It’s nearing the end of the season! How are you faring in Crowd Pleasers?
Today we’re bringing you an end-of-season balance update. Overall we feel balance was relatively good across the board, with a few outliers. Merchant was the heavy-weight this time round, and we’re taking a few measures towards bringing him down a notch, as well as giving a bit of love to the Knight, who we felt was arguably one of the weaker Heroes this season.
Next season we’ll be venturing to the PVP debut of Fairfax Castle! Make sure to pack your best Big Entrance units, non-damaging spells and Hero-specific cards for the quests.
Also we’d like to note, as we've been adding more PVP arenas, Co-Op bosses and Heroic Tales to the game, we've become aware a lot of our users are finding 8 custom deck slots quite restrictive. This is something we're working on for the next update, so watch this space - we hope to have news for you on this and other changes to the game in the coming weeks.
All non-Basic cards that received changes with this balance update will be subject to their full salvage value for the next 2 weeks.
Happy chicken chasing!
- Gary “Cerith” Paskins, Game Designer (Mediatonic)
New Upcoming PVP Reward Card:
Say hello to your next brand new card, coming in hot with the next PVP season! Carrion Caller summons a 1/1 Crow every time you play a spell, and has the bonus aura effect of providing all of your Crows with +1/+1. These are the same Crows that Scarecrow produces, so… did someone say Crow deck?!
- Carrion Caller - 6g, 4/6, “After you play a spell, summon a 1/1 Crow. Your Crows have +1/+1.”
Card & Balance Changes:
So… much… healing…
Let’s talk Neutral healing and defences for a minute. Fortune already offers each Hero the access to Guard a unit each turn, on top of their own Hero-specific defensive options. There’s historically been a lot of very strong healing cards in Neutral, which can lead to slow games and some Heroes being able to combo this with their already strong defensive-suite. We don’t want Fortune games to feel like slog-fests - unless you happen to be playing control vs. control, then you’re in it for the long run, probably.
With this in mind, we’re hitting 2 particularly strong Neutral healing cards with this update: Voice of Avo, and Logan. Voice of Avo can provide up to a whopping 9 points of healing - that’s 18 points of healing across 2 copies of her, over half your total health. We like the ability, and that the number of cards in your hand matter, so we’re keeping the effect, but you can only target units with her now, and no longer Heroes. Logan we’re only hitting slightly, reducing his heal from 10 points of healing to 8. Logan is still an extremely versatile Fabled card, and we’re sure he will continue to be a strong pick.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on Neutral defensive options in the upcoming balance updates, as we continue to assess the state of the metagame.
- Logan - Royal Decree: Field Surgeons now heals your Hero for 8, down from 10.
- Voice of Avo - Now costs 2g, ability now reads: “Big Entrance: Heal another unit for 1 for each card in your hand.”
Back from training, better and stronger
We reworked a large chunk of the Knight cards in Early Access, and we’ve been assessing it closely since then. We now feel like we’ve got a good grip on their strengths and weaknesses, so let’s cover what we’re changing today. Firstly, the Evil Knight Hero power has a lot of potential, but is often out-shined by the Good Hero Power. We compared it to other Heroes and felt that it was lacking in terms of raw stats-for-Gold trade off, so we’re increasing the Health of Peasants summoned by the Evil Hero Power to 2; you’ll now summon and Train a 1/2 Peasant. This is a base Health buff, so it cannot be silenced away. This should help them stick around a lot easier, which is something cards like Boardoazer and Vigilante Justice might appreciate a lot.
Next up is Puncture. The current design of Puncture is clunky (especially for a basic card), and although it promotes using Peasants effectively (similarly to Wild Swing), dealing only 2 damage feels terrible, knowing that you could be dealing 4 damage. But it feels like you have to jump through a lot of hoops for your basic removal spell to be any bit effective. No other Hero really suffers like this, so we’re actually reverting Puncture to its pre-rework state. This should help Marshall’s early game quite a bit, well as his single-target removal in general.
Which brings us nicely onto Ride Them Down. This is a unique kind of spell, in that it’s a potentially multi-target destroy spell that only targets enemy units. We erred on the side of caution with this spell initially, but we’re going to give it a bit of love today by lowering its cost.
- Conscription - The Peasant summoned from the Evil Hero Power now has 2 Health, up from 1.
- Puncture - Redesigned to 3g, “Deal 4 damage to an enemy unit.”
- Ride Them Down - Cost reduced from 5g to 4g.
Anchors down a bit there, Barter
The Merchant sailed out full-speed ahead in our first post-Early Access season, and although it’s great to see the Merchant performing well (would you believe it didn’t, once upon a time?), a couple of his cards are on the higher end of the power curve. The loss of healing from Voice of Avo and the reduced healing from Logan should slow Barter down a bit from gaining large amounts of life while stalling with his great defensive options.
Horn of the Deep, for being one of the most singularly-powerful effects in the game, just comes out a bit too early. This spell should feel extremely impactful and meaningful in not only when to play the card, but also whether or not to include such an effect in your deck in the first place. Right now, it’s just too aggressively costed to not warrant running 2 copies in most decks, and using them quite early on in the battle. The Invest cost is going up from +6 to +8, meaning it’ll now cost you 10 Gold to fully clear the board.
The Art of the Deal should enable some cool self-bouncing strategies, but as with Horn of the Deep, it’s a bit too undercosted, as well as being very effective at slowing down your opponent. Upping its cost slightly should reduce the overall amount of things Merchant players can do in a single turn.
There’s been concerns about some other cards Merchant has access to, and we will be keeping an eye on Barter, but for now we’ll see how the Neutral healing and these changes affect him.
- Horn of the Deep - Invest cost increased from (+6) to (+8).
- The Art of the Deal - Cost increased from 2g to 3g.