Hello mortals! We have a massive announcement to make as part of this balance blog.
We’re introducing 12 new common spells to our core set! These 12 spells will be pushed live sometime this week… stay tuned.
The reason we’re introducing 12 new spells (two per god) is we firmly believe there should be more removal spells in our game before launch. We’ve found that because most gods do not have adequate answers to threats, we’re seeing a lower amount of interactivity between players than we’d like.
One of our main goals was to introduce a single target removal spell that filled a role which a god may be missing, and a board wipe for the same reason.
The only exception to this is with Nature. We think Nature’s removal suite is in a sweet spot and part of the reason why Nature was so dominant this weekend. Instead, we have introduced lategame heavy and synergistic spells to Nature which we believe was a missing element in its suite.
Oh, and we nerfed Flourish 🙂
12 New Spells
- Blackblood Blast. 6 mana. Destroy all creatures. Deal 5 damage to your god.
We’re really excited about adding a board wipe in at 6 mana. We feel Death has some amazingly strong lategame cards but was unable to bridge the gap to get there.
We’re unsure if this is dealing too much damage to your god or not and we will iterate over that aspect of the spell in the future.
- Netherwarp. 4 mana. Transform a creature into a 3/3 Netherbeast.
This spell is one we feel helps fill an important role to Death – a way to answer permanently recurring threats. This functions similarly to Ratify but the larger body means that this has some flexibility as it can convert your smaller creatures into a slightly larger threat.
This is also worse than Ratify in a way that fits into Death as giving your opponent a 3/3 is significantly better than a 1/1.
- Rapture Dance. 6 mana. Deal damage to all enemy creatures where the damage is equal to the number of creatures on the board.
Rapture Dance is a card that screams Deception. Your opponent ultimately has control over how much damage this spell does and if they aren’t careful they might get ruined by it.
If they are careful they can control how effective this card is. We hope that this card gives Deception a great answer to zoo based decks.
- Darkdream Hex. 3 mana. Sleep a creature, if it’s already asleep, destroy it.
Deception currently suffers an issue whereby its sleep archetype is incapable of dealing with large threats. Sleeping a creature usually leaves you down a card as you have temporarily dealt with a threat, but not permanently. We wanted to add a large payoff to having slept a creature and we feel that Darkdream Hex potentially ticks both these boxes.
- Purification Filter. 6 mana. Destroy all creatures with 3 or more attack.
Light currently has no effective way to catch-up on a board when it’s behind. We want Light to be able to recover from board states where they are struggling against large creatures. Ideally, players will now have to think before throwing out multiple huge creatures against Light.
We’re very bullish that this card will help fix some of the more fundamental issues with Light.
- Imperious Smite. 4 mana. Destroy a creature with the highest attack.
Light currently has to rely on two card combos to take care of a large creature (Sit Down + Light’s Levy) – this is not where we want Light to be. We would like Light players to have at least one card that can answer a large creature without going down on cards.
This card also provides an opportunity for their opponents to play around it by forcing Light to keep the highest attack creatures on the board.
- Starshard Bolt. 2 mana. Deal 4 damage to an enemy creature.
Magic has some super effective early game removal spells such as Tracking Bolt, however we have found that there’s been a void in hitting the vital 4 health threshold within Magic.
We hope that by including Starshard Bolt players will be able to more effectively deal with the extremely strong early game threats that have 4 health for example – Marsh Walker & Skeleton Heavy.
- Astric Implosion. 6 mana. Deal 6 damage to a creature and 3 damage to all other creatures.
This card is aimed at being a bridge to get Magic players closer to the end game cards such as Inferno. Astric Implosion is notably double-sided with its area of effect much like Faraday Cage (and unlike Inferno).
We’re hoping that Astric Implosion will provide a nice ladder from Crystal Rain to Inferno.
- Opalised Roots. 6 mana. Obliterate 4 random cards in your void. add 4 random nature cards to your hand. If your void is empty, heal your god for 6.
We want Nature to be rewarded for keeping their void empty and to have more cards similar to Photogenesis.
This is a very powerful but low-tempo card advantage tool that may help Nature decks refill their aggressive strategies further into the late game.
- Arkmonian Onslaught. 6 mana. Give all friendly Amazons +3/+3 and twin strike.
We want Amazons to be more supported as a tribe and part of that is providing more payoffs for Amazon based cards.
We’re hoping that this will reward players in a large enough way that they will want to include Amazon’s in their deck.
- Avalanche Strike. 2 mana. Deal 2 damage to a creature. If you have a relic, remove 1 durability and deal 12 damage instead.
We really love the Slayer type War decks and want to encourage more relic based gameplay from War. This is aimed at being a large single target removal spell that is flexible enough that you don’t always have to have a relic equipped to use it.
We’re hoping this lets aggressive War decks have a more flexible suite of answers to threats rather than just deadly creatures.
- Carnage Sweep. 6 mana. Deal 2 damage to all creatures. If you have a relic equipped, remove 1 durability and destroy all creatures instead.
Similar to Avalanche Strike, we want War players to be able to deal with wide boards in their relic based game play. Carnage Sweep should provide War players with a nice answer to a very large amount of creatures and provides a nice reset button to complex board states that War may have previously struggled against.
Balance Changes – live right now!
- Living Container changed from Roar: Destroy a friendly creature. Afterlife: If the creature is in a void, give it +2/+2 and return it to the board. to Soulless. Roar: Destroy a friendly creature. Afterlife: If the creature is in a void, give it +2/+2 and return it to the board.
We’re looking to revisit Reanimate in the near future so when it’s resurrected it’s given soulless to prevent looping creatures.
Whilst we’re in the exploratory phase of this change we’ve decided to give Living Container the keyword ‘soulless’ so that it cannot be looped. We will possibly reverse this change once Reanimate has been fixed.
- Needle-Fang Chameleon changed from Hidden. Give creatures damaged by this burn +1. to Hidden for 1 turn. Give creatures damaged by this burn +1.
We love Needle-Fang Chameleon and think its a fantastic and highly flexible card for Deception but it was slightly over the level of flexibility we wanted due to the ability to leave it permanently hidden until you have the opportunity to trade it.
- Shade Walker changed from 4 health to 3 health.
Shade Walker puts the opponent under immense pressure by putting them on a very quick clock before they die. We’ve found that one of the strongest ways to use Shade Walker is to keep giving it hidden with ‘Cheat’.
We’ve lowered the health so that Shade Walker is more vulnerable to area of effect spells whilst hidden. For example, if Cheat is used on Shade Walker it is now vulnerable to Crystal Rain.
- Spellstealer set to live and changed from Roar: Delve a spell from your opponent’s deck and move it into your hand to Roar: Add a spell from your opponents class to your hand.
Spellstealer was previously very buggy so we have created a simpler design that players can test out. We want it to be a more mid-game oriented version of Lightfoot Informant and we are conscious that it may be too weak in this new iteration so we will be looking to potentially buff Spellstealer further in the future.
- Double Dealer set to live and changed from 2 mana 2/1, Roar: Draw 3 cards. Pick One: Shuffle the left-most or right-most 3 cards in your hand into your deck. to 7 mana 3/2, Roar: Draw 2. Your opponents shuffles 2 randoms cards into their deck.
Double Dealers old design was a relic of an old mechanic that we actually no longer utilise and the text was extremely buggy. We’ve identified that Deception needs a lategame powerhouse card /advantage bomb so we have made Double Dealer fit that space.
We will closely monitor its statline and effect. If it’s not filling the role we want well enough we’re more than happy to continue buffing it.
- Hunting Trap changed from Next turn, when your opponent attacks with anything, deal 8 damage to a random enemy character. If they don’t attack, draw a card. to Deal damage to a creature equal to that creatures strength.
Deception is in desperate need of some more late-game oriented and flexible removal so we’ve redesigned one of its more underplayed and confusing effects.
We always want Deception opponents to be able to play around Deception trickery and we think that this new card provides that to some extent as it makes players more afraid to buff the attack of their creatures when playing against Deception.
- Sleep Dart changed from 3 mana to 2 mana.
We’ve introduced two new removal spells to Deception at the 3 mana (Hunting Trap & Darkdream Hex) and we’ve also noticed that Sleep Dart has been significantly under performing at 3 mana.
We don’t think Sleep Dart can compete at 3 mana with the other two sleeps and as such we’re changing Sleep Dart to 2 mana.
- Fixed a bug where Mirrors from Hall of Mirrors were incorrectly able to attack.
- Inquisitors Summons set to live changed from 2 mana, Look at the top 6 cards of your deck. Draw a card. to 5 mana, Summon Acolyte’s until you have as many creatures as your opponent, then give the Acolytes frontline.
This effect has been historically buggy and very weak so we have redesigned it into a card that we think Light is crying out for.
One of the main issues with Light is regaining the board when you’re behind, and whilst we cannot address this with just this one card we have more changes in the pipeline.
We realise that there is some overlap here with this card and Arrest Warrant but hope that these cards provide different tools for Light in different scenarios.
- Chainflip changed from Deal 10 damage to an enemy creature. Then your opponent summons a random creature from their void. to Deal 10 damage to an enemy creature. Then your opponent summons a random creature from their void at the end of the turn.
This is a small change that allows Magic to remove frontline creatures from the board and then attack through them without re-summoning the frontline creature until the end of the turn.
We also found that there was some confusion about whether Chainflip could summon the creature it destroyed, so we have changed the timing of the resurrection to clarify exactly how it operates.
- Cultivate (created from Nature, Overgrown) changed from Obliterate 2 random cards from your void. If your void is empty, refresh 4 mana. to Give all friendly creatures strength +2.
Nature, Overgrown is a key Genesis Legendary card that was simply far too weak. We’ve changed it now so it unlocks a more powerful version of Flourish.
We hypothesize that given how late Cultivate shows up that it won’t be oppressively strong because Zoo based decks tend to fall away around 7 mana. We will be keeping a close eye on this one in future.
