By Aaron Brosman
Community Manager and Designer
When Bryan first showed me his original prototype of Mage Wars Academy I was very excited. In fact all of us at Arcane Wonders were. We sat in a pizza place in the middle of Madison, WI and played 3 games over the course of and hour’s lunch and we all knew this was something special. Now, a lot has changed over the course of development since those games in the pizza parlor, but there are several cards that have stayed loyal to their origins. In fact there were two creatures that Bryan played that day, which immediately grabbed my attention. I needed them. I needed them in Academy and Arena. For those of you who’ve listened to the podcast you know I’m going to talk about some bears today. With that in mind, let’s look at our first furry friend, the Steelclaw Cub.
Bears are tough. The cub is a level one creature with two armor. They’re like little furry tanks you can deploy to the arena. Now, by themselves they don’t pack much firepower, with only two attack dice. However their survivability makes them ideal targets for enchanting, much more so than most level one creatures. Also, Steelclaw Cub gives you a level one bear to trigger Animal Kinship with. In fact Academy has several creatures to help empower Animal Kinship.
Now, the Steelclaw Cub isn’t the only bear in Academy. As the saying goes, “I don’t have to be faster than the bear, just faster than you…” well, be on the lookout, because the Steelclaw Cub’s mother is keeping a close eye out.
The Steelclaw Matriarch stands out from the average Academy creature in several ways. First, she’s level three. This means she is no longer a Minor creature. This means that many spells in Academy will have difficulty affecting her. She also has three armor which is quite rare in Academy as well. These two aspects combine to make her quite a resilient creature. But it’s her special ability that actually makes her dangerous. Starting with a three die attack is pretty standard, nothing to write home about. However, each of her cubs improves her attack. In Academy she can get up to six dice without any enchantments. All of this for 11 mana, making “momma bear” quite an efficient creature.
I knew that Mage Wars needed these two bears from the moment Bryan put them on the table, and since then they’ve remained virtually unchanged. I’m very excited to players unleash the power of the Steelclaws! Remember, if mama ain’t happy, then nobody’s happy!
Don’t forget, you can pre-order the Mage Wars Academy Core Set for special early Pre-Release at Gen Con 2015 online here!