Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rex Does Kongai: A Second Look at the Nercos

The Necros are going to get short shrift again today since I'm running short of time and even shorter on energy and I still want to get that next Patch finished up. Maybe I'll have time to talk about them as a group and what I want to do with them tomorrow. For today, though, you'll just have to console yourself for some revisions and a detailed look at each card, individually.

Idea: A healer/hard rezzer who drains his teammates energy and puts it to good effect.
Name: Dr. Emil Bluth, the Animator
Innate: Heals for 40 when critically hit (This is like Spirit Bond, the healing should offset the damage but not prevent a kill. I believe that means the healing should be applied first. But, really, that might not be the best since what we want here is one-shot protection.).
HP: Low (55?)
RES: None/High/Moderate
Bar (v2):

  1. Skill 1. Vivification Process. Your living teammates lose all energy. One random defeated card in your hand comes back to life with full health and energy but will become an exploited corpse again in 2 turns plus an additional turn for each living card in your hand (Maximum: 5). You are switched out and the resurrected card is switched in. Cooldown: 10 turns minus one turn for each living card in hand. High cost (100), low speed (4). Both. Light. 100h/99p // Obviously can't use if you don't have a dead teammate, right?
  2. Skill 2. Galvanic Flow. Your living teammates lose 50 energy each. Your team begins to Regenerate, gaining 2 health a turn for the next 5 turns. Moderate cost (20), low speed (3). Both. Light. 100h/100p.
  3. Skill 3. Electric Surge / Mah LASER!!. A power surge hits your opponent, striking them for 12 light damage. Your team losess all Galvanic Charges. You strike for an additional 10 damage for each Galvanic Charge lost (Maximum: 52 damage.). Cooldown: 2 turns. Moderate cost (40), high speed (7). Far. Light. 90h/100p.
  4. Skill 4. The Body Electric / Chargin' Mah Laser. Your living teammates lose 20 energy each (that's what they regenerate, right? Resting rate isn't increased in hand? Check on this.). You gain 10 health and those teammates who've lost energy gain 5 health and a Galvanic Charge (Galvanic Charge: ??? Increases duration of Regeneration? Increases duration of resurrection if present?).Low cost (0~10), moderate speed (5). Both. Dark. 100h/100p.
The lead-off Necro is a complicated mess with incredibly long skill descriptions that detail an intricately woven bar of powerful effects. He is, in other words, exactly what I'm going for with this group. The skills might be long-winded but they're not very complex. The gimmick here is resurrection. The Animator is a card who can bring his dead teammates back to life. The inspiration here, then, is obviously Dr. Frankenstein. The mad scientist experimenting with forces that man was just not meant to know. Since he's bringing cards back to life, he's also going to be worried about keeping them alive - those lightning bolts don't come around every day, you know. So, in addition to having a powerful resurrect skill, he's also got a few ways of healing. Including his own innate which you can think of as critical hit protection - something important when you have the high crit buffs from the Rockers floating around. The Frankenstein theme also suggests to me a lightning motif and what's lightning if not electricity and what's electricity if not energy? Necro #1, then, is focused on the yellow bars and, because healing is a powerful effect, I've used that to make sure his skills are costly. Not necessarily to the Animator himself, but because he drains the energy he needs from the rest of his team, healing them but weakening them at the same time.

Skill #1 is the big gimmick, his resurrect. It's got a lot of moving parts but it works like this. It checks for a dead card in hand (If there's more than one, it picks at random, I'd imagine, or based on card order.). That card is brought back to life but with a countdown timer that marks the turns until it returns to being dead. There's a bit of abuse prevention here as the timer is longer the more living cards are left in hand. That makes it less powerful the further along the fight is and less able to turn a losing battle around because your dead teammates just won't last. There's also a maximum number of turns, set to 5 currently, so that there's less of an advantage when it comes to 5-Card games (You'd have more chances for a full duration resurrection but you couldn't get teammates who'd live again for what I'd consider too long.). And, finally, when that revived card is returned back to the graveyard and Exploited. This would be a debuff that prevents that card from being used for this skill and similar effects again - preventing players from constantly refreshing their decks. What Skill #1 does, then, is to give a player a second chance with a card. Because of the limited timer, rather than just bringing a card back to life and requiring players to risk swapping to them, this skill will automatically swap to them. Shuffling Necro #1 back to hand and bringing that card out on the field. Finally, the costs involved here are huge. This skill not only costs the Animator 100 energy (Which, I know, leads to problems with Ubuntu's innate. Not sure how to fix that.) and is slow enough to interrupt, it drains off all the energy from every other card in hand as well - the living ones, at least, setting their energy to 0. That means you get to use your revived card again but using anything else is a bit difficult. It'll take time for your deck to recover but that's okay while your rezzed card goes Berserker. So, you get a second chance but because that effectively extends your deck by a character there's that built-in limitation that means it's not as good as your first chance.

