Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Tower Climb - Slay the Spire

I haven't thought up or seen any new deck tech in Magic Arena recently, so I've decided to take a break from it until Throne of Eldraine is released. The new set looks really interesting, and I've already started to get some ideas for directions I want to go.

With that in mind, I decided to play another card-based video game instead. As someone who plays a lot of roguelikes, I figured it was time to play Slay the Spire on camera.

Watch as I'm exposed as a fraud who can't play video games!

Slay the Spire combines two of my favorite types of games: roguelikes and deckbuilders.

Essentially, the goal is to advance to the top of the spire, defeating the entity the serves as the source of all the dangers the player has to confront. They are given an initial deck of cards and a passive skill, depending on their choice of character, which they be able to modify and add to as the game progresses.

In fact, doing so is an important part of progressing through the game. Mark Brown over at Game Maker's Toolkit talked about it in his episode on Synergy. Synergies are the key to staying ahead of the curve in Slay the Spire. A pile of good cards can only get you so far, and only a deck whose cards combine their effects in powerful ways can make it to the end.

For example, one of my best runs as The Silent, my preferred character, had me combine the twin powers of A Thousand Cuts and After Image, with many of the cards that generate 0-cost Shivs, to inflict a lot of damage and block incidentally as a result of just playing numerous tiny cards. All of these are good on their own, but together they create even stronger effects.

In addition, the developers realized the importance of removing cards from the deck, or being able to decline to take a card when the player is offered one. As any card game player will say, the smaller a deck can be, the more powerful and consistent it is likely to be as well. So being able to get rid of the cards from your starter that aren't too effective, or don't synergize with the rest of the deck, and go a long way to improving its combat ability.

If you liked what you saw here, or think you can play better, I encourage you to give Slay the Spire a shot. It's a fun game that's more than worth your time and money.

No comments: