Naturalist Strategy Guide

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Pinecone3
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Naturalist Strategy Guide

THE PINECONE GUIDE TO THE NATURALIST

 

This guide uses Flamethrower49's Basic Outline, which is ironic considering what Flamethrowers do to Pinecones.  These guides are a community effort and if you can provide any suggestions or constructive criticism, I will modify them accordingly.

 

  • Best Attack: Threatening Stomp

  • Best Team Support: Indomitable Force

  • Best Personal Support: Natural-Born Vigor, Beastial Shift

  • Primary Damage Type: Melee

  • Secondary Damage Type: Toxic

  • Worst Card: Shifter's Strength

  • Nemesis: None Yet

Vengeance is chock-full of heroes who are useful no matter what the Villain or Environment throws at them. The Naturalist is no exception to this; his three forms give him an answer to anything. Few heroes can rival Tempest in this regard; the Naturalist is one of them.

 

The Crocodile:

 

  • Advantages: Lots of damage, most non-Crocodile cards are still useful.

  • Weaknesses: Limited card draw and no healing.

 

In Crocodile Form, the Naturalist plays very similarly to Ra or Haka, putting out a ton of damage and giving himself damage boosts. The ability to put out 3 damage automatically is better than most base powers, and is one of the things that makes the Naturalist so dangerous early on. The increased damage also means that you can use Rhino and Gazelle cards and they will still be very useful.

 

Feral Fury, usually a weak 2 damage attack, becomes 6 in Crocodile form! Never use this outside of Crocodile form, but a 6 damage one shot is nothing to scoff at, so save this for just the right moment. The Predator's Eye is a good card in of itself—able to essentially Galvanize anyone who is going after the villain character card. In Crocodile form, playing it also gives you card draw or some extra damage. Cornered Beast is a decent card; it's great against some villains, useless against others. However, in Crocodile form, it gives you the potential for even more damage increases for you and your allies. It will still only be useful against villains who are reliant on minions, relics, or the like, but it will annihilate those villains. This is one of the few Crocodile cards that can be worth having out even in Rhino or Gazelle form.

 

The Rhinoceros:

 

  • Advantages: Near-impossible to kill, can take (and reduce) damage for allies.

  • Weaknesses: Most non-Rhino cards are severely diminished in this form.

 

In Rhino form, the Naturalist plays almost like the Scholar, drawing cards and redirecting damage to himself. He has automatic armor, and two healing cards, making him extremely survivable. In addition, his base power gives you two extra cards, which is the best card-draw power in the game. If you get a bad draw, go into Rhino form on your first turn and he'll fix that problem for you.

 

Resilient Hide adds a shield against 1 damage attacks (which, effectively blocks 2-damage attacks, as you already have a -1 damage taken modifier), which is meh on it's own, but it also gives the Naturalist sustainable health regeneration. If you're planning to continue being the Rhino for a couple of turns, this card is very helpful. Threatening Stomp is the first of the Naturalist's redirecting cards, and against Villains with few minions this can be very useful. Against the others, the redirect probably won't save your allies from too many headaches, so don't be afraid to play this in Crocodile form for 5 damage. Indomitable Force, on the other hand, is a great redirect card no matter what enemies are out there—not only does it send all damage your way, it also gives you additional armor. A -2 damage taken modifier, coupled with a very solid 29 base health, makes the Naturalist better at taking damage than any other hero, and your allies will greatly appreciate the reprieve.

 

The Gazelle:

 

  • Advantages: Ongoing removal, card manipulation, card draw, health restoration.

  • Weaknesses: No inherent boost, rarely a form worth maintaining for more than two turns.

 

The Gazelle doesn't play like any other hero in particular; rather it rounds out the Naturalist's skill set. It is the least common form you'll play, but that doesn't mean it's the least useful. The base power is to heal yourself 3. Most powers that heal only the user are not that useful, but healing 3 is a cut above most such powers, and switching to the Gazelle to heal after taking the brunt as the Rhino can be a good strategy if you don't have Natural Form's Power already in play. The Gazelle does have the least useful form card however, as it does not have a passive boost.

