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Welcome to Sky #5: Prisms

Coulter L. Baker

Nov 21, 2019

A core component of SkyWeaver’s game design and deckbuilding is its “Prism” system. Within SkyWeaver, there are four Prisms, (with more coming in the future) that you can build your deck from - Strength, Wisdom, Heart, and Agility.

A deck can include one or two Prisms, which define the cards it can use. Every card you can put into your deck in SkyWeaver is tied to one of the Prisms, and a deck can only contain cards from the Prisms that compose it.


The Identities of our Prisms

Prisms represent the forces that form the backbone of SkyWeaver’s reality, which SkyWeavers like you call upon to do battle with one another. Prisms provide unique deck building restrictions and challenges. You can’t just put any cards you want in any deck. Rather, you first choose 1-2 Prisms, and from there, your deck can use any cards found within the Prisms it is made up of. Each Prism has its own specialties and strengths that you should consider how to take advantage of when deckbuilding.

Strength

“Call upon powerful units and cast devastating spells to overpower and crush your enemies and bolster your allies. All will tremble before your unstoppable might.”

The Strength Prism is straightforward and powerful, focusing on powerful, durable units that can overpower and smash through their opposition, and spells that specialize in buffing those units even further, or dealing damage to clear away foes and overpower them.

Wisdom

“Orchestrate elaborate strategies to out-think and out-last all who would oppose you, and leave them helpless to retaliate. Your mind is the greatest weapon of all.”

The Wisdom Prism specializes in defensive, long-term strategy, featuring many cards that excel at healing, stalling, drawing cards and eliminating large swaths of enemies at once, letting it keep its options open as it develops a long-term gameplan.

Agility

“Move and strike with the fury of lightning, outpacing and overwhelming all challengers in a flurry of speed. Your foes won’t even know what hit them.”

The Agility Prism specializes in aggression, pressuring opponents with units, spread damage spells, and ways to replenish their own resources. Agility cards often offer some kind of trade off to be used, like discarding cards from the hand or deck, paying life, and so on, emphasizing its live-fast philosophy.

Heart

“Harness the powers of both life and death to vanquish your foes and keep your allies coming back from beyond the grave. Who can oppose death itself?”

The Heart Prism specializes in manipulating graveyards, allowing you to recycle and reuse your units again and again, making it an excellent supporting Prism to others that have key units they want to recycle, or that have synergy with Heart’s cards.

Now that we’ve learned a bit about each Prism, let's look more into what they mean for you as a player.


Unlocking Prisms and Cards From Prisms

When you start playing SkyWeaver, you’ll be in possession of only one Prism - the Strength Prism. This Prism is optimized for new and beginning players, focusing largely on combat, damage, and durable units. After leveling up to level 5, you’ll unlock the Wisdom Prism, then at level 10, the Agility Prism, and finally, the Heart Prism at level 15. Each of these has their own unique strengths and playstyle. (Note that we are still in private beta and testing and balancing the game, and that the levels to unlock these Prisms, and cards in each may change before open beta.)

Whenever you level up, you’ll obtain a card(s) from the Prism(s) of the deck you were playing at the time you leveled up - for example, at the beginning, you will be unlocking just Strength cards, as that is the only Prism you’ll have to play with. Once you unlock the others and start playing with them, you’ll be able to unlock cards from them as well. In this way, if there are specific Prisms or cards within them that you want to prioritize unlocking, you can focus on those Prisms or cards in particular, by playing games and leveling up with those Prism(s).

The results of a game played with a deck containing only the Strength Prism - We unlocked only Strength Prism cards.

In the beginning, you won't have any cards of your own, but not to worry, you can always play Discovery mode, regardless of how many cards you have. Just choose the Prism(s) you want, and you’ll be given a deck made from a random assortment of cards from those available in your chosen Prism(s). Your deck will be different each time, offering nearly endless replayability without any need for a big collection. When playing Discovery, you’ll only be paired vs other Discovery players, so you don’t have to worry about facing down an opponent who has the advantage due to owning more cards than you. In Discovery it's all about individual moment-to-moment skill and strategy (and a little luck).


Building Your Own Decks With Prisms

Once you’ve managed to collect some cards via playing Discovery, you can start exploring Constructed deck building, where your choice of Prisms becomes even more pivotal.

When you first start building a deck, you’ll be given the choice of what Prisms you want it to use. A deck can contain up to two Prisms. If you make a single-Prism deck, you will be able to make a deck using up to 20 cards from that Prism to complete it. If you make a dual-Prism deck, you will be able to pick up to 30 cards from between them instead, and will have twice the potential card pool to choose from, though your deck’s consistency will be lower, as you’ll have 50% more cards.

If you are lacking enough cards to make a complete deck of 20/30 cards, you can also just include as many as you have, and the remainder of the deck will be automatically filled and randomized each game, in the same manner as a Discovery deck would. This generally leaves you with a slightly weaker deck, but allows you to start experimenting and playing with Constructed decks earlier.

That's as far as we’ll go into Constructed deck building for now, as it is a major concept that we’ll cover in more depth in its own post.


Drawing Cards From Your Prism

If you would ever draw a card during a match of SkyWeaver, and no appropriate card exists within your deck, (For example, say an effect tells you to draw “a water card” and you have none in your deck) rather than drawing nothing, you will instead get what’s known as a draw(s) “from beyond your deck” or “from your Prism(s).” Since you have no appropriate cards in your deck, the game will look to your Prism instead, and draw a card(s) that meets the criteria from there instead. If no appropriate card exists in your Prism, then you’ll draw nothing, but that seldom occurs.

Draws from your Prism generally occur in two scenarios. The first of which is that you use a card or effect that wants a card(s) with specific traits, like a Fire Element card, a Unit that costs 1 mana, a Water Spell, etc. It's common to run out of a specific type of card that meets these criteria, resulting in such an effect instead drawing a card from the Prism(s) your deck contains that meets those criteria.

The second scenario is if your deck is completely empty because all cards that started in it have been drawn (or otherwise consumed) at which point every draw you make, including those that have no criteria at all, will be a “from Prism” draw, since your deck contains no cards to draw.

Drawing from beyond your Prism in the endgame can allow you to pull out surprise victories in the end, but don’t rely on it too much. It is typically more efficient to aim to win before running out of cards, as your strategy will be more reliable.    

Take careful note that when you draw from your Prism, whether by an effect or because your deck is empty, your Hero will lose 1 health for each card drawn. The strain of generating cards from outside one’s deck is taxing on a SkyWeaver, so watch out!

When playing, it is important to not only consider what cards you chose to put in your deck, but those you didn’t, since you have the potential to draw any card in your Prism(s) if you play right.

A final important note is that within any given game, you can only draw one copy of a given card. Once that card is drawn (or if it started in your deck), any future “from Prism” draw will never draw it again. Each card is “singleton,” whether it started in your deck or not, and you cannot draw more than one copy of it per game.

That's all for this post, check back soon for more SkyWeaver info!


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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