With the Acolyte and the Apprentice taken care of, we move onto the last of the A-name characters and discuss the Archer. Don’t fret, we move on to B’s next week.
No hero in the base game can match the Archer when it comes to consistent damage output, and her hero deck makes her versatile enough to kill a Captain with one attack in one turn, and then turn around and kill a group of minions the next. If you want a character that is all about the damage, the Archer is the ideal choice for you.
Like the other characters, the Archer introduces a few special rules. The first is a slight yet powerful adjustment to line of sight. Unlike the other heroes, the Archer is able to ignore enemies when drawing line of sight. Have a Lair, Captain, or some other big bad guy surrounded by a group of freshly spawned minions? Send in the Archer. It is very hard to hide from her.
The second of the Archer’s special rules is the use of Ammo. Ammo is a special type of card (replacing arrows from version 1.0 for future growth) that has to be readied before it can be used, but then fuels the Archer’s ranged attacks. It’s through the use of the assorted Ammo cards that the Archer becomes such a versatile damage dealer.
Ammo cards are readied by playing them in an action space during the hero phase. During the hero deck phase, the card is then moved above the Archer’s hero board to signal it has been placed in an item capable of storing Ammo (a quiver in the base game). The item will tell you how much Ammo it can hold. Whenever an attack calls for a number of Ammo cards to be used, they are removed from the item and moved to the discard pile.
Attacks can require anywhere from no Ammo to all your Ammo be used. In most cases, there is a correlation between the amount of Ammo used and the effect of the card. Orion’s Tears, probably the Archer’s most powerful attack, allows you to make an attack for each Ammo card discarded. With more advanced gear, this can be as many as six attacks. It can be used to attack one massive target with a rain of shots or you can spread it around and take down multiple minions. Either way, it is doing some serious damage and makes the Archer the only character in the base game capable of killing two captains with a single attack action. Other cards can, for example, deal three damage with a single arrow, or perhaps give you a bonus to hit against armored targets.
These different abilities mean the Archer is ready for whatever the darkness throws her way and is very rarely left with a bad hand of cards. It also makes her a bit of a balancing act similar to the Apprentice with his ongoing effects. Do you want to pour all of your damage into one target this turn but lose all your Ammo or do less damage to keep some in reserve? Do you kill two Captains or kill a lair and a minion? I will tell you this much. I have yet to find anything in the game as rewarding as killing the first stage of a boss with one massive attack, and the Archer can do that better than anybody.
Next time, we will move out of the A’s and discuss the shadowy Brigand.