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Subject: Custom Hero - The Monstrous Grom rss

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Joseph Guzman
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*The Run Down
Grom is inspired by my favorite two characters, who I felt were not reimagined in Sentinels, Hulk and Ghost Rider. With the pure power of hulk and the fiery awesomeness that is Ghost Rider, I came up with Grom. An innocent person possessed by a demon that turns him, in the presence of evil, into the mighty Grom. A tanky damage dealing character that brings the pain as well as being able to take it and then deal out more pain. He is different from Ruin in that he is more designed to actually be a synergy monster to tear apart villains. Or hopefully do so.

*Bio
Keith Lawson was on top of the world. He had his dream job as the District Attorney of Rook City, married to the woman of his dreams, and had his house already paid off. Things looked like they could not be any better. That is, until he won a case to convict a cult leader that had grown to power recently. With him off the streets, Keith thought Rook City could start to become a better place. Keith came home to a nasty surprise. Keith's wife was waiting for him with a group of people with angry looks on their faces. His wife had turned him over to them in exchange for her safety and enough money to get her by without him in the picture. Unfortunately for her, these were not the sort of people who kept their word. These were members of the cult who's leader he had just convicted. They roughed him up, burnt his house down and chased his wife away. There was more in store for him. Taking him to their hideout, they beat him more, then tied him before an altar and marked him with paint. They were offering him to whomever they worshipped. To him, this was all just superstition. It was not so. A portal opened up and a hand reached through, grabbing him, pulling him through. He was in a place he knew he did not belong.

Keith stared up at the big, muscular demon and knew true fear. "You are now mine!" spoke the demon. Keith, angered as he felt he had lost everything, screamed "Never!" He still could hold onto his pride. Laughing, the demon looked over behind him where another demon kneeled, chained up. "You two will become one and will serve me." He clapped his hands and the demon screamed as it became a smoke and flew through the air and went down Keiths throat. He screamed in pain and terror. "Bow before Thaladriel." spoke the demon. Keith could hear another voice in his mind. It was the demon he had been possessed by. "We will not kneel. We will be free!" spoke the demon inside him. Keith agreed with it. "Let Grom give us power to escape and Grom will help tiny human." spoke Grom. Keith again agreed. He felt his flesh heat up and burn, his muscles bulging as he transformed, becoming more powerful than either he or Grom were separate. Horns sprouted from his head and spikes on his knuckles. Roaring, Grom charged forward and punched Thaladriel, knocking him back and then jumped through the still open portal. Arriving in the home of the cult, he looked at them as they looked upon him in terror. They ran, screaming as the portal closed behind him.

Days later, while in his human form, Keith sighed, knowing what he had been told by Grom. Grom had taken some of Thaladriels power while being forced into Keith and they were forever bonded, but made stronger for it. The next few months flew by as the news began calling them the Demon of Rook City, as they fought to clean the streets in a new way he could not do before. As he got ready to leave his motel room for another night, he opened the door to a young man standing there, waiting for him. "You have been doing a good job here in Rook City, but you are capable of so much more. Would you be interested in joining a team to take care of some real bad guys?" Keith stood there, floored by the offer but thought, why not, I got nothing else. "Sign us up." He said and shook the mans hand.

Hero: Grom
HP: 32
Base Power: Temper
-Draw a card or play a card

Incapacitated
-The next time target hero would take damage, reduce that damage by 1.
-Destroy target environment card
-Target non-character villain deals itself 1 irreducible infernal damage

One-Shot (Qty:14)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Unleashed Wrath (Qty:2)
-You may shuffle up to 10 Rage cards from your trash into your deck. Grom deals a target X damage, where X is equal to 2 times the amount of rage cards shuffled into your deck this way.
Thaun: "Quickly, get Diva. We need to calm him."

Gaze Upon the Guilty (Qty:2)
-Grom deals 1 irreducible infernal damage to a villain target
-Increase damage dealt to that target by 1 until your next turn.
-Put the top card of your deck into your trash.
Thaun: "Grom can see the sins written on your soul."

Monstrous Form (Qty:4)
-Search your deck or your trash for an ongoing card and put it into play.
-If you searched your deck, shuffle it.
In the presence of evil, Keith becomes the monster that hunts monsters."

Calming Down (Qty:3)
-Grom regains 3 HP
-Draw 1 card
-Shuffle 1 Rage card from your trash into your deck.
Diva: "That's right Grom. Sleep."

Anger Rising (Qty:3)
-Search your deck for 2 Rage cards and put them into your hand.
-Shuffle your deck.
Shade: "He is rage incarnate. He feeds upon all that is Wrath."


One-Shot, Rage (Qty:18)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Furious Punch (Qty:3)
-You may shuffle up to 1 Rage card from your trash back into your deck to increase the melee damage by 3.
-Grom deals 1 target 1 melee damage and 1 infernal damage.
Midnight: "His rage will destroy all that stands before him."

The Clap! (Qty:3)
-Grom deals each other target 1 sonic damage and each villain target 1 infernal damage.
The Scholar: "Did you know he could do that?"
Evo: "What?"


