Saturday Morning Gaming: Finding Synergies
In spending more time with Monster Train, I’m finding a lot of really interesting mechanics. This is a game that has a suprising amount of emergent gameplay that is all about mixing the two “decks” of monsters together.
The Melting Remnant is a deck full of creatures on a timer. They come out and, even if they don’t take damage, they’re going to die in a limited number of turns. But there are other cards in the deck that capitalize on that whole thing. There are monsters that level up when an enemy (or another monster) dies. There are monsters that give you gold when an enemy (or another monster) dies. Well, the Umbra has little monsters called “morsels” that give whomever eats them a bonus of some sort (plus to attack, plus to HP, that sort of thing). These little monsters are eaten by the other monsters in the deck. Which means that when one of these morsels is eaten, not only is the bonus given to whomever eats it, but the monsters that give a bonus when a creature dies give their bonus.
The Stygian Guard have monsters that get (or give) bonuses whenever a spell is cast. The Hellhorned have a lot of direct damage spells, the Awoken have a lot of healing spells. Uses these guys together and you can not only cast fireball or heal, you get the bonus on top of that.
And when you get the engine of the combos going, you’re nigh-unstoppable.
There are a bunch of these little combos in the game. Cards that give a small boost to attack get multiplied by creatures that get multistrike.
On top of that, there are a random assortment of artifacts that you can pick up in the game (some unique to a particular clan, some universally available) that can add additional multipliers to deck combos. An artifact that gives an additional bonus when a morsel is eaten, for example. An artifact that gives 5 gold when a friendly creature dies. And while the majority of the runs I’ve been on have ended in ignomious defeat, the handful where I’ve won? Oh, my gosh. It is SO sweet to get a combo going.
While I still think that it’s not as good as Slay the Spire, it’s got a lot of little hidden treats. Morsels, if you will.
So… what are you playing?
(Featured image is the main menu of Monster Train)