Written by Aaron Brosman
And so the previews begin! The Druid vs. Necromancer is rapidly approaching, but what does this mean in the cutthroat world of the arena? New spells, of course. Here is the first new tool the mages of Etheria will be able to add to their spellbooks, Acid Ball!
On the surface Acid Ball looks like any other attack spell. Its five cost and two-zone range are both pretty standard. Also, it’s a level one water spell, which helps begin filling out that elemental school. It’s the second card, after Dissolve, to have the acid subtype, and it rolls two dice for its attack. So far, if anything, Acid Ball seems behind the curve,Flameblast and Arc Lightning are both much better for a similar cost. So what sets Acid Ball apart? Corrode. This new mechanic really gives teeth to this acidic attack. What does Corrode do? Well let’s check the Druid vs. Necromancer codex…
Corrode is an acid condition. For each Corrode condition marker on an object, it receives Armor -1. Objects can never have Corrode markers on them, which would reduce their armor to below zero. Extra markers are destroyed. If an object with zero armor would gain a Corrode condition marker, each marker it would receive instead becomes one point of direct acid damage. Incorporeal objects are immune to Corrode.
When I cast an Acid Ball at a hearty Knight of Westlock, I can permanently lower his armor. I’m guaranteed to lower the armor of any non-tough creature simply by casting this spell at them, and if you get lucky you’ll hit two counters instead of one. But that isn’t the end of Acid Ball’s threat. Once your armor has been stripped away each corrode will instead become extra direct damage. That’s right, if you attack an Orc Butcher and get two corrodes off of Acid Ball then his armor will be lowered to zero and he’ll take one direct damage. This is in addition to any damage you may take from the spell’s two dice. Keep in mind that the spells normal damage gets applied before you can apply corrodes, so no double dipping there. Since you can never have more corrodes than your armor, if you ever lose armor, such as getting a Rhino Hide destroyed, then you will have to lose any excess corrode markers.
Acid Ball is a fantastic tool against exceptionally high armor targets, such as buffed mages, because of its ability to chip away armor. A few corrodes can soften up the target for the kill. Acid Ball is also excellent at targets with no armor. If there is nothing between you and the acid, you’ll always get burnt. On unarmored targets you’re guaranteed at least one direct damage in addition to your dice roll. This is fantastic for dealing with Resilient targets. And if you want to know what Resilientdoes, you’ll have to come back for more previews!
Assistant Designer – Druid vs. Necromancer