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Armello Hero Guides: How to Use Thane the Winter Wolf

Learn to use Winter Wolf Thane, and show the might of the Wolf Clan! This competitive guide has the strategy and builds to effectively use Thane to win Armello. With honor and courage, this Thane guide will lead you to victory. Ready your sword and prepare to slay your way to the throne!

Armello Hero Guides: How to Use Thane the Winter Wolf

New to Armello? Try out these guides for other characters!

  1. Armello Hero Guides: How to Use River the Howling Arrow – River, the fighter who brings down prey at a distance!
  2. Armello Hero Guides: How to Use Sana the Forest Sister – Sana the spellcaster slays her enemies from afar!
  3. Armello Hero Guides: How to Use Mercurio the Grinning Blade – Mercurio the trickster sabotages his enemies to get ahead!

The first of the 4 heroes included with Armello’s base game, Thane is an offensive powerhouse. His impressive Body and Fight, coupled with his powerful Hero Ability, make Thane a great aggressive option. Although Thane is limited in his spellcasting abilities, kingslayer and prestige victories are well within his reach. In fact, with a little luck and elbow grease, spirit stones and rot can be attainable as well. Thane, like many other Wolf Clan heroes, rewards aggressive play that sets opponents back while furthering your own goals. He does only one thing, but he does it better than nearly any other Hero in the kingdom of Armello. He is a powerful competitive pick, great for both advanced and beginning players alike.

Thane Hero Overview

  • Hero: Thane
  • Clan Affinity: Night
  • Fight: 5
  • Body: 5
  • Wits: 3
  • Spirit: 3
  • Hero Ability: Sword Master, sword cards burned in battle pierce opponents’ defenses. 
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From the get-go, Thane wants to hit fast and hit hard. His Fight of 5 is second only to Fang for the highest score in the game, although he ties with a handful of other Heroes. This score can be deceptive, however. With a Fight of 5 and a Wits of 3, he lacks both the hand size to burn in the necessary symbols in combat and the sheer dice advantage to overwhelm his opponents in the late game. His innate Spirit of 3 allows him to dabble in the Spell deck on occasion, although he lacks the ability to cast the best spells found here. His Wits is the obvious target for investment, starting at a base of 3. The end goal for Thane is to be able to burn most of his symbols in combat, equip powerful defensive items and ultimately challenge the king and his rivals head-on.

When to Use Thane

Thane is an incredibly offensive Hero who can succeed where even other combative Heroes fail. His high Body protects him from all but the most powerful spells, while his Hero Ability allows him to punish evading and defensive Heroes. Thane is the true hard counter to Twiss and also has a favorable matchup against hard spellcasters like Sana (assuming he isn’t corrupt) and Yordana. Thane works best when he has an abundance of sword cards to burn in order to activate his Hero Ability. He may struggle against Heroes who aggressively draw the Item deck, such as Barnaby. He will also suffer against Heroes whose Hero Abilities allow them to deal direct damage outside of combat, like River. Bring Thane when you see Heroes who focus on their defensive abilities or Heroes who want to avoid head-to-head combat for your best shot at the win.

Thane’s Hero Ability

Thane’s Hero Ability, Sword Master, is among the best the Wolf Clan has to offer. Allowing burned swords to pierce in combat means that careful hand management can lead to great rewards. Even powerful sword cards are often better burned than played, which denies opponents these often powerful cards and supplies Thane with ample offense in combat. Thane’s defense can easily come to lack, however, so be prepared to equip the best shield cards and burn only those which are lackluster. As long as Thane can continue to cycle his hand, Wits will be your ally.

Look at all those piercing swords!

Look at all those piercing swords!

Before combat with the King, ensure you’re holding enough sword cards in hand to kill him outright when possible. Burning them in guarantees his demise since they will pierce through the King’s rolled defenses. This leaves only your own survivability as a concern. Each die with a guaranteed outcome also reduces the risk of your own Fight turning against you since all your misses are added to the King’s own die pool. To get the most out of your Hero Power, be prepared to burn as many cards as possible and know exactly how many swords you need to take the crown.


Thane’s fight of 5 is immediately impressive at the start of the game, but combined with his Wits of 3, it is simply not enough to carry him. This makes Scratch a good choice for Thane, allowing him to boost his Fight to a respectable 6 and save his quest reward stat bonuses for his lackluster Wits instead. Soak is similarly applicable and allows you the choice of a more flexible stat allocation during the game. Soak enables Thayne to forgo what would have otherwise been a suboptimal point in Fight when presented with rot or spirit stone victories, but having to balance this late into the game can be tedious and unreliable. Think can be similarly effective, but oftentimes it’s better to simply build Wits than to take the Think amulet.

Ruin can be both a powerful and dangerous tool - use it with caution!

Ruin can be both a powerful and dangerous tool – use it with caution!

While Ruin is technically a viable option for Thane, this amulet works best for Heroes willing to draw the Spell deck. Being infected will also cause Thayne to take damage each dawn, which can be punishing if you can’t quite reach corruption. Feel could allow Thane to move a bit harder into the Spell deck. With a 4 Spirit, spells like Banish and Dark Influence open up to him. This is a bit more ideal for attempting rot victories, as it enables Thane to continue claiming settlements for gold without sacrificing quest rewards. However, Thane is almost always better off leaning into his offensive prowess than bothering with mediocre spellcasting.

