Siwar strategy


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


I feel like there must be some kind of trick I'm missing, because Siwar simply doesn't look like a viable character. With no weapons, no armor, and no evasion (unless/until you get the Manipulator role), she's going to just get shredded the first time she runs into a monster with no attack spell available -- and with only 3 spells and no way to keep them in her hand, that's going to be pretty likely.

Do any of you play her? How?

Sovereign Court

She is definitely not the most combat efficient character. She looks to be more of a utility character than combat.


Yeah, for reals. She can't not explore, though, as the turns can't be spared. Does she just pick the location with the fewest monsters, and pray?

Maybe I'm just too risk-adverse, but jeez that sounds terrible.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Yeah, she's definitely not made for small groups or solo. I really wanted to like her, but she is way too party dependent for me since I like to play my characters solo when I have the chance. I'll probably build her eventually, but I'd never want to use her in a party of fewer than four.

It's also weird to me that she uses a whip in her picture, but she never gets the Finesse ability and there are no whips in the Bard Class Deck. I ended up going with Lem (S&S) as my bard for organized play since he is the best mix of being self sufficient and having great versatility, in my opinion.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Meliski is almost as bad; he has 4 spells and a weaker Arcane check (though he can reroll, it burns cards in his hand.) Yes, he has a better raw Strength to fight with, but using that Strength just burns blessings and that's a net negative.

The best way to run those is to do a lot of scouting so that they never run into anything dangerous.


As my avatar suggests, I'm having a great time playing her at the moment. Here's my approach:

For her spells, carry two combat spells and one cure. Group up with another character so that you can use your recharge power to cycle your deck if you don't have a combat spell in hand. Try to head for locations with mostly boons or barriers.

She's actually really well suited for barriers. There are a ton of skirmish and task barriers that she can crush with her diplomacy skill. Also, her d8 dex and d8 intellegence come in hand for barriers that don't allow her to use her diplomacy skill.

I can see where she would struggle solo, but she works really well in a 4-6 player group where she isn't needing to do a lot of fighting.


As such, is she a good choice for OP? When you don't know the group you will be with from game to game, it seems like she wouldn't last long. (I am interested in player her with a fixed group.)


Yeah, playing Siwar with random people could be risky. I've been through the first 7 scenarios of OP and the first 10 scenarios of S&S with her and I feel like you'd be okay as long as you didn't run into a party of all support characters. Even then, if it's only 2-3 characters, time wouldn't be much of a factor so you could afford to play cautiously when you didn't have a combat spell in hand. As long as you have another character at your location, to help with multi-check monsters, you should be fine.


I'm playing ROTR with Meliski with a 4p campaign and I love him. I'm continuing a solo S&S game with Siwar, Wu Shen, Oloch and Melendra, and it's been tough.

I'm really looking forward to getting Meliski to Brawler. I love that eventually he's able to do pretty much anything.

Siwar is definitely a harder sell. She's ally-based but doesn't come with any special power relationships to her ally cards. The Lem-like d4 is nice and the Task ability has come in handy for the task-heavy S&S adventure path, but she needs a little more oomph.


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Riff Conner wrote:

I feel like there must be some kind of trick I'm missing, because Siwar simply doesn't look like a viable character. With no weapons, no armor, and no evasion (unless/until you get the Manipulator role), she's going to just get shredded the first time she runs into a monster with no attack spell available -- and with only 3 spells and no way to keep them in her hand, that's going to be pretty likely.

Do any of you play her? How?

Playing her through the first few OP scenarios:

*Starting with two attack spells is helpful. If other party members have weapon-heavy decks, see if they'll pass off a simple dex weapon to you if they have one to spare.

*Failing having the above in hand, *aggressively* use your bard power to empty your hand before your turn. Then go to a monster-light location and explore with 0-1 cards in hand, accepting that hitting a monster = wasting an exploration.

*When possible, encourage your party to scout things out for you ahead of time.

