Happy Labor Day to our US fans.  Happy Preview Day to all our fans!

Today we start unveiling the Deep Benders, the Summoner Wars Alliances faction resulting from the Benders and the Deep Dwarves.

Deep Benders card back

Benders card back                             Deep Dwarves card back

The Benders use psychomancy to mess with their opponents' abilities, draw pile, movement, and even their control; the Deep Dwarves use gem magic to increase their stats, move units around, and manipulate magic piles.  I was curious: how would these abilities combine?

The answer is in the magic cost.  The DD magic is costly: most of their units need to pay a Magic Point to use their ability, every turn they use it.  But the Deep Bender Summoner Endrich has found a way to make that cost happen just once, and last permanently, for his units.  This is called Boosting.  Here is how it works:

Deep Benders Boosts Rules Card

Essentially, you decide whether to boost a unit when it is summoned.  If you do, you pay the extra Boost Cost and place a Boost Marker on the card.  Without the marker, the unit has no ability; with the marker, the ability is permanent, unaffected by opponents' cards.  There is more to learn later, but let's see the units that are boosted:

Geopath, Common of the Deep Benders 

A boosted Geopath becomes an impressive ranged unit: Attack Value 2, range 5.

 Gem Priestess, Common of the Deep Benders

A boosted Gem Priestess is a powerful healer, removing 1 wound from every friendly adjacent Common and Champion for just 1 MP total!  With 4 Life Point, to boot. 

 Deep Dragon, Common of the Deep Benders

A boosted Deep Dragon is tougher and faster. 

Of course, other Deep Dwarf and Bender Summoners can use these boosted units.  But Endrich is not content with simply boosting them.  There are several other things he does  -- which we will see next week.


Comments


Hilgendwarf commented:

Awesomeness! Love these cards!

Posted on 2014-09-01.

Caleb Wolfbrand commented:

Wow. Definitely not what I was expecting. That dragon not being a champ blew my mind :p
Interesting. Can't wait to see what events contribute to the boosting deck...

Posted on 2014-09-01.

JanE commented:

So no abilities without boosting!?
And with when boosted costing 3, 2 and 3 Magic.
You won't summon many champions if you are planning to use these.

Posted on 2014-09-01.

Adam commented:

Holy moly. These are good. I like the flexibility.

Geopath is a Sniper without a move restriction, I think. Fun!

Posted on 2014-09-01.

mjje commented:

Looove the Deep Dragon Art!!!

Posted on 2014-09-01.

tristak commented:

Really really cool! And I love the art.... Other than the fact that the dwarves aren't gray!

Posted on 2014-09-01.

joepinion commented:

Female dwarves! Yay! haha

Posted on 2014-09-01.

sitnam90 commented:

Arts really cool, not as cool as Fallen Phoenix but still sweet. Deep Dragon looks unique, very impressed by him. Seems a boosted DDragon and Gem Priestess would really help alleviate the low Bender life without using Mercs (or parasites :p). I dont see a ton of obvious uses for these guys in Tundle but I'd definitely run the DDragon and GPriestess in my current Tundle deck.

Joepinion is right! Female dwarves at last! Now we just need a female Sand Goblin and we can have a female for every race

Posted on 2014-09-01.

Ryu commented:

Like the new design direction, definitely unexpected. Though, is it true that Sand Cloaks and Deep Benders have the same cardback color? Looks like it to me, very similar at best.

Posted on 2014-09-01.

lorenzo commented:

Nice, let's boost!

Posted on 2014-09-01.

BTBAM commented:

Not like Tundle really NEEDS a boost (no pun intended) though.

Posted on 2014-09-01.

joepinion commented:

Although dwarves often do need a boost when getting something off the top shelf.

Posted on 2014-09-01.

sitnam90 commented:

@BTBAM:

I think that is actually a good thing. These units are strong, but no stronger then things Tundle could already do. Just like Krusk and Barston/Tinkerers, their strong but nothing too fancy for his already strong lineup. Seems the Alliance playtesters have taken these very powerful Summoners into account when it comes to design

Posted on 2014-09-01.

Nburghardt commented:

I wonder what implications the priestess could have on Talu/Kalu.

Posted on 2014-09-01.

freezinpee commented:

Holy mackerel. Can you boost any time or only at the time of summoning? And the ability doesn't exist if it isn't boosted?

Posted on 2014-09-01.

Sujoah commented:

Going back and reading the teaser battle, it looks like one of the DB events will be getting to boost units for free (possibly 2 of them).

