Written by Jesse Bergman
In my last article I discussed the design of the Jotune in Blood, Profit, and Glory. If you haven’t read it, please head over there and catch up on their design choices.
Otherwise, 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.
The Synthein four pack consists of:
- Projectus Immunis
- Furtim Braccae
- Shield Generator Installation
- Sularium Flare
Projectus Immunis was one of the first cards I wanted to include into the Synthien arsenal. Projectus was part of the original design when we were looking at trying to release all 262 cards as a giant set. This was before we realized we simply could not afford the art costs of a set this size. Additionaly the costs to fund would have been way too high for our first Kickstarter. Projectus on first glance doesn’t seem to offer much, with his ability to "Activate: Prevent all damage to target Synthien combatant you control this turn," until you realize this is the perfect counter to It’s a Trap, or in the mirror match against Synthien direct damage effects such as Sularium Tactical Assault Beam, and Feedback. Projectus simply gives the Synthien an incredibly amount of utility. In addition, he matches sularium cost with Novum, and is one point cheaper in construction cost giving the Synthien another type 1 for a Hero’s Boon to target. Projectus’s design is all about pushing the Synthien assault forces to the next level and beyond, giving them longevity.
From the Body of an Enemy…
Furtim Braccae was a backer designed card from Aaron Reis, Stealthpants on Twitch. Aaron is an avid CCG player and is a big fan of Magic the Gathering. One of Aaron’s favorite cards is Spellskite, a real format changer. Honestly, when I heard this my blood pressure rose a notch or two. A Spellskite like ability in MTG is a game changer, even when there is a meta full of cards that serve as great answers to it. Furtim Braccae, Stealth Pants in latin by the way, was one of the most difficult cards for our developers to get right. His ability is a game changer and I believe he went through almost 9 different ability iterations before we landed on the final version. In fact, some of you that have been reading and following us since the beginning may have noticed that the original spoiled Furtim was modified further right up until we released BPG to the printer. I’m very pleased with him in the game at this point, and feel like his ability warrants the four construction cost. Furtim was an integral part of our lore for BPG, and he really was a fun character to flesh out both mechanically and fictionally. Jotune players better plan on Furtim and how to push those pesky counters off of him at all costs.
Shield Generator Installation, is one of two sites in this pack. The Synthien sites from The Battle Begins are highly resource efficient, and offer a great construction cost curve to enable some of their more expensive combatant, tactic, and condition cards. Shield Generator was designed to give those sites more defensive capabilities to insure less damage taken from powerful Jotune attacks. Which they are now more than capable of with warrior combatants. At 3 construction cost the Synthien will need to cut back on some of their offensive or resource capabilities in order to fit it into the deck list. However; combine this with the likes of Experimental Weapons Base and a very formidable defense system will keep all but the most aggressive Jotune player at bay. Shield Generator is one example of how the Synthien may not be best suited as aggressors but has the ability to be masterful tacticians and resource generators.
Chain Reactions Galore…
Finally, we talk about Sularium Flare, the only condition card in BPG. But boy is it a doozy, this card gives the Synthien direct damage builds a ton of horsepower. When our final testing was complete on The Battle Begins, I was hoping we would have achieved a few more cards through stretch goals. Cards that would have helped push the Synthien direct damage up a bit in the competitive space. Since I didn’t have the card space to include all of those enablers I decided to create the flare. Flare is highly dependent upon the sularium production of the Synthien player and is much better in the late game over the early game. If you’ve read any of my past articles, you’ll know that I’ve always considered the Synthien a late game power house, and that the Jotune should be stronger early and mid. Flare hit on all of those things but it is a one trick pony. Without sularium or damage dealing tactics, it has no real effect on the battlefield. This helps make it a tool for direct damage players without enabling the hybrid, or aggro deck lists.
More to Come in Part 3
That does it for this week, I will be talking about the Mercenary pack in greater detail in part 3. If you have any questions regarding this article or want to discuss specific design choices, please ask away. In addition, don’t forget to join our great community found at: