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Cardiology: Restless Prize

Decision: Should You Play Restless Prize?

TL;DR:

If you plan on doing anything with objective tokens, you should play this.  Even if you're not, your opponent probably is, and you should play this.  You should play this.

Factor: Home Alone


Let's get something out of the way: Restless Prize is a good card.  We're going to look at it in a few different ways, but if you ever begin to have doubts about the overall theme of the article, refer back here.  Restless Prize is a good card.

To start, we want to take a look at the things that Restless Prize can do on its own.  Obviously, it can move an objective out from under an opposing fighter or put one underneath your fighter.  If you're lucky, you might be able to do both at the same time, effectively swinging the held-objectives count by 2 in your direction.  There are a number of reasons to want to do this (we'll look at some more later), but for right now we're going to focus on scoring glory. 

You can use Restless Prize to set up objective scores for cards like Supremacy, Temporary Victory, Dug In, and Envious Acquisition.  You can also use it to deny your opponent the ability to score those same kinds of objectives.  But there's also a different way you can use it to set up scoring opportunities.

Let's say you've got 2 Christmas Aelves left, Gallanghan and Ylthari having fallen to Rippa early on in the game.  You're holding Reclaim the Lamentiri, but unfortunately you've got 3 objectives on your side of the board.  The solution: bump one of those objectives onto your opponent's board.


You can use a similar method to set up for Swift Capture before your activation, or to deny your opponent one of those objectives.  Conversely, if you've managed to set up boards in such a way that all the objectives are in one player's territory, you can use Restless to set up for a super-easy Lamintiri or Swift Capture score.

Before we get into combo plays, let's make sure to take note of a couple of minor details.  First, you can move objective tokens into starting hexes with Restless Prize, so Sepulchral Guard and Spiteclaw's Swarm can respawn directly onto objectives.  Second, Restless Prize may occasionally be able to set up situations where two objective tokens are adjacent to each other; while this isn't earth-shaking, it is handy for a couple of edge-case uses.

Factor: Lethal Weapon


While the above uses of Restless Prize are probably enough to justify including it in a lot of decks on their own, the real strength of the card begins to show when you use it in combination with other cards.  Now, a warning: Shadespire is not a combo-friendly game.  Having only one copy of a given card in your deck, along with the limited nature of card draw in Shadespire, makes it unwise to depend on combos to win your game.  However, if both of the cards in your "combo" are good on their own, you're not losing anything by being aware of potentially strong interactions.

A good example of this kind of "two-good-cards" combo would be Restless Prize and Lethal Ward.  Both are seeing play on their own, and they can be used together to set up an unexpected sniper shot against a key model.  Similarly, if you're playing Keen Avarice or Shifting Reflection, you can set up surprise plays with Restless Prize that make these already powerful cards even more potent.  Jealous Defense is already a very powerful card, but it gets even better if you can use Restless Prize to set it up when your opponents least expect it.

Our personal favorite card to pair with Restless Prize, however, is Irresistible Prize; you can bump an objective up to two hexes, then drag multiple models along with it.   To show just how big of a change this can be, let's take a look at a graphical representation.



Here, the yellow hex represents the starting position of the objective token.  You can bump it to any hex within the blue area, then push models within the red area.  That's quite a range of options for moving multiple models as you like.  You can use this trick to mass-retreat your troops, drag your opponent's models forward or back, or disrupt/set up multiple objective-holds.  It's not quite Great Concussion, but it's about as close as you're going to get right now. 

Factor: Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 (A Warning)


American Thanksgiving has just passed, and with it came an all new episode of "Til Death Do Us Blart" a podcast in which five of the funniest men in the world watch Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 once a year, every year, until the end of linear time.  It's quite possibly the best thing on the internet right now.  But here's the catch: Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 is not funny.  Talking about it is funny; thinking about it is funny; but watching it is decisively not

Restless Prize is a lot like Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 in this sense.  It's a great card to pick apart and dream up new clever uses for.  And it's a great card to play in just about any deck.  But it doesn't necessarily feel game-changing when you play it.  It's subtle.  To put it another way, we recently came across a comment in the Shadespire facebook group that read something like "I've lost way more games to Distraction than I have to Rebound."  This is probably true for almost all of us, but we remember the games we lose to Rebound and not the ones we lose to Distraction - because Distraction is subtle and Rebound is anything but. Friend of the site Derek Traquair (Kaptain Murder) probably put it best when he said: "You've lost exactly as many games to Rebound as you remember."

You're unlikely to remember a game-shattering interaction coming off of Restless Prize.  Most of the time it's going to score you a glory or two or rob your opponent of the same.  Just try to remember, it's glory that wins you the game.  It's small the cumulative sum of hundreds of small decisions and effects that swing a game from a loss into a win.  And Restless Prize is a fantastic card in terms of the number of small, subtle changes it can effect in any given situation.  Try it out and see if you're ever disappointed to draw it; our guess is that you won't be.  (You will be disappointed if you let the McElroy brothers talk you into actually watching Paul Blart Mall Cop 2, though.)

Summary

Restless Prize is super versatile, provides a solid effect on it's own, and sets you up to make unexpectedly strong plays out of nowhere.  It's not showy or obviously game breaking though.  It's less of a "Die Hard" Alan Rickman and more of a "Love Actually" Alan Rickman - it's not going to hijack a skyscraper, but it'll still destroy someone before the movie's over.

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