It does take a while to explain and would probably take even longer to code - thankfully, I don't have to worry about that - because of all those working parts but, trust me, they're there for a reason. And it's mostly to keep the power levels down so this skill can actually fit into the game.

The taking energy from his team theme continues with a pair of healing skills. The first drains off massive eenrgy in order to create massive regeneration - with Skill #2's buff up, cards in hand have, essentially, a Blood Vial, and gain 3HP/turn. As well as having a short-lived Salve with 2HP/turn when they hit the field. The second costs your team their end of turn regeneration, keeping characters who are resting after a fight from regaining their energy in order to proc a weak heal. But its real purpose is to create tokens - here called Galvanic Charges (That I really haven't quite figured out yet. At the moment, I think they get expended to increase durations. So, if the Regeneration from Skill #2 was about to run out, you'd turn in a Charge and get another turn. Same with the countdown timer on the Revivification from Skill #1, which gives you a bit of reason to use Necro #1 at the start of the match, instead of keeping him in reserve.). And these tokens are used up by the powerful nuke in Skill #3. Which is fast and high damage, but limited by a damage cap equal to roughly 4 Charges, or what you'd get from one cast in a 5-Card group, it takes two for a 3-Card (The Animator wouldn't get a charge himself, of course.). But also by a cooldown timer that helps limit the differences (You get an extra turn to do something else in 5-Card, if you've got a full group, but you don't get to attack faster.).

The result is a weak character that only has one, difficult to use attack. But that probably won't matter because the real point of the Animator is to stick him in your deck to give your power cards a second go-around. If you protect him and marshall your forces well enough, he might just be able to give you more than one - just not with the same card because I'm crazy but I'm not insane.

Idea: A gentle giant, a protecter who guards and heals his teammates, keeping them alive even at the cost of his own health.
Name: Herman Bluth, the Re-animated Man
Innate: While in your hand, has a 40% chance to take the damage meant for his teammates (This would not affect hits all skills, like Tiger Frenzy, but would apply to randomly targeted attacks, like Eye of the Tiger.). // Does this work if card hasn't been revealed? Or does Herman need to see the field at least once before it enters play.
HP: High (85?)
RES: High/Moderate/Moderate
Bar (v2):
  1. Skill 1. Leg Breaker. Your foe's speed is lowered by 2 and their movement costs raised by 5 for the next 5 turns. Modereate cost (20), moderate speed (5). Both. Phys.
  2. Skill 2. Bloody Knuckles. Steals 24 health from your foe. Your teammate with the lowest health is healed for that 75% of that ammount (Judged by percentage. Applies to self, as well.). Moderate cost (30), low speed (3). Close. Dark. 90h/100p.
  3. Skill 3. Tombstone Slam. Deals 40 damage to your foe. If they are killed, you gain 20 health. Moderate to high cost (45), low speed (1). Close. Phys. 100h/100p.
  4. Skill 4. Galvanize / Galvanic Process. For the next 4 turns, you have a 75% chance to not die until the end of the turn (Protection from attack damage, not damage from effects ticking off.). At the end of each turn, you gain 10 health for each of your living teammates. Cooldown: 3. High cost (50), low speed (2). Both. Phys. 100h/100p.
If Necro #1 is Doctor Frankenstein then Necro #2 is his monster. The concept here would be that the Re-animated is the Animator's sun. Or, at least, significant pieces of him. Dead after a tragic accident, he's been twisted and transformed by his father's experiments into some unholy monstrocity. But not an evil one since he's more interested in protecting his teammates than slaughtering his foes.