 

Crafty Assault is a good card in either the Crocodile or the Gazelle forms. In the Crocodile form, it hits 3 targets for 3 damage, which is not bad at all. In Gazelle form, it hits a little lighter, but takes out two ongoings. Don't be afraid to play this as the Crocodile if it is useful for the situation, but try to hold it for when the Gazelle half of the effect really shines. Hyperactive Senses is a good card, being able to manipulate both an enemy and an ally (and/or the environment) simultaneously. In Gazelle form, it gains to ability to discard the top card of two decks, which can range from very useful (getting Tachyon an extra burst, killing a nasty villain card before it comes out, etc.), to very useless. The first effect of this card is by far the better, so don't necessarily save it for when you go Gazelle. Environmental Allies is another situational card. It's best played with the Gazelle, as it gives all heroes a Danger Sense. However, the problem with this card is that you usually aren't going to be staying in Gazelle form for too long, and when you are no longer in Gazelle form it can hurt you more than it helps. Don't play this except in Gazelle form, and even then use caution.

 

Varied Form Effects:

Primal Charge is a good card... except as the Rhino. 4 cards is amazing; 4 damage is decent; 2 damage is pathetic. This is the Rhino's main weakness: that he can't use many cards that are not solely Rhino effectively. The next card—Bestial Shift—suffers from the same problem. It works great for the Gazelle and Crocodile, giving them each, essentially, a free use of their base power and a free extra power. For the Crocodile it's even better, as the damage is toxic and increased by one. For the Rhino though, it only gives another coat of armor, which will rarely be used to it's full effect as it only lasts one turn and it takes up your play phase, so you can't play it in conjunction with a damage redirect card. Note that, while used in Gazelle or Crocodile Form, if you use it to activate your Transform base power, you become whatever form you changed to before Bestial Shift resolves.  This means you can activate the text for both the form you were in and the text of the form you changed to (for example, dealing 4 toxic damage as the Crocodile, Transforming into the Rhino, and then activating the Rhino text for an extra suit of armor).  You can actually shift through both the Crocodile and Gazelle forms into the Rhino form, thereby activating all of Bestial Shift's text, the drawback is that you can only do this if you are planning to end up as the Rhino. Alternatively, Beastial Shift can be used to activate both your current form's base power and your Natural Form's Power, or Cornered Beast. Natural Form's Power is a useful card for the Gazelle and the Rhino, giving each of them and ability similar to the other one's base power, adding to the utility of either. Less so with the Crocodile, who merely gets a sub-par AoE attack, but it's better than nothing. The Gazelle gets the best power with this card, as it can be used to help other players who lack card draw, like Expatriette or K.N.Y.F.E.. For the Rhino, it gives reliable healing, which he needs in spite of his armor. For any of the forms, this card provides a useful secondary power option if you have Natural-Born Vigor in play and you don't want to Transform this turn.

 

No Form Effects:

Natural-Born Vigor is an AMAZING card for the Naturalist. The ability to use two powers means seamless form transitions (and remember that you can choose which order to use the powers in, so you can use the current form's power or the one you're changing into), or to use both your form's base power in addition to the one granted by Natural Form's Power or Cornered Beast. Try to get this out as soon as possible so you don't have to waste your power phase transforming to face whatever new threats show up or which new cards you draw. In a pinch, the 4 HP can help, but only use this second effect when you absolutely need it.

 

Blend Into the Pack ranges from ridiculously good to completely worthless. Combine it with the Rhino and the right environment and you will literally be almost immune to damage, as will your allies. You can also use it in Crocodile form for some extra protection.  If the environment is not favorable however, you can replace it with...

