Welcome back to the 3rd installment in our series of articles about Shadow Era's 4th set, Lost Lands. (In case you missed the previous two articles, follow this link and this one.) In this article, I'll be expanding on the two primary design goals of Part 1 of the set.
The Stars Are Aligned
You've probably noticed that a significant number of card slots in Shattered Fates were devoted to establishing the concept of "tribal decks", predominantly through introducing a large number of ally cards that specify an alignment (e.g. Templar, Twilight, Undead, etc.) such that decks can be built using groups of allies from the same alignment for some synergistic pay-off.
Whilst we hope you will agree the concept was indeed established, we acknowledge the viability and diversity of tribal decks is constrained by the total number of slots devoted to them in our first three sets. For every Ravageruu, Undead Moonstalker and Templar Threbin that has dominated the meta, there's a myriad of potential decks ready to spring to life when some extra ingredients are added to the mix!
In light of this, Part 1 of Lost Lands has a primary design goal of delivering on that potential. This will be achieved though introducing an additional 37 aligned allies that offer considerably more choice when building your tribal decks, allowing for much better fine-tuning for consistency, flexibility or resource curve. These new allies will also allow for more varied strategies within each alignment and better compatibility with heroes that currently don't work so well with them.
With that last point in mind, I'm pleased to introduce two new Shadow allies from the Wulven alignment: Wildfang and Wulven Traitor.
As you can see, we have explicitly made them offer additional benefits when used without a Wulven hero, to bolster the tribe outside of where they are most commonly used to date.
Aside from bolstering alignment-oriented tribal decks, the other main design goal of Lost Lands Part 1 is to continue to expand the deck design space available for each hero, whether tribal or otherwise.
A good example of this can be seen in the already-spoiled Location, Sosilo: Brothers' Landing.
While there is obvious synergy there with Templar cards like Knight of Unaxio, Justicar's Cape and Unaxio Bannerman (see previous article), there's also potential to use it outside a Templar tribe deck for fun and profit. I'm sure you can think of at least one non-Templar ally that would like to take a trip to Brothers' Landing...
In a similar way, I'd like to reassure readers who may not be fans of tribal decks that the majority of the aligned allies in Lost Lands Part 1 have been designed to also work well outside tribal decks as splash allies (as most of the aligned allies in preceding sets do too).
On the other hand, if you're a hardcore fan of tribal decks, I'm pleased to confirm Lost Lands aims to boost the concept of "pseudo-tribal decks" that are brought together by something other than alignment. If you've run into a fire-themed deck in Shattered Fates, such as Pyramia or Fire Moonstalker, you'll know what I'm talking about here!
In the case of Entangled Wisp above, he's obviously geared towards boosting the Electrical pseudo-tribe. Beyond that, his immunity to electrical damage is intended to work well with Nishaven.
Hopefully, you will agree that a much wider deck design space will be explored once Part 1 is released, whether tribal or not!
And so we've reached the conclusion of our brief journey through the main design goals of Part 1. Be sure to join us next time as we take you right back to the birth of the game, and then reveal how our card design process has evolved to this point, including more spoilers from Lost Lands to illustrate our current process!