The Sanctum — Gain the favor of the gods

Gain Favor, grab cards, and crush your opponent. Welcome to the Sanctum, mortal.

The Sanctum is an in-game shop that can give mortals an edge beyond the 30 cards they bring into a match. Featuring five side-decks, the Sanctum greatly expands the strategic depth seen during play.

Let’s have a look at how it all works.

Generating favor

Favor is a resource that players gain during a match for performing certain actions. It is a resource given by the gods for actions they find pleasing, which can then be spent in the Sanctum during a match.

Favor is generated as follows:

  • Players begin the game with 0 favor.
  • Whenever you complete a ‘Favor Action’, you are rewarded as follows:
    • You gain 1 favor during your first turn.
    • You gain 2 favor during your second turn.
    • You gain 3 favor during subsequent turns.
  • Favor Actions are as follows:
    • You attack an opponent’s God.
    • You destroy an enemy creature outside of combat.
    • Your creature survives an attack during combat and the attacking creature dies.
The amount of Favor gained is displayed on each mortal’s nameplate.

The Sanctum

The Sanctum is the in-game store where mortals can spend their favor in exchange for temporary cards outside of their deck.

The Sanctum works as follows:

  • There are five decks of cards in the Sanctum, each containing some number of cards. (For now, there are 12 cards in each deck.)
  • Three of the decks are randomly chosen to begin with, being available to both players. The other two are on standby. The top cards of those three decks are revealed.
  • During their turn, a player may spend Favor to pull a revealed card into their hand. If they do, that deck is replaced with a standby deck at the end of the turn.
  • A player may pull up to three cards per turn (one from each of the available decks).
  • Players do not own these cards. Just like when cards are created from other cards during play, cards from the Sanctum are not permanently owned by either player and will disappear after the match is over.
  • The card list for the five Sanctum decks changes over time.
  • The mana cost for cards in the Sanctum may be different than their cost in player’s decks. Currently, we aren’t using this feature, but we will in the future.
The Sanctum is situated to the right of your match screen. Simply click to expand.

Why did we create the Sanctum?

Gods Unchained is a great game, with six domains of cards, each of them giving multiple deckbuilding options to players. Not all War decks look alike, not all Light decks look alike, and so on. But once you get into a game, games can fall into a predictable pattern. Some matchups are better than others, and at times it can feel a bit too by-the-book. The Sanctum changes that forever.

Games with favor and The Sanctum are more-rewarding of skill, by increasing the gameplay complexity a little bit. It is no longer enough to rely on patterns of play that happen when one domain faces another. Now, players will be challenged to adapt on-the-fly to changes you couldn’t predict. For instance, players can pull cards from The Sanctum that are from a different domain — a War player can grab and play a Magic card. Auros can unleash an Inferno! 

This style of play, a strategy card game with deckbuilding-game elements, is unique among digital Trading Card Games (TCGs). We’ve created something of our own, and we believe it improves the game for both the experienced and the new players. Players new to Gods Unchained can play with cards they don’t own, getting a glimpse into a style of play they didn’t previously consider. Experienced players have a new challenge to master. And hopefully, everyone will get to enjoy their collections in a new way.

How does the game change?

In testing, we’ve had to rethink how we approach matches of Gods Unchained. In addition to general metagame concerns, such as how and when to mulligan, and knowing which god power one may want to select against which opponents, you now have an additional vector to consider – are there any cards in the Sanctum that can wreck your plans? Are there cards you need to destroy your opponent? And what sacrifices are you willing to make to get those cards before your opponent does?

Because of favor, mortals may now be much more willing to make a “bad trade” than before. You may rather have your creatures die on your turn if you are sure your opponent is going to kill them on theirs, for example, as doing this denies your opponent favor, and it also gets you closer to earning favor for yourself. It may even encourage you to attack your opponent using a relic! Previously, a player may hold their relics to help control the board. Now, depending on the state of the Sanctum, it is completely worth it to attack an opponent for one damage… because 3 Favor is sometimes the difference between winning and losing!

The Sanctum is just one way of which Gods Unchained is treading its own path, there’s plenty more to come!

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