Hero Changes and Tuning

I’ve started this thread to document some of the hero changes and tuning that are going into the game at the moment. Feedback and suggestions welcome!

Here’s what’s happening this week (some of these changes are not live yet):


  • Cyclops Banner - Gold Cost: 150
  • Dragonhelm Knight - moves faster, Mana Cost: 4
  • Cowardly Noble - generates 10 Gold / Valour
  • Enchantress - affects all Immortals (instead of one target) in 2 leagues, Gold Cost: 150
  • Spirit Shaman - Gold Cost: 175
  • Wizard - stun lasts for 6 hrs
  • Blind Justice - Gold Cost: 200, Mana Cost: 12, Range: 12 leagues
  • Cyclops Priest - Gold Cost: 225
  • Storm Friar - Gold Cost: 175, Mana Cost: 8


  • Forest Dryad - Gold Cost: 150, Mana Cost: 4
  • Tree Whisperer - Recharge: 18 hrs (down from 24)
  • Elven Prince - Gold Cost: 150
  • Pool Priestess - Gold Cost: 125
  • Tree Friends - move slower
  • Woodland Bard - Gold Cost: 175
  • Elder Mage - Gold Cost: 200, generate 3 Mana / Mage
  • High Elf - Gold Cost: 225, Range: 6 leagues


  • Artillery - Ranged Attack Strength: 400, Gold Cost: 200
  • Blunderbuss - Mana Cost: 8
  • Gryphon Horn - Gold Cost: 150
  • Gryphon Standard - Strength: 160, Gold Cost: 150
  • Crystal Miners - Gold Cost: 200
  • Mountain King - Gold Cost: 200
  • The Twins - target gains +4 Strength


  • Butcher - Strength: 240
  • Shaman Priestess - Gold Cost: 175
  • Blood Shaman - Gold Cost: 175
  • Jolly Tavern Keeper - Gold Cost: 250
  • Scarface Lord - Strength: 180, Gold Cost: 175, Recharge: 12 hrs
  • Vicious Sergeant - Strength: 240
  • Wolf Chariots - Gold Cost: 225
  • Dragon Brigade - Ranged Attack Strength: 12pp (300)


  • Rodent Riders - move faster, Gold Cost: 275
  • Little Wizard - Gold Cost: 150
  • Pirate Captain - Strength: 120, Gold Cost: 175
  • Spider Pennon - Gold Cost: 150
  • Spider Rider - Strength: 150, Gold Cost: 175
  • Bounty Hunter - Gold Cost: 150
  • Charming Rogue - Gold Cost: 125
  • Dealer - Gold Cost: 125
  • Icelord - Strength: 180, Gold Cost: 150


  • Bridge Witch - Strength: 36, Gold Cost: 125, Mana Cost: 8
  • Rune Dancer - Strength: 180
  • Spike Crafter - Mana Cost: 8
  • Tangle Mage - Strength: 72, Gold Cost: 125, Mana Cost: 18
  • Hydra Gonfalon - Gold Cost: 150
  • Marsh Prince - Gold Cost: 175
  • Serpent Charmer - Gold Cost: 125
  • The Crone - Strength: 72, Gold Cost: 125, Mana Cost: 12
  • Troglodytes (now a Hero): gains +3 strength per Goblin eaten, 24hrs, Strength: 180, Gold Cost: 125
  • Brute - Gold Cost: 175
  • Kahuna - Strength: 90, Gold Cost: 125, Restore: 12 hrs
  • Marsh Warden - Strength: 180, Gold Cost: 150
  • Hydra - Valour to capture: 12 (down from 16)

I’ve spent so much time studying the Elf cards… I created a whole thread on suggested changes.

Forest Dryad - Unfortunately the mana cost drop doesn’t fix the very limited situations I feel she would be useful in. The main problem with her is the 'only works on zombies in forests part. I covered this in my other thread so I’ll drop discussing the point any further here.

Tree Whisperer - Glad to see him getting some love, but he probably didn’t really need it. I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t like this card as it is now. That said I noticed the Wizard took a hit to his snare time. You might want to re-evaluate his mana cost as I know Jay tentatively set this as Tree Whisperer + Archer = Wizard in terms of mana cost.

Elven Prince - I’d really like to know what you expect his break-even return to be in terms of pairing him with Archers. Even being generous with his bonus, I suspect the number right now is about 3:1, i.e. you need 3 Archers to make 1 Prince worth deploying. That spells trouble for me, especially since it’s a straight buff; there isn’t any other utility use that adds value from anything other than a damage perspective.

Pool Priestess - Please do something to improve her ability.

Tree Friends - It’s OK to me that they move slower; but what about giving them the slight power bump to 300 as a trade.

Woodland Bard - I hate this card… The fact that it can actually be less than useless makes it a terrible card IMO.

Elder Mage - I approve of this change.

High Elf - Gold cost increase is understandable. Relatively the Blind Justice got a pretty significant buff. With that, I stick to my request to drop the mana cost to 20 instead of 24. The problem I see with the High Elf is that he is constantly burning his attack power; the Blind Justice doesn’t have this same disadvantage.

I’ve added the Pool Priestess increasing Mana income from Mana Pools to the to-do list. I think for the upgraded versions, they will also draw Mana immediately from a pool.

I’ll go over your other suggestions in the next round of tuning in the next couple of weeks. Thanks for your feedback!

Most of these I’m neutral towards and will wait to see how they play out in the game. There are a couple I am concerned about though.

