Breaking down 3 more of the Moonshadow Units! (Mishnari Bladethrower/Vukazi General/Winjaru Villagestalker)
The Mishnari Bladethrower is a really good unit, and is sneakily one of the best ranged units in the game. 4 Rank is elite, and it allows the MB to almost always activate prior to enemy ranged units without needing the help of a Captain. This pairs nicely with Moonshadow’s multiple units with movement attributes of 3 because the Bladethrower can wound an enemy from range and then the fast units can track the target down. 4 rank and 2 range attack attribute make for a solid play for 5 Gold, but where the Bladethrower separates from solid to good is in her abilities. Versatile enables them to make make both a ranged and melee attack in the same activation. With that 4 Rank, you can usually do this at the beginning of a round. Occasionally, they has the chance to damage multiple units multiple times by being recruited in a Reinforcement Phase and then likely kicking off the next round. The 1 health attribute is low, but Evade 3 will make enemies think twice about risking it with range or spells. Like a lot of Moonshadow units, the unit is at its absolute best when kept around the edge tiles, away from the center of the board, seizing the chance to land crucial damage. Gold generation is really helpful for Moonshadow as well.
The Mishnari Bladethrower embodies the Moonshadow strategy of darting around the edges of combat, delivering ranged attacks and using abilities to string together Victory Points. While they excel at this and does get protected a bit with Evade 3 and high Rank, 1 health is 1 health. Timing and situation are imperative with the MB, and the situation almost never calls for putting them directly on the front lines. This is a unit that when used strategically and carefully can have huge upside, but when used at the wrong time is an easy kill for your enemy.
WHEN TO WARBAND: Because the MB’s strengths fit in exactly with the overall best strategy for Moonshadow, I include them in my Moonshadow warband in most cases. The MB is especially effective against factions that you can use Versatile against, and factions that have lower overall rank. Kragg and Ihalaban are good matchups.
WHEN TO BENCH: While she has offensive skills, there are some factions that have superior range. Some of Zermano’s 3 range spells and Parada’s 3 range shooters can out-gun them, and because of the low health, it just takes one time for Evade to fail for the attack to be an elimination. Still, high rank can make them effective against those factions as well.
The Vukazi General is a great example of a secondary Captain. They are nice to have in battle, even when they are not necessarily going to score a lot of points or take on a lot of attacks themselves. The Vukazi General can help break rank ties and can command from across the battleground. Activation advantages are always nice, but they are hugely important for Moonshadow to be successful. Units like Jabari Stormchief and Jabari Warlord are also Captains, but they have tremendous attack and point scoring potential. When paired with Vukazi General they can use their activations to attack enemies rather than command. The VG also only costs 4 Gold, so it’s a low-risk play that usually is only helpful. The Vukazi General also generates gold, which is an added bonus.
Outside of being cheap, generating gold and being a Captain (all good things!) The Vukazi General provides almost nothing. They have very average combat stats, and by themselves aren’t going to really do much. They are purely a support unit, but a very helpful one.
WHEN TO WARBAND: The Vukazi General is a good choice against high-rank factions like Zyan and Baazaria, where they can help break rank ties and command to keep Moonshadow near the top of the rank cycle.
WHEN TO BENCH: Against factions where Moonshadow will need more punch to eliminate enemies like Primus or Ihalaban, the Vukazi General can be a lower priority.
The Winjaru Villagestalker has a decent Prowess, bolstered by 5 health. That’s helpful for Moonshadow, as they don’t have a lot of raw health. Despite this, the Winjaru Villagestalker is a little too expensive for what it offers. Swiftstriker is a good ability, and when the opportunity arises the WVS becomes a good unit to base your overall attack around. However, that is reliant on your opponent moving to certain spaces, making the WVS a reactive unit rather than one you can set the tone with. At 6 gold, this unit leaves you wanting a little more.
Despite being overcosted, the Winjaru Villagestalker is a capable fighter and helps Moonshadow in this way. As one of the only clear melee-forward units, it’s not a bad idea to put the Winjaru Villagestalker where the fighting is going to be the thickest. If it lurks near that center tile, odds are with a well placed board that it will have a space it can use Swiftstriker. This ability is specific to Moonshadow, and experienced players will keep it in mind when setting up the board. If there are several spaces where Swiftstriker can be implemented, the WVS becomes a really lethal unit.
WHEN TO WARBAND: Against factions like Parada and Doom Sand, the Winjaru Villagestalker makes for a good unit to put pressure on low health ranged units. The WVS can survive an attack or 2, freeing up opportunities for some of Moonshadow’s own ranged units to take advantage.
WHEN TO BENCH: Factions that can control the resource centers will make 6 Gold a luxury for Moonshadow, and force the cost of the Winjaru to simply be too high when better units can be had with a couple rounds of saving up for 7 or 8 gold. Zyan and Kragg can create this problem for Moonshadow.