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John Constantine

I'm back with a whole load of reworked stuff

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Lore attachments:

 

Asfaloth -- making it give two progress for everybody, but use a restricted slot except with Glorfindel, is a nice compromise.  The current one isn't worth the cost on anyone but Glorfindel.  Since your new version also requires questing to place progress (weaker, but thematic), the restricted slot is less likely to sting.

 

Burning Brand -- major nerf, taking a restricted slot (which defenders want), and more importantly exhausting to cancel the shadow.  However, major enhancement in not requiring lore!  I think this is a good design, but man I would hate the nerf, because nothing makes me happier than tossing shadow cards repeatedly from a branded-defender with action advantage.  Good riddance, stupid annoying shadows!  However, because of the lore requirement I would happily play this card, with a different name, as a 2-cost restricted tactics attachment.

 

Another nerf is restricting it to heroes instead of characters.  Bad enough that all the shadow-discarders want heroes.  I actually think it's a shame that most attachments are hero-restricted, and would prefer if (non-resource) hero attachments instead said "attach to a unique character".

 

Dark Knowledge -- aside from the limit 1, the ability to discard for a resource makes this card much more powerful and attractive.  Removing the -1 wp loses the thematic link to suffering from "dark knowledge", though.  Thematically, how about raising threat by 2 for the optional discard instead of using a resource?

 

Love of Tales -- Limit 1 for this errata victim isn't bad, especially with the enhancement of making it available to any hero.  But 1 cost kills this card, which after the errata is usually a coaster at 0 cost.

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Lore events:

 

Beorn's Hospitality -- making it effectively a monosphere 3-cost and healing every character instead of just the heroes are both positive changes.  Now makes it a usable monosphere card instead of a permanent coaster.

 

Lore of Imaldris -- cheaper and (with healer exhaustion) providing condition removal both make this card better, but also make it near-identical to Athelas in the condition removal case.  Is there a good way to make them more distinct?  I think a 1-cost Lore event capable of removing conditions would fill a need.

 

Radagast's Cunning -- blanking enemy text for the rest of the phase is a nice enhancement, and I don't think overpowered, since most of the non-immune text on enemies is either "when revealed" or relevant to something other than the quest phase.  It'd be more interesting if it weren't a quest action and you could use it in the encounter or combat phases for the blanking effect, but then it would step on the toes of Revealed in Wrath.

 

Secret Path -- like above, blanking is a nice enhancement, even though most of the location text is when revealed or relevant outside the quest phase.  Making this one not a quest action would make it more flexible again, though this time it'd step on the toes of the travel cards.

 

Word of Command -- Doomed 1 is cheaper than having to exhaust an Istari for hero Gandalf (generally), but less compelling with the Istari allies.  I prefer the current version.  Istari is misspelled on the card.

 

Infighting -- two enemies under engagement cost, move damage and administer a total of 3 direct damage to two enemies?  The original infighting is unusable, but this would be a staple in any deck that might find itself in this situation (which given the requirement of both being under engagement cost, won't be trivial to set up.)

 

Ancestral Knowledge -- replacing underground/dark bonus with a hero bonus is reasonable considering your war on traits in enemies and locations.

 

Gandalf's Search -- 0-cost search of ten for questing successfully?  Lore staple.  The original is ludicrously bad, but I'd removal Daeron's Runes if I had to to make room for this card.  Maybe it should require an Istari in play?

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Leadership allies:

 

Son of Arnor -- Slightly enhanced stats and +engagement boost are both welcome for what's currently a sideboardish card.

 

Longbeard Orc Slayer -- Being able to injure something besides orcs, and having 1 wp, are both welcome for such an expensive ally.  However, in an orc-heavy quest being able to damage all orcs everywhere is more useful than damaging one player's engaged enemies.  I'd like it better if he did 2 damage to an enemy, and 1 damage to all other enemies that share a trait with that enemy.

 

Keen Eyed Took -- permanent raise to engagement cost of engaged enemies makes this card a real asset to a hobbit deck.  Well done.

 

Brok Ironfist -- lower cost and discount for replacing destroyed dwarf characters makes this a vast improvement on the original.  This card is playable.

 

Dunedain Wanderer -- still too expensive to play outside secrecy, but at least he's a better value inside it.