 

Shifter's Strength. It is not a terrible card, but I labeled it as the worst for a reason. The Naturalist has a lot of better card draw, except as the Crocodile. Theoretically it could be used to flush out Gazelle and Rhino cards while playing the Croc, but many of those cards are still useful with the Crocodile's damage boost, and you never know when something might come up that warrants a form switch. If you need to switch to the Rhino right after you discarded all your Rhino cards, you'll be stuck. The Gazelle and Rhino might not mind getting rid of each other's (and the Crocodile's) cards, but the same problem of “what if something comes up that requires a different form” applies. And honestly, if you have all those cards in other forms, why not just shift to that form? I know there are cases where Shifter's Strength can be useful, but they are few and far between.

 

Weaknesses:

The only weakness the Naturalist has independent of his forms is his lack of environment removal. It's good that he's turning over a new leaf, but sometimes in this game the environment is just as unforgiving to the heroes as he was to the environment when he was polluting it. Admittedly this is not a huge weakness, and the Naturalist has cards to mitigate the environment's detrimental effects. But I had to put something in this section, right?

 

Teamups:

Any team will appreciate the Crocodile's high damage output. Squishier characters will love the Rhino for his ability to absorb damage. The Naturalist also won't mind Setback “Whoops! Sorry”ing his Forms that much.

Edited by: Pinecone3 on Aug 15 2014 - 5:08pm
Humble-Knight
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It is possible to play the entire game as a human. These are cards that work just fine there. One time Matchstickman used cornered beast every turn. It was great

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I was ... The Humanist!

It was a very situational game, we were up against Voss so there were plenty of 3 or less HP targets to corner.

 

Shifter's Strength is his worst card? A card that allows you to get a whole new hand AND play a card you just drew? I wish every hero's worst card was that good! I would put Blend into the Pack as his worst card because as you mention it's not something you can control, you could get 13DR on a 1HP hit, you could 1DR on a 13HP hit or you could get nothing, and there's one card in his deck that can change that (and that probably has better targets at the time you play it. Can you guess? I am talking about Hyperactive Senses).


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I don't really see how playing as a human for the entire game would be in the Naturalist's best interest.  Even if you are using Shifter's Strength to whack minions constantly, you should at least go Crocodile at some point to get the damage boost and make your one-shots useful.

 

As for Shifter's Strength, you might be right.  The fact is that all of the Naturalist's cards are fantastic under the right cricumstances.  I thought Shifter's Strength was the one that was good under the least "right circumstances," that's all.

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Humble-Knight wrote:

It is possible to play the entire game as a human. These are cards that work just fine there. One time Matchstickman used cornered beast every turn. It was great

Sure, it's possible, but has anyone actually ever done it?  I don't think there's a reason why someone would do it on purpose, is there?


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Spiff wrote:

 

Humble-Knight wrote:
It is possible to play the entire game as a human. These are cards that work just fine there. One time Matchstickman used cornered beast every turn. It was great

 

Sure, it's possible, but has anyone actually ever done it?  I don't think there's a reason why someone would do it on purpose, is there?

Yes it has been done. One time Matchstickman used cornered beast every turn! It was a very situational game, we were up against Voss so there were plenty of 3 or less HP targets to corner.

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Did no body except Ronway read my post?

Did I write in invisible ink or something? I spelt out the situation right there in my post!


Stop lurking, it makes you look like a villain target
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I did, but then I was there when it happened

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Man, I can't imagine someone playing an entire game as the Naturalist in human form. No one could ever have done that, right? devil

 

It is definitely interesting to see how folks view the Naturalist differently than I do. I've very rarely used the Rhino form, and love the Gazelle form, and have often spent entire games in Gazelle form (usually when there are large numbers of both villain and environment targets), letting the environment go to town on the bad guys. I also love the additional card draw in Gazelle form, and being able to assist other heroes with card draw.

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Ronway wrote:

Spiff wrote:

 Humble-Knight wrote:

It is possible to play the entire game as a human. These are cards that work just fine there. One time Matchstickman used cornered beast every turn. It was great 

Sure, it's possible, but has anyone actually ever done it?  I don't think there's a reason why someone would do it on purpose, is there?