That's because the gimmick here is that this character is guarding the rest of his team. His innate gives him a chance to take blows meant for them. Putting him in your deck gives some weaker cards extra protection since he's got a lot of padding to absorb blows.

He's even more of a protector than that since he can heal. Siphoning health from his opponent's with Skill #2 and directing it towards the teammate most in need of some help. If you can get a weakened ally off the field then Big Frank can help them to get back up on their feet. And if he's taken some shots protecting someone then he can fuel himself up, too.

Along with that, Necro #2 packs the latest revamp of the Bapho system. Which, if you'll recall stems from an old card with a pseudo-Death Mask ability to delay death than combined slw attacks with a debuff to gain health when it earned a kill. We stuck it on Gangster #2 for a while - where it was definitely overpowered - but I think it fit much better conceptually here. Herman is a shambling heap of organs returned to life so a resistance to death makes a certain kind of mad sense. It might still be a bit too strong but that's more likely to fit in this group where overpowered is the order of the day. By coupling it to a semi0-healing bar, we has a built-in reason for why this character is healing. And it also means that since this characte is going to be doing less damage (like a good healer should), overall, it's much less of a scary ability since he shouldn't be flattening his opponents.

Also, his Bapho system isn't built-in, it's something he has to buff into. Using Skill #4, he'll prevent himself from dying until the end of the round and allow him to get in a parting shot before he's finished. And, with that, he'll have Skill #2 which will pump his bar full of health and allow him to survive. But he'll also gain a base amount of healing at the end of each turn, basically making him immune to death via damage. Not, though, from death from effect such as ticking off his final few hit points from a Bleed or a Doom-type skill that pops off. Those should go into effect after his healing procs. And, furthermore, the amount of healing he gains is based on the number of living teammates he still has left. If he has none then he gets no health and that makes sure that he can't stall out the game when he's the last card left.

He can sure stall it out beforehand, though, so it's an effect that's going to have to be carefully constructed to make sure it's not too strong - like where it is now. I'm not sure where the combination of per card healing and duration that makes it alright is at the moment but I'm pretty sure it's not there yet.

'm also having problems with Skill #1. Leg Breaker is a hold-over from G2's old bar. It's a powerful effect and one that, I think, really helps a single-ranged character out. I'd like to find a way to make it work but I'm not sure it's a good fit here. Then again, I don't have any better ideas so I'm stuck with it for now. But, overall, I think it continues to be an intriguing concept and I want to see where this character goes.

Idea: A mummy, constantly reincarnated and refreshed by a quick trip through the lands of the dead. He excels at dragging his opponent along with him for the ride.
Name: Amanotheses IX, the Ever-lasting
Innate: When killed, this card resurrects after 4 turns with 1/3rd less maximum health and 10 less maximum energy. Cooldown: 7 turns (4 turns dead plus 3 turns alive.).
HP: Below-average (60)
RES: Low/Low/Low
Bar (v2)
  1. Skill 1. Chant of Osiris. You die and will return to life with full health and energy in 3 turns minus one turn for each of your living teammates (Minimum: 1). Cooldown: 5 turns. No cost (0), high speed (8). Both. Dark.
  2. Skill 2. Ka Strike / Anubis Grip. Deals 8 damage to your foe. You lose all health and die. Your opponent takes 2 damage (U) for each 3 health lost. Null cost (20), moderate to high speed (6). Close. Dark. 100h/100p.
  3. Skill 3. Scarab Swarm / Eater of the Dead / Feast of the Dead / Scarab Touch. Deal 15 damage to your foe. For the next 5 turns, they are infected by Death Scarabs. If you are dead they take 12 damage (D) per turn. High cost (40~45), moderate speed (4). Far. Dark. 95h/75p.
  4. Skill 4. Binding Wraps. Deals 5x6(30) damage and knocks off a buff from target foe. Moderate cost (30), high speed (7). Both. Phys. 90h/100p.
The concept here is that of a mummy. Not the shammbling, stumbling, bandaged wrapped wreckage of something that was once human but more like the main villain in the Mummy film. A regal king, a prince or a high priest, who's found a way to cheat death and return to life and full vitality.

