Board Gaming, Strategeries

Thunderstone Focus: Intelligent & Graceful

Today you get a two-for!

Intelligent is a set that lives up its name. Anyone can trash cards. This hero adds the crucial “for fun and profit” angles.

Intelligent Level 1 gives you a respectable 4 Strength and Physical Attack +1 for 5 gold. Meh. It’s Lorigg that doesn’t produce Gold or glow. You’re paying for the ability.  React: After a card is destroyed, add Physical Attack +2. This has the potential to be outstanding, and it has the potential to whiff. A lot of early deck-thinners (like Aeon) destroy things in the Village, where a Physical Attack bonus is going to do you exactly zero good. At this point, Intelligent is only reacting to the destruction, not causing it, which means you will have to have a combo to trigger it. Drua is good for this, as are…Battle abilities on Monsters that destroy things! You can actually go into a losing fight and know that you’re going to come out ahead. Let’s say you go into the Dungeon with 2 of these guys, a Regular and a Longspear. 4 Attack. You get to draw a card, sure, but 4 Attack is pretty limiting in what it can kill. The Monster in question destroys a Weapon. Both Intelligents capitalize on the effect, raising you to Physical Attack +7, which beats a LOT more Monsters. If you’re dealing with Clerics that destroy Diseases, this works even better, as you can hit a 3 point swing turning a -1 penalty into a +2 attack bonus.  Intelligent removes the “cost” of any proactive thinners. While it’s true that you can only use a React once per turn, if you have multiples of them, each can use their own ability. This makes Intelligent a little bit weaker in the Epic variant.

Intelligent Jack, the Level 2 gets that sweet 5 Strength, a Physical Attack of +2 and a cost of 9. His React ability is still there and hasn’t changed, but he has picked up a new ability, Dungeon: Destroy 1 card. Now you’ve always got a trigger for his ability, and in mid-game, you probably still have plenty of decent fodder for it. Moreso if you’re playing with some of the Curse-happy cards from Root of Corruption, or Monsters that give Diseases. This card also has one of the cooler names in Thunderstone. “Intelligent Jack” sounds like someone you’ve heard of. You don’t know him, but a friend of a friend hangs out with him sometimes. He gets into some weird situations, and he maybe mouths off a bit too much when he’s been drinking, but he’s a smart guy who has talked himself out of a pickle or two.

Enhanced Intelligent Jack goes to Physical Attack +3, with a Strength of 5 and a cost of 12. He’s also picked up 2 VP. He still destroys a card as a Dungeon action, but now when he does so, his React provides Physical Attack +4 and 2 Light. Without other sources of Light, this is a kinda-sorta like an additional pseudo Attack bonus of 2-4, which is pretty rad. At that point, 7 Physical Attack and 2 Light from a single card is going to go a very long way, even if you’ve killed a card for it.

This is a hero set you have to have an active plan for. Unlike say Criochan, who you just point at things and bark “Kill!” If you’re playing standard Thunderstone, you want to go in heavy on this set to really be able to capitalize on multiple Reacts to a single Destruction. It can be a shaky strategy, because there will be times when you don’t draw anything you want to destroy, and no Monsters want to kill you either. As the name suggests, a little research goes a long way with this guy. Know your Monsters, know your triggers, and ask your doctor if Intelligent is right for you.


In Graceful, we wanted a more tactical Fighter than your standard HULK SMASH variety.


Graceful Level 1 costs 6 Gold, with Physical Attack +1 and 4 Strength. Ugh. Those are Thief stats right there. Only +1 Attack, and a Fighter with less than 5 Strength. He does however have the trait Add Physical Attack +2 while fighting a Monster with a Battle effect. So he’s conditionally a +3 Physical Attack, which is pretty outstanding for 6 gold. It’s a bit dicey, as there are many Battle effects you’d really would prefer not to have to deal with, but there are also many that you couldn’t care less about. He doesn’t care if it effects you, only that it is there at all. He’s decent. Pending the Monster groups, his value fluctuates, but honestly, he’s hitting more often than not, even if for no other reason that investing in him guides you to crash into Monsters that trigger his bonus.


Graceful Glaive picks up that necessary 5th Strength, cost increases to 9. He now is Physical Attack +2, but adds Physical Attack +4 when fighting a Monster with a Battle effect. This makes him +6 at level 2 provided you can meet his conditions, which is pretty easy to do. +6 at 2nd level is better than most of the other beatsticks, like Criochan from Towers of Ruin, or Disowned, from Caverns of Bane. Bear in mind he can still carry a weapon on top of this. This is why you invest in the stack in the first place.


Enhanced Graceful Glaive is the pinnacle of Fighter evolution. 6 Strength is enough to carry most weapons. 13 gold cost is reasonable if you get the chance to pay it. 2 VP is pretty standard for a level 3. Physical Attack +3 is pretty weak, but it gets better. He adds Physical Attack +5 when fighting a Monster with a Battle OR Aftermath effect. The conditions that trigger his bonus just got a lot wider. He’s pretty consistently +8 while naked. Furthermore, he’s immune to Battle and Aftermath effects. This is kind of a big deal. He doesn’t get weakened by things that drain Strength, making him drop Weapons. He ignores anything that says “discard” or “destroy” which declaws a LOT of nasties.


He’s an all around solid guy, but there aren’t a whole lot of combos with him. There’s one that does merit mention though, Enhanced Graceful Glaive can hang out with the Disowned Reaver, who normally murders all of your other people to death. Considering that she’s normally an all-in solo strategy, it’s pretty cool that she doesn’t HAVE to be the only hero in your deck. While not a member of the “Can Probably Solo a Bad Guy” club, Graceful is pretty awesome and totally worth getting in on the stack for.




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