Season One: Pack Available Now! - August 16 Release Notes

The release is complete and the new cards are available now! They are now available as both a pack of 13 fixed cards, or as singles in the market. You can see all 13 cards in their released glory below.

Additional Changes

1. Summoner's Gambit and Wealthy Benefactor have been rewritten so that they will always be up to date with the latest release, and have no chance to grant you unreleased cards.
2. Arena Seasons will no longer award promo cards for the time being. We haven't been able to keep up with the 25 day cycles. To compensate, the Standard Arena will now award additional Gems.

Upcoming Contest

We're going to be running a contest soon to design a NEW Legendary creature. This will be your chance to get in on the design process and influence the future of the game! We will be running the contest on our official Facebook page, so if you're not following us yet, go there now and hit "Like".

Here are the new cards (click to see them full sized)!



Season One Preview: Feel the Rage

For the title of "Best Two-Mana Creature" there is definitely a lot of competition. Top choices include amazing cards like Erratic Werewolf, Shrieker, Firesworn Elf and Raging Vines.

Who is the best?

In Season One: Pack One we are introducing a new creature that could very well take the top spot. A creature that can get even larger than Raging Vines without worrying about your discard pile.

Feral Rager is a simple 2/1 for 2 until you read his powerful text. Every time a creature dies - whether yours or your opponent's - Feral Rager's anger grows along with his stats. Drop him in an empty slot when you have a creature lined up to trade into an opposing creature and at the end of combat he'll be a 4/3. Attack into a smaller creature? It dies, Rager grows.

And this rage is red hot and uncontrollable. The Feral Rager has Invoked which lets his sword burn through Armor and shields, and he can't be Pacified. RAGE!

One of the decks we tested Feral Rager in is this aggro Arcanos build:

(click to see full size)

Here is how Feral Rager fared in one, not-so-uncommon game:

No pump spells. No tricks. Just kill, kill, kill and let the Ragers reap the benefits!


Season One; Pack One has been submitted to Apple! While we are waiting for their go ahead, watch our official Facebook page for additional previews. If all goes well we will be live next week!


Season One Preview: Feeling Invulnerable

Hit points.

When it comes to Kingdoms CCG, your Hit Points mean everything. It doesn't matter what cards you have in hand, or how well you're positioned, if your opponent can deal those last few points of damage to you, the game is over and you're done.

So the idea of a card that says "Your hero does not take damage" is pretty exciting. No Lightning Blast to the face. No Immolate worries. No Scavenging Goblins taking your charges. No damage. Period.

Well we've made that card and here it is:

If you haven't considered the Holy kingdom in the past, Guardian Angel is definitely a creature that could pull you there in the future. While the Angel herself isn't invulnerable, you will definitely feel that way while she is around.

At 2/5 for 5, the Angel is definitely a good bargain. Flight help her get in for damage, while Puresoul keeps your opponent honest. Kill her or don't - no fancy stuff allowed.

Of course while the Guardian Angel is putting her life on the line for you, she expects something in return. While on the board, your Hero can not gain life either. Any life you would gain, heals the Angel.

The Angel will be particularly interesting in Belnir, who can grant her Indestructible, Armor and Regen. With enough time and the right buffs, she could truly become invincible.

Another way to keep her around is to make sure you always have one in hand. And we have another card, this time Mystical, that can help you do just that:

Here are Guardian Angels copies 5 through 8. 

Spirit Claim is another simple, yet powerful card. Target any creature - yours or your opponent's - and put a copy of that creature's card into your hand. You can then play it at any time just as you would any other card.

The possibilities with this card are endless. Think of it as Ravinova's Prototype for creatures with no limitations.

One of the best lines of play we've seen with Spirit Claim is in response to Kral, Harbinger of a New Age. You let them get their next Legendary and play it. You then play Spirit Claim on Kral, and drop him immediately, banishing both Legendaries and setting yourself up to start drawing your own.

