Breaking down 3 more Primus units: (Tortuloid Bladebreaker/Greater Wyvern/Jungle River Kraken)
The Tortuloid Bladebreaker is an excellent defensive unit. Its’ gargantuan 8 health is the highest of any 5 cost slot unit in the game, and with 2 defensive melee-inhibiting abilites, the Tortuloid Bladebreaker is never overwhelmed on the front line. TBB’s Parry 2 forces enemies to roll to hit for melee attacks, and then Spikeskin forms the second level of defense, reducing whatever attacks do get through by 1 damage. The Bladebreaker offers little value offensively on the surface, but the mere fact that it is likely to survive and attack several rounds makes it’s 1 attack all the more relevent.
From a strategy perspective, The Tortuloid Bladebreaker is an integral unit. Primus has some significant problems with consistently gathering enough gold to recruit their expensive units. The Bladebreaker’s toughness and difficulty to eliminate allows it to eat up a few rounds, and the fact that it generates gold is HUGE. This enables Primus players to buy time and gather gold. The Tortuloid Bladebreaker shines when it defends a resource center, particularly a gold mine. It becomes seemingly immovable for opponents. This makes the TBB a top tier vanguard unit as well, because it can occupy a key space, control a tile, and soak up enemy attacks while lasting round after round.
The further along the battle progresses, the less impactful the Tortuloid Bladebreaker becomes.. Towards the end of the game, Primus has a plethora of finishers to choose from, and the Bladebreaker does not offer much as a late game point-scorer, so the Bladebreaker is at it’s best as an early-game recruit… However, because of it’s low gold cost and top tier defensive abilities, the Tortuloid Bladebreaker is one of the best units in the game for it’s price.
WHEN TO WARBAND: The Tortuloid Bladebreaker’s high health and indomitable presence allow it to soak up melee attacks, making it a great early game unit. I personally always include the Bladebreaker, but it shines against factions like Zyan, Baazaria and Moonshadow, which flood the board with small, fast melee units.
WHEN TO BENCH: More of a when to play, as opposed to if… The Tortuloid Bladebreaker’s toughness against melee attacks is optimized when it is used to grind down enemies while Primus establishes it’s end-game strategy. The Bladebreaker is not a great reinforcement phase play because it’s 1 attack is not really going to score tons of points. If there was one faction to completely bench it against, it would be Zermano, as spells like Lightning Bolt and Ice Missle can hit it from afar while avoiding the Parry and Spikeskin, and Vaporize can outright destroy it (Vaporize is the only spell/attack that can eliminate the Tortuloid Bladebreaker 100% of the time as the first attack, however!)
Greater Wyvern (PRIMUS) (8 Gold/VP)
Primus’ Monarch Coatl is the best unit in the game in my opinion, and Primus has to pick and choose the units they play carefully due to their expensive gold costs. Therefore, the Greater Wyvern, which is another excellent unit, gets overshadowed and underplayed. The Greater Wyvern’s good movement and attack make it a very dangerous aerial melee unit, and one that can score a ton of points for Primus players. The 6 attack is the 2nd highest for an aerial unit in the game, and it’s not at all a liability on defense. The GW’s Spikeskin limits the melee damage it takes, while the Stealth severely mitigates enemy attack opportunities (provided it remains on Jungle tiles). Those 2 defensive abilities push the Greater Wyvern from being an offensive-focused powerhouse to a top tier all-around unit. The GW is at it’s absolutely best when Primus generals have it hovering over a jungle space, protected by Stealth and Aerial from melee attacks and spells, waiting to zoom over and decimate a high VP enemy or 2.
The issue simply lies in the Faction fit. A lot of units have a surefire role, and the Greater Wyvern does too…but a couple other units in Primus have that same role. In a lot of situations the extra gold for the Monarch Coatl is the right call, and in others the cheaper, hulking ground units like Feral Hydra or Jungle River Kraken are more viable. As mentioned, resources are at the absolute premium for Primus, and every gold has to be spent wisely.
WHEN TO WARBAND: I personally think that the Greater Wyvern is a better melee unit than the Monarch Coatl, which means I tend to favor it against Zyan or Kragg. Both of those factions have flying units that don’t maximize spells, so the Greater Wyvern is an effective matchup with major VP scoring upside.
WHEN TO BENCH: Doom Sand uses a lot of spells, to which the Greater Wyvern has no immunity or defense.. Moonshadow and Parada also can be tough because they are able to claim resource centers easily.. This makes the 8 gold cost harder to invest in and recover from.
The Jungle River Kraken is another unit that follows the Primus melee model- Big, tough units that are at their best in the thick of the battle. The Jungle River Kraken is one of 7 units that has a health attribute higher than it’s gold cost.. Primus has 3 of these units (with the Tortuloid Soldier and Tortuloid Bladebreaker being the other 2) which is the most of any faction. The JRK is particularly useful because Amphibious enables it to have better maneuverability. Primus uses water spaces better than the average faction, so the Jungle River Kraken becomes a unit that can serve as a catalyst for leading an offensive with the right tile layouts. 12 prowess is a good value for 6 gold, making the Jungle River Kraken a really solid all- around unit capable of beating big melee fighters 1 on 1 and lasting several rounds.
Primus has a couple of options depending on the faction they are going up against.. Against factions that use more fast, cheap units and avoid water, the Jungle River Kraken will not be as useful as the Feral Hydra, because the Hydra is able to use Menace to avoid wounds from little units and has more opportunities for Multi-Attack. However, against factions that use less units but bigger units, the Jungle River Kraken’s extra 2 health make it a better choice. The JRK is a great mid-game unit to bring out after the vanguard to stabilize the battleground, score some points, and prepare the scene for one of Primus’ elite finishers.
WHEN TO WARBAND: The Jungle River Kraken’s high health and affordability make it a good match for other factions that use big individual units with good attack and health, like Kragg and Ihalaban. It also can be really powerful against factions that place a lot of water spaces, because Amphibious helps it navigate those water spaces without penalty- so it’s a great choice when facing Zermano.
WHEN TO BENCH: While 7 health is always useful, Primus has some other effective units around the same price point against factions like Zyan or Moonshadow that use multiple low prowess units.