Posted on 2014-09-01.

joepinion commented:

freezinpee: Only upon summoning, and no ability if unboosted.

Posted on 2014-09-01.

Nburghardt commented:

I wonder what implications the priestess could have on Talu/Kalu.

Posted on 2014-09-01.

ZeeJr commented:

Holy Cow. Tacullu's options just got drastically different. Which was sorely needed.

Tundle has a lot more breadth now too, but the change doesn't feel quite as drastic.

Posted on 2014-09-01.

Irisches Glueck commented:

I feel this faction are going to love the strangest units. Piclo with a Gem Priest beside him is going to be scary and Gull. should also appreciate what the Gem Priest has to offer cause it could heal your new unit.

Geopaths just look like an improved Sniper <3

Posted on 2014-09-01.

jods commented:

So now you can ping turtles for 2 dice from 5 spaces away. With a Common. Surely turtles will get upset!

On the other hand, I hope this doesn't become the new best faction for turtling. It feels a little bit like a race to arms: has Geopath been designed to be out of reach from FAR SHOT?

I would have liked if something on the cards reminded you clearly how the stats are changed when boosted. When you don't know the cards well, it's more helpful than reading the small text for the nth time... Or maybe there will be 2 different boost markers with "+2 Life" or "+1 AV" on them. That would be great.

Posted on 2014-09-01.

freezinpee commented:

I'm curious about the geopath being a bit to powerful.
The sniper is the same ability and cost and has a negative aspect to it.
The geopath can move two spaces. Give an opponent magic denial when destroyed. And the ability can't be negated. Is there a reason for such a powerful unit? With the benders and deep dwarves ability to move people around, it seems the geopath will be incredibly hard to kill.
Thoughts Doug's?

Posted on 2014-09-01.

sitnam90 commented:

@Nburghardt: Oh wow I didnt even think of that. Now thats a cool solution to give those guys some love. Summon one in the back, have him fight, use a GP to heal the other up. Kill kalu, but now you have a fully healed Talu to deal with. Really cool, I gotta try it out now! And Controllers/Kynder can also boost their healing power! Really cool unit design

@Jods: I dont think these guys will be the best turtles. I know its hard to say, but unless they can generate magic like Dema or Tundle then I dont think they have near as much of a chance. I would say in most cases Far Shot should be able to reach them.



Posted on 2014-09-01.

Skydragon222 commented:

Kudos to whoever designed the new faction symbol. It looks fantastic.

Also I'm sure the Bender Champs are going to appreciate someone who can heal them.

Posted on 2014-09-01.

killercactus commented:

In most cases, any ranged unit can reach a Geopath, I've found. You can't really compare units across factions... remember that Vlox can be a Sniper, Jexik can move them, they can be given ESCAPE, etc. Though Sorgwen..

Posted on 2014-09-01.

ZeeJr commented:

@freezinpee. The Boosted Units don't give magic denial. The card only goes to the discard if a unit dies by losing its boost. So far, there's no way for an opponent to make that happen. If any, it must be Endrich himself who can take a boost from his own units.

However, I'm with you on being concerned about the power of these commons. In addition to what you mentioned about the CL sniper, the Geopath has the option to summon a weaker version for cheap if you're in pinch for magic.

I do really like the concept of boosting, though. Great way to craft a slightly different take on Tundle.


Posted on 2014-09-01.

wandrewni commented:

@freezinpee -- just a note re: 'magic denial' -- boosted units that are destroyed normally *do* go to the magic pile -- it's only when they are "destroyed as a result of no longer being boosted" do they go to discard -- i.e. if a boosted dragon with 2 wounds loses its boost, it suddenly has fewer HP than wounds so is destroyed.

EDIT: kudos to @ZeeJr, who took the words out of my keyboard as I was typing them!

Posted on 2014-09-01.

freezinpee commented:

Thank you for clearing up my blatant disregard of reading the effects of boost properly. All very good points. I retract my statement about the geopath.
As a side note, I'm curious how the markers could get removed. Maybe the summoner takes them and gets all charged from it or something

Posted on 2014-09-01.

Sujoah commented:

Maybe the markers could be moved around, via an event or even from Endrich's ability.

Posted on 2014-09-01.

Kemott commented:

Boosted Geopath is better than Sniper, but I can understand it. DB commons have 2 versions - overcosted without boost, and slighlty stronger compared to units that cost the same with a boost. I guess it is just another incentive to boost units.

Posted on 2014-09-01.

