
    The ring has been a staple of K'thir Forest's arsenal for a long time, healing both passively each turn and actively when the champ attacks. It is an especially good equip for Tanglefoot (with his 1 Ap attacks) and one of the few ways to heal him through Pariah. On the one hand, Treefolk's Blessing does much more so it might be better to just run two of those. On the other, you can stack both the Ring and Blessing if you really need to keep a champ alive (in addition to the whole Tanglefoot thing). Decisions, decisions...

    [​IMG] Shimmering Flower
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    [​IMG] Spontaneous Growth
    Spontaneous Growth raises a champion's Max Hp by 10 and produces vegetation for a few turns. It's a pretty terrible spell and I've only devoted space to it in the naive hope that someone might realize just how pitiful it is and revise it into something useful.


    [​IMG] Treefolk's Blessing
    'Instant Tank! Just add Nora!' That pretty much sums up what this spell does by granting resistance to the most common damage type along with a defense increase and Regeneration. It works especially well with Oakthump (building on his good defense and resistance to the second most common damage type) but any other champ pitted up against a physical damage enemy can use it just as effectively.

    [​IMG] Vinetouch Pedestal
    The Pedestal allows you to incorporate any champ into the tree theme (provided that you can draw and deploy it before said champ). This not only grants the converted champ access to the numerous buffs available to the tree theme, but also makes any race based abilites the champ has work with treefolk as well (Vengence, Improve X, Reinforcement, etc...). Two copies are necessary if you wish to use the relic reliably and that will eat into your support runes. Nevertheless, converting certain champs can be very worthwhile.

    [​IMG] Withering Fern
    Equipping the fern on an opponent causes its health and defense to trickle away over time. Great for softening up those powerful champs while at the same time preventing them from equipping things that will make them more powerful. No special synergy but useful and thematic in appearance.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2016
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  10. Gorebucket

    Gorebucket Forum Royalty

    Advice for Playing a Tree-themed Deck

    So with your runes selected, it's time to go over the key strategies of the theme:
    Stack several different 'boosts' to make your champs more competitive.

    Boost Treefolk doesn't stack with itself, however it stacks nicely with other stat enhancing abilities. Greehouses provide the most significant boost (and even stack with themselves if you can warrant putting two in the same location). Battlemaster (found on the Elven Strategist) is another nice stat increase and not limited to race (making it even better in some cases).
    Remember to boost by deployment before attacking.

    Summon and Germinate your Saplings before attacking to get the most out of your Surge champs. When fighting near an uncontested deployment zone, you can deploy a Patriarch or Strategist for a local damage boost to the nearby champs. Greenhouses can be used the same way no matter where the battle is taking place. Use these sudden damage bursts to cause more damage than anticipated and take out the enemy.
    Use Anti-Lumbering and Relocation to kill champs unexpectedly.

    Decent players count squares and position their champs just out of killing range, yet close enough to launch an offensive. Naturally, they take into account that several of your champions are Lumbering when doing this. Suddenly removing Lumbering allows you to kill by moving and attacking more than your opponent has anticipated. Spell based forms have the greatest element of surprise, but champ based forms are more cost effective and their threat range is difficult to calcuate even though they're plainly visible.
    Beware of Swarm, Deconstruct, Fire, and AoE attacks.

    Swarm and Deconstruct can quickly turn your cheap, effective Saplings against you. When facing either, try to hold your Saplings back while you take out the offending champs. Focus on boosting big sturdy champs rather than overwhelming the opponent with spam.

    Most treefolk are vulnerable to fire (which is a fairly common damage type and frequently in available in AoE form). Against UD, SL, and Tortuns you want to deploy Nature's Balance as soon as possible. One well placed Fireblast or Firestorm followed by attacks can wipe out your entire army. Nature's Balance at least levels the playing field and gives you a fair chance in these matchups.

    AoE's in general can be pretty damaging. Most factions have at least one (if not multiple) runnable versions of them. Given treefolk's dependance on proximity buffs, there's really no avoiding getting hit by them, but do your best not to bunch up unecessarily and minimize the chance of being wiped out by spell spam. A Trickster deployed early enough can catch a spell or two and save you a world of hurt. Occlusion is also a possibility but with the downsides of regular nora payments and hampering your own spell support.
    Transplant can be used against you if you're not careful.

