We're here to talk about the Xelor class. A large number of adjustments have been made with the goal of making the class less inevitable at high level while preserving its identity and making sure it stays fun to play and becomes less frustrating to fight.
Sinistro You Are, Alone on the Field You Shall Be
Sinistros have the status of "SINGLE" on the field: summoning another Sinistro destroys the previous one.
Sinistros were strong, too strong: 2 AP to gain a gauge, an appearance effect, and cause a mechanism to appear that hinders movements while also activating additional effects on some other Xelor spells. We therefore decided to limit the number of Sinistros on the field to limit their power and cause decision-making for Xelor players: should they place a Sinistro offensively to block an opponent or protect their flank, or is it better to place it far from the action to ensure there will be a Sinistro on their next turn and activate spells?
For now, we haven't made any changes to the AP cost because we like Sinistros' flexibility and the fact that they easily find their place in decks. We will, however, continue to keep an interested eye on their power.
Changes to Passives
Tako Synchronizer now gains 2 reserve AP when one of their companions dies.
Tako Synchronizer's performance was lower than that of the other Xelors because of a passive that was too easy to get around and did not keep any AP in reserve. We therefore opted to modify the passive while keeping the idea of pushing the opponent to make bad decisions.
Pramium Catalyst draws the first Sinistro in their deck when they attack.
Given the changes made to Sinistros, Pramium Catalyst's game plan was of course impacted. We decided to keep mechanism-oriented gameplay but have removed mechanism transformation. The new passive thus lets Pramium Catalyst always have a Sinistro whenever positioned offensively on the field.
Gurpapa Regulator grants 1 AVENGING SANDGLASS when they gain AR. Limited to once per turn.
Combined with using the Argolio companion, Gurpapa Regulator's initial passive could lead to intense turns, but we weren't satisfied with the generic use that allowed players to gain 1 AP when applying the MUDDY state. We like the idea that it's possible to gain AP thanks to the passive via gaining AR, so we decided to attribute the AVENGING SANDGLASS mechanic to them and add a close-combat attack constraint.
Time Control is now 5 AP (instead of 3) and gives +2 water gauge (instead of 1).
To strengthen Tako Synchronizer, we have also adjusted their weapon spell.
Hand and Small Hand give +1 AP to your reserve per enemy hit (instead of lowering the cost of the next fire spell if the target is in the OILED state).
These two spells were very little used because of a high number of conditions for an effect that was difficult to exploit. Their new effect, which is easier to activate, should make these two forgotten spells more interesting again.
Oiled Flame and Temporal Burn trigger your mechanisms if the target is in the OILED state (instead of triggering EXPLOSION on your mechanisms).
Since there are now fewer mechanisms on the field, the mechanism explosion effects have become less interesting. We have therefore modified these spells (with the exception of BOOM, which remains unchanged for now) and taken the opportunity to strengthen the identity of the fire path by emphasizing the use of the mechanisms present on the field.
Temporal Dust gives +3 fire gauge (instead of 2) and Clock gives +3 water gauge (instead of 2).
We've increased the gauge contributions of big spells to make them more attractive.
Mechanism Science gives +1 earth gauge and +1 reserve AP (instead of +2 earth gauge) and applies PETRIFIED to characters in the MUDDY state (instead of granting PL to the teleported mechanism).
Ultimately, giving the teleported mechanism plating seemed very anecdotal, whereas petrifying muddy characters should be a more interesting mechanic to play.
Xelor's Dial is now 5 AP (instead of 2) and the mechanism has "START OF TURN: Gives your hero 1 Chibi Dial" (instead of "APPEARANCE: Your hero becomes untargetable").
We would like to shore up the importance of large mechanisms when they are placed on the field in order to force strategic decision-making regarding ignoring or destroying the mechanisms, hence the application of the effect at the dial's start-of-turn.
However, summoning a mechanism on the very first turn when you're the first player seems to be a bit too efficient, so this is why we've increased the AP cost of the Dial.
Elemental Adjustment is now 6 AP (instead of 5) and has gained the "KILLING BLOW: +2 AP to your reserve" effect.
With Dial's shift to 5 AP, Xelor earth spells costing 5 AP became too numerous, whereas none cost 6 AP. What is more, the addition of KILLING BLOW should make this spell, which was ultimately little used, more interesting.
Dark Ray gives +3 earth gauge (instead of +2 earth gauge and +1 reserve AP) and gives +1 to your element gauges if the target is in the MUDDY state (instead of applying PETRIFIED if the target is in the MUDDY state).
We are not satisfied with the spell's PETRIFIED effect on the offensive aspect, so we have decided to rely on the multi-element strategy that Xelors can use.
Alignment gives +2 reserve AP (instead of +2 air gauge).
The Air path already has two spells that give 2 air gauge, so the aim of this change was to diversify strategies.
Forced Teleportation teleports an ally 3 cells; it then inflicts damage around the ally (instead of teleporting an enemy 3 cells and then inflicting damage on the enemy).
Moving an opponent via teleportation is one of the most powerful mechanics, and Xelors already have enough tools of this type at their disposal. We have therefore made this spell less powerful by letting it only target allies.
Eternity can now teleport an allied character one cell or teleport an allied character next to an allied mechanism.
With a single Sinistro on the field, Eternity is now harder to exploit so we made its casting conditions more flexible.
Restoring heals the hero and the hero's allies (instead of only the hero).
Restoring was too weak and this was reflected in its pick rate; we therefore wanted to make it more attractive by letting it also heal allies.
Destructuring gives +3 gauge (instead of 2), destroys a Sinistro to trigger Explosion, and makes you draw the next two Sinistros in your deck (instead of destroying one Sinistro to inflict damage around it and trigger explosion of other mechanisms).
This spell's behavior needed to be changed given the changes made earlier; however, it is still focused on Sinistros.
Temporal Armor gives +2 gauge (instead of 3), +1 aura if the hero already has an aura, and reflects physical damage (instead of an AT gain and general reflection).
The old Temporal Armor was simply too strong. In addition, its combination with the Pikuxala Hand contributed to this weapon's dominance. Temporal Armor's power was therefore reduced to be more coherent with the overall power of spells and it now gives an aura to reinforce this style of play instead of giving Attack.
Mummificatus is now a 5 AP transformation (it remains active as long as the hero has AR) that gives the hero AT, AR and Shield.
Mummificatus is now a transformation and the AP gain has been removed to limit infinite loop abuses – this type of combination in which the only constraint is game turn time does not match our vision of the game. Nevertheless, gaining Shield makes Mummificatus a very interesting transformation because it is difficult for an opponent to destroy.
Avenging Sandglasses is now 6 AP (instead of 7).
Generally speaking, we would like to facilitate access to auras. This cost reduction is therefore part of that process.
Chibi Dial is now 6 AP (instead of 5) and releasing a dial gives +1 reserve AP in addition to healing.
Chibi Dial was a purely defensive aura that made games longer. While we don't have any issues with support mechanics, we nonetheless do not want to promote an ultra-defensive strategy. Adding an AP gain to the Chibi Dial's effects therefore makes it possible to lower the healing and keep decent power, and the additional AP can be used for offensive or defensive strategies.
That's it for this devblog. Feel free to let us know what you think in the comments. In our next article, we'll look at the Iop and Eniripsa classes in detail. See you next week!