Garus Rook, the stone golem, is a long-time friend of the lawyer Jefferson DeGrey. A VERY long-time friend, in fact, because both of them are unnaturally long-lived. They lived through an earlier history where a totalitarian government ruled, and they see the seeds of it growing again. This time around, DeGrey urged Rook to help unite the people by inspiring them through an Olympic-style competition that we now know as Fantasy Strike.
Rook also heads up the Morningstar Sanctuary, the seat of power for the Whitestar Order. This sanctuary is a land of do-as-you-please, in that personal freedoms and creative expression are at a maximum. Rook’s strength of character is notable, and so is his physical strength in combat. Rook is the Whitestar Order’s Strength hero:
Rook’s first level ability, though blank, is still one of the most powerful in the game. It’s actually that he’s a 2/4 at level 1—the only hero in the game with those stats. At mid-level he bowls over a lone patroller, and max level he gets a second life. You have to kill him once just to give him a crumbling rune, then kill him again for real. This makes Rook a tank, and helps you dominate the board right from the start of the game.
Rook’s Thunderclap can also help in the early game:
Your opponent probably only has units that cost 2 or less, so you can potentially clear out their entire patrol zone with this then attack whatever you want. Token units count as cost 0, by the way, so you can Thunderclap them too.
While Rook himself is a great patroller to protect your forces, it’s dangerous for opponents to patrol powerful things of their own. For 3 gold, you basically neutralize their patroller forever. That’s even more powerful than actually killing it, usually, because it means they can’t draw it and play it again later. This also thins your own deck because Entangling Vines stays on table when played (it’s an ongoing spell).
Rook loves nature and nature loves him. He’s a gentle giant. Meanwhile his two cute birds can rush you down. Flying is very powerful in Codex, and it means these birds can attack ground units and heroes and not even get hit back, unless they have anti-air. They can be really annoying for your opponents to deal with, and they keep coming back, too. Bird's Nest stays out indefinitely (it’s an ongoing spell), and it will replace any lost birds.
Rook’s ultimate is actually weaker than most other ultimates overall, but that’s because Rook himself is such a powerhouse. If you’re willing to do a little work, it’s still devastating though. If you sneak in 1 damage to a tech I, II, or III building first (perhaps with a Bird or a stealth Ninja such as Smoker), then this spell will DESTROY that building immediately.
Casting two earthquakes is very costly at 10 gold, but look at the effect you get. If your opponent has, for example, undamaged tech I and tech II buildings and an undamaged base, two earthquakes will destroy BOTH their tech I and II buildings. That will take them 3 turns to rebuild. Also their base will take 9 damage (1 + 4 from the Earthquakes + 2 + 2 from the two tech buildings being destroyed). This is setting you up for a win by crippling them so much, and even though it costs a lot to do, it’s not so easy to stop. Rook having two lives makes him very durable.
Strength is tanky; it’s very good at stalling. At tech I you can play this annoying rock:
You’re trying to attack something and a giant boulder gets in your way. We’ve all had that happen. In this case it’s a 0/6 legendary boulder. You can’t have two of them in play, but it’s a good thing it’s legendary because of this:
This upgrade improves the stories and myths, making them even more memorable. Remember that boulder? It was actually a 2/8 boulder as the story goes! It rolled out into battle and crushed its foes. It was even a 3/8 sometimes when it patrolled in the Elite slot.
Tech II Strength gives you access to some powerful tools. For a mind-blowing start, look at this guy:
The Doubling Barbarbarian has pretty good stats to start with, but he gets DOUBLE the bonuses as usual. A +1/+1 rune gives him +2/+2. The white starting deck can also give him +1/+1 (really +2/+2) from Aged Sensei and Sensei’s Advice. Discipline’s tech I Sparring Partner buffs him twice as much as usual too. He can be the center of quite a crazy combo if you work hard enough for it.
I mentioned Jefferson DeGrey earlier as Rook’s friend and long-time ally. He makes an appearance as a legendary unit in Rook’s spec, too.
DeGrey is a answer to many questions. How will you deal with lots of Ninja tokens? Lots of Frog tokens? It’s great flavor that he is also the answer to Quince’s lies (his Mirror Illusion tokens). DeGrey shines a light on the real Truth, and he smashes all tokens with his mighty fists. DeGrey is also legendary, which means he’s actually a 6/5 for 3 if you have the Mythmaking upgrade.
Now there’s some Strength for you. A 6/7 that’s unstoppable when attacking a base. That’s puts your opponent on a 4 turn clock. Simple and effective.
Earlier I mentioned that Strength is good at defense. Rook had defense in mind when he built the Morningstar Sanctuary. It’s only accessible through a narrow mountain pass, which means enemy armies' numbers count for nothing as they traverse it.
In Codex, it’s great for stalling. At first glance, it looks similar to if your base had 4 more hit points. Usually your opponent has to spend a lot more effort than just 4 damage to kill it though. For example, if they attack it with a 6/6 then it actually saved you 6 damage it made them spend 1 gold to even do that. Also factor in that Morningstar Pass actually has 6 HP, not 4 HP, if you have Mythmaking out.
Because Ardra’s Boulder, Morningstar Pass, and Rook himself give you so much defense, it makes Strength’s tech III one of the most practical to use. Tech up to this from behind your wall of defense:
You must keep your word as the Oathkeeper. That’s a drawback and all, but he’s so incredibly powerful that he can win even with his oath in place. You can sideline an opponent’s entire patrol zone with him and smash their base. The Oathkeeper himself has 7 ATK (or 9 ATK if you have the Mythmaking upgrade) PLUS swift strike. Attacking with him and whatever else you have right past an empty patrol zone should give you an easy victory.
Turtle up with Strength then smash your opponents with overwhelming force!