The gimmick here, then, is reincarnation. This is a card that lives a cyclic lifespan, going from life to death to life and back beyond. From the graveyard to your hand. This is done through an innate which counts down slowly but surely to a time when this card will revive after being killed off. This won't keep you from losing a game if this is your last character left but if you have more teammates who can buy you some time then you have a chance to get this card back to fight with again. To keep this from getting too out of hand - there could, after all, be problems with a card you can't kill - each time the card returns it'll have less health and energy to work with (At the moment, that's a reduction to the original health and energy pools, not the ones you had when you died. So, I think you get two return engagements, after which you'd return with 0 health and just die right again.). So he might be able to resurrect but he won't be quite as strong.

The Undying card being, well, unable to die permanently means that I can unleash some really interesting skills that play around with that idea. First of all, we have Skill #2 which turns Necro #3 into a suicide bomber. With this attack, you grab onto your opponent and explode, figuratively, draining away all of your health and causing them damage based on the amount of health lost. At the moment, that's a 3:2 ratio so, with the 60HP bar I'm thinking of (which works better with the health reducing innate), that means you deal, at most, 40 damage on a full tank. Not enough to one-hit someone but enough to put a sizeable dent in them although it'll cost you this card. But thanks to his innate, he'll only be gone for a short time (Lowering his health on revival also helps to keep this from being abusive, since he won't be able to
strike for quite as much each time.).

Then there's skill #3 which is a weak, debuffing hit by itself. But when Necro #3 is dead and buried, he's reaching up from the grave and trying to drag that target down with him. As long as they have that debuff and N3 is dead, they'll take massive DOT damage, ticking off something like 15 damage a turn. This is lowered by resistance so it's not quite as lethal as it first looks but it's still a scary thought - that's 60 raw damage, enough to destroy a lot of cards. Imagine, you tag them with #3 and then work in close to blow them up with #2 for an almost insta-gib. But I think that can work since that gives them a few turns to chip off some health and lower the damage from that #2 bomb. Nothing protecting you from the DOT, though, so it might need some toning down.

It gets even better thanks to Skill #1 which is a sneaky way of giving N3 a free-switch. Using this skill, he dies. That returns him to your hand where he'll eventually resurrect. And since I'm restricting his number of resurrections so fiercely, I've gone ahead and made these switch-out rezes not count towards the total, so he won't lose any health or energy when he returns. In fact, I've gone even further and made sure that if there aren't any dead cards in your hand he'll be back and ready to go again in record time. It gives him an amazing escape hatch that he can pretty much always use - might be a little too good.

His bar is rounded out with a skill that doesn't deal with death, it's just a weakish multi-hit attack (low damage value, moderate multiplier, makes for a skill that gets eated by resistance but that can hammer the undefended at reasonable cost.) that he can use from either range and that can knock off a buff - a valuable ability when there are so many floating around this set.

The combination makes for a character that can deal a surprising amount of damage and who's going to flit in and out of your hand with brief stop-overs in the graveyard. A card that will play absolute havoc with the way the game normally goes. In other words, a Necro.

Idea: A token driven character whose skills are fueled by the number of corpses around. Raises minions or bits to do his dirty work and, sometimes, even his foes.
Name: Xal'zun Mok, the Bone Caller
Innate: Creates one Bone Minion and one more for each defeated card in play (Max: 5 in 3-Card, 9 in 5-Card) at the end of each turn (Bone Minion. Is destroyed, crumbling to dust, if you leave the field for any reason. Each Minion prevents 2 points of damage from reaching a target but crumbles when hit. Each surviving Minion deals 2 physical damage at the end of the turn and then crumbles.).
HP: Low (55~60)
RES: None/Low/High
Bar (v2):
  1. Skill 1. Bone Dance. For the next 3 turns, your Bone Minions deal +6 damage (10 overall) and their attacks are Dark. Moderate cost (45), low speed (3). Far. Dark. 100h/100p.
  2. Skill 2. Zombification Ritual. All your Bone Minions are destroyed (100p). If you have no Zombie, exploits a defeated opponent to create a zombie (95p). Zombies have half health, no resistance, limited speed, and will randomly attack, intercept, or rest each turn until defeated. Zombies are destroyed if you leave the wield. If you already control a Zombie then they gain 10 health plus 1 health for each Minion destroyed (95p). (Zombie: [Character] has been raised as a mindless zombie! They have less health and 0 resistance and 0 speed but will continue to plague you until they are defeated. Your attacks will strike this zombie until their health is gone and they are destroyed. [Character] may attack with [Signature Skill], intercept, or rest each turn.) Moderate cost (30), moderate speed (6). Both. Dark. 100h/95p. // Which skills can Zombies use?
  3. Skill 3. Unnatural Growth. For the next 5 turns, your target takes 3 damage a turn. If they are killed while under this effect, their corpses is exploited and 10 Bone Minions are created. Low cost (20), Moderate speed (5). Both. Dark. 100h/90p.
  4. Skill 4. Bone Fragments. Deal 15 damage to your foe. One of your Bone Minions is destroyed. If a Minion is destroyed in this way, your foe takes 15 physical damage and has a 30% chance to be interrupted. Moderate cost (40), high speed (8). Close. Dark. 95h/100p.
This dark Necromancer is what I call a Token character. I don't mean that he's the product of some affirmative action program but, instead, that he makes use of a token mechanic. He self-creates a resource that the rest of his bar then puts to effect. In the Minion Master's case, his tokens are, well, minions. If you've played M:TG you'd be familiar with the concept but the idea is that he's a +1/+1 counter factory, spitting out tiny little gremlins made of bone and gore to plague his opponent. These would, I imagine showup in his card art but also as buffs on his side during gameplay. A little counter that read Bone Minions, you have X. Where the number X would be the number of Minions in play.

