• Reading the Rainbow - RDW Prep (Faerun Under Siege Edition)



    Welcome everyone to our second Reading the Rainbow that is geared to helping you prepare for the Strahd Rainbow Draft Weekend! This week, we'll be taking a look at the newer (and probably more likely to be drafted during a D&D RDW event) set, Faerun Under Siege. Normally, when you are talking about Faerun Under Siege (FUS), you are talking about that Bard. Thankfully, that is not something that will be encountered in draft. This set has a TON of great cards and combos, and we're going to look at a few of them in order to prepare for what is likely to be an intense day of drafting at your Friendly Local Game Shop. We're also going to use my... vast experience in getting creamed in FUS Drafting in order to leverage a few wins. Hopefully, some other members of the site will chime in on the comments to pick up the slack and, between this article and their insight, we can guarantee that every reader who plays in an event will at least win a Strahd full art card, a Strahd blank card, and a Strahd die.


    Of course, there are other prizes up for grabs too... if you are interested in them.

    As always, we're going to hit the highlights of the set, and try to cover as much as possible. Not everything will be covered, however, so there will be some gems that don't get to shine. At least, not in this article. Let's take a look, though, and look into the fuss about FUS.

    [top]See It? Snag It!

    Here are some of the cards that, if you get your grubby draft paws on, you should probably take.

    Elf Thief - Lesser Harper


    We will start with a character that is just built for the Rainbow Draft. The Elf Thief - Lesser Harper is a staple of Constructed play, as approximately 212% of the teams in the PDC Regional events using it. This is a two cost character that is, essentially, fielded for free. Then, when it is fielded, you get to steal an energy from your opponent. At worst, this will cause your opponent to spend everything on their turn so that you can't "liberate" anything when you field the Thief. If you DO happen to get lucky enough to filch a fist (see also: steal a shield, borrow a bolt, or misappropriate a mask), then you can use it to activate a Global, or perhaps pay toward the purchase of something else. While the Thief's attack stats aren't fantastic, the high side at 3A isn't awful and is really a steal at two cost. This Thief is a must grab card.

    Giant Spider - Greater Beast


    Have you ever heard that old joke "What has eight legs, a good Global, and takes care of sidekick walls without giving your opponent a TON of ramp on the next turn?" Well, if you HAD, you would know that the answer is Giant Spider - Greater Beast. You attack, you force your opponent's NPCs to block, you have a clearer path with your other characters to slam some damage home.

    Dwarf Wizard - Paragon Zhentarim


    Here is yet another card from the overall Meta that is draftable in this set. The Rare DWiz (as his friends call him) may not come up as often as the first two cards we talked about, but he's another inexpensive character that has a great ability. Sick of that dragon coming across and breathing fire/ice/Cheerios on you? DWIZ! Want to stop a Swarming Goblin? DWIZ! Really concerned about Common Lolth? Actually, I wouldn't waste the Dwarf Wizard on that, but my point still stands. This is a must grab card.

    Beholder - Lesser Aberration


    This card could very well be the All Star of the FUS Rainbow Draft. He has the perfect combination of cost, stats (0/4/3, 0/5/4, 1/6/5), and ability. This is the first card and die that I look for in a FUS draft. I think that most of my wins in FUS events have been due to this character. Make sure to bring plenty of great Globals if you are using him, though. We'll talk about in-set character Globals below, but bringing a few doozies on your Basic Actions is also an option.

    Intellect Devourer - Lesser Aberration


    This is a bit of a sleeper, but don't let it fool you... in draft, it's amazing. It's a three cost character, with a Total Fielding Cost of ONE, that has a five attack on its high side. Oh, and when you field it, you get to move a die on its energy from your opponent's Reserve Pool to their Used Pile. If they were, say, saving energy for Cloudkill? It's gone. And if it happened to be a die with double energy? Gone and gone. This is a good pick up in Draft.

    [top]Making a FUS

    There are a couple of key components of the FUS set that make it different than others to draft... and both are viable strategies for draft.

    Fiends With Benefits


    Fiends are SO FAST in this set. I've only put the images for a few select ones above, but there are several more versions of these characters that can work. The basic idea behind all the Fiend Forces are the same, though. Use the Fiends in the field to either give you sweet discounts, or let you roll an unpurchased Fiend using the Gate keyword. No matter which way you slice it, things can escalate quickly if you draft a Fiend squad.

    Fabulous Fabrication


    Fabrication is my favorite FUS-only mechanic. Again, I've only listed one example of each type of Golem, but EVERY version of all three Golems has the Fabricate keyword. Yet another way to build up a bunch of characters in a hurry, this ability also has the added benefit of letting you KO your own characters and grab some ramp for the next turn. The Golems are especially good at siphoning damage from you or from your other characters. Remember: if a character doesn't end up taking damage from Cloudkill, then they can block as normal. That's an important thing to think about in FUS drafting.

