by Aaron Brosman
Community Manager and Designer
There have been many interesting design decisions that went into Mage Wars Academy. Through these articles we’ve explored a few of them, ranging from weapons to Stagger. Today we’re going to cover one of the most important parts of Mage Wars, enchantments! When we were first looking at Academy, we actually started with all enchantments revealed. This was a major change from Arena. But after several games, we decided that version didn’t have the same strategy. It just felt off the whole time. However, once we decided to use the traditional “hidden” then “revealed” mechanic, we found there were other potential issues.
We want Academy to be straightforward and easy for new players to grasp, and so we want simple, effective enchantments. That was our first issue. We’d already printed cards like Rhino Hide and Bear Strength. So the question was, how to fill those roles without reprinting those cards. We wanted something interesting and powerful to use, but different than the traditional ones. To see the solution, take a look at Gator Toughness!
Gator Toughness is meant to corispond to Rhino Hide. It’s meant to make a creature tougher to kill, and hopefully give them an extra round or two of life. Keeping to that theme, we took two cards Bull Endurance and Rhino hide, and mixed them together. What we ended up with is a fairly cheap enchantment that can greatly increase the survivability of a creature. A single point of armor and two points of life can help nearly any creature, and is always welcomed.
Now, this is fantastic for Gator Toughness as its abilities are almost always very valueable no matter the creature, for other enchantments the cost could actually be an issues. So we wanted a way to give fantastic abilities to smaller creatures. So we used a slightly different cost mechanism on Iguana Regrowth.
In the same way that we took two good effects and tied them together for Gator Toughness, so we did for Iguana Regrowth. Also by pricing it variably we were able to have a very inexpensive way to give a creature regenerate. The added benefit here is that regenerate loves the fact that this creature gets extra life. Whatever it takes to live until the regenerate goes off.
However, for some of the cards doing a straight variable cost like this wasn’t really what we were going for. On those cards we tried something a little new for us. We lowered the cost it it enchanted a level 1 creature.
Wolf Fury is a solid enchantment that buffs the melee of your creature. With an extra die and piercing +1 you’re sure to get some damage on your target. In fact most creatures in Academy have 1 armor or less. Since this spell lowers its cost on level 1 creatures it’s perfect for spending minimal mana to pump your animals permanently. All of these spells are useful to a broad range of players. So until next time, go Test your Skills!
Don’t forget, you can pre-order the Mage Wars Academy Core Set for special early Pre-Release at Gen Con 2015 online here!