*wipes sweat and tears*
Welp, I can pretty much debunk the "Sorceress first" theory. 2 cities. 30+ provinces each to 6*. I even put Buddy into situations I normally wouldn't use her for and she did not get shot at once!
Initial opening round anyway, which is what we're studying here. But first, a moment of silence for the giant stacks of squishy blossoms that absolutely got shredded in a blink of an eye in the name of science...
Case1: Where's Blossom? Oh, she's gone. Science experiments in the 6th round of provinces #30+ are very bloody and expensive. But look! Buddy's perfectly fine and healthy, even though she's not even supposed to be here against this match up and I just stuck her in as a test variable. This battle went pretty sideways quickly, especially having to fight with one man down the whole encounter and how outnumbered my stacks were. Ironically, Buddy ended up saving the day with all her debuffing!
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Case1A: Another giant stack of squishy Blossoms completely gone in the name of science while Buddy was left alone. This battle also went sideways fighting with one man down in upper provinces while overpowering cannoneers picked off my outnumbered light range until Buddy, once again, stopped the bleeding for Team Sorceress to regroup and fight back.
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Case1B: The squishy Blossoms got nearly destroyed, but there's Buddy still looking fresh, staring directly down at the Mist Walker in front of her.
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Case 2: This one is at least predictable Misty would hit squishy Blossoms first, but still big ouchie!
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Case 3: And then we went back to Misty doing whatever the hell she wants. Why did she spare Blossoms this round? Note: the Dryad bait was out of range.
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Case 3A: Dryad in range and is the Mist Walker bait.
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Case3B: She took the Dryad bait. Buddy was spared because she is out of range.
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Current conclusion: I will absolutely use Dryads for bait now if it means I can get away with using mages in more situations when Mist Walker is around.