Cloaks Logic / Cunning is represented in a deck that builds up to its biggest trick, making the opponent Summoner disappear in one shot.
Logic is represented through several cards that improve units and as a consequence their ability-copying Summoner. Cunning is represented through a lot of tricks that allow its built-up units to reach where they need to be and survive the ordeal of getting there.
Cloaks is a very versatile deck that can play a lot of strategies, from the extreme swarm offensive, to an absolute defense, to an economy game based on overpowered stacked-up units.
But behind all of that noise, its biggest weapon is the ever-present potential to assassinate the opponent Summoner from nowhere.
As the most versatile faction released so far, it is hard to talk about basic strategy with Cloaks because their basic strategy is “all of them”. It really depends too much on the match-up, cards drawn and game flow. But let’s talk about the tools this faction has for each of the 3 basic gameplay styles that exist in Summoner Wars.
Cloaks can play a fast offensive game, thanks to their overall cheap cost, having a solid starting setup, and lots of mobility, thus able to quickly reach the opponent's side and even the opponent Summoner, while using survival tricks to keep things going. Rustside Bandits with their cheap cost and high life can easily take spots, supported by Guild Gunners that allow units to reach their destinations faster. If Cloaks can create enough pressure, they can force the opponent Summoner into a bad spot to then land a game-ending Out of Shadows.
When playing defensively, Cloaks can realize the full potential of Guild Machinists since it’s easier to have movements to spare when in defense. Vlox+Machinist on the defense can allow Cloaks to have an unfair number of attacks to dismantle enemy offensives. In addition to that, it is dangerous to bring the Summoner close to the offensive lines versus Vlox since one mistake can easily be all that is needed for Vlox to surround and kill a forward-playing Summoner.
Cloaks have two main ways to win an attrition war against any faction.
The first is to buff a unit with one or two "pieces of equipment" in the form of Hand Cannon and Moto Boots, then copying that unit with Vlox. Thus having a “super unit” and an overpowered Vlox to out-value the enemy.
The second is simply making use of Guild Snipers and Gunners' abilities to poke the enemy units while offering only the cheap but tough Rustside Bandits in return.
The core unit of the Cloaks, providing extra movement in every attack phase and not only having its own good offensive stats, but also able to use its ability to put Rustside Bandits in front of them for protection.
Guild Gunners have a lot of uses, from poking and getting protected by Bandits, to helping units to steal places after an attack, to reaching otherwise impossible places.
The efficiency of Gunners is extremely high and no matter your strategy you will want to use Guild Gunners for their stats and extra movement.
The brawler of the deck, working more on defense for damage and on offense for movement. Be careful because they are very expensive for their stats, summoning only 1 or 2 Guild Machinists is reasonable in many games. This is especially true because a big part of their value is giving Vlox a very good ability to copy. However, its statline is poor and its ability is not always easy to use. If you can’t find a way to use its ability, (not an uncommon situation) then summoning a Machinist can be a very bad decision.
However, if the positioning is right or you have Moto Boots, then a Machinist can allow you to perform extra attacks to quickly tear down the enemy. When playing on offense, you can use Machinists to steal positions by moving after killing a key enemy unit.
This event can be nasty, creating horrible turns for your opponent, often thanks to Guild Gunner or Out of Shadows, you can put a unit (even a champion) in the middle of the enemy frontline, and then use Smoke Bomb to nullify your opponent's turn. So often a must-use event as it is so capable for Cloaks in shutting down opponent effectiveness. Remember, if you just manage to prevent a single attack from your opponent, and force your opponent to only do 2 attacks, it is already worth it.
Smoke Bomb is also a great tool to protect your units that have Moto Boots and Hand Cannons, which will otherwise be priority targets for your opponent.
This event is hard to use, because it’s expensive and if you get only one use then often it is not worth it. However, sometimes it’s still worth it anyway, especially when Vlox will be copying the unit with the boots.
Generally the best use of Moto Boots is on a Guild Sniper or Gunner that can safely use it while Vlox can copy that unit to use it also. However, because of how well it combines with Machinist, often they are the best target, especially when they can be covered by a Smoke Bomb.
In a way the easiest champion of the Cloaks to use because she is so inexpensive. Dagger can go from good to extremely good, her cheap cost + Sly + 3 damage is already good enough, giving you decent stats and all the advantages of Sly. But when she can use and abuse Backstab, she can get crazy, especially with Out of Shadows.
Dagger can create the triple backstab to a summoner that works like this:
Get Dagger behind the target and attack, Sly with a Rustside Bandit and attack, Sly the Bandit for Vlox that has copied Dagger and attack. And you now have 10 dice on the enemy summoner. This probably will require Moto Boots or the help of a Gunner or Out of Shadows if you skip the Bandit attack.
As being very good value, always try to summon Dagger, even if you don’t plan to Backstab, but for sure go for it if you can.
Cloaks is a tremendously versatile deck with a massive threat of assassination thanks to Out of Shadows and a lot of tricks. No matter the plan that threat should be a part of the menu, but Cloaks can play any strategy in the game thanks to their versatility.
The fact that they can change and adapt to the opponent is their major strength.
But no matter what you do, if your opponent does not have to fear the ever-looming threat of their Summoner or big champion being surrounded and killed, then Cloaks are not fulfilling their full potential.
You can ping from afar while protecting your units, rush your opponent and put them against the back row or use Guild Machinists and multiple tricks to surround and outflank the enemy units, always ready to jump on the opponent Summoner for the kill if it makes a misstep.
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