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Welcome to Sky #2: Player Actions

Coulter L. Baker

Nov 06, 2019

Welcome back to our introductory blog series on the gameplay fundamentals and strategy of SkyWeaver!

Today, we’ll take a look at the actions players can take during each of their turns in SkyWeaver, and how best to use them to succeed. There are a number of actions you can take during your turn in SkyWeaver. You can attack with your Hero and Units, play Units and Spells from your hand, and play Spells attached to your Units and Hero.

Making Attacks

Attacking in SkyWeaver is fairly straightforward. You can click drag any readied character you control, whether a Hero or Unit, and point their targeting arrow at any enemy character to attack them.

Note that most Units enter play "sleeping" (visualized by little “Zzz” over them) and cannot attack. At the start of each turn, all your characters (i.e. your Hero and Units) will “ready” allowing them to attack. After any character attacks, it will be un-readied until next turn. In the example below, our Trydra (at left) and the opponent’s Axoloti are sleeping, while Puddo (at right) and our Hero are "ready" and can attack, as shown by the green glow around them.

When a Unit or Hero attacks another, both characters will deal damage to the other equal to their attack. Note that Heroes are the exception - they can only deal damage when attacking. If a Unit or Hero attacks the rival Hero, the Hero that was attacked will not deal damage back.

When you target a character for an attack, a preview will show you the amount of damage each character will take. A skull will also appear over any Unit(s) that will be destroyed as a result of the damage.

While you can normally attack whichever enemies you’d like, certain Keywords can modify what you can choose to attack.

If a player has a Unit with Guard, their Hero cannot be attacked, but their other Units can still be attacked normally. Guard Units are always placed to the right of the Hero.

Conversely, a Unit with the Stealth keyword cannot be attacked until its controller’s Hero has been damaged by an attack in the same turn, “breaking” its Stealth and allowing it to be attacked, and at the end of the turn, it will re-Stealth itself. Stealth Units are always placed to the left of the Hero and any non-Stealth Units.

The opposing nature of Stealth and Guard allows for strategic opportunities. For example - if you protect your Hero using a Guard Unit, you’ll protect all your Stealth Units as well. Additionally, if a Unit has Guard or Stealth, and gains the opposite keyword, it will overwrite the original, as a Unit cannot have both Guard and Stealth at once. We’ll cover keywords and their associated strategies in more depth in our next post!

Playing Units

Units are the primary driving force behind combat in SkyWeaver, and form the central focus of most decks' offensive and defensive options.

During your turn, you can play any Unit(s) from your hand that you have enough Mana for, provided you do not already have six Units in play, as that's the limit for in-play Units. Most Units enter play sleeping, so you cannot attack with them the turn you play them, which is an important consideration when planning your strategy.

Some Units also have effects that activate when they are summoned or played, denoted as “Summon” and “Play” effects.

A Summon effect will activate whenever the Unit bearing it enters play, whether from the hand, deck, or graveyard, as all of these are considered being “summoned”.

A Play effect, on the other hand, will only trigger when you “play” the Unit from your hand by paying its Mana cost. Many Play effects require you to choose a target when they are used.

Playing Spells

Spells are our second main card type. Unlike units, Spells have immediate, one-time effects when cast, and are then sent to the Graveyard. There are two primary kinds of Spells - targeted Spells, and non-targeted Spells.

Targeted Spells are those which require some kind of target to be played, which may have limitations - target a unit, target a Hero, etc. These are most commonly removal Spells like Arcane Ray, or Spells that heal/buff Units like Waneblade, but can also encompass Spells that need to choose a Hero to use their effects, like Rise! In the example below, we can only target ourselves or our opponents 2/3 Unit, with our Arcane Ray, as our opponent’s Hero and 2/1 Unit have attachments, and Arcane Ray cannot target characters with attachments.

