Hero Realms Character Packs – Unique But Not Equal, Part 2

Part 1

Today I continue the discussion of the Hero Realms character packs by talking about the wizard and thief classes!

Hero Realms Character Packs

Wizard

  • Starting Health: 50
  • Once per turn ability: -1 health, draw a card.
  • Once per game ability: Deal four damage to target player and to each of their champions (Guards do not protect against this).
  • Starting deck:
    • 5x Gold: 1 gold
    • Spell Components: 1 gold, The next action you acquire this turn costs 1 gold less.
    • Cat Familiar: 2-health champion,  exhausts for 1 combat or 1 gold or 1 health.
    • 2x Ignite: 2 attack
    • Fire Staff: 1 attack, If you have two or more actions in play, draw a card.
    • Book of Secrets: magic item; You may acquire an action or item of cost three or less without paying its cost. Draw a card.

The wizard, very thematically, is designed initially to work well with actions (his starting actions being traditional wizard-like spells). Aside from his once per turn ability (and the magic item if you have it) the only way for him to draw is by playing the Fire Staff after 2 actions in the same turn. This doesn’t happen too often early but if you’re smart about picking up actions from the market then it can trigger much more frequently as the game progresses.

As the packs go, he suffers similarly to the cleric in that his starting deck seems under-resourced. He has only 5 gold in his deck (every other character has 6) and while Spell Components helps you acquire actions early (as does the Book of Secrets) if all you’re acquiring is actions you’re hero’s health is going to be suffering in the late game. This is exacerbated by the fact that the wizard once per turn ability costs health (and the usual 2 gold) to just draw a card. I don’t think I ever used this ability, except maybe in the last few turns before I lost to try and scramble for any kind of defense or healing. It’s not very effective given how much you have to spend on it. It would be fine if it were free, but at 2 gold it would need something more to be truly effective and desirable.

The Cat Familiar is cute (especially since my sister and I both like cats) and feels more useful than the cleric’s Followers, but isn’t as effective as it could be. The ability to choose what you get is nice certainly, especially given how often it feels like you end up 1 gold short of buying the big, bad card from the market; however, it dies pretty much every turn (if your opponent attacks champions above all else like we do) so its effectiveness is diminished somewhat by that.

Overall the action focus gives you the potential for big burst damage, purchasing or healing, and the wizard proved more effective than the cleric. However, compared to the other classes, he still falls short (mainly due to the abilities being lackluster as mentioned before). It can be fun to sling huge spells at your opponent, but unless your purchasing skews more towards champions than the playstyle seems to want you end up dead before you can burst your opponent down.

Final Standing: 4th place

~||~

Thief

  • Starting Health: 52
  • Once per turn ability: 3 health, Target opponent discards a card.
  • Once per game ability: This turn, you may acquire a card from an opponent’s discard pile by paying its cost. (cannot be used on cards without a printed cost or on your 1st or 2nd turn)
  • Starting deck:
    • 5x Gold: 1 gold
    • 2x Ruby: 2 gold
    • 3x Throwing Knife: 1 combat, +2 combat for each knife you’ve already played this turn.
    • Bag of Holding: magic item; Draw a card. At the end of turn, when you draw a new hand of cards, draw an additional card.

The thief is, in my opinion, the best example of what a character pack should be. It’s fitting for the class (the thief deals with knives and subterfuge), has the potential for some chains (playing all 3 knives in 1 turn is 9 damage!), but isn’t overpowered. Her starting cards favor purchasing to allow her to rapidly expand her arsenal but expanding also decreases the likelihood of getting knife chains for bonus damage. Overall she feels very balanced.

Her once per turn ability is, I believe, the strongest/most useful of all the character packs. It gives her a small heal while also giving her a tempo advantage by making your opponent discard a card. Taken into account with her magic item, which lets her draw a card immediately and again during replenishment, this gives her a big potential to swing the tempo in her favor if you have the gold to be sparing on her ability. With 2 Rubies in the deck by default, it’s very likely you’ll be able to get that benefit.

Her starting cards, mainly the knives, are a brilliant mechanic. By themselves they’re less than stellar, but get even 2 together and they chain for really good early game damage. You may want to sacrifice them as the game continues, but they can help you get an early chunk out of your opponent’s health. But because of the fact that you need to draw them together they aren’t too powerful. Luck of the draw can give you either crazy good damage or 3 1-shot cards.

For this reason the thief finds herself set squarely in the middle of the pack. She’s great without being too great and earns herself my seal of approval for being the most balanced class overall.

Final Standing: 3rd place

~||~

Come back Friday to see the last of the 2 packs!

Game On!
Scott


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