Thursday, July 26, 2012

Co-Op Monster Deck Mini-Expansion Stretch Goal Reward **Full Preview**


Today I'm going to go over each card in the co-op monster deck mini-expansion, which will come for free with every copy of Mage Tower if we hit the $12,000 stretch goal.  Go to the Kickstarter page if you would like to pledge: Mage Tower's Kickstarter Page

The main thing that makes the co-op monster deck different from the base game monster deck is that the monsters are more powerful and there are a wider variety of monsters and monster abilities.  Why is this?  The base game is focused around drafting a cool deck, stopping your opponent from drafting a crazy deck, and using strategy and tactics to mess with your opponent and optimize your strategy against the monster deck.  Since about 1/4th of the cards in the game interact with the opponent and there are over 170 cards to draft from, the monsters need to be *kind of* plain in the base game to make the game about your deck and interacting with your opponent.  In the co-op mode however you aren't interacting with your opponent, and the monster deck can't counter your attempts to draft an awesome deck.  For this reason, the monster deck *has to* do crazy stuff all the time so it really feels like an opponent that is messing with you and wants to win!

So let's go over the cards, and remember that the card names and especially art are very much in flux!  Anyways let's start strong with Village Mob:

Village Mob


This card is built for co-op play, obviously.  The cool thing about this card is that it provokes you and your ally to discuss who can afford to lose two cards, and cooperating in co-op mode is always a good thing!  The second thing is that it has an instant effect when it hits the monster board, which makes revealing cards from the monster deck more exciting.

Treasure Goblin


Treasure Goblin is another card that can make co-op play interesting, by promoting the players discussing who should be the one to kill it and get the gold.  If a player has a strategy that would really benefit from a lot of gold, you may want to have them take it.  The decision isn't always relevant or important, but when it is it's a good thing, and when it's not getting free gold is still fun!

Dire Gator


Dire Gator is just a plain interesting card because he's so easy to kill, but killing him might not do anything if the Gatorspawn still damages you, and if you don't kill him 2 damage doesn't really hurt much anyays.  There might actually be times where you and your ally agree not to kill him if you have something else you can spend your energy on.  Like Treasure Goblin it's not always going to lead to hard decisions, just once in a while, which is a good balance.

Apocalypse Rider and Giga Orc


These cards are pretty plain overall, but working with your ally do deal 10 or 11 damage to one monster is usually pretty fun.  Every monster can't have a crazy ability, and having to deal so much damage to one moster to kill it practically *is* an ability.  It also promotes players to say things like "Okay if I get 3 damage on the Giga Orc can you kill it on your turn?", so these cards actually do promote cooperation.

Melkin


Since co-op needs to be about the monster deck doing crazy things to mess with you, Melkin fits right in.  Since these are free for the monster deck to "play" they can turn a difficult turn into a *really* difficult turn, or just annoy the heck out of you!  Like Village Mob, these are basically a card that make you interested to see what cards are coming out of the monster deck.  When you get two Melkins and 13 points of monsters in a turn you'll know what I mean!

Harm Elemental


Harm Elemental is just a really annoying "vanilla" card (vanilla means it has no abilities).  It's annoying because in general it's slightly overpowered for its point cost.  Sort of like how Dire Gator is slightly underpowered for its point cost, this can shift your priorities at times.  You might work really hard to kill a Harm Elemental that's further down the monster board by comboing your cards with an ally.  As you can see, even the plain cards in the co-op monster deck can create strategic decisions.

Harpy Queen


This is another card that just makes you need to keep an eye on what's going on and that makes it feel like the monster deck is an opponent that is trying to mess with you.  You may be able to kill it with your ally, or you may try to use up your defenders if they'll die anyways.

Gargoyle


Gargoyle is a card that may make you have to change tactics, or manage your cards differently.  You may want to save your higher damage card for the Gargoyle, or if you'd have to waste a lot of resources to kill it you may want to use your energy for something else and have your ally kill it.  It's not a super crazy card but it can create interesting decisions during gameplay.

Monstrosity of Gandaar


The best for last!  The trick with this guy is he takes three turns to attack you instead of two, and he has way more health than he should.  Teaming up to take the Monstrosity of Gandaar down is totally fun.  There's also only two of them, and they can make the point values of the monsters coming out go up to 17, which is crazy!  (There's no high-end limit for monster points in co-op mode, but without Monstrosity of Gandaar there's no way to go over 14 points).  So anyways he definitely adds excitement when revealing cards from the co-op deck.  When will he show up?  Will he show up at a bad time?  Fortunately his ability, while allowing him to have more health, actually makes him more balanced since if he does come out at a bad time you still have three turns to kill him.

Anyways that's the co-op monster deck, it's super hard to beat but also super fun!  So spread the word about Mage Tower so we can hit the stretch goal.  Later guys!

-Brett Brimmer

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