Due to the popularity of Hearthstone, we have so many digital CCG (Collectible Card Game) popping out left and right. One could argue that it is now the age and rise of the genre. So I guess CCG lovers have to appreciate what Blizzard had done with Hearthstone eh? That might not be the case for everyone. Interesting and innovative new card games that came out in recent years have been overshadowed by Hearthstone. Some players make comparisons from face value, convinced by the fact that all the newcomers are nothing but a “clone” of the well-polished Blizzard’s card game. Imagine people holding a huge mirror call the ‘Hearthstone Barrier’, pointing it at other CCGs and ask “What’s so different with Hearthstone? And why would I switch gear if it’s a clone?” To those of you who are willing to step forward and look closer, the truth is they are not clones, and some of them are straight up different from the base formula.
If you are one of those who is willing to broaden your horizon, here is something interesting you can try out right away. Faeria, a PC card game developed by Abrakam just stepped out from Early Access phase, and it caught me by surprise.
Let’s dive in and see what Faeria has in store.
In Faeria, player’s avatar, also known as Gods, are located opposite each other with 20HP, stationed. In between both players is a huge sea, which allows players to build lands in order to place creature cards and move around on them. This feature might be unfamiliar to CCG players, yet the board in Faeria is crucial to the game. The hexagon-based land building opens up another depth of strategy other than relying on monster cards and spells.
The 4 blue growing spheres at the corners of the board represent the Faeria, generated by the 4 wells underneath them. Faeria (equivalent to mana in other card games) allows players to summon monsters, structures, and cast spells. Faerias are stackable, which means unused mana can be transferred to the next turn with additional 3 Faerias you replenish each turn. The interesting thing here is that you get extra Faerias from the board itself by putting a monster beside them. The 2 wells on your side of the board are under your control, but you can also grab your opponent’s Faerias by putting your units adjacent to theirs. Gaining control around the wells is an important factor as you'll have the upper hand if you have more Faerias than your opponent. That way, areas around these Faeria generators can become a war zone, competed by each player.
The board itself is enough for Faeria to feel VERY different from Hearthstone. Misplacing lands can be punishing, while putting the right land in the right location allows you to breach through tough defenses without breaking a sweat. Players no longer only look for a solution on their hands, as the board has the same significance as the cards you have in your deck.
The Power Wheel in which players operate round by round is not just a land generator. By sacrificing land building, there are 2 more other options: Draw a card or +1 Faeria.
This mechanic automatically reduce walls players might face later in the game. Accidentally spent all the cards you hold? No problem, draw 1 more. One Faeria off from your big combo? Get 1 more this round. This is an excellent design choice. Not only it compensates your deck’s weaknesses such as lacking in card draws, both of these actions increase the options you have in different situations! With the Power Wheel, player’s option is catered a little more.