Beyond this, almost any creature with a strong On Enter ability or static ability makes a particularly good target for Spirit Claim.

What decks will these cards see the most play in? That's up to you. Start brewing and let us know your favorite new deck ideas.


Card Previews: Raising a New Type of Dead

Following the cue of their Alchemy allies, the Undead Kingdom brings two very exciting new cards to the battlefield in Season One: Pack One.

The first card is this simple, yet powerful design:

(Final Sketch Art. Colour art being implemented now.)

That's two cards, two mana, no drawbacks. Sure those creatures have to get into your discard pile in the first place, but the over the course of a game, that's going to happen quite often. Ichor takes the card to a different level, with his heavy self-mill strategy feeding Reap the Graves with targets in the early game.

In testing this card have proven surprisingly effective. Recurring sweet Reanimate creatures like this little lady can be very frustrating, as suddenly your opponent has way more copies than you have Disintegrates.

But my favorite target to recur over and over is a different dead lady:

With Corpsecraft on one kicking the other to the discard pile, you can create a fast and effective chain of cards that are difficult to deal with and a wrecking ball for your hand.

The second card for the Undead brings a new weapon in the war on life-gain to the table, following in the footsteps of Undead Doomsayer and The Rack, but with the potential for some truly new deck designs.

The first part of his ability we've seen before. Players cannot gain life. Simple, effective. It is the second part of the ability that is new and unique. The Unliving does not lose health to Poison. None. Even with Poison 1,000 he's just fine. And better yet, while Poisoned, he's a 4/3.

The most obvious combo is to pair The Unliving with Spilled Vial, which was conveniently moved to the Core set (Poison Bomb works as well).

The Unliving also works particularly well against Ravinova and her Blessed Chalices. Ravinova relies on her second ability to act as permanent removal for problematic creatures. She'll have no such luck here, as her poison will only enrage the Unliving and lead to a quicker death.


Tinkering Around with New Cards

Welcome to the first card preview from our first Season One pack. Over the next two weeks we will be revealing all of the cards from this new pack so stay tuned!

Today we're going to take a look at the cards of those crazy dwarf tinkerers of the Alchemy kingdom. Since the upheaval caused by R'Grom's arrival, the dwarfs, fearing that this new age of magic will render their machines obsolete, have looked to their Dark Alliance brothers for a new direction. Some dwarfs have followed the cat people into the desserts of Euna, seeking to plunder the wastelands. While others chase power through the bridging of engineering and the Undead's dark arts.

It is in this world that gives rise to our two preview cards. And let's face it, Alchemy was hit pretty hard with the loss of two extremely powerful (aka "format warping") cards from Standard:

Both of these cards accented Alchemy's mastery of Hero Charges. We knew that we wanted to bring some of this back to the Kingdom, so we looked at another Alchemy card that while good, rarely saw play in either Standard or Limited:

This original Core card was clearly the inspiration for the Scavenging Goblin, but was taken too far in getting from Common up to Epic. In Season One: Pack One we find a happy medium with this streamlined design:

(Approved sketch art. Final Art is on its way)

Yep. This scrappy dwarf is Siphon-on-a-Bear, and is useful in all points in a game: holding off powerful ultimates while charging yours, acting as a quick blocker, or as a tinker target. Ravinova can copy him all day long for added advantage. Rust Scavenger is a simple design, but finally brings the great effect of Siphon to competitive play.

Next we have a completely new design that does something never before tried in Kingdoms CCG. It must be seen to be believed:

(Approved Sketch Art)

At first this card might seem like an inexpensive, yet limited version of Dravkas' Tinker ability, but in reality it works very differently.

First, the creature targeted becomes a random creature with a mana cost 1 greater. Not "from your deck" but randomly from all options in the game, including those not in the format or in the opposing Kingdom! Get really lucky and your 2 drop could become that Goblin Scavenger you miss so dearly (though it could just as likely become a Stench Ghoul). This gives the card the chance to really change the board when least expected.