 

Silverlode Archer -- leaves play resource makes retrieving him less painful for a Silvan deck.  I like it.

 

Guard of the Citadel -- love the change here.  With a pure-Gondor lineup a decent defender for 2, and a solid defender with Raiment.  I like thematic boosts.

 

Dunedain Watcher -- the wp boost is welcome, since I only use her for expensive shadow removal and she quests until needed.  Allowing her to be an emergency feint in valour is a nice option without being overpowered at all.

 

Leadership attachments:

 

Steward of Gondor -- interesting nerf.  It's certainly more flavorful for it to only give its full resource load to Gondor/noble heroes, of which there are plenty, and not to grant Gondor trait.  Coming into play exhausted is also a major nerf, but the reduction to one resource actually makes this slightly better than the original in a tri-sphere deck with a noble/gondor intended recipient.  I think this is a better and more interesting card, though I'm certainly not going to print it out to replace the original!

 

Sword that was Broken -- like restricting to Noldor/Dunedain, but don't like losing the connection to Aragorn, I'd reverse the original and give Aragorn the sphere.  Requiring questing for the +1 wp is a sore blow to Loragon and Tactigorn, and so is using a restricted slot.  The questing requirement also makes it particularly attractive to Noldor with LoV.  I'd drop the questing requirement, restrict it to Dunedain, drop the restricted if on Aragorn, and only give leadership resource to Aragorn.

 

Celebrian's Stone -- I like a lot that restricted is gone.  Like the others, I'd restrict the sphere granting to Aragorn.  The discard effect for duplicates here is better than for Barahir, mostly because the card itself is good enough to justify playing.

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I'm not opposed in principle to a benefit-from-discarding item that can be triggered by attachment hate, which could make a useful sideboard card for certain quests.  But that's pretty niche, and putting it on Favor of the Lady makes no sense to me.

 

I don't like "you" for cards placed in the staging area, since attachments there are not controlled by a particular player.  I think "each player" or "first player" are better choices for player benefit.  All location attachments that currently grant singular benefits do so to the first player, why change for Ever my Heart Rises?

 

You're right about Lure of Moria, and at 3 spirit Lure of Moria would be strictly better.  With that said, this *also* readies all Rohan characters everywhere, and 2-spirit is cheaper than 3 leadership IMO.  The questing successfully does differentiate and justify the lower cost, but it's an easily met hurdle, so I like your We Do Not Sleep better than Lure of Moria.  Dwarves do have a bigger tribe than Rohan, but Rohan can also expand their ranks to Gondor (and vice versa) with a 0-cost event.  In any case, your event is worlds better than the ridiculously expensive current version of We Do Not Sleep.

Here is what sense it makes to me: There was a strong argument floating around that willpower costs more than other stats, that's why dunedain quest and favor of the lady are 2 resources for 1 wp. I had to restrict that +1 wp for questing to justify the price reduction to 1 to make it viable. However, a little additional kick won't hurt the card, and in a spheric situation in vacuum where you reveal that attachment discarding treachery/shadow card, and you have both favor of the lady and almost any other attachment in the game - what are you going to discard? The response to self-discarding is not supposed to be the selling point, it's supposed to be a nice bonus in case something happens, which it is.

 

But attachments in the staging area controlled by the player who played them. Or did I missed the ruling? Is it in the FAQ? Also, while speaking of those "first player effects" - I think they suck, to be honest. It takes away the choice, and would I rework them, the players would choose a player to draw 3 cards from Ancient Mathom. to gain 3 resources from Ranger's Cache, etc.

 

 

Damrod: By increasing his stats (and not reducing his cost instead), all you've done is made sure that his ability gets used even less.

The point was not to increase the frequency of his triggers, but to make the ridiculously overpriced self-discarding ally to become worth his buck. But you have me a neat little idea, which I will include in the next update.

 

 

Dislike the new Keeping Count. Just saw it give +6 attack to Boromir in my last game, so not really wanting a change.

I changed it not because it is cannot be useful, but because it is tideous and overburdening.

Edited by John Constantine

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Bombur - you seem to miss the part where he can remain ready until all encounter cards are revealed, and then decide if his threat reduction is needed or would you rather use him in combat. That itself is a powerful feat.