Basically, since the thing you're bad at will empty your hand, do as much as possible to help others on their turns, and then count on others to help you through checks on yours (in order to mitigate the downside of losing combat). The Shark-Island scenario actually turned out ok for Siwar, an empty hand doesn't care about extra shark attacks.


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I'm playing her in Organized Play. She holds her own in my regular group because she's complementary to the other 3 characters (Kyra, Arabundi, Vika). However, I've also played with her with a completely different 5-character group on a recent business trip, and I found her wanting.

I agree that cycling cards is the key strategy to use in her case. One thing I realized is that I should avoid using ally cards when helping out others, because you MUST* put the ally back on top of your deck. In effect, it's anti-cycling.

(* "You may recharge a card to add 1d4 to a check by another character at your location. If the recharged card is an ally, put it on top of your deck instead."

Notice there is no 'may' in the second sentence).

It doesn't help that most of the bard allies just boost the areas where she's already strong instead of shoring up her weaknesses -- I'd happily exchange the useless Noble Brats for some Acolytes or Black Arrow Rangers.

If I was in charge of designing her, I would add a "Bodyguard" power to her base abilities: Bury an ally to reduce damage dealt to you to 0. That would be a nice precursor to her Manipulator ability to shift her combat encounters to another character.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Siwar is an excellent barrier buster - Task/Skirmish is on 10/18 of the base set barriers and 5 of the other barriers are chests. I believe half of the set 1 barriers are also Task/Skirmish.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Siwar has done alright for me (she's currently my only character who has completed all the scenarios in the first chapter of OP). I do have trouble every once in a while with running into a monster when she has no attack spells... that always sucks. She now has a card feat, so I've got two Cures and two attack spells for her, so she's doing a bit better than she was before, with just two Cures and one attack spell.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
cartmanbeck wrote:
Siwar has done alright for me (she's currently my only character who has completed all the scenarios in the first chapter of OP). I do have trouble every once in a while with running into a monster when she has no attack spells... that always sucks. She now has a card feat, so I've got two Cures and two attack spells for her, so she's doing a bit better than she was before, with just two Cures and one attack spell.

I take it you put an early Spell 1 deck upgrade into that second Cure?

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Sure did.


Ashram316 wrote:
I can see where she would struggle solo, but she works really well in a 4-6 player group where she isn't needing to do a lot of fighting.

Im playing her in a 4 man group and had the same concerns mentioned at the beginning of this thread. I have found that the above quote is fairly accurate. With the ship mechanic of SnS I can stay with just about anyone.

What ends up happening is I recharge all my card to ensure everyone passes their checks and when it comes to my turn I don't have anything or I have 1 of my 2 attack spells I use. With no cards I can explore without repercussions most of the time (this doesn't always apply, like if you encounter the boss and undefeated he eats blessings).

Because I can cycle my deck so fast (and I went for increase hand size first) I get my attack spells back quickly. Also, I get my cure spell every other turn. This allows my allies to burn blessings and allies to explore more knowing I can heal them more.


My daughter plays her with pretty much only cures and blessings and a couple of key items plus allies.

As soon as the party is 3+ (and even more when we are 5+), she totally rocks. OK she pretty much loses all her hand anytime she encounters a monster, but that is totally counterbalanced by giving bonus and cures to whomever she is with and having such an easy time curing herself.

The point is, since she recharges A LOT of cards to help between her turns, she never discards that much when she loses a fight.

Bottom line, she mostly plays during OTHERS' turns. And that is really efficient and a nice twist on standard gaming.


We have a Siwar in one of our local groups and we just finished deck 4.

The player spends most of his cards on other people's turns enabling them to be awesome, if the locations have monsters he frequently doesn't explore, I think he may have hit a new record and actually killed 3 monsters in our last session.

I was worried that he might not be having as much fun and was going to give him advice on how to become more combat capable, but he wouldn't hear any of it. He's enjoying his uber-support role and doesn't want to change.

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