Second, the creature "becomes" the new creature. This is new. Unlike Tinker and Swap no creature is destroyed or removed from play, and no creature is put into play. It simply becomes something new. From a game play perspective this means that On Enter and On Death effects do not occur, but the creature also doesn't gain summoning sickness either. That's right - if the targeted creature has already been in play for a turn, its new form can attack immediately. This makes it amazing with creatures with low stats but great On Enter effects, like this one:

Obviously no one like paying 3 mana for a 1/1, but the Assassin's effect is extremely powerful. With Forbidden Tinkering you can play the Assassin, kill the opposing creature, then if not removed, on your next turn play the spell and attack with the new found 4 drop. Get lucky and you're now attacking with a Dwarven Battle Rig or Libracider.

Finally, note that it doesn't say "target ally creature." That's right, you can tinker your opponent's creatures as well. Why would you do this? Say your opponent has just played Elara and you don't have the direct damage to kill her. Forbidden Tinker to the rescue! You has a 1 in 3 chance that Elara will become a Realm Crusher that missed its On Enter - an expensive 2/2, easily removed.

Forbidden Tinkering is a powerful card that brings both chaos and excitement to the table, and has the potential to become an Alchemy staple.

Perhaps in a deck like this:

(click to see full sized)

This Standard-legal deck packs a ton of utility creatures that can be run up Dravkas' own Tinker chain, or transformed with Forbidden Tinkering. Summoner's Gambit adds to the chaos, but really works here as hitting a four or five drop on turn 1, then using Forbidden Tinkering on Turn 2 to ramp up even more is quite the deal for 4 mana across two turns.

I used this deck to record some test battles against the A.I., including a battle against an Epic tier Legacy Guild Wars defence deck. Here are some highlights. Enjoy!


Early Preview of our New Set

As mentioned back in June, our next set will be a 13 card fixed-pack set, with 3 Epics, 6 Rares and 4 Uncommons.

The cards are now being painted, but as we're received and approved the early sketches, we thought you might like to get an early look at the art you'll be seeing across the table.

But before we preview the amazing art, here are a few teasers for the card effects (and no we're not saying if any of the art below are for these cards):

  • A main deck playable anti-life gain card that you might even build around.
  • A card with the text "Your hero does not take damage."
  • A one mana spell that can put huge creatures into play and ISN'T broken
  • A fixed version of one of the most controversial cards in Kingdoms CCG history
  • A creature that might just break the Dragons tribe wide open
  • A mana spell that is uniquely Holy
  • A card that has been requested many times
And with that... here is the art:


Release Notes and Game Update: June 22, 2016

Today we've fixed a number of bugs, many of which were a result of the switch to the 8 gear cap.


1) Creatures like Raging Vines and Rotfeeder now receive their ability modifiers before "On Enter" effects occur. Now playing a Rotfeeder into a Shard Caltrops or Vial of Fire while there are 10 creatures in your graveyard will result in a damaged 5/5, not a dead Rotfeeder.

2) Steelbane Overwatch will no longer take damage from Shard Caltrops.

3) If you use Dravkas' Manufacture on a gear while you have 8 gear, nothing will happen (this will still use the charges).

4) Acquire can no longer be played if you already have 8 gear. It now has casting requirement of having at least one gear slot open. (No longer causes an error)

5) If you play Relic Hunter while you have 8 gear she will not steal a gear. (No longer causes an error)


1) The Advanced Tutorials now properly award 10 card, new Core packs.

2) Legacy Constructed tournaments are now properly labelled.

3) Acquiring Wilirus now awards Hexlifter Cleric instead of Thoughtful Cleric. The change from Thoughtful to Hexlifter in Core happened late in development and we missed this when the change was made.


A lot of people have been wondering what is next for Kingdoms CCG. We have two announcements to make on this topic:


For the next few months we are going to focusing on marketing Kingdoms CCG to try to increase the user base. With the new Core making getting into the game much easier, it's time to get the word out that now is the best time to be playing the game.

