The name may not be all that original, but man, it is such a good fit and cool card! It's hard to imagine any Jotune deck without this in play – it's just that good!
Speaking of being just that good, Ascary Lazos is one of those good at everything artists it seems – no complaints here! Colors and compositions can be unexpected at times, but somehow always work, and Art of War is no exception – great card and great art! To be fair, we've been very lucky with all of our core group of artists.
As for Art of War itself, as I mentioned, it is typically an auto include for me. I don't always talk about my play strategies, but I'll freely admit to trying to always fit four of these in my Jotune decks. The only time I don't include four is when I am running an experimental Warrior and Bolthorn Warlord build.
I run 4 of them in every Jotune deck and then make sure I have 5-6 Jotune Type 1's to trigger the +2/+2. This card to me is a must have. With the Synthien trying to lock down your big hitters, this now makes your little guys not so little.
With Satellite Network Facility, I like to have 1 Art of War up by turn 4 if possible and end the game by 6 or 7. A single Satellite Network Facility is alright, but if they start dropping more than that it gets real scary. Art of War gives the punch through needed to get that damage on the table quick and I can even leave a defender back to absorb damage when they are going after my key Jotune 4 drop sites.
There is no doubt Art of War is a build-around-me card. It makes demands of your deck construction; it makes otherwise good cards worse. With all that said I start every Jotune list with four copies. The payoff is just too high to ignore. Games are often decided by combatants and their proxy sularium generation.
Even stuck on sularium Art of War lets your combatants trade up the curve and compete with what would otherwise be an overwhelming force. With the number of quality combatants in the Jotune Art of War often directly pushes damage ending the game while you are still ahead. Because of the need of types one I will often run 2-4 of each Lord Oathki or Lady Worgana and Lord Fenris to hit a total of 6 type ones. It seems Lord Oathki and Lady Worgana directly compete for the same deck space so I currently do not run them in any of the same deck lists.
Art of War is the definitive staple of the Jotune design. Early on, I wanted to bring meaning to the powerful characters of Sularia. These unique characters are referred to as type 1's. The Jotune design philosophy was based around two major principles. First, the Jotune were all about leveraging combatants to win victories for their battle commander. Second, the Jotune type 1's need to matter more so than other factions. Art of War strikes this balance perfectly.
The Jotune are weak to combatant removal effects such as Feedback. Sularium Tactical Assault Beam, and Centropolis. These cards have major utility against a faction that needs combatants to win. The beauty of Art of War is in its ability to push a small band of combatants through Synthien defenses for big wins. It also serves perfectly to protect Jotune combatants from Satellite Network Facility's in the late game. Jotune players not running Art of War are on the clock. With the new warrior builds there may be a reason to not run Art of War, but even in those builds it can only serve to make the deck better and stronger.