Author Topic: Zosha Guide for Prestige and Combat Victory conditions by Hao.Lepus on steam  (Read 5356 times)

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Howzany

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Hello all. At the time of this writing, I've been playing this game for almost a week now and I've been playing it A LOT. It's easily the most addicting little board game on a computer I've played in a while now. I actually really appreciate Armello for it's relative simplicity and sleek design, and yet very deep strategic game play.

While I've tried to dabble in all of the different clans... I can't help myself but repeatedly playing as Zosha in multiplayer. My personal tendency in gaming is usually to specialize and become very very competitive and good at a specialization. In Magic the Gathering, I've spent 2 years literally only focusing on playing MonoBlack Vampire tribal Aggro and I've refined that deck down to being able to win on the 4th turn about 35% of the time, and turn 5 victory about 75% of the time... which of course isn't strong enough to be tournament quality, but it's beaten a lot of the top decks and even capable of handling the top tribal decks... the Merfolk tribals. In Starcraft II I played solely zerg, and I'm a platinum zerg at my highest point of skill, but I could easily be beaten by silvers and golds when I play protoss  or terran... it's just me in a nutshell... I hyperfocus on something that interests me and I stay focused on that one thing until I am an absolute expert. This is important to know because when you read this guide, I'm going to tell you all the tips and tricks I know so far from playing Zosha almost exclusively for about maybe 50 games on multiplayer and also how I use her to obtain Prestige and Combat Victories specifically.

Before I go dive into it... one final thing to note: I studied Game Theory... so I am not really focusing on Zosha because of her "ninja" skills... I'm actually incredibly impressed with just how she plays and how balanced she is and how versatile and how everything about her just "feels" right from a Game theory perspective. (she's incredibly good at what she does... but she can be countered and stopped and it's fairly balanced that way.)

My reasons for playing Zosha:  Her stats are very balanced in such a way that you could use any cards or strategies you want basically. She is very very adept at stealing games as a prestige player, but also can do Combat victories with Regicide as a strong second option.  Her stealth is a very nice way to counter Thane, and other Spell Casters like Sana or Amber. The Rat Clan has in my opinion the best choices of rings (Ok the wolf clan's Onyx Ring sounds great on paper and you can get a lot of gold from it... but it's not that efficient once you start having like more than 8 gold at a time... it's inefficient in a way... from a Game theory perspective). I will go over each of the Rat Clan ring choices in a second.

My reasons for playing Zosha for Prestige/Combat:  While I do think it is definitely possible to play Zosha with a Rot Victory in mind... and in fact she's sooo easily killed by anything... if you're going for rot... I believe that I personally play Zosha because I ENJOY playing as her and the Rot victory style of play is very counter intuitive... actually trying to get killed by Banes... it's not my style, and that's a personal preference... but if you look at her 3 starting Body (health) that's a great way to get killed by Banes repeatedly and gain rot...... so this is a personal decision not to play her for Rot. As for Zosha playing for Spirit Stone victory... I think that is the least suitable victory type for her, because it makes her very predictable... and makes it very easy for opponents to predict her and counter her movement, such as killing her before she gets to stones... getting her out of the palace by killing her or banishing her... etc... With her low health pool and stealth... she's not being played optimally if you play her predictably.


Rat Clan Rings with respect to Zosha:

Black Opal Ring: This ring is my second choice on her... not the best but definitely a close second. This ring allows her to be stealthed in cities both night and day... which is a way to be able to keep her stealthed both night and day in play... this is a very solid choice if there are 2 Characters being picked in the lobby who are both spell casters and/or Thane. Stealth keeps Thane from using his ability, and Thane's ability along with spell castings from other players such as Aflames are really the weak points to playing Zosha, especially in the early game. I get Black Opal whenever there's 2 or more casters and ESPECIALLY get this ring if there's Thane and two casters... that's a no brainer in that case... this is the ring for you in that scenario.

Obsidian Ring: I get that this sounds really cool on paper... having scout on your settlements really sounds like a cool idea... you might think that you'll get like all the settlements and be able to "light up the map" with this... but in practice, this is really a bad ring, or at least isn't very efficient and doesn't synergize with Zosha well... this ability might be useful to a Mercutio for example as a response to seeing Zosha being picked... that would make this a good choice for Mercutio... but not for Zosha... Also, in reality, in the vast majority of the games I've played... I have gotten maybe 3 settlements at a time before and that is only when I got really lucky... most of the time other players will take your settlements and there's really nothing you can do about that... I'm honestly very happy if I can have 2 settlements and if I only have 1 settlement, then I'm still satisfied. Gold helps for sure, but at the end of the day Gold don't win the game.