What a Minion does, besides being fodder for some of his other skills is to serve as fodder on the battlefield. A Minion is a damage shield, soaking up a few points of damage that would otherwise affect Necro #4. If they do so, they're destroyed. They're also destroyed if N4 leaves the field, so they can't stick around for the next character to take advantage. But if they're not destroyed, they'll take a few points of health away from the Minionator's foe. And then be destroyed. They're not exactly a long-lasting resource, in other words, but a temporary flow in the battle's tide.

MM creates one Minion by default and, to play into the idea that he's harvesting the dead and bringing them back to unholy life, he creates another one for each defeated card - his team or his opponent's. That gives him +4 possible Minions in a 3-Card game (2 from his side and 2 from his opponent as they square off for a final fight) and +8 in a 5-Card. So, the potential damage reduction or damage output isn't all that high. At best, it's 10/18 per turn. But that's on top of everything else that's going on and it can add up quickly - especially if Skill #1 is in play and those Minions are buffed up.

The result is that Minion Guy is a steamroller. He takes a bit of time to get rolling but if you're behind then he's going to pave you over because he's going to get stronger and stronger as you've become weaker. The idea here is to capitalize on an opponent's defeats and use them to create more.

In keeping with that idea, MM is also able to raise his dead foes as Zombies to fight under his command. I picture Zombies as being both suped-up versions of Bone Minions as well as weaker versions of their original cards. They'll have less health and less ability to fight but they'll be able to use the abilities that define those characters to harm their former team. Originally, I was thinking that we could do this by letting that Zombie card attack with their cheapest skill. That would mean, say, Rumiko shoots her Poison Dart and so would Popo. But it also means weird things like Ashi using Power Swing instead of the Bleeding Slice you'd probably rather she perform. Or Higashi opting for Sweep and potentially being a stun bot. Or Yoshi opting for Open Palm instead of Rising Dragon. And then there's the whole problem of range. But one of the advantages of figuring out a way of getting the Psychotic Mimics skills to work will be that we have a way of looking through the game and picking out an attack, separate from the card that's using it. This means that we can create a buff that will deliver such an attack each turn. And we can create an array where each characer contribues a signature attack, of some sort. That will let us tailor the attacks of Zombies to something that feels right. And we can handwave the range concerns away by considering these Zombies as a third character on the field - they'll close to their favorite range and fire away all by themselves, while it's N4 and his foe that are jockeying for position between themselves.

