Welcome Mortals to what might be the biggest balance update we have ever done!

We have noticed a steady flow of feedback from players of all levels that our mid-range creatures are simply too low in stats to be justifiably included into decks. This has created a metagame whereby aggressive creatures (1-3 mana) dominate, or super expensive creatures (8-9 mana) dominate.

This is evidenced by the top performing decks in the current metagame (if you wish to examine the current metagame I would also recommend checking out the weekly reports made on reddit by discord user saints)!

We have therefore decided to increase the power level of over 200 creatures that are 4, 5, 6, and 7 mana. We have focused on either redistributing stats into more playable stat lines, flat increasing either attack/health, or reducing mana.

creature control

By increasing the stats of mid-range minions we think that mid-range decks will be able to stabilise better against aggro or will be able to trade better against larger late game creatures. Hopefully this promotes more top decks to include these cards to create a healthier metagame for mid-range creatures.

Note: In future we will also be examining whether or not we need to increase the power level of spells in the same mana range to compensate for this change to creatures.

It’s worth mentioning that this list includes a tonne of buffs to cards from the limited edition Genesis set. To find out more about Genesis packs and see if you can snag some of the buffed up cards, go here!

General

  • ‘Attack’ (referring to the amount of damage a creature does) is now called ‘Strength’.

We ran into issues with newer players and the wording on cards due to the fact that we refer to creatures as having ‘attack’ and also being able to ‘attack’. For example, newer players would often confuse something ‘gaining attack’ as allowing it to make multiple attacks in one turn.

As part of our journey to make card text clearer for everyone, we are changing ‘attack’ (referring to the amount of damage a creature does) to ‘strength’.

A creature now has ‘strength’ and ‘health’ values.

  • Increased the playability of over 200 creatures that are between 4-7 mana. See full list of curve changes below for more details.

Death

  • Soul Burn changed from 3 mana to 2 mana.

Soul Burn has struggled to find a home since its inception as evidenced by its 0.6% inclusion rate and 28.8% winrate over last weekends ranked constructed.

burn, baby burn

We hope that by increasing its power level it will find a more reliable place in the meta. If it does improve over time, we may not totally rework the God Power so that it becomes more usable. 

Deception

  •  Lightfoot Informant changed from 2 strength to 1 strength.

Lightfoot Informant previously received a buff to its power level taking it from a 1/1 to a 2/2. We’re very happy that this dramatically increased the amount of play Lightfoot Informant received.

overly informative

Unfortunately the power-level of informant is slightly over where we want it to be and it was too easy for it to do a 2-for-1 trade with other creatures. By lowering its attack to 1, it wont be an ‘auto-include’ when building a Deception deck and may become more of a meta call. 

  • Umber Arrow changed from “Gain control of an enemy creature with 2 or less strength until the end of turn. Give it strength +1 and godblitz.” to “Gain control of an enemy creature with 2 or less strength until the end of turn. Give it godblitz.

Umber Arrow is an absolute all-star of Deception and is comparable to Light’s Levy for its impact on their respective gods. Whilst we’re okay with Umber Arrow having a firm place in decks, we found that by also giving the creature strength +1 it made it too easy to steal a creature and then trade up with it.

back in the game

As such, we have removed the addition of strength when a creature is taken with Umber Arrow. It was previously unlived due to a game-breaking bug involving Trapdoor. It’s now getting re-lived so that Deception can continue to perform well in ranked weekends. Which brings us to the following temporary change…

  • Trapdoor changed from “Return a creature to its owner’s hand.” to “Return an enemy creature to its owner’s hand.” 

Note: This is a temporary and very small nerf that we will revert once we have solved the game crashing issues that Trapdoor can cause with stolen creatures when returning them to your own hand. 

Light

  • Chosen Visions changed from 3 mana to 2 mana.

Chosen Visions has been consistently one of the worst performing god powers in our ranked constructed weekends. Paying 3 mana in situations where your Chosen One was not on the board was such a large tempo loss that we found Light often couldn’t recover from it.

choose wisely

We hope that by reducing this god power to 2 mana we will significantly reduce the loss of tempo. We will continue to closely monitor how the Chosen One archetype is performing overall and, if appropriate, we will make more buffs to increase its playability.