 

Love of Tales - I'm not sure here. Love of Tales is not unique. If you have 1 hero with LoT, you are literally refunded for any Song you play, reducing it's cost to 0. If you have 2 heroes with LoT, you net 1 resource from any Song you play, and so on. And not to mention that in multiplayer other players might easily play a Song for you.

 

Lore of Imladris - I first made a change, and then someone reminded me about Athelas. I though really hard, but aside from drawing a card for a Healer, I saw no good alternative, and drawing a card felt like it found a way into my redesigns way too often.

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That card would certainly justify adding Saruman ally to my Gandalf/Elrond/Galadriel deck, and given the many search cards in it would not be hard to play.  OP.

 

Council is misspelled on the card.

Yes, I already noticed and fixed it on an actual rework, but thanks anyway :)

 

The amount of changed, reworked and added cards grows pretty big. I will probably start a new thread when I reach the desired amount. Might throw in an OCTGN set for practical application into the mix.

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I'm not opposed in principle to a benefit-from-discarding item that can be triggered by attachment hate, which could make a useful sideboard card for certain quests.  But that's pretty niche, and putting it on Favor of the Lady makes no sense to me.

 

I don't like "you" for cards placed in the staging area, since attachments there are not controlled by a particular player.  I think "each player" or "first player" are better choices for player benefit.  All location attachments that currently grant singular benefits do so to the first player, why change for Ever my Heart Rises?

 

You're right about Lure of Moria, and at 3 spirit Lure of Moria would be strictly better.  With that said, this *also* readies all Rohan characters everywhere, and 2-spirit is cheaper than 3 leadership IMO.  The questing successfully does differentiate and justify the lower cost, but it's an easily met hurdle, so I like your We Do Not Sleep better than Lure of Moria.  Dwarves do have a bigger tribe than Rohan, but Rohan can also expand their ranks to Gondor (and vice versa) with a 0-cost event.  In any case, your event is worlds better than the ridiculously expensive current version of We Do Not Sleep.

Here is what sense it makes to me: There was a strong argument floating around that willpower costs more than other stats, that's why dunedain quest and favor of the lady are 2 resources for 1 wp. I had to restrict that +1 wp for questing to justify the price reduction to 1 to make it viable. However, a little additional kick won't hurt the card, and in a spheric situation in vacuum where you reveal that attachment discarding treachery/shadow card, and you have both favor of the lady and almost any other attachment in the game - what are you going to discard? The response to self-discarding is not supposed to be the selling point, it's supposed to be a nice bonus in case something happens, which it is.

 

But attachments in the staging area controlled by the player who played them. Or did I missed the ruling? Is it in the FAQ? Also, while speaking of those "first player effects" - I think they suck, to be honest. It takes away the choice, and would I rework them, the players would choose a player to draw 3 cards from Ancient Mathom. to gain 3 resources from Ranger's Cache, etc..

Yes, willpower costs more than other stats and is arguably more valuable than attack/defense.  Yet I never use Dunedain Quest (or Favor of the Lady) and I *do* use Dunedain Mark and Dunedain Warning.  Willpower might be more valuable, but it isn't *twice*as valuable.  I appreciate that restricting the WP to questing makes it easier to justify selling the more valuable willpower for only 1, but since willpower is used for questing 99% of the time, it's like selling a cheaper attack or defense buff by restricting its use to attacking or defending -- for ordinary use it's just cheaper, and the niche uses that I find more interesting can't use it.  So I don't like having the options restricted in the interest of make it more powerful.

 

The response to discarding is a nice bonus if it's discarded, I'm just pointing out that you'd *never* self-discard it, so it's something that only comes up in a few quests -- given your redesigns have consistently changed buffs responsive to a subset of quests (Underground, orcs, etc), it's an odd choice.  And the buff isn't good enough that I would necessarily choose that attachment in the first place.  Most of all it strikes me as a missed opportunity -- since The Lady is Galadriel, having a cool side-effect from discarding really is a good idea, and extending the discard benefit to non self-discards is a clever buff.  But it would also need a self-discarding action to be usable.