Yes it has been done. One time Matchstickman used cornered beast every turn! It was a very situational game, we were up against Voss so there were plenty of 3 or less HP targets to corner.

Please, nobody would EVER do this. That's like saying someone would use Wrathful Gaze every turn.


Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.
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Pydro wrote:

 

Ronway wrote:

Yes it has been done. One time Matchstickman used cornered beast every turn! It was a very situational game, we were up against Voss so there were plenty of 3 or less HP targets to corner.

 

Please, nobody would EVER do this. That's like saying someone would use Wrathful Gaze every turn.

Ha! Looks like you remembered reading about the time I used Wrathful Gaze every turn againt Ambuscade.

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So, does anyone have any more constructive (and less diversive) criticism?

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To add on to the comments about Cornered Beast - while your writeup recommends to ignore playing it unless you're going to be a Crocodile for awhile, I've found it useful more frequently in Rhino form than in Croc form.  Sure, there's no added damage bonus, but it's a repeatable way to contribute to squashing minions or environment targets while still protecting squishier team members.

Based on threads elsewhere in the forum, it might be worth adding a note for Bestial Shift that if you are in Crocodile or Gazelle form and use the "You may use a Power now." rider to transform into a new form, you get the effect of that new form from the play of Bestial Shift which isn't finished yet.  That's something that may not be intuitively obvious to everyone, so might be worth adding to the guide.

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EdgeDS wrote:

To add on to the comments about Cornered Beast - while your writeup recommends to ignore playing it unless you're going to be a Crocodile for awhile, I've found it useful more frequently in Rhino form than in Croc form.  Sure, there's no added damage bonus, but it's a repeatable way to contribute to squashing minions or environment targets while still protecting squishier team members.

 

That's a fair point; I'll add it.

 

EdgeDS wrote:

Based on threads elsewhere in the forum, it might be worth adding a note for Bestial Shift that if you are in Crocodile or Gazelle form and use the "You may use a Power now." rider to transform into a new form, you get the effect of that new form from the play of Bestial Shift which isn't finished yet.  That's something that may not be intuitively obvious to everyone, so might be worth adding to the guide.

 

I'm a little confused as to what you mean by this... could you give an example of the applications?

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Pinecone3 wrote:
EdgeDS wrote:
Based on threads elsewhere in the forum, it might be worth adding a note for Bestial Shift that if you are in Crocodile or Gazelle form and use the "You may use a Power now." rider to transform into a new form, you get the effect of that new form from the play of Bestial Shift which isn't finished yet.  That's something that may not be intuitively obvious to everyone, so might be worth adding to the guide.

 

 I'm a little confused as to what you mean by this... could you give an example of the applications?

The Naturalist currently has Gazelle in play. The Naturalist decides to play Bestial Shift, so he regains 3 HP for being a Gazelle., then he may also use a power, he uses Transform to search for Rhino and put it into play. Now that he is a Rhino, he can trigger the Rhino text on Bestial Shift, so he gains 1 DR.

The Naturalist is currently a Crocodile. He plays Bestial Shift, doing 4 toxic damage to a target, then he uses Transform to turn into Gazelle. Now that he is Gazelle, he can trigger the Gazelle text on Bestial Shift, so he regains 3 HP and may use a power. He uses the Gazelle's power to regain another 3.

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Ronway wrote:

 

Pinecone3 wrote:
EdgeDS wrote:
Based on threads elsewhere in the forum, it might be worth adding a note for Bestial Shift that if you are in Crocodile or Gazelle form and use the "You may use a Power now." rider to transform into a new form, you get the effect of that new form from the play of Bestial Shift which isn't finished yet.  That's something that may not be intuitively obvious to everyone, so might be worth adding to the guide. 

 

 I'm a little confused as to what you mean by this... could you give an example of the applications?