It's a powerful effect but, I hope, one I've taken care to put in enough limitation on so that it can't get out of hand. Firstly, like Bone Minions, a Zombie is destroyed if MM leaves the field. Second, like Minions they absorb damage but they won't have their normal health. I think half their original is fair - that puts the average character at 35, meaning they'll last for one or two attacks, as long as that's probably more than a Minion, I'm okay with it. And they'll also have no resistance to blunt any damage. Third, although they can attack, they won't always. They'll have some kind of random chance, perhaps equal, perhaps weighted, to perform something else - either an intercept that might or might not be beneficial or a rest that almost certainly won't (Zombies won't care about energy, they'll just attack and attack. So, yeah, they're probably not going to be handing things like Chi Blast or even Slingshot. I'm thinking staple attacks, not nukes.) - but, whatever it is, it'll be out of a players control. And, finally, their attacks will be 0 speed, taking place at the end of the turn. That gives an opponent plenty of time to destroy them before their move takes place.

But the Zombie also gives the Minionator time to act since they'll still be on the field and able to cast. And so will his Minions (I'm not sure, at the moment, whether they should cover the Zombie's health or not, probably simpler if they do.) - he'll create more even though he'll lose a turn's worth when creating his Zombie. MM can heal his Zombie by recasting the Zombie-making skill. This prevents him from raising more than one at a time, by the way, and is the reason Skill #2 lacks a cooldown. Or he can debuff his foe with Skill #3, causing them to pump out a load of Bone Minions for the next foe to deal with when they die. And then there's Skill #4 which MM can use to hammer his foes if there's not a Zombie in play - and help them out if there is one. It doesn't deal outstanding damage (And, by the time I get done with it, will probably deal even less) and certainly not by itself. But if there are Mininons in play (In other words, if MM has been on the field at least one turn) then it destroys one to deal a bit more. And, more importantly, to have a slight chance to interrupt an opponent since they'll be too busy worrying about the shards of flying bone to attack.

A frightening card, really, that could be devastating. But well within the framework of the Necro group.

Idea: A dark magic user who draws on her teammate's health to power her skills.
Name: Fenda Ahkba, the Dark Ritualist
Innate: Drains 25% of the damage caused as health on a successful attack.
HP: Average (70)
RES: Low/None/Moderate
Bar (v2):
  1. Skill 1. Bloody Knife / Sacrificial Blade. Deals 30 damage to your foe, with a 50% chance to cause them to Bleed (4for3). A random teammate begins Bleeding (3for5). Moderate cost (30), moderate to high speed (6). Close. Phys. 95h/100p.
  2. Skill 2. Blood Boil. Deals 12 damage to your foe. If they are Bleeding, they take 20 additional damage and have their damage and resistance lowered by 3 for the next 4 turns. Low cost (20), moderate speed (5). Both. Dark. 95h/90p.
  3. Skill 3. Sacrificial Rite. Your teammates lose 20 health. Deals 45 damage to your foe. This skill is 1% more accurate for each point of health lost. Moderate cost (35), high speed (7). Far. Dark. 50h/100p.
  4. Skill 4. The Greater Good. A random teammate loses 20 health. You are cured of all debuffs and gain 25 energy. No cost (0), low speed (3). Both. Dark.
With this character, we follow the maxim that blood is power. She makes use of her team's total health to power her skills. This makes her a dangerous card to play since she could wind up killing the rest of her team. But, hopefully, her damage and reliability make up for it.

Her skills don't cost a lot and deal a lot of damage per point of energy spent because N5's skills are paying for their effects in other ways. Mostly, they're carrying around the extra burden of a blood cost - the skills here take some health away from the Ritualist's team in order to cast. That allows their other costs to stay down and their values to creep up.

Skill #1 is a good example. It deals 30 damage with a 50proc 4for3 Bleed. That's up to 42 raw damage for only 30 energy, for outstanding damage per energy even though some of that hit is delayed. But when it's used it also causes a random member of N5's team to start Bleeding themselves, slowly hemmoraging their health away. You can stay on the field and use this attack over and over, but it's going to cost the rest of your deck.

Skill #3 does much the same although rather than causing Bleeds, it just takes health from the rest of your team (Like with the Bleed effect from Skill #1, I picture N5 as being immune to this loss.). That loss turns a highly innacurate hit into a powerful nuke. But only at the cost of weakening the rest of your team.

It's that kind of trade-off that the Ritualists deals in, such as will Skill #4 which likewise takes a chunk out of a teammates bar in order to benefit N5. In this case, it rids Necro #5 of any negative effects allowing her to cleanse herself of anything from Touch of Doom to, say, a Bleed with the flow of Blood. She doesn't really need a lot of energy but it still will net her tons.

