- Type: Human Hero
- Crystal Affinity: Citrine, Sapphire
- Unique Actions: Crossbow, Arrest Warrant, Tax Collector
- Potions: Bound by Law
- Movement Points: 6
- Action Points: 3
- Strength: 3B (Melee: 1)
- Armor: 3B (Defense)
- Willpower: 1B 1R
- Dexterity: 2B
- Hearts: 5
- Potion Quantity: 1
Stats: The Royal Warden has average offense of 3B STR and defense of 3B ARM. He has average 2B DEX for a STR hero, but this is increased to an average offense of 3B DEX when used with Crossbow. He has Tough, which allows him to remove a wound during his upkeep. His stats are below average compared to other heroes, which is the cost of his versatility and the utility he brings to the party.
Abilities: Crossbow allows the Warden to increase his offense to an average 3B DEX to perform a missile 6 attack. As it is a unique action, the Warden cannot use Crossbow when inflicted by Ice. Likewise, his base 2B DEX still makes him vulnerable to attacks that target his DEX.
Arrest Warrant increases the Warden's offense to 2B1R (2.5 avg/7 max) DEX to perform a missile 6 Pull 6 attack. Pull 6 can be powerful as it can allow the Warden to Pull a monster away from the party as they advance or retreat. It can be used to Pull monsters in Classic through negative Tile effects. In Arcade it may be used to Pull Elites away from their gangs to remove their minion support. However, due to the Warden's low starting DEX, Arrest Warrant can have trouble hitting high defense targets unless the Warden's DEX is increased appropriately. Consider using Arrest Warrant to Pull monsters with active Auras away from other monsters to reduce the Aura's effectiveness.
Tax Collector increases the Warden's offense to 3B1R (3.17 avg/9 max) STR to perform a melee 1 attack that allows the party to draw one Loot if successful regardless if the monster is destroyed. This can be powerful over the course of the game, if used every activation. Additional Loot can help the party optimize their equipment, trade for powerful Treasure, or summon Pets. Spawn points are often a favorite target for Tax Collector as they typically have low defense, cannot retreat, and an objective the heroes need to defeat anyway! In SDE 2.0, the Warden will typically have between 6-9 activations in a 3-4 hero party over 12 MMC turns before the Spawn Dungeon Boss Consul Command is reached, so on average, Tax Collector will generate Loot equivalent to defeating all the monsters from a single spawning point, but can potentially generate more Loot than defeating all the monsters generated from linked spawning points. Note that the heroes will still collect Loot from monsters defeated by Tax Collector as normal.
In most cases, the Warden will want to prioritize Tax Collector and the party may want to leave low defense monsters and spawn points for the Warden to attack to generate additional Loot.The party should prioritize giving the Warden loot to improve his offense to consistently wound monsters, which is generally not an issue as long as Tax Collector is consistently providing the party additional Loot. Crossbow gives the Warden access to missile attacks so he is not forced to engage in melee with monsters he is not equipped to deal with. Tough allows the Warden to survive light wounds without devoted healing, but he does not have sufficient stats and skills to fulfill a devoted Tank role. With sufficient offense, he can delay monsters by using Arrest Warrant to Pull them away from the Party and using his potion to inflict Immobile to prevent the monster from moving during its next activation or Pull ranged monsters into melee of the hero party to focus attacks without needing to move into a Consul fortified position.
Potion: Bound by Law is a support potion that may be used by any hero to inflict Immobile at a monster in Range 6 with a STR vs STR roll. It should primarily be used by STR heroes to increase its chance of success. It is generally weaker in Arcade as all monsters have STR, which can be higher than its Classic counterpart. Otherwise Bound by Law tends to be stronger against ranged monsters that do not use STR as an offense stat.
Note that models that are inflicted with Immobile may still perform actions and attack during their activation.
Although Immobile became a status effect in SDE 2.0, it did not lose effectiveness because it was originally worded to only affect the model's next activation.
