Steal the Win with the Elf Thief

January 12, 2018

Elf Thief

Bluffing, cheating, and stealing – that's the way of the Elf Thief in the Munchkin Collectible Card Game. This class gives you plenty of ways to benefit from bluffing, play up the Thief's ability to draw extra cards, or keep your opponent from doing what they want to do. All these things can help you in your quest for victory!

The Elf Thief's ability reads: Draw 2 cards. Then move 1 card from your hand to the bottom of your deck. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the cards you'll find in the Thief class.

  • Nope!, and other cards that turn the tables

  • There are several Mischief cards in the Thief class that allow you to either prevent a big hit your opponent thinks they're going to land, or to reverse a situation to favor yourself.

  • Nope! allows you not only to prevent up to 3 damage dealt to your Hero, but to turn that damage back around to multiple targets. Amscray reduces the power of a Monster to zero for the duration of a fight. Yoink! lets you zap a Weapon in your opponent's hoard to deal damage equal to that Weapon's power to any Monster. Silent But Deadly destroys a card stuck to your Hero or to your Loot, and then – just as a bonus – deals 1 damage to your opponent.

  • Assassinate the stash

  • The Elf Thief doesn't have many strong Weapons to sling at her foe’s Monsters, but she has some sneaky ways to target Monsters in her opponent's stash.

  • Mark Market and Mugsy's Sap both target the stash and only the stash. Yoink! and Nope!, discussed in the previous section, can also be used to target stashed Monsters. Together, these cards can help make up for the Thief's lack of weaponry.

  • Get paid

  • The Thief gets to draw extra cards, but that doesn't mean she has the gold to pay for them.

  • Honest Al's Casino, the Charm of Cheating, and the Monster Mugsy all supplement her normal income, hopefully letting her get more cards into play.

  • Reusable defenses

  • A few cards in the Thief class provide a defensive capability that you can use repeatedly, rather than only once per turn.

  • The Repeat Offender is an Ally that you might get back from a fight unzapped half of the time. The Automatic Machinebow lets you pay one gold to unzap it, as many times as you like. And the Cutlass of Cloning lets you unzap any other weapon.

  • Get rewarded for cheating

  • Cheating is an art form, and you typically don't want to get caught. The Thief, however, has some unique abilities that only work after she's been caught cheating.

  • The Mark Market allows you to deal damage if you're caught cheating. The Dagger of Treachery gets stronger each time you're caught cheating. The Hurtnasium Location buffs Monsters for the rest of your turn after you're caught cheating. And several Thief Monsters have Sketchy abilities – that is, abilities that are active only if you were previously caught cheating on the same turn.  

  • So when you're the Thief, cheat early and cheat often.

  • Frequent hits of small amounts of damage

  • The Wizard and the Warrior may be better at dealing loads of direct damage, but the Thief is much more subtle. She has all sorts of sneaky ways to deal damage to her opponent before they realize it's coming.

  • Stabbity Stab! deals 2 damage to your opponent whenever they Run Away. Skewer sticks to your opponent's Hero card and deals 1 damage on each of their turns (with an effect called Bleeding), plus it deals 1 damage when played. Dogpile deals damage to every Ally in play – then deals damage to your foe's Hero equal to the number of Allies squished by the card effects. Finally, the Monster known as Legbreaker Joe can self-destruct to deal 3 damage directly to a Monster or a Hero.

  • Discard

  • Some Thief cards can force her opponent to discard cards directly from their hand. Since Heroes typically draw only one card per round, cards are a limited resource. Whacked! forces a discard when you play it, and the Pilfergeist is an Ally that makes your opponent discard one card.

The game effects listed above suggest several possible deckbuilding strategies for the Thief. I’ve described a few of them below. If you come up with others, we’d love to hear about them!

  • Lead an army of Monsters  

  • The Elf Thief's ability means she tends to have more cards in hand than players of the other Heroes.

  • Why not play all those cards, every turn? You can leverage your card advantage by stocking your deck with low-cost Monsters that overwhelm your opponent's defenses.

  • Throw in the Charm of Cheating, Honest Al's Casino, Purple Loot-Us, and perhaps a gold-generating Location such as the Offices of Dewey, Cheatem, & Howe to come up with the cash to pay for all your Monsters. Hire your Monsters one after another, and watch your opponent get annoyed because you're attacking them, again and again, this turn.

  • A variation on this theme might be putting out lots of low-rank Loot or low-cost Allies, committing them, and ultimately finishing your opponent using the effects of Dogpile (which does damage for squishing Allies) or Bling Beastie (which gains 2 power if you squish your own Loot).

  • Spill cards not blood

  • The Thief has a few cards that force an opponent to Spill – which means move cards from the top of their deck to their discard pile.

  • In the Munchkin Collectible Card Game, anyone who has no cards in the deck when they have to draw one loses the game.

  • The Deckogorgon can make all Heroes, including you, Spill several cards with a single attack. Honest Al's Casino Spills one card on a roll of 1 on the die. Platinum Lockpicks forces your opponent to Spill 1 card from the top of their deck. Add the neutral card Goldman Stacks, a Location that forces all Heroes to Spill 1 card on each player's turn, and you're in business. Just be careful that you don’t run out of cards first!

  • Use the Lucky Giant’s Toe

  • The Lucky Giant's Toe allows you to damage your opponent and heal yourself any time you roll a 5 or a 6.

  • The Thief class has several cards that call for a die roll: Honest Al's Casino, Repeat Offender, and Long Shot. Add the Liar's Dice, RNGesus, and Even Steven from the neutral cards, and you're set to use that Lucky Giant's Toe.

  • Just say no to everything

  • In the Munchkin Collectible Card Game, Monsters and Mischief both do powerful things, but only Monsters come back to your hand, and only if they aren’t squished first. Mischiefs are single-use (with occasional exceptions).

  • But you know what can make up for that? Drawing an extra card each round, the way the Thief does. So stock your deck with Mischiefs and cause problems for your opponent every round. You’ll probably draw more next turn!

  • You can stuff your deck with some of the great Mischief cards I mentioned above (Nope!, Yoink!, Silent But Deadly, and Amscray), plus Whacked! and Pilfergeist, just to make sure your opponent has less to work with than you do.

  • Bleed

  • Skewer, as I've mentioned, sticks to your foe's Hero card and causes Bleeding 1. This adds up, so playing two means your opponent automatically takes 2 damage at the beginning of each of their turns.

  • Add to that the Vampire Cat, a Monster with a gold cost of 1, a power of 2, and a Sketchy ability that does 1 damage to all Heroes that are Bleeding.

  • Skewer and Vampire Cat can get a further boost from the Combo Rat and Wombo Bat, two Neutral Monsters with Bleeding abilities. You could even toss in Squidzilla or Hillbilly Ogre – they're expensive, but Squidzilla can cause Bleeding and the Hillbilly Ogre gets a cost reduction if your foe is Bleeding already.

Go forth and steal the day from all those silly, more honorable Heroes. Oh, and pick up a Cleric & Thief Starter Set when the Munchkin Collectible Card Game releases in February 2018! You can read more about the Dwarf Cleric here.

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