Lieutenant Galswynn made a splendid figure upon his pegasus, and he knew it. Being promoted into the Spearcliff Wing had been just the right career move - now the only thing he needed to do was survive this darn war. Being sent to protect the princess' uncle on yet another scientific exploration left mixed feelings with him. This should have been an easy assignment, but tongues twittered that Sir Timotheus Hibbernathy had a knack for getting into trouble.
He was snagged roughly out of his reveries when his winged horse cried out. Some rough-looking bum with an eye patch over his left eye had just jerked at his saddle, almost throwing him to the ground. His attempt to hold on to the saddle thorn left him in a less than elegant position.
Nearly choking from anger he looked into the calm scar-pitted face of a total stranger. "Your cinches weren't fastened properly. Could be fatal, that," the stranger said. "And is that rust I spot on your sword?"
With that the stranger clad in old, cracked leathers turned away to apparently inspect the rest of the troop.
Galswynn nearly choked on his rage, so all he could sputter out was: "Who, what, who... I'll see that man hanged!"
"I would advise against that, sir!" Sergeant Fitz, his wing sergeant who seemingly had appeared out of nowhere, replied. "That is Augustine."
"Augustine? Who in the Kraken's arse is that?"
Fitz quizzically looked up at the young lieutenant, before he responded, "A living legend, sir. In a forlorn battle, he is the man you want to have by your side. He's done it again and again. That axe is carrying? People say he forged it in a Dwarven forge himself, after he killed 'em stunties all. Nearly no survivors to his own side either. We can count ourselves lucky to have him along."
Galswynn darkly looked at the receding figure, "We'll see about that, we'll see."
Augustine is one of the two account-bound mercenaries everybody is likely to get early in the Alachian Sea. His powers are very much straightforward and lend themselves towards a troop-oriented slug-fest:
Galvanize - BASIC (3) -> Target troop you control gets +2/+2
Bold Determination - Troops with control with ATT4 or more have Steadfast
Upgraded: Overpowering Blows - Troops you control with ATT6 or more have Crush.
Deckbuilding: Can't include Underworld troops in your deck
The first deck is quite high-end and requires you to own three of Lady Cassandra and the corresponding equipment:
Deck: In Death Ground Fight!
Diamond Shard x7
Ruby Shard x3
Sapphire Shard x5
Carloth Cobblestone x4
Well of Innovation x2
Well of Purpose x2
Lady Cassandra x3 [modular breastplate] [ring of the queensguard] : Major Ruby of Twinstrike | Minor Ruby of Wind
Spearcliff Cloud Knight x3
Lord Benjamin, the Wise x2
Highlands Shinobi x3
War Prodigy x3 [dragon crest treads]
Pious Paladin x3
Hero of Legend x2
Royal Cutblood x3
Diligent Counselor x3 [counselor's staff]
Town Crier x1
Rallying Banner x1 [banner-bearing handwraps]
Spectral Acorn x1
Combat Training x2
Pride's Fall x3 [humble king's crown]
Soul of Battle x2
The basic strategy of this deck is to get your double thresholds quickly via Cassandra and then boost the entire deck with War Prodigies, gaining the Steadfast and then Crush abilities for everybody. It certainly helps that Cassandra has Swiftstrike herself and cannot be targeted.
Many of the remaining troops like Pious Paladin or Highlands Shinobi also have Swiftstrike in order to eliminate enemies attracted by the work of the Diligent Counselor quickly.
Pride's Fall eliminates all too problematic opponents, an early Lord Benjamin will help you to get to your troops quicker and Royal Cutblood serves to thread through impenetrable defenses. If your opponent does not have hard removal, she may make a difference you need.
Soul of Battle is a finishing move the AI hardly ever sees coming - a pumped up quadruple damage Cassandra or an unblockable high-ATK Royal Cutblood will certainly decide most battles.
What can be done to improve the deck?
There certainly is room for experimentation. Combat Training works well to get high-ATK, Cassandra, Benjamin or the Cutblood are likely to get their attacks through again and again, but it's not a necessity. Neither are Town Crier, Repel (in there against rush decks) or Rallying Banner. Let me know what you come up with to shore up this deck!
If you are on a budget, Augustine still delivers!
Deck: Quickness is the essence of war!
Shard of Conquest x4
Ardent Recruiter x4 [ardent chestplate]
Ruby Pyromancer x4
Vanguard of Gawaine x4
Wounded War Hero x4 [old reliable]
Wise Magistrate x2
Jags the Blademaster x2
Ardent Officer x4
Exalted Knight x3 [treads of the exalted]
Burn x4 [conflagration handguards]
Pride's Fall x3 [humble king's crown]
Rally of Kings x2
This deck doesn't rely on any cards over 100pp, even though Exalted Knight is an essential piece and its equipment may come close to that, but all other cards can be bought easily, earned in campaign or be replaced without problems.
The goal in this deck is to get troops out quickly and overwhelm the opponent early. For obvious reasons this deck is centered on the Wounded War Hero and his favorite weapon, Old Reliable, but Ardent Recruiter (which you get in packs from running the Usurper dungeon as an Ardent hero) is about as essential for your first hand as it gets. Once the Recruiter is in play, all other troops have a reduced cost and you should be able to attack quickly - especially if you have the Exalted Knight out, giving all your troops Speed. On top of that the Recruiter's equipment has him grow in power every time another Ardent troop enters the field on your side.
Burn and Pride's Fall are important to get rid of early obstacles to your relentless attacks, while Wise Magistrate prevents your opponent from flooding the battlefield with numerous small troops.
For the PvEntry player
If even on a tighter budget than the deck outlined above, you can cut out the rares entirely (although Exalted Knight IS a cornerstone of this deck), and include cards like Battlefield Ironsmith (who unfortunately is an Orc, and therefore does not work as well with Wounded War Hero), Dawn Scout (which cannot be blocked by Underworld troops), Royal Herald (to help with getting the right threshold, especially if you are playing double threshold troops like Wise Magistrate after all), Protectorate Clergyman, or Sentry of Gawaine.
In the place of Rally of Kings you may well employ For the Ardent, which can be found in the Alachian Sea.
For the PvElite player
There are several options to improve this deck quickly. First is to replace the Shards of Conquest with Carloth Cobblestones.
Jags is not an essential, nor is Ruby Pyromancer or Wise Magistrate. You can easily replace these with Protectorate Defenders (Major Diamond of the Ardent or Major Ruby of Impulse), Ardent Crusader (abiding the ten differently named troops restriction), Hero of Legend or Royal Falconer. Even a Gore Feast of Kog'Tepetl might work well in such a deck.
Augustine is straightforward and quite forgiving to a tweak here and there.
Now, go on and vanquish the Underworld!