Levia’s family worked as servants for the Barthimont state. Her mother has warned her about their cruel masters, encouraging her to flee if anything was to happen to her. But Levia chose a different path. After her mother disappeared under mysterious circumstances, Levia was blinded by need for revenge and turned to dark powers. Instead of running away, she gave her whole being to a fiend from the realm of the shadows that helped her even the score with the Barthimonts. It gave her insurmountable power, but in exchange it has left her with endless hunger… for flesh.
“Levia was easily subdued, and soon found herself in the Barthimonts’ great banquet hall, surrounded by gawking nobles and bloodied servants. Recognising the grisly fate which awaited her unless she fought back, Levia attacked and devoured those around her in an act of sheer desperation, seized by the will to survive. Reborn, an unfamiliar presence whispering in her ears, she cleaved Lady Barthimont’s head from her shoulders, claiming her blood in one final act of defiance.”
Levia is a Shadow Brute hero from the Monarch set. The combination of the Shadow talent and Brute class gives Levia a very unique playstyle. The Shadow side gives Levia a strong affinity for banished zone manipulation. Cards like Ghostly Visit and Deep Rooted Evil are great value cards, allowing Levia to play out cards from the banished zone, gaining significant card advantage. Her Shadow Brute cards like Boneyard Marauder and Dread Screamer are the core of the engine, fueling the banished zone with cards from the graveyard. Lastly, to fill the graveyard, many Brute cards have a draw and discard clause, such as Shadow of Blasmophet, Deadwood Rumbler and Wild Ride, which help you fuel the cards in your graveyard.
In summary, the core play pattern of Levia is to fill up the graveyard by either defending or playing out cards that place multiple cards in graveyard, then use the powerful Shadow Brute cards that banish cards from graveyard to then be able to play some Shadow cards out of the banished zone for extra value.
A key characteristic of Shadow heroes is Blood Debt. The more cards with Blood Debt in the banished zone, the higher chance of losing a heap of life to the lurking monstrosities that lie in the other realm. This is evident with Levia’s hero ability. As long as an offering is made, Blasmophet, the demon that gives Levia her power, is kept satiated. However, if no six-power card is banished, Blasmophet is still hungry, and it’s Levia’s life total that he will feast upon.
There are two ways of keeping the hunger at bay, both lead to a specific play pattern that allows Levia to unleash the power of the shadows without getting eaten herself. First phase is filling up the graveyard, without banishing too many blood debt cards. This includes playing out non-Shadow Brute cards, such as Wild Ride, attacking with your weapon and defending. The idea here is to keep your life total high, chip away some damage here and there, but most importantly build up your graveyard. The more cards that you can play out of your banished zone, the better. Phase two is when we unleash the power of the shadows. Once you have over 10 cards in the graveyard, you can start putting on the pressure.
The great thing about these attacks is their damage to cost ratio. Nine damage for three cost with red Endless Maw or seven damage for one cost with red Graveling Growl are extremely potent attacks for a fraction of the cost of generic equivalents. On top of that, fueling your banished zone allows for cards like Deep Rooted Evil and Howl from Beyond add extra efficiency to your turns. While Levia can struggle to gain enough action points to continue the onslaught, cards like Dread Screamer, Unworldly Bellow and Shadow Puppetry help to chain big attacks one after another, or simply build up one powerful blow.
So you’ve set up your graveyard, you started putting pressure with efficient attacks, but how does Levia finish off a game? The answer is with Blasmophet himself – it’s Doomsday.
Blasmophet is a cost-efficient attack, allowing you to defend up whatever your opponent is throwing at you, while fulfilling your Blood Debt by banishing a single card each swing. Your opponent has a tricky decision to make – either let you continue attacking with your demon ally by pressuring your life total, or taking a turn off to kill the demon, thus giving you a full grip to continue the pressure. Either option isn’t amazing if they’re low enough life.
Convulsions from the Bellows of Hell and dominate attacks like Writhing Beast Hulk are also great options for finishing a game. Using constant pressure on your opponent’s life total, dominate becomes a great way to push through the last few points of damage. Convulsions paired up with an Unworldly Bellow and an Endless Maw can take your opponent’s life to zero, even if they had a decent life cushion.
Levia has an abundance of choice when it comes to Equipment and Weapons. Hexagore is a full-on aggressive beatdown option, but it might hurt. Ravenous Meataxe is great at filling the graveyard on offense and pairs up really well with the six-power attacks. Mandible Claws offer explosive turns when paired with cards like Bloodrush Bellow and Wild Ride, while Romping Club is a great option for a slow and steady control build.
When it comes to the Equipment, it’s important to note that these go to the graveyard when used, increasing the chances to miss on all the banish cards from graveyard effects. This, however, can be used as an advantage.
All equipment pieces with activated abilities and destroy effects serve a dual purpose. They give you an advantage from using the equipment itself, but also can fill up the graveyard if you’re one card short of being able to banish three cards. For example, if you only have two cards left in the graveyard, but want to play something like a red Dread Screamer, you can destroy your Goliath Gauntlet, give it +2 power, but also allow it to be cast, as now you have three cards in the graveyard again. Ebon Fold can act as a single-use “get out of jail free” card, as it lets you fulfil your blood debt by banishing a six-power card when you need a quick snack and Barkbone Strapping gives you those missing few resource points to fuel a big turn.
As with other Monarch heroes, Levia has a significant skill cap, due to the introduction of talents. Finding the right balance between cards that fill up the graveyard, cards that banish from graveyard and pay off from the banished zone isn’t an easy feat, especially when there’s a demon lurking in the shadows that needs to be constantly fed. I recommend trying this hero if you’re up for a challenge, or have some experience playing other Brute heroes, as the hero ability can be quite punishing. It’s not uncommon for Levia to succumb to her own demons and perish by Blasmophet’s own hunger rather than whatever your opponent is throwing at you. However, Levia is an extremely rewarding hero to master that can win games and at this point in time, still remains an underrepresented hero in local Armories. Do you have what it takes to tame the beast?