Magic

  • Staff of Shards changed from 3 mana, “Ability: Deal 2 damage and remove 1 durability.” to 2 mana, “Ability: Deal 1 damage, then deal 1 to your opponents god and remove 1 durability.”

Staff of Shards has undergone a slight rework as we have found that it was too oppressive to creature based decks if it went unanswered. When using Magebolt or Blastwave in combination with Staff of Shards it effectively meant that any 4 or 3 health creatures would be removed with a small mana investment.

feared among gods

Therefore, we’ve made Staff of Shards a better option if one wishes to use it to damage their opponent’s God. 

  • Sip of Elixir changed from Pick one: Unlock a mana lock, or draw a card. to Give a friendly creature “Afterlife: Unlock a mana lock and draw a card.”

Sip of Elixir is a card that is simply too powerful due to the play pattern with Bag of Tricks on turn one and then Sip of Elixir ramping from the first turn.

This cannot be solved by changing the cards mana cost to 3 mana as it becomes too weak. We explored a tonne of rework options for Sip of Elixir. We also have internal professional TCG players helping to balance test the game (some of whom spend some time playing in the beta against you!) and this rework came directly from one of their suggestions.

spillith over

The rework leaves this card at a really powerful cantrip but it also encourages the Magic player to play on the board early if they want to ramp. This follows suit with the 3 mana ramp cards Mana Toad and Guardian of the Gates,which also require the ramp player to be on the board.

We suspect that this rework will encourage ramp players to be playing dynamic 1 mana cards that may curve nicely into Sip of Elixir

Nature

  • Vine Armour changed from 6 durability to 4 durability. 

Vine Armour is an interesting card because it is not by any means an oppressive card to the meta but it has been oppressive to our design space.

unblocked

Previously, the huge durability to Vine Armour made it extremely hard to design relic buff cards that may touch Nature. Vine Armour was also causing an issue where it was completely blocking out 2 health creatures against Nature.

The ability to deal a potential 12 total damage to attackers for 3 mana is also above what we deem an acceptable level as it essentially stonewalled certain decks from beating Nature when drawn.

We will continue to monitor Vine Armour closely and if it’s too harsh of a nerf we’ll revisit the change.

War

  • Iron Kopis changed from Godblitz to Blitz.

Slayer aggro decks have been an extremely healthy and welcome addition to the meta. Iron Kopis is the cornerstone of Slayer Aggro decks and we don’t mind keeping it that way.

Unfortunately Iron Kopis is slightly over the power level we had intended it to be and we want the deck to exist while also having reactive answers. Players will now be encouraged to use the first hit of Iron Kopis to gain tempo/control of the board (which was already the case in a large % of situations) and then subsequent hits on the opponent’s god.

lethal response

The scenario hurt the most from the Iron Kopis nerf is where the opponent would topdeck the card for lethal. Players now have a chance to respond to this lethal attack with durability reduction cards such as Iron Tooth Goblin.

  • Prodgious Armourer changed from 1 strength “Backline. At the end of your turn, give health +2 to another random friendly creature.”to 2 strength “Backline. At the end of your turn, give health +1 to another random friendly creature.”.

Prodgious Armourer provided devastating snowball potential if unanswered. It offered too much value given it is also initially impacted the board with 6 stats when played. We explored many potential options with Prodigious Armourer but it often resulted in making the body too weak to see play.

As such we’ve increased the overall power of Prodigious Armourer’s body, but slowed down the snowball.

less snowbally

Neutral

  • Peculiar Spellwrym changed from “Reduce the cost of spells in your opponent’s hand to 0, at the start of your next turn, reset them to their base value” to “Roar: “Your opponent draws a random spell from their deck. Reduce the cost of the drawn spell to 1.”

We reached out to the community on Discord (August 29th) to inform about a potential change to Peculiar Spellwrym. We want to change the card because it is currently too good and ubiquitous in every deck.

Control decks want to play it because it shuts down aggro decks at little risk and aggro decks want to play it because its a huge body that they can buff up. This issue is compounded by the fact that players are encouraged to mulligan away their expensive spells from their opening hand that may punish a Spellwrym as it’s a legendary card that the opponent may not have in their deck.

less punishing. still frightening

This gamble is a buzzkill for both players. On the one hand when you play a Spellwrym and you get punished you feel that your opponent made an incorrect decision by keeping the high mana cost card. On the other hand, if your opponent plays a Spellwrym and you mulliganned away your expensive spell you feel that you were punished for making a good play. 