    [top]Dragon This Out

    Just like Battle For Faerun, FUS features several worrisome wyrms.

    Starter Dragons


    There are four dragons in Faerun Under Siege. Two of them, the Bronze and White Dragons, are in the Starter. That means only one card of each is available to draft. The Bronze Dragon - Lesser Dragon is the only one with the Anti-Breath Weapon. This works as a counter to Breath Weapons. While Bronzie Barry is active, you can pay the cost of the attacking Breath Weapon and prevent the damage and effects from it. Also, when the Bronze is fielded, you deal one damage to your opponent for each Evil Dragon die they have in the field. The White Dragon - Lesser Dragon, on the other hand, targets Good characters with an "AvX Storm" like effect. Any Good characters that get damaged by its Breath Weapon gets rerolled and, if it comes up as an energy face, it goes to the Used Pile. Some powerful Dragons, but they will be a little hard to get in the draft.

    Baha Men


    Finally, D&D Dice Masters gets a giant scary GOOD dragon. Bahamut costs seven on all three of his cards. He also, though, has Breath Weapon 3 on all on all three of his cards. So, he's got that going for him, which is nice. Common Bahamut has Overcrush, and shuts down all over Breath Weapons while active. The Uncommon version KOs all Evil Dragons, then deals one damage for each die KO'd to your opponent. The Rare allows you to KO a target Evil Dragon die to deal damage to that die's level to your opponent. All in all, I've got to say that the Common has the best utility, and can be a game winner every single time he's purchased and fielded.

    Black Dragon


    The Black Dragon has a great Total Fielding Cost (of only 4), so that's to its credit. Its character abilities, however, are a bit less impressive. Again, the Common is probably the most impressive of the three. It has the two cost/two damage Breath Weapon, and a When Attacks ability that says that your other Evil characters cannot be KO'd while attacking unless Black Dragon is KO'd. Still, at the end of the day, it's probably the weakest of the four dragon options.

    [top]Top Gear

    FUS has fewer equippable gear options that can be drafted, but added a couple in the form of Basic Actions. So, how does it all shake out?

    Ring


    The Ring has become a popular card from the Faerun Under Siege set, and for good reason. Normally, you'll see it being played for the Global. The Global is amazing, and Dave has written an article HERE about how to combo it with the Global from the Resurrection Basic Action to get some crazy good results. The Gear itself, though, can be useful. The Uncommon lets you deal damage to a target character die equal to the level of the die it is attached to, and the Super Rare gives Regenerate to attached dice. The Common is a fantastic piece of equipment. You can equip it to a die to give that die +2D and make it unable to be targetted by Global Abilities. Don't let Distraction or Magic Missile get you down... use new and improved Ring!

    Robe of the Archmagi


    While this is a card that you are unlikely to see in drafts, it's important to mention nonetheless. You can equip this to a charcter (but cannot be a Monster). The character gets +2D and, if it would go to Prep or Used, you put the Robe there instead and return the equipped die to the field and its original level. Can be pretty handy to keep a nice, large character in play. Or, put it on an important "While Active" character (Rare Dwarf Wizard) to give an added layer of protection.

    Sharing is Caring (BAC Gear and You)


    Chainmail Armor and the Flaming Sword are two pieces of Gear that can be found as Basic Actions. Chainmail Armor is a three cost piece of equipment, and lets you give +4D to a character. Also, you can keep it from being affected by opposing "When Fielded" effects. This will be handy to prevent a Ghost from taking some XP Tokens, or a Cockatrice from KO'ing something valuable. On the other hand, Flaming Sword is a great offensive tool that will give a character +2A/+2D. Also, the equipped character will deal one damage to a blocked or blocking die engaged with the equipped character. Feel the burn (so to speak)!

    [top]Globals or Ignobles?

    FUS has its share of Globals on character and non-Basic Action cards that can be drafted. Of course, we've already discussed the Ring (see above). Let's take a quick look at things to use... and things to avoid.

    All Beholders


    Nope.

    Uncommon Giant Spider

    Pay . Target character must block this turn.


    As if the Uncommon Giant Spider wasn't already good enough, it also has a pretty great Global ability. This can be especially useful if you have an Overcrushing character, and want to make your opponent throws something in its way to maximize the damage potential. Also good to throw annoying While Active characters under a bus (or dragon).

    Rare Lizardfolk

    Pay . Target equipped character die gets +2D until end of turn.


