Pandora Balancing: In-depth look

#Pandora Opens!
It’s finally here. Pandora has been a lot of things in development, but predictable definitely wasn’t one of them. We had several goals for the mode:

  1. Different than constructed. Whatever else the mode was, we wanted it to feel meaningfully different from constructed gameplay.
  2. Embrace uncertainty. Pandora’s very name evokes curiosity and excitement, wondering what you’ll find in the box.
  3. Endless variety. One of the major reasons we love draft formats is because every experience is different. We wanted to capture that in the mode’s mechanics.

Hunting for treasure? Artifacts of legend? That sounds exciting. We’ll likely be releasing a full designer commentary on our thoughts behind the mode’s mechanics in the future. For now, we’ve got a whole lot of card changes to talk about. Let’s get started.

#A Brand New Day (Buffs, Buffs, Buffs!)
Our view of Pandora changed radically over the last months of development. We discovered that many of our assumptions, leading from our experience in other titles, had been wrong. Our discoveries would lead to radical changes to the card base for the good of the game.

The most important discovery was how our drafting format, in which players pick from a new 5 cards across three colors each time, changed a lot of the conventional rules about how you design a great card base. In a classic draft format, such as those familiar to players of Magic: the Gathering, players are dealing with a whole booster pack of cards at once and need to be able to make rapid picks because other players are waiting for everyone to pick a card before moving on.

Normally this means you want there to be a lot of bad cards in the draft environment. Players can safely only focus on the top few cards at a time. As they’re picked, players start looking at the weaker cards in each booster pack. Eventually every card gets drafted.

You also tend to want the best cards at each rarity to be value powerhouses, like Verduran Force. This means everyone has a chance at a card that will go well in their deck. If the super value cards aren’t available, players then look for synergies.

This turned out to be a huge mistake. Because of the way Pandora works, every pick is like opening a new pack. This meant you never had to turn to the lower portion of the card base. With 5 cards seen each time you rarely had to take any card that was of below average power. You could safely stay in the top 50% in most cases. Meanwhile, if value cards were the strongest options why should anyone gamble on synergy?

We had to alter our assumptions. Pandora needed to become a synergistic format. Decks in synergistic formats prize cards that work well together, not just cards that are good on their own. This way players could feel encouraged to play with cards that might normally be below average in power level, but worked with what the rest of their deck was doing.

This also meant that low power cards no longer served any real purpose. Of course it’s always good to have some spread in power values, as figuring out which card is stronger is a major element of skill in drafting, but we no longer needed a huge portion of very weak cards. For example, Blustering Devil was originally designed as a junk red common. His watch has ended.

You’ll be seeing a huge number of buffs to previously unplayed cards as part of this patch. In addition, we’ve designed several new mechanics and two brand new archetypes. Let’s dig in.

#The Angry Archetype
With our new focus on synergy we wanted each 2-color pairing in pandora to have a solid archetype to draft. We’ve discovered this tends to work best when one color has cards that care about a thing and the other color has that thing to care about. Sometimes we mix it up of course, because we do like it when people try creative variants, but we’ve found this structure works great.

In developing a red/yellow archetype we spent a long time looking for things yellow did that red could care about. After literally dozens of pages of false starts we found something that worked very well. Red now has several cards that care about creatures that have higher attack than life. Yellow has a huge number of creatures with higher attack than life. It worked well from the very first test. We currently call this the “Angry” archetype, because it’s fun to say.

#The 7f+ Archetype
Blue/Red was also short on synergy. We’d always known that a red/blue deck liked playing defensive and building up big bursts of faeria to play expensive cards. Ogre Dance and Bold Bargainer both fit this description. We wanted to tap into this shared philosophy and make it a lot more explicit.

