Who does vow effect, and how can you use it to impact your build and playstyle positively?

It’s important when building an arsenal to understand your potential strengths and weaknesses, how each card fundamentally interacts with others of the same keyword, and how best to utilize them for a win condition. Vow builds around low health and attack forces that are also low cost, easy to find, and have various powerful effects.

There are several cards with vow and are of force sub-type ninja. A good arsenal would be prone to utilize as many as possible, giving you the most significant number of choices to use in different situations.

Vow is a powerful counter to arsenals whose goal is to run you through your entire arsenal quickly, forcing you to lose valuable resources and counters and attempting to create an opening to defeat your leader. It does this by having a high-speed front and foreword style of play, allowing you to quickly find and draw additional ninja soldiers. Due to their low cost and ease of play, their low attack and health value are substantially less detrimental than you may at first expect. Flooding the board gives you strength in numbers, flexibility, intel bonuses, draw power, and the potential ability to eliminate an opposing leader or soldier force outright.

The risk of using a vow-style arsenal is that the individual soldiers are relatively weak, not above 20 health, limiting your blocking ability for forces that have blitz. You also run the risk of the game running long if you can’t hit for severe damage. Once your initial pool of vow soldiers runs low, or the opponent can build up a sufficient force of larger, much stronger forces, your advantage may be gone, and a crushing defeat may be imminent.

What are some cards that support a vow build? Cards that help your forces get damage through unblocked, or cards that increase the damage they do per turn (even if just for one turn).

Here are some examples:

Image of card number 008 from set number 001.

Leader Great Emperor Shang Lee: This is the most obvious choice for a leader, as he allows you to double your soldier forces attack value and become unblockable for the turn with his cunning ability.

Jin Nori, Teacher of Stealth: She is not only a ninja, which lets you retrieve her with any vow card, but she also protects against some of the biggest threats to the build: WMD. She is a vital card to a vow-centered arsenal.

Chemical Augmentation: Adding +40 attack during a turn when you have a substantial force already built up can help you quickly reduce territories to dust.

Final Devotion: Any card that allows you to push one of your forces through the enemy legion and eliminate a territory in a single shot is very likely a good value. This one is pricey, but if they’re down to a single territory or you need to put some resource pressure on them, it’s a strong option.

Image of card number 178 from set number 001.

What are some strong counters to a vow build?

Infected Water Supply: This is a two generic cost resource card that would potentially wipe out an entire legion. It’s one thing that makes a vow build tricky because you need to move fast, but an enormous legion means a significant loss when something like this comes along.

CX5 Viral Outbreak: Even worse, if your vow build is entirely soldier based this will wipe out all of your soldiers in a single go. If anything, consider this an excellent warning to throw some tanks, aircraft, and or ships in your arsenal!

Nuclear Aftermath: A slow-burning arsenal with heavier units may not even be affected by nuclear aftermath. An opponent with two large forces could play this and make a comeback for you almost impossible if you’re even a handful of rounds in, as by then, you would likely have most of your vow forces in play.

Vow-built arsenals are powerful and face very few early threats, as long as you can keep a copy of Jin Nori in your legion at all times. The playstyle favors high resources upfront and a quick and aggressive attack against your opponents, with risk mostly in losing protection from WMD and the long game against legions with larger tanks, air, and navy.

What vow combinations will you discover?

Written by
SM
Steven Machnik