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Subject: Custom Hero: Kenshi (Updated, now with borrowed card art) rss

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Jonathan Smith
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Kenshi is a hero that relies on controlling the flow of the game. He gets quite a bit of mileage out of specific combinations of his cards, but he has the tools to acquire and execute these combos, moreso than other heroes in the game.

Know Your Enemy. Kenshi is an expert at figuring out his opponent's next moves, and planning his next moves to counter his opponent as best as he can. He has many tools to control both his own deck and his opponents, and many tools to play directly from that manipulated deck, and even his own trash on occasion.

Though as a result, he lacks the consistency in their attacks that other classes have. Kenshi has no damage-dealing powers, and only about 1/4 of his cards deal damage. When he does deal damage it is usually an impressive amount, though.

Often times Kenshi will have few or no cards in his hand, meaning that he will often rely on top-decking, and can be hurt badly by effects that cause him to discard every turn, but cards like Lotus Strike can take advantage of this situation well.

Hero: Kenshi

Health: 24
Power: Inner Eye. Choose a deck. Until the start of your next turn, that
deck plays with its top card revealed.

Incapacitated:
* A hero may search their deck for a card and put it on top of their deck.
* A hero may play a card now.
* Look at the top card of the villain deck. You may put this card in the villain trash.

Kenshi uses three different types of cards in his deck: Strikes, Meditations, and Tactics.

Card Back

Strikes:

Lotus Strike:
3 copies.
One-shot. Strike.
Deal x melee damage to a target, where x is 6 minus the number of cards
in your hand.

Eightfold Lotus:
2 copies.
One-shot. Strike.
Deal 4 melee damage distributed as you wish among any number of targets.

If this card is put into play directly from your deck or from your trash (as opposed to playing from your hand), you may distribute an additional 4 melee damage among targets that you have not already damaged with this card.

Blessing of the Storms:
2 copies.
One-shot. Strike.
Put the top two cards of your deck into play.

Strength of the Sea:
3 copies
One-shot. Strike.
Deal x cold damage to a target, where x is the number of your cards that have been put into play since the start of your turn plus 2.

Outwit
2 copies.
One-shot, Strike

Search any deck for a card, remove both that card and this card from the game.
Shuffle that deck.

United We Stand
2 copies.
One-shot, Strike

You may play a Strike card.

Choose a hero, that hero may draw a card, then play a card.

Meditations:

Tea Ceremony:
3 copies.
Ongoing. Meditation.

At the start of your turn, one hero may draw a card.

When this card leaves play, you may draw a card.

Focused mind:
2 copies.
Ongoing. Meditation.

Play this card in front of a hero character. That hero cannot be prevented from dealing damage and all damage they deal becomes irreducible.

Dreamwalking:
2 copies.
Ongoing. Meditation.

Power: You may put a card from your trash into play, then you cannot draw cards until the start of your next turn. At the end of your turn, shuffle that card into your deck.

Battle Trance:
4 copies.
One-shot. Meditation.

Search your deck for a card. Shuffle your deck, then put that card on top of your deck.

You may draw a card.

You may play a card.

Water Flows Freely
2 copies.
Ongoing. Limited. Meditation.

During your turn, you may take your play phase, your power phase, and your draw phase in any order.

Tactics:

Truce:
4 copies.
One-shot. Tactics.

To play this card, you must return one of your ongoing cards to your hand.

Destroy up to two villain ongoing or environment cards.

You may play a card.

Undersea Resthouse
3 copies.
Ongoing. Tactics.

Power: Each hero may look at the top card of their deck, then choose to either replace it or discard it. One hero regains 1 health.

Brilliant Calculation
2 copies.
Ongoing. Tactics.

At the start of your turn, choose a category: Strike, Meditation, or Tactics. Reveal the top card of your deck. If it has a type corresponding to the type you chose, you may put that card into play.

At the end of your turn, Kenshi may deal 1 psychic damage to himself. If Kenshi takes no damage this way, destroy this card.

Spy Report
2 copies.
One-shot. Tactics.

Place a card from your hand on top of your deck.

Search the villain or environment deck for a card. Shuffle that deck, then place the card you chose on top of that deck.


Preemptive Assault
3 copies.
One-shot. Tactics.

Play the top card of the villain deck.

Villain cards may not be put into play until the start of your next turn.
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Jeremy Volk
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Re: Custom Hero: Kenshi
I really like the idea behind this character. He reminds me of Visionary quite a bit, but he does some different stuff. All in all, although he doesn't do much damage himself, he looks pretty powerful to me.