We will be doing this with more advertising, more promotions and more "official" game play videos to get the word out.

You can help as well. Continue making your own Kingdoms game play videos and support your fellow players by checking out those videos on YouTube. If you've got a video that you're particularly proud of, drop us a note at kingdomsccgsupport@ganz.com and if we like the video, we'll feature it on our Facebook page.

How will be making these game play videos? Over the next couple of weeks, watch for GANZ_Karl to appear online. He'll announce which tournament he'll be joining and then jump in with him! Those tournaments will be recorded and highlights posted to YouTube and Facebook. The best part? Everyone who plays a match against Karl, win or lose, will receive 10 Gems per match (quick conceding, byes, match ups after you've left obviously won't count). Karl will be playing to win so bring your A game!


While we will be focusing on marketing, we still want to give you new toys to play with. On this point we've gone back and forth as to our best next step.

The question came down to a debate over which model is better: randomized booster packs or fixed sets. This question is something that physical games have been wrestling with as well. While a few games, like Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon have stuck to the randomized model, many newer games including Game of Thrones LCG, Netrunner, and the reboots of Doomtown and VS. System have gone with fixed packs.

In the end we've decided to move to fixed set model for now. Our plan currently is to release our next 3 sets this way, combined to make a single "Season One" expansion.

Each set will feature 13 cards, 2 for each Kingdoms plus 1 Unaligned. The rarities will be 4 Uncommon, 6 Rare and 3 Epics.

Now we learned a ton from the Meta Pack. Feedback was pretty resounding that the cards in the Meta Pack were too narrow to make a big difference to the game. In other words, while they were solutions to specific problems, players didn't want to be solving those problems. What players like to do is cause problems for their opponents, and the Meta Pack cards didn't do that.

We also understand that not all players will want to pay for our fixed sets. We do want all of our players to be able to get these new cards, so we'll be addressing these needs as well.

Here are the changes we're making:

1) The cards in these new sets will be much more "active". Many will be cards that you can build around to win games in grand fashion. There will still be utility cards, but these will be of universal value.

2) All of the cards in new sets will be available as Gem singles the day that they are released. We're making sure that buying the full set is an amazing value, but for playing that like to pick and choose, we won't be standing in your way.

We will posting more information on the first of these sets in the weeks to come.

Enjoy, and we'll see you on the battlefield!


Site Down for Arena Deck Fix

The game is currently down to run the script that will unlock all decks currently set to the "Beginner's Arena" and remove all illegal decks from the Limited and Standard arenas.

All decks by all players will be removed from all arenas as part of this fix. When you get back into the game, you will need to reselect your Arena decks before battling.

We expect this downtime to be completed by 11:30 am EST.

UPDATE: The script was running too slowly in the live environment, so we have decided to stop it, make some changes and run it again on another day. The game now open.

In the meantime, if you want to unlock the deck slot that is set to Beginner's Arena, you can do so by doing the following:

1) Go to the Training Grounds
2) Select any Hero Challenge, like the Amorya Challenge in the first area.
3) Click on the deck to edit it.
4) You will receive a message saying that this will remove your deck from the arena. Click "YES"
5) Your deck has now been removed from the Beginner's Arena. You can edit if you like or you can just close back out of the deck editor.


Release Notes: May 18th

As one of the most significant changes made to Kingdoms CCG, this release impacts most areas of the game. Most significantly, the early sets of Eve, Rise and Tribes are no longer available. Some of the cards from these sets have been moved to our new "Core" set, while the rest (and any cards removed from the old Core) now make up a new set called "Legacy". Please refer to our previous blog posts for more information on this change.

Important Note: Decks that had been in the Beginner's Arena are still currently listed as being in that Arena. We are working on a fix for this and to remove any deck that is not Standard/Limited legal from the AI side of these arenas. We decided not to hold back the release any longer to fix this issue. We will have this fixed as soon as possible.

