COTW – HEKATON WARHULK

Written by Jesse Bergman


Card of the Week

Every week the team here at Punch-It Entertainment will be featuring a card of the week. Each member of the team will weigh in on the card and provide various levels of feedback and insight regarding it.

This is a new series for us and any feedback regarding perspectives on the cards is very much appreciated. In addition we'd love to here your thoughts on the card, whether that be an epic moment in game play, or just simply your impression of the card.


John's Thoughts:

I tend to be rather biased on the awesomeness of the Hekaton Warhulk and other combatant types that have the BARRAGE keyword. Admittedly, this is a very all-or-none keyword, but in early development, I wanted to design a mechanic that simulated an area-of-effect ability. Something that really engaged in the unique aspect of the two resource row (AKA, sites) that our game had – BARRAGE ended up being that answer. While we designed a number of BARRAGE combatants, the first, and I think still the biggest, was the Hekaton Warhulk, which also had one of the most badass names too – win-win.

Visually, it had to be huge and imposing on the battlefield. The grittiness and scale that Filip Dudek incorporated in his final illustration was perfect and it ultimately inspired another card we will be featuring later – Crazy Joe's Explosives. If you are a Synthien player, I highly encourage considering fitting one or two of these engines of destruction into your deck.

Matt's Thoughts:

If you know what you are buying Hekaton Warhulk can be the perfect card. Hekaton costs 9 sularium and many games it will be unplayable; play it as influence where appropriate. What Warhulk does is translate a sularium advantage into a threat capable of ending the game single handedly and often in a single turn. It is great in Synthien direct damage decks. At first this may seem backwards because of the sularium maintenance but often direct damage decks can lack closing power. Giving their opponents unreasonable amounts of time to try and claw back into the game. Hekaton increases your threat density when you sorely need it and already are planning for a high sularium late game.

Not only does Hekaton attack for 10 but the barrage trigger also often decimates your opponent sularium production. If they don’t already have a board to compete they no longer have the resources to reinforce. It can be kind of underwhelming against Centropolis where they are locking down you best combatant and you are paying for the privilege. Even in that case the Hekaton is often vindicated; aided by an evasion or just clearing the way for other relevant threats.

Frank's Thoughts:

This thing is a beast! It hits hard, the barrage does work on the rear sites that are normally being protected or it soften up some front sites for other combatants or tactics to finish off. You always want to have a few of these in your Synthien builds. For the direct damage builds, it gives you some finishing power if you aren’t pulling that final Sularium Tactical Assault Beam and for the aggro builds, it’s going to be hard to find something more aggressive than this right now.

Jesse's Thoughts:

Hekaton Warhulk represents a sneak peak into the future of Sularia. His card text eludes to why Novum and Animus needed to build it. There are many massive threats in Sularia and the Synthien needed an answer. This was the inspiration for the design of the card. Equipped with shoulder mounted missle launchers and a high powered laser system. Hekaton is a serious threat on any battlefield. As all of the guys have discussed above, Warhulk is exactly what the Synthien battle commander needs for improving there position on the battlefield or overcoming insurmountable odds.

Warhulk is exactly what the Synthien combatant type should be is so much that it offers an extreme threat, but at a price. With 3 Sularium maintenance, Warhulk is going to suck down at least 33% of your Sularium each turn. This is a significant draw back if the game drags on and actually hinders a synthien's performance with other cards in the direct damage lineup or other threats. Obviously we discussed the advantage of the K.Y.Z.R. combo with the hulk, and this still holds up as a potentially viable solution, but be prepared for your opponents attention to turn to the hulk as soon as possible


 
Visually, it had to be huge and imposing on the battlefield. The grittiness and scale that Filip Dudek incorporated in his final illustration was perfect and it ultimately inspired another card we will be featuring later – Crazy Joe’s Explosives.
— John Kimmel, Creative Director

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DECK TECH – SYNTHIEN EXPERIMENT

Written by Jesse Bergman


The Deck Tech series is a new series where Jesse Bergman will be sitting down and interviewing players from both our community and our development team. Each article will be presented in video format, and you will be able to gain a unique insight into competitive tier 1 deck lists and casual fun mode decks as well. Want to gain greater insight into the game, deck tech is an excellent point to start.


Synthien Experiment was a tournament winning deck at Great Plains Game Festival in Lincoln Ne. Built by Neil Mohlman, this deck is very unique and not the normal Synthien deck. Watch below to gain more insight into this deck.

Find the deck list here.