Now we have several designs that reward you for playing cards that originally cost 7 or more faeria. Why 7f+ and not 6f+? Simple really, lots of cards already cost 6 faeria, including many of the most powerful constructed threats. We wanted to control the power level of the archetype a bit more, as well as have it push you to cards you might not normally think about playing. Don’t worry, we redesigned several cheaper cards to 7f+ cost versions to ensure the archetype got enough support in pandora. This also nicely increased the variety of card costs in the core set, as few cards had previously cost more than 6 faeria.

#Rarity Changes
Pandora is very sensitive to card rarities. A huge portion of your picks in most pandora runs will be common, with rares making up another big chunk. Epics and legends are scarcely seen. While constructed players, especially those with full collections, might not even notice if a powerful card is a rare or a common it still matters a lot to the pandora experience

We’ve had to change the rarities of several cards for the sake of good pandora gameplay. Considering the truly epic length of the dev commentary to come, we’re not going to slam you into a wall of text discussing each of these changes.

#Codex Changes
A major issue we’ve noticed with the experience of new players is how green dominates the low level meta. This is pretty clearly because a huge number of tier 1 green cards are handed to players in the codex form, while the other colors get lots of weaker options. We’ve now buffed many of these cards as part of the pandora process, but also have added in some more tools to the weaker codices in other colors while toning down some of green’s options.

Naturally many players with small collections might not have the cards we’ve added into the codices. Don’t worry, you’ll find those cards in your collection when you log in.

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#Balance Changes - Fair Warning!
We believe this will be the last major upheaval in the card base. However, whenever any number of large changes happen all at once there are always unforeseen results. We’ve been going over things closely with our vanguard balance testers, but we’d have to spend several months of closed testing to balance things perfectly.

Instead we thought it’d be more fun, and more in the spirit of early access, to share the changes with everyone and work out the environment together. Things will go much faster too.

##The Elementals
Water Elemental
+1 attack
Loses aquatic, gains jump.

Wood Elemental
+1 attack, +1 life

Fire Elemental
-1 attack, loses ranged, gains “combat - deal 2 damage to a random enemy creature”
+2 life

Air Elemental
+1 attack

We felt the elementals were a little too weak even in pandora. Land expansion cards make land building more dynamic, which adds more variety and faster paced games. Naturally elementals also help you play more cards with higher special land costs. When the elementals are powerful, cards like Meteor and Thyrian Golem become a lot more accessible. Each elemental got power boosts accordingly.

##The Colossi
Wavecrash Colossus - 10 faeria, 2 lakes
Costs 2 faeria less for each time you’ve gathered from an enemy well (minimum: 4 faeria)

Primeval Colossus - 15f faeria, 2 forests
Costs 1 faeria less for each special land you have (minimum cost 6 faeria).

Volcanic Colossus - 9 faeria, 2 mountains
Costs 1 faeria less for each enemy creature that has died in combat (minimum 5 faeria).

Windstorm Colossus - 9 faeria, 2 deserts
Costs 1 faeria less for each event you’ve played (minimum cost: 4 faeria)

We talked about the elementals collectively, but the designs of the colossi need a lot closer attention. Yes, we’re messing with them again. We still haven’t give up on finding a design that does their larger-than-life concepts and art justice.

Previously the colossi were broken mostly because they could end up being 0f 8/8s and similarly absurdly-cheap designs. They also felt way too similar to one another, all being the same size and so on. We’ve decided to change the triggers to explore some new gameplay, make them a bit more diverse from each other. We’ve also, essentially, locked their discounts to a minimum faeria cost. Now they should still give you great value for playing or deckbuilding in an unusual angle, but no longer be the biggest and cheapest things around.

##Syland Horseman
Changes to the following:

Syland Horsemaster - 3 faeria
Gift - Give a friendly creature charge 3 until end of turn.

Neutral cards are some of the most potentially impactful in the game. Making a neutral tool extends a new option to every strategy, regardless of color. Naturally we spend a lot of time talking about what types of effects we want to provide in neutral.