    The Wood Elemental is great but he can be the death of you if allowed (or forced) to Transplant into your actual champions instead of your dispossable Saplings. He will always Transplant into the closest plant champion. Sometimes keeping one Sapling between him and your real champs isn't enough. Assuming your opponents are at least vaguely familiar with the Wood Elemental they will kill that Sapling first then force the transplant into your real champ. You can avoid this by keeping a few expendables between the Wood Elemental and your real champs or by only using non-plants to fight in close proximity to him. Using more than one Wood Elemental at a time will usually result in accidents (the worst being when one Wood Elemental transplants into the other one).
    Champs that have taken root can NOT engage or be engaged.

    Remember this. Enemies can walk around your rooted trees and they won't lift a branch to stop them. Don't run up to a ranged champ and take root thinking it will hinder the champ in any way. While this is usually a drawback, there are a few occasions where it's beneficial (Whirl of Blades is triggered by engagement so rooted trees are completely safe from that ability).
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014
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  11. Gorebucket

    Gorebucket Forum Royalty

    Other Champions

    The champions in this section aren't Treefolk, Plants, or even followers of De'lim, but they do have abilities that compliment them. Here you will find options for anti-lumbering, additional stat boosts, nora generation, and other attractive utilities.

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    A long time favorite, Elven Strategist can both relocate lumbering trees to the desired position and relocate enemies into the range of slow or rooted trees. Remember that these two abilities share a cooldown, so plan your moves wisely or take the cheaper but size restricted Swap instead. Battlemaster brings yet another stat boost that can be layered on top of all the others. This one is not race restricted, so it can be applied to the non-treefolk members of your army as well. The strategist himself is swift and can dish out some nice damage with the aid of Surge Enemy. An all around wonderful support unit to include in a tree deck. Highly recommended.

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    The latest revision to Spirit of Endurance has made it the best non-treefolk champ to include in a treefolk deck that uses the Lumbering or Weighty champs. Enduring Aura stacks with the theme's high defense and Defender, making many treefolk super durable. Soften is effectively +3 damage against any enemy in a huge area. Grant Flight can be used every turn to negate Lumbering and is better than Light as a Feather at mobilizing Weighty champs (because Light as a Feather only removes Lumbering for another 3 steps). On top of all that, Attack Fire is attractive as another type of alternative damage. The only caveat is remembering not to use her to score the killing blow. Forgetting this can cost you AP, nora, units, or games as you scramble to correct your mistake!

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    The Harvester would have been a fast font grabbing champ that lends magical damage and nora generation to treefolk. I use that tense, because the thing costs just short of 80 nora, has 8 damage, 1 range, and dies if you touch it's wings. You could use it to grab a font but good luck defending it with the lion's share of your early game nora invested in that. The only thing that even remotely justifies it's cost is Soulharvest which is potentially large amounts of nora, but only if you can kill something with the Harvester. It's stealth ability would assist with that, but it only works after you've killed something which makes it almost a cruel joke. While the champ itself hasn't gotten any better with time, the tools you can use to achieve a killing blow have. Wiz O Ways, Horn of Order, and Vinetouch Pedestal can all be used to push it's damage and Ap to the necessary levels. However, the champ remains a huge gamble that most people pass on.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2016
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  12. KTCAOP

    KTCAOP I need me some PIE!

    30k Character limit, so three times the size of the other forums. 20 pictures per post still I believe though =).

    => Source
     
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  13. Gorebucket

    Gorebucket Forum Royalty

    Thanks, KTCAOP. Helpful and awesome as ever. :D

    The guide has been ported over but is badly in need of polish and revisions. It will just have to do for now...
     
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  14. Justmatel

    Justmatel The King of Potatoes

    Suck a detailed guide! I think Ill be making a treefolk BG and following this! Cheers mate
     
  15. Senshu

    Senshu Administrator Desert Owl Games

    Really extensive guide, "Sticky!" I made this one sticky with maple syrup, tasty.
     
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  16. Morfeas

    Morfeas I need me some PIE!

    Pro-level guide, quality wise I mean.
     
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  17. seamusogre

    seamusogre New Member

    lies ALL LIES
     
  18. Nyanta

    Nyanta I need me some PIE!

    a cool trick i learned with vine touch pedestal is that if you use a summon ability to summon a champ into the pedestals effect it also becomes a tree so champs that can summon can easily power surge to greater levels
     
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  19. ArchersAxe

    ArchersAxe Member

    Nice guide! My friend has always been a great advocate of Treefolk, before any of this new stuff came along. ;)

    Only minor detail I didn't catch in there is that Grant: Flight from an Occuli Slag also temporarily relieves Lumbering (flying champs are not effected by Lumbering). At least to a new player, this may be some good news.
     
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  20. Sub-Zero

    Sub-Zero The King of Potatoes

    Time to update Elven treeCaller
     

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