RELEASE NOTES: May 18, 2016

Rak'Mul is now 3/5 and deals 1` damage to enemy creatures on attack.
Hose Down has been reduced in cost from 3 to 2 mana.
Beastmaster now has the subtype Beast, but will not tutor for other copies of itself.
Birth of a New God has been reduced in cost from 3 to 2.
Return to Elements reduced in cost from 5 to 4.
Cursed Reanimation has been reduced in cost from 4 to 3.
Rotfeeder now has Corpsecraft.
Vulgrath's Staff of Repression now triggers on Enter as well.
Regen is now "Holy Armor" and grants both Regeneration and Armor
Recoil has been reduced in cost from 3 to 2.
Firespout Dragon's health has been increased from 3 to 4

Gear cap implemented. Heroes can have a maximum of 8 gear in play at any time.
Standard and Limited formats are now only made of Core, Light Ascending, Descent into Darkness, Gods Reborn, and all Arsenal, Guild, Promo and Premium (aka Holiday) cards.
All cards from Eve, Rise, Tribes and the old Core that are not in the new core are now in the Legacy expansion, and are only legal for Legacy play.
NOTE: Alternate Art promo cards of cards that are in Legacy are NOT Standard legal. The expansion of the original version takes precedent.
Tribes Two has been split. 2 rares from each Kingdom have been moved to Premium, and will remain Limited/Standard Legal. The Epic and Essence card from each Kingdom will remain in Tribes Two and will only be legal in Legacy.
New Player decks have been updated to be Standard/Limited legal.
New Player icons have been added at the 2000 and 5000 win levels.
Player Profile pop up now shows cards collected from LA, DiD, Reborn and Legacy.
The Volume of all of the Battle Music has been reduced to a more pleasing level. Try it out, you might even leave it on now ;).

"Holiday" cards are now called "Premium"
Meta Pack cards now added to Premium section
Beachball is available now in Promo Singles. It unlocks when you have 10 wins.
Core Packs have been updated. Basic packs have 10 cards, including a guaranteed rare, Epic, or Legendary. Core Premium packs have a better chance at Epic and Legendary cards PLUS may include multiple rares.
Eve, Rise, Tribes packs have been removed from the store.
Starter Decks updated to only include cards in the new Core.
"Featured" Kingdom-specific packs are now 10 cards and include cards from Light Ascending and Descent into Darkness
Descent into Darkness and Light Ascending cards will now appear in the hourly gold Singles sale

Legacy Arena added, Beginner Arena removed. Arena prizes adjusted for all Arenas.
Beachball is now the Top 50 Promo card for the Standard arena. Nimble Fae is now the top 100 Promo card for Limited and Legacy arenas.
Arena Prize levels have been adjusted.
NOTE: Limited and Legacy arenas are showing the Standard prizing in their Leaderboards. Limited and Legacy prizes award fewer gems and the Alt Art uncommon rather than the Premium Promo.

Grovenhold's War March triumph bug has been fixed. Thanks to Mordoc for pointing this issue out to us.

The Tournament Schedule has received a full overhaul. Constructed Tournaments are now just Limited, Standard, and Legacy. Sealed and Draft are just Core and New Age. Yes, we now have New Age draft. Enjoy.

Max Essence has been increased based on your crafting level. Level 10 can now use up to 350 Essence for a better chance at getting an Epic.
The Elara's War crafting stone has been added to the game. Use it to craft any card from Light Ascending and Descent into Darkness
Basic stones: Creatures, Spells, and Gear can now craft any card from Legacy, Core, Light Ascending or Descent into Darkness. The Rune Word stone will no longer be created in the game. Existing stones have not been adjusted.
Eve, Rise and Tribes stones will now craft any card from the Legacy set.

Single Card reward packs now only reward cards from Core, Ascend, Descent and Reborn
Full rework of the prizes/vendors in the campaign to align with New Core/Standard


New Core: Full Card List

And here it is! We had been hoping to tell you that "we're live" at the same time, but issues with the iOS build have delayed our release. We will keep you posted with when the release will be.