Vicious Beating (Qty:3)
-Grom deals 1 target 2 melee damage and 1 infernal damage
-If the target is not destroyed by this damage, draw a card
-You may shuffle up to 3 rage cards from your trash into your deck, if you do you may play another card.
Sting: "Yikes. His great grandkids will feel that beating."

Grom Smash! (Qty:3)
-Destroy an environment card
-Grom deals 2 infernal damage to each target except Grom.
-Put the top card of your deck into your trash.
Grom: "Grom do something wrong?"
Fanatic: *Glares*


Two-Hand Slam (Qty:3)
-Grom deals 1 target 3 melee damage and 1 infernal damage.
-Grom deals each other target 1 sonic damage
Grom: "Grom send to China!"

Two Villains, One Punch (Qty:3)
-Grom deals 1 target 1 melee damage and 1 infernal damage
-Grom deals another target 2 projectile damage.
Edge: "And I am the one that needs to hold back?"


Ongoing, Limited (Qty:8)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Unnatural Resilience (Qty:2)
-Reduce damage to Grom by 1.
-Fire and infernal damage dealt to Grom is reduced by 1.
Grom: "Tiny man cannot hurt Grom!"

Hellfire Hide (Qty:2)
-Increase Infernal damage dealt by Grom by 1.
-Infernal Damage dealt by Grom is irreducible.
-When Grom is dealt melee damage, deal 0 infernal damage to the source of that damage.
Grom: "Madder Grom gets, Stronger Grom gets."
Guise: "Also the better you are for BBQs."


Baddest of the Bad (Qty:2)
-Increase all non infernal damage dealt by Grom by 1
-When Grom is dealt damage, put the top card of your deck into your trash.
Grom: "Grom is the Baddest There Is!"

Lose Control (Qty:2)
-When you play a Rage card the first time in a turn, you may play a second Rage card. Put the top card of your deck into your trash.
Director Payne: "Just let him ride it out. We will secure him when he calms down."


Any suggestions and recommendations would be most appreciated. This is the fifth hero of the series I am creating. My artist is pretty busy so no art yet. Always looking for a new artist if anyone is interested.

(Edit Notes)
-Reworked deck to fit theme of being a hulk like hero.
-Adjusted Gaze Upon the Guilty to be more balanced and to add to theme.
-Reduced damage on Gaze Upon the Guilty
-Corrected damage type on Unnatural Resilience and reduced specific damage type reducer by 1.
-Reduced amount of rage cards shuffled back for Calming Down by 1.
-Changed last part of Lose Control to be a bit more thematic of deck.
-Altered targeting of Concussive Clap
-Added an additional cost to Furious Punch and Vicious Beating.
-Adjusted additional rage cost of Furious Punch and Vicious beating
-Reduced additional damage of Furious Punch by 1.
-Adjusted Rage cost of Unleashed Wrath.
-Added a discarding effect to Grom Smash!
-Adjusted Rage spending
-Fixed Wording on Monstrous Form, Furious Punch, and Vicious Beating.
-Fixed wording of Furious Punch
-Added ability to Hellfire Hide
-Added 1 to Monstrous Form Qty
-Reduced 1 Qty from Calming Down and increased healing by 1.
-Changed name of Concussive Clap to Sonic Applause due to Skyscraper's Giant innate ability of the same name.
-Changed name of Sonic Applause to The Clap. Sounds better and a little funny.

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Michael Hunter
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This guy I like. The backstory is a clever way to use the story of Ghostrider to produce the character of Hulk. Good theme, clear focus and his base power is quite a flexible one. I liked it on Guise, and it seems like it'd be a lot better on a (if you'll pardon the pun) less gimmicky character. Gets out his meaty ongoings, uses them to buff his offense which, what do you know, is composed of many little hits do get bonus value from buffs. Clean and effective!

I like he's mostly about beating down with his one-shots, a tanky damage dealer who feels different to, say, Haka. The Rage sub-theme is also interesting, like a scaled back Burst, but I'm not 100% sure it'd play in an optimal way? He only has 3 cards that care about it, one gets a LOT better when there are 4 in the trash, one gets a LOT better when there are 6 in the trash, one scales linearly with the number in the trash (although by my math you're never gonna have THAT many rage in the trash and the one-shots it is competing with are all fairly solid), but has to shuffle a few back in.

I guess my concern is that the play doesn't lead to much interesting play - you just tend to get Rage cards in your trash as you play the game naturally - other than maybe prioritizing a Rage card over a normal one every now and then, plus slightly improving Baddest of the Bad, there's not a lot you can do, and then these random cards just get much more powerful without you having to do much to work for it. Compared to Tachyon, she also benefits from Bursts in the trash, but in her case she has a bunch of ways to make that happen, stuff like Quick Insight, her base power, or using HUD goggles to play crap like Nimble Strike or Sucker Punch quickly.

