Set:

The first thing we always do is look for an absorber to tell us how many drones we should get. Here you will notice there's Doomed Wall, which normally warrants about 16-18 Drones. There's just one problem with Doomed Wall in this set, however: Shiver Yeti. If you buy a Doomed Wall and the opponent gets Shiver Yetis, you will be forced to sacrifice the Doomed Wall immediately in front of another defender or else you will not even get a single turn of absorb out of it before they freeze it on 1 lifespan. This has two consequences: first, it isn't as high-econ a set as we thought because the only absorber is heavily countered; and second, you will definitely need an Animus, because if you lock yourself out of buying Shiver Yetis then your opponent can safely use Doomed Walls and out-absorb you, which almost always leads to a loss. So, with no viable absorber found, we now look for key units.

Husk

Husk is neither an attacker nor very efficient by random set standards, so it is definitely not a key unit. It does significantly improve red's defensive ability, and its prompt granularity is particularly useful when Shiver Yeti is present - see below (just another reason why getting an Animus is mandatory in this set).

Shiver Yeti

We have already seen that Shiver Yeti is going to have a significant effect on this game by denying us the use of Doomed Wall. But don't be fooled; that does not mean Shiver Yeti can be the backbone of your swarm. Shiver Yeti provides immediate pressure but does ramp your permanent attack. It's also not very efficient to spam: if it just freezes 2 HP of defenders eternally, it's like you're paying 5R for 2 Gauss Charges. Clearly that's a terrible purchase, so start with permanent attackers before you buy these pressure units.

Ossified Drone

Ossified Drone is a support unit. It largely functions as a sink for red when you're overteched, but sometimes the vigilant defense it provides is so good that you're willing to pay red you could have spent on Tarsiers for it (see below).

Drake

Drake is a pretty good attacker, having an inflation of about 1.48 when the threat it provides gets full value. Strong enough to be a key unit for sure. But the thing is, against Ossified Drone, the threat doesn't get full value because the Ossified Drones can block while still producing gold, and you usually don't want to actually click the Drake. Now in just base set+Drake+Ossified Drone this counter might not be hard enough to make Drake unplayable, but remember you need an Animus or your opponent can use Doomed Walls. Also, the main factor that makes the vigilance counter to Drake not as hard as it would be is that usually the Drake player can just execute the threat and click the Drake to kill the Ossified Drone. However, doing this without losing the threat means replacing the Blastforge, and since you have to have an Animus and the set is low econ, you won't be able to do that without wasting red. So probably you're better off just relying on Tarsiers for your attack.


So in conclusion: This is a Wall-absorb blue/red game where we're going to rely on base set attack and a couple of random set support units (Husk, Shiver Yeti, and Ossified Drone). I would recommend taking base set blue-red openings for this game - that is, Fastimus for player 2 and Natural Animus for player 1. There's just one more thing that needs to be said: even if your opponent never buys a Doomed Wall, it's absolutely crucial that you set up two Shiver Yetis before the game reaches the point where all of your resources have to go toward defense every turn. If you fail to do this, your opponent will be able to start using Doomed Walls and you won't be able to get the Shiver Yetis out because you'll need them for defense immediately. Watch for your opponent making this mistake too; if you think they're locked out of Shiver Yetis, get a Doomed Wall. You'll almost certainly win if you get away with it.



*Credit to Apooche and 307th for help with the analysis work that went into rejecting past versions of this article.





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