In the meantime, the list you are all waiting to see. Introducing the full 229 cards that make up the new Core. We will be running numerous Sealed (now 6 packs) and Draft (now 4 packs) tournaments for both Core and New Age when the release it out.

At the end of the list we will show you FIVE additional card buffs included in this release.

Holy Ancient Mystical
Master Tutor Eternal Dragon Pegasus
Blessed Champion Skybreaker Giant Dryad of the Mist
Seraphim Guardian Echo Blast Fae Trickster
Divine Expulsion Ancient's Will Mass Polymorph
Cladded Cavalier Priestess of War Dryad of the Watch
Captain of the Guard Ground Shatterer Mana Sprite
Slayer of the Damned Titan General Fae Protector
King's Herald Vengeful Titan Chronomancer
Call to Arms Command Creature Illusionist
Arrow Volley Titan's Might Deep Thought
Raise the Banner Crush the Meek Essence Shift
Divine Wrath Horde of Wyrms Reclaim
Exalted Enforcements Firespout Dragon Fae's Charm
Holy Knight Ancient Priestess Nimble Fae
Armorsmith Steel Crusher Fairy Mage
Squad Commander Steel Titan Dream Conjuror
Hexlifter Cleric War Mammoth Forest Scout
Virtuous Light Relinquish Spirit Soul Dryad
Allegiant Warrior Oust Spiritual Gathering
Cease Fire Frightwing Drake Dwindle
Pacify Smother Rebound
Angel's Feather Temple Stone Time Bolt
Blessed Peacock Dragon Worshipper Hauntless Ghost
Village Guard Wood Chopper Round Harvest
Field Recruiter Whelp Diviner
Weathered Knight Dragon Knowledge Seeker
Devote Abettor Fissure Wyrm Spirit Drifter
Militia Training Mountain Giant Roaming Spirit
Holy Bolt Shrivel Clear Thought
Cleanse Titan's Stomp Wonder
Holy Armor Smack Disarm
Soldier's Kit Brawl Spirit Sceptre

Undead Alchemy Elemental
Soul Grinder Gnomish Infiltrator Rolling Fires
Undead Doomsayer Scrapheap of War Maelstrom Champion
Dark Spectre Gob Hog Blazer Maelstrom
Soul Drain Goblin Cannon Lava Blade
Hell Hound Perpetual Machine Shuttershock Elf
Spiteful Demon Toxic Immobilizer Sylph Assassin
Undying Acolyte Anti-Air Cannon Firestorm Shaman
Grave Chanter Dwarven Battle Rig Rage Invoker
Looming Dread Explosives Expert Thunder Cat
Woeful Misery Study Gear Channel
Wicked Blasphemor Mechanize Fireball
Unholy Rampage Master Forger Lightning Blitz
Cursed Reanimation Hose Down Flamespire Dagger
Plague Beetle Charge Orb Air Elemental
Swift Ghoul Splosive Gnome Elvish Shanker
Undead Knight Big Game Hunter Warpath Elf
Reeking Fleshbag Demolition Golem Shaman of the Earth
Gravedigger Pub Crawler Lightning Elemental
Demonic Thoughts Dirty Fuel Disintegrate
Whispering Geist Smelt Flashfires
Soulless Crown Golemnify Return to the Elements
Spiked Bludgeon Keg of Ale Elemental  Totem
Rotted Remains Gnomish Brute Bolt Blaze
Zombie Thug Bomb Strapper Invoked Elf
Warrior Remnants Inefficient Contraption Elvish Battler
Flesh Seeker Learning Construct Fireshot Archer
Graverobber Dwarven Sot Hellion
Fester Vermin Mana Flask Burning Desire
Baleful Mist Charge Potion Puncture Blast
Dark Missile Pillage Lightning Bolt
Dark Apparition Spilled vial Enraged Elf
Cursed Arsenal Dwarven Battle Stein Elvish Armaments