As Eshal mentioned, the wizard’s mana cost should probably be decreased now. He would rarely be worth taking unless you can’t deploy elves and it isn’t fun to look at a card and go “this is just like this other card or two of another race, but worse in most every way”. The only real benefit he has is that he does two things in one card, potentially saving you the gold of deploying two units (and that he is human, if there are no elf settlements you can grab, but that isn’t really a benefit). I guess, despite my tangent comment in parenthesis there, I have to say that I hardly ever took this unit anyways except for when a human deployable spot was all there was near the front lines.

The artillery are even more of niche use now, and almost not even worth that anymore. They still do a little more damage per mana than archers (either elven or goblin), so they can still be worth the choice if you are holding a line. However, they are much slower than archers and don’t have the melee strength of archers. That combined with how rare it is to defend a dwarven line against strong troops (as opposed to being offensive and grabbing the non-dwarven towns next door, or just fighting off the smaller groups of goblins that artillery would be a waste for) means that I would almost always be better off going for a different ranged damage unit instead. I thought artillery was already fairly well balanced (and something I rarely had an opportunity to use as it was).

moves faster - um okay didn’t need that buff but kind of makes sense calling him a knight so um shrug
mana cost 4 - probably good - hard to know where it should be seems about right 2 seems too cheap

the mana cost is already so high I try to avoid using him and take tree wizards instead, this would probably kill my use @ 12 mana

no idea as I haven’t played with a blind justice, but I kind of liked there being a super range card for the end

I like the direction (but may fear its too far) the previous high cost + hard to use + high mana made him feel hard to use

At least the time I need to use him wont creep round the clock now :smile:

Been meaning to run some numbers on ranged units, blunderbuss feels in the right direction, fear this may make artillery on the weak (but still usable) side

makes one of the cards I like from the trolls better, but I know I like compelled movement more than most

Part of this is map design - on the right map the ability feels like it would be useful, separate issue is the limited slots in deck building - taking up one of 6 slots for her is such a high cost

right now the break even point is between 1.3 archers (if you could train fractional archers )
a hidden plus is it increases damage but doesn’t increase mana cost thus it makes the damage/mana better as well (though not like the elves need that often).
with the extra trickiness of moving the elven prince around

I think this is a good point. It seems like in most all of the maps, the forests are just a few hexes together immediately surrounding a few towns. They don’t seem to sprawl like plains and deserts in order to give you some buffer space to use them.

I’ve found them very helpful on my Celestial Pools (nightmare) game.

Marsh Prince: Whoa! Yes.

Crone: Whoa. Yes!

Serpent Charmer: Makes a lot of sense.

Tangle Mage: The mana decrease is welcome, but with the gold increase I think this is a bit of a lateral in terms of utility. I’ll play it out and stop theorycrafting. then I’ll come back to complain and whine. :slight_smile:

Marsh Warden: Does anyone use this guy? The ability is simply too limited.

Hydra: I’ve said it before, please, please, please consider allowing the Hydra to walk on other terrain tiles (at a slow pace).

Now that we have most of the hero powers completed, we are able to design the maps more with these powers in mind. For example, on maps with Trolls, I’ve been trying to connect the swamps so that Hydra have more freedom to roam around different areas and be useful. Same goes for heroes that are only useful in Forests, Mountains, etc. For the single player maps, I’ve tried to design a lot of them around showcasing particular heroes or sets of heroes, which you be given in your set deck for each map to try out. Different heroes will definitely be more / less useful in particular situations, which leads to more variation in strategies/combos by situation.

We’ve made a couple of changes to these Dwarf powers, which we felt needed a bit of improvement.

The Wing Warrior power has been moved onto the The Twins hero:

The Wing Warrior now get more powerful based on the number of Gryphons in play:

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Here’s another new one - not in game yet:

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Woohoo! I noticed his power also got the increase to 120.

Hopefully he’s more worth the price tag now. I gave him a fast recharge too.

I’m going to do a pass of changing powers that have a 24 restore time down to 21 hours. This is to avoid the creep of having to check in later and later each day. Jay also wants to move some of the powers off the 6 hours rotation, so that some powers will be moving to a 3 or 4 hour clock to mix up single player a bit - an incentive for spending valour to make a shorter jump.

Let me know if you have any suggestions for powers that would benefit from this!

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is it also worthwhile switching some of the 12 hour cooldowns to 11 hours say. with dragon helm knights in particular I make sure never to miss & try not to miss archers, I’m sure there are others.

I find timers for compulsion abilities less critical to hit right on the money, because if you time the original cast correctly (when the target is between waypoints) you can usually make your compulsion last longer than twelve hours anyway.

I’m definitely in favor of the change, though. The timing creep can be a real pain if you accidentally start using a 12-hour ability in late morning (which I always seem to do).

Current wording on the Wing Warriors text is ambiguous: “Gain four strength for every gryphon patrolling the sky for 24 hours” could be read to mean that you only get the bonus for a gryphon that’s been airborne for 24 hours. (I assume the intent is something more like “Gain +4 strength for every living gryphon in play. Effect lasts 24 hours.”) Also leaves open the question of whether it’s only given for gryphons under your banner, or all living gryphons.

Thanks. Will try and fix today.

Playtesting the Tangle Mage?

I dont mind the price increase near as much now that the mana cost is 18. Good trade off.

I updated this guy to just affect Zombies. I used them in the same game in both settings (affect only zombies and affect everyone) and it didn’t make much difference to me, I was able to slow the zombie enough to let me save a town. I think that the upgraded version will do AoE damage as well as slowing.