Phantaskippy's guide to Phantasms, part 6: A Spread of Rampant Green

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Phantaskippy's guide to Phantasms, part 6: A Spread of Rampant Green

A Spread of Rampant Green.

Theme.

A Spread of Rampant Green spreads out easily, and makes the land difficult to build settlements.  It's spread is only stopped by running out of presence to put on the board.  Green can place presence that was destroyed, and because of that it feels like the relentless spread of weeds, that can be uprooted one day only to return the next.  Its roots and shoots are great at tearing apart buildings and roads, but struggles to deal with explorers.

Unique Mechanics.

A Spread of Rampant Green can place its presence that was previously destroyed, and can destroy presence from Sared Sites to prevent a build or a Ravage.  It has an "Always" section in its growth option that you do no matter what growth option you then choose to use.  

Role.

A Spread of Rampant Green excells at stopping Blight, able to trade a presence to prevent a ravage, and also having a defend innate that can also prevent blighting damage.  Green is great for helping the Spirits keep from getting overrun, and can simply stop a built up land from Ravaging, preventing Blight and cascades from being a problem until it can be dealt with.  But Spread of Rampant Green's real talent is as a multi-tasker.  You can frequently deal with 3 or more lands every turn, making Green able to keep a lot of lands from getting out of control, and when that is done well, Green is one of the most effective spirits at contributing to a victory.

Choke the Land with Green, simple math.

One of the hardest things about Green is managing Choke the Land and slow powers that require sacred sites.  Fast powers aren't a problem, since the effect triggers (even defends) before you sacrifice presence.  There are two things I do to prevent situations where I ruin my own plans by sacrificing a sacred site that I planned to use later.  
1.  Stack to 3.  Remember you can have more than 2 presence in a land, and with Green, that isn't a waste.  So try to plan ahead and put a third presence in those lands that are built up and trying to cause trouble.
2.  Use your reminder tokens.  I will mark sacred sites that I am going to use for a slow power.  Just makes you think before sacrificing a presence, and can save you.
Beyond just keeping track of your own plans, Choke the Land has a built in simple dilemna.  Usually stopping a build is better than stopping a Ravage, but when we are talking about Choke the Land that strategy changes.  If there is enough invader health to cause blight already there, then you are better off preventing the ravage.  Because you will still get blight, and so it is going to cost you 2 presence anyway.  This hints at my #1 strategy for Green:

Don't use 2 powers to stop one land, Juggle the invaders.

This is a simple and key strategy to Green.  Never use Choke the Land on a land that will require you to then use other powers (or a second use of Choke) to keep it from Blighting.  Some lands you just want to use Choke to stop it from Ravaging and outside of that leave it alone.  Using Choke to stop a build and then All-Enveloping Green's defend to stop Blight is a waste.  Let it build and stop the Ravage.
The goal is simple, when a land comes up in explore, I want to be able to get it through Ravage without blighting by only using one power or Choke.  I call it juggling the lands, because you aren't getting rid of them, just keeping them from damaging the land.
This means you are gong to need to identify 1-4 lands as ones that you are going to allow to build up but not ravage.  Don't bite off more than you can chew, so keep it at 1 early on.  These ones you will let explore and build, then choke their ravage.  Easiest to start with a Jungle or Wetland.  Take on more as you get more comfortable with the Spirit.
Now if you have an explorer and a Dahan in a land, Choke the build and let the Dahan deal with the Explorer.  Or use All-Enveloping to protect the land and Dahan and let the counter-attack deal with the invaders.  
Being really good at Green is almost entirely based on your ability to multi-task your card plays, innates and Choke to stop blight in as large of an area possible.  When you stop 2 big ravages, defend a land allowing Dahan to wipe the invaders there, and destroy a new town with Creepers in the same turn, then you are rolling as Green.  That's 4 lands dealt with with your growth and Choke, and Innates.  I've gotten as high as 6 lands dealt with in one turn.  It crushes the invaders.  Note that by dealt with I mean they won't be a problem until their land type comes back up again in explore.

Preventing Explores.

Rampant Green is one of the best for helping create an Explore free zone.  Stopping Builds and destroying towns are something you are actually good at, so you can help other Spirits (like Lightning) who are also good at destroying towns create a large swath of land that the Explorers will really struggle to get into.

Example of a first turn Lightning/Green team up.
Green plays Gift of Proliferation (on Lightning) and Stem the Flow of Fresh Water, activating Tier 1 Creepers.
Lightning plays Lightning's Boon (on Green) and Shatter Homesteads.
Using Shatter, Stem and Creepers fast let Green and Lightning destroy the starting towns on both of their boards, creating a huge territory that Invaders will not be able to explore.  On a 3 player map it is a devestating start, and starts the heroes with a big advantage.
Note that there are many other great combos, and Green and Lightning both struggle to deal with explorers, so they aren't the best team up, but this first turn is incredible.

Starting the game.

A quick look at your starting cards, Growth options and presence tracks will be a bit depressing, this spirit doesn't look strong, but that is because your innate and special rule are so very good.
So here's my favorite start with Green.  I won't go very far into it, because really, you are going to be spreading so fast that you will uncover all your presence track spaces in most games, and your growth track options are all pretty equally good, so Green is one of the more forgiving spirits in how you start.
First turn you want to use your second growth option, letting you place a total of 2 presence (remember your always growth) and play 2 cards this turn.  Make sure you get your 1 energy space unlocked, you need it.  You'll want to play Gift and Stem, destroying that back town.  Second turn take your third growth option, gaining a card and 3 energy, taking the play track presence to get 2 card plays.  Play Overgrow in a Night and Fields Choked with Growth.  You'll want to resolve Overgrow first, uncovering the free plant element and activating Tier 1 All-Enveloping.  That's 6 presence on the map before the invaders ravage.  You can feel free to stop a Ravage is you want with Choke.