The Discord community provided us with a tonne of great suggestions on potential changes to the card. Overall, the most popular suggestion came from Corgi Unleashed, who proposed

Roar: “Your opponent draws a random spell from their deck. Reduce the cost of the drawn spell to 1.”

This interaction no longer makes Spellwrym a gamble as you know your opponent is going to get some value from the card. We explored making it set the cost of the spell drawn to 0 but found it was too punishing.

With this version Spellwrym becomes a potentially great tool in metas where spells aren’t popular or are of low impact. It would also keep the card as a great option to tech against decks that include lots of 1 mana spells as it means they get no benefit from the mana cost reduction.

We can also see scenarios where Spellwrym is played frequently in aggro vs aggro heavy metas due to the raw tempo gain from the body. Overall we want to stress that we are still testing iterations of Spellwrym and if this design is too weak or too strong we’ll continue to make changes.

Lived Cards

This is a list of cards that have been made accessible in game after previously being temporarily inaccesible due to bug fixes.

  • Gloam Druid
  • Odin, Endless War
  • Light, Ascended
  • Magic Inks
  • Jason, Medea’s Muse
  • The Nether Prince
  • Umber Arrow

Unlived Cards

This is a list of cards that have been made inaccessible in game after previously being accessible due to needing critical bugs fixed.

  • Arius, Augur Paroxysm
  • Avatar of Deception

Full list of curve changes.