Finally, since this is a Blood based character, I wanted to have something that harkened back to the already existing Blood Burns. Continuiting between skills, referrences between groups helps create a cohesive whole, I think. So, N5 gets Skill #2, which serves as a weak hit that, for once, doesn't cost her team anything. Instead, it preys upon her Bleeding foes, turning into a version of Blood Burn that deals a ton of damage besides.

It all adds up to a card that's a Burner. One that flies through their resources fast in order to make a big impression on their opponents. But, in Necro #5's case, she burns through her team's health rather than her energy bar.

Should be a winning combination but, for me, Necro #5 just isn't working well enough yet. I think the problem is that, unlike the other Necromancers she lacks that one, really big impressive and splashy gimmick. I mean, she has her Blood Canon in #3 but that's nothing like N1's resurrection or N3's reincarnation or N4's zombification or even N2's Bapho and N6's mega-Ambush. Although there's a lot to recommend here, there's no real hook and I think I need to find one.

Idea: A scrapper that gets stronger when the dead are around. Uses fresh corpses to get inside his opponent's deck and destroy them from within.
Name: Yorrick Dane, the Gravedigger
Innate: When you kill a foe, you gain 25 bonus health, 4 bonus resistance, and your skills cost 5 less energy for each defeated card in play for the next two turns.
HP: Above-average (80)
RES: Moderate/None/Low
Bar (v2):
  1. Skill 1. Dig. Your foe has 20% less chance to hit for the next 2 turns. If there is a dead opponent, that card is exploited and you gain a 50% chance to Dodge attacks for the next 3 turns. Low cost (10), high speed (3). Both. Dark. 100h/100p.
  2. Skill 2. Graveyard Smash. Deal 65 damage to your foe. This attack has a chance to hit fleeing. Unlocked by Dig. Cooldown: 2. High cost (70), high speed (9). Close. Dark. 100h/70p.
  3. Skill 3. Shovel Bash. Deal 24 damage to your foe. This attack has a 15% chance to stun your target for each defeated card in your opponent's hand. Moderate cost (40), moderate speed (4). Close. Phys. 90h/100p.
  4. Skill 4. Hasty Retreat. Deals 12 damage to your foe. You have a 75% chance to earn a free switch. If your foe has a Cooldown timer they are stunned for the next turn. Moderate cost (30), moderate speed (6). Close. Phys. 95h/75p.
Largely, this card exists as an alternative for N2. I think this group will benefit from having a heavy-type character. Not necessarily someone with a lot of health but a straight-forward attack that kicks out a lot of damage. And that's what this Gravedigger does.

There's a big nuke on his bar and it's a wicked one. Skill #2, Graveyard Smash, deals a massive 65 damage, enough to put a huge drain on anyone's health bar. But, more than that, it also has a chance to hit fleeing characters - when you get in range there's just no reason not to use it.

Alas for poor Yorrick (Yes, you can groan now), it's not that easy. Skill #2 costs 70 energy, making it hard to get in range with enough energy to use it. It also has a cooldown so it can't be used that often. But, more than that, like the Ambush it's patterened after, it requires a buff to unlock its use. In this case it's Skill #1. And the buff from Skill #1, Dig, needs a dead body in order to work.

So, the Graverobber can pile on another body but he's going to need at least on kill first. Something he'll want, anyway, since, like Zina, he's got an innate that rewards him for killing his foes off.

Without Skill #2, he has to rely on Skill #3, Shovel Bash, in order ot get that kill. And that's not exactly a bad thing since it's a solid if expensive hit that gets even better when there are dead bodies around (It's kind of a theme here.). And, if all else fails, there's always Skill #4, a free switch that means N6 can always back out of a fight that he's not going to win. It's not a certain escape by any means but it's good enough to gamble on if you're desperate. And, if there are dead around then it gets even better since its target will be stunned - that makes for a great follow-up to the Dig -> Smash combo, you can chain them into a Retreat that sends Necro #6 back to the deck to recover that lost energy as you swap to another card that's just gottena free hit.

The basic idea here, then, is a card that goes into bonus mode when you've already gotten some kills and your opponent is weak. There are some problems here - this is a single ranged character that's going to be easy to push away. And, really, I think N2 adds more. But an interesting concept, if nothing else.

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