Abaddon and Arcanos Reimagined - Release Notes May 25

A small release today that will have major metagame impact.

Hero Improvements

Four heroes received buffs today, most importantly Arcanos and Abaddon. Both have hovered near the bottom of the use chart for months, and we decided that they were both in need of a rework.

The heroes are now:

14 HP 3 Mana
3: Blistershock: Deal 1 magic damage to target hero or creature. If you played a Spell card this turn, deal 2 damage instead.
4: Ice Blast: Enemy hero loses 2 mana. If they lose 0 mana, banish a card from their hand.
7: Solar Flare: Deal 3 magic damage to each creature. Your hero gains 3 mana, draws 2 cards and takes 2 magic damage.

Arcanos' challenge has always been that his position in the meta wasn't clear. He had a minor damage ability, a mana control ability that wasn't useful many times and an ultimate that didn't do enough, and more often than not got used as weak direct damage.

Now Arcanos has been built to be a strong, spell-focused control hero. Blistershock now has the potential to be one of the strongest 3 charge effects in the game, but requires active use off spells to maximize its effectiveness. Ice Blast is now always useful - players may want to ensure that they leave up 1 mana at all times, or risk losing key cards, and Solar Flare now has a true identity. It can only be used on Arcanos (no targeting) but it will often clear the board and give Arcanos the tools to take the late game.

16 HP 2 Mana

4: Necrotic Infusion: Target creature gains +1 Atk and Reassemble 2
5: Drain Life: Target creature lose 2 HP; Then your hero gains 1 HP for each HP lost this way
6: Soul Conversion: Steal target enemy corpse and resurrect it in an an empty ally slot.It gains Reassemble and becomes Undead

After playing the new Abaddon, you'll find it surprising how minor adjustments gain have such major impact of a hero's power.

Necrotic Infusion just adds another layer of Reassemble, but that 2 now makes the Skeleton that drop a real threat. Combine with new cards like Lady in Wait and Undead Charm, and you'll be creating 8/8s with regularity.

Soul Conversion has finally reached its potential. Players have long complained about the frustrating limitations on this ability, and we've agreed. With no mana cap and the ability to resurrect in any empty ally slot, Soul Conversion is now a "never fail" ability worthy of ultimate status.

We've also made to smaller changes:

Dravkas: Tinker's charge cost has been dropped from 5 to 4.

When we nerfed Dravkas back in November, we made it clear that if we found that we'd nerfed too hard, that we would readjust. This is exactly what has happened. With the advent of the new heroes and the new card sets, we felt that Dravkas could use a small boost. Tinker for 3 is far too strong, but we feel that at 4 it will be okay. Note that this make Dravkas the first hero to have 2 abilities on the same charge number.

Amorya:  Starting life increased to 15

As the first free hero in the game, we've seen Amorya used more in the PVP arena that you'd expect. With that in mind, we've increased Amorya's starting life to 15, to put her more in line with the other free heroes.

Next up on the Buff List... Alisten (again), Grovenhold and Olfaan.

Balancing Changes

Balancing a game like this is not easy. You are constantly trying to make as robust an environment as you can, while not making changes for the sake of making changes. With every change made there will be those who think it is great, and other who hate it with a passion. Today we introduce a few changes, and a new tool in our efforts to keep the game fair and fun.

Banned Cards

For the first time, we have banned two cards from the Limited Environment. This ability wasn't available before, but after reviewing our options, we coded it into the game. Both of these cards will still be available to play in Standard, and other formats, but will no longer be allowed in Limited decks. These cards are:

Justice, Demigod
Essence of Life

Both of these cards have been banned from Limited for the same reason: they create a near unbeatable game state when played and there aren't enough tools in the Limited environment to deal with them at this time.

Those final words are very important. The banned list is not the final word on these cards. As we release new cards and new heroes, it is fully possible that these cards will return to the Limited card pool.

NOTE: If you are playing against the AI in the Limited Arena, you may still come up against these cards as they are still in the database. This will just need time to work its way out of the system. If you try to play live with a deck with either of these cards, you will not be able to do so.

Power Level Changes

There are three major power level changes in this release:

1) Devroth's Exile from Battle has been raised from 6 charges to 7. While yes, a minor adjustment, this should give players with larger creatures more time to get their hits in, and put Devroth's Ultimate more in line with other abilities of a similar power level.

2) Essence of Life has been raised to 5 mana. The much maligned card has proven itself as the most powerful Essence since its released, and yet it had remained as the least expensive. We've bumped the cost to bring it more in line with its power level and in line with the other Essences.

