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It’s possible to end up with 2 characters who can do nothing but pass their turns. Is that what happened to you?

Almost - I was unable to do anything but pass my turns. The enemy nearly was too; I quit the game before finding out if they were going to draw an attack, since I judged that I wouldn't be able to win even if they did help clear my hand.

Automatically discarding a card when drawing on a full hand does have the benefit that you don't need an extra UI button to trigger it.

Was that also why you didn’t go for shields? Or was it just too convoluted to work with? 

I tried it once -- that's when I got stuck on the hand-full-of-shields, which scared me off trying it again. (Although I didn't get Shield Bash that time, which would have been helpful.)

I'll play again tomorrow and see if I can make it work.

 Perhaps fireblast is a little OP

Reduce it to 2 damage, perhaps? That's 2AP for only one card advantage, but any card advantage at all should be 2AP (or some equivalent cost) and it's very easy to finish enemies off with 3 damage at once.

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Hi! Thanks again for the feedback you gave me way back when; it was very helpful. It's been a minute and I've since updated the game with some mechanical changes and card tweaks to allow for more synergies and make some cards worth a pick to begin with. Most importantly, all characters start with their hand filled completely. Among other things, this makes fireball much less instakill and more just good card, and gives 2AP cards a chance to shine because of the longer games.

I'm wondering, if you played it, what you think, and if it changes the feel of the game.

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I did! I like the changes a lot, and I still come back to Cantrip every couple of weeks or so.

* The change to Stamina Potion is welcome - I hadn't realised until now just how strong it was. Or perhaps you've made 2AP cards more interesting in general, so Stamina Potion is a good way to get them out against enemies who use Siphon.

* Transmute Shields is still very niche. Powerful in a shield-heavy deck, but often a dead card otherwise - and it appears in the early levels, so I often have to decide whether to take it before I know if I'll have enough shields to make it good.

* Raise The Dead is my favourite earlygame card. It's another use of whatever the strongest card in my deck is! Extremely flexible, and useful in every deck... perhaps a little OP at times, but using it right takes some thought. (Which of my cards would I want to replay, here and now?)

* Desecrate and Leech make "Steal the enemy's cards until all their combos are missing pieces" a viable build. Interesting that Shields Up and Read Mind add cards to the game, but there's no effect that removes cards - stealing the enemy's cards is the only way to disrupt their deck.

* I've noticed that some cards only appear as rewards for later battles, but I'm not sure which. I know they're supposed to be rarer and more powerful - for example, Healing Potion is always better than Read Mind, but Read Mind is available from the start. Could it be clearer when this is happening, so I know I should be excited when a rare/powerful card shows up?

* Revenge From Beyond has a weird effect if the top two cards of the opponent's graveyard are also Revenge From Beyond. I think the game let me play another card before the animations had finished resolving?

* I have no idea how to use Mindswap.

* Shields Up is much better now. 1AP for one card-advantage - it's comparable to Leech, but with shields. It's strong enough to take with no other synergies, but it naturally leads me into a shield-based build  later on. 1 card-advantage for a cost of 1AP makes it a good card to see as my first reward in the game, but the risk of clogging my deck with shields means I can't rely on it forever. Great change.

Finally, let me see if I've understood the basic strategy of this game. The change to starting with a full hand has really driven home how important card-advantage is in the first three battles. For example, Leech replaces itself in my hand while removing one card from my opponent's, and Shields Up and Read Mind both leave me with one more card than I'd had before playing them. None of the starting deck does that (Attack and Combust hurt both sides equally, Rest cycles itself, and Shield isn't playable anyway). Against enemies who start with more cards than me, it's literally impossible to win without a way of creating card-advantage - and usually, the first time that matters is against the first boss.

It's sometimes possible to beat the first boss regardless if it has cards that disadvantage them (particularly Siphon and Stamina Potion), and it uses them incorrectly - reducing such fights to luck and exploiting the AI. For example, when losing against the Necromancer, I'll end my turn with 1AP left, to bait out its Siphon when it doesn't have an effective way of spending the extra AP from Siphon.

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All in all, I really like this game, and I like talking about it.

Update: I found how to use Mindswap. Wait for the enemy to almost kill me, and then swap hands so I kill them instead. Genius. Enigma never knew what hit them.

YES!! That's the magic.

Other than that it's just a really weird, gimmicky card. Initially I only put it in enemy decks but I thought it would be fun to make it available in drafts anyway, to see what would happen.

Thanks! I'm glad you like the card tweaks! This is pretty much what I was hoping to accomplish.

Transmute Shields is still very niche.

Indeed. I'm starting to think it might be good to replace it with some card that reads "Choose a card from your hand. Discard all cards of that type and draw that amount of cards."

there's no effect that removes cards

That's a really interesting notion. There might be an untapped card mechanic in there to dig into.

Raise The Dead is my favourite earlygame card.

Awesome! It's mine too haha. All the graveyard cards have this fun "planning ahead" feeling to them.

You mentioned card rarity. There are 3 card tiers, and I award the higher tiers more frequently in later battles. I've been thinking about putting a little symbol on each card to show its rarity, that might be a nice way to distinguish them. Until then, here's some inside info:

  • You draft tiers 1, 1 & 2 on floor 1 battles
  • You draft tiers 1, 2 & 2 on floor 1 boss battles and floor 2 battles
  • You draft tiers 1, 2 & 3 on floor 2 boss battles and floor 3 battles

The tiers in 1.1.0 are:

  • Tier 1:
    • shield
    • attack
    • combust
    • rest
    • transmute shields
    • raise the dead
    • revenge from beyond
    • read mind
  • Tier 2
    • leech
    • meditate
    • healing potion
    • shield bash
    • shields up
    • stamina option
    • desecrate
  • Tier 3
    • mindswap
    • seance
    • siphon
    • fireblast
    • mana burst

About the general mechanics: you have a great point there. Suddenly with full hand, it's apparent that those starting cards (all cards with a net advantage of 0) can't really make any kind of swing. Perhaps the starter deck should carry something more. 

Or, you know, it's time to start working on some new card sets! There's still a lot of unexplored terrain here when it comes to card design. I should be leaning way harder into the hand-is-health mechanic, while most cards currently are somewhat more traditional archetypes.