<i>Fromthe smallest seed of a dying tree was I grown. While I live you suffer not alone, but all your dreams from my roots are grown.</i>
Good day, fellow Forgeborn. I am jermbug from Team B+ and the keeper of the SolForge Info Workbook: <a style=”color: #0f3647″ href=”https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1cTgwy4h9LO_xYbEPzsm9SH0h8me7ALgYwDUS5PMmBLk/edit?usp=sharing”>https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1cTgwy4h9LO_xYbEPzsm9SH0h8me7ALgYwDUS5PMmBLk/edit?usp=sharing</a>
For the last several months, I’ve had the privilege of being part of the QA group, which helps out with playtesting of upcoming sets. In this article, I have the pleasure of giving you a preview of an interesting new card that will be released in Darkforge Uprising – Dream Tree.
<b>Limited actions require careful decisions</b>
The game of SolForge has always been about careful decision-making with limited actions. Generally, each turn you’ll have a hand of five cards, but only get to play two of them, which requires careful consideration of which cards to play (and therefore level up to their more powerful versions) and which cards not to play.
SolForge presents several ways already to get ahead of the card-levelling curve. Some of these include cards that allow you to level up an extra card (such as Aetherforge Oracle and Tech Explorer) or cards that allow you to play an additional card (examples that come to mind are Bramblewood Tracker and Ashurian Flamesculptor). In all cases, there is some restriction to the additional card that can be played (for example, Bramblewood Tracker only allows you to play an additional, underlevelled Uterra creature). How about a mechanic that lets you play an additional card this turn with no restrictions on what that card is?
<b>Live the Dream (Tree)</b>
<a href=”http://solforgegame.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/DreamTree.png”><img class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-33870″ src=”http://solforgegame.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/DreamTree.png” alt=”DreamTree” width=”970″ height=”487″ /></a>
Meet your Dream Tree. Uterra, Defender, Plant. Zero attack, but reasonably high health, along with Regenerate at level 3. But look at its ability: every time Dream Tree is damaged and survives on our turn, you get an additional action. Importantly, this additional play is not level-gated.
What are the ways we can cause damage to Dream Tree? Well, the obvious one is in combat. With its high health, we can reasonably expect Dream Tree to be able to take a hit and survive a lot of battles. So that creature of your opponent’s that you carefully chose not to block last turn? You block it this time with Dream Tree, hit Battle, and now you still get to play two cards. Meanwhile, Dream Tree will block the opposing creature for at least one more turn.
Now, this is all fine and dandy, but let’s get more creative and think: How else can we cause damage to Dream Tree? This is where things get really fun!
<b>Shock my Tree</b>
The Tempys faction is characterized by effects that deal direct damage to creatures, so Tempys/Uterra is a natural pairing to explore. I have two words: Static Shock. You know this card well (it’s a classic!): Deal damage to a creature; then you may play an additional (on-level or under-levelled) spell. Nobody said you have to hit your <i>opponent’s</i> creature with Static Shock!
This is a powerful combination. Static Shock on your own Dream Tree only does minimal damage to it, meaning it will survive easily. Now you get to play an additional spell <i>and</i> an additional card of any type! In testing, I was routinely able to level four or five cards each turn when I drew this combination, so that by the time I rank-up to player level 2, I could easily have 50% to 100% more level 2 cards in my deck than my opponent.
For a core of a Tempys/Uterra deck, then, we could use:
<li>3× Dream Tree</li>
<li>3× Static Shock</li>
<li>3× Weirwood Patriarch — buff up your Dream Trees</li>
<li>3× Dendrify — currently one of the best removal tools in the metagame</li>
<li>3× Othra, Apex Predator — with us being able level-up extra creatures, Othra is a huge threat</li>
I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination. There are lots of cards that can cause damage to your own creatures, either through by targeting your own creature or as a cost of playing the card.
<b>Nom-nom-nom my Tree</b>
Now who says Tempys has exclusive rights to deal damage to your creatures? We can try instead pairing with Nekrium:
<li>3× Dream Tree</li>
<li>3× Scourge Hydra</li>
<li>3× Necroslime — yes, I have found an application for Necroslime!</li>
<li>3× Dysian Syphon</li>
This could be fun too!
<b>Other interactions to consider</b>
An additional way to cause damage to Dream Tree is Poison. Of course, Malice Hermit comes to mind and this is a case where putting Poison on one of your own creatures is not a drawback. Note here though that since Poison doesn’t take effect until the start of a player’s turn, you would get your additional action on your next turn. With a Dream Tree on the field, you discourage your opponent from playing his/her own Malice Hermit. In case this is not enough disincentive, put Dozer, the Dormant on the field too!
Dream Tree being a Plant leads to other synergies too, such as Tuskin Sporelord (clone Dream Tree) and Nuada (replace a dying Dream Tree with a big new Tree). Putting Regenerate on Dream Tree can make it last longer, particularly if your opponent’s deck has no easy way to deal with it.
I hope you have enjoyed this preview of Dream Tree, just one of the many new cards coming out as part of the SolForge: DarkForge Uprising expansion. From what we’ve seen in the QA group, this expansion promises a shake-up for Draft and Constructed. Fun times are ahead!
Preorder the Darforge Uprising bundle here: