COUNTDOWN: The Top 10 Spells! (Part 1- #10-#8)

Counting down to #1– the top 10 spells in Factions: Battlegrounds (#10-#8)

I am kicking off the first of my Factions: Battlegrounds countdown series! This series will cover my personal “top 10” for various areas of the game. First up…. SPELLS.

Just to clarify- my “ranking system” is totally subjective- so feel free to disagree! As I ranked my 10, I noticed that I tend to value spell cost relatively heavily, (If I’m spending 6 or more mana, I have to be scoring a lot of points!) as well as spell range (the gap between 2 range and 3 range is especially crucial to me). Others might value raw damage or area effect more, and that is totally understandable. Anyways, let’s go!


I had 4 spells that could’ve easily been in my top 10… Most of them “finisher” types of spells with game-changing power. If this was a “raw power” list, these could be top 10, maybe even top 5.

Honorable Mention: Ruinous Blast (Camazotz Sorcerorlord- Ihalaban)

7 mana- 3 damage to all enemy units within a range of 2 spaces.

A devastating spell with tide-turning impact. Great in crowded areas. 7 mana is just a little expensive, and it is too expensive for a single target.

Honorable Mention: Lightning Storm (Jabari Stormchief- Moonshadow)

8 mana- 4 damage to all enemy units within a range of 2 spaces.

Another gamebreaker- a purely multi-target spell. A ton of point scoring potential, but like Ruinous Blast is reliant on your enemy units being close together. Very expensive- usually only used once per battle.

Honorable Mention: Blizzard (Blizzard Elemental- Zermano)

7 mana- 3 damage to all enemy units (plus activation token) on an adjacent Terrain Tile. (Casting unit must be in a space adjacent to the target Tile)

Really powerful spell that can also slow down high health units by wasting their activation. It’s best used when multiple enemies are on the same Terrain Tile, which can be infrequent. Not ideal for its cost against a single target.

Top Honorable Mention: Maelstrom (Grand Bakunawa-Ihalaban)

6 mana- 2 damage to all enemy units adjacent to an unoccupied water space.

Has board-wide effectiveness and multi-target capability. Great as an ambush spell and as a deterrent. However, it’s avoidable and it’s utility is limited if there are not a lot of centralized water spaces.

Let’s get into the countdown!


(Moonshadow- Jabari Stormchief)

(Zermano- Storm Conjuror)

(5 mana- 3 damage to an enemy unit within a range of 3 spaces)

Who doesn’t love a classic Lightning Bolt?? Lightning Bolt checks all the boxes of what I consider a top-teir spell. It’s cost of 5 mana means that it can be used twice without any effort to cultivate more mana. This allows Moonshadow and Zermano to put more gold generators on the battleground while still having some strong offensive capabilities.

Lightning Bolt’s real differentiator from an average spell to a good one is the range of 3. That opens up so many more attack opportunities. The extra space of range can force enemies out from hard to reach spaces. 3 damage in Factions: Battlegrounds is a significant injury at the very least. Lightning Bolt cracks the top 10 because it’s affordable, it’s got good range, and packs a punch.


(Moonshadow- Ancient Winjaru)

(4 mana- 1 damage to all wounded units)

Normally, I’m not a big fan of spells or abilities that require a previously existing condition, such as units needing to be on certain terrain types or adjacent or something. Deteriorate definitely requires a pre-existing condition. However, Deteriorate is a really affordable spell that has great upside. 4 mana means you are able to cast it a couple of times, and for something that can expedite the demise of multiple units, that makes it top 10 worthy.

While limited in 2 player games, Deteriorate is extremely effective in 3 and 4 player games. It’s a great way to vulture points, and works as a solid alliance strategy to help quicken the elimination of the biggest threat on the board. Deteriorate is a great synergy spell too- as it can clean up severely wounded units or set the table for other units to eliminate weakened big point enemies. At 4 mana, you don’t need to worry all that much about having enough to cast it when the time is right.


(Doom Sand-Genie Khan)

(Ihalaban- Naga Archon)

(8 mana- 3 damage to all units in a row or column. Casting unit must be in a space that is in the target row or column)

Wave of Blades, at 8 mana, is a very high-end, expensive spell. It has the same raw killing power as some of the honorable mentions, but I like it a little better because of it’s extended range. Tearing through a whole row OR column give Wave of Blades board-wide capabilities. Albeit a little too much of a mana investment for my taste, I have seen it used as an assassination tool to knock out a single dangerous enemy completely across the battleground.

I like Wave of Blades mostly for the sheer chaos it creates. Enemies have to watch every move to avoid putting themselves at risk, and when playing 3 and 4 player games, sometimes jaw-dropping opportunities for insane Wave of Blades points align. In 2 player, Wave of Blades is a solid offensive force to build around, because it can reach any space relatively easily. The only drawback is that 8 mana, so usually a couple of mana generators are required to help make Wave of Blades more available throughout the battle.

What are your thoughts? Are some of these spells too high? too low? What spells do you think will make spots #7 through #1?

Be sure to look for the Countdown post next week for #7-#5!

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