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A New Mythic Approaches - Ironhawk

Originally published at: A New Mythic Approaches – Ironhawk – Gems of War

New Mythic Troop: Ironhawk Ironhawk will be the only Mythic Troop available in Glory, Gem, Guild & VIP Chests for the next 7 days.

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So while I haven’t actually tried this mythic extensively yet, what I have noticed is that it has a huge overlap in functionality with the December Christmas Legendary, NUTCRKR 1225 (both have Impervious and both use Blue/Brown). NUTCRKR 1225 is 10 mana cheaper to use (15 mana vs 25 mana) and could potentially strip more armor worth of damage than Ironhawk’s 12 Doomskull explosion.

If I’m using it for the 12 Doomskulls being exploded for damage, then I might be better off with paying 5 more mana for The Worldbreaker’s damage to all enemies + explosion?

Ironhawk is kind of stuck in a place where a different troop might do Ironhawk things better than Ironhawk.

While I don’t think Ironhawk is bad, I really don’t think it should be a 25 mana cost for what it does.

Considering Captain Skullbeard, the Epic version of this troop is 11 mana… Ironhawk could benefit to be around 20-21 mana to be competitively viable…


If Ironhawk allow the skull to be matched first, it would be much better. But no, 60 flat damage and explosion only

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I worry that the Devs are scared of releasing things that have some semblance of power. The pre nerf Ironhawk was better than the release variant, not least for the mana cost.

We seem to be finding troops being altered between appearing in spoilers and release. It’s always on the negative side as well.

It looks like it was altered, imho because of exploding doomskulls and going again, yet it only does the exploding damage. I can see why 20 doomskulls was downgraded to 12, but in reality this troop is seeming to be bracketed as an off the scale, pseudo mana generator. No-one wants a mana generator that costs 25 mana to fill. I think the other issue is it can be half started by the Mech class, that’s why it’s mana generation probably got changed too. It is kind of odd that Tina is only 24 mana to fill and often does 300 true damage on cast with Nysha medals, yet has the same fast start as Mech.

I think 20-22 mana is ballpark for it regardless of fast start. It makes it difficult as players to get excited about Mythic troops, when they seem to be released in this way, where their power is neutered due to some thought that they might be too powerful. I can see teams for Ironhawk, maybe it works okay with Enraged Kurandara, but I will have to see.

It wouldn’t have broken anything with 16 doomskulls and 22 mana cost really, vs troops like Tina or Weaver etc.


I’ve heard people think about using it with The Lord of Slaughter or other Doomskull related sources, but once you’re mid-game or later and once Ironhawk explodes, none of the 12 Doomskulls are going to stay on the board from chain reactions. Its literally just an exploder with skull explosion damage added on. So where does a 25 mana exploder fit in?

I do find it funny that Mythics basically come out slightly underpowered while the new Legendaries tend to be a bit overpowered.

Except Pan. The Mythic Pan does absurdly high amount of damage, yet most people thought it didn’t do enough in spite of that before release. (I still don’t agree with its 3rd trait though)


There’s one major difference, Tina needs a well progressed account to do significant damage, Ironhawk will trigger a chain reaction even for players just starting out. In its current state it’s an exceptionally powerful mythic early on, it just doesn’t scale.


This is it, the mana cost is out of kilter with the disappearing doomskulls. You can from a day 1 account do possibly 60 damage (or more) to the first troop if all 12 doomskulls explode, which is the point @Fourdottwoone makes, a valid point. So you probably need to pair the troop with a Doomstorm or Bonestorm really, and need a solid tank in first slot. The colour combination rules out the likes of Stonehammer and Gorgotha, the two best skull resistant troops.

Glaycion might be okay. I was thinking Arcturion as a first slot troop, Ironhawk has blue, maybe TMQ as a 3rd blue troop, and then hero could possibly be something like Doomed Scythe, Mech or something with purification. If no TMQ, you could go with Lep or something and hero would need to be probably a blue Mech. Mech has insulated so you have 3 troops immune to freeze as well at the start. Mech also gets a self enchant on green.

TMQ, and a Doomed weapon gives a lot of Doomskull options, but the advantage of using Hunter’s Mark with it might be worth sacrificing half start on Ironhawk. Might have to consider something different anyway, if you can get HM in on the act…

Hopefully will find time to give it a run in a variety of teams.

That’s fair. A day 1 account can do significant damage to first troop, and has a good chance of keeping the turn, if it gets Ironhawk to cast.

Earlier, I thought this was the case. Then I realized, how much magic is a day 1 account going to have? The going rate for this troop is [(Magic / 2) + 1]. 10 magic is going to explode 6, which might not cover all of the Doomskulls it makes, which could be seriously detrimental to a new player. By the time you can safely explode enough gems, you kind of outgrow 60 damage for a 25 mana explosion. I think?


