Let's Pick Up Styx!
Updated: Sep 6, 2021
I played a game against myself using Styx. I sometimes will play a few turns on TTS when I have a few minutes and not enough time to find an opponent and really play a game. This time, I saved my progress, logged my moves, and turned it into an article. I hope you can follow it and enjoy it at least a little.
Look, at a few points, I forgot to flip over some cards before taking the screenshot. I know. I’m not going back to fix it. I also changed the way I capture board states partway through. I probably also made a few errors of other sorts. This is the kind of thing I would go back and fix if this were paid content. It's not. Enjoy.
I drew randomly from the scenario deck and got: Death. Cool. Themey for Styx.
The teams: Styx, Maxen, Keera vs. Jeen, Titus, Raith
I thought this might be fun. I have a feeling that Styx and Keera play well together because Styx takes the pressure off slow fragile Keera to be a banner squisher. I added Maxen just tog et a feel for full-on unconventional banner removal. The Maelstroms on the other side were meant to test the proposition that the Hounds are worth hunting. Raith is there because I think Keera handles him well and I wanted to show that.
The Battle Report
So - Team Styx and Team Raith. Team Styx is player 1. After deployment we get this.
Turn 1 Plot Phase
Standard opening moves. People rush forward and buff themselves. No one can really get in position to claim this turn.
So heading into the first clash phase, we get this:
Turn 1 Clash Phase
Dragons go first. They position themselves next to Raith and next to one of his splashlings in order to force Raith to move or get attacked by Keera. Only the splashing next to Titus is safe. The dragons also Bite Raith. They hit and spike their (booted) damage roll. With his armor boon, Raith takes 3 damage.
Then Raith jumps next to the other dragon and gets another armor boon. To push the dragon out of position, he proceeds to headbutt it. The dragon takes 2 damage and, crucially, gets pushed away from Raith. Keera must now move a dragon or else not attack Raith. She’ll get one attack at most.
Keera opts to move the dragon back were it was and unleash a Vicious Bite on Raith. It barely hits (thanks, Gearhawks!) and does a total of three damage to Raith, who survives thanks to his armor boon. Still, he’s on one health which is where Keera wants him for turn 2.
The splashlings recruit and move up to offer faith escape routes.
Styx uses Apparition to pull a hex towards himself and then advances next to the repositioned hex.
The Glory Seekers advance.
Fearing Jeen, the Gearhawks spread out and pass an accuracy boon to Maxen.
The Shrikes advance, pass a speed boon to Titus, and use their Drive Back trait to pull a dragon away from Keera.
Maxen advances and takes a shot at Jeen. He’s hoping to push her back, more than anything. He hits thanks to the trusty Gearhawks and pushes Jeen away from the birds who are prey. This means he only rolls 3 damage dice, though, and does not harm Jeen.
Jeen moves back to where she was and gives herself a speed boon.
Now the hounds have to activate. They’ve been hoping Titus would activate before them, but no such luck. They decide to plunge to the East and unleash a Triple Bite on a Shrike. They get lucky, hit all three times, and KO the shrike with 6 damage dice.
Titus decides that these hounds need to go. Thanks to his speed boon, he’s able to get next to both of them for a Sweeping Slash. He hits both hounds, but fluffs both damage rolls, doing only two damage to one and one damage to the other.
The clash phase ends. Team Styx has won the turn. The board looks like this.
Turn 2 Plot Phase
So team Raith gets to control the end phase here. That means removing two objective hexes. The one that Styx pulled towards himself has to go as does the one closest to Keera. Team Raith will go first.
The splashlings activate first. They set up so that Raith can make an aggressive move towards Keera. The thinking here is that Raith can’t avoid getting KOs, but maybe we can put some pressure on the Dragon Queen and keep her off of Rath’s banner. The other two splashlings set up anticipating that Raith will need places to jump to after being KOd. After that, they use tide on one of the Abyssal Hounds push it back. They hit.
Next, Raith plants his banner and kersplashes over to Keera, taking a damage boon.
At this point, the Abyssal hounds are still a real threat to Raith’s banner, so let’s take care of that. First the Golden Shrikes activate and advance. The two stack, now adjacent to Maxen, lets the dwarf have a little Slash and Dash, but do no damage. That’s fine because the real point of this activation was to push the same abyssal hound back even further. One of the dogs now has a route to the banner, but not both.
Jeen has a tricky position now. She essentially has to choose between going after the gear hawks and positioning herself to squash Maxen’s banner. Even though it hurts to essentially concede five steps, Jeen will go for the Gearhawks because getting adjacent to a guy with a shotgun has a downside all its own. She races south and pole arm sweeps the two Gearhaws who are adjacent to each other, missing one and KOing the other. Her Rapid Strike also misses. Just two steps.