- Flourish changed from 2 mana to 3 mana.
Oh geez, Flourish dominated this weekend very heavily. We have always felt that Flourish was stronger than we wanted it to be and we’re really glad that this weekend happened as a wakeup call.
We have some redesign ideas for Flourish in case it ends up being too weak at 3 mana but for now we want to see how it performs at this mana cost. We’ve chosen to target Flourish rather than Marsh Walker (next-in-line for a nerf) because we believe the issue with Nature is the pattern of playing two 1 mana cards on turn 1 and then following it up with Flourish.
Whilst Marsh Walker is the strongest 1 mana card you can play in this play pattern, we feel that nerfing it wouldn’t solve the fundamental issue with Nature as you would simply use creatures such as Arkmonian Anteater or Broken Harvester instead.
We are also closely examining the Bag of Tricks as we believe that it may be closely related to some of the aggressive issues that we are facing in the current metagame.
- Avatar of Nature changed from At the end of each turn, summon a 1/1 Walking Plant. to At the end of your turn, summon a 1/1 Walking Plant.
We felt when we buffed Avatar of Nature we were close to making this change at that time but we wanted to validate that the design was too strong.
The feedback we have received and the statistics support the fact that the Avatar of Nature was snowballing too fast and triggering at the end of each turn was too strong. We’ve toned the snowball back and we believe that this card is still excellent enough to see a lot of play without being too strong.
- Tormentor Fiend changed from Has leech when attacking creatures. to Blitz. Roar: Other friendly creatures gain leech until end of turn.
Tormentor Fiend is a Genesis card that hasn’t been seeing a lot of play and we want to increase its power level. We feel that this card should now be popular in a meta with aggressive decks as it lets you stabilise your life total.
- Backstreet Bouncer changed from 2/2, Ward to 1/1, “Afterlife: Add a random rune to your hand.”
Backstreet Bouncer didn’t fit into any decks as other cards filled this position so we wanted to redesign it to be more unique.
We’ve found that runes are something that players really enjoy and we want to provide more rune synergy for players to enjoy earlier on.
- Drider of the Depths changed from Frontline. Pick one: Deal 4 damage to your god, or obliterate a card in your hand. to Frontline. Pick one: Deal 6 damage to your god, or obliterate a card in your hand.
Drider of the Depths is a fantastically powerful card that lets players stabilise with a large frontline creature at a cost.
We’ve found that the cost between the two “pick one” options was not balanced as players would almost always choose to deal damage to your god rather than obliterate a card. We’ve increased the damage that Drider deals to your god to make the decision harder for players.
- Raiding Kraken set to live and changed from 7 mana, While Raiding Kraken is in your hand, if you play a creature, reduce mana cost by 1. to 9 mana. At the start of your turn, set Raiding Kraken’s mana cost to 9 minus the number of creatures on the board.
Raiding Kraken is a card that players have not been able to properly test due to bugs. We’ve redesigned the card so that its one players can start testing it immediately.
- Tutankhamun changed text from Backline. At the end of each turn, summon a 1/1 Skeleton with soulless for every friendly creature put into your void that turn. to At the end of each turn, summon a 1/1 Skeleton with soulless for every friendly creature put into your void that turn.
Tutankhamun is an extremely strong card in the correct matchups, to the point where we’ve found that the player who played Tutankhamun first would win.
We’ve toned it back so that Tutankhamun can be attacked by enemy creatures now as we’ve removed the backline. This will encourage players to play the card more carefully or for immediate value.
- The Harvester changed from Whenever a creature dies, deal 2 damage to both gods. When your god takes damage heal your god for 2. When your god is healed give The Harvester +1/+1. to Whenever a creature dies, deal 2 damage to both gods. When your god takes damage heal your god for 2. When your god is healed give The Harvester strength +1.
The Harvester is an extremely strong card that players love playing with. We want to preserve its design but tone down its overall strength.
We’ve found that one of the main issues with The Harvester is that it’s hard to trade creatures into it because its health grows when you trade your creatures into it. As a result we’ve removed its ability to gain health when a creature dies. We will continue to monitor The Harvester closely.
- Drow Nightblade changed name to Onyx Nightblade, changed from 5 mana 5/4, Roar: Put an enemy to sleep. to 2 mana 1/2, Roar: Destroy a creature with 1 or less strength.
Onyx Nightblade is a card that was suggested to us by one of our internal balance testers who has been performing extremely well in ranked constructed weekends. We believe that this card will be fantastic in slowing down aggressive decks as it answers some of the more problematic 1 mana creatures (Marsh Walker, Switch Duelist).
Aggressive players are also able to adjust to this card to effectively make Onyx Nightblade a 2 mana 1/2 by removing 1 attack creatures from their deck if Onyx Nightblade becomes too popular.
This will potentially create a healthy metagame whereby players have to think harder about whether or not to include their 1 attack creatures or whether control players should include Onyx Nightblade in their deck. If this card turns out to be too strong, we’ll revisit the change in future. We’re very excited to see how Onyx Nightblade effects the meta!
Thanks for reading!