The Naturalist currently has Gazelle in play. The Naturalist decides to play Bestial Shift, so he regains 3 HP for being a Gazelle., then he may also use a power, he uses Transform to search for Rhino and put it into play. Now that he is a Rhino, he can trigger the Rhino text on Bestial Shift, so he gains 1 DR.The Naturalist is currently a Crocodile. He plays Bestial Shift, doing 4 toxic damage to a target, then he uses Transform to turn into Gazelle. Now that he is Gazelle, he can trigger the Gazelle text on Bestial Shift, so he regains 3 HP and may use a power. He uses the Gazelle's power to regain another 3.

 

OOOH okay, that went over my head too.  Thanks for pointing that out.

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Pydro wrote:

 

Ronway wrote:
Spiff wrote:

 

 Humble-Knight wrote:

It is possible to play the entire game as a human. These are cards that work just fine there. One time Matchstickman used cornered beast every turn. It was great 

Sure, it's possible, but has anyone actually ever done it?  I don't think there's a reason why someone would do it on purpose, is there?

Yes it has been done. One time Matchstickman used cornered beast every turn! It was a very situational game, we were up against Voss so there were plenty of 3 or less HP targets to corner.

 

Please, nobody would EVER do this. That's like saying someone would use Wrathful Gaze every turn.

 

Seriously.  I'm glad that no one would ever stay human or use wrathful gaze every round.  That kind of shenanigans doesn't belong in a nice wholesome family game like Sentinels.

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Pinecone,

There's one mistake you have in the guide.  You can't use Bestial Shift to go through *both* Gazelle and Croc and end up in Rhino, because you can only use a single power once per turn.

So you can either go Croc -> Gazelle, Croc -> Rhino, Gazelle -> Croc or Gazelle -> Rhino but you cannot go Croc -> Gazelle -> Rhino or Gazelle -> Croc -> Rhino.

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Yeah, you can't transform twice. You CAN go up through the card effects, though. I've had to argue that before, but you can use Crocodile, transform into Rhino, and get that effect too.


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Just unlocked Hunted Naturalist and, holy moly, he is a powerhouse.  I can't imagine playing regular Naturalist after playing Hunted.

I love Argent Adept / America's Greatest Legacy combo, and most of my games involve figuring what teams are most fun and effective with them.  I think Hunted Naturalist is an incredible combo piece to add into that duo (perhaps the strongest choice besides the amazing-everywhere Team Leader Tachyon).  Inventive Preparation into off-turn Bestial Shift into Desperate Prey (play Primal Charge) and Natural Form's Power with all three beast icons (or even just Gazelle & Crocodile) active is very, very good, and between the Naturalist's amazing draw and Shifter's Strength he's much better at filtering for the needed cards than other setup-heavy characters.  

I've never been really that interested in playing the high damage, low special effects characters, preferring a more control style, but Hunted Naturalist has some off-kilter and fun tools (Environmental Allies in certain environments, Hyperactive Senses, Crafty Assault, really solid tanking backed up by self-heal making him an excellent early tank before Legacy puts together his tanking pieces) and absolutely devastating damage output.  Typically I find that doing too much out-of-turn Inventive Preparation work with a single character tends to exhaust their hand size, but Hunted Naturalist just grows and grows.  The one weird thing is that I'm used to establishing a moderately hard control lock and then slowly strangling the opponent, and now I'm winning much earlier than I'm used to.  

Every time I try to get out, they pull me back in!

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I still like the base version as it's more dependable for tanking and getting past DR since you can get Forms outs.  With Hunted Naturalist the biggest piece I find is that I trigger Gazelle abilities a lot more.   


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Just reread this Naturalist guide, what a great resource!

Something I didn't see pointed out and I think is worth mentioning is that with all [g/r/c] text is optional (in the video game I highly recommend turning the option to activate it automatically off).

The most useful applications for this I've found are:
You can choose not to apply the damage boost from Cornered Beast when you deal self damage.

You can choose to selectively turn Environmental Allies immunity on and off. This can be super useful with Cryobot and constructs.

Indomitable Force's redirection is optional. This can be critical against really high all hero target damage or irreducible damage.