Brancifer commented:

Question, the Boost rule card states that Boosted units can never lose their ability due to a card effect. Does that mean a DB Deep Dragon can still move 1 space during movent phase, if he's under the GD Defender's 'Engage' ability?

Posted on 2014-09-01.

joepinion commented:

Brancifer: No, it doesn't mean that. What it negates are Jungle Elves Chant of Negation, Luka's Disruption Field, the new Tinkerers, etc.

Posted on 2014-09-01.

jwalker commented:

Oh I'm sceptical to these strong units for the two already strong summoners. Also seeing these commons with sorgwen, kyndar and lun possible, well let's see.

Posted on 2014-09-01.

ZeeJr commented:

I was skeptical at first, too.

But a boosted Geopath, though strictly better than a CL Sniper, is worse than a Gem Mage or a Controller in most situations. So they won't help the old summoners' win rates much, if at all.

They'll probably be better with Endrich, because I'm assuming his events/ability will help with the cost of boosting.

Posted on 2014-09-01.

Justantula commented:

Hum... so it looks like the Deep Dwarves have a bigger influence in this alliance. Didn't think all the commons would all be from the Deep Dwarves. Kind of unappealing. I hope the Summoner is at least more Bender's style. The dragon looks alright but it's hard to find his face haha.

Cool new Boosting mechanic though. Excited to see the Medusa conjuration from these guys. Hope she isn't 3 feet tall too...

Posted on 2014-09-01.

jwalker commented:

I'm talking about the deep dragon and gem preist. I do see them complementing espeially tundle.

Posted on 2014-09-01.

Nburghardt commented:



Posted on 2014-09-01.

Olivier commented:

@Nburghardt and Sitnam: Though I'd like to see the twins boosted, I don't see what on Kalu/Talu cards says that both can be healed by a single priestess.

Posted on 2014-09-01.

glenn3e commented:

Notice that all 3 of the Commons are from the DD side.

Posted on 2014-09-01.

sitnam90 commented:

@Olivier: AFAIK nothing does. But being able to summon 2 6/2R champs for 6 and save one in the backfield for healing could be a neat strategy.

Posted on 2014-09-01.

killercactus commented:

Well if she was next to both of them they both get healed.

Posted on 2014-09-01.

Olivier commented:

@Sitnam: OK then, I thought you implied that mind link can remove a wound on Kalu if Talu is healed.
@Glenn: the summoner at least looks like a bender: the bald guy with the red cape right above the "Summoner Wars" logo.

Posted on 2014-09-01.

Micam commented:

Interesting. So boosts can be removed, but I wonder why you would want to, especially with the magic denial.

And the female dwarf looks great. The more variety in units the better

Posted on 2014-09-01.

Nburghardt commented:

@Olivier: Correct, I wasn't implying both get healed, but as KC noted if you kept them adjacent to a Priestess each gets a heal. I was thinking more subtlety though where one gets some heals while the other goes down. You won't get that magic for the seconds one's automatic death but you'll still have a two attack unit on the board.

Posted on 2014-09-01.

brightknight_216 commented:

Correct me if I am wrong. Wouldn't the units such as Deep Dragon and Gem Priestess even after you boosted them be vulnerable to Shadow Elves's Into the Darkness event card? Maybe we have to wait until next week to see if there is any event cards from Endrich to counter this.

Anyway, I like the arts of these new units. They look so vibrant. :D

Posted on 2014-09-02.

killercactus commented:

Yep - Into Darkness rips up boosted commons

Posted on 2014-09-02.

Kemott commented:

at least Oathsworns don't hurt them that much

Posted on 2014-09-02.

xMagox commented:

As usual, the art is realy nice. The dragon... : ]

But i must confess that i'm a bit disapointed, i was realy expecting something like 2 sumon costs on the card and attack value like a "1/3", the boost rules card already has a circle with 2 diferent collors; it could be used to show unboosted and boosted values. And maybe even use those 2 diferent collors to show unboosted and boosted life points. This would make the card look uique and spare some text on the card.

I was also expecting that the cards had an ability when unboosted... like the geomancer beeing equal to a sniper and losing the 1 space restriction when boosted.

Besides that, they look cool and balanced.