Ruby Ring: This is THE BEST ring for Zosha hands down. You might not be familiar with what the Explode mechanic is, but it basically lets your first Sword die to count as a die that explodes... the Sword die itself isn't lost... it counts towards the offense number... but at the same time you get an extra die to roll again! It's a FREE DICE ROLL!!! It's like giving you an extra 1 in Fight stat... taking this ring is basically an extra fight stat... I mean unless you get really unlucky and don't roll a Sword... This is an auto pick for me, when I play as Zosha... unless there's at least 2 mages, or Thane and a mage... (when you play as Zosha... you tend to see a lot of Thane... his ability can really wreck Zosha if you're not careful... so BE CAREFUL when Thane is within 4 spaces of you... get stealthed or get that Black Opal Ring to be stealthed in a settlement so Thane can't attack you with his ability on...  (Ironically Thane is my second favorite Champion in the game at the moment :D hahaha... you'd think I'd hate Thane, but if someone picks Zosha before I can pick her in a Multiplayer game... I just pick Thane and make life hard for that Zosha)

Turquoise Ring: It only took me one try with this on Zosha to realize that it's a terrible decision. Zosha has a low health pool... it's hard enough to get Shields as is with a high Fight stat... but now you're having to put points into Wits?! NO WAY! Also with a high Fight stat combo'd with stealth... I WANT her to be attacked... I set ambushes with Zosha all the time!! It's the best way to fight certain characters like Sana or Brun, when they don't know you're there so they don't cast any spells to prep and you are waiting in stealth so they can't burn their cards to aid them in the fight! WHY RUN?! NO WAY! And while Zosha has 4 wits to start with, which is definitely a decent amount... I highly recommend against putting any points into Wits or Spirit... (I'll go more into this later when I talk about stat growth and build). This ring is more made for Mercutio... He can definitely use this ring well and Mercutio WANTS to up his Wit, so it's great synergy there, but Zosha isn't really going to need any more than the 4 wits that she starts with. This ring also forces you to put points into Wit because if you don't put points into wit late game... you are an easy kill... people will have so many dice rolls when they attack you... and you can't evade well with only 4 dice to roll with...



Amulets: There's only two logical choices in my opinion. Those are Soak and Scratch... the rest are not worth it if you're going for Prestige/Combat victory. Here's another Amulet... Favor? Don't get it... it is nice to have a starting prestige lead... but if you're playing Zosha the way I play... gaining prestige is EASY for her. My record was getting 22 prestige in a game... and I average 12 Prestige a game by the end on Zosha. It's not uncommon for me to end with 18 or 16 prestige... so those 2 points are not worth it... in fact, I would NOT be able to get such high prestige if I didn't pick Scratch. This is a bit trickier to understand. It takes a bit of Game theory to understand. In this game Armello, the math works out such that the higher a particular stat is the more powerful it is... that makes sense, but it's SIGNIFICANTLY stronger. It's more valuable to have one stat that is really really high, than to have balanced stats. Balanced stats might sound nice on paper, but it makes each individual stat far less reliable. You could argue that Soak is good on her because it brings her starting health pool up to 4 instead of a 3. Yes, I agree, but I also think that 4 health is just... well 4 health... and with her 5 fight... well... both pretty mediocre. BUT... if you give her Scratch and up her Fight to 6... and have the Ruby Ring... She is effectively starting the game off with 7 as her fight stat... the Ruby Ring is a hidden fight stat. 7 FIGHT TO START!!! OMG! WOW! And after her first quest... that's 8 fight stats effectively all after the first 2-3 Turns... Most other characters will have 4 or 5 fight stats at that point depending on their own quests. You will almost always have an advantage in a fight with this incredibly high number. Banes? HA! The only way a Bane can be a threat to you is if you're stupid enough to attack a Bane with only 1 health remaining... and even then it's not that bad, because most of the time I kill a Bane in one go, after my first quest is completed... and that is generally around the time when Banes first start spawning. The 3 health? it's manageable with a combination of Spell/Item Cards, Stone Circles, and her stealth ability. Yes, you can argue that characters tend to "lose less" prestige if they die less... this is very true, but by having soak and not scratch you're also lowering your ability to "Win MOAR!!" and omg Zosha can kill characters like nobody's business if you give her Scratch and Ruby Ring. (you start the game with basically 7 fighting stat... 7!!!!!!) Would you rather have a mediocre character who "dies less" and kills "about average"... or would you like a character who can consistently kill 2-3 characters/banes before dying and coming back to repeat the carnage?


