While most creatures that have growth-based (stat-increasing) abilities are offensive in nature, Lava Golem outshines them all with its high starting ATK. For 5 quanta, a player can command a Lava Golem to deal major damage (given supplemental quanta as well).
- Lava Golem’s ability, Growth, requires quanta to operate.
- Upon triggering its ability, Lava Golem gains +2
- +2 (or 2 ATK and 2 HP each).
- Its ability can be used once each turn.
Lava Golem, like many of the other Fire creatures, is centered around one concept: damage. Its upgrade, Lava Destroyer, gains two ATK in comparison (7|1 upped vs. 5|1 non-upped). Although its HP is fairly low, Lava Golem is the only creature capable of surviving CC based effects after using its ability Growth, gaining two more ATK and HP when activated. In other words, Lava Golem becomes stronger and more durable upon each activation of its skill, and from that, Lava Golem can easily become a powerhouse if played early in the game (and against opponents that lack CC).
It’s important to note that although Lava Golem’s ability requires quanta to operate, a single Stone Pillar (or even changing one’s mark into Earth) can fuel the Lava Golem’s skill. The very fact that Growth can be used repeatedly over the course of a battle is incredible; unless the opponent has an arsenal of cards to take down a Lava Golem when it has grown several times, very few cards are capable of stopping it.
Unfortunately, a Lava Golem isn’t completely immune to all forms of attacks (unless it is immortalized and affected by Momentum). The ability, Paradox, can be devastating to a Lava Golem (and most Fire creatures for that matter), as its CC effect is based on how high the creature’s ATK is compared to its HP. Antimatter can only halt the offensive growth for a short time, but cards such as Liquid Shadow and Acceleration can both lobotomize its Growth ability while slowly killing it (or outright killing it if it’s applied right after coming onto the field). Various spells and effects can help protect the Lava Golem if a player feels unsure about the opponent’s CC capabilities.
Because of it’s relatively moderate cost, Immolation | Cremation is a near perfect card to use alongside Lava Golem. From the quick burst of quanta (and 1 additional quanta as well), a player can set up very fast yet simple card combos that involve sacrificing cheap creatures (such as Photon) to play the Lava Golem as quickly as possible. In both upped and non-upgraded deck formats, this synergy can be unforgiving to enemy players due to the speed of the combo (assuming you get the required cards of course).
Surprisingly, while Lava Golem is a strong creature that can hold its own in a deck, Phoenix | Minor Phoenix has an almost symbiotic relationship with the Lava Golem. While the Phoenix is also capable of dealing decent damage, its main use is to also serve as additional Immolation fodder (to help generate more quanta), while also luring enemy CC onto it. With its ability to revive itself given one quanta (and cheap cost to play when upped), Phoenix is the ‘wingman’ to the Lava Golem, providing additional damage and quanta generation when combined with Immolation. These three cards are used so often in Fire-based decks that they are also known as Fire Rushes when placed together correctly, and can be incredibly efficient in taking down unsuspecting opponents.
Finally, Lava Golem can be very frail when it hits the field - a single Fire Shield can shut it down outright, while various other cards can kill it when one ends their turn. In this case, Plate Armor | Heavy Armor can grant the necessary health for your Lava Golem to survive a few extra hits or become immune to certain effects (such as Paradox and Devour). Because Plate Armor is from the Earth element, and is incredibly cheap (1 ), this combo is straightforward and helps bind the Earth-Fire synergy closer together.
Other Cards With Synergy
Various other creatures can work well in any deck that uses a Lava Golem, especially Graboids (which can use up excess & quanta (for Evolve)) and Sparks (Immolation fodder to generate the quanta for Lava Golem). Stat boosting effects such as Chaos Power or shield penetration from Momentum are also good spells to pair up with a Lava Golem, given its frail nature. And because Lava Golem is a high-priority target for many CC attacks, Quintessence is often used on the beast, and the Golem can gain absurd amounts of HP and ATK to obliterate your enemy’s HP down to zero. Support cards such as Earthquake and Explosion can also be used to help get rid of nasty shields/pillars that can affect the Lava Destroyer's ability to, well, destroy.
Lava Golem is one of the top creatures for dealing damage quickly and efficiently, and is one of the most loved (and despised) Fire creatures for its ability to melt the competition away. If you find yourself fighting against someone with multiple Lava Golems on the field, you should expect the game to end fast for you...
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