I've decided to take the liberty to make a new, separate guide for discussing Nold the first playable boss card - Just because I feel like the boss cards are unique enough to merit their own discussion outside of typical faction threads.
As a Nold player myself with an over 90% win rate and almost 400 games won, here are just some things I want to say about Nold as a playable character (IE, this isn't where to come on strats for how to beat the boss version of Nold) and some strategies that work well with her, as well as some things to take in consideration when deciding if Nold is the character for you or not.
As some of you assuredly already know, Nold is the boss of the first beginner dungeon. She is an academy character and can be acquired for your own personal use by clearing the beginner dungeon 10 times, on the 10th clear you will receive Nold's character card instead of the usual materials!
Nold's effect, for those who either are unfamiliar with her or just as a refresher is as follows -
A random card in your hand is given size +1
If this happens, a random card in your field is given size -1 (To a minimum of 1)
So following the trend of her boss card, her strategy revolves around decreasing size in your field - but it now carries a side effect in the form of size being added to your hand.
Now, first and foremost her effect has the obvious advantage of allowing you more. Decreased size in your field allows you to swamp your field with more cards than you'd normally be allotted. After two turns, having two mop maids along with supplementary buffs is now a possibility. In fact, it's not impossible to eventually reach a point where you have a field full of what were once size 5s. Reduced size means more room for spells and more room for followers, and more is always welcome.
But that isn't the only advantage to reduced size. What's perhaps less obvious is that this makes you incredibly more cost effective when your followers do die. That size 5 follower that was a nuisance to your opponent for two turns before it died? At the time of death maybe it was only a size 3, saving you two life. By taking advantage of the empty size created by Nold's effect to buff, you increase the amount of size reductions you can get off. This guarantees you lose less life, thus increasing the cost effectiveness of your followers and substantially boosting your longevity.
Keep in mind that in five turns of having just one follower with a size greater than one on the field, you are effectively saving yourself 5HP in the long term. This sort of thing is the difference between a sacrifice killing you or not.
Unfortunately though, as was briefly mentioned earlier, Nold's effect isn't exclusively a benefit to the player. It also has disadvantages in the form of adding size to your hand. This means that cards in your hand that may have been usable can no longer be played the following turn due to the increase of +1 size. If you need to pull a specific size spell or follower and this happens (The effect is RANDOM) it can completely end a game for you.
For this reason, it is important to always prioritize what cards you play in a field, and how many you leave in your hand to try and lower the chances other crucial cards won't get size boosted. For the same reason, it is also important to make very sure that any shuffle you make is absolutely necessary. The last thing you want is a hand full of size 6+ followers with no ability to play any card, and no shuffles to refresh your hand. This in effect locks you out of doing anything and limits you to taking one card per turn from your deck.
It also can be argued that the sheer fact that Nold's effect lowers size is a drawback. Yes I know we just talked about how lowering size is awesome, but it limits her ability to do damage via direct attacks. A mob of size 1 followers is cost effective, but they can only do 1 damage in a direct attack whereas higher size followers will do more obviously. There will undoubtedly be times when you will see a game you might have won, "If only that card's size hadn't been reduced" that attack would have killed. It will happen, but it's just something you have to cope with.
On a side note, lower size will also make you susceptible to the Academy Spell Mass Recall which auto destroys any cards with a size 3 or lower that are currently in the field. It can only be played once per game, but it can ruin you.
I'm not about to tell people exactly what cards to use, what your EXACT deck should be, or anything along those lines (At least, not in this first post. I may make a supplementary post later). What I WILL tell you is my theory behind what type of cards you may want to look into.
Here's where things get interesting. Now that we understand Nold's effect, we can apply it to cards. Nold gains the greatest benefit from cards that are at least size 2 and above. While size 1s such as Student Leader Layna can still be amazing in their own right, in general you are going to want to steer clear of size 1 cards as Nold's effect will only activate the negative aspect of the effect should the size 1 card be selected.
This does not mean I am giving anyone a thumbs up flood your deck with size 5s. What it does mean is that size 5s can now be played with size 4s, and then be supported by size 2 spells or followers the next turn if both cards survive the turn. The higher the size, the more reductions it can get, thus the more cost effective it can become. A size 5 that makes it down to size 1 is saving you 4HP when it finally dies! A size 2 that makes it down to size 1 only saves you 1 HP. Also keep in mind that any time your field is full of size 1 cards, the only aspect of Nold's effect that will activate is the adding +1 size to your hand portion of it.
As far as spells go, there is one spell that if you didn't carry before using Nold I am going to absolutely advise you to add to your deck. That spell is Shield Break. Anyone who has played a Crux deck probably knows about Knight Pintail. Knight Pintails effect is basically a free ticket to murder cards with size lower than 4 as it increases both her defense and attack by one each time she is attacked by any follower with a size lower than 4. Guess what kind of cards your field is going to be full of if you use Nold! Shield break puts a stop to Pintail's sillyness early on, or wrecks any momentum she had going if she snowballs out of control. For this reason alone you should be carrying 2-3 shield breaks at minimum in your deck.
I hope that in writing all this up I've made Nold look a bit more appealing for prospective users, though I haven't touched upon NEARLY as much as I have wanted to. There's a lot of text, and if you've read this far I thank you for putting up with all of that writing because I could go for even longer. Nold might not have the guaranteed or direct "in your face" effect of cards like Vernika or Cinia, but what she does have is the ability to set up for a lot of otherwise impossible field situations if you can stay alive long enough to execute it.
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