Lordaeron has fallen - but the Alliance stands strong. Today we're looking at how these kingdoms come together to fight as one on the miniature battlefield of Rumble. In keeping with that theme of unity through difference, the Alliance has leaders that cover three different unique playstyles.

Jaina Proudmoore

Jaina Proudmoore, Ruler of Theramore. Archmage of the Kirin Tor. Daughter of the Sea. Miniaturized in your hand.

Jaina has the most spell-focused playstyle in the game, next to Bloodmage Thalnos. While on the battlefield, her passive 'Arcane Brilliance' increases the level of spells you play by 3. That's a 33% increase in the damage of a spell like Chain Lightning, 15% on an Execute, or an extra 1.5 seconds on a Polymorph.

Because spells provide no map presence, dealing partial damage is often not much better than dealing no damage at all. Jaina can shift crucial breakpoints of spells, allowing for a clean kill or a favourable trade. For example, despite taking an extra 100% damage from spells, Spiderlings can tank a Chain Lightning and keep going. But with Jaina on the field, Electric beats Bug. Likewise, a Blizzard can clear an Ogre Mage with some arcane augmentation.

Jaina is an adequate but unspectacular ranged mini by herself. Her range and damage output is a little bit lower than you might expect for 3g, but the Frost effect is valuable, allowing her to trade cleanly against some targets like Drakes without much effort.

Most of the time, you'll want to take Clearcasting for the gold savings. Note that the effect is lost if you play a non-spell mini next, so it's important to have a spell in hand ready. Blink is reasonable for survivability, but note that she can cancel her own attacks mid-animation as a result of blinking away. If the enemy mini attacks faster than she does, then Blink actually causes her to lose the trade. Finally, Flurry is not picked as much as the others, but an AoE slow is actually pretty reasonable when combined with other damage dealers.

Although Oops All Spells! is a funny build to play around with, usually 1-2 spells is the sweet spot to take advantage of her passive without conceding map control altogether. I find Execute to be the easiest one to throw in an army if I'm not targeting a particular mission, for the ease of clearing a Tower and its defenders.

Tirion Fordring

Uther Tirion brings the power of a paladin to your Army. Probably the most straightforward of all the leaders, he supports your team as an Armored melee tank and another source of healing. Deathball is the name of the game with Tirion, as you try and build up enough minis + Tirions to survive and bowl through anything (though be warned, the AI runs a surprisingly large number of Living Bombs).

In the campaign, a typical Tirion army will include a Frostwolf Shaman as an extra source of healing and a powerful pushing mini such as an Abomination or a squad of Footmen (though he can still be effective with cheaper armies). This is pretty expensive to setup however, so resource management is key. Tirion relies heavily on being able to win enough trades to build up a critical mass. When that's denied to him, he can struggle to leverage his healing effectively.

With his armor and healing Tirion is an adequate standalone defensive mini. He lacks innate AoE and offensive pressure (dealing about half of Baron Rivendare in damage) so it's crucial that he is supported by another mini.

Most of the time Divine Shield is taken as a boost to his survivability. Note that some sources of burst damage can kill Tirion before Divine Shield activates, like Execute (Living Bomb in contrast deals damage in discrete units, so Tirion will always have a chance to active his shield). By The Light increases his healing output, providing an alternative but similar boost to Tirion's defensive prowess. A reasonable choice, but less popular due to being overshadowed by Divine Shield.

Consecrate might be a little bit underrated. It has a 10 second cooldown so fairly slow but does a reasonable amount of damage, and shores up a crucial weakness to squads that Tirion armies often have.

Maiev Shadowsong

When she's not trying to murder the Stormrage brothers this master of the unbound rounds out the Alliance trio with a unique playstyle. Her passive reduces her cost by 1g with each unbound played (to a minimum of 1g). Since many of the premium minis at the moment are unbound, she is being discounted for doing something you already want to do.

Her strength is unparalleled map presence, her weakness, map control. That is, it is easier for her to be anywhere on the map she wants to be, but the relative fragility of unbound minis makes it harder for her to build up the value to secure control of key points against enemy pushes. It is often better for Maiev to attack another location in response to a push rather than immediately rush to counter it.

Whenever Maiev attacks from stealth, her fan of knives deals 300 damage (and hits air). This means at roughly 3g you're getting decent value to drop her in. Her single target damage is adequate at that point as well. Getting her cheaper does allow for more explosive plays, and can allow a team of unbounds to slip behind enemy lines and quickly assassinate the boss.

Remorseless is currently the most popular talent. I am less impressed by it, but it can be used in combination with a quick restealth to double the damage of her fan of knives. Shadowstep is a decent option to help her fight ranged and towers. But personally, I'm a big fan of Enveloping Shadows. A free smoke bomb can be extremely powerful for protecting minis as they approach, resetting Defias Bandits for another stun, or giving Ambush a second time to a Worgen.