    This can be useful, especially when combined with this character's innate ability. The problem is, of course, that there is not alot of Gear in this set and the best piece, the Common Ring, will prevent you from targetting your character with this useful Global.

    All the Orcuseses

    Pay . Deal 1 damge to target attacker.


    This is actually extremely interesting. I'm not sure that it's as nice as, say, Magic Missile, but it does give you some damage dealing abilities if you plan for it. Also, as long as you don't attack with a character that you want to protect, this Global will not hurt you. Of course, the same goes for your opponent. All in all, I wouldn't recommend drafting this hoss for the Global alone.

    [top]Basic Actions

    Just like Faerun Under Siege, the second D&D Dice Masters set has some pretty useful Basic Actions. If your draft is limited to D&D Actions Only (or, even if it is isn't), it's worth taking a look at some of these beauties.

    Blink - Transmutation


    The Global on this card is fantastic (pay one mask energy to remove a target attacking character from the Attack Zone... so, you know, Distraction). The ability is... double fantastic. This die only costs two, and it gives each of your blocked attacking dice the ability to deal 1 damage to the defending player (in addition to normal combat damage). This can be a great way to get through giant NPC walls, or make your opponent think about their blocking match-ups.

    Cloudkill


    I have a serious love/hate relationship with this card. It is the Brain Nobbs and Jerry Saggs of Dice Masters, because it is nasty, boys. Deal one damage to each opposing character, then all of the survivor's are ineligible to block unless your opponent pays one energy. Couple this with "energy tax" cards like Elf Thief and Intellect Devourer to double down on devastation. Sidenote: you can totes counter this with Golems. Make sure that your Golems can redirect damage from other dice, then protect a few of those beauties from being affected.

    Power Word Kill


    Hahahaha

    Shocking Grasp


    Nothing fancy here. This is a cheap die that deals one damage to target character. If you KO it, then you can put this die right back in your Prep. It's a good way to get some ramp when other sources aren't available.

    [top]RtR Retro


    Shadowmeld posted a few articles about FUS drafting in the previous incarnation of Reading the Rainbow. I would recommend revisiting those for more information on drafting this set.

    FUS and Basic Actions

    FUS Economy and Win Conditions




    That about wraps it up for our look at Faerun Under Siege. It's a fantastic set, and a bit of a different experience to draft than the "comic book" sets. What great cards, tricks, tips, and combos did I miss? Please let everyone know in the comments below. D&D Rainbow Draft Weekends start on Saturday the 8th, so I recommend EVERYONE go out and start drafting (and winning some exclusive OP prizes). Until next time: keep cracking those packs you crafty drafters!
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. ItsaMeaMario9's Avatar
      ItsaMeaMario9 -
      Hill giant and rare human fighter. Especially with stealth ops if you're allowed to bring it.
    1. OddballNarwhal's Avatar
      OddballNarwhal -
      Quote Originally Posted by ItsaMeaMario9 View Post
      Hill giant and rare human fighter. Especially with stealth ops if you're allowed to bring it.
      Yeah, if you can make Hill Giant unblockable, and then have a few other Evil characters in the field, that could get nasty. Very nasty. Are you the kind of person to exploit a combo like that? I know I am.

      Rare Human Fighter is not as high up on the list for me, but I can see why people would like it. Getting Experience outside of the normal "1 Token a Turn For KO'd Monsters" is nice. I just have not played around with this card that much (or, at all I think).
    1. Yort's Avatar
      Yort -
      Thanks for these articles, they've been great refresher as well as a resource for newer players to prepare. I wonder... you probably don't have anything more slotted before next weekend, but I know a lot of places around me are doing "dual" D&D drafts, where you get half your packs from BFF and half from FUS. Might be an opportunity for some cool combos between the two that don't exist much on their own?
    1. pk2317's Avatar
      pk2317 -
      *cough* *cough* Pit Fiend *cough*
    1. Yort's Avatar
      Yort -
      Quote Originally Posted by pk2317 View Post
      *cough* *cough* Pit Fiend *cough*
      Exactly!

      I had a similar though whilst listening to the recent Prep Area podcast - as Oddball and Shadowmeld went through the first D&D set, they were observing how good the Adventurers were as a strategy, then when they talked about the second they noted that Adventurers in that set were not great at all. But what if you were doing both sets? Would Adventurers still be a decent strategy?

      I'd also be curious how many other places are doing "dual drafts." Seems like everyone in our area is.
    1. GNGJ's Avatar
      GNGJ -
      Thanks for the recap Oddball. Forgot about the brain-wolf...er... Intellect Devourer. Loving that as a piece of the Cloudkill rush.