Iridium Warden is a utility creature capable of stunning and damaging enemy creatures via the Guard ability, depending on whether they are airborne and if the Warden is capable of dealing damage to the opponent (i.e. - buffed).
- Iridium (Vanadium) Warden only costs 1 to play and only 1 to use its ability, Guard
- The Guard ability will delay any creature that is targeted for one turn, but cannot attack the enemy player that same turn.
- Wardens can only damage (or heal!) non-airborne creatures via Guard if given a spell to buff (invert) their ATK.
- The Warden’s ability delay can stack multiple times on the same creature.
For only 1 quanta, players can deploy the sturdy Iridium Warden (or the upgraded Vanadium Warden). Looking at its stats at first glance is a bit worrisome however. Both cards have 0 ATK, and the HP isn’t particularly spectacular for either version (3 and 6 respectively). But upon looking down further, players will definitely note its ability, Guard. For only 1 quanta, the Warden can target a creature and delay it that turn, given the sacrifice of being unable to attack the opponent (the Warden is also delayed that turn as well).
Note that the delay occurs no matter if the creature targeted is airborne or not, meaning that six Wardens can technically block six enemy creatures (assuming they can be targeted and given enough quanta), making the skill a 1:1 ratio as a soft CC. Also, the Guard ability has the unique effect of delay stacking - if multiple Wardens use Guard on the same creature, the creature will be delayed for the amount of times affected by the Guard ability. Thus, multiple Wardens can lock down enemy (or ally) key creatures for an extensive period of time more than freezing effects (and the delay from Basilisk Blood).
What players should also keep in mind is that the Guard ability has other several tricks up its sleeve. Wardens can cause damage via Guard if the Warden has a positive ATK value (otherwise, they only deal the default 0 damage). Conversely, if the Warden’s ATK is negative (via Antimatter), the Guard ability will actually increase the target creature’s full HP and recover its current HP by the inverted ATK amount. In either case, Wardens cannot affect the HP of airborne creatures (the delay is only applied), and if the Warden has the Adrenaline status, all of the remaining attacks after using the Guard skill will attack the enemy player instead.
Blessing | Improved Blessing is a perfect candidate for either Warden, as the spell increases the Warden’s durability and offensive prowess for both versions. With 3 ATK, several dangerous creatures can be killed or brought down by other means, and an upped Warden with 9 HP can be fairly resistant towards various CC effects, requiring the enemy to sling multiple attacks at the warden to take it out. In addition to this, the Blessing can set the Warden up perfectly with Adrenaline to deal damage to the enemy player after using Guard (as the status will help remove the backfire delay from using Guard).
Surprisingly, the Otyugh | Elite Otyugh can gain a major benefit while paired up with the Warden. As the Warden stuns and damages enemy creatures, Otyughs can follow up as the cleaning crew eating whatever is within their range via Devour (and if that fails, the Otyughs can also eat the Wardens as well). The combo helps reinforce the duo synergy between the Earth and Gravity elements, and can often become a nasty tag-team of creature control if the Warden and Otyugh are well protected (or highly buffed to be durable).
Although Basilisk Blood | Basilisk Blood cannot stack repeatedly on the same creature (in terms of the delay effect), the Warden’s delay can actually prolong the delay effect on the creature (increasing it to a near 7 turns of delay). Both cards can be used in a Mono-earth deck and can be set-up with very little quanta (“BB” costs 2 or 1 based on the version), and provide multiple tactics to stall enemy creatures while assembling an offensive.
Other Cards With Synergy
Likewise, beneficial spells such as Adrenaline, Momentum, and Chaos Power will serve either Warden well. The unupped Rage Potion can be used conservatively on the Vanadium Warden (it only deals 5 damage in exchange for a 5 ATK boost) to turn it into a pseudo-Lightning on a stick. In rare trio or rainbow decks, Flesh Spider and Phase Spider can be useful alongside the Warden as their Web abilities can help bring Airborne creatures down into the Warden’s range to help deal damage to them. And if players don’t care about the Warden’s CC skills, the card can turn into Immolation fodder.
For being cheap, unorthodox, and relatively tactical, players should try to explore the unique possibilities of the Warden in their decks, especially ones that provide spell-buffs or lack any type of creature control.
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