After a great deal of feedback, discussion, and watching endless hours of streams, we decided we wanted every deck to have the ability to reposition their existing resources. Orbs are very far away from each other, and harvesting on the side of the board can be away from the action as well. We wanted to allow decks to more quickly transition from defense to aggression and vice versa instead of being forced to slowly inch up the board.

Syland Horseman had long been an irrelevant card in constructed and pandora. No longer. With its new ability to lend charge 3 to an ally, the new Syland Horsemaster is going to add dynamic swings to game boards in every mode.

##War Yak
Now has “+2/+0 while your opponent has 10 life or less”

Pandora could use a bit of increased value for going aggressive, as mono-color decks are the strongest aggressive options naturally and are harder to put together in pandora than they are in constructed. We wanted to provide an added reward for busting your opponent down to half life.

War Yak gains the stats of a Steamforge Enforcer once your opponent is half-dead while still providing a powerful early clock to help break them down. Also, as a 5/5 the War Yak proved to apply too much early pressure. Now it’s a 4/5 for the first half and a 6/5 for the second, shifting some of its power away from the very start of the game. This ends up bringing the design a bit closer to its old glory without being as oppressive early on.

##Queen’s Favorite
+1f cost, +1 life

Queen’s Favorite was played in just about every deck that cared at all about gathering faeria. We felt the card was just a bit too efficient at what it did. It was better than basically all the other potential gatherers in neutral and even many of its colored brethren. With this change the card should still be an intriguing tool, particularly with buffs, but will hopefully allow a wider variety of gatherers to see play.

##Magda, Queen of Meroval
Changes to the following:

Magda, Queen of Meroval - 4 faeria
Your Legends cost 2 faeria less.
Production - Add a random Legend to your hand.

Once the Queen of Removal, Magda is now emphasizing her political genius and skill at manipulation in a new way. Magda has turned her attention to the great powers of the world, her designs and plans twisting their actions to suit her ends.

As Magda adds random legends to your hand each turn, her power comes with a cost. Only a four color deck will be able to reliably make use of all the legends she adds to your hand. Magda both encourages a new style of play and offers existing legend-heavy decks an interesting new tool. We look forward to seeing how you all explore her.

##Unlikely Hero
-1 Attack, +1 Life
Now gains +3/+3 and charge 3 when it survives a battle.

A girl and her yak. Look out world. Unlikely Hero is one of our favorite designs, but previously the name proved a bit too literal. We’ve significantly upped her buff for surviving a fight now and given her more resilient base stats so she’s harder to punish with 1 damage removal.

##Siege Engine
+1 Attack
Now gains +1/+0 after attacking.

Despite what a lot of newer players think, Ranged has long been basically unplayable in competitive decks. This is awful, as Ranged creates a lot of excitement and pressure even from across the board - encouraging players to interact and take out the ranged creature before it’s too late. Unfortunately there is a very narrow area between “unplayable” and “overpowered if you apply stat buffs to them”. We’ve previously discovered, to our dismay, that buffing these cards’ base stats was rarely a good option.

Instead we’re focusing on buffing these cards in a way that doesn’t directly contribute to the simple “play a turn 1-3 ranged creature and buff it to victory” abuse that better base stats can provide. Siege Engine is just one example of this in action.

##Wandering Monk
+1 life

Wandering Monk has gained 1 life. This gives the scholar synergy with the 5+ life archetype as well as making it a reasonable neutral body after 2 triggers.

##Steam Forge
-1 faeria cost

Steam Forge was designed to be a deceptively weak card that appeared powerful to new players. We feel like we achieved this goal a little too well. As a common, many players come across the steam forge in their draft. We wanted to make the card less of a dead pick and a more desirable option for those that can take advantage of repeated efficient buffs.

##Baron Thulgar
+1 life
Ability changes from Gift to Last Words.

The Baron’s old design had a bit too much of the “oops, I win” feeling. Sometimes your opponent would play it, get a free insanely powerful high cost card and just win the game. What were you supposed to do about that? Not let them get to 6 faeria? There was no reasonable option to play around that. Sometimes you’d just lose.