In particular, I would say that Chi Block should be toned down. Even if it could only target the villain deck, there are many many ways this could completely change the game. Take out Voss' ships, Dawn's Auroras, etc., and the game has shifted dramatically. This is definitely the card I will be using Battle Trance on for my first two turns.

Speaking of which, Battle Trance is a little unclear. Do you keep your cards in the same order after looking through them; or do you take out a card, shuffle the rest, then put the card on top?
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Jeff Ward
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Re: Custom Hero: Kenshi
Fantastic hero - brilliant, innovative mechanics that mesh very well with his theme. I may have to borrow a few of these ideas for my own custom decks.

Inevitable nitpicking to follow:

1. I agree that Chi Block is too powerful. At the most should pull 2 cards, and even 1 is powerful. A possible alternative - you could remove its indestructibility and add something like "At the start of your turn, either destroy this card or this card deals Kenshi 3 psychic damage. When this card is destroyed, shuffle cards underneath back into their original deck." Adds a cost and thematically reflects the strain required to maintain the Chi Block.

2. There are several cards that search decks that should probably have text stating to shuffle the deck after searching, unless it is your specific intent to leave the decks as is.

3. A couple cards (Tempest Strike, Brilliant Calculation) refer to a "library", those references should probably be "deck".

4. Focused Mind - instead of "prevented from attacking" that should probably read "prevented from dealing damage". If you want it to be more than that you could add playing cards, using powers, drawing cards.
 
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Jonathan Smith
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Re: Custom Hero: Kenshi
On second thought, yea Chi block is too strong. I forgot for a moment how villain decks only have 25 cards.

It's now one card. I'd consider this balanced. (or at least a lot closer to it). Even if you get rid of two nasty cards, you're effectively giving up two turns to do it.

Searching your deck involves shuffling afterwards. I'll edit the cards to show this.

 
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Jonathan Smith
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Bumping for major changes. Now has card art borrowed from Might and Magic: Duel of Champions as well.
 
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Matthew Bishop
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Quick notes on Outwit: this card can severely decrease the difficulty of quite a few villains, and neuter some outright.

Voss (losing 1 or both spaceships), Dawn (losing 1 or both Auroras), Chairman (Prison Breaks or Underbosses), Matriarch (domains or familiars) all get much easier. Ambuscade (cloaking device), Spite (drugs), and Gloomweaver (relics) can't flip if you remove a card (and potentially get much easier).

With only 2 Outwits, the odds of breaking a game right at the beginning aren't great, but you also have 4 copies of Battle Trance (tutor anything into play), 2 United We Stand (play, draw, play), and 2 Blessing of the Storms (play top 2 of your deck).

At least on paper, that looks like it would give you substantial odds of finding an Outwit within a turn or two whenever you're facing a villain where it would be advantageous to do so.

Wraith probably messes with the villain deck about as reliably, but Outwit can't be undone EVER and requires no set up once you get it. Also, IMO Wraith's Eyepiece control makes games too easy and less fun.

Just some thoughts. I was once considering a hero one-shot that let you search for any card and put it in the trash, and still held off because it seemed OP.
 
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Jonathan Smith
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Outwit does not affect the current board at all. While it can certainly pay off in the long run, maybe you weren't going to hit those cards at all, or maybe you would be ready for them when they did come out. It's hard to justify Battle Trancing an Outwit to your teammates while there are 5+ citizens on the board, making everyone's life hell, when you could have just as easily dug up an Eightfold Lotus to help deal with those citizens somewhat. Even Wraith's Eyepiece is technically affecting what the board will be in 1 turn or so. Since your base power also doesn't affect the board directly, if you aim to dig up and play your Outwits early, you probably won't be doing much else the first few turns, so you'd best hope your teammates got a great starting hand.

Plus, most villains have more nasty tricks up their sleeve then you can deal with using Outwit.

Voss still has 3 Forced Deployments in his deck, and even if you can kill the minions quickly, they're still going to hit you first before that happens.

All of Dawn's cards are nasty, save Luminous Leadership. Aurora is just the nastiest of the bunch.

The Chairman has two prison breaks and 5 Underbosses. If you Outwit the Contract (which is what I personally prefer, 7 damage to everyone even for one turn is not fun.), you still have a prison break out there.

Haven't tested against the Matriarch yet, but you can't Outwit the mask at all until the deck reshuffles, or you have a tempest with an "Into the stratosphere" on your team.

