Greetings, fellow humans! I’m Ken Nagle, design lead for TransformersTCG. Our next release is Titan Masters Attack!, which is Wave 5 of our releases.
Today I have two battle cards to preview that show off a new, innovative mechanic from the set.
Lock On Target
We’ve found over time that simply having different battle icons in the game lets us create new and different battle cards.
Fire up your targeting computers and lock in on the newest evolution of battle icons – introducing Lock-On Target:
This battle card sports a new icon, which I’ve been calling internally “hybrid” icons.
- Lock-On Target is a blue battle icon for all intents and purposes. For example, Jam Signals will work on it.
- The only thing different about a “blue-Plane” icon is that it simply only grants +1 defense if it was flipped on defense by a Plane character.
- It’s still “flipping a blue icon” for effects that care “for each blue icon flipped” like Thermal Weaponry or “for each different color” like Grapple.
- Any and all hybrid icons act similarly. There are potentially hundreds of different ones! Though, I kept the total number of hybrid icons introduced in this set reasonable.
- There are some “soft” trait-stamped battle cards in the set that only mildly help their respective trait. These are more likely to be common since they still work in most decks. Note that Lock-On Target still grants Bold 4 to any character when played whether it’s a Plane or not.
- There are also “hard” trait-stamped battle cards which we do each set to give more mechanical definition to teams, factions, and characters. These are most likely rare since they don’t work in every deck.
- Interestingly, this mechanic opens up lots of design space, as it lets us make cards that can be stronger for one type of character but weaker for others; these battle icons can be mixed and matched in greater volume.
Butt Wait, There’s More
Let’s reveal another card, shall we? Since my first preview card is a soft-stamped one, I’ve selected a hard-stamped one for my second. Introducing Headbutt:
Headbutt is a hard-stamped card since it only helps Titan Masters and no other teams even remotely. Since Titan Masters are the name of the set, of course, we wanted hybrid icons for them. The Head and Body concept makes for some excellent top-down cards. A top-down card’s flavor infers its function.
We’ve been reticent to use the “tap an enemy character” effect very often because of how powerful it can be in the right circumstance. It both prevents an enemy from attacking and opens them up for an attack. It’s particularly strong against teams that have one central character surrounded by support.
Headbutt could’ve been a basic damage card but we wanted something special for the set’s headliners. [Note to Ken – was this pun intentional? I thought we talked about that. -Drew] An unexpected headbutt is notorious for stunning or dazing an enemy, so we liked it here.
Also, I personally feel a sense of accomplishment for printing a card with “butt” in the name. It’s a first for me. A headbutt in real life is most commonly by accident, but done on purpose is a very dangerous fighting technique (for both combatants). Of course, you need a Head to perform a Headbutt.
Note that “body mode” and “bot mode” are different. Modes like Alt, Bot, Combiner, and Body are all different so we can have intrinsic rules for them and easily refer to them in card effects.
That’s it for today’s previews. What do you think of Lock On Target and Headbutt? Are you excited about the actual hundred other possible hybrid icons the set could have? What hybrid icon are you most hoping for?
Thanks for reading my article. Titan Masters Attack! goes on sale April 17th, 2020. I can’t wait!
Until next time, may your graphic artist get enough sleep when you request too many new assets in one expansion.