Putting the trigger on last words allows us to make the baron a bit stronger in base stats and gives your opponent a chance to respond to the card.

##Hunted Outlaw
Now gives 2 faeria to your opponent on last words instead of 3.

We’ve always enjoyed playing against Hunted Outlaw, it puts you under a lot of pressure but rewards you if you can take it down. Testing has shown it’s a bit too risky to play right now, so we decided to slightly lower the benefit your opponent gets when it dies.

##Gabrian Commander
-1 faeria cost
Now gains flying when you draw a card that originally cost 7 faeria or more.

Believe it or not, Gabrian Commander used to be the strongest blue card in pandora (at its rarity). Before any of you saw the card we ended up nerfing it into oblivion. Highly mobile aquatic creatures make amazing double gatherers, and mass gathering used to be the strongest strategy in pandora.

The environment has changed since then. Now we have an opportunity to return Gabrian Commander to its former, dynamic self while also tying it into the new 7f+ archetype. This creature can feel absurdly fun to play with, charging all over the board while you wait to draw an expensive card. Then you take to the skies and charge in for the attack.

Replaced with the following design

Spring Mochi - 3 faeria, 2 lakes
Gift - The next card with original cost 7 faeria or higher you draw costs 3f less.

We’ve really been enjoying the cost-reduction gameplay of Ancient Herald. The 7f+ archetype naturally has an even more pressing need for such designs. This one nestles elegantly into what the archetype wants, a gatherer to pick up extra faeria and offer a slight amount of added orb defense while also offering a discount on an expensive card.

Oh, this card replaced Mimic, a card commonly rated as an extremely unexciting and often downright boring design by a surprising number of people we talked to. We agreed wholeheartedly with them. We were long looking for an excuse to redesign this card and this was a great one.

##Gabrian Warden
+2 faeria cost, +1/+1, -1 Lake cost, now can give protection to any creature.

Gabrian Warden was one of the best blue common cards and was actually causing us some trouble by taking up space that we needed to move elsewhere. We have very specific needs in Pandora for where the most powerful cards in every color are. When a simple value card like Gabrian Warden is so strong in Pandora, it becomes far harder to push synergy-oriented cards above it without making them broken in constructed.

We also wanted more solid cards for the 7f+ archetype. Shifting Gabrian Warden to a 7f+ design neatly solved both problems, lowering the card’s overall powerhouse status while also supporting an additional strategy.

##Mystic Beast
Changes to the following design:

Mystic Beast - 3 faeria, 1 lake
Gift - Gain +2/+2 and Charge 2 if your opponent has 10 faeria or more.

Mystic Beast was designed to be a card to make players fear sitting on too much faeria. We’ve shifted the design to be more focused, with a solid body normally that you can play without embarrassment and simple trigger to boost the card’s stats significantly if your opponent has 10 or more faeria.

##Gabrian Archon
Changes to the following design:

Gabrian Archon - 4 faeria, 2 lakes
Gain +2/+2 if you’ve played two cards with original cost 7 faeria or higher.

We really liked the Gabrian Archon’s old “choose one” design, but it proved to be the best candidate for opening up a slot for the biggest 7f+ archetype card. The archon’s art fits the design and the previous version wasn’t really being used in top tier decks or by pandora drafters. We like almost all of our cards these days, but sometimes you’ve got to make swaps.

Gabrian Archon is a powerhouse. It’s something you can be happy taking in pandora even if you never manage to trigger its ability over the course of the game, making it a safe pick, but also offers extreme power if you manage to cast two of those 7f+ cards. It also promises to be a constructed wrecking ball, adding more proactive tools to the game that can’t easily be punished by wait-and-see removal.

##Gabrian Enchantment
Now draws a card when played in addition to its previous effect.

Pandora is harder to build around specific combos than in constructed. Because Gabrian Enchantment wasn’t causing problems in constructed either, we decided to make it feel a bit more reliable by adding “draw a card” onto its effect.