  • Amazon Hearteater – Stats changed from 3/1 to 3/2.
  • Nether Nanny – Stats changed from 3/4 to 4/4.
  • Mountain Greatwyrm – Stats changed from 3/9 to 4/9.
  • Dimension Looper – Stats changed from 3/2 to 3/3.
  • Osiris, the Eternal – Stats changed from 4/7 to 6/7.
  • Anubis, Guide of Souls – Stats changed from 4/6 to 5/6.
  • Portal Wrangler – Stats changed from 2/4 to 3/4.
  • Ashen Drake – Stats changed from 6/4 to 6/5.
  • Radiant Guardian – Stats changed from 4/7 to 5/7.
  • Spellwrought Angel – Stats changed from 4/5 to 5/5.
  • Pocket Channeler – Stats changed from 4/3 to 4/4.
  • The Black Argo – Stats changed from 3/6 to 4/6.
  • Anputian Magus – Stats changed from 1/4 to 2/4.
  • Rebirth Planetar – Stats changed from 5/7 to 6/7.
  • Boost Walker – Stats changed from 4/2 to 4/3.
  • Nullmaw – Stats changed from 7/5 to 7/6.
  • Deathdealt Netherine – Stats changed from 5/3 to 5/4.
  • Balance Ethereals – Stats changed from 4/4 to 4/5.
  • Golem Centurion – Stats changed from 4/7 to 5/7.
  • Scythes of the Harvest – Stats changed from 3/2 to 4/2.
  • Golem Excavator – Stats changed from 6/6 to 6/7.
  • Set Oshi – Stats changed from 2/4 to 3/4.
  • Annoying Combatant – Stats changed from 3/6 to 4/6.
  • Lupine Elemental – Stats changed from 3/6 to 4/6.
  • Demogorgon – Stats changed from 4/5 to 4/6.
  • That Which Aches – Stats changed from 3/6 to 3/7.
  • The Sky Reaver – Stats changed from 5/4 to 5/5.
  • Hercules, Son of Zeus – Stats changed from 6/6 to 6/7.
  • Shadow Prince – Stats changed from 4/7 to 5/7.
  • Aegis Commander – Stats changed from 2/3 to 3/3.
  • Rift Scholar – Stats changed from 1/2 to 2/2.
  • Tutankhamun – Stats changed from 1/4 to 1/5.
  • Master of Surprises – Stats changed from 8/4 to 8/5.
  • Devouring Golem – Stats changed from 3/5 to 4/5.
  • Penitent Spear – Stats changed from 4/2 to 5/2.
  • Astraea’s Envoy – Stats changed from 4/4 to 4/5.
  • Agrodor Protector – Stats changed from 2/5 to 3/5.
  • Friendly Mimic – Stats changed from 2/1 to 2/2.
  • Mana Thief – Stats changed from 2/1 to 3/1.
  • Fertility Idol – Stats changed from 0/5 to 0/6.
  • Wrath Zealot – Stats changed from 1/3 to 1/4.
  • Hallowed Keeper – Stats changed from 3/6 to 3/7.
  • Gentle Monk – Stats changed from 1/3 to 2/3.
  • Death Masque – Stats changed from 2/4 to 3/4.
  • Tyr, The Just – Stats changed from 4/9 to 5/9.
  • Dread Queen Persephone – Stats changed from 3/6 to 3/7.
  • Cambion Runelord – Stats changed from 5/4 to 5/5.
  • Nephthys Guardian – Stats changed from 3/5 to 4/5.
  • Odysseus, Tried Victor – Stats changed from 2/7 to 3/7.
  • Furies – Stats changed from 2/2 to 3/3.
  • Bulwark of the Sky – Stats changed from 6/6 to 6/7.
  • Tormentor Fiend – Stats changed from 6/4 to 6/5.
  • Mercenary Daemon – Stats changed from 6/4 to 6/5.
  • Azure Djinni – Stats changed from 6/3 to 6/4.
  • The Nether Prince – Stats changed from 6/8 to 7/8.
  • Horus, The Protector – Stats changed from 5/7 to 6/7.
  • Blind Cyclops – Stats changed from 7/6 to 7/7.
  • Wild Spellsinger – Stats changed from 5/5 to 5/6.
  • Blade Trial Valkyrie – Stats changed from 4/3 to 4/4.
  • Vine Armour – Stats changed from 1/6 to 1/4.
  • Exoscout – Stats changed from 4/4 to 4/5.
  • Planetar Envoy – Stats changed from 4/6 to 5/6.
  • Quicksilver Dragon – Stats changed from 7/7 to 7/8.
  • Aquatic Torturer – Stats changed from 6/4 to 6/5.
  • Hooded Doppelganger – Stats changed from 5/5 to 6/5.
  • Roadside Outfitter – Stats changed from 1/2 to 2/2.
  • Actuary of War – Stats changed from 1/3 to 2/3.
  • Highborn Knight – Stats changed from 2/3 to 3/3.
  • Cyclops – Stats changed from 4/5 to 5/5.
  • Returned Einherjar – Stats changed from 3/4 to 3/5.
  • Shade Walker – Stats changed from 3/4 to 4/4.
  • Ares Peacemaker – Stats changed from 0/6 to 0/7.
  • Paragon of Fortune – Stats changed from 2/3 to 3/3.
  • Prodigious Armourer – Stats changed from 1/3 to 2/3.
  • Ruthless Caipora – Stats changed from 3/2 to 3/3.
  • Ocular Fiend – Mana cost changed from 5 to 6.