The glory seekers advance to surround the Abyssal hound closest to Raith’s banner. They then Roar of Battle Titus into a claiming position. Titus claims and declares to the Hounds that he will kill them all, moving each back one hex.
So team Styx is looking at this for their plot phase
The easy bit first. Maxen claims and moves towards Jeen.
This may not be the best move for Styx, but it is the one which shows off his stuff. It would probably be better to just crush Titus’s banner and plant Styx’s, but what fun is that? Styx moves East uses Dead Beckoning to move the splashing in Keera’s path towards him. As his bonus action, Styx gives Titus an armor blight.
Next, the Gearhawks run away from Jeen, clearing space for the Hounds in the process. They miss a talon rake on a splashing and give an accuracy boon to their boss.
Next the hounds use pack hunter and their normal movement to circle around towards Titus’s banner.
One fo the dragons moves into the circle of Glory Seekers so that it will be two hexes away from Titus. The other moves West a bit, For good measure, it roars at him, missing thanks to Superiority.
Keera moves towards Raith’s banner and pops her ultimate, KOing Raith and applying a wound to Titus. Team Styx has the lead, but are down two banners to one. Fortunately for them, they are well positioned to remove both enemy banners.
It looks like this:
Turn 2 Plot Phase
So team Raith has an interesting spot here because they can protect one banner but not both. Keera can crush Raith’s or the Hounds can crush Titus’s on the next activation. Pritecting Raith’s banner seems best, so the splashlings use Tide to push Keera back before repositioning to give Raith some landing points.
The Abyssal hounds finish their circling maneuver and use Tear to Shreds to remove Titus’s banner.
Titus retaliates by moving to where the banner was and unleashing a Sweeping Slash on both Hounds. He misses one, but manages to KO the one which had circled around the north side. Three sweet steps.
Maxen steps forward unleashes a Shrapnel Shot into Jeen’s face. He hits and forgoes the push effect in order to get maximum damage dice. This does two damage to Jeen. Jeen gets an armor boon from Marital Discipline.
The Shrikes activate, hoping to set up Jeen a bit. The one on the East side of the board moves into Keera, blocking her path to the objective hexes. The two on the West side move down a hex and throw Jeen a speed boon. They Drive Back a Dragon to pull it away from Titus. At this point, Jeen can get to Maxen’s banner, but only if she uses her ultimate. Her team is leading on the ladder with banner parity at the moment, though.
Back to team Styx - things don’t look great. The two steps we lost out on by getting all showboaty with Styx really hurt now. Titus is not really Slayable, but there is a narrow path to winning the turn with follower KOs. Still, the opponent also has ways to score steps. It’s not great. Really, our only hope is to get Raith’s banner. Hmm.. Ok. What if we kill that Splashing in Keera’s way and use Styx’s Apparition to pull the hex into Keera’s movement range?
The Young Dragons reposition to clear a potential path for Keera as well as to threaten Raith’s landing spots. Then, they unleash their Fiery Breath on the splashing in front of Keera. At 5/3 with a built in armor blight, it’s not on super great odds to kill the Splashing, but even if it misses, there will be another chance when Keera activates. The dragons get it done, though! To add insult to injury, Raith can’t gain a boon because he’s KO’d.
So, at this point, if the Glory Seeker see the play that’s being set up, they can stop it. All they have to do is block off the hex next to Styx, keeping him out of range to use Apparition on the key hex. So they do that, Surround Pounding him for a 6/6. They hit and 2 damage to the Skelly Man.
The only hope of getting ther banner now is for a lone Gearhawk to KO a Shrike. Otherwise, Styx cannot quite get in range to use Apparition in the way Keera needs him to in order to get Ratih’s banner. Not great. Let’s go for it. Didn’t work. What a shock. After the whiff, the Gearhawks scatter to thwart Jeen and end their activation by passing an accuracy boon to Keera.
Jeen moves closer to the Western hex cluster and misses her pole arm sweep on a lone Gearhawk. That’s actually huge because it means that the other team can close the gap by KOing followers. In retrospect, Jeen should have used her ultimate there. Lucky break for Team Styx!
Let’s see if they can get there. Our Grim Reaper impersonator unleashes a Scythe slash on one of the Glory Seekers. It gets there! Only one step down, now. Styx completes his activation by advancing North towards the objectives.
All Raith can do is rally and Kersplash, taking a speed boon.
