Lightning's Swift Strike

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SETUP

Put 2 Presenceicon.png on your starting board in the highest-numbered Sands.

PLAY STYLE

Virtually all offense to start with: without a more defensive teammate, Blight may become a problem. Excellent at destroying buildings, less good at containing Explorers. Using Thundering Destruction tends to be a burst affair: a turn or two of position and build up Energy, followed by a really big turn.
Starting Powers are extremely focused on Air and Fire: good for Thundering Destruction, bad for Major Power versatility.

COMPLEXITY

LOW

GROWTH (PICK ONE)
Reclaimall.png
Reclaim Cards
Gaincardicon.png
Gain Power Card
Energy Plus 1.png
Gain 1 Energy
+ Presenceicon.png

2
Rangeicon.png

Add Presence
+ Presenceicon.png

0
Rangeicon.png

Add Presence
+ Presenceicon.png

1
Rangeicon.png

Add Presence
Energy Plus 3.png
Gain 3 Energy
PRESENCE
Energy 1.png

Energy/Turn
Energy 1.png

1
Energy 2.png

2
Energy 2.png

2
Energy 3.png

3
Energy 4.png

4
Energy 4.png

4
Energy 5.png

5
Cardplay2.png

Card Plays
Cardplay3.png

3
Cardplay4.png

4
Cardplay5.png

5
Cardplay6.png

6


SPECIAL POWERS

SWIFTNESS OF LIGHTNING
For every Airelement.png you have, you may use 1 Slowicon.png as if it were Fasticon.png. (Power Cards or your Innate Powers.)

THUNDERING DESTRUCTION

SPEED RANGE TARGET LAND
Slowicon.png
Sacredsiteicon.png
1
Rangeicon.png
ANY

3 Fireelement.png 2 Airelement.png Destroy 1 Townicon.png.

4 Fireelement.png 3 Airelement.png You may instead destroy 1 Citiyicon.png.

5 Fireelement.png 4 Airelement.png 1 Waterelement.png Also, Destroy 1 Townicon.png / Citiyicon.png.

5 Fireelement.png 5 Airelement.png 2 Waterelement.png Also, Destroy 1 Townicon.png / Citiyicon.png.


SUMMARY OF POWERS

         
         
         
         
         
Offense Control Fear Defense Utility



Lore

Most spirits of storm travel the sky, never touching down or staying in any one place for too long, but a few find a place they’re sufficiently drawn to to stay - often a site with high winds or violent weather. Spirits of lightning are especially prone to this, finding the earth below more interesting than their cloud-formed bretheren.

Lightning’s Swift Strike was born long ago, of a storm-spirit off the shores of Spirit Island. It decided to stay in the instant it first struck ground, and has remained ever since. Lightning destroys with a fierce and glorious joy, not for the sake of destruction itself, but for the exultation of swiftness-in-power.

From the Playmat

The child of a passing storm-spirit, Lightning's Swift Strike danced off the shores of the island many ages ago, and liked it enough to stay. It spends much of its time resting and quiet, waking up to dance through the sky when the winds blow strong.

It only concerns itself occasionally with the Dahan, usually appearing out of nowhere to send them off on some obscure errand. The Dahan cooperate - partly out of wary respect for Lightning's power, but as much for the sake of the Thunderspeaker - Lightning's child - who is a patron and ally of their people.


Starting Cards


Fireelement.pngAirelement.png

SPEED RANGE TARGET LAND
Slowicon.png
1
Rangeicon.png
ANY
Push up to 2 Dahanicon.png.
1 Fearicon.png if you pushed any Dahanicon.png into a land with Townicon.png/Citiyicon.png.

Fireelement.pngAirelement.png

SPEED RANGE TARGET
Fasticon.png
No Range.png
ANYSpiriticon.png
Target Spirit may use up to 2 Slowicon.png Powers as if they were Fasticon.png Powers this turn.

Fireelement.pngAirelement.pngWaterelement.png

SPEED RANGE TARGET LAND
Slowicon.png
1
Rangeicon.png
ANY
1 Damage to each Invader.