Non-targeted Spells, on the other hand, are those which have global effects, and as a rule, can typically be played so long as you have enough Mana. This category frequently includes Spells that draw cards, like Treasure Chest, Spells that affect multiple Units at once, like Forest Fire, and Spells that summon Units, like Entwail. In the example below, Forest Fire does not need a target to be cast. We simply drop it into the playable card zone.

There can be certain circumstances where a global Spell like this may still be unplayable. In the example below, we cannot cast the Spell Entwail if we do not have space on our board for at least one of the two Units to be summoned, since that would make the Spell useless.

Playing Attached Spells and Removing Enchantments

In the same way that you can cast Spells from your hand, you can also cast any Spell attached to a character under your control, whether a Unit or Hero, by grabbing the attached Spell token on the character and dragging it off them. If the Spell requires a target, a targeting arrow will appear once the token is picked up, and you will be able to choose the target normally.

In addition to playing Spells, you can also pay Mana to remove Enchantments from characters you control. These are a special type of attachment that typically has no immediate effect when removed from the Unit by paying its cost (we’ll cover Enchants more in their own post.) Rather, the reward is simply the removal of the Enchantment’s effects, which are usually negative.

It is worth noting that, while most Units cannot attack the turn they are played, you can always play Spells or remove Enchantments from your Units the turn they are played, so long as you have Mana to do so. It is often strategically correct to wait to play a Unit until you can also immediately use its attached Spell, because if a Unit is destroyed, its attached Spell will be lost alongside it.

Other Strategic Actions & Gameplay Tips

Beyond the tangible actions you can take to advance the immediate state of the game, there are other strategic actions you can take to try to get the edge over your opponent. As these are strategic, rather than mechanical, you can preform them on your opponent's turn.

Inspecting Cards

Mouse over any card in your hand, or any card in play, whether yours or your opponents, to get a close-up view of it. Especially for new players, its important to play close attention to your opponents cards and effects. Cards will also have explanations for mechanics like Wither, Inspire, etc.

Checking Graveyards

At any time during your turn, or your opponents, you can view either player's graveyard by mousing over it or tapping it, and scanning up and down the pile. Checking graveyards can help you remember which cards you and your opponents have used, what cards are available to be revived via cards like Trinketeer or Necrotic Pact.

Overdrawing Cards

In SkyWeaver, players can hold a maximum of nine cards in their hand at once. If a player would ever have more than nine cards in hand, the oldest card(s) in their hand  (the leftmost cards) will be sent back into their deck to make room for the new ones, and maintain the nine card limit. This can cause players to temporarily lose access to important cards or send weak cards back into their deck, causing them to be forced to redraw them later, which can be devastating. Managing your hand size to avoid these risks is a key strategy.

Take the example above. Both players have 9 cards in hand. If we play Hydrate, we will both draw 3 cards. Since we would lose Hydrate, and then draw 3, we would then have 11 cards in hand after playing Hydrate, and, as a result, our oldest 2 cards will be returned to our deck. Our opponent will also draw 3, and their 3 oldest cards will be returned to their deck. To this end, we should play at least two cards from our hand first, so we will have 6 cards after playing Hydrate, letting us draw 3 without overdrawing any cards, while our opponent is forced to send 3 cards back to their deck as they draw. Managing your hand size is important so as not to overdraw your cards and waste resources.

That's all for this post, check back soon for more SkyWeaver gameplay tips and strategies!

Lethal Puzzle

See if you can figure out how to defeat your opponent using the game state presented below, in just one turn! Solution will be in the next post!

The solution to our last post's lethal puzzle is also right below! Congratulations to everyone who solved it!

To chat with me and the rest of the Horizon Games team & our community, join our Discord server! Subscribe to our subreddit to share your ideas, and follow the SkyWeaver account on Twitter if you just want to say hey!

If you haven't already, be sure to sign up to become a SkyWeaver now and get invited to play our private beta and check out all these new features for yourself.

Check back here again soon, and to get notified on our latest blog posts, subscribe to our newsletter.

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