##Storm Spawn
+1 attack

Storm Spawn was an exciting card, but one that didn’t offer quite enough board impact for the awkwardness of sinking in 10f ahead of time. We gave it a boost to 4/5, which makes a world of difference. A 4/5 can trade favorably against a much wider number of creatures and can kill an orb in 5 hits instead of 7.

##Tale of the Old Turtle
Changes to the following design:

Tale of the Old Turtle - 5 faeria, 2 lakes
Add 3 random blue cards to your hand. They cost 3 faeria less.

One of the many designs we explored internally involved a card called “Spellwhirler”. This card added random blue cards to your hand and reduced their costs by 3f when you did a certain thing. It was very possible to build your deck in constructed to trigger it 3 or more times in a turn, leading to some of the most explosive and fun games we’ve played in months.

Unfortunately Spellwhirler was completely and utterly broken. It was obvious. We decided to try and capture our favorite moments the card created in a less broken version. The fact it pulls 3 random cards all at once significantly reduces the likelihood that they are all amazing or all terrible, compared to a version that would only add a single card to your hand.

Tale of the Old Turtle was already on our redesign list as well, because while we originally made the card as a challenging build-around it tended to end up either being basically useless or magnifying certain combo decks into insanity. It was a dangerous card, it was restricting design space, and far fewer enjoyed a low power version of the card than was ideal. Oh, and it was useless in Pandora. While a low power Tale of the Old Turtle’s old, “draw until you have 5 cards” design would be worth it in a larger card base, there are simply too many demands on an initial set to fit it in here. A new design we seriously enjoy replacing an old design that was mostly just causing problems? We feel this is a net win.

##Triton Diver
+1 life

Triton Diver used to be a 2/2 before we launched early access, but was also too good in pandora. The environment has since changed, allowing us to restore it to its former glory.

##Azure Wisp
+2 attack, +1 life, now only gains +1/+1 when you gather from your opponent’s wells.

Azure Wisp has been changed to play with some new design space. Previously there have been two major points of interest driving land builds, the nearest cyclones and your opponent’s orb. Furthermore, if you were building aggressively you had basically committed to aggression (with some exceptions) and likewise couldn’t easily shift from harvesting to an aggressive plan in the early turns without feeling like you had lost out due to land placement.

We’re currently exploring some effects that care about being next to your opponent’s wells, which refer to the two wells nearest your opponent’s orb. This creates a third point of interest that exists neatly between the passive harvesting and orb rush land builds. It adds another layer of depth to the gameplay that we really like. The previous design also encouraged more passive play, while this version of the wisp wants to get more aggressive with your harvesting.

Changes to the following design

Luduan - 3 faeria, 1 lake
Whenever this creature gathers faeria from an opponent’s well, add a random blue card to your hand. It costs 2 faeria less.

Speaking of cards that care about enemy cyclones, here’s another one. Luduan is also playing around with the random discounted blue card theme, which has been more dynamic and popular with many players than simple bonus faeria. Likewise, when the card is doing its job you should get multiple random cards off of it. This means that good or bad luck should have more time to even out over multiple triggers.

+3 life. Now sets both players’ faeria to 3 at the end of your opponent’s turn.

Wavecrafter used to be a 5/5. This card was designed to encourage enemies hoarding faeria to actually spend it and play their cards. However, the previous version set a player’s faeria to 3f whenever they passed the turn. This meant that no one wanted the Wavecrafter to actually die on their turn, because their turn needed to end to get the benefit of its ability.

This version of the design addresses this feel-bad problem by making the card affect all players after the Wavecrafter’s opponent has passed the turn. If they kill the Wavecrafter on their turn, it’s just like any other 5/6.

-1 faeria cost, -1 faeria gain.

This card’s cost and faeria gain have both been reduced by 1f to make it a little easier to play for player 1.

##Ancient Beastmaster
+1 attack, -1 life, now grants +1/+1 instead of +1/+0.