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COTW – "GUNSLINGER" JOHNNY CACHE

Written by Jesse Bergman


Card of the Week

Every week the team here at Punch-It Entertainment will be featuring a card of the week. Each member of the team will weigh in on the card and provide various levels of feedback and insight regarding it.

This is a new series for us and any feedback regarding perspectives on the cards is very much appreciated. In addition we'd love to here your thoughts on the card, whether that be an epic moment in game play, or just simply your impression of the card.


John's Thoughts:

Who doesn't like puns and word play in general? Ha! Johnny happens to be my 'creator' card for the Blood, Profit, and Glory expansion. Johnny is based on my gunslinger in SWTOR. If you were into PvP from 2012 to 2015 or so, you probably ran into Johnny at some point in various random warzones.

For our game, I wanted to introduce a traditional sniper or bounty-hunter type and complimentary mechanic. The end result literally became BOUNTY. We went back and forth a lot with how to dial this in and I can't complain with the end result. He's not quite beast-mode as a Mercenary like Verker with his BERSERKER keyword, but he offers some unique utility and control capabilities – having QUICK too also allows for that element of surprise that no other combatant up to this point has (SPOILER: there are more QUICK combatants coming).

Wizyakuza did a fantastic job of capturing the gunslinger in his natural 'guns-a-blazing' moment. We were also fortunate enough to get Tots to illustrate an alternate card art image – similar, but different enough to make both images really stand apart. To learn more about Johnny and see him in action, check out our fiction from last year. The last few chapters in particular really highlight him.

Matt's Thoughts:

"Gunslinger" Johnny Cache is a great card looking for a target but that target can be hard to find. Art of War scales past him if you don’t get started early and Synthien’s higher base defenses values means most combatant are difficult to bounty profitably. He is however a great answer to Vassad Saboteur and can help you “go bigger” which can be critical in Jotune mirror matches.

With reasonably even tempo hands the first Vassad Saboteur to stick is nearly a hard lock due to the value and tempo generated. Often the player without the Saboteur has to hold back combatants in fear of the activated ability. Even if they do not hold back they will be severely hampered in their ability to race. This wrinkle in the metagame incentives Jotune to become more controlling for wins in the mirror. Johnny Cache helps in the mirror while remaining aggressive for Jotune’s Synthien match up.

Jesse's Thoughts:

"Gunslinger" Johnny Cache is a tribute, as John mentioned above, to his Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic gunslinger. Johnny currently has a limited amount of targets for his ability at this time, but will soon find in Reign of Terror more targets than he most likely can handle. Because of this Johnny appears a little over costed in the current meta. Although as a 4/4 with QUICK, Johnny can be devastating to an opponents defenses in the early game. With many of the most successful tournament lists running Sularium Excavator, and now with Projectus and Vassad Sabotuer. Johnny is getting good targets, and serves as a perfect tech card to those threats. Johnny's real power comes in the ability to get just one counter on him. If you do, there is an infinite amount of possibilities regarding his capabilities and control.

Johnny represents a design goal we hope to implement further not only with the mercenary's of Sularia but also the other soon to come factions. He is an appetizer, albeit one that could be the main course as the game progresses forward. It is only a matter of time before Johnny makes consistent appearances on Battlefields all across Sularia. You better have what it takes to fight him, or his wrath will be quick and ferocious.

Frank's Thoughts:

Oh Johnny Cache, you make my Vassad Saboteur's go down in a burning ring of fire. Your bounty ability makes you rich with +1/+1 counters that can scale frightfully quick and a pain to take care of. I like this guy, he really only needs to get 1 or 2 bounty abilities off to make him really strong or you can still just straight up swing with him to help out take a site the turn you drop him! Some people will get super focused on his bounty ability and sometimes you have to know when to just use him as a beat stick on a site.


 
Johnny represents a design goal we hope to implement further not only with the mercenary’s of Sularia but also the other soon to come factions. He is an appetizer, albeit one that could be the main course as the game progresses forward.
— Jesse Bergman, Lead Designer

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COTW – SHIELD GENERATOR

Written by Jesse Bergman


Card of the Week

Every week the team here at Punch-It Entertainment will be featuring a card of the week. Each member of the team will weigh in on the card and provide various levels of feedback and insight regarding it.

This is a new series for us and any feedback regarding perspectives on the cards is very much appreciated. In addition we'd love to here your thoughts on the card, whether that be an epic moment in game play, or just simply your impression of the card.