Posted on 2014-09-02.

killercactus commented:

It was discussed and decided against. I thought it would've been really cool to.have different colored life points to represent those added by boosting, but I don't get everything I want :P

Posted on 2014-09-02.

xMagox commented:

PHG lost a good oportunity... : /

aaand if all the boost mechanic/cards had being designed with the same boost value, it would also spared some text on the cards and turned all the thing more noobfriendly

Posted on 2014-09-02.

killercactus commented:

It was discussed and decided against. I thought it would've been really cool to.have different colored life points to represent those added by boosting, but I don't get everything I want :P

Posted on 2014-09-02.

cmarie commented:

+1, colored life points to represent boosting would have been cool. Liking the color schemes so far -- was expecting some purple for DD but that's ok.

Posted on 2014-09-02.

brightknight_216 commented:

Just some thoughts. I can see the prospect of these Geopath in Tacullu's deck being positioned at the back row and shooting the enemy unit from far, taunting them to come into Tacullu's side of the battlefield where the opponents face the risk of their common units stunned by Deceiver or being taken over by Mind Control. Muahaha!! But then these units may have problem facing against Sand Cloak and Sand Goblin's Camouflage ability.

Also, I like to include Deep Dragon in a Bender deck as this can solve the problem of most of its fragile common units with 1 Life Point. In addition, I like to see how Deep Dragon can combo with Gwalark as the latter can allow the Deep Dragon to move over other units and establish a threatening position.

Gem Priestess seems to work well with the Wake of Father Gem as you can heal without paying Mana. Would probably put 1 or 2 in Tundle's deck.



Posted on 2014-09-02.

Divljan commented:

One small issue I had with these is remembering how much additional life or attack is added by the boost. I found that using a small die (Dead of Winter size) and placing it over the attack or life value was a good way to make sure both players remember the change from the printed attack and life values.

Posted on 2014-09-02.

Irisches Glueck commented:

or you could add a 'boost markers' for each magic point you paid. And then just remember 1 marker = +1 attack and 2 markers = +2 life

That or write +1AV on one side of the marker and +2LP on the other. This is of course assuming that one of the new champions doesn't mess this system up haha

Posted on 2014-09-02.

xMagox commented:

IMO every information about the card should be on it, and using collor schemes make it easier to find; it spares you some seconds searching.

Adding another marker can be a little problem... imagine 3 units that are near each other, all of them having wound, poison and boost markers... : /

Since that there will be a way to remove boots, it is logical that the player need a way to remember who is boosted and who isn't... an alternative tho the "color scheme + use your memory" method is "2 diferent versions of the cards, boost and unboosted" dunno how to balance printing cost with efiency in this way.

But, again; this wasn't the best design solution for the boost mechanic IMHO

Posted on 2014-09-02.

Micam commented:

Having boosted versions of the units, with new artwork showing them powered up, would have been awesome. Maybe cost was a factor, but then the orc decks came with 15 extra wall cards so idk

On a side note, the colour scheme on the boost icon is what I originally imagined for the new card backs

Posted on 2014-09-02.

EpicGollum1499 commented:

I'm probably in the minority here, but I like they way they did the "boosting" mechanism. It's nice not to have two different copies of each card (normal and b00sted) and I like that the effect of boosting a card isn't limited to change of life or attack value. (double-sided boost markers) These units give you a good unit at a reasonable cost if you need that extra blocker common, or if you don't usually use card abilities anyway. If you want that super-cool 5 range dude...he costs more magic. Things costing more magic is certainly a theme of both the Deep Dwarves and the Benders, and I'm looking forward to ALL the factions in the new Master Set.

Posted on 2014-09-03.

Lets play a game! commented:

I also like way boosting was done mechanistically, but I am also in the camp that would have liked "boosted cards" with the boost stats and just the boost ability (and with all the glowing parts glowing more intensely!). Maybe that would have been wonky with the events though, plus the extra cost of have three more unique cards printed. That's not going to stop fans from making there own customized boosted DB commons though :)

Posted on 2014-09-03.

Transplanar commented:

Boosting is certainly an interesting riff off of the Mutation mechanic of the Filth, but with some interesting differences.

You can choose to either get a bunch of commons out quickly, or put heavy-hitters into play. I imagine there will be benefits to both.

Additionally, I never really thought of this until I read one of the posts here - you could still have magic denial for a few units if it turns out there is a way for you to remove or move boost markers across your units (note how it says boost cannot be removed by *opponents* cards).

Though while we're on the subject of cards, that seems a little vague to me. Are units considered "cards" officially? Because when I read that it sounds limited to Event cards.

Posted on 2014-09-03.

Sujoah commented:

Units, events, and walls are considered to be cards. (Walls are also considered to be events.)

Posted on 2014-09-03.

Sammer Guy commented:

Interesting, to say the least.


Posted on 2014-09-04.

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