Breaking down 3 of the Ihalaban units! (Feral Gowrow/Savage Mameleu/Feroxxus Ravager)
The Feral Gowrow is a useful unit for Ihalaban. It’s 5 health gives it the toughness that it takes to fight on the front line, and it’s Amphibious ability gives it advantages with movement that can be extremely helpful. The Gowrow is a solid choice for a Ihalaban vanguard. Units that are consistently successful at capturing resource centers are generally either fast (3 or higher movement), mobile (have an ability to get through water or enemy terrain with no penalty) or tough (can survive an attack or 2). The Feral Gowrow checks 2 of those boxes. Undeterred by water spaces, the Gowrow can also score a few points and cause some early problems as it can navigate the battleground and overpower scouting units or low defense speedy units. The mana generation is not really a drawback, as Ihalaban utilizes a lot of high-end area damage spells and the runestone quite frequently, and Gowrow can usually claim a Gold Mine if necessary.
The Gowrow is certainly solid, but is also certainly not a gamechanger. If Ihalaban needs points and is a little light on Gold, the Gowrow is not going to turn the tide, especially in a faction that features multiple high level spellcasters and also some extremely high-prowess threats.
WHEN TO WARBAND: Factions that deploy and utilize water spaces such as Zermano or Primus make for a good matchup for the Feral Gowrow, especially in the vanguard, as do factions that start generally start with lower prowess vanguards, such as Baazaria or Doom Sand.
WHEN TO BENCH: Non-water reliant, heavy melee factions like Kragg and Zyan can prove to be a very tough matchup for the Gowrow, as the movement advantage isn’t there and in melee situations the Gowrow’s 5 health is not a great challenge to eliminate.
Ihalaban’s utilization of water spaces is an underrated aspect of their tactics. They manipulate water spaces through spells and movement abilities, and also have an Aquatic unit on their roster. That unit is the Savage Mameleu. The Mameleu strategy is relatively straightforward, pop up on a water space and attack an unsuspecting enemy unit. The Mameleu’s 4 gold cost and solid attack skill of 3 makes it a low-risk, high reward weapon. Backline Captains that stay away from the frontline are an ideal target. The focal point of Ihalaban’s attack is often enormous monsters that require a lot of attention to eliminate, making it easy to forget to not leave expensive captains next to water spaces at the end of rounds. When deployed in this way, the Mameleu almost always nets positive points for Ihalaban.
The Savage Mameleu is not going to be a unit that will survive multiple rounds and deliver multiple kills, primarily because, like all Aquatic units, it’s going to have a hard time getting around the Battleground once recruited, and once it makes it’s presence known, it’s greatest advantage, the surprise attack, is completely gone.
WHEN TO WARBAND: The Savage Mameleu is a great option when battling Factions that keep captains, spellcasters, and ranged units with low defense off the front lines. Zermano and Parada both do this often. The Mameleu can get the opportunity to score points and eliminate an elite unit.
WHEN TO BENCH: Without a lot of water spaces, Aquatic units are severely limited. Kragg and Doom Sand both use two tile with no water spaces at all, and both are aggressive, forward-charging factions. There are more useful options for Ihalaban than the Mameleu in these types of matchups.
Feroxxus Ravager (IHALABAN) 7 Gold/VP
The Feroxxus Ravager really embodies the Ihalaban battle style in one unit. High level, tide-turning power both for melee combat and spells, but at a very high cost. Ihalaban’s signature is monsters that have the ability to eliminate more than one unit within a single activation, as they have several units with that capability. The Feroxxus Ravager, however, is the only unit in the game that actually can eliminate more than one unit (potentially) more than one way. The FR’s most potent attack is it’s melee attack, ripping off 4 damage. Multi-Attack makes the melee attack hit each adjacent unit. This makes the Feroxxus Ravager best suited for the front lines, where it can cause serious carnage in the right spots, especially in the center tile. Leading the attack also best suits the Feroxxus Cataclysm spell, which hits the whole row and column for 2 damage. It makes the Feroxxus Ravager a capable point scorer and a threat to hard to reach units.
While the Feroxxus Ravager has a lot of potential, it’s difficult to call it an elite unit for a few reasons. It certainly has solid attack at 4 and is tough with 4 health, but for 7 gold, there are many units with better prowess numbers across other factions, some even at the 6 cost slot. Cataclysm is a good spell, but for a colossal amount of mana. There are high-impact, more powerful spells for just as much mana and occasionally less. While it can be powerful unit, it almost has to be in the center tile or near the main combat zones for Multi-Attack and Cataclysm to be effective, but 4 health in the midst of the most ferocious melee areas is not too difficult to eliminate, giving your opponent 7 victory points- which is a ton. Overall, the Feroxxus Ravager is versatile, with a lot of potential things it can do. The problem is it does not do any of those things at an elite, efficient level.
WHEN TO WARBAND: The Ravager is a great center-tile unit, so factions that need control the center tile like Kragg make for a great matchup. The FR can also pick apart factions that bunch units up, like Zyan, provided you choose the right time to strike. With Cataclysm, there can be a lot of potential to wreak havoc in both 3 and (especially) 4 player games!
WHEN TO BENCH: Enemy spellcasters will prove to be problematic for the Feroxxus Ravager, because they often will have a higher rank, therefore having the opportunity to damage the Feroxxus without ever having to get within it’s Multi-Attack orbit. At 7 VP, this makes the FR a juicy target, one that usually can be eliminated solely by spells. Therefore Zermano is a horrible matchup and Doom Sand can be bad as well.
Drop a comment if you’ve got questions or thoughts on these units!