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Map Cards are Crazy

Last night I played with @Jeremetroid and it occurred to me that, after nearly a year, we’d never even considered using the map cards. So… we did! In the interest of fairness, we picked our colors beforehand (him with Black, me with Red) and then picked a map card at random.

Game 1: Bloodbowl. Bloodbowl benefits Black far, far more than it benefits Red. There were a lot of skeletons that game, and Lich’s Bargain was teched but never played.

Game 2: Mystical Forest. We hemmed and hawed for a good five minutes over how to interpret the card’s phrasing (Should “whenever you would ready” also refer to already-ready cards being readied during the ready phase? Or only cards that are exhausted when they to be readied?), and decided to play it such that you’d have to trade off “going from exhausted to not exhausted” for “get a + rune.”* The end result of this was that units weren’t really affected too terribly much (Black and Red units don’t tend to survive combat), but heroes became more or less indestructible except WHOOPS PLAYING AGAINST BLACK

*When I brought this question up in Discord today to get the official ruling, the response was, and I quote: “uh idk, which should it be?” So it remains unresolved, with the question being whether you just have rapidly escalating power creep or whether you go with the map card not actually doing that much.

Here is a thought experiment regarding the MtG Rules Lost Temple map card. @Jeremetroid may have more or less solved the game under these rules:

Turn one, worker 1. play nothing. Turn 2. do nothing. Turn 3, spend 8 gold on boosted feral strike without needing a hero or tech building. Then 2 t-rex (who obliterated two untils on arrival) crush your base
What, if anything, can the other player do to defeat this strategy? Let's go nuts. All I've been able to come up with so far involves Blue teching in two Patriot Gryphons and just straight-up paying their printed coast, but they aren't all that powerful by comparison…

A Jail would help. Feral Strike cards do come from hand, so they are stopped by Jail.

Also, even without a jail, You would have 1 turn between the 2 T-rexes and base crushing, so you could theoretically hire units yourself. Voidblocker would be of (little) help. Guardian of the gates might help also.

If you had saved up gold, Zarramonde could stop one T-Rex on Arrival.

Pirate commander would brining in some weenies to block, and then you could also play a crashbarrow for free to weaken one of the t-rexes.

Ebbflow Archon would delay the inevitable a bit too and is quite affordable.

Tech 3 units are nuts.

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Check out this Lost Temple game: Random Map/Deck Bonanza: YoungBuck and FrozenStorm

Feral strike for two tech 3s can be beaten by charge + obliterate

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Jail does nothing against Feral Strike because play from hand =/= put from hand


huh. ok then.

Max Quince and double Liberty Gryphon can end the game pretty easily on turn 3 if you draw both of them (and if you have Lawful Search in your hand on turn 2, you will draw both of them).

My opinion is that lost temple is almost always a solvable match. You can determine with significant certainty which player will win based on the codex.

You have access to 13 gold on p1t3, 4 liberty gryphons cost 14, quince 6, 2 gryphons 6, extra mirror 2 = 14. P2 can easily do it though with 15gold on t3. Counters that come to mind are any flyibg blocker or a insta win p1 strategy. So what p1 strategy gets an insta win in monocolor?


Map cards are still pretty silly.

Game 1, I’m playing Blue against @Jeremetroid’s Red. Map card: Flagstone Mines, allowing for unlimited workers to be hired each turn. I decide to try going for a Peace Engine, while he goes for Anarchy. He was a bit bolder and more ambitious as P2, going so far as to build a tech building on each of his first three turns(!!). The game ends when I have no real response to his nine-card deck (he teched a total of four cards that game: two Marauders and two Gunships). “Hire as many workers as you want each turn” sounds simple but it breaks the game, turning it into the most extreme version of itself — the Microshogi of Codex, essentially.

Game two was No Rush 15 Minutes, which prevents all damage until both players finish their fourth turn. This looks pretty tough for Red against Blue, especially when I bring out a Jail and a Building Inspector on turn one (value!). When I first go to tech, a terrible and fearsome thought crosses my mind, and I ask for a ruling: does popping illusions count as “damage”? He concurs that it does not, and I dutifully load up Dreamscape and Hallucination. Unbeknownst to me, his immediate reaction to “prevent all damage” was to tech two Rickety Mines, both of which were drawn on the same turn. Though the first one cost him 3 instead of 2, he still pulled out ahead the next turn when both coin flips came up tails — and his plan paid off either way, because he took no base damage from it(!!). Naturally, the only smart choice when units pop like bubbles is to go all-in on upgrades, buildings, and Fire in general, and my Macciatus backfired spectacularly by allowing Firehouse to destroy my illusion units with damage instead of targeting. From that point on it was a fairly standard one-sided Fire vs. Truth bloodbath.

Map cards are SILLY, you guys.


Agreed. But silly can be fun.


These games have been super fun.

Can’t disagree! Definitely recommend map cards to other folks if they haven’t tried them out. They break the game completely but in a fun way that requires changing up your strategies pretty significantly. Just make sure to choose a map card once you’ve settled on a matchup. ; )

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Played Bloodbowl (all units get +1 ATK and Haste) with Red vs. White last night. It was pretty silly.

As Red p1t1 I started the game by spending 4 on Bloodrage Ogre and Nautical Dog for 7 damage direct to base. My first worker was hired on turn three.

Unfortunately, the game ended when @Jeremetroid shrewdly incorporated Tech I units into his game plan, barely squeaking out a victory with 1 HP left on his base.


Sirlin just suggested on Discord a way to make the craziest map card even crazier:

Variant for [Lost Temple]: tech 2s are 3 gold cheaper than printed. Tech Is are 6 gold cheaper than printed. The cost CAN below zero and gives you gold in that case.

I checked and this is in addition to the existing effects of Lost Temple.


The ridiculous thing is that that actually seems like a way to un-break Lost Temple by breaking it further. Like, it gives players a motivation to do something other than just playing their Tech IIIs immediately.


Nah, you still play tech 3, but now you get some tech 2s for free.

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What if you also make Tech III units more expensive to compensate for not having to spend money on the Tech III building?

Tech 2 is cheaper and tech 3 is more? yea, that warps the game into which tech 2s combo the best, rather than which tech 3s.

There might be a way to adjust the amount each tech level’s cost is increased or decreased such that it would be more interesting than just “find the best combo of this one tech level,” but it could take a while to figure out what that is.