It’s card game madness this week. Not only has Faeria announced plans for a co-op campaign but the third expansion for fellow minion battler Duelyst [official site] also came out yesterday. It’s called Ancient Bonds and, like the BBC’s Bruce Parry, it is all about dem tribes.
“We have 39 new cards arriving in this expansion with a focus on tribal synergies between minions with a unique type like Arcanysts and Golems,” say the patch notes for this expansion. “A new Keyword ‘Bond’ that triggers when minions of the same tribe are played to the board, and a variety of new strategies and effects to try out in your decks.”
Duelyst has had these tribal categories – golems, arcanysts, vespyrs and what have you - since the start but not too much has been made of those connections until now. You can see the whole set of cards here and you can find these fresh boyos hiding in Ancient Orbs – the new rando loot crate. But because of the way Counterplay are doing their expansions, you won’t find the same card type twice and you always get three copies of each type when you crack open that orb. It’s the same way they did the Rise of the Bloodborn expansion in December last year.
That is might be a slow churn for free loaders, as they earn the gold to open 13 of these glowing eggs. But like before, they’re also selling the whole set for £16.49/$19.99.
There are some interesting things in here though. Speaking as a swarmy Lilithe player, fond of her wraithlings, the new Nocturne minion (above) sounds fun. He creates a thorny shadow creep for every wraithling you summon, and vice versa. Blood Echoes is another one that sounds good on paper, but randomness tends to mess with my plans so I’m not sure if I’ll get any use out of it.
However, it's the weight-lifting Magmar bros who get the best deal out of everyone in this expansion, I think, with a cheap artifact called the Godhammer which gives all their minions even more growing power, and a monstrous (but expensive) golem called a Juggernaut who grows in strength at a terrifying rate and also summons other random golem eggs when he gets hurt. That’s definitely a game ender right there.
I’m still wondering if the tribal stuff is strong enough to build a deck that makes good use of it. Right now it feels a little too elaborate. But maybe some Duelpros out there have some better ideas about how to slot these into their slimy rosters. I’m sure I’ll find out when I get destroyed by some stupid spell I didn’t know could be used in that way.