Power Card selecting.

Minor Powers:
You want elements, because you want your innates, they drive your multi-tasking.  Here is my priority list:
1.  Gift of Power, Growth Through Sacrifice.  These are your dream minor powers.  0 energy cost (4 plays and 3 energy with your track clear, yeah.) Moon, Water and Plant.  Green doesn't even flinch at destroying a presence, then you get it back or remove a blight.  It can be a support power, giving you 2 powers that place other spirit's presence (Play any other spirit to understand how ridiculous this gets), and Gift of Power also has Earth, so it covers every element in your innates and gives anyone a minor power.
2.  Moon + Water.  To activate both your innates at the highest tier in one turn you need 3 moon, 3 water, 3 Plant (with both plant spaces uncovered, which you will achieve) and 1 Earth.  Moon + Water powers set you up to defend and deal damage in the same turns.
3.  Moon+Plant.  Damage is better than defend.
4.  Water+Plant.  Defend almost always comes in handy.
5.  Powers that deal damage.  You already have powers that deal 1 damage, you do well with powers that add points of damage to them.
6.  Powers that destroy Explorers.  You struggle to destroy them, so fill that gap.

Other advice.

1.  Your Growth options let you fuel Major Powers (+3 energy) or 5 card play late.  I tend to go for card play, but grabbing major powers works great too.

2.  Never ever place destroyed presence while there is presence on your presence tracks.  Clear your tracks entirely first.

3.  Due to the nature of your special rule, and innates, Green is perfectly fine placing presence in invader held land.  Jump in there and mess them up.  Also remember that Overgrow is fast, so you can place presence from growth in an invader held land and use Overgrow to make it a sacred site before it can Ravage that turn.

4.  Be aware of other Spirits presence tracks, and key points they want to unlock, and help them.  I try to mix the extra placement between other spirits so I'm not unbalancing the game in one spirit's favor.  That's not fun.  Spirits like Shadows Flicker, Thunderspeaker and Earth love a first turn presence boost, while ones with stronger starts can get just as much use out of later presence gains.

5.  To reinforce, Green doesn't need to clear lands, and you don't want to knock down a town in a land you are going to choke on the ravage phase.  Outside of Town/City based win conditions from adversaries, you can let that land build up and as long as you stop it from ravaging it won't do anything bad to you.  One presence every few turns is not much to you, and it frees everything but the presence needed to restock that land to keep it in check.  Let one or two build up but not ravage while you decimate the rest of the Island.  Then come back and crush the bad guys  I often hold one on the coast (land #2 is a common choice) since it doesn't stop you from blocking the interior to explorers.

Closing Note.

This guide goes into more detail than my other ones, because Green's difficulty isn't getting a good start, it is getting used to the multi-tasking play style that Green is best at.  No one else can do it like Green can, and if you don't multi-task at all, Green will actually play pretty weak.  The hard part of playing Green for me is keeping all the things I want to do straight, which I have a terrible time with, so I'm generally not a great player with Green.  The people who can keep it all straight can dominate the game.
I left other things a bit more vague, because I'm not trying to tell you to play it my way, and most of what I have learned comes from my own struggles and then seeing my friend with fantastic short term memory recall be so very good at it.

Edited by: phantaskippy on Oct 5 2017 - 10:02am
TakeWalker
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Green is another spirit like Ocean that just seems to have so much personality. In this case, burbling happily across the island, full-tilt, and laughing at all the Invaders caught in its brambles. :D They tickle.

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I would say Heart of the Wildfire similarly has personality - happily prancing across the land, leaving a blazing inferno of flames and death and ash in its wake :D. Rampant Green, to me, seems more slow-going and just casually spreading across the land without really noticing all the houses and stuff getting pulled apart and/or grown over. While Ocean is just "Hungry! Feed me! Feed me now! More, more! Feeeed meeeeee..." <nom nom nom>   >:D.


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Baldrekr
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"First turn you want to use your second growth option, letting you place a total of 2 presence (remember your always growth) and play 2 cards this turn.  Make sure you get your 1 energy space unlocked, you need it.  You'll want to play Gift and Stem, destroying that back town."

Wouldn't you want to instead destroy the town is getting built by the initial explorers?  The back town land type may not be ravaging for a while. 

Any discussion on placing 2 presence on both the first two turns (and then reclaim turn 3) vs 2 presence then 1 presence + card + energy?  The give-someone-else-a-presence card (and also the give myself a presence card) are so good I don't mind reclaiming on turn 3.

 

phantaskippy
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It depends.  Often that back town is key to the invaders exploring, and destroying it can cause the invaders to miss a few explores.  Preventing explores is huge.

I also will often use Choke to stop the non-coastal town, and that will usually ensure the invaders will be playing from behind, which is big, because Green struggles to deal with explorers and Cities, while towns are easy picking.  Meaning that getting ahead a bit can let you spread out more (less choke to stop ravages) and create a nice Explore-free zone that Green is really strong at maintaining.