Fireelement.pngAirelement.png

SPEED RANGE TARGET LAND
Slowicon.png
Sacredsiteicon.png
2
Rangeicon.png
ANY
1 Fearicon.png.
Destroy 1 Townicon.png.


Suggested Power Progression

Delusions of Danger (Minor)
Call to Bloodshed (Minor)
Powerstorm (Major - Forget a Power)
Purfying Flame (Minor)
Pillar of Living Flame (Major - Forget a Power)
Entrancing Apparitions (Minor)
Call to Isolation (Minor)

General Strategy

Some things of note:

  • Growth: It can play two Presence/turn. Not all Spirits can manage this! Lightning can spread quickly, setting up a new Sacred Site (two Presence in one land) in a single turn, even 2 lands away.
  • Growth: It only gains new Power Cards when Reclaiming / not placing new Presence. So it’s not going to be gaining huge numbers of new Powers unless it Reclaims a lot - which would limit its expansion.
  • Presence track: It has a slow Energy ramp-up, but incredible Card Plays - better than any other Spirit in the game.
  • Special Rules: Swiftness of Lightning - For every Air it has, Lightning’s Swift Strike can make one of its Powers Fast - that is, use it before the Invaders go rather than afterwards. That seems pretty good, but we’ll have to see how many of its unique powers are Air-aspected before we know how often it’ll be useful in practice.
  • Innate Power: Thundering Destruction - That’s a lot of wrecked buildings at higher levels! It’ll take playing 4-5 Fire to reach the best effects, but Lightning has that awesome Plays track, so playing 4-5 Power Cards in one turn isn’t as distant a feat for it as for others. The targeting is a bit restrictive, though: it must strike from a Sacred Site, and can only reach a single land away. And we don’t know how readily it has access to Air and Fire - so let’s look at its Unique Power Cards!

Before we go into specific cards, we can see two things right off the bat:

  • Every single Power has both Air and Fire - which makes sense; that’s Lightning for you. That means it’ll have a really easy time finding the Elements to use Swiftness of Lightning and Thundering Destruction!
  • A couple of those Power Cards cost 2 or 3 Energy to play - destructive power takes some oomph! Playing both of those together would require 5 Energy, far more than Lightning starts out getting in a single turn. So Lightning is going to be somewhat Energy-hungry, and may want to occasionally hold some Energy in reserve to build up for a massive strike the following turn.

The cards themselves:

  • Shatter Homesteads is a workhouse power, destroying those Towns that crop up all over the place in a particularly intimidating fashion. Like the Thundering Destruction innate, it must be used from a Sacred Site, but has better range.
  • Raging Storm hurts every Invader in a land, damaging buildings and wiping out Explorers entirely. The more Invaders there are, the more Lightning can pound on them - but it’s not cheap to do. It can be used from any of Lightning's Presence, though.
  • Lightning’s Boon grants Lightning’s overwhelming speed to other spirits, amping up their ability to pre-empt the Invaders. It could in theory self-target, but with Swiftness of Lightning, that’ll rarely be necessary!
  • Harbingers of the Lightning asks some Dahan to warn the Invaders about what Lightning’s Swift Strike is going to do to them if they stick around. It also asks the Dahan to move, setting up shop near the Invaders - perhaps simply a threatening gesture, perhaps a setup for a counterattack.

Overall: Most of Lightning’s Powers do a small amount of Fear, plus any Fear caused by destroying Towns and Cities - so we can expect that Lightning will be decent at helping frighten the Invaders. The only way it has to destroy Explorers is Raging Storm, which is expensive: Lightning isn’t good at wiping out small groups of people hidden away in the jungle. But while it has a hard time stopping the Invaders from Building, it’s really good at wrecking those buildings once they show up! It can do this best in bursts - playing lots of Power Cards to trigger Thundering Destruction - but setting those up may take a turn of gathering strength.

Links to Guides

Sacredsiteicon.png Phantaskippys Guide To Phantasms: Part 3: Lightnings Swift Strike