There are two cards that shuffle Rage cards back into the deck as a cost, but both are pretty unattractive - Calming down is Vitality Surge (not an amazing card) that you're not likely to want to hamstring your later plays for, Unleashed Wrath is good, but not the extent you'd want to stop Furious Punch or Vicious Beating (great name, by the way) from getting boosted. It's a decent mechanic, but it seems like it wouldn't lead to much interesting gameplay beyond "Towards the end of the game, these cards are randomly better". Off the top of my head, maybe if their Rage requirements to get the bonus were smaller (maybe 1-3 cards in trash) BUT all the Rage users shuffled Rage back into the deck? Would make you make some more interesting prioritization decisions about where you "spend" your rage?

Other random notes (and bear in mind, I'm a very critical person, so in general anything I don't mention I like )...

Gaze Upon the Guilty is a very good card - not saying it's outrageously broken, but +1 damage effects are fantastic and this is doing not inconsequential damage too.

I like Hellfire Hide a lot, although I'm not sure how often the being dealt physical (melee, I assume you mean?) damage would come up. Not never, but there are many villains against whom this would mean little. Having said, as an infernal boosting card it's doing good work, so maybe that's fine.

I appreciate how Baddest of the Bad buffs your melee and sonic damage, the latter being generally dealt to your entire team, fits the flavour well.

Unnatural Resilience is pretty fantastic, -1 damage to all is already a tip top card (personally I think it's a bit too good to be on as many heroes as it is), giving a total of -3 to infernal and fire would make some enemies just utterly impotent. I can't think of many times I wouldn't get this if I had Monstrous Form.

Lose Control reads a bit oddly - it only triggers on the first rage, but it destroys itself anyway, so it's not like it'd be around for the second one anyway. Also doesn't seem to accomplish a huge amount all up - instead of playing Lose Control to play an extra Rage card at some point in the future, couldn't I have just played the other Rage card right now instead of Lose Control?

Concussive Clap seems pretty unattractive - deals just as much damage to my friends as to my foes, and there are usually more hero targets out than villains (not always, but usually). Maybe if the infernal was to just the baddies and the sonic was still to everyone?

Not sure if this is a problem, but something to consider - at a quick look, the Rage cards seem a smidge similar - deal some combination of infernal, melee and sonic to some combination of targets. Concussive clap is clearly different, as is Grom Smash (Great name!). Two Hand Slam and Two Villains, One Punch are reasonably different (I like the idea of Two Villains, One Punch, look forward to seeing the art), but Furious punch and Vicious Beating are very similar, deal melee/infernal damage to one target, then do something cool is you have lots of Rage.
 
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Joseph Guzman
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Thank you for all the critique and suggestions. I think you helped me streamline this deck a great deal. I have made a lot of changes and put them in the edit notes. What do you think? I feel Furious Punch and Vicious Beating should be a little similar, but different that way it feels like your are indeed whooping on someone, but a little different options in doing so. Benefits and knowing when to hold back and when not to. I am open to new insight though if you have a possible improvement as I am on all the decks I have posted and will post.
 
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Michael Hunter
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Jaggid88 wrote:
Furious Punch (Qty:3)
-Grom deals 1 target 1 melee damage and 1 infernal damage
-If there are 1 or more Rage cards in your trash, increase the melee damage by 3 and shuffle 2 rage card from your trash into your deck.

Vicious Beating (Qty:3)
-Grom deals 1 target 2 melee damage and 1 infernal damage
-If the target is not destroyed by this damage, draw a card
-If there are 4 or more rage cards in your trash, you may play another card and then shuffle a rage card from your trash into your deck.


A note about the Rage mechanic - the wording here is a bit awkward and sort of inconsistent between cards - if I have more than Y rages in my trash, do a thing, then shuffle X back in, where X and Y are not the same number. Sometimes X is bigger than Y, sometimes vice versa? For Furious punch I can get the bonus if I have only 1 rage in my trash, but shuffle 2 back in, making it more efficient to use on 1 rage?

I suspect it'd be simpler if it was just "You may shuffle X rage cards from your trash into your deck, if you do (bonus)", instead of the slightly odd threshold on Vicious Beating - you can spend 1 to do a thing, but only if you have 4? You can buy this candy bar for a dollar, but only if you have ten dollars in you wallet?

Also, obviously I've not playtested, but is seems like a rage is "worth" 3 damage on Furious Punch and a play on VIcious Beatings - at that rate I don't think I'd be excited about using Unleashed Wrath at a rate of 1 damage per Rage. Maybe if it was shuffle up to 3 and then deal twice that? All speculation though, you would need quite a lot of playtesting to get it to the point where Rage is A:Useful enough for the player to be bothered worrying about it, B:Rare enough you have to think about how to use it and C:Common enough that it matters significantly to the deck, and none of that can really be theorized about.
 
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Joseph Guzman
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Yeah, still working it out. I think I may have fixed it and I will be playtesting all my decks as soon as they seemed hashed out theoretically.
 
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Joseph Guzman
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Playtest #1

Heroes
Grom
Unity
Titan


Villain

Dendron


Environment

Temple of Zhu Long


Grom played well, dealing out consistent damage and each play had to be weighed creating a sense of smart choices as well as building rage and progression throughout the game. Working with heroes like Unity does make it a little harder as you do not want to cripple your team which did add to the feel of Grom being a little destructive like Hulk. Overall, much fun and the playtest showed no changes needed so far as he never had a dull turn due