All Keera needs to do here is KO one follower. Should be doable. She lets loose an accuracy boosted Vicious Bite. No sweat. After that, she moves towards Raith’s banner. She does not get there, but it’s fine because she has won the turn. Team Styx is up 3-0.
The board looks like this:
Turn 3 Plot Phase
Ok. Team Raith is looking to even things up. They remove the two Western hexes closest to Maxen and go first.
Jeen moves and claims. The Shrikes recruit in front of Maxen, and then the 2 stack uses Slash and Dash on him. They manage to do two damage to him and, crucially, get a free hex of movement to position themselves to protect Jeen’s banner. There are no adjacent minions to Drive Back.
The Splashlings recruit and use Tide to push Keera back. They get Raith’s speed boon. Raith wastes the speed boon by moving one hex and then claims.
Titus claims and issues a Challenge to Styx. Styx gets the speed and dodge blights. Titus gets the speed blight.
The Glory Seekers advance towards Keera and Outflank her, blocking her access to the objective hexes.
The board looks like this heading into Team Styx’s plot phase
Alright. It’s winning time for team Styx. Let’s go for it.
Maxen removes three gear hawks for Birdshot. It does 4 damage to Jeen after her armor boon, KOing the goblin and, just as importantly, removing her banner. Rather than give the two Maelstroms on the board more targets by using Tinker, Maxen trots over towards Titus’s banner.
The Abyssal Hounds recruit, and then move West, away from Titus and towards Raith’s banner.
Styx claims and uses The Reaping on Titus, KOing him instantly, but scoring no steps. There are no targets for Hour is Nigh.
The Young dragons reposition to make room for area models and to give themselves a damage boon.
The lone remaining gear hawk migrates to Keera and misses a sad Talon Rake attempt on the Glory Seekers. It does give Keera an accuracy boon, though.
Finally, Keera advances and claims.
Heading into the clash phase, this is what we’ve got:
Things look good for Styx and company, but let’s see what can be done. Honestly, not much. This one is essentially over. We’ll play it out a bit further than we would in a real game, though, since the point of this is is to experiment.
Raith advances onto Keera’s banner and then uses Tsunami, sending dragons, hounds, and Styx flying.
It hurts not to attack with Keera, but she kind of has to step on Raith’s banner now before the Glory Seekers stop her. She does so and then commands a dragon to swoop back in to eat a Glory Seeker.
A Splashing pushes Keera into a better Surround Pound position.
A Young Dragon eats a Glory Seeker.
The Glory Seekers Surround Keera and Pound her for 2.
The Abyssal Hounds run towards Raith and Triple Bite him. They make all three hit rolls, but fluff the damage roll and achieve nothing.
Titus makes a last ditch effort by rallying and using Path of Destruction. He has no target for the first skill, but he does get a Piercing Strike attempt on Styx and scores the KO. Wow. Styx does not move because of Haunting, but Team Raith pulls within one step on the ladder.
Maxen Sharpnel Shots a Shrike to death and steps on Titus’s banner.
Jeen rallies and lunges towards Styx’s banner in utter futility.
Styx rallies and gives Titus a Scythe Slash, doing 1 damage and issuing a pointless damage boon.
The Shrikes, Gearhawks and Splashlings… whatever. It’s done. I can't take it anymore. This is over.
Final Board State:
Our new shiny boy Styx did ok. He was subtle but did well in his matchup with Titus. The Hounds proved inefficient to KO, even for Titus. I’m not sure how fluky that was, though. Drag never got used, but that was probably because Styx was paired up with Keera whose followers are not small. Torn to Shreds was a tad awkward to use in this one. I kind of had to force the issue in order to make it happen. The restriction on Styx’s abilities that they must pull things toward him felt like a real obstacle in this one. Often, I wanted to push things and could only pull them. Nevertheless, I did find Apparition useful. In this case, pulling hexes towards Styx compelled the opponent to use the Death scenario to remove those hexes, which probably opened things up for other champions. Styx’s ability to reliably KO a follower with Scythe Slash was the difference between winning and losing turn 2. The Reaping was huge, and Triple Bite over performed my expectations (although I think that was flukey too).
Styx did not feel super impactful, but then again his team just won in a three turn sweep. Styx must have contributed to this in his way. He’s subtle.
Unrelated to Styx, Maxen and Keera had huge games. Keera in particular demonstrated how to effectively play into Raith: Kill him with fire. Maxen’s ultimate turn probably swung the game as it was a nine step swing on turn 3.
I’m sure I did not play perfectly, but I hope you enjoyed this and potentially learned something of use.
Thanks for reading!