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On Sandy Shores: Design Notes

On Sandy Shores: Design Notes


Hello there, wanderer! It’s wonderful to see you here in my study again. “What’s that?” You ask. “You’re here to learn more, you say?” Oh, how wonderful! Grab a chair, I’ve the treat of tales to share with you today.


Last time we met, you’d just got started in the world of Fabled. For those coming back, it’s wonderful to see you. For those whose it's their first time here. Welcome!


Now. Let us begin with On Sandy Shores! Our very first mid-set of Fabled Sagas! Moving forward you’ll often see Fabled Sagas itself will rotate between main line sets and mid-sets, often distinguishable by mid-sets being slightly smaller in set size than their mainline counterpart and a tad bit more linear thematically.  


With a new set comes new mechanics, new elements receiving center-focus, and new charms, supplies and archnotes to help diversify and balance the game. While it didn’t explicitly state, the prior article heavily focused on breaking down the “Normal, Radiant and Umbral” elements. Though it spent more time talking about what they’d be like in a deck construction rather than on their own. This article will instead focus on the elements on their own and show off cards that accent what they stand for.






NEW ELEMENTAL FOCUS: AQUEOUS


To begin the breakdown, let’s start with the first and center-focus of the set, the Aqueous Element. It is a beach set, after all!


This is the first time in Fabled Sagas that the Aqueous Element is the primary focus and it is the Element in Fabled that focuses on quickly bolstering itself and swinging very hard! If you find yourself being aggressive in your style of gameplay it’s highly recommended you give Aqueous a shot!





Oh, hello Celeste!


Let’s break down the card above to get a better understanding of how the Aqueous Element functions! 


The Instinct reads: “When you Convoke a level 0 Character, this Character gains +50 Guard. When a Level 1 Character you control is sent to the Afterlost, this Character gains +50 Strike.”


That does seem quite strong. For every weaker character you play, she gets sturdier and for every stronger character you lose, she gets more and more powerful. With a 210 base strike on a level 1 Character that’s quite powerful indeed!


The Judgment reads: “When a Level 2 Character you control is removed from the Convoke Zone this turn, this Character gains (Modified 1).”


To further accent the point, her Judgment compliments her Instinct, when you lose your strongest characters she gets both stronger and sturdier! With something like Modified 1, that means every time a level 2 is removed she gains +100 strike and guard permanently. She’s absolutely a force to be reckoned with, best to remove her quickly before you’re staring down a character you can’t even contest against!


While there’s certainly more to the Aqueous element, she absolutely shows that the goal is to quickly get bigger and hit harder for a clean and decisive win. Effects truly fitting her personality, friendship and teamwork pays off, together any adversity can be overcome!



NEW ELEMENTAL FOCUS: TERRA


Onto the next focus, Terra! Having ten different Elements that all focused on a core mechanic of how to play a game proved challenging, but we were up to the task and we feel we’ve nailed that point home here with the Terra element!


Much like its Aqueous counterpart this is also the first time Terra element has made its own center focused debut! However, unlike its counterpart Terra it has a completely different focus than Aqueous, in a way; almost the antithesis to Aqueous. If you find yourself enjoying disrupting your opponent while constantly doing what they wished they could, then it’s strongly encouraged you give Terra a whirl!





You uh..  okay there, Jayce?


Much like the prior example, let’s also break down the card above to get a better understanding of how this Element works as a whole!


The Instinct reads: “Send target Character to the Abyss. If an opposing player controlled targeted Character, they gain an orb of sent Character's element and draw one card. If you controlled targeted Character, gain +250 Vitality. (Once per turn.)”


Well, now, he too is certainly strong and quite versatile too! While unlike Celeste he doesn’t show his power in the arrival and loss of his comrades, he instead seems to shine by removing them all together. By choosing to remove your opponents characters from the game while they gain a lot of advantageous resources from the removal, they likely may have just lost their center focused strategy to winning the game. On the other hand if you find yourself in a bind, while you gain no resources from doing so, by removing your own characters you can prevent yourself from a potentially grim demise. 


The Judgment reads: “Reveal this Character and discard one card; if this is the only card in your hand, you may Convoke it without paying its orb cost.”


Much like Celeste, Jayce’s Judgment heavily accents his Instinct with that “stand alone” motif. If you find yourself in a bind and need a quick resolution, but would otherwise lack resources to do so, he’s got your back. His starting strike at 250 for a level 1 is nothing to scoff at either, while it’s slightly higher than his Aqueous counterpart above, he finds himself with no way of bringing it past that.

While he doesn’t embody the Terra element as a whole, he absolutely showcases the utility within the Element. Having many options and resolutions to hopefully outmaneuver whatever obstacles come your way. The effects too are very fitting for him, if you ever find yourself in a grim situation, don’t give up!


CHARM, SUPPLY, SECTOR, ARCHNOTE FOCUS:


To close out the final focus of the set, while we’ve certainly added more options and diversity to the game, we wanted to ensure it stayed balanced as a whole, so with that balance came many cards that as a whole should help ensure that!






Let us lightly go over some of the examples above to get a taste of what some of the options will look like.


Siren Song: “Conjure this Charm only during an opposing player's Strike Phase. Send target Strike position Character from the Convoke Zone to the Afterlost.”


We noticed from the “Archnotes” set that the game sorely lacked a consistent form of removal and often suffered from long stagnant games where both players had an unbreakable board. This help rectifies that some, and allows for more options once a threat that couldn’t have been overcome has been removed.


Risen from the Deep: “Until the end of this turn, target Character gains +200 Strike.”


Much like above, it was noted the lack of pressure or “power” was abundant, cards in the prior set heavily focused on utility over raw strength, making games take quite a bit of time otherwise. This small, yet temporary power boost can serve two purposes, both having a form of removal by swinging over a threat your opponent has you couldn’t get over otherwise, or just hitting your opponent for more of a loss to their Vitality closing out the game a bit more quickly.

Reverie: “At the start of each player's turn, that player draws one card.”


Wanderer, take a moment to really enjoy this one. From its art to its effect, I don’t think it requires much of an explanation. When in doubt, draw it out!


We here at Fabled Sagas are quite confident this is a set to be loved, from the Art, to the Lore or Gameplay, it’s got something cool and fun for everyone! That’ll conclude this article, but as always keep your eyes peeled, spoiler season is upon us and with that we’ll gradually see more and more wonderful cards show up over time!



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