 

AFAIK, you didn't miss a ruling on control, I've just never realized the significance of the statement on page 25 that a player controls his cards unless it's taken control of by another player (attachments) or the encounter deck (presumably quests like Carn Dum and Dol Goldur that animate cards).  It never even *occurred* to me to discard traps when a treachery made me discard attachments "I control", especially traps that are already attached to an enemy.  And since I control unattached traps, it'd be lovely if the attachment were done via Response, so I could play multiple traps into staging and not have them all attach to the first wimpy monster that comes along.  You'd think I'd have noticed that Damrod's response specifies traps "you control" -- I think it's literally the only player card that cares who controls a staging area attachment before it's discarded.

 

However, if you're going to make war on "first player" benefits and change them to "choose a player", why not do the same for Ever My Heart Rises?

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Bombur - you seem to miss the part where he can remain ready until all encounter cards are revealed, and then decide if his threat reduction is needed or would you rather use him in combat. That itself is a powerful feat.

 

Love of Tales - I'm not sure here. Love of Tales is not unique. If you have 1 hero with LoT, you are literally refunded for any Song you play, reducing it's cost to 0. If you have 2 heroes with LoT, you net 1 resource from any Song you play, and so on. And not to mention that in multiplayer other players might easily play a Song for you.

 

Lore of Imladris - I first made a change, and then someone reminded me about Athelas. I though really hard, but aside from drawing a card for a Healer, I saw no good alternative, and drawing a card felt like it found a way into my redesigns way too often.

Being able to commit after cards are revealed *can be* powerful, since it can help you avoid overquesting, avoid treachery damage related to questing, and make you available for combat or exhausting abilities.  But the power is directly related to the *impact* the character can make on those things.  Bombur has a 0-2 impact on questing, so not likely to make much difference for overquesting.  With 3 hp, he's not fragile when questing.  And with a 1/2/3 stat line, he's not that useful for combat (IMO).  It's a benefit, but hardly enough of a benefit to make him comparable to Ghan-Buri-Ghan who is *cheaper*.  However, I did miss that you had upgraded his attack to 1, which at least makes him a combat asset in a Dain deck.

 

Yes, Love of Tales becomes "free" with the first song you played.  However, the reason the *existing* Love of Tales is unpopular (outside of purpose-built song decks) at cost *zero* is because songs aren't played often enough to justify the deck space.  Love of Tales was a coaster that could be abused in a specially-built deck, then received a nerf to limit its benefit -- and you've made it strictly worse.  In a thread where you've made so many cards I never play worth consideration or even *demanding* consideration, you've taken a card I never play and made it even more unattractive.  Given the exhaustion and limit 1, why did you think it was necessary?

 

I'll admit for Lore of Imaldris I couldn't think of a good way to retain conditional removal while making it less similar to Athelas.  Maybe something like "Any hero may pay a resource to discard an attached condition", since conditions generally still allow resource collection.

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Leadership events:

 

Rear Guard:  doomed 1 and ally discard for hero buffs -- flavorful and useful, and the doomed effect is both thematic and justifies the large multiplayer impact.  I like it.

 

Taking Initiative:  abandons the original mechanism, which since it was such a dud is small loss.  But this strikes me as way too powerful for a free card in a hobbit/ranger deck.  When it triggers -- and in a hobbit deck it won't be hard to trigger, especially with the changes you've made to Keen-Eyed-Took, it's more powerful than Swift Strike, a 2-cost tactics event.

 

Dawn Take You All:  I like that you've got rid of the "facedown" shadow restriction.  It's the faceup shadows that you *know* need discarded!  Still, given a 1 + 1 doom cost, using it on a single shadow (probably facedown) still seems too expensive to me, though the Valour ability is nice.

 

Sneak Attack: An enhanced staple, though since you've nerfed the mighty Gandalf/Sneak Attack combo, the enhancement is needed to keep it a staple.  All the leaves play you've added to Silvans will enhance non-Gandalf sneak attack also.

 

Fresh Tracks: Adding the 50 engagement check makes the card more usable, especially in the right sort of deck.  I like it.

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The main point - if I go to that war. If I get enough fitting images, then I just might do that.

 

The thing is - not much can be done for Love of Tales, and the main reason is that there are no Lore songs, and neutral songs just give resource icons most of the time. And in that sense I buffed Love of Tales, since now it can be attached to a hero of any sphere. Limit 1 is necessary because in multiplayer, lets say 3 players, if you got all your heroes outfitted with Love of Tales, if any other player plays a Song (which all cost 1 except for that one which costs 0), you get +3 resources out of the thin air. Without need to exhaust, lets for the sake of argument that player has 3 songs, he plays them, spending all 3 resources he collected that round, and you get 9 resoruces out of it, plus 3 you've collected during the resoruce phase.