John's Thoughts:

Sites always seem to be a tricky thing for artist to capture. Nick Jizba did a great job of simulating the force-field effect, scale, and the surrounding landscape that captures the essence of Sularia. The history of this card is actually quite long as you may have gleaned from the other guys' descriptions. The only thing I can probably add is that I am sorry – ha! I was a heavy early Synthien player (keep in mind, in the original testing, we were running all the factions, not just Jotune v Synthien) and I exploited the hell out of this card early on. While it may not seem like it, it has been significantly dialed down to its current 'balanced' state. I won't go into details how this card originally buffed the Synthien forces, but it is still a very solid card and I encourage players to try it out. Who knows, maybe in the future, we'll have construction cost discount effects...

Jesse's Thoughts:

At first glance many Synthien players will want to consider Shield Generator in their direct damage builds featuring Sularium Tactical Assault Beam, Feedback's, and Sularium Flares. In all actuality this site was made mostly for the aggressive Synthien lists. Synthien tactic and conditions are very expensive. The cost of incorporating them and Shield Generators is too prohibitive to allow the use. However, many of the Synthien's best aggressive threats are one construction point.

Shield Generator was designed as part of the early Battle for Sularia prototype and many of its aspects have remained exactly as originally designed although some did need to be changed. For example, it has always been at 4 influence cost and really put a damper on Synthien players decisions between Centropolis and it. It has always provided +2 defense to all of your sites and it has always been a card that really breaks downs the Jotune, and other factions, combat capabilities. Before we implemented 60/90 construction, you could almost guarantee the card was used in mass. Now as we move forward with the new meta, and construction cost system, Shield Generator is good, very good... but it is a card you definitely will have to build around.

Frank's Thoughts:

The turtle card! I see this card included in the turtle Direct Damage builds. Probably only running 2 of these cards in a deck and it offsets one Art of War. Shield Generator paired with a Centropolis can be a strong site combo that will normally make your opponent fail, or just barely break through a site so you're not taking any extra damage.

Matt's Thoughts:

Shield Generator is a really hard card to evaluate. The upside is there and when you see someone stabilize behind a Shield Generator the power of the card is evident. Unfortunately I think the card is a little too narrow to fit all Synthien decks. The decks I am most excited to play it in is site focused control decks.

Basically the game plan is to use Shield Generator Installation, Experimental Weapons Base, and It’s a Trap to extend the game to the point where you can play Satellite Network Facility. The Network Facilities lock up the board providing unparalleled inevitability. Shield Generator helps keep you alive until turn 7 but they also make the Network Facilities harder to destroy which allows you to get them out in multiples. Shield Generator sometimes fails on its own, but if you put enough pieces around it the ability truly shines.

 


 
Now as we move forward with the new meta, and construction cost system, Shield Generator is good, very good... but it is a card you definitely will have to build around.
— Jesse Bergman, Lead Designer

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COTW – ART OF WAR

Written by Jesse Bergman


Card of the Week

Every week the team here at Punch-It Entertainment will be featuring a card of the week. Each member of the team will weigh in on the card and provide various levels of feedback and insight regarding it.

This is a new series for us and any feedback regarding perspectives on the cards is very much appreciated. In addition we'd love to here your thoughts on the card, whether that be an epic moment in game play, or just simply your impression of the card.


John's Thoughts:

The name may not be all that original, but man, it is such a good fit and cool card! It's hard to imagine any Jotune deck without this in play – it's just that good!

Speaking of being just that good, Ascary Lazos is one of those good at everything artists it seems – no complaints here! Colors and compositions can be unexpected at times, but somehow always work, and Art of War is no exception – great card and great art! To be fair, we've been very lucky with all of our core group of artists.

As for Art of War itself, as I mentioned, it is typically an auto include for me. I don't always talk about my play strategies, but I'll freely admit to trying to always fit four of these in my Jotune decks. The only time I don't include four is when I am running an experimental Warrior and Bolthorn Warlord build.

Frank's Thoughts:

I run 4 of them in every Jotune deck and then make sure I have 5-6 Jotune Type 1's to trigger the +2/+2. This card to me is a must have. With the Synthien trying to lock down your big hitters, this now makes your little guys not so little.

With Satellite Network Facility, I like to have 1 Art of War up by turn 4 if possible and end the game by 6 or 7. A single Satellite Network Facility is alright, but if they start dropping more than that it gets real scary. Art of War gives the punch through needed to get that damage on the table quick and I can even leave a defender back to absorb damage when they are going after my key Jotune 4 drop sites.

