Skip, the Time Skipper is a challenging Hero, but a rewarding one. There's nothing more fun than starting out behind, stabilizing, and eventually crushing the lobby with all your extra experience. Let's skip right to it!
Skip's Hero Power is one of the more dramatic - you start out by skipping turn one, and losing every time (unless you play against someone who bought Shrink Spell). You then get to buy a level 3 character on turn two, and fight to stabilize over the next few turns. Your power level jumps up a ton when you hit level 4 ahead of the pack, and winning Skip games tend to be the one where you parlay that mid game strength into a powerful late game.
You aren't aiming for a specific comp on Skip, but the overall path you take does tend to follow the same general steps.
- Buy economy early, so you can build up a board presence and stop losing fights.
- Find a good scaling character at level 4 OR build a strong enough comp that you can make it to level 6 with high health.
- Overwhelm the opposition with a well-scaled team or a comp filled with high-level characters, as the rest of the lobby is a level lower (at least).
The first phase is critical, as digging yourself out of the hole you start in is a high priority every game, with steps 2 and 3 diverging based on what you're seeing in the shop and where your team is organically growing. It's funny how quickly Skip can flip from the Hero you're happiest to fight against (turns 1-4 or so) to the one you dread (turn 5+), and your goal with Skip is to get to the latter camp as fast as possible.
In the early game, you want to buy characters that help you with either economy or winning fights, and ideally both. What I mean by "economy" is cold, hard cash - with current inflation rates, the gold you get each turn just won't do. Skip gets to buy one character on turn 2, and usually just one on turn 3, unless you find one of the characters that help with your purchasing power.
Starting out with any of these can work out wonderfully, especially if you can win fights with the Battle Pig. Buying Lucky, for example, means that on turn three you get to buy multiple characters, and after just a few turns you'll be a force to be reckoned with. Likewise, Slaying with Ogre Princess or winning with Pig means you'll be rich, and Skip games where you get the ball rolling early go quite well.
If you can't get the money train rolling, winning fights is the next best plan, as health going into the late game is valuable. These characters are some of the better brawlers at level 3, and racking up Slays on Vain-Pire early can be great.
While these examples are helpful, who doesn't love a good Tierlist? Here is the indisputable rating of every level 3 character:
I'm jamming Lucky every time, as you're guaranteed to get the payoff, but Pig and Ogre Princess aren't far behind. The B tier is mostly decent brawlers, with C and D containing the situational or weak early characters. Note that even one turn in this list changes - I'm happy to buy Spell Weaver if there's a Genie's Wish I can cast on turn three, or buy Queen of Hearts if I have a couple evil characters (and so on).
If you can stabilize with Skip and stop losing fights around 25 health, I usually consider that a win, since you'll be behind for at least the first 3 fights in most games.
Levels 4 and 5 are Skip's time to shine, as you are usually at your strongest relative to the rest of the lobby. Getting access to Sporko, Three Big Pigs, and other bangers ahead of time is awesome. As I mentioned before, your two priorities are to find something that scales (especially since it's early) or just beef up your team and aim towards the late game.
These all give you some nice value over time (especially if you can get some Mages to go with that Monster Book), and the slay engines find all the level 3 characters you'll face to be easy pickings. If you can find anything here, it's often right to grab it and focus on doing whatever thing it rewards.
As for brawlers, Sporko is always a fan favorite, with Lady of the Lake and Amy not far behind. Anything that adds a lot to your board is worth considering, in particular if it makes you strong enough to buy XP spells and further your lead.
Skip doesn't do anything all that unique late game - he just gets there faster. Like when you hit level 4, you mostly just want to latch onto the first powerful engine you see. You will be a little further down some paths than others, so maybe you aim at Slay over Animals because that's what you've been doing, but in general if you see a great engine piece at six you should just buy it. Treants are one of the best builds for this, since you can make a comp out of just a few level 6 characters, but picking up a Pumpkin or Good Boy can point you in a powerful direction too.
Skip is relatively open when it comes to Treasures - you'll take what you can get. As usual, I like scaling Treasures early (Fool's Gold and Coin of Charon in particular), and more brawl-oriented ones later. Skip actually tends to not get a ton of Treasures, because you don't buy level 2 characters often and spend more money on high-level characters, so by the time you're offered one you usually have a good idea of what you are looking for.
Tips and Tricks
- When you buy a Vain-Pire on turn two and it slays immediately, you can sometimes buy Baby Root and a pump spell and just run the one-character plan next turn. That can lead to multiple slays against a team of 2/2's and 1/1's, and is a great way to kick things off.
- Despite the name lining up, Skip's Puzzle Rune is actively terrible on Skip, and I have never taken it.
- Questers like Brave Princess and The Nutcracker are better than you'd think, since you get them earlier than normal. That said, sometimes you just have to give up on the Copium Princess.
Skipping the Line
Skip plays out like no other Hero - you start the game under heavy pressure, and can usually tell right when you've turned the corner. It's a fun feeling, and can pay off nicely if you start well. Good luck, and may you always start with a good Lucky.