Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Nosy Lawyers & Catacomb Monsters: Big Trouble in Little China Preview

Upper Deck is going to have Legendary: Big Trouble in Little China out at GenCon. That's less than a month away so it's time for some previews! 

One of my design goals was to create a set with a lot of player interaction. I wanted moments that made players talk and act during each other's turns and moments when everyone cares about the flip of a specific card. 

Nosy But Nice is one of the common cards for Gracie Law, meaning it appears five times, so it usually shows up in games that include Gracie. Nosy But Nice always does something good for the opponent to your left, letting them discard a card and then draw. It's not a *huge* help to your opponent, so you don't have to feel like you're handing them the game when you play it, but when someone helps you out with Nosy But Nice it a) feels great; and b) sets the tone for a game in which players will help each other out a bit instead of always looking to inflict little cuts. 

Towards the end of a tight game, or in the hand of a highly competitive player, Nosy But Nice may end getting discarded as too much help to the opposition and not enough help to its owner. But that's more likely to be true after its Covert trigger has gone off earlier in the game, allowing the owner to whittle out a strong deck that doesn't need more help from the 2-cost card. 

The Catacomb Monster belongs to the second style of interactive moment, creating tension as players take turns revealing the top card of their decks. Especially at the start of the game, the Ambush effect isn't so bad. It usually KOs a bunch of 0-cost starting Heroes and everyone is happy, which fits my sense that the Catacomb Monster feels ominous in the movie but doesn't wreak all that much havoc. On the other hand, the awful Escape effect becomes a universal problem that everyone tends to work together to prevent. Or pretends to work together to prevent, if they're aware that they have lower-cost cards then everyone else and are not as likely to be hit or hurt much if they lose a Hero. 

I'll show a couple more cards in another post next week, probably showing off the way the heroes of the movie interact, which is a bit different than Heroes in other Legendary sets. 

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