Matt's Thoughts:

There is no doubt Art of War is a build-around-me card. It makes demands of your deck construction; it makes otherwise good cards worse. With all that said I start every Jotune list with four copies. The payoff is just too high to ignore. Games are often decided by combatants and their proxy sularium generation.

Even stuck on sularium Art of War lets your combatants trade up the curve and compete with what would otherwise be an overwhelming force. With the number of quality combatants in the Jotune Art of War often directly pushes damage ending the game while you are still ahead. Because of the need of types one I will often run 2-4 of each Lord Oathki or Lady Worgana and Lord Fenris to hit a total of 6 type ones. It seems Lord Oathki and Lady Worgana directly compete for the same deck space so I currently do not run them in any of the same deck lists.

Jesse's Thoughts:


Art of War is the definitive staple of the Jotune design. Early on, I wanted to bring meaning to the powerful characters of Sularia. These unique characters are referred to as type 1's. The Jotune design philosophy was based around two major principles. First, the Jotune were all about leveraging combatants to win victories for their battle commander. Second, the Jotune type 1's need to matter more so than other factions. Art of War strikes this balance perfectly. 

The Jotune are weak to combatant removal effects such as Feedback. Sularium Tactical Assault Beam, and Centropolis. These cards have major utility against a faction that needs combatants to win. The beauty of Art of War is in its ability to push a small band of combatants through Synthien defenses for big wins. It also serves perfectly to protect Jotune combatants from Satellite Network Facility's in the late game. Jotune players not running Art of War are on the clock. With the new warrior builds there may be a reason to not run Art of War, but even in those builds it can only serve to make the deck better and stronger.


 
Art of War gives the punch through needed to get that damage on the table quick and I can even leave a defender back to absorb damage when they are going after my key Jotune 4 drop sites.
— Frank Hruby, Senior Market Researcher

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DESIGNING: BLOOD, PROFIT, AND GLORY – PART 2

DESIGNING: BLOOD, PROFIT, AND GLORY – PART 2

In this week’s installment I want to talk about designing the Synthien. In BPG, the Synthien got a couple of very powerful new players and a couple of other cards that really round out their utility and give deck builders a lot to chew on...

CHAPTER 30 – NOT DEAD YET

CHAPTER 30 – NOT DEAD YET

There was a buzzing. It thrummed in his head, throbbing at his temples with a dull, tone-deaf ache. The buzzing didn’t come from anywhere because it was everywhere. It was inside him, rattling every bone in his body like the wings of bot fly until he was numb...

CHAPTER 29 – RETRIBUTION

CHAPTER 29 – RETRIBUTION

He looked back at the cacophony of light from which he traveled; squinting as he did, he could feel the muted warmth of tears slide down his weather beaten face. They weren’t tears of sorrow or joy, they were those of necessity, as are all things born of the wastes. He flicked a finger across his cheek as if he were shooing away a fly, then turned and continued on his way...

CHAPTER 28 – AT OUR GATES

CHAPTER 28 – AT OUR GATES

“This is for them then,” she murmured, holding the needle at eye level in a two handed grip... 

DESIGNING: BLOOD, PROFIT, AND GLORY – PART 1

DESIGNING: BLOOD, PROFIT, AND GLORY – PART 1

It's been a couple of weeks now since Kickstarter backers got their hands on Blood, Profit, and Glory. I now want to take an in depth look at the pack and talk about the design choices that we made and some that were made for us!...

CHAPTER 27 – SPECTER OF THE WOLF

CHAPTER 27 – SPECTER OF THE WOLF

He walked into the throne room, indulging himself in the spectacle that had become of House Hrothgar. Gloomy at the best of times, the Wolf’s Den was more macabre than ever under its new leadership...

CHAPTER 26 – A SNAKE AMONG THE FOLD

CHAPTER 26 – A SNAKE AMONG THE FOLD

80 by 79 Synthside

0600 hours

3.008.889 AF

“Hold it right ther’,” came a man’s booming voice, “yer surrounded.”

Johnny titled his head back and rested it on the supply crate behind him. He was surrounded...

CHAPTER 25 – WHEN YOU FIND 'EM, HANG 'EM

CHAPTER 25 – WHEN YOU FIND 'EM, HANG 'EM

“By the body of the man Judas.”

Johnny Cache tipped his hat back and nudged the hand of the corpse spread face-down before him. He had seen this countless times before; the gaunt complexion, the deathly pallor...