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Absurd Fan Expansion Delusion: Dual-Type Heroes

Losing My Marbles in Front of the Entire Sirlin Forums
a tragedy in one act

For the sake of discussion, let’s assume a set of interesting principles:

  • Codex is Good.
  • Despite this, Sirlin somehow forgot to put like a good eight or so critical waifus in this game, to the detriment of all.
  • It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single game community in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of Additional Content.

These principles would lead us to perhaps a natural conclusion: More Codex. This is not a revolutionary proposal. We’ve seen at least one intrepid hero attempt to create an entire fan spec out of whole cloth, possibly as a result of some particularly virulent brain parasites in a poorly-cooked discount hamburger.

However! Codex is also the result of a long balancing process, designed to get the 20 individual specs within pretty dang good spitting difference of one another. Attempting to add more specs to this ecosystem seems like trying to spice up a fine dish with a hint of butane: an interesting notion, but one that seems likely to result in Very Many Problems, Very Fast.

So that seems kinda sorta nuts.

But why go so far? If the critical flaw in this diamond is an unbearable dearth of Persephone, then why not just add some Persephone, and whatever I guess those other losers can come too. New heroes! The rules already seem support the idea, what with all the mentions of “your Ninjitsu Hero” as though that might refer to someone other than Setsuki. It seems like the perfect material for a feasible expansion that wouldn’t upend the entire game onto the floor.

Well, okay. One tiny little detail. We are, by my count, missing eight FS-universe characters–nine if you count poor :chibidegrey: getting a demotion. Meanwhile, there are 20 individual specs in Codex. So uh. There’s that little hurdle of content.

So it was somewhere between my second and my third bottle of bourbon for the afternoon that it hit me: Dual-spec expansion heroes! Who can sub into one of two specs in place of the normal hero, opening up some small but interesting new strategic options for each. That also reduces the pile from 20to a more manageable 10 Or 9, if we don’t worry overmuch about Bashing/Finesse. That sounds almost doable!

Plus, its not like any of our missing heroes cleanly fit into the current archetypes. But they might be interesting bridges between two archetypes.

I’m starting to throw together some concepts/madness to get started. Here are my stated goals:

  • Nine or ten new heroes.
  • Each hero covers two-specs, with no overlap.
  • As little color-pair repetition as mathematically possible.
  • Don’t break everything, as best as I can.

A task that’s at least only Sysiphean, rather than full-on Icarus!

So that’s my starting point. I was curious if anyone else wanted to help me pursue this particular white rabbit to our inevitable tragic oblivion.


First and foremost, a note on the proposed baseline rules for how the expansion heroes work.

During codex creation, you may choose to substitute the normal heroes for your spec with an appropriate expansion hero.

e.g. GutterOwl is playing [Discipline]/Ninjitsu/Strength. She chooses to use Persephone as her Discipline hero, Vendetta as her Ninjitsu hero, and Rook as her strength hero.

For the purposes of all card effects, the substitute hero is a hero of that single spec. During the game, it does not count as both Specs for purposes of spells or card effects.

e.g. GutterOwl chooses to use Vendetta (Necromancy/Ninjitsu) as her Necromancy Hero, in a codex that also uses Setsuki as a Ninjitsu Hero. For her purposes, Ven is only a Necromancy hero. He cannot cast Ninjitsu spells, nor can he be the target of Speed of the Fox. He also would have to pay an additional gold to cast Sensei’s Advice, as he is not currently functioning as a White hero.

If GutterOwl instead played Necro/Nin/X with Garth and Ven as heroes, Ven could cast Speed of the Fox on himself, but could not cast Doom Grasp, et cetera. These choices are made during Codex creation, and declared at the start of the match and/or tournament.


Current concepts:

Gwen - Disease/Blood.

Vendetta - Necromancy/Ninjitsu

BBB - Peace/Present or Peace/Future. I mean, on any given day he’s clearly either working for Dad #1 or Dad #2.

Ghost-chan* - Strength/Past? I mean, DeGrey is obviously busy, so…

Persephone - Discipline/Demonology? Discipline/Law? Discipline/Growth??? Kinda want to avoid Black/White overlap because of Ven. But color overlaps might be mathematically inevitable.

Valerie - Anarchy/Truth seems interesting and fitting

Gloria - Balance, maybe?

Lum - Growth seems natural, what with his buddy Arglebargle. Could also be a Bashing/Finesse wildcard.

Menelker - okay I have no idea how to not get overlap with Gwen.



6 choose 2 is 15, so the best you can do is have 1 of each color pair, then 7 or 8 of the pairs have an additional hero.

Bonus points: Each color gets 7 or 8 of these heroes (the average color will get between 7 and 8) and each spec gets 2 or 3?

Persephone being the second Discipline hero is amazing and hilarious.

While the names of some of the specs are fitting for other Fantasy Strike characters the cards with in them don’t fit all that well. For example, the idea of Gwen being a “Disease” hero kind of works in name but all the stuff in the Disease spec would be stuff she’d want to stay away from.

Since there are so few moving parts to a hero card making two different heroes viable for the same spec may even be harder then making totally new fair/balanced specs.

One area of the game I’ve thought might be interesting to explore is additional starter decks. What if each color had two starter decks to chose from? what if there were multi color starter decks where you couldn’t take them unless you had a hero that matched each of the colors of the deck? Again, I think something like this would be very hard to do and not obsolete some of the starters. But would be interesting to see (I want that Blue/Black starter).

What I’d want most of all from Codex is the possibility of balance improvements to existing stuff (if such things are found…) being on the table.