 

Swift Strike doesn't have conditions like specific hero traits, or engagement cost higher than your threat, nor does it triggers upon enemy engagement, so you can play it even on an enemy that is already engaged with you. Swift Strike is weak in it's own merit and I'm desperately trying to come with a solution to buff it not just by +1 damage from warriors, but at the moment I don't know one yet.

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The thing is - not much can be done for Love of Tales, and the main reason is that there are no Lore songs, and neutral songs just give resource icons most of the time. And in that sense I buffed Love of Tales, since now it can be attached to a hero of any sphere. Limit 1 is necessary because in multiplayer, lets say 3 players, if you got all your heroes outfitted with Love of Tales, if any other player plays a Song (which all cost 1 except for that one which costs 0), you get +3 resources out of the thin air. Without need to exhaust, lets for the sake of argument that player has 3 songs, he plays them, spending all 3 resources he collected that round, and you get 9 resoruces out of it, plus 3 you've collected during the resoruce phase.

I did miss that your version lifted the restriction for Lore heroes only.  But given that Love of Tales isn't generally used for free on Lore heroes, lifting that restriction doesn't make it worth paying 1 on non-Lore heroes.

 

Is the main reason Love of Tales isn't used is because there are no Lore songs and neutral songs just give resource icons most of the time?  No, the main reason is that there aren't that many songs that are worth playing multiple times - and while Lore songs don't exist, the only song *fetcher* is in Lore, which makes songs more attractive in a deck with lore, independent of Love of Tales.

 

Number of Lore decks: 1539

Number with Rivendell Minstrel: 131

Number with Love of Tales: 45

 

Song of Kings: 160 (99 with Lore)

Song of Wisdom: 232 (191 with Lore)

Song of Travel: 210 (121 with Lore)

Song of Battle: 159 (84 with Lore)

Song of Mocking: 28 (16 with Lore)

Song of Earendil: 72 (49 with Lore)

Durin's Song: 78 (49 with Lore)

Lay of Nimrodel:  32 (8 with Lore)

Fall of Gil-Galad: 17 (12 with Lore)

O Lorien: 88 (58 with Lore)

The Day's Rising: 85 (19 with Lore)

Hope Rekindled: 15 (7 with Lore)

Tale of Tinuviel: 69 (30 with Lore)

To the Sea! To the Sea!:  89 (66 with Lore)

 

As you can see, Lore is present in a healthy percentage of the decks with songs in them, but it's not popular even as a one off, even free.  Rivendell Minstrel is three times more popular, although there are better values for your questing dollar -- because of the nature of how songs are used.  Most of them are ones you want to play ASAP and once, not ones that you want to play throughout the game.  The four cards that are of that type just aren't popular enough for Love of Tales to pay off very often.  Making Love of Tales available to non-Lore heroes doesn't change that.

 

With Love of Tales changed to non-Lore heroes, the "Limit 1" is pointless -- and honestly, it's pretty pointless for the original and is one of the reason that it is a coaster.  The *exhaustion* cost is necessary to prevent getting unlimited resources in a deck contrived for playing songs repeatedly without regard to their utility, but with the exhaustion in place the limit is pointless and unnecessary.

 

Whether the exhaustion is necessary in an "ordinary" multiplayer setting is less clear -- I personally think not.  Let's say your revised Love of Tales doesn't exhaust and isn't limit 1.  I put all three in my deck on my heroes, some other player plays three songs and I get *9* resources in a single turn from them.  Woohoo!  Overpowered city, right?

 

Except it's hard to imagine an ordinary multiplayer game where another player would spend his turn playing three songs at the point of the game where I've already got all my Love of Tales out.  What possible combination of songs would be useful in planning at that point in the game?  This isn't something that's going to naturally happen.

 

And while resources materialized at of "thin air" in this instance, it wasn't really thin air -- I spent three precious deck slots on Love of Tales, I drew them instead of some other card, and I played all three at a cost of 3 resources.  Like money, the value of resources isn't constant through time -- early resources are more precious than late resources, but at 1-cost Love of Tales needs you to sink precious resources early so you take advantage of the rare song play later.  It's a non-starter at 1 cost.  (The nerfed Master of Lore has a similar problem -- over time it will still pay your investment back, but it's expensive early when you can least afford it.)

