There isn't much of a "best attack" but I think it's been discussed that unless he's using some crazy land enchantment strategy, Gremlin + Battering Ram will kill it. This is stopped by Dullness (can't use items) or Vortex (disable gremlin's destroy-willow free to use neutralizing item). Leprechaun + Dynamite would also work barring the above enchantments. Anything based on actually damaging the opponent creature with anyone but Gremlin is subject to neutralization via Gaseous Form, Holy Grail, Talisman... You might also use some Binding Mist or land transform to anything but red if you're really worried. That'll cancel the stopping power.
Last Edit: Feb 25, 2004 15:53:28 GMT -5 by ExMortis
You also might want to look into scrolls or creatures with penetration attacks. Scrolls will break through most defensive items (such as the red shield, gaseous form, etc.) and will also take out the land bonus. The only trouble is if he uses a defensive item that increases his HP.
Also, if he doesn't land protect you might want to look into a bunch of spells to mess him up. Bolt him twice, telekenisis him off the land, change the color of the land, reduce the level to 1.....there are lots of possibilities. If the level 5 Willow is his main strategy, save a spell for it. He can't protect the Willow on the same turn he plays it, so be ready for it.
I used Old Willow in a deck with Dullness, Invisibility, and Growth Bodies, along with Fire Shields and Plate Mail.
If he gets Dullness on his Old Willow (No items), and Invisibility on himself (No spells on his lands/creatures) you need to hit him with a spell like Blackout/Silence, then you can nuke or dispell his Old Willow.
Other things that would help :
Drool with you holding 4 blue lands. Ruby Ring and any attacker with 20 ST or more. Freeze scroll Nightmare if you can get one of your own creatures next to Old Willow for the +10 ST support bonus.
If he tries Dullness/Invisibility, keep a creature enchantment in your hand and drop it on Old Willow as soon as your opponent casts Dullness. Senility is particularlly good, but anything can work. Anti-Element, Disease, etc.
Bring along two Hydes, and make sure you have either the Battering Ram or some strong offensive items—Lance of Odin, Storm Causer, Nuclear Fusion. (Nuclear Fusion is useful independent from this strategy because it does 50 penetration damage, which will neutralize land effect and bust through most catch-all defense items like Counter Amulet. It's probably a good idea to bring that 30 ST scroll that does critical hit to red creatures too.) Try to get a blue territory early in the game so that you can plant Hyde as soon as possible on whatever land you can take (don't plan on leveling him up either). Having two Hydes available is extra nice because you'll have extra firepower if they both manage to live a long time, or backup if one gets killed.
As soon as possible after Old Willow is planted, cast Paralyze on him with the Hyde. Paralyze neutralizes Old Willow's ability to stop you, so now the tree is just a tree—a sitting duck. If you do happen to land on him, he's unable to attack or use items. Any creature able to use weapons can now kill him with the Battering Ram or (if able to use scrolls) Nuclear Fusion. And, of course, you can use Hyde to cast Paralyze on most other creatures too, so your opponent will have some serious difficulty holding down his land. The main advantage to using Hydes as opposed to Binding Mist is that you will be able to continuously Paralyze Old Willow throughout the match and thus kill any status effect your opponent uses, except Land Protection. If you expect your opponent to use Land Protection, bring Erasure or some other mass-effect spells, which will override the no-targeting effect and kill Land Protection.
Another nice creature to bring along to beat Old Willow is the Yeti, who neutralizes red creatures' attacks and has a 60% death effect to them. In combination with the Hyde strategy, you shouldn't have much trouble placing a Yeti nearby (without getting mugged by Old Willow, that is) and moving him to a space next to the tree. With this setup, you'll be able to launch 60% death attacks every time you pass by Yeti or land on a fort or the castle, and even if the Paralyze effect is removed, the tree can't do any damage to Yeti (except with the counter amulet, although I may be overlooking some other item). If your opponent's book is mostly red creatures, he'll have a very hard time taking out your Yeti once it's placed.
Basilisk's 50% death effect can be helpful in a bind, but his land requirement is a little steep if you're not inclined to play a lot of green creatures. However, he knocks the land down one level as long as he survives the battle, which can be the difference between paying 2000+ and less than 1000.
If you have a lot of damage spells, definitely bring them. When I set up Old Willows, my stomach turns when I see an opponent with Evil Blast and Magic Bolt in his hand. The Shrink spell can also be helpful. And if you happen to have it, as said before, Telekinesis is great for moving Old Willow off a level 5 land because he's a defense creature. Once he's uprooted, it will probably take your opponent several turns or a lot of luck to get the land back if he doesn't have a movable creature next to it. If you have a Conjurer placed and are able to pass him before your opponent can take back his Old Willow's former land, you've just earned yourself a level 5 red land with a Ba=Al on it. (You can do the same with a Blynx as well, but only if it's in the same area.)
I also find that being able to destroy my opponent's cards can really help in killing off Old Willow. Rust destroys all your opponent's items, and Shatter can crush any individual item or spell he's holding onto. Squeeze, while it gives your opponent 150 G, will allow you to destroy any card in his hand, including Old Willow. And if you can manage to keep it alive, you can use Book Worm's territory ability to destroy any card for 40 G as often as once a lap. Any important cards your opponent brought along will be very vulnerable if you equip your book with at least two of the above-listed cards—preferably all of them.
Finally, try to get him to play against you on a map that has two castles (like the Alchemistic Laboratory), and bring several different Holy Word spells. This will allow you to control your rolls to land on the teleporter after he places Old Willow, so you can skip out on the whole area and avoid having to pay the tree with every lap.
Last Edit: Jun 8, 2007 14:01:04 GMT -5 by jimulacrum
Post by cerealkiller251 on Aug 6, 2007 20:41:22 GMT -5
I recently came up with a way to deal with a level 5 territory will Old Willow or any other defense creature. I use Leprecaun, and equip him with Dynamite. He gives the Dynamite to the defending creature, they destroy Leprecaun, and they then self-destruct. This does not get you the land, of course, but it beats paying the toll, especially if there is Old Willow or Kelpie on the land.