Outwitting Spite's drugs is a questionable idea because then he never flips, and killing him becomes a nightmare with all his healing.

Gloomweaver's relics can be decent targets to Outwit, but you can't win the game by killing them if you do.

Thank you for your input, I'm hoping that Outwit isn't going to overshadow the rest of the deck; Kenshi is meant to be more versatile than that.

 
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Craig Hallstrom
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The Tea Ceremony Card links with Outwit. Could you please put up the link for the Tea Ceremony card?
Thanks
 
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Naomi Nabbit
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I love the ideas behind this deck! There's a lot of interesting stuff going on. That said, there are some cards here that just seem too strong.

First of all, this hero has strong offense, strong support, and extremely strong control. I feel that, to balance the hero, the control could be toned down. The biggest problem with the strength of the control in this deck is that he can also search his deck for specific cards.

Let me comment on cards in-line:

MasterGeese wrote:

Health: 24
Power: Inner Eye. Choose a deck. Until the start of your next turn, that
deck plays with its top card revealed.

Interesting! I really like this power.

MasterGeese wrote:

Incapacitated:
* A hero may search their deck for a card and put it on top of their deck.
* A hero may play a card now.
* Look at the top card of the villain deck. You may put this card in the villain trash.

Allowing another hero to tutor their deck as an incapacitated power is extremely strong! Perhaps a more balanced option would be "A hero may reveal the top five cards of their deck, choose one to put on top, and return the rest without changing their order." A bit wordy though. Maybe just "A hero may look at the top (3-5) cards of their deck and return them in any order." Both are weaker forms of tutoring that are still very useful.

Villain deck control as an incapacitated power is also extremely strong. A more balanced power might be "Look at the top card of the Villain deck, then replace it." Or, if you want a bit more flexibility, "Look at the top and bottom cards of the Villain deck, then replace them." Or even "Look at the top two cards of the Villain deck, then replace them without changing their order."

MasterGeese wrote:

Lotus Strike:
3 copies.
One-shot. Strike.
Deal x melee damage to a target, where x is 6 minus the number of cards
in your hand.

Interesting! Seems strong in the right situation, but not too strong. I like it.

MasterGeese wrote:

Eightfold Lotus:
2 copies.
One-shot. Strike.
Deal 4 melee damage distributed as you wish among any number of targets.

If this card is put into play directly from your deck or from your trash (as opposed to playing from your hand), you may distribute an additional 4 melee damage among targets that you have not already damaged with this card.

A little complicated, but still pretty good. Very strong if you can reliably put it directly into play.

MasterGeese wrote:

Blessing of the Storms:
2 copies.
One-shot. Strike.
Put the top two cards of your deck into play.

Strong but random. I like it.

MasterGeese wrote:

Strength of the Sea:
3 copies
One-shot. Strike.
Deal x cold damage to a target, where x is the number of your cards that have been put into play since the start of your turn plus 2.

A little complicated to keep track of, but still solid. Just to check the wording on this, does that include this card, giving it a base strength of 3? I would clarify with "including this card" or "not including this card" just to be clear.

MasterGeese wrote:

Outwit
2 copies.
One-shot, Strike

Search any deck for a card, remove both that card and this card from the game.
Shuffle that deck.

This card is overpowered and will trivialize most games. I strongly recommend replacing this with something else. It's just too strong. Nothing else can remove any card from the game, and this can not only do so, but it can target specific cards that have not yet come into play. As others have said, against some villains, this completely cripples them. Against most villains, this strongly weakens them.

There are various other ways you can do similar effects that don't break the game. "Search any trash for a card and place that card on the bottom of its deck." "Ongoing - when a villain card comes into play, you may destroy this card. If you do so, place the villain card on the bottom of the villain deck, then play the top card of the villain deck." (very similar to one of Parse's cards) "Ongoing - when a villain card is played, if there are no cards under this one, you may place the card under this one instead of resolving it, then play the top card of the Villain deck. Cards beneath this one are indestructible and have no game text." (variant on the previous one)

MasterGeese wrote:

United We Stand
2 copies.
One-shot, Strike

You may play a Strike card.

Choose a hero, that hero may draw a card, then play a card.

Interesting and rather strong, but probably not too strong. However, should this card itself be a Strike card? Even though there are only two copies, chaining this card feels incredibly good. I guess all cards in this deck need to be Strike/Meditation/Tactics, but this really feels more like a Tactics card than a Strike.

MasterGeese wrote:

Tea Ceremony:
3 copies.
Ongoing. Meditation.