The earliest early access players might remember a time when Ancient Beastmaster gave +1/+1. Since it was altered it’s gone from too powerful to completely unplayed. We’ve decided to shift its stats so it no longer enables Ancient Boar on its own and no longer buffs other Beastmasters as you play them. As a 4 life creature for 4f it’s also possible for Firebomb to take it off the board without losing value. We believe these changes allow the Beastmaster to once more give out +1/+1 without snowballing into insanity like the previous design.

+1 faeria cost, +1 life, now gives +5/+5 on death instead of +4/+4.

Oakling’s 4f, 1/4 design that gave +4/+4 was a bit underwhelming in pandora and didn’t synergize with the 5+ life archetype anymore. We decided to restore it to a 1/5 that gives +5/+5, but increase its cost to 5f as well. Interestingly these are the exact numbers it had when it was first designed about a year ago.

##Tiki Caretaker
-1 faeria cost, now gives +2/+2 instead of +3/+3

As a 4f 1/1 that gave +3/+3 Tiki Caretaker was doing a credible impression of Aurora, Myth Maker. However, it was a common players started with and dominated pandora with. And you could have 3 copies of it in your deck in constructed. Tiki Caretaker was warping the game. We decided to tone it down slightly by reducing its cost and buff each by 1.

##Oak Father
-1 faeria cost

Oak Father needed a bit of a boost to be a more reasonable pandora card. It now costs 1f less and has never been happier.

##Verduran Guardian
Changes to the following design:
Ruunin’s Champion - 6 faeria, 2 forests
Whenever this creature attacks a god, add a random green creature to your hand. It gets +3/+3.

Previously Verduran Guardian, we wanted to up the power of the card and explore triggers based on attacking a god outside of yellow. Casting a miniature Ruunin’s Presence on each attack trigger sounded like a fun option.

##Ruunin’s Presence
-1 faeria cost

Speaking of Ruunin’s Presence, we wanted to push this card’s power a bit higher. At the risk of messing with the pattern of “6s” on the card, we’ve reduced its cost to 5f.

Kobold Warlord
+1 faeria cost, +2 attack, +2 life

Long considered basically unplayable everywhere, Kobold Warlord was a natural fit for a shift into a 7f version for the new blue/red archetype.It has been buffed accordingly.

##Gut Gorger
-1 mountain cost

Gut Gorger is a dangerous early threat, but clearly far stronger in the later game. It can be a bit too tempting to save Gut Gorgers in hand right now, so we wanted to explore lowering the special land cost to make it easier to use the card as an early game rush tool. It also makes it a daring splash for mostly non-red decks looking for a powerful threat.

##Bold Bargainer
+1 faeria cost, +1 life, now discounts a random card in your hand by 7 faeria.

With the new 7f+ cost theme in blue/red, we wanted to make these red discount cards feel like a more obvious fit. Bold Bargainer accordingly got shifted to a 7f cost reduction.

##Barbarian Ogre
+1 faeria cost, +1 attack, +1 life

Barbarian Ogre has long existed to be a comparison point to Verduran Force. Previously they were both 6 cost cards, with Verduran Force being the bigger creature for the same cost. This helps instruct players in the relative strengths of the colors, and barbarian ogre was still a worthy pandora threat. However, the new 7f+ archetype meant that the B.O. served the game better by morphing into a 7f cost version. Now it and Verduran Force have the same stats, but the ogre costs 1f more. It’s the same comparison, just from a different direction.

##Boulder Thrower
Changes to the following design:

Boulder Thrower - 7 faeria, 1 mountain
Combat - You gain 2 faeria.

Few cards were so ignored in pandora and constructed as Boulder Thrower. We’ve shifted the design to be substantially more attractive. Additionally, the Boulder Thrower is the only ranged creature with a combat trigger. This puts your opponent in a difficult position, where blocking the Boulder Thrower’s attacks with creatures actually hands you extra value. It also fits the 7f+ archetype now.