Ok, so now you have picked Zosha... and the game starts... what happens next?

Your Zosha should look like this:
6 Fight 3 Body 4 Wit 3 Spirit
you should either have Ruby Ring .... or in some cases Black Opal Ring.

I will go over Questing/Stat building order and then close off with some comments on tactics with her and how to close the game off and secure Victory.

Here's the deal: Build only Fight and Body stats whenever possible. DO NOT build wit or spirit. She doesn't really need spirit... 3 spirit is good enough to play all spells except a few rare ones like Crystalize and Banish... and even then I can play Banish with the help of other cards to raise my Magic above a 3. Most of the time with Zosha you want to be playing the 2 or 3 value spells anyway, and you can already do that right from the start. As for Wits... I know that for some of you this might take some convincing, but think of it in terms of Game Theory... there's a Trade off... one more stat point in Fight or Body will keep you ahead of the curve and be that much better at being a merciless killer... while one more point in Wit makes you... uh... draw one extra card... Let's face another reality here while we're talking game theory... Everything in the game... every choice... every action has an opportunity cost. This idea also exists in Economics. Basically, you want to choose the BEST OPTION out of all the options... do the most Optimal thing. And the most optimal way to build her isn't to draw more cards... because most of the time with Zosha, if you play her like I do, you don't have that much gold... you can't empty your hand of your cards every turn if you put more into Wits... making it really not that effective... On the other hand... Each turn I can reliably play 1-2 cards to burn during combat and likely use 1 spell card that I spend my Magic points on, and maybe 1 Trickery or Item card using what gold I got. The reality of playing Zosha is she is a KILLING MACHINE. She kills things... that's her thing... she doesn't run around to get to settlements or get into Dungeons... that's not the best way to play her... she's the Alien AND the Predator... she's the worst nightmare for low Fight characters, ESPECIALLY if you wait within 3 spaces of their spawning location, their clan tile. In some games I just sit near a character like that and kill them repeatedly for the prestige... :) So, do you need Wits for that one extra card? NOPE... you need the Health and the FIGHT to end up killing enemy characters in one go every single time reliably even from full health... I've killed a 5 health sana repeatedly and very reliably (one battle and sana is dead from full health). The reason why Fight is so efficient the higher it is is also because of how explode works. The more dice you have to roll... the more chances you'll get them to explode and the more chances to roll more dice to explode even more.... and more and more... With just finishing my first quest and putting that first point into Fight... I've ended up with 7 swords and 5 shields ... and similar situations very regularly... but wait 7 swords and 5 shield is 12!! That's not the 7 dice you get from your 7 fight stats... that's RIGHT! But with Ruby Ring... I have 8 effective dice... and even without an item I need my 8 dice to explode 4 times to get to 12... and you'd be surprised how easily achievable that is, especially if you DO have items on you that give you more dice rolls or additional swords and shields. I understand also that there are nice Items/Companions out there... Zosha don't need them... Zosha needs to kill... and to do that she needs FIGHT and BODY... that's the priority... screw those shiny items and fancy shoes... she don't need them. You go after those things by picking other stats to raise for a quest... and you lose out on her becoming even more badass and hard to stop late game.

Usually by the end of all my quests, my zosha stats looks like:
8 Fight 5 Body 4 Wit 3 Spirit.
Count in the more often than not Ruby... she has 9 base fight stats... that's just base stats... and then you add the 3 items... she's a juggernaut.


Items:
Zosha has low health... she can't take much damage ... so DON"T LET HER... always prioritize items that give her shields than swords. Ideally you want her to have 3-5 shields at the end of the game. If you get to the stats I just listed at the end of the game and have 3-5 shields guaranteed in every fight... you will be VERY VERY hard to stop... That's when you can just walk into the palace and hit the snooze button on the King without anyone capable of stopping you... especially if you stocked a few healing items/spells before you head into the Palace. It's also good to put on that -1 AP armor that gives +2 or +3 shields... I don't recall that, but that is also a good time to put it on.

