I play a lot of videogames, but I am no game designer (even thouh I really look up to them). Everything I say here is my opinion and predictions, so i may be completely wrong. I’m not the brightest whe it come down to this kind of thins.
And also, I am not focusing on wether the cards as too powerful or too little or anything of the sort. I do mention it, but it’s not the central point of the post.
Ok, so yesterday two of the new cards were revealed, the Oversky Towship and CAP-10, Sky Pirate. So I went to refresh my memory on all the cards that would come out this Tuesday, and then is when I saw (and remebered) Sky Anenome.
So in this probably lengthy post, I wanna talk about this cards (the ones you see in the title, I dont have much to say about the CAP-10. He’s cool. I like him. That’s it Kappa)
Let’s start with the good one, shall we? When I saw this card I fell in love with it. It looks undeniably powerful, but that’s nothing new in this expansion… It is a 5f 5/5, a decent body. Not the greatest one but definitely not bad at all. And whenever it is about to move over the ocean (thus leaving land behind) it drags the land with it. And not only that, it comes with Dash 1 sou you can immediately summon it on a land and move them one space (both the creature and the land). It also has a low land cost (1L 1D) in line with it’s effect (most effective in the early game).
Now this is, as I said, a rather strong efect. A 5f 5/5 that moves it’s land (in a similar fashion to Prophet ot Tides, which hasn’t broken the game as far as I know) and it has de very real possibility to do so several times.
This allows a lot of flexibility without actually helping with land ramp or extremely agreesive land-making (because the most you get on that last department is 2 land movements, just like Prophet of Tides, before you have to make another land, which wont be move the next turn).
So this effect is flexible and powerful. But what I like most about it is how fricking flavourful and appropiate it is. It not only fits perfectly with the hole Oversky lore, it also does a great job at representing it’s colours. It has de Blue trademark of land movement plus the Flying, dash and general high movement of Yellow (plus a very cool and fitting art)
It might be a bit too powerful (again, in line with the rest of the expansion) having almost no extra cost for the effect. I’d probably use this card anyway if it was a 5/4. But the most it could need is slight tweaking in numbers, the general design of the card is wonderful IMO.
Uuuuh, boy, here we go… Sky Anemone. Yep, this card exists. When in the intro I say I “remembered this card” it is probably because my brain had repressed all memories of it trying to pretend it never happened because I’d live happier that way. Thanks brain, I appreciate it, but it was for naught.
I don’t even know where to start. Sky Anemone is a 0f 1M 1D structure with 3 health, Taunt, Flying and that can be summoned anywhere. This time I’m going to go the other way around: flavour first.
What the heck does this card have to do with Red/Yellow? Yeah, Flying == Yellow, i get it. And then what? Structure? Red is the colour with the least structures (4) folowed y Yellow and Blue (5). Taunt? Red is not the colour that comes to mind when you think about Taunt, is it? And when was the last time you saw a Taunt in Yellow? And why on Earth does a random anemone floating in the Oversky has Taunt? Are they THAT big?
Ok, but I hear you saying “That is not even related to gameplay. It doesn’t matter!”. Well, i’d argue that color identity does matter, but whatever. Gamplay wise I see this card as one of the pinacles of anti-fun, the ultimate stall card. Only it’s not a late game stall, like Divine Guardian. It’s an early game stall, when you have little faeria, few answers and small board presence.
The biggest value I can see this card getting is denying Faeria collection in the first couple turns. Imagine you go first.
- You put your first land in the middle (as many people in order to not commit to a side before knowing what the opponent is running).
- Opponent goes Desert and pass.
- Then you choose whatever side and drop your first collector so the turn you can make the final third land near the well and collect.
- Opponent goes Mountain and drops the pesky little Sky Anemone in the spot you would have otherwise made a land on and collected from.
Basically you end up like this:
Now, several card used as early game collectorns tend to not be strong, and many of them have 2 o even 1 attack. If that’s you case, what does this Anemone mean to you? Well… unless you have some removal you are gonna be at leat two turns without collecting or advancing your creature or being able to summon new one in an effective position because the damn Anemone is literally in the position you’d want to summon someting. And if you were to use a very weak creature (1 or even 0 attack) you cant even step it aside to summon a bigger creature. You have to make a bad land to summon. And while you keep wasting turns and resources just to deal with this 0f structure, your opponent has already set up double collection and is waiting for you to destroy the Anemone so he can summon a new one on the same spot (or and ever more obnoxious one). And let’s not forget, Red still has this, very niche, ver underplayed creature, Architect, whick gives +2 health to a structure while being a decent collector (2f 2/2).
Ok, yeah. This would be the worst case scenario, but it doesn’t need to be this bad to be devastating for you positioning, tempo and or faeria economy. And in any case, it is a stall card that you can’t play around untill severan turns into the game and that is bound to have at leats positive value. You cant really get punished by playing a “bad” Sky Anemone. The worst that can happen is that you use a card to freeze and enemy creature for a turn.
And even a couple turns later this card can be used to deny a movement for your opponent. No matter how strong a creature is, it has to waste the turn on kiling the Anemone if it’s on its own. With this you can make it so that your opponent literally cannot defend certain position because you just summon a taunt wherever you want without using any resouce other than card advantage.
This mechanic reminds me of Hearhtsone’s Freeze, which would leave a character unable to attack for the next turn. It is one of the most unfun mechanics in the game, it’s just boring. In Faeria it’s even worse because it denies an attack aswell as movement. There is also no way to play around it (similar to Swallow…) and it can punish you for no reason at all.
And yeah, unlike Freeze, it does have an answer in the form of removal or just another creature. But all of that trades negatively with Sky Anemone.
- Flame Burts, Firebomb, Sky Soldier, Ninja Toad, Emperor’s Command… with all of those you are using 2 or 3 Faeria to counter (and go “even”) with a 0f card aswell as spending resouces you’d much rather use to get positive trades or surprise burst or other utility.
- Using a second creature to “free” the taunted creature… same thing. Maybe your oponent doesn’t get to block the creature he wanted, but he still made you use another creature’s turn instead of using it to trade, collect, pressure… You may even have to move it away, wasting yet another turn to get it back to where it was.
The only real dowside that i see to this card is that if you draw it late game, it is possible to be a dead draw. But many, many early game cards are already like that and are not unplayable because of it.
I find that Sky Anemone can get very high value for its inexistent cost, but more importantly, if think this sctructure is one of the most unfun things in the game.
I don’t think that this card is OP and that should have it’s cost increased and/or it’s health removed (although i woudn’t say no to that), i think it should be reworked or something. A “summon a taunt wherever you want with no penalty” is not a mechanic I see will help expand the depth of the game.
Remeber this “game desing competition” that was held a while ago. Well, i didn’t participate because I wasn’t really interested in the job (I still have to finish college, and I am not going to Belgium XD), but I still toyed with the idea just for fun. Mostly the good/bad designed cards part. Whelp… if these card had been revealed at the time this post would have probably been my answer.
I love the desing of Oversky Towship and hate the one of Sky Anemone.