##Axe Grinder
Changes to the following design:

Axe Grinder - 3 faeria, 1 mountain
Gift - Gets +2/+0 if summoned adjacent to an enemy well.

Axe Grinder was previously an extraordinarily weak, stall-encouraging design. Now it’s a dynamic threat that encourages you to build towards your opponent’s faeria wells. Expect to see this guy popping up near your wells soon and plan accordingly.

##Ratfang Armorsmith
Changes to the following design:

Hate Seed - 6 faeria, 2 mountains
Costs 1 faeria less for each creature with higher attack than life you’ve summoned.

Ratfang Armorsmith was an exciting card, but ultimately was taking up space in the card base that we desperately needed for archetypes we could reasonably support. We may explore this space in the future.

Hate Seed is a powerhouse. One of the most reliable cards in the Angry red/yellow archetype, Hate Seed gives you a ton of value in exchange for prioritizing creatures with higher attack than life.

##Flame Spitter
+1 life

Flame Spitter was already a good card. We wanted to reduce the number of red cards with higher attack than life, encouraging players to stretch to other colors for top tier cards fitting the Angry archetype. Meanwhile Flame Spitter is an even better value pick than before, and it no longer feels as punishing to be the first one to play a Flame Spitter in a mirror match (with your opponent’s spitter killing yours).

##Ogre Battler
+1 faeria cost, +1 attack, +2 life

With so many cards moving to 7f we wanted some more variety. Pandora is short on hard removal that punishes expensive cards, which makes it possible for an 8f version of Ogre Battler that matches up a bit better against Verduran Force to take the field.

##Flame Thrower
Now has, “Whenever this creature attacks a god, deal 1 damage to all enemy creatures”.

Another ranged card we wanted to buff a bit, Flame Thrower now triggers a miniature Flame Storm when it attacks a god. This attack trigger doesn’t synergize well with the “buff a ranged creature for max attack to kill them in a small number of hits” strategy, which we’re always worried about when buffing ranged creatures, while still upping the power of the card substantially for people using it a bit more fairly.

##Bomb Slinger
Can now hit structures too.

Bomb Slinger is supposed to be connected to Fire Bomb. Fire Bomb can hit structures. Bomb Slinger couldn’t. Now it can. Nuff said.

##Seifer’s Fodder
+1 life

This card was already slightly under the power curve. We gave it a +1 life boost to make it a little more worthy of consideration.

##Shedim Pest
Changes to the following design:

Shedim Pest - 4 faeria, 1 mountain
Gift - Gain +2/+2 if you have another creature with higher attack than life.

We really needed a slot for this second piece of theAngry archetype. Shedim Pest was a fun design previously, but it wasn’t pulling its weight (outside of certain glitch abuses). The new pest turns into a supersized threat if you have another creature with higher attack than life. It’s by far the easiest of these three cards to trigger and happens to be a powerful aggressive threat as well.

Changes to the following design:

Firebringer - 4 faeria, 2 mountains
Gain +1/+1 whenever you summon a creature with higher attack than life.

The old Firebringer, which dealt 2 damage to all enemy creatures on combat, was completely oppressive in Pandora. It was nearly impossible to deal with the card without an immediate answer. We jumped on the chance to trade it out for a new Angry build-around card. Exploring similar space to the Zealous Crusader, Firebringer offers a higher upside than Hate Seed but at a fixed cost.

##Bloodwell Sprite (Was Ogre Torturer)
Changes to the following design:

Bloodwell Sprite - 4 faeria, 1 mountain
Whenever you gather from an opponent’s well, deal 1 damage to your opponent.

Previously Ogre Torturer, a card that was basically a weaker version of deathtouch, Bloodwell Sprite also rewards you for harvesting from your opponent’s wells with a smaller trigger and an efficient base stat line.

##Ogre Dance
Now reduces by 7 faeria.

