What's so special about the Eagle Wardens?
The Eagle Wardens are the first faction to have access to spirits and the totems that come with them. Totems are spells that attach to locations and can be used by any shaman that at the location including your opponents shamans. The spirits and totems have some movement effects, but mainly focus on adding token dudes to locations. The Nature Spirit has the same stats as a Gunslinger token and the Spirit Ancestor is a zero-stud 1 influence token. These tokens provide the Eagle Wardens with resilience in shootouts and plenty of influence to avoid losing the game quickly.
What to look out for:
- Tokens in shootouts - The Nature Spirit tokens can become a serious pain in shootouts. Any Eagle Wardens shaman that can join the fight and cast spirits, can add several bodies to the shootout beyond how many they started with. The Eagle Wardens will often stay in shootouts longer than most factions because they can absorb the casualties that most factions can't. Lydia Bear-Hands can also make one dude in her shootout Harrowed to soak an additional casualties or get one of your dudes sent home booted. If that isn't enough, Non Turning Back can be used on a token dude to bring casualties down to zero for the round if they were beaten too badly.
- Tokens on the table - The Ancestor Spirits are dudes that can only exist at the location they were brought into play. They leave the table if at the end of the turn or if they are sent away from the location. Their one influence can be annoying when they are holding your deeds, requiring you to go root them out or send enough influence to take back control of your locations. Meanwhile, their dudes are claiming additional deeds. Don't be surprised to see Nicodemus Whateley come in to play to use Ancestor Spirits for control points. The Ancestor Spirits are still zero-stud tokens, so your opponent will likely send them into shootouts with every intent to use them as disposable bodies just to protect their own dudes.
How do I deal with this nonsense?
- Remove the tokens - There aren't many cards that specifically pick on a large amount of low value dudes, but Zhu's Reward is a fine example of a card that can deal with the mass of token dudes easily. Shotguns and Soul Blasts can deal with the tokens during shootouts and Rumors can negate the influence that the Ancestor Spirits bring along. Under the Weather and Phantasm can move Ancestor tokens, making them leave the game. Puppet can just take control of the token and give you the influence instead.
- Remove the Shamans - The shamans holding on to the spirits should be an early priority. Even if you're just able to start a fight long enough to hit the shaman with Unprepared, you'll be able to keep him from casting any of those Ancestors from Many Speak as One. It will be tough to win a shootout with those tokens dying instead, so make sure you can win when you start a fight against the shamans.
- Remove the Totems - There isn't really much of a way to do this right now, except the Plasma Drill. The Plasma Drill can destroy the location if your opponent doesn't pay, but it's an incredibly difficult gadget to build and it likely won't see play, but it is an opportunity to send all the dudes home booted and discard anything attached to the location.