3) Frost Wielder has been increased to 3 mana. This was one of our most difficult decisions. We discussed no fewer than 8 options for toning down Frost Wielder, from making him a 1/1 to having the on enter have added restrictions to not touching him at all. In the end, it was decided to give him a simple cost bump.

Bug Fixes & Other Changes

1) The Arena pack awarding bug has been fixed. Season 2 packs will be awarded properly.
2) The copy for Flicker has been updated to match its functionality, rather than the other way around. The ability to target enemy creatures with Flicker is no longer a bug.
3) Ravinova can no longer use Prototype on Turret tokens.
4) The issue with "show unowned cards" in the Deck Builder has been fixed.
5) "Kingdoms" format tournaments have been replaced with "Singleton" tournaments.
6) Numerous copy fixes and improvements. Thanks to everyone in the community who helped find issues.

*** Gem rewards for the missing Season 1 Arena packs have been awarded ***


Arena Season 1 Follow Up

Arena Season 1 has come to a close and it was a rousing success. The number of Live PVP battles in the Arena over the 20 days that the season was live increased 385% over the amount of the previous 20 days.

A big congrats to Burp93 and cashavenger for winning the Limited and Standard ladders.

Unfortunately the end of the season was marred by a bug on our end that prevented the cards in the packs won from being added to their opener's account.

We have found this bug and fixed it, so we know that Season 2 prizes will be awarded properly. 

Sadly, the information of which cards were opened in each pack was lost. Additionally, the complexity of recreating the packs within the system for a fixed set of players has proven unwieldy. Therefore we will be instead awarding 20 Gems per pack that wasn't awarded. You can use these to grab yourself some new Descent packs, some more Light Ascending, or even that single you had your eyes on. As a thank you for your patience, we'll also be throwing in an additional 20 Gems to each player affected.

Note that only the gems for packs will be awarded. The original Gems, Promo cards and top 2 Multipacks were awarded properly by the system.

We will be awarding the gems on Monday, May 25, as part of our next release.

In this release we'll be making a number of balance changes, and most importantly, releasing a much improved Arcanos and Abaddon.

Here, for the first time, is an Arcanos that I'm sure you'll find very exciting to play:


Community Tournament #2: Singleton!

Want to get in on a fun, quick tournament with great prizes?

Join our 2nd Community Tournament. This time the format is Singleton - just one of any card is allowed.

We've also added the rule of no Legendary cards to make the tournament fair for new players and old.

Any player who joins and plays will be awarded a minimum of 10 gems! The top 2 players will win Epic cards of their choice.

As well, we'll be giving out VIP points to any player who posts their matches to YouTube. That's right - VIP points for free.

The tournament will begin on this Saturday, May 16th, at 2 pm EST. All matches will be run in the Skirmish room and be a best 2 out of 3 (no sideboarding).

For all of the rules, prizes and how to enter, please visit the official forum HERE.

Good luck and have fun!


Release Notes and our first Meta report

Today we released a small but significant update to the game to fix a number of issues that appeared in our last release. We take issues with the game seriously and aim to fix them as quickly as possible.

Updates and Fixes:

1) The lag issue should be fixed with this release. One of the changes made to allow for packs to be awarded at the end of the season and opened when you log in caused a number of issues, the worst of which was lag on prolonged play sessions. We believe that this has been fixed, but do continue to let us know if you're having issues in the forums.

2) The Dynamic Card Cache error was caused by the  issue above and should be fixed as well.

3) The Turret  tokens created  by Deploy Cannons are now properly labelled tokens and will not go to the discard pile when destroyed.

4) The Demon Tokens created by T'rror, Cleric tokens created and Guide of the Way, Zombies from Endless Evil and Child of Euna token are all properly labelled Tokens and can no longer be Swapped.

5) The Arena no longer shows hours left, unless there is less than 48 hours to go. Seeing 300+ hours just looked messy.

6) We have fixed the display of the Beginner's Arena's ladder. It had been showing prizes, which the Beginner Arena will not be awarding as it isn't a Live PVP ladder. Please note that we are currently discussing replacing the Beginner's Arena with a new format that is more new player friendly.

7) We've relabelled the "Campaign" to the "Training Grounds" to make it more clear to new players that this is just the beginning of the game. We will be making additional changes to the Training Grounds over the next month.

8) Numerous little copy fixed and changes based on feedback from the community. Thanks!

Meta Report

If you are playing in the Arena - and you should be, look at those prizes - you will want to check out our first Meta Report over in the Forums. We will be updating these weekly, with the top 5 heroes and top 10 cards played in each ladder.