Drafting Briar 101

4th Oct 2021 Jason Chung

Briar Hero Art

Briar in my opinion is the most fun hero to draft in Tales of Aria. Briar is flexible during the drafting process and can be played in multiple different ways. Today I will be going through how I approach drafting Briar and how we end up in the different archetypes available to Briar.

In Tales of Aria there are three elements and it is very likely within the first few picks of your draft you end up either picking one or two elements or a class from the start. My personal preference when drafting is to choose one element and stick with it for a while before ultimately picking a class and this is where moving in Briar really shines. Briar has probably the most amount of archetypes possible compared to the other two heroes. This can range from Earth Go-Big, Earth Recursion Control, Lightning Arcane-Only, Lightning Go-Wide, Hybrid Pings Matter, Hybrid Go-Wide or Hybrid-Elementless. The list goes on…

I will be showcasing the three main archetypes that I prefer to draft when looking at Briar, what your mentality should be while drafting and what the key cards you want to aim for are. Note that I am not including majestic rares or higher in these key cards as you should not expect them but if you see a great majestic, it could make a great impact on your strategy.

Earth Go-Big

This strategy benefits from picking a bunch of cards that are not very good unless in this specific archetype. Early on I want to be picking Earth cards with intention of going Oldhim or Briar, but once I see some late Earth-fusion big hitters such as Entwine Earth or Stir the Wildwood, I want to go straight into this archetype.

The playstyle is simple, we want to make very big attacks by combining non-attack actions with Earth fusions while also having a big turns where you play two non-attack actions to ensure go again on your Earth fused attack. This deck tends to defend rarely as your 4-5 card hands are just a higher damage output. The deck’s biggest weakness is a well timed Frostbite.

Key Cards (Tier 1, pick these highly i.e pick 1-5)

Weave Earth (1)
Earthlore Surge (1)
Entwine Earth (1)
Stir the Wildwood (1)
Bramble Spark (1)
Plume of Evergrowth

Important/Good Cards (Tier 2, pick these when you can i.e pick 6-10)

Weave Earth (2)
Bramble Spark (2)
Weave Earth (3)
Break Ground (1)
Burgeoning (1)

Any copies of Entwine Earth or Stir the Wildwood

Any blue Earth cards.

Avoid: Lightning cards especially those that don’t have an impactful effect or defense. You have no interest in fusing lightning in this deck. You must keep a high density of Earth cards to ensure you can fuse every turn.

Lightning Go-Wide

This deck can go many different ways but usually two common ways so I’ll very briefly explain the goal of each one. The tier list will change slightly depending what you are after and you should adapt based on the cards you receive.

Arcane only is basically picking every card that can deal arcane damage. This lets us deal over 20 damage with only arcane damage and excels versus control decks but bad vs aggressive decks.

Go-Wide picks all the attack actions that lets you do multiple attacks such as Entwine Lightning or Ball Lightning and tries to attack many times each turn. This is combined with ways to deal arcane damage or just damage in general from the Lightning side

The way I usually go into Lightning is by picking up early Ball Lightnings, this is followed up but a lot of Lightning cards ready to go into Lexi or Briar. The turning point going into Briar is when I pick up on a late Vela Flash or Bramble Spark. Do note that the blue Bramble Spark actually becomes the best Bramble Spark in Lightning as we don’t intend on fusing it, but use it as a resource card that later becomes un-defendable damage.

Key Cards (Tier 1, pick these highly i.e pick 1-5)

Weave Lightning (1)
Ball Lightning (1)
Ball Lightning (2)
Ball Lightning (3)
Bramble Spark (3)
Vela Flash (1)

Important/Good Cards (Tier 2, pick these when you can i.e pick 6-10)

Arcanic Shockwave (1)
Rites of Lightning (1)
Inspire Lightning (1)

Any Vela Flash

Avoid: Earth cards.

Hybrid Pings Matter

Hybrid playing both Lightning and Earth can be one of the most fun ways to play Briar as long as you get the ratios on point. The disadvantage of playing both is that your draws are less consistent and could result in a hand with Lightning fusion and Earth cards.

You want to synergise both elements' ability to have access to cards that deal arcane or damage as well as cards that benefit from doing damage. This is also a deck that makes a lot of Embodiment of Earths so be sure to have a high amount of non-attack action cards.

I would go into this archetype if I see impactful rares such as Explosive Growth or even majestics like Blossoming Spellblade.

Key Cards (Tier 1, pick these highly i.e pick 1-5)

Plume of Evergrowth
Explosive Growth (1)
Bramble Spark (1)
Electrify (3)

Important/Good Cards (Tier 2, pick these when you can i.e pick 6-10)

Rites of Lightning (1)
Electrify (1)
Ball Lightning (2)

Any Electrify

Any Ball Lightning

Any non-attack action with 3 defense.

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