I have a lot to say about a lot of different topics, so I have decided to break this down into multiple posts.
Removal and Homogenization
The different factions of WI have different strengths and weaknesses which is an important part of the identity of that faction. In this post I will argue against homogenization of removal cards when a faction gets a card that does not fit in its identity or strengths (magic players would call it ‘color bleed’).
Although development and support removal has been restricted to specific factions each faction has some way of dealing with units. Here are some of the different unit removals and bounces currently available to each faction.
Orc: Troll Vomit, Smash ‘Em! , Foot of Gork, Easy Pickins, Lobber Crew
Chaos: Plague Bomb, Branded by Khorne, Seductive Delusion, Sorcerer of Tzeentch, Warhounds, Cloying Quagmire
Dark Elf: Invoke Khaine’s Wrath, Toxic Hydra, Sacrifice to Khaine, Call the Blood, Black Horror, Har Ganeth, Seasoned Corsair, Offering to Hekarti
Skaven: Deathmaster Sniktch
Undead: Wight Lord, Blood Dragon Knight, Danse Macabre
I am primarily worried that the DE unit removal cards are overlapping with the themes of other factions. Although Black Horror is better than Foot of Gork, they are too similar since they both focus on cost restrictions (an Orc theme). Also, Lobber Crew is better than Sacrifice to Khaine, and both are too similar. Call the Blood destroys damaged units but this fits thematically better with HE or Chaos. I want the DE to get removal that fits better with their current themes such as hp loss, power loss and card discard.
But hp loss should not end up into simply a better version of burn which is why DE are better at dealing with dwarves. There also seems to be some overlap between Undead and DE in hp and power loss. I suggest that DE focus more on power and hp restrictions instead. Good examples of hp restricted removal and bounce are Deathmaster Sniktch and Har Ganeth. Some suggestions:
DE 0DD: Tactic. Destroy target unit without any power. (works with Morathi, Bloodcall Sorceress etc.)
DE 2DDD: Tactic. Destroy all units without any power.
DE 1DD: Tactic. Return target unit with 1 or fewer power to its owner’s hand.
DE 1DDD: Tactic. Play during your turn. Look at target opponent’s hand. Choose and discard a unit card from that hand.
Skaven 2: Tactic. Destroy target unit with fewer HP than the number of corrupted Skaven units you control.
Undead 3: Tactic. Target unit gets -3 HP until the end of turn.
Empire: Judgment of Verena, Chain Lightning, Manaan Take You! , Surrender, Called Back
Dwarf: Master Rune of Spite, Slayers of Karak Kadrin, Honor in Death
High Elf: Flames of the Phoenix, Judgment of Loec, Moon Dragon, Banish
Here chain lightning seems out of place because it destroys attacking units based upon their printed costs. Empire should instead focus on its specialties such as tactics and attachments that grant counterstrike (dealing damage to attacking units instead of outright destroying them like Dwarves), new versions of bounce and a cheaper version of manaan. Examples:
Empire 2EE: Tactic. Play during your turn. Destroy target unit in a zone with no developments.
Empire 1EE: Tactic. One of your target defending unit gains Counterstrike 2 until the end of turn.
Empire 1EEE OR 2EE: Attachment. Attached unit gains Counterstrike 2. You may play this card any time you could take an action.
Empire 2EEE: Attachment. Attached unit gains Counterstrike 3. You may play this card any time you could take an action.
Empire 1EE: Attachment. If attached unit would leave this zone, you may instead sacrifice this attachment and put attached unit on the bottom of its owner’s deck.
I think that Slayers of KK is too strong, it needs errata and dwarves need more balanced cards in its place (like Beleaguered Scout). HE should get more thematic ‘cancelling’ cards (like Asuryan’s Cleansing) and cards which have synergy with indirect damage. Some early HE heroes had a theme of returning units to their owner’s hand.
Dwarf ‘Explosive Trap’ 2DD: Tactic. Target player attacking your capital must sacrifice one of his attacking units.
HE 1HH: Tactic. Return target attacking unit to its owner’s hand at the end of this turn.
HE 2HH: Tactic. Cancel and discard a unit card just played.
HE 2HH: Tactic. Each opponent must sacrifice a damaged unit he controls.
HE 2H: Tactic. The unit in play with the highest number of damage on it must be sacrificed. You choose which unit in case of a tie.
HE 0HH: Tactic. Return target damaged unit to its owner’s hand.
Wood Elf: The Wild Hunt
Lizardmen: Born Predators, Loqtza, Skinks of Sotek, Spawn of Itzl
I suggest that one of the Order only neutral factions get a way to deal with Toughness (preferably through uncancellable damage). Here are some ideas for Lizardmen:
Lizardmen 3: Tactic. Move all damage from one target unit another target unit.
Lizardmen 1: Tactic. Target unit you control gains Savage 2 until the end of turn.
Lizardmen 3: Tactic. Play during your turn. Deal 1 uncancellable damage to each unit.
Right now support removal cards are (besides Burn it Down)
Order: Demolition, Crafting the Rune; Judgement of Verena, Manaan Take You, Rodrik’s Raiders;
Destruction: Pillage, Dis Stuff Burns Gud, Snotling Saboteurs, Smash ‘Em All, Grimgor Ironhide; Embers to Inferno, Raiding Camps; Withering Hex;
The most worrying card here is Rodrik’s Raiders – it encroaches on the Dwarves’ strength in dealing with Support cards easily. Even if Empire does get support removal, it should be limited removal like manaan take you. Rodrik’s Raiders could get errata to allow Empire to bounce support cards. We haven’t yet seen cards that bounce or gain control of support cards. HE, arguably the weakest faction, has no way of dealing with non-Attachment support cards and could be given the theme of gaining control of support cards. HE card Banish could also be given errata to target supports or units to make it better.
Rodrik’s Raiders: When this unit enters play, put target support card on top of its owner's deck.
Empire 1EE: Return target support card to its owner’s hand.
HE 4HHH: Attachment. Attach to a target non-unique, non- Attachment support card. Take control of attached support. Move that support card to your corresponding zone.
HE 2HH: Tactic. Take control of target non-Attachment support card and move it to your corresponding zone until the end of turn.