Codex: Law spec

The Flagstone Dominion (blue) faction is part of the Codex Deluxe set. Flagstone is the realm’s capital city, and a paragon of morality, due process, and family values. It’s also a bit of a totalitarian dystopia, but let’s not get bogged down in the details.

You might recognize Quince and Onimaru from my other games, but the Law hero, Bigby Hayes, is new in Codex. Bigby is an iron-fisted judge in the literal sense, and he’s very much in control of the courtroom—and his opponents.


Bigby’s art is intimidating, but his abilities might not look like much. Don’t let that fool you though, the Law spec is overall a control deck and when the pieces come together, it can really lock you down. Bigby having “stash” from level 1 helps you line up your card draws across turns to have the answers you need at the right times. Stash lets you replace one of the cards you WOULD draw next turn with a card that’s already in your hand this turn.

If you don’t have the answer you need, his max level ability lets you draw a card. When playing a control-style gameplan, digging for whatever the answer is to your current predicament can be a life-saver.

As a control spec, your first goal with Law is just to survive the early game. You have a lot of late game power, but you need some time to set it up. The blue starting deck cards aren’t as good at defense as some other decks, but they have some good tricks. (I’ll leave you to find those yourself later!) And notably, the blue starting deck has two cards in particular that are really strong later in the game. First, Reputable Newsman.


Flagstone’s news is more like propaganda, but it sounds so good when Reputable Newsman says it. He really gets in the opponent’s way, being a 0/3, so you can imagine him singing the praises of Chancellor Quince while you’re just trying to get past him. Gameplay-wise, his effect is powerful, but he requires you to know the game well. Sometimes later in the game, one of the main things you’re worried about losing to is an opposing hero’s ultimate spell (or possibly an upgrade). You can “pre-counter” that just by naming the appropriate cost with Newsman.


It looks like poor DeGrey is in jail for civil disobedience. Makes you wonder what’s behind that.

Jail is basically a way to stall that stays valuable throughout the game. Your opponent plays a unit but—oops—it goes to jail first, and whatever was already in jail gets released. The Jail is small, so it can only hold one unit at a time, even though that unit can be a Helpful Turtle or a an enormous Pirate Gunship. I wonder how the logistics of that work. Anyway when you get to late-game and you're racing to play a super powerful unit first, you’re happy to slow the opponent down with Jail.

Law’s tech I units are tailor-made to stall and set you up for stronger plays later—and who better to do that than this pair of bureaucrats?

They both cost 2 gold, and they give you some decent defenders. One can help you grow your gold reserves, while the other can help you get ahead on cards. 

One perk of Law is that even if a spell is outside your Jurisdiction, you can rig the laws to allow it anyway:


There's a lot of great properties there. You're basically able to play any spell from the other heroes on your team just by paying an extra 2 gold for it. That's more useful than it might even sound at first glance. This gives you access to a potential toolbox of effects that can solve whatever problems you're encountering at the moment. Usually when you want add a spell to your deck that will solve a problem, you have to do that a couple of turns before the problem arises. Jurisdiction turns into whatever you need at that moment. (In fighting game parlance, that's known as an "option select," which is also the name of a Puzzle Strike chip!) 

Let’s get to the part where you really start to exert some control though. Two Law spells in particular are great at this. First, Injunction.


Injunction really gums up their works. Let's compare it to when you destroy a tech building. In that case, that player will have to spend a turn rebuilding it before they can produce more units from it. They also have to wait a turn before they can build the next higher tech building. But when you use Injunction on a tech building, you force them wait for those things AND a bunch of their units can’t defend or attack for a turn. That can slow them down a lot, especially when you factor in that you might play a second copy of this spell on the following turn.

If you need a more permanent solution, Judge Bigby Hayes has a ruling for you:


This destroys all units on the table other than tech III units. It won’t kill heroes, but it’s devastating nonetheless. If your opponent overcommitted, you just made them waste all those resources. And unlike most ultimate spells, you CAN play this one as a comeback. Usually, you need to have a max level hero in play at the start of the turn in order to cast an ultimate spell. If you’re losing control of the battlefield, it will be hard to do that because even if you play a hero, then level it to max, your opponent will probably kill it before it’s your turn again. With Judgment Day though, you can play it the same turn you max your hero because it says so right on the card. So even if Bigby is in the command zone (not actually in play), you can summon him, level him to max, then cast Judgment Day all on the same turn.

You can strengthen your lock once you get to Law tech II.


The Censorship Council is there to keep our ears safe from anything potentially offensive. Gameplay-wise, it shuts down a whole bunch of strategies your opponents might have and it makes it hard for them to make a comeback if they start to get behind. Usually, you play about one thing per turn other than a worker anyway, but as soon as you get some kind of card draw (even if it’s from one of your patrollers dying in the technician slot) you want to play more. Even without extra card draw, you sometimes need to play more just to keep up. But your opponent CAN'T do that under the watchful eyes of Censorship Council. 

Law also happens to have a fantastic way to take care of whatever one thing the opponent plays:


You can’t resist that mustache. When Arresting Constable lives a turn, you’ll be able to exhaust him to lock down any unit other than a tech III. This is sort of like destroying that unit because you can keep doing that every turn, except if the opponent plays an even better unit, you can switch over to locking that one down instead.

Remember, it’s not JUST Arresting Constable at work here. Your opponent is already probably slowed down by Jail, had their forces wiped out by Judgment Day, and who knows what else. When they finally scrape together a decent threat, now it gets locked down forever. Control players: this is your time to shine.

When it comes to actually winning the game, you have a few choices. One is this handsome battering ram:


Justice will be done! The Justice Juggernaut is a good win condition for two reasons. First, it’s unstoppable so it can hit a base no matter how many patrollers the opponent has. You’re putting the opponent on a 5 turn clock with this unit alone, which is pretty long, but the controlly nature of Law makes that still viable. Second, Justice Juggernaut is so tough that it has to die twice before it really goes away. That means when you wipe the board with Judgment Day, the likely outcome is that all units go away EXCEPT your Justice Juggernaut!

If you want an even more fantastic way to win, go for the tech III:


While Lawbringer Gryphon is out, your BASE gets flying. Ground attackers won’t even be able to attack it at all unless they have anti-air. That’s really useful because even if you were about to lose a damage race, this can put your base out of reach and buy you the extra turns needed to win. The opponent will have to get rid of your Lawbringer Gryphon to be able to attack your base again, but that’s pretty difficult to do considering the Gryphon is also flying and it has resist 2. As soon as you attack with this Gryphon, the devastation begins. It will only take 3 attacks to deal enough damage to win, and each of those times your opponent will lose FOUR units. That's a crazy amount of power, but if you're able to spend 10 gold on a tech III, then you probably already won anyway. Might as well do it in style.

If you want to be in total control, Judge Bigby Hayes and the Law spec might be for you.