There’s also a huge amount of mana from all the explosions. Still feels like some extra scaling component other than blowing up more gems that will explode anyway wouldn’t hurt, even if it’s just something like “Gain [Magic + X] Armor”.


The troop is meant to be used with an Doomskull storm.

This troop gets no actual benefits from Doomskulls. It just creates them and explodes. ANY Exploder would do the same thing with a Doomskull storm.


I agree with everyone saying it’s lackluster on paper, but I’ve played with a TINA-led mech team and its way better than it appears. I much prefer it to nutcracker, personally.

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I guess I’ll have to show everyone how to use this awesome Mythic. LOL

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I do, put it in the pile with the other F tier trash.

Is it just me or is the animation of Ironhawk’s spell painfully slow even at 4x?

First impression - its a decent pocket mythic to have, and comparatively better at lower stats. The upside is its kit makes it relatively easy to slot and at least be effective. The biggest downside is having basically nonexistent (some would say inverse) scaling.

I’ve tried it at 35 magic, and I’ve tried it at 6 magic. The 6 magic version does more burst damage (actually it fairly often got a three match off in the corner somewhere every other volley or so) while the 35 magic version was more consistent at clearing the board. However, since my attack stat is also pretty poor on the 6 magic version, I barely get any extra damage out of this, and still almost never an extra turn.

The troop does not have any significant synergy with Doomstorm. Doomstorm is, well, just kinda bad nearly all the way around because it doesn’t produce storm-like conditions for skyfall matches, which is the primary reason to use a storm. It does perform decently with a storm of its own color, or any storm it can be used to set up a chain with an ally troop. It does, for example, have a significant synergy with The Lord of Slaughter particularly under the effect of a Duststorm (eg,. Mountain Crusher, or just Runepreist if you can set up the initial kill somehow) - they share one (and only one) color, they feed each other very consistently with a high incidence of extra turns so long as you can get that initial setup and aren’t hard counterplayed. The 60 extra damage is not-insignificant when using this sort of setup, nor is the fact that the explosions on Ironhawk are not color restricted. It does, however, still suffer from losing a bit of potential mana for ever doomskull created, and on average before skyfall matches with 12 doomskulls created will only get just over about half its own mana back (generating about 3-6 mana for each color). I will concede that once you are dealing with health pools over 300, the damage barely makes a difference, and at this stage the 5 damage artillery support will in many situations do more harm than good (it is arguable that in a PvP setting, summon-on-damage is way more prevalent than mass barriers, the one thing it hard counters, and the trait is actually strongly detrimental in this sense.)

Not to harp too heavily on the spoiler data, we all know that wasn’t final, but using this troop for a while I can’t imagine what kind of situation someone was testing this at 20 doomskulls created and thought it was “overpowered” enough to have been scaled back. I can think of two edge cases - the “low magic cheese” where it could be used to 50/50 an extra turn massive doomskull strike or just a doomskull chained board clear if you “failed” and accidentally exploded one of the gems, and low stat concerns where you were concerned about the troop basically always annihilating the first troop in a low-stat scenario with a lot of easy setups for refills/extra turns. I think the way they scaled it back, if these two issues were indeed the issues being addressed and not actually the power cap of the troop (which I would quite frankly find ridiculous, because power-cap wise, under this design, it still doesn’t come close to top meta-troops)

If I had to make one change to try to fix this troop and maintain the current design, the change would have just been to swap the scaling value from gems exploded to doomskulls created. Change the explosions to a fixed amount (18 seems good enough to be “nearly the entire board”, and then change the doomskull creation to something like 6+ (magic /2). This would both weed out edge-case cheese where the doomskulls actually get matched (they are clearly meant to be exploded, not matched, otherwise magic would scale the other direction) and allow for better scaling - the caveat being that as damage scales up, primary explosion mana would scale down, but I wouldn’t consider this to be a strong downside as the troop is clearly meant to be used with storms of some kind which is where a lot of your mana is intended to come from. They have, in general, avoided troops that spawn gems that have their amounts scale with magic because they just become inifnites past a certain value and are completely unviable before a certain value, but I find it perfectly acceptable here since there is near zero chance any doomskulls would be matched under this design anyways, even less so when creating more doomskulls. So even if you reached 112+ magic and filled every tile with a doomskull, you’d deal 320 damage with a 100% board clear for zero explosion mana before skyfall matches. At the low end, this means it would be a slightly better generator while being worse damage at higher end deal more damage to the first target while being a slightly worse generator (than the current iteration) from the explosion that could still be set up with a storm. The mana cost could also stand to be 1 or 2 lower, but I don’t think that is the critical issue here.


500% agreed, especially when it comes to the solution for the ‘low-level cheese’ issue, if that was indeed the reason for the pre-release change. Good point on the trait in PvP having a more heavily-weighted downside than up.

Level 1 Explore in the right kingdoms with 2x Ironhawk, Greed, Dust Devil is pretty quick/fun, though – just no hero XP :sob:

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Like digging through a mountain with a spoon sometimes.