  • Canopic Hoarder – Stats changed from 1/1 to 2/1.
  • Advocate of Brilliance – Stats changed from 3/5 to 4/5.
  • Leywraith – Stats changed from 3/4 to 4/5.
  • Reflection Elementalist – Stats changed from 2/4 to 3/4.
  • Master of Indulgences – Mana cost changed from 6 to 4.
  • La Bolefuego – Stats changed from 5/3 to 3/5.
  • Rune Smuggler – Stats changed from 6/2 to 4/5.
  • Ferocious Rougarou – Stats changed from 3/3 to 4/4.
  • Lightfoot Informant – Stats changed from 2/2 to 1/2.
  • Salvaged Sentinel – Stats changed from 5/6 to 6/6.
  • Griffith, The Chosen – Stats changed from 7/5 to 6/7.
  • Angelic Veteran – Stats changed from 2/3 to 2/4.
  • Smoke Bomb – Stats changed from 3/4 to 4/5.
  • Identity Thief – Stats changed from 1/4 to 4/4.
  • Pandora, The Curious – Stats changed from 3/6 to 2/5.
  • Locusta, Solution Expert – Stats changed from 1/3 to 2/4.
  • Spellstealer – Mana cost changed from 7 to 5. Stats changed from 4/4 to 3/3.
  • Archimedes Mirror – Mana cost changed from 7 to 6.]
  • Sucella – Stats changed from 2/2 to 4/4.
  • Myrto’s Daughter – Stats changed from 2/1 to 2/2.
  • Bucking Bronco – Stats changed from 4/2 to 4/3.
  • Black Rhino – Stats changed from 4/4 to 5/5.
  • Hippolyta, Divided – Stats changed from 3/4 to 4/5.
  • Crystallax – Stats changed from 3/3 to 3/4.
  • Jaguar Rider – Stats changed from 5/3 to 6/3.
  • Manathirst Golem – Mana cost changed from 6 to 5. Stats changed from 5/5 to 4/4.
  • Thaumnetic Golem – Stats changed from 4/7 to 5/7.
  • Feral Shapeshifter – Stats changed from 2/4 to 3/4.
  • Inconspicuous Carriage – Stats changed from 1/6 to 2/6.
  • Veteran Cataphract – Stats changed from 5/6 to 6/6.
  • Aether Vanguard – Stats changed from 2/4 to 4/4.
  • Wetlands Ogre – Stats changed from 4/4 to 4/5.
  • Town Guardian – Stats changed from 3/3 to 3/4.
  • Harp Cupid – Stats changed from 2/3 to 2/4.
  • Highland Defender – Stats changed from 3/3 to 4/3.
  • Annoying Bureaucrat – Stats changed from 1/3 to 3/4.
  • Penthesilean Warrior – Stats changed from 4/4 to 6/3.
  • Soothsayer – Stats changed from 1/1 to 2/3.
  • Hardened Channeler – Stats changed from 1/3 to 4/3.
  • Veteran Archer – Stats changed from 1/4 to 2/3.
  • Travelling Bard – Stats changed from 2/2 to 3/2.
  • Jungle Princess – Stats changed from 4/2 to 4/3.
  • Zaxiom, Cryptic Panther – Stats changed from 3/3 to 4/4.
  • Carthaginian Marine – Stats changed from 2/3 to 3/3.
  • Tamed Mammoth – Stats changed from 2/5 to 3/5.
  • Ogre Archer – Stats changed from 3/2 to 3/3.
  • Hector, Prince of Troy – Stats changed from 5/5 to 6/6.
  • Judge Envoy – Stats changed from 6/5 to 6/7.
  • Helian Blademaster – Stats changed from 5/4 to 5/5.
  • Drow Nightblade – Stats changed from 6/2 to 5/4.
  • Frost Giant Deadshot – Stats changed from 3/5 to 4/5.
  • Porphyrion, Dread Cyclops – Stats changed from 6/6 to 6/8.
  • Tomb Priest – Stats changed from 2/4 to 4/3.
  • Auric Mage – Stats changed from 1/4 to 3/4.
  • Vanir Lion – Mana cost changed from 5 to 4. Stats changed from 4/4 to 5/2.
  • Stormstress – Stats changed from 2/6 to 4/5.
  • Burnished Bull – Stats changed from 9/9 to 10/10.
  • Planetar Centurion – Stats changed from 6/6 to 7/7.
  • Pyrrhic Adolescent – Stats changed from 2/6 to 4/4.
  • Eldritch Demonologist – Stats changed from 1/2 to 2/2.
  • Amplureal, Sentient Shard – Stats changed from 4/4 to 4/2. 😉
  • Helios Battlesworn – Stats changed from 5/5 to 5/6.
  • Void Drake – Stats changed from 6/4 to 7/5.
  • Holy Enchanter – Stats changed from 2/2 to 2/4.
  • Valewarden Minotaur – Stats changed from 3/4 to 4/4.
  • Tainted Treant – Stats changed from 1/4 to 2/4.
  • Green Giant – Stats changed from 6/7 to 6/8.
  • Cerberus, Styx Hound – Stats changed from 3/6 to 5/6.
  • Vampiric Skull – Stats changed from 5/5 to 6/6.
  • Sand Scorpion – Stats changed from 1/1 to 1/3.
  • Famished Ghoul – Stats changed from 4/3 to 4/4.
  • Lokian Disciple – Stats changed from 5/8 to 6/8.
  • Thalia, Charite Temptress – Stats changed from 1/2 to 2/2.

Phew… you made it! Thanks for reading!

-Petrify