 

It's not attractive at 0-cost, either.  Like many other unloved 0-cost cards, free isn't really free when you have it taking space in your deck.  Even a 0-cost card needs to be obviously useful for your deck to justify drawing it instead of a more powerful 1-cost card.

 

So the obvious solution to fix weak 0-cost cards is this -- draw a card as part of the effect, making them *truly* free by removing the deck slot cost, at least for deckbuilders who don't have their heart set on having exactly 50 cards.  This would at least make your revised Love of Tales worth playing *if* it were still 0-cost.  If you have your heart set on 1-cost for them, that's not enough, but it might be if you combined in with this -- make Love of Tales *itself* a song.  That way the second copy becomes free and the third copy becomes net-one positive.

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Swift Strike doesn't have conditions like specific hero traits, or engagement cost higher than your threat, nor does it triggers upon enemy engagement, so you can play it even on an enemy that is already engaged with you. Swift Strike is weak in it's own merit and I'm desperately trying to come with a solution to buff it not just by +1 damage from warriors, but at the moment I don't know one yet.

 

Add "and ready the defending character" to Swift Strike.

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Swift Strike doesn't have conditions like specific hero traits, or engagement cost higher than your threat, nor does it triggers upon enemy engagement, so you can play it even on an enemy that is already engaged with you. Swift Strike is weak in it's own merit and I'm desperately trying to come with a solution to buff it not just by +1 damage from warriors, but at the moment I don't know one yet.

Add "and ready the defending character" to Swift Strike.

My initial Swift Strike rework had a valour trigger that did more damage and readied the defending character, but I removed it because I felt like I was adding valor for the sake of valor.

 

And I honestly don't know what's your gripe with the Love of Tales. The way I redone it, is by looking out into the future for potential new songs. As I said already, there is not much to be done about it now, and leaving it this way can hurt future songs design.

Edited by John Constantine

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Swift Strike doesn't have conditions like specific hero traits, or engagement cost higher than your threat, nor does it triggers upon enemy engagement, so you can play it even on an enemy that is already engaged with you. Swift Strike is weak in it's own merit and I'm desperately trying to come with a solution to buff it not just by +1 damage from warriors, but at the moment I don't know one yet.

Add "and ready the defending character" to Swift Strike.

My initial Swift Strike rework had a valour trigger that did more damage and readied the defending character, but I removed it because I felt like I was adding valor for the sake of valor.

 

And I honestly don't know what's your gripe with the Love of Tales. The way I redone it, is by looking out into the future for potential new songs. As I said already, there is not much to be done about it now, and leaving it this way can hurt future songs design.

Hey, adding valour for the sake of valour isn't such a bad thing.  The cardpool needs more Valour.  I just think that 2 direct damage + defender ready isn't overpowered for 2-cost tactics.  I may be wrong.

 

What's my gripe with Love of Tales?  I thought I elaborated on that at great length.  But here's the summary version:

 

1) The original, un-errated version wasn't worth playing except in a deck specifically designed to generate unlimited resources.

2) The Errataed version isn't worth playing at all, despite being free.

3) The slight improvement to its powers you made don't come close to justifying a 1-cost, they wouldn't even justify it if it were still 0-cost.  You took a coaster and made it worse.

 

That's my gripe.  Now it's true that more songs may come in the future and make Love of Tales a totally awesome card in the future, such that a 1-cost is necessary to curtail the awesome power of this attachment that can generate up to 1 resource per turn!  But today is not that day.  And I don't think the reason we haven't seen a flood of awesome song events is because the designers are saying to themselves, "Hey, we can't make this cool event a song.  That would totally make Love of Tales OP.  If only we had priced it at one!"

 

Most of your cards take less popular cards and make them significantly better.  A few of your cards take popular and powerful cards and make them arguably weaker, for balance and/or thematic reasons.  I have no clue how it is that Love of Tales, with its errata, found itself in the second category instead of the first.

 

Now, counterquestion -- what's your problem with my proposed enhancement to your 1-cost, limit-1, exhausting Love of Tales, by making it draw a card when played and making it be a "Song" itself?  How exactly would making it playable now reduce the design space for future songs?

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