Designing Sky - Intellect Prism Identity
Coulter L. Baker
Sep 25, 2021
Skyweaver is still in Private Beta, and information provided in this post is subject to change based on playtests and player feedback.
Welcome back to Designing Sky! Rounding out our five blogpost series on the core identities and design outlines of our Prisms, we’re taking a look at our final Prism - Intellect. So put on your thinking caps, and let's dive right in!
Previous Weeks Designing Sky Posts:
At a glance, the concepts of Wisdom and Intellect can seem somewhat similar, and it's true that both Wisdom and Intellect Skyweavers have similar goals of furthering their understanding of Sky. But where Wisdom seeks to understand Sky, and be at one with Sky as it is, Intellect driven Skyweavers seek to improve upon the world of Sky, and change it, aspiring for what they see as a more ideal reality.
At their best, Intellect-aligned Skyweavers are great innovators, making new discoveries and advancements to improve and protect Sky and all the lives that live within it, whether through pioneering great advances in technology, or applying their skills and abilities towards solving complex, overarching problems they see in the world.
At their worst, they can become megalomaniacs, believing their intellect places them above others, and in the worst cases, can decide their perceived genius gives them a right to attempt to try to seize control of Sky itself, reshape it as they see fit, and rule over all beneath them.
Intellect’s core identity is all about setting up and orchestrating elaborate schemes and long term goals. It has a wide range of unique effects and tools that allow it to set up combos with its payoff cards to suddenly overwhelm and destroy its opponents. Its Units tend to be fairly weak in terms of stats, but often possess powerful effects that serve to help it assemble or enhance its master plans.
Intellect is the last Prism players will unlock, and appropriately, is the most complex of the five, with many unique and multifaceted strategies. Intellect has the unique ability to recur its Spells, and make duplicates of its own Units, allowing it to employ strategies no other Prism can. Intellect is also particularly good at drawing cards, but unlike Wisdom, which focuses on quantity of cards over quality, Intellect's draw effects are generally smaller but more focused, allowing it to search out, discount, and empower certain cards to further support and enable its combo plays.
Intellect has some areas where it is designed to excel. These are some of Intellect’s most prominent strengths and unique features. Future cards and updates will reinforce these key pillars of Intellect’s identity.
Intellect is the only Prism with the ability to create copies of its own Units. This unique ability allows Intellect to execute unique combos and strategies that no other Prism can, such as summoning multiple Inspire Units together to multiply their effectiveness. In contrast to something like Heart’s recycling ability, which relies on its Units dying before it can recycle them, Intellect’s copying effects let it duplicate its living Units, or even Units in its hand/deck, allowing it to execute strategies and combos more proactively.
Powerful Late-game Removal
Intellect is the Prism with the best unconditional mid and late-game removal tools. Cards like Encapsulate and Frog King allow Intellect to instantly Dust any problematic opposing Unit, removing it from the game entirely. Meanwhile, powerful scaling area-of-effect spells like Extinction Event and Mass Confuse allow it to cut massive Units down to size instantly. Finally, more mid-game focused AOE options like Frigid Blizzard and It’s a Trap! allow Intellect to crush hordes of small and medium enemies with ease.
Intellect loves to make use of Spells. It is the only Prism that is really capable of easily recycling Spells from the graveyard, via cards like Manage Memory and Starfield.
Intellect also has effects that let it cheapen, buff or modify its Spells via granting them Keywords, like Magnanimous, Andromeda, and Sparky. Finally, it also has numerous Units that reward it for playing Spells, like Zam and Mootichi.
Intellect also has some fundamental gameplay limitations and areas where it is designed to be less effective than other Prisms. These core limitations will remain consistent, so as to keep the Prism unique. This isn't to say any of these areas are totally off limits, just that, as a general rule, these are areas where Intellect will be weaker than the other Prisms, and future cards and designs will respect these limitations.
Limited Healing Tools
While Intellect is a defensive Prism, similar to Wisdom and Heart, it is unique in that it has much more limited means of healing itself, with only Agility being worse in this regard. Instead, Intellect’s defensive game-plan is centered more around preventative measures that let it block or absorb damage proactively, such as Subjugate, Overmind, and Soul Shield, rather than reactively restoring its own health. This means Intellect is less effective at sustaining itself in drawn out games, as it will start to get chipped down by small amounts of damage it receives throughout the game. This also plays into how Intellect is incentivized to utilize combos or power plays to try to close out the game, rather than engaging in a war of attrition. Prisms like Wisdom and Heart tend to have the edge there, thanks to having more reliable forms of healing.
Statistically Weak Units
Since it’s core identity is based around Spells, copying, powerful Spell-payoff effects, and setting up tricky lategame combos, Intellect generally has the weakest Units of any Prism on a stats-to-cost basis, as many of its Units are centered around their powerful Effects. This focus on effects and Spells over stats means that Intellect can have trouble fighting for tempo and with its Units alone, since they tend to be focused more on defense and unique effects, rather than raw power, and need to be properly supported. However, it does possess a few standout Units like Shell Leader and Krakus, which can be quite effective if set up properly.
And with that, we’ve covered all five of Skyweaver’s current Prisms! I hope you’ve all enjoyed this little look inside the current design of Skyweaver.
Designing Sky will take a short break after this, but will return near soft launch as a Bi-Weekly series covering a variety of different topics, from the design of new cards, mechanics, looks at the metagame and how cards can shake it up, and other interesting topics. I can’t wait to share more info on the Design of Skyweaver with all of you, and I hope you’re all as excited as I am for the next Designing Sky!
What’s your favorite thing about the Intellect Prism? Do you play with an Intellect Hero? We want to hear from you! Tell us in our Skyweaver Discord community! Our community managers stream every week on Tuesdays and Fridays, so be sure to tune in at twitch.tv/skyweaverlive to catch their streams. See you in Sky! Until next time!