Rework ideas for (some) leader abilities

Posted by TheMoses April 13, 2020 in Critique

Introduction

We have a lot of interesting leader abilities, and new abilities show how well leaders and their archetypes can be fleshed out. When you look at Uprising, you see an inspiration engine deck, Overwhelming is great support for consume etc. The problem is that some of the leader abilities lack faction synergy and don’t support any archetype or just have a better counterpart. Let’s talk about some of the leaders that need a rework (if you want an analysis of each leader check our alphabets).

Disclaimer: This are my personal feelings and ideas.

MONSTERS

Force of nature – it once was one of the best MO leaders, but now it pretty much never sees play. It doesn’t really have synergies with MO other than securing dominance and some cheeky plays with Werewolf, but for dominance deck Carapace is probably a better alternative. This leader would probably need a complete overhaul of its ability, and to make it in pair with the name it could support beast deck. It could combo up Plague Maiden with Morvudd and some wide strategies.

Rework idea: “Order: Play a Monster card with 4 provision cost or less. This value is raised by 1 for each beast on your side of the board.”

NORTHERN REALMS

Mobilization – this leader ability is very similar to Pincer Maneuver, both can play two cards in a single turn, with this difference that Pincer Maneuver can play 2 golds and draw any card from deck and Mobilization plays a bronze buffed by 2 and with zeal. This makes Pincer Maneuver far superior, unless it gets gutted down in terms of provisions like it did, but i don’t like having two leader abilities which achieve the same thing. One of the problems with Mobilization is that it can brick, and the thinning this ability provides isn’t really that useful. Having this in mind firstly this ability should be changed to create. Next thing this ability could offer is some support for Cintrian Royal Guard deck.

Rework idea: “Order: Create and play a copy of a bronze ally. If it has orders boost it by 2 and give it Zeal. Otherwise, spawn another copy of it instead.”

Royal Inspiration – with the inclusion of Uprising this ability feels rather bad. In a 10 card round it will get 5 points whereas Uprising is 4+3+(probably 4 at least from leader). Uprising has 2 less provisions and Royal Inspiration can be used in other rounds as well for 3-4 points. Overall their raw value looks similar, but Royal Inspiration has to be spread over a few rounds and royal inspiration has a higher ceiling. As to reworks, I can’t really provide any, as Uprising is an ability that could’ve just been a rework for Royal Inspiration.

Vicious Slash– this ability used to have a good synergy with Hubert before his rework (used to buff himself by the amount of damage dealt the turn he was played). Now the synergy is gone, and the value just isn’t there, because it doesn’t get as good value from overkill as Blood Money. I wanted to create a leader ability that would support Spectres archetype, and while the name of the ability doesn’t reflect it I think it is sth we need. Giving this ability an option to just spawn a Cursed Knight seems boring but it opens up a lot of possibilities like- easy grab for purify, Sabrina’s Inferno, Count Caldwell and Voymir synergy. Making spawned Cursed Knights have 1 power would create additional Kaedweni Revenant synergy and would allow for more charges.

Rework idea: “Order: Spawn and play a 1-strength Cursed Knight. Charge: 5.”

Stockpile– has always been a leader ability people liked to joke about, and while some units with orders can reach 2 points per charge, this ability is rather unreliable. A simple change of giving him a fixed amount of charges could do the trick and lead to decent value with Dandelion or serve as a good way of protecting engines with Shani.

Rework idea: “Order: Give 1 charge to an allied unit. Charge: 5.”

SCOIA’TAEL

Invigorate– this is a very awkward ability as if you want to reach its value you need to play it as early as possible, but the earlier you play it, the more value you might be forced to lose before r3. What’s funny that this ability is marked as a basic one, where deciding when is the right moment to use it is very hard. The simplest solution is to change its boosts into charges. If Skaggs or Aglais becomes too oppressive the ability could specify that the target unit can’t be boosted. 

Rework idea: “Order: Boost an unit in your hand by 2. Charge: 3.”

SKELLIGE

Onslaught– has a similar problem to Royal Inspiration in NR. One of the solutions is giving it passive ability, but the biggest problem of this idea is that flex damage is very good and having a passive ability would make this leader ability have a low amount of charges. Thus I decided to take a bit of inspiration from Uprising.

Rework idea: “Order: Damage an enemy unit by 1. Charge: 3. Once all Charges  are used up, Spawn and play Dimun Light Longship.”

SYNDICATE

Blood Money – while Blood Money is not a bad leader it doesn’t support any particular archetype in SY, it is played just because damage is good. And while it doesn’t need a rework, back in the day when we had skins tied to abilities it was Whoreson, whose main theme in SY is Insanity, that’s why I wanted to add an ability that supports it.

Rework idea: “Order: Spawn and play Whoreson Junior. (Whoreson Junior has an ability: Boost self each time you use Insanity).”


And that will be it from me. Reworks could have definitely been wilder, but I want to keep simple abilities simple, as we need some of the abilities to be beginner-friendly. There are other ideas I had in the past (like changing Mystic Echo into a provision based ability whose cap would be increased by the number of spells in your starter deck rather than taking away provisions).

I hope you liked this article and i encourage you to share your ideas!

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