Unaligned Legendaries
Epic Battle Axe Diryam
Omni Cloak Army of the Abyss
Recoil Caindra
Atomic Smasher Rak Mul
Rares Vulgrath's Staff of Repression
Charge Thief
Raging Vines
Giant Slime
Hero Ring
Living Sword
Sanity Tapper
Dire Wolf
Scrapper Troll
Steel Beak
Hired Shield
Concealed Dagger
Essence Mantle
Mage's Mantle
Black Bear
Puzzle Mage
Mindpierce Ranger
Rabid Wolf
Short Staff
Iron Shield
Long Sword
Wandering Giant

Over the last few sets we have been working to make gear removal more efficient. This mana buff makes Return to Elements more in line with our current costing, taking out two random gear for just 1 more mana than removing a gear of your choice.

We knew we needed a rare Dragon to appear in Core as dragons are a key element of the Ancient Kingdom. Firespout is more exciting that Deathless, but the 3/3 stat line made it less than impressive in the modern environment. We've improved this by giving Firespout an extra point of health.

With our push for more creature interaction Recoil might be an odd choice, but the fact that it can be played both offensively and defensively in creature battles, and its role wasn't solely to fuel oppressive combo decks, Recoil was the clear choice. That said, it needed a boost, so its mana cost was reduced from 3 to 2.

A minor, but important change. Rotfeeder has been given Corpsecraft. First off, it just makes sense (he's eating the dead in his picture) and second, by playing him on a corpse he immediately puts another creature into his discard pile getting you closer to that magic number 10.

And last but not least, we've dropped the base cost of BoaNG to 2. We recognized that our previous nerf went too far, but knew that having a scaling cost was still the way to go. That one mana can make a big difference. Paying 9 mana for a 7/7 with 7 abilities is really good. And you might now... you know... want to play with some Scroll Makers in your Birth deck.


New Core: The Difficult Decisions

Reducing almost 700 cards down to 229 cards was no easy task. Each Kingdom had to considered separately and together. How well did the Kingdom's cards work together? How well did they play in Sealed deck? Where was their power in Constructed?

Beyond this there was the overall power level of Constructed to consider. If the goal was to create more strategic, interactive battles, what should the role of gear be? Removal? How powerful should combo decks be?

All of these questions led to some very difficult decisions that needed to be made. For every card added in, 2 had to leave, so the cards added had to result in an exciting, fun environment. Here is a look at a few of these decisions and the reasoning behind them.

Rolling Fires vs. Maelstrom Phoenix

One of the goals in New Core was to tone down the aggressive, haste based builds. Haste is by far the most powerful creature ability, and as the number of creatures with Haste grew, the deck became more and more difficult to handle. Even with four anti-haste cards in the game, haste-based decks regularly won both Limited and Standard tournaments.

One of the best ways to beat haste is with a board of blockers. Sure they'll die, but at least the creature doesn't hit your face. Except Maelstrom Phoenix. Combining flying with haste, and throwing in the ability to resurrect for free, turned the Phoenix into a constantly repeatable source of damage that laughed off creature combat and most removal. It was time for Phoenix to go.

Rolling Fires on the other hand is a popular, powerful haster that has found its way into many top decks over the years. With Phoenix out, we suspect that it will quickly become the replacement of choice.


Firestorm Shaman vs. Lord of Flames

Staying with Elemental, which by far had the most "good" options to choose from, came this dilemma. Undead and Holy already had their "lords" in the set, so Lord of Flames was the obvious choice to include. Obvious, though a little boring.

The other "Four Mana 2/3 Rare" choice was the very powerful Firestorm Shaman. At points in KCCG's history Shaman decks dominated like few others. Those days have changed though. Now we have tougher creatures overall, significant options with Resist, and the core problem deck - Dravkas turning Manacycle Wizards into Shamans - is impossible to build outside of Legacy.

So we've put the Shaman into Core. Combined with the other changes to Elemental, we felt that she will remain a very powerful option, but be no stronger than other top rares. Let the Shaman brews begin!