A dedicated rot Thane can feel comfortable taking Ruin, and there are some cases to be made for taking Soak as a more experienced player. For the most part, though, Scratch will be Thane’s amulet of choice.


Chrysocolla is the go-to option for aggressive Wolf Clan heroes, granting scout on and +1 sword in combat against heroes with 3 or less health. This can be devastating to Heroes with low Body, such as Volodar, or Heroes who enjoy having stealth, like Zosha. Celestite is an option for those concerned about mobility, allowing Thane to ignore the movement penalty on mountains. Unfortunately, you won’t know the layout of the map until the game starts, so you could either get a lot of usage or none at all from this inconsistent ring.

Chrysocolla is to thank for this lovely bounty claimed!

Chrysocolla is to thank for this lovely bounty claimed!

Moonstone and Onyx are both slightly subpar ring options for Thane, granting +2 magic for every kill in battle and +2 gold for every kill in battle, respectively. Thane may struggle to draw deep into the Spell deck, thus making Moonstone less than ideal. But the gold granted by Onyx can help offset the downsides of the Ruin amulet, should you choose to use it. 

Chrysocolla is by far the best ring for Thane. Some builds may opt for Celestite or Onyx, but these tend to be less consistent and riskier overall. Thane is such a combat-oriented character that Chrysocolla’s benefit will often be missed when it isn’t equipped. The same can’t be said for these other Wolf Clan rings. Magic and mobility shouldn’t be your priorities as Thayne, so choose your ring accordingly.

Quest Selection

Thane’s main priorities are surviving in combat and filling his hand with swords. For this reason, Body and Wits should be your priorities. Thane’s starting Wits of 3 means you should take every Wits quest you’re offered, barring only the best equipment quests as exceptions. High Wits is essential when playing as Thane, as Wits is the key to effective use of his Hero Ability. Body is similarly important, as it will allow Thane to survive longer and be more aggressive. Body also helps prevent mutual death in combat with the king, which will force a Prestige victory if it occurs. Your Fight stat won’t help much against the king since your die advantage could turn against you. Your goal in that combat should be burning your cards in to guarantee the win. If you need to be aggressive with other heroes, however, reaching a 6 in Fight could be to your benefit. This can either be done with the Scratch amulet or by taking a single Fight quest for its card reward.

Thane Sets

While Thane is a versatile character on the board, the sets used to build him are fairly standardized. Thane is a one-trick wolf, but he pulls that one trick off very consistently. Hit hard, hit fast and be aggressive. Those looking for a more balanced playstyle should look elsewhere because Thane’s true advantage is his overwhelming raw power.

Standard Thane

  • Amulet: Scratch
  • Ring: Chrysocolla
  • Quests: 2 Wits, 2 Body
It may be simple, but this Thayne is a powerful force to be reckoned with.

It may be simple, but this Thayne is a powerful force to be reckoned with.

This is a standard set run by aggressive Thane mains everywhere. The Scratch amulet immediately raises your Fight to a respectable 6, allowing you to pick on banes and other players early. The Chrysocolla ring grants you the opportunity to hunt down injured heroes who may have otherwise evaded you. This gives you a chance to pick your battles, build prestige and cycle your hand often. You aren’t committed to a rot victory, enabling you to collect spirit stones where they’re available or to become corrupted by the powerful equipment in the Item deck. Any type of victory is well within your reach, and you’re limited only by what the game provides.

This Thane build works well against defensive Heroes like Magna and Twiss. It also does well against Heroes lacking in combative abilities, such as Yordana and Amber. When playing with a more standard build, be wary of picking fights you can’t win. Always be aware of your HP, as spellcasters on the board won’t hesitate to burn you with spells like Aflame and Moonbite. All in all, though, this Thayne build is a reliable fighter with the survivability to pick up the win.

Rot Thane

  • Amulet: Ruin
  • Ring: Onyx
  • Quests: 2 Wits, 2 Body

Rot Thane is even more aggressive than his standard counterpart. This set relies on pillaging settlements, drawing the Item deck and slaying banes to gain the rot needed for victory. Because of Thane’s innately high Fight, this set is a double-edged sword and is far less reliable than other Thane builds. When it works, however, it can tear through games and demolish all opposition. Keeping Fight low and building Body and Wits are the keys to the kingdom for rot Thane.

This Thane set revels in the power of darkness... But that darkness can easily turn against him.

This Thane set revels in the power of darkness… But that darkness can easily turn against him.

This set performs best when you suspect other heroes will be drawing rot cards from the Spell deck, and you feel you’ll have priority on the Item deck. Beware of Sana, however, who uses her impressive Spirit instead of Fight in combat with corrupted heroes. Less offensive Dragon Clan Heroes and spellcasters, like Sargon and Nazar, are great targets for rot Thane. Additionally, defensive heroes will continue to suffer when faced with the piercing swords Thayne burns in combat. 

In Conclusion…

Thane is a solid powerhouse with the means to take down all but the toughest opponents. He is among the best offensive fighters, and his strategy is simple yet effective. Be ready to fight long and hard on your quest to the throne, and all the glory of Armello shall be yours!

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