At the start of your turn, one hero may draw a card.

When this card leaves play, you may draw a card.

Solid!

MasterGeese wrote:

Focused mind:
2 copies.
Ongoing. Meditation.

Play this card in front of a hero character. That hero cannot be prevented from dealing damage and all damage they deal becomes irreducible.

Interesting! I'm not sure both effects are needed though. Independently, each one is really nice, especially without a cost/upkeep/duration. A variant of the idea that's still solid could be "Play this card in front of a hero character. The next time that hero would be prevented from dealing damage, destroy this card instead." And then you can tack on, if you don't feel that's strong enough, "At the start of that hero's turn, they may destroy this card. If they do so, all of their damage is irreducible until the start of their next turn." This would limit the effects to one hit or turn each, but still give flexibility without being super strong.

MasterGeese wrote:

Dreamwalking:
2 copies.
Ongoing. Meditation.

Power: You may put a card from your trash into play, then you cannot draw cards until the start of your next turn. At the end of your turn, shuffle that card into your deck.

Strong. Should be fine though. If it seems too strong in playtesting, you can limit the card you take from your trash by type (ie: only Strikes, or only Meditations, or only Tactics).

MasterGeese wrote:

Battle Trance:
4 copies.
One-shot. Meditation.

Search your deck for a card. Shuffle your deck, then put that card on top of your deck.

You may draw a card.

You may play a card.

This is equivalent to "Search your deck for a card. Shuffle your deck, and then put that card into your hand. You may play a card." If you don't want the draw to specifically target the searched card, you should put the draw line before the search line. This is another card that you might want to limit by type. Tutoring your deck for any card is really strong. All other heroes who can search their decks have a limited set of cards they can search for.

MasterGeese wrote:

Water Flows Freely
2 copies.
Ongoing. Limited. Meditation.

During your turn, you may take your play phase, your power phase, and your draw phase in any order.

Interesting! I like it. I like it a lot.

MasterGeese wrote:

Truce:
4 copies.
One-shot. Tactics.

To play this card, you must return one of your ongoing cards to your hand.

Destroy up to two villain ongoing or environment cards.

You may play a card.

This is very strong for the cost compared to other heroes. Actually, wait, it doesn't HAVE a cost, really. You just need to have an Ongoing in play, because you can use the play at the end to put it back into play. This is basically the same as having a card that just says "Destroy two villain ongoing or environment cards." In addition, you get the benefit of being able to swap out one ongoing for another card.

I would make one to three of the following changes: Reduce the destruction to one card. Remove the "you may play a card" line. Change the "return to hand" to a "destroy."

MasterGeese wrote:

Undersea Resthouse
3 copies.
Ongoing. Tactics.

Power: Each hero may look at the top card of their deck, then choose to either replace it or discard it. One hero regains 1 health.

Solid.

MasterGeese wrote:

Brilliant Calculation
2 copies.
Ongoing. Tactics.

At the start of your turn, choose a category: Strike, Meditation, or Tactics. Reveal the top card of your deck. If it has a type corresponding to the type you chose, you may put that card into play.

At the end of your turn, Kenshi may deal 1 psychic damage to himself. If Kenshi takes no damage this way, destroy this card.

This is a really nice card, but 1 damage seems low for the effect, especially with his base power that guarantees success if you use it. I'd at least raise the damage to 3, or change it to the bottom card instead of the top.

MasterGeese wrote:

Spy Report
2 copies.
One-shot. Tactics.

Place a card from your hand on top of your deck.

Search the villain or environment deck for a card. Shuffle that deck, then place the card you chose on top of that deck.

This card worries me. I feel like there are times that this can break the game. However, I'm uncertain exactly what those times are. Maybe it's fine? Would have to playtest it.

MasterGeese wrote:

Preemptive Assault
3 copies.
One-shot. Tactics.

Play the top card of the villain deck.

Villain cards may not be put into play until the start of your next turn.


Wow, that's strong, but probably fine. Would have to playtest it. I would change it slightly though to say "Villain cards may not be played" instead of "Villain cards may not be put into play" - small change, but it lets special mechanics still put cards into play.


Overall, I like the hero's concept, I just feel that some of the cards are too strong. To me, the hardest part of the game is dealing with the relatively small number of extremely nasty cards in each villain deck. This deck has multiple ways to completely cripple those cards. On top of having that strong control effect, he can do decent damage, and has strong support cards. Something really should be changed to stop him from just dominating any game he's in.
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