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On IOS all the icons for the voluntary card use is shown as a gazelle, I've submitted the bug.  It does make it a little harder to keep track of what's happening when you trigger double Natural Form's Power off a Bestial Shift as a triple icon Hunted Naturalist.  

Powerhound, I don't know about team composition for you, obviously that changes things a lot. I've had my whole deck in hand as early as turn 4 or 5 with Hunted Naturalist, which is a consequence of hitting so many Primal Charges with the Gazelle icon in effect, but that's using the TLT - AGL - AA combo.  The tutor reliability of Transform is good at transitioning from role to role, but I have not had much problem getting into a form (ideally The Deadly Crocodile) relatively early and sticking with it.  On that note, although Shifter's Strength is listed as his worst card in the above guide, the fact that you're almost always going to be icon gazelle (for card draw, and because it lacks an inherent bonus so you're not missing out on much) makes Shifter's Strength a critical early card for Hunted Naturalist, since it's basically a -1 card tax to cycle as much of your hand as you don't want at any given time and gazelle ends up with lots of cards.  Whenever I don't have Bestial Shift and an Inventive Preparation comes up, I'll throw out a Shifter's Strength in hopes I can fire off a Bestial Shift or Primal Charge (or both) before turn end.  

Once the Hunted Naturalist gets the machine going he trades transferring from role to role to fully inhabiting all of the DPR/tank/support roles at once - and, in the case of tanking and DPR, notably better at both than either base form:

- Tank: the mix of gazelle and rhino means a nice armor/healing combo with the added protection of Environmental Allies and its synergy with Blend into the Pack

- DPR: rhino & croc together make Primal Charge a double attack and give you a "Free" power activation off Bestial Shift (base Naturalist has to use Transform between Gazelle and Croc to get the two power activations, which isn't necessarily what you want in all situations, while Desperate Prey gives you a bonus card play or draw which can obviously lead to more damage and can use the other power activation for triple-effect Human Form's Power.)

- while the Hunted Naturalist isn't better at support per se than the base Naturalist, he can incidentally throw off extra cards to other characters while doing DPR and tanking jobs, which other setup characters love.  

 

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If you have lots of power uses to throw around you will get a lot of benefit as Hunted Naturalist.   If you aren't then the only way you'll get all three icons active is to draw into one of the Forms and if Ongoing destruction occurs you're back to two.  Again, it's just my preference of reliability with the base version but I fully understand there are some major benefits of playing Hunted Naturalist with cards like Bestial Shift, Primal Charge, and Natural Form's Power.   Mostly I think I soured on Hunted Naturalist from my first play or two where I got wiped out rather quickly without being able to contribute much damage or tank through it since I couldn't pull the Crocodile or Rhino Forms out.   


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Dandolo
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Put Competionist Guise on the team and play both versions.... problem solved!

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I will say that if (and only if) you've got a large hand I think you're ahead of regular Naturalist in the face of ongoing destruction.  Naturalist plays a card  the turn after without benefit of having a form, then transforms using his power.  Hunted Naturalist plays a form or Shifter's Strength until he gets a form, plays it, then uses his power to get an additional icon and play another card with the benefit of two icons.  That seems like a better way to recover to me.

But I get that in group play with others a few bad experiences can sour.  I'm playing solo on Ipad and building teams for the fun of interlocking parts is why I play, and base Naturalist doesn't have enough moving parts to interest me.  (I also don't have table dynamics to consider and am not forced to sit around with only 3 defeated abilities to contribute until the next game.)  I will also say that when I face a foe with mass ongoing destruction or mass equipment destruction I tend to pack Parse/Dark Visionary instead of Tachyon.  

I don't have Completionist Guise yet, sadly.  

 

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...I never thought that you could activate multiple Bestial Shift texts. Thatr's awesome!

I've played a game where the Naturalist spent most of his time as a Gazelle with Environmental Allies. I think there was a Kraken involved, but don't remember exactly. Whatever it was, it was crucial to our win.

It might be interesting to list out the possible form-changing combos for the Naturalist, to see if there are particularly useful ones.