Cursed Reanimation vs. Dreadful Return

Reanimation is a core tenet of the Undead arsenal, and I knew that I wanted the effect as part of the new Core. The issue was which rare should it be? Dreadful Return still saw play since hitting 3 mana, but was solely used for cheating milled big creatures into play on the dead backs of little creatures (like turning rats into legendary demons). Cursed Reanimation was actually closer to what Undead is meant to achieve, but it was largely unplayed. In the end we decided that cheating mana costs was something that we were moving away from, so Cursed Reanimation was the choice, but we needed to make it better. The effect was fine, so a quick mana cost buff and we had our card.


Realm Crusher vs. Epic Battle Axe

This was the most difficult decision of the whole set. Both of these cards are loved by those who play them, and hated by those who have to play opposed to it. Both are huge threats, but Realm Crusher isn't just a threat, he's also a solution.

In a CCG cards generally are either a threat, or a solution. Mindshocker is a threat. Disintegrate is a solution. Threats are more powerful overall than Solutions. That Mindshocker will win you the game if left unchecked. That Disintegrate does nothing until your opponent plays something to kill. Realm Crusher combines both of these attributes into a single card. It clears nearly any board state, and leaves behind a massive threat that isn't easy to deal with. Essentially, it does too much.

Additionally its place in the environment overrides every other mass kill card in the game. Why play Divine Wrath or Stone Barrage when for 2 or 3 more mana, you can have a 5/5 monster ready to attack back?

For these reasons, Epic Battle Axe was the final decision. Removing Realm Crusher takes pressure off creature based strategies, and EBA does best in those environments.


Vulgrath's Staff of Repression vs. Beckoning

This was another tough decision. Beckoning started on the list, but as we refined our goals, it began to lose its luster.  Beckoning is the kind of card that is perfect for the top tiers of Guild play, but that has little value to players who are just starting out with their collections. As well, it is the very definition of cheating mana costs. It became clear that this was a perfect Legacy card.

On the other hand, Vul'Grath's Staff wasn't quite up to the level that we wanted in New Core. I have a soft spot for the card as it was the very first Legendary that I opened when I was a new player. Even then I realized that the card was a little underpowered, as it had no impact when it was first played. We've fixed this long standing issue by adding an "On Enter" to its effect. Now it's a Legendary worth a spot on the list.


Divine Ascension vs. Divine Expulsion

To be honest, this wasn't that difficult, but it was changed during development based on your feedback. Divine Ascension was the pick, as it is an iconic Kingdoms CCG card. I wasn't 100% happy with the pick though as since it was nerfed back in 2013, the card has rarely seen competitive play. When players started posting their picks for Holy Epics in the forums, one of the most consistent choices was Divine Expulsion. So I listened to the community and Ascension became Expulsion.


Rejuve Potion: In or Out

And finally, the card you're all wondering about. It doesn't need to compete with anything else, as it is in a league of its own. The "best card in Kingdoms" has long been a four of in any deck that could play it, and often pulled playing to Alchemy just so that they'd have access to its free, powerful effect.

The answer...

It's time to try a Standard that operates without this staple card. Rejuve will remain a powerful part of Legacy and Guild Wars though - a must have for anyone who plays in these formats. So much so that we've left it as the grand prize for defeating Nemesis once and for all.

The Final Legendary

I doubt this will be a surprise to anyone. Since being buffed out of Lightning Bolt range, Caindra has seen play in both the Arena and in Tournament play. Just an incredible presence on the battlefield, Caindra can completely change the course of a battle. She makes for a powerful Legend that new players will be excited to open.

To recap, the five Legendary cards in Core are:
  1. Diryam, the Dementor
  2. Army of the Abyss
  3. Rak'Mul (buffed)
  4. Vul'Grath's Staff of Repression
  5. Caindra, Exiled War Strategist
Stay tuned for the full card list reveal, coming shortly!