Strategy: The Warden is a hybrid melee missile Utility/Control STR/DEX hero. He does not have access to AOE, but his unique offensive actions allow him to use his DEX for missile attacks and Pull monsters. He provides utility in generating Loot for the heroes without defeating monsters, which can be extremely powerful. He will typically use Tax Collector to generate loot whenever possible. Otherwise he will use Crossbow or Arrest Warrant for missile attacks. Bound by Law may be used to inflict Immobile on a target if the heroes have sufficient STR and may be comboed with Arrest Warrant to position the monster, for example in a negative tile effect. This may be difficult on a high defense target since the Warden may split offense between STR and DEX.
Equipment/Buffs: The Warden needs STR to improve his melee offense for Tax Collector and Bound by Law potion. He needs DEX to improve his Crossbow and Arrest Warrant. Finally, he can use ARM to improve his defense. Unfortunately the Warden does not have stat synergy and as such, he may want to focus primarily on STR or DEX and maintain enough ARM to survive. If he does choose to focus on both STR and DEX, he will typically want to obtain enough STR to use Tax Collector consistently since another STR hero can use Bound by Law and then focus DEX to allow him to use Crossbow from a safer distance and use Arrest Warrant when needed. If the Warden does focus on DEX, Tax Collector may not be able to hit consistently enough to be of benefit and the party may be better off bringing a devoted missile DEX hero. The Warden will typically never need WILL.
Giving the Warden additional action points allows him to use his Control and Utility actions multiple times per activation. He can Arrest Warrant a monster to him, move, and then Arrest Warrant them again. As long as the Warden has enough defense to survive the monster's attacks and stay healthy with Tough, he can potentially remove a monster from the fight and let the party focus on objectives. Additional action points allow him to use Tax Collector twice per activation, which can quickly give the party an edge as long as he consistently has targets he can hit.
As he lacks any AOE, consider giving him equipment that gives him access to AOE so it can be used when needed.
The Warden will often feel lackluster due to his lower starting stats, but once Tax Collector gets rolling,
Limitations: The Warden suffers from having no single primary stat to unify his toolkit, relatively low offense stats compared to other heroes, and no AOE. Despite every unique action improving his offense, most Blasters can field an offensive attack of at least 3.5 avg stars and Tax Collector only reaches 3.17 avg stars and Arrest Warrant only reaches 2.5 avg stars, which is on par with the basic missile basic attack for most offensive DEX heroes. Although he has Tough, he lacks the toolkit to be a devoted Tank and has average defense so he's no tougher to defeat in a single Consul activation compared to other heroes. Most of his value is tied up in Tax Collector, which can struggle to reliably hit against high defense monsters without focusing on STR. He lacks a basic missile attack, so he is especially vulnerable to Ice, which forces him to use his basic melee attack.
Tax Collector can be difficult to mitigate for the Consul outside of selecting high defense monsters or keeping weak defense monsters out of melee range or the Warden. As the Warden has access to missile attacks, he is difficult to completely avoid, but he will typically be weaker compared to dealing with a devoted missile DEX hero.
Party: The Warden is typically easiest to use as the STR hero focused on Tax Collector in a balanced party that has access to AOE and Healing. He prefers to be in 3 hero parties to get more activations to use Tax Collector, but partying with another STR hero, more typical in a 4 hero party, allows him the flexibility to focus on DEX and have another hero utilize his Bound by Law potion.
Warden FK vs. 2.0: The Warden lost a lot of effectiveness with the SDE 2.0 changes to status effects since his Bound by Law potion can no longer be used to inflict Immobile on multiple monsters and leave them stuck away from the heroes. Tax Collector is still a very strong skill, and gains value with the SDE 2.0 option to trade Loot for Treasure or spend it to summon Pets. It can be advantageous in Arcade where heroes may need to discard Loot to resolve the Consul Plot. The Warden's low base DEX was originally intended to reduce his ability to perform actions in Forgotten King like Pick Locks to open treasure chests, but are no longer relevant in SDE 2.0.