Like Bold Bargainer, this card now reduces a cost by 7f. It didn’t get a cost increase because we feel that the card is actually quite fun and possible to build around in constructed, while the current version goes rather unused. Making it a 5f card that reduces a card’s cost by 7f would be far weaker than the current 4f version that reduces a card’s cost by 6f. This increases a high cost red deck’s economic upside, but we’ve been looking to explore a more dynamic economy in any case.

##Red Devil (Was Blustering Devil)
Changes to the following design:

Red Devil - 9 faeria, 2 mountains
Gift - Gain 5 faeria

Meet the new Blustering Devil. As delightful as a 5/1 taunt for 5 was, for some strange reason people felt like it probably wasn’t playable in anything, in any universe, ever, even on opposite day. Blustering Devil was intended to be an absolutely terrible card, one that even new players could feel comfortable evaluating and dismissing, but with our new perspective on Pandora we felt it was absolutely unnecessary to keep this joke of a card.

Red Devil fits the 7f+ archetype nicely, letting you play an expensive card and then getting some money back. It’s like an infomercial salesman’s dream.

##Ignus, the First Flame
-1 mountain cost

Ignus was almost completely unused at 3 mountains. We decided to shave a mountain off its cost to make its effect a bit more accessible.

##Oradrim Sagittarius
Changes to the following design:

Oradrim Sagittarius - 3 faeria, 1 desert
Whenever you attack a god, gain 1 faeria.

The previous Oradrim Sagittarius was a powerful pressure tool, but also had the “all or nothing” design that threatened crushing damage onto your opponent which was hard to balance satisfactorily. We also have been looking for more cards that reward multiple small attacks on your opponent’s face. Oradrim Sagittarius lets you get multiple small hits in for cards like Zealous Crusader while also gaining you economy. Notice it cares about all your attacks, not just its own. This lets it do double duty.

Meanwhile, costing only 1 desert means you can play it out as early as possible without slowing down your land build (as many savvy rush players open with a single desert in front of their orbs anyways).

##Slaughtering Shadow
-1 faeria cost
Due to our new pandora philosophy, Slaughtering Shadow was an easy buff.

##Deathwish Ghoul
-1 desert cost

Deathwish Ghoul always seemed like an amazing card, but 3 deserts made it just a bit too awkward for both pandora and constructed. At 2 deserts it’s a top tier efficient but easily-answered threat.

##Demon Wing
-1 faeria cost

Similarly, Demon Wing was an intentionally weaker card that could now pick up a boost. This makes Demon Wing even stronger in constructed flying decks of course. Watch the skies with worry.

##Oblivion Knight
-1 faeria cost

Same as the above two, Oblivion Knight could get a 1f cost reduction as well.

##Shaytan Scavenger
Now triggers off attacking a god instead of a creature dying.

An increased focus on the opponent’s face in pandora meant shifting this design to get a cost reduction on attacking a god instead of a creature’s death.

##Oath to Oblivion
-1 faeria cost

With Oblivion Knight costing 1f less it seems only fair that the oath should cost 1f less as well. The cards that summoned the Slaughtering Shadow and Demon Wing were already fairly costed, but Oath to Oblivion was of similar power to the knight itself. We reduced their costs in tandem.

##Windstorm Charger
Now has charge 2 instead of charge 3.

Windstorm Charger has proved to be too strong with charge 3. The new 2/4 version is already a good value card and the extra mobility kicked it well past the limits of reason.

##Apex Predator
-1 attack, -1 life, gains jump

We wanted to increase the mobility of the Apex Predator. We imagined it leaping and pouncing on its prey. Giving it Jump in exchange for a slight stat reduction seemed fair.

##Icerock Behemoth
-1 faeria cost

Getting to six special lands in two colors is a big deal. We wanted to reward players who do so with some more power. Icerock Behemoth snagged a cost decrease accordingly to be a bit easier to actually play.

##Twinsoul Spirit
+1 life

Another power boost. The Twinsoul Spirits weren’t quite powerful enough to be worth their special land costs.

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