Gaining Prestige/Combat Victory:
There's two sides to this whole character killing business... (well, 3 if you count how FUN it is to completely own and shut down your enemies). First there's the idea that you are constantly depriving your enemies of their turns by sending them back to their spawning location and that will waste SO MANY of their turns that they dont' finish all their quests in time... meaning that it's that much harder for them to enter the Palace... you're making life very difficult for them basically. Secondly, and most importantly, if you focus on killing enemy champions as often as you get an opportunity to do so, while still completing your quests in a timely manner, you will easily have a HUGE lead in terms of prestige. It is not uncommon in a game for me to be like around 8 prestige and the other players have 0-2 prestige each... and they'd all frantically communicate to each other to "focus on Zosha" "watch out for Zosha" "we must stop Zosha"... :D  I'd laugh maniacally and continue to plow through them like a bowling ball through pins and rack up more prestige. Usually this is how the game ends and I win and it'd be fun... but sometimes you get the Thane/Brun/Barnaby/River... etc... the one hero player who think they can be batman and save everybody.... that one player might have 4 stones or they might have enough items and fight stats to take on the King himself... You could either keep your prestige lead and try to either kill them before they get to palace and kill the king... OR kill the king yourself... because with the stats I mentioned at end game and a decent amount of guaranteed shields on you through itemization... you have a very very solid chance of a combat victory... just make sure you enter the palace and is in striking range of the king BEFORE his health reaches 1.  Also helps if you have 2 or less Rot on you... ideally no rot on you... but eh, I've won with maybe 2 rot points on me before.

If you are going for a Rot victory, I would read up on how to play the Rot style. Zosha can definitely do Rot very very well. And as for spirit stones... you can get them through quests fairly easily... but why play a straight up killer if you're going to go for glow stones??

Cool Tactics Advice: Kill things... kill things... along the way towards your quests. Kill Banes... they drop like flies... Kill other characters (make sure you check what items they have on them and such to make sure you have a clear advantage). Do NOT end your turn unstealthed near another player unless you can't help it... it gives them a chance to Immolate you. If someone's near you... the correct response is to kill them and make them not near you... :) and if they are too far to reach... kill something that's closer to you or walk towards your quest. Keep tabs on the King's health.






« Last Edit: September 25, 2015, 02:19:30 PM by Howzany »

Howzany

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Reserved for Stealth Mechanics Discussion and guide as well as Card draw issues, and resource management.

FrenchBread2014

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Holy crap this is a really cool guide, it'd super in depth and I'm really impressed. I always mindlessly put the amulet into Soak and never even thought about getting anything but Ruby ever. What are your thoughts on her in the regard to cards to pick up? I usually try to get a spell regularly enough to spend all my mana, but wondered your enlightened opinion :P

Nex81

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Hey, just started playing i love this guide! really wish there were more like it for the game... i do have a question tho how hard to you prioritize your quests?single minded until x are done? or do you meander along going after who ever is near? i find i struggle to decide what i should be doing with my turns.

Across-The-Board

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Really nice guide!
I haven´t played much Zosha to be honest since I have never found the stealth mechanic to be all that good. Guess I was wrong...But I still prefer Barnaby so I kill stuff and just tank the damage! But the rat rings really are so much better than the rabbit rings...

Nex81

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Really nice guide!
I haven´t played much Zosha to be honest since I have never found the stealth mechanic to be all that good. Guess I was wrong...But I still prefer Barnaby so I kill stuff and just tank the damage! But the rat rings really are so much better than the rabbit rings...
I really Really want to like Barnaby..... i tend to just flub my item draws for so long with him that i never get a good use out of his ability :(.

Across-The-Board

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I guess we have no luck with each other favorite heroes, then. Heh :P

jtaylor18

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Dont know if you're still around but just wanted to say thanks for a really good guide. I've always liked Zosha but never could really figure out what to do with her to get past her squishiness often feeling handicapped when using her over other characters. Since trying out your style I've won 3 out of 5 games with her and have been able to enjoy seeing her become the night terror she should be.

For anyone else reading this post in hopes of learning Zosha I can confirm this is a very effective way to play her.