The Pit Ogre is on of the Heavies of the Fire Splinter... designed to be played in a front line role (melee and high health). It begins it's career with the Stun skill, which is really useful for neutralising the enemy tank (unless it is a damage sponge like Lord Arianthus... or a sacrificial monster like the Furious Chicken!). Being knocked out for a round is quite a devastating blow to a team, especially if you are relying on your lead monster to heal or to deal damage.
By Level 4 (mine is at Level 6), you have the Enrage ability added on... and then this slow monster has an interesting game mechanic which is high risk, high reward. If you can survive the initial onslaught by the faster monsters on the enemy team (pretty much everyone else...), then you are going to hit stupidly hard!
However, that killer punch comes with a caveat... it is only active when you are injured (so, you need to balance healing with blind rage...), and it can be neutralised with a single point of armour. Plus, hitting thorns hurts... especially if you are injured for that blind rage goodness!
Complicating matters is the fact that the Fire Splinter has no Level 1 healer monster (the Beetle Queen takes quite a few levels to gain a Tank Heal ability) and the fact that the other tank choice (the Cerberus) does have an intrinsic healing ability makes the Pit Ogre a pretty risky guy to lead your team with!
This first battle featured the Reverse Speed mechanic... which meant that the sluggy slow Pit Ogre was a decent choice for this battle. Plus, it also had the Evens only mana restriction.... which meant that I would be safe from punching thorns (most of the thorn monsters seem to have odd numbers!).
So, the line up is designed to lead with the Pit Ogre as the risky lead play... backed up by a Furious Chicken for tactical depth (aka cannon fodder...) with the Cerebus taking the back to serve as a last stand monster with healing, and also to kill any sneaky monsters that might otherwise attack from the rear.
A Kobold Miner is always a nice cheap monster to hit the back with, at 2 mana doing 3 damage (with the Summoner skill), it is a high value for mana card!. Rounding out the team is my newly promoted Beetle Queen with the Tank Heal ability... although the Pit Ogre works best when injured... he works much less well when he is dead!
The enemy starts with the Cyclops injuring the Pit Ogre... and here you can see how the Summoner skill plus the innate melee damage PLUS the Enrage skill turns the Pit Ogre into a killing machine! 8 Damage... and 5 Speed!... well, for this battle I don't want the extra speed... but the DAMAGE! If he stays alive to swing... this is going to hurt badly!
The Flesh Golem is hit really hard... and is stunned to boot! This means that he can't heal either, and also has no chance to take the Pit Ogre out of the fight. After the first round, this is game over!
A similar rationale for the line up of this second battle, Reverse Speed leans in the favour of the slower monsters... and the Melee only nature of the battle means that we are just going to be lining up and punching each other anyway! So, why not do it in style?
The risky Pit Ogre leads the assault... with the Cerebus covering the rear and acting as a resilient last stand. Furious Chicken again provides tactical depth and the Serpentine Spy acts as the Chaos Maker.
In the first attack, you see the point of having the Cerebus at the rear. He can retaliate and take down the sneak monsters (not this time...) whilst healing and thus neutralising their damage and potential. However, in this first round you also see the weakness of the Pit Ogre... by concentrating so much power into a single non-piercing hit... it is easily neutered by the single point of armour on the enemy lead monster.
Sadly, the enemy tank misses the Pit Ogre... meaning that the ugly guy is still too chill... in the second round of attacks, the Kobold Miner learns that poking the Cerebus is not a good idea!
After this point, it is game over... the Pit Ogre never gets angry... and ends up stunning the opponent tank anyway...
Despite the fact that I would like to think that it was my utter tactical genius that produced these wins... the fact was that I out-leveled both opponents. This does give me a starting advantage... although the difference in levels was on the order of 2-3 levels instead of a completely insurmountable 4-8! So, a tiny minuscule amount of tactical genius is called for? Tiny.... maybe not miniscule... I don't want to downplay my apparent greatness!
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