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Trajector wrote:

...I never thought that you could activate multiple Bestial Shift texts. Thatr's awesome!I've played a game where the Naturalist spent most of his time as a Gazelle with Environmental Allies. I think there was a Kraken involved, but don't remember exactly. Whatever it was, it was crucial to our win.It might be interesting to list out the possible form-changing combos for the Naturalist, to see if there are particularly useful ones.

Yeah, basically the only time I have Gazelle out with regular Naturalist is thanks to that card. With Hunted, though, I might keep Gazelle out longer and alternate his power use between Crocodile and Rhino to set up the triple-activations.

Though generally, Hunted Naturalist for me consists of "draw until you get a form, play it, then reap the triple activations," and frankly the Crocodile is just better for that play style with the +1 to damage.

Dandolo
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I find my Hunted Naturalist playstyle changes a lot based on villain and environment. If I'm in Dok'Thorath, Enclave, or Final Wasteland I may choose to play Gazelle. If I'm against a villain with lots of Ongoing destruction (especially unlimited destruction) I'll stick with the first form I get until the villain destroys it so I can have another in hand when that happens. Otherwise I'll generally switch to Rhino or Crocodile based on the situation. Of course if I have Visionary, Argent Adept, or Tempest on my team I'm much more willing to switch forms.

Martin Tenbones
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Dandolo wrote:

I find my Hunted Naturalist playstyle changes a lot based on villain and environment. If I'm in Dok'Thorath, Enclave, or Final Wasteland I may choose to play Gazelle. If I'm against a villain with lots of Ongoing destruction (especially unlimited destruction) I'll stick with the first form I get until the villain destroys it so I can have another in hand when that happens. Otherwise I'll generally switch to Rhino or Crocodile based on the situation. Of course if I have Visionary, Argent Adept, or Tempest on my team I'm much more willing to switch forms.

I'd add Pike Industrial, the Block, Silver Gulch, and (against trash-manipulating enemies - take that, Chairman!) the Temple of Zhu Long as other top-tier Environmental Allies locations.  The non-damaging threats you want to remove from these decks aren't vulnerable to damage anyway, and the damage they spread around to enemies is pretty nice.  Of these, Pike Industrial and Final Wasteland are his true stomping grounds - both have ways of proliferating or replenishing environmental cards, which increases their damage output and the effects of Cornered Beast and Blend into the Pack, and both are highly thematic as well.  He's clearly the apex predator of the Final Wasteland, while there's nothing quite as Naturalist-ic as Environmental Allies facetanking a huge Chemical Explosion that wipes out the baddies - it's like an episode of Captain Planet!

 

EDIT - Please ignore Pike Industrial!  I'm wrong!

Powerhound_2000
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Environmental Allies won't help against a Chemical Explosion.   Environmental Allies only prevents damage to hero targets from Environment targets.   So the only card Environmental Allies helps with in Pike Industrial is the Lab Rats.  


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Martin Tenbones
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Huh, could have sworn I'd done that.  Might be a problem with always running with Legacy and tapping through prompts as quick as possible, confusing Heroic Interception with Environmental Allies.

Donner
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Heroic Interception doesn't block against non-villain targets.


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Yes it does.  Everyone outside of Legacy is immune to damage.  If Legacy also had Danger Sense out then everyone would be immune to any environment damage that round.  


Crush your enemies, drive them before you, and laminate their women! - Guise, Prime Wardens #31

 
Ameena
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You're probably thinking of Lead from the Front, which is the one that lets Legacy redirect villain damage to himself if he wants.


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Powerhound_2000 wrote:

Yes it does.  Everyone outside of Legacy is immune to damage.  If Legacy also had Danger Sense out then everyone would be immune to any environment damage that round.  

You're right!  I was thinking of Lead from the Front!


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Martin Tenbones
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I took Hunted Naturalist, along with America's Greatest Legacy, Dark Visionary, and Prime Warden Argent Adept, to my first 4 hero-win over The Advanced Chairman.

Broader Naturalist lessons learned:

- In the same hero round (his own turn + AGL and AA turns combined) the Naturalist did 47 damage, killing both the Operative and Chairman.  His DPR is real.  

- Rhino-enhanced Indomitable Force + Heroic Interception can provide total damage immunity, as all damage to heroes is redirected to The Naturalist and all non-Legacy characters are immune to damage.  Rhino-enhanced Threatening Stomp offers a single-target version of this effect but offers some damage as well.  

- I had not been thinking about the breadth of applications for Environmental Allies lowering all damage to environmental targets.  But Horrid Skunk-Ape is indiscriminately stinky, so when Environmental Allies kept him from bothering both my heroes AND the entire Final Wasteland deck (played through Con, the Ancient Library, and the Visionary putting Rook City is Mine on top of the Chairman's deck a few times) whilst tooting on the Chairman's army at will I started wondering about other applications.  I could see playing double Environmental Allies in the Dok'Thorath Capital to protect the Refugees and Looters from the Military and Ravagers, or perhaps to lock out all damage with Jansa + Immutus in the Enclave (just make sure you've got some hard environmental removal in hand for when you're ready to pop him, 35 hp with 3 points of armor is a long slog). 

- You can use Natural Form's Power on AA's turn to use 4 Silver Shadows if he's got fewer than 2 cards left in deck + trash before his turn.  The Silver Shadows go to the trash after the play a card phase, at which point you can use: Harp (Supertonic + Alacritous) -> Drum (Inventive Prep) -> Bestial Shift (gazelle power and croc power x2 Natural Form's Power to redraw Silver Shadow, could sub one out for a Desperate Prey -> Primal Charge if Silver Shadows are only thing in trash) -> Drum Melody -> Horn (alacritous) -> bell (alacritous) -> Lyra (Alacritious Perform to trigger drawn Silver Shadows x2).  Net yield - the other Natural Form's Power effects from Naturalist, 5 Inventive Preps, 2 non-Silver Shadow card plays from AA, 2 Melodies, a Rhythm perform.  

 

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Pike may only provide Rats as possible Allies, but "Blend into the pack does not discriminate. And with a little help from the healing vats, Naturalist can become one of the best tanks on the field. I had a Vengeance game recently (La Capitan-Best of times Chrono-Hammer and Anvil-Visionary[can't remember what version]-Ambuscade-Naturalist[me]-Fright Train-Bunker in Pike). Late game not only was I untouchable and healing like crazy, I was tanking almost every peice of damage being thrown out. Unfortunatly that didn't save Visionary, but the rest of our team managed to make it out alive and in the higher numbers of HP. And yes, one or two explosions did go off, but a set-up Naturalist can recover from that quite easily.

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Blend Into the Pack helps in most environments (Freedom Tower making it pointless along with Environmental Allies) and if I don't have better options I'll play it immediately especially on the first turn.  However, it only reduces damage for the first hit you might take and if there are multiple instances of damage you don't get that extra protection.  


Crush your enemies, drive them before you, and laminate their women! - Guise, Prime Wardens #31

 
Martin Tenbones
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Bestial Shift does stack, so a first position Hunted Naturalist can assemble quite impressive damage reduction from off-turn plays.  You won't have 3 forms up during your own turn and you'll want Crocodile and Gazelle first to maximize your Bestial Shift power usage, but even just a couple Bestial Shifts + Indomitable Force and Resilient Hide can block out most of the damage the game gives out.

Though I've sort of burned myself out again - I really like Hunted Naturalist (Environmental Allies is amazing when you don't have to give up damage or tanking for it) but he is on the whole far too strong (from experience and from the Naive Bayes chart I recently found) with off-turn plays and not very fun without them.  I won a three player game with Hunted Naturalist, Greatest Legacy, and PW Argent Adept against Advanced Kaargra Warfang 20-13.  I'm probably taking a break until some more new characters come out, such as Requital Captain Cosmic or the OblivAeon playable villains, or at least going back to working on Santa Guise combos.