By Arron Brosman
Community Manager and Designer
Mage Wars Arena is a game filled with a plethora of status conditions. This is one of the things that lets us accurately show what’s happening at a given time. For Academy we wanted to limit the number of status conditions that players would have to remember. We poured over our complete list of conditions several times, and slowly removed ones we felt were either too complex for what we wanted or not needed to build the cards we had intended. We had finally narrowed down the conditions we were looking at. During this whole process, we decided to introduce a new condition into Academy. Because the level of the creatures was lower than Arena we wanted a condition that would be effective against smaller creatures, and less effective against larger ones. So, we developed, Stagger.
Stagger is a condition that disorients or knocks a creature off balance. Minor creatures cannot attack or guard while staggered. If they have a guard marker they lose it, and they cannot choose the guard action.
Major creatures roll 2 less dice when they make any attack for each Stagger condition on them (but never less than 1 die). Remove all Stagger conditions at the end of the creature’s next activation. If a creature receives Stagger during its current activation, it must wait until the end of its next activation to remove it. Stagger has a removal cost of 2.
You’ll notice that Stagger used the Minor terminology. Minor spells are any spells of level 1 or 2. Major are any spells that are level 3 or higher. This allowed us to create a condition that works incredibly well in Academy, while still having some use in Arena.
But why all this talk about Stagger? Well one of my favorite creatures in Academy makes excellent use of this new condition. Behold the Paralyzing Basilisk!
The Paralyzing Basilisk provides a Stagger on a fair ranged attack. With 2 armor and 7 life he’s also on a solid frame. There is nothing amazingly exciting about the Paralyzing Basilisk, but he’s quite a solid creature, capable of removing guard markers at range or preventing a nasty Razortusk from attacking that round. He’s a simple no frills utility creature, and he’s one of my favorites because of it!
Don’t forget, you can pre-order the Mage Wars Academy Core Set for special early Pre-Release at Gen Con 2015 online here!