Solforge, the other really cool game from Stoneblade Entertainment(the guys behind Ascension), got a massive update on Monday with two things: first it added online play. Second, it changed a whole bunch of cards and really changed the game. This week I’ll be going over the changes in part to help me be a better player by thinking through the cards, and partly so you can realize what’s changed and how to be better as well. Bear in mind that this is only an incomplete picture since many of these changes were made with the full set in mind.
I copy pasted the list from the official patch notes, which you can find here. Text from that post will be in italics while my commentary will not
Cull the Weak
Now destroys target creature with 4, 7, 14 or less Attack. Previously destroyed a level 1, 2 or less, 3 or less creature.
On one hand, this is no longer the best removal spell in the game. On the other hand, this is still pretty good. Against Rageborn Hellion and synapse Oracle this has much greater value even in the mid game. It also pairs very nicely with Epidemic. The biggest drawback is that it can no longer kill the really big guys like Scorchmane Dragon, Chrogias and Brightsteel Sentinel. It should be noted that it is more flavorful now.
Now is 5/5 at level 1. Previously was 4/4.
On the first play of this guy he compares better to a lot of other rank 1s, being able to trade with a lot more of them and has just that much more staying power. This means that his higher levels are also better since all told they have that much more of a punch to them.
Now is 5/3, 8/7, 13/12. Previously was 6/3, 9/7, 14/12.
Bonescythe Reaver has a really, really good ability at level 2 and 3. Being able to kill a dude and getting your own dude is a powerful effect. Even that -1 to attack makes the body not great. Before it was fairly common to 2 for 1 with him as he could kill a creature and then trade. Now he’s not as likely to do that and his level 1 form is not as appealing since 6 power was above average.
Ability now gives -2/-2, -4/-4, -8/-8. Previously was -3/-3, -6/-6, -9/-9.
Strict nerf, the result being that it’s no longer as good with sac effects to generate board advantage. Still pretty good though
Now 6/3, 11/8, 17/14. Previously was 6/4, 11/9, 17/15
Another strict nerf but one that doesn’t seem to matter that much compared to everything else. His attack is still above average and he’s going ot deal damage when he dies.
Level 3 Spirit Warrior now is 14/14. Previously was 16/16.
A minor nerf that makes him a bit easier to deal with and is killed by new Cull the Weak lvl 3. The decks that want him still want him.
Now gives -7/-7 at level 3. Previously was -10/-10.
-7/-7 is still a crippling blow but enough that an opponent could come back from it when you’re both slinging lvl. 3 spells. Not really want you want form a lvl 3 Epidemic though.
Now gives -3/-0, +3/+0 at level 1, -5/-0, +5/+0 at level 2 and -9/-0, +9/+0 at level 3. Previously was -2/-0, +2/+0 at level 1, -4/-0, +4/+0 at level 2 and -8/-0, +8/+0 at level 3.
Yes, this is a power increase. The problem is that I don’t really like Hungering Strike, the effect is useful but I find myself wanting other cards over it. Admittedly this could be a flaw in my thinking and that with all of the nerfs that Nekrium has received as a faction this could rise in value.
Now destroys a creature you control to destroy a level 1, 2 or less, 3 or less creature. Previously was -6/-6, -10/-10, -20/-20.
It’s the new Cull the Weak, except its really awkward to level. Playing with it a bit I’ve never wanted to use it on the first run through the deck and by the time I wanted it I need to kill lvl. 3 things.
Overall: Nekrium got weaker overall. Mainly in that it requires some more work to be done in order to get your opponent’s creatures off the board. The creature modifications outside of Vengeful Spirit don’t matter that much either.
Now gives +6/+6 at level 2 and +12/+12 at level 3. Previously was +5/+5, +7/+7.
It’s strictly better and this was already a card you probably wanted in your Uterra deck to change up some combat math.
Now is 7/6 at level 2 and 11/10 at level 3. Previously was 8/6, 12/10.
It’s a worse Enrage with a body as well. The body is slightly nerfed to minimize that feeling of 2 for 1ing. Not a deal breaker
Now is 40/40 at level 3. Previously was 25/25.
This is bonkers. If a lvl 3 Chrogias comes down and sticks around for a turn then the balance gets altered. 2 attacks and you’re probably dead. There is now a reason to run this guy.
Now is 5/6, 9/10, 16/17. Previously was 4/5, 6/7, 11/12.
Now activates to give other uterran creatures you control +1/+1, +3/+3, +5/+5. Previously gave Uterran creatures you control +1/+1, +3/+3, +5/+5 at the start of the controller’s turn.
So now it’s harder to kill and will actually pump other guys most likely. This card is a lot better now.
Now is 6/6 at level 2 and 9/9 at level 3. Previously was 5/5 and 8/8.
A Spring Dryad allowed to stick around is going to grow really big, really fast. Now it starts out slightly stronger.
Now gives +2/+2 at level 1. Previously was +1/+1.
You feel better about playing this at lvl 1 now. The decks that want this don’t’ really stumble in leveling it now.
Now gives Poison 12 at level three and no longer allows a player to play and additional card. Previously was Poison 6 and allowed a player to play an additional card.
This got a lot worse. The increase in poison isn’t really a trade off for not being able to play another card.
Now is 7/10 at level 2 and 11/15 at level 3. Previously was 6/10 and 10/15.
The additional point of power is not irrelevant. It doesn’t really push the card but since I like playing the Stag already this means that it stays around longer.
Now heals 6, 12, 24 damage from each creature you control and no longer gives the player health.