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Aren’t there only 20 specs, not 56…?

…posting took place between the sixth and seventh bourbons.


This is a beautiful sentence


I feel like that’s Gwen’s whole deal, though? The shadow plague is doing horrible things to her, but its also giving her unnatural power. And whether she likes it or not, she’s using that power, and the horrors that come with it. It felt like a natural progression for her.

But then, I might not be as solid on the lore these days, with the old wiki gone. The closest fit otherwise would be Feral, but that just feels wrong?

Ghost-chan might also be weird. I gave her Strength to keep her together with DeGrey, but she otherwise doesn’t exactly follow the mold.

The real dilemma is that I’ve got to find fits for Glora, Menelker, Lum, and maybe a tenth character. And I’ve only got the following left to work with: Fire, Balance, Feral, Growth, Demonology, Future, Bashing, Finesse.

(Lum is clearly feral/fire, because he’s always lit.)


Discipline on Perse is a nice play on words. :smiley:
I would suggest to make her Discipline/Future (she is an oracle!) and give Demonology to Gwen (instead of Disease).
Disease needs a hero that can interact with -1/-1 runes, and I can imagine Menelker doing that (breaking bones, kicking people who are already down…). Demons are also currently his sworn enemies. Maybe having him be a black hero at all is already a problem…

Since this effort is about finding a place for old characters, I feel a little off about this suggestion, but the 10th character could be Dr. Beverly “Nova” Villanova, Geiger’s replacement at Flagstone.
Could replace Geiger in present (though Vortoss make little sense), have fire (have her be gun-crazy), or maybe take one of the blue specs if we shuffle stuff around.

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lum is clearly a growth hero! so many pandas in that spec!
I would make mene a discipline/demonology hero (cuz training+taboo)
Ghost chan is clearly a truth(is she real? maybe, maybe not+so many spectral companions!)/necro (where them ghost from? duh!)
Agreed with BBB being peace/present :thumbsup:
Perse imo is law/future
Agreed with gwen being disease/blood :thumbsup:
Gloria is a mistery, tho :frowning2:

While she does have a disease I would say her defining shtick is time, “making use of what little time you have left” and all that. If I were making a hero card for her it would look something like a combination of Prynn and Vir.

Gwen Greyson - Doomed Wanderer
Level 1-3 - 2/2
Fading 2
Attacks: gain armor +2 until end of the turn and put a time rune on this
Level 4-6 - 3/3
Frenzy 1
Level 7 - 4/4
Max Level: Summon a 7/5 black Dreadlands Demon token into play with forecast 8, Resist 2, Haste, and an ability that says, remove a time rune from this whenever a unit or hero is destroyed.

This is just a rough first draft but that is the idea I’d go for.

Also who knows what kind of powers she had before the plague. She might have always had chill powers? or some other power she no longer uses? I mean her sister has the power of the Sun and the Moon and I don’t think Ra ever came down for a taste.

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Here’s the (very ad hoc, very preliminary, very unbalanced) Blood/Disease Gwen I was spitballing

Gwen Greyson, Doomed Wanderer
1-2 Haste, Frenzy X, where X is her level. (0/1)
3-6 Dies: Enemy heroes can’t level up this turn. (0/1)
7 Dies: Both players discard their hand. (0/1)

Plays into the rush down game of Blood, the board control game of disease, and the discard strategies of both. The discard and the level freeze give an approximation of her Chains of Ice.

EDIT: This also exemplifies my design ethos when it comes to these expansion heroes. I don’t want disease-hero Gwen to focus on -1/-1 runes, because Orpal already does that, and there’s more to the spec than just the one gimmick. I want these expansion heroes to open up different strategies for their specs.


The thing with this Gwen is she behaves a lot less like a hero and a lot more like an expensive spell. Taking spells can already be pretty risky and if you took this Gwen over Orpal or Drakk it would be because you’d want more damage out of no where and her spells wouldn’t see much, if any, use.

Is midband supposed to just stop the levels the opponent would get from your heroes suiciding? or is it supposed to stop them from gaining levels on their turn too?

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A pumpable spell to do damage based on how much gold your drop, with bonus effects (though mostly only at lvl 7) is not completely terrible. Its probably even broken at midgame.

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It’s still super expensive for what it does. It costs 9 to deal 7 damage to a thing, stop opposing heroes from gaining levels that turn, and both players discarding their hands. At best I think it is a win more card. It depends how the midband was intended though. How it is currently worded it just stops the opponent getting levels from hero suicide. But if it was they couldn’t gain levels until your next upkeep then that is a really powerful spell effect. Still kind of kills the fun of heroes for me though. However, I do really like the idea of a hero that cares about not just level bands but individual levels as well.

8 to deal 7, since she comes with 1 level for two gold.

The idea is to create a high-impact, short-lived money-bomb, especially in Blood. That said, Haste is probably overkill (and also sorta getting up in Zane’s grill), and the complete loss of spell options is probably too heavy a tradeoff.

Here’s maybe a more sane version

Gwen Greyson, Doomed Wanderer
1-3 Frenzy X. X is Gwen’s level (1/3)
4-5 Overpower (1/2)
6 Dies: Both players discard 2 cards. Heroes cannot gain levels until your next turn. (1/1)

This gives her a bit more options for sitting back and playing as a low-level spell-engine for Disease, and gives her some play around with Disease’s power weakening effects (since she can attack for above-average Overpower damage and maybe even live to heal). But at her top end, she’s a bomb with a very short fuse, designed to either combo with a big Desperation turn in Blood, or to quickly accelerate a hand-destruction plan in Disease.