Lily: A Few Maneuvers
Thanks so much to MightyFinePants for taking the time to add Lily to their brilliant TTS mod of Godtear. This allowed me to put Lily on the table and move some pieces around. In this article, I will attempt to show you how some of Lily's abilities look on the board in order to help you better recognize opportunities to use them productively. Be ready for lots of TTS diagrams.
I'll include the rules for some relevant abilities, but I'm mostly assuming you've had a chance to look at Lily's cards in my previous article.
Plot Phase Setup
Here's a pretty slick way for Lily to set things up early in the game.
Here's the text for the relevant abilities in this example. Let's start with Lily's passive trat, Touch of the Fae:
And here are the two relevant plot phase skill actions:
So, the board state below is at the top of the turn 1 clash phase. Lily comes roaring out of the gate, drops off a badly needed boon for Morrigan with Touch of the Fae, and pulls in a hex using Call of the Earth. Lily's followers can then get way downfield using their Deep Roots skill.
This puts pressure on your opponent right away by stretching the territory they need to threaten and by putting a swarm of followers into an important part of the board. I imagine that the early Deep Roots will become a pretty standard move for the Thornlings. If that's the plan, then you can put these followers literally anywhere during initial deployment because they can just vanish and reappear next to Lily regardless of range. Lily could also drop a boon that they might enjoy (speed or protection, probably) before the Thornlings recruit into that hex on their activation.
Here's the text of Lily's ultimate:
Let's look at a plot phase usage. Here's a possible starting state for the turn 2 plot phase. Lily has previously pulled this hex away from a center cluster. Let's imagine Lily is going first.
First, she claims. Then, she uses her ultimate. Her board state looks like this:
Thorn wall will allow Lily to deny two claim actions here. She can also casually make her own claim thanks to setup from the previous phase. This kind of thing is impactful enough to sew up a turn.
What about the status effect? Where/when/which one?
Here's another situation for Thorn Wall. This time, we'll look at the clash phase. Imagine We're at the end of the turn 1 on Quest.
Lily needs to get Titus away form those Thornlings. She also needs to clear her path to the scoring zone while keeping opponents from claiming on her own zone. Lily can accomplish all three of those things with a Thorn Wall/Haunting Melody combo.
Here's the text of Haunting Melody:
In just two actions, Lily can accomplish all three of her goals.
Titus will really struggle to make it to this scoring zone and all those juicy thornling targets as long as Lily keeps hitting her clash phase skills.
Once again, how would you use Touch of the Fae in this activation?
More With Haunting Melody
Haunting Melody is really rude since it moves opponents two hexes. This is as fast as many models move in a phase. Here's an example of Lily being rude with this skill.
Here, Lily comes from way downtown to push Jaak deeply into irrelevant territory. Her range of 3 combined with the skill's range of three mean that no goblin is safe from being thrown away from the objectives. Jaak's dodge of 4 does not help him much since Haunting Melody rolls 6 dice to hit. Lily's bonkers threat range with this skill really allows her to reposition key targets across a wide range of territory.
This skill exerts a tremendous amount of influence over a large number of models in an immediate area. Sometimes, Godtear feels like it's being played in a phone booth, and Haunting Visage really lets you put things in order when the situation gets tight.
Here's the text of Nature's Visage:
This is a versatile ability, but the situation for using it takes a little time to get used to. Basically you target a model and if you hit, push everything away up to one hex. The target itself does not move because, while models are adjacent to themselves, there is no way to push something away from itself.
In this situation, Mourneblade has locked down Lily with a Knightshade and blocked off her movement lanes towards his banner.
Thanks to Nature's Visage, the fire skeleton's banner is toast. Lily can just rearrange things such that she has ample space to saunter over to paydirt. By hitting Mourneblade's dodge of 2, Lily can reposition a total of five models. Check it out:
Mourneblade's entire structure dissolves. Nature's Visage allows you to pop tight formations that guardians like to set up. This can expose banners, deny backstopping, and generally wreak havoc. Rhodri's crew would be the exception.
How would you have used Touch of the Fae in this activation?
If Lily sets herself up well enough during th plot phase that she does not need to move, the combination of both her board manipulation skills in the clash phase can be kind of a lot.
Consider this situation. Rangosh is primed to smash Lily, crush her banner, or both. He has set up a backstop behind himself to keep things close. Lily has had the forethought to generate an accuracy boon for herself, though.
First, Lily uses her boon to land Nature's Visage on Rangosh. This clears out Rangosh's backstop and allows Lily to move herself away form the brute.
Now that the lane behind Rangosh is clear, Lily is free to shoo him away with a Haunting Melody.
The banner is safe. Rangosh can still get off a whiplash, admittedly, but he'll need to activate immediately to do so since the Thornlings can block him if he waits. This lets Lily put activation pressure on the opponent, which may open up opportunities for teammates in other parts of the board.
Once again - how would you have used Touch of the Fae in this activation?
Lily probably likes to match up with lower dodge targets because so much of her game is about hit effects. She would probably like to match up with pillow-fisted opponents since she cannot really threaten much damage. It's nice for Lily when Maelstroms cannot take out the Thornlings easily. Lily would also like slower opponents if possible. Touch of the Fae gives you some wiggle room on all those criteria since Lily can put whatever boons or blights out onto the board that she wants. I think she matches up well into the likes of Mourneblade, Luella, or even Raith. I think she wants to avoid Rhodri, who has strong anti-positioning tech, Titus, who can massacre Thornlings, and Peet, who can evade her skills. These are just early ideas. I have not actually played most of those matchups, so please take that as speculation. After I have a chance to play with her a bit more, I'll write something based on table time.
I hope this has made your learning curve with Lily easier by showing you how her abilities work on the board. This champion is still very new, so it will take table time to really say something real about her power level and matchups. Thankfully, the mod is updated! Those of us who missed GenCon may have to wait to start painting these weet models, but we don't have to wait to try out the rules. Get out there and play some Lily, everyone!