Speaking of healing, this card is unplayable now. At least before I was willing to consider a 1 of in my Uterra decks.
Overall: The cards that got buffed really got buffed. The cards that got nered were already not that great to begin with or are tweaks that don’t’ tip the boat that much. Probably the faction that got the most out of this patch.
Now 7/7 at level 2. Previously was 8/8.
Technosmith was really good at lvl 2 and 3. Making it just a bit worse is felt but it’s still playable. More importantly it creates more of a trade off in exchange for ramp.
Levels 2 and 3 now are free to play. Previously allowed a player to play an additional card when played.
More of a technical change than anything else that just makes things easier for everyone.
Now 1/8, 2/16, 3/24. Previously was 2/10, 4/15, 10/25.
Synapsis Oracle was one of the best, if not the best Alloyin card. It’s stas were good and it allowed you to just throw cards away to be leveled with no concern. Now you can still level cards but you’re actively giving away more on the board for it.
Level 3 now 14/15. Previously was 17/20.
Level 3 now gives 15 armor to all robots you control. Previously was 20.
Nerfed, probably so that robots don’t run away with the game once the full set is released.
Now 2/3, 6/8, 8/14. Previously was 3/3, 8/8, 14/14.
Now gives +3, +5, +10 attack. Previously was +3, +5, +10 health.
That’s a not inconsiderate hit to its power and changing its ability from health to power seems odd to be honest. Again, probably makes more sense in the context of the full set.
Now 1/5, 3/8, 7/14. Previously was 2/5, 4/8, 8/14.
Now gives +3, +5, +10 attack to any other creature. Previously was to any Robot.
The shift in power makes it worse since it wasn’t that high to begin with and its health isn’t the greatest. Can’t pump itself anymore but it no longer has to be in heavy robots. Makes it more versatile with the full set.
Now gives -3, -4, -5 attack to creatures an opponent controls. Previously was -3, -5, -10 attack.
Much worse now. No longer a staple but maybe a 1 of since its first level isn’t that bad.
Now gives +2, +3, +6 attack and +2, +3, +6 armor. No longer gives health bonus.
Robot decks still want this, now they’re stuff is just a bit easier to kill after getting the upgrade.
Overall: Alloyin got some nerfs that weren’t unexpected, mainly with Synapsis Oracle and a bunch of stuff that isn’t so great now but will presumedly be better with the full set.
Deals 5, 9, 14 damage. Previously was 4, 8, 12.
It kills more stuff and does more to the dome, this is perfectly playable and puts it closer to the level of Uranti Bolt in terms of effectiveness.
Now 4/2, 7/5, 11/8. Previously was 4/2, 8/4, 12/6.
It trades power for life. The thing is that it still probably doesn’t stay around cause it has such low health. The most meaningful interaction that I can think of is that it no longer dies to Magma Hound’s ability.
Now 12/12 at level 2 and 24/24 at level 3. Previously was 10/10 and 20/20.
Strictly better, this guy was already part of the reason to run Tempys alongside Alloyin. Now the better stats means you stabilize sooner.
Now 4/3, 8/7, 13/12. Previously was 5/3, 9/7, 14/12.
Same deal as Bonescythe Reaver and Grove Huntress. Really good ability so toning down the stats a bit. Makes it harder to kill stuff with in combat now.
Ability now deals damage based on the damage Flameblade Champion dealt to the player. Previously was based on Flameblade Champion’s attack.
Technical change so that it no longer has weird interactions with Rageborn Hellion and breakthrough.
Now 6/3, 12/7, 18/12. Previously was 5/5, 9/9, 15/15.
It’s health is now firmly in the can die easily category instead of being able to put up a fight. His ability is still important to the rush decks though so this means that he’ll be trading more often than not.
Now 3/6, 5/10, 9/16. Previously was 4/7, 7/11, 14/17.
Ability now deals damage based on the damage Riftlasher dealt to the player. Previously was 3, 5, 9.
This is worse in every single way that matters. The stats are mediocre and while the higher levels deal more damage than the old version did, it’s easier to stop him.
Now 7/1, 10/1, 14/1. Previously was 5/6, 9/10, 14/16.
Ability now deals damage based on the damage Cinderfist Brawler dealt to the player. Previously was based on Cinderfist Brawler’s attack.
This trade off is interesting, more attack means it’ll at least trade and has to be responded to. 1 health means it’s poor in the mirror match and less good against Nekrium. Second change is the same as Flameblade Champion.
Now 3/6, 6/12, 12/24. Previously was 7/2, 12/6, 18/13.
More flavorful and gives Tempys a roadblock. If nothing else it makes it stand out more. Probably more relevant with the full set and lack of god mode for limited/casual play.
Now a 7/11 at level 2. Previously was 8/12.
Ability now can only target level 1 creatures at level 1 and level 2 or lower creatures at level 2.
Switch in stats is fine tuning, not really something I have a feel for. Ability makes the card a lot less of come back but also makes it more in line with similar abilities.
Now gives +7, +11, +15 attack until the end of the turn. Previously was +5, +10, +15 permanently
….Why? One of the main advantages of the game being digital is that stuff can be permanent and upping its power really isn’t a good trade off for being temporary.
Overall: Tempys just got generally nerfed. It like Nekrium can still do what it does best and still has some of the best cards.
Taken as a whole, this patch dropped the power level of a lot of cards and Uterra was really the only one who came out of it ahead. All the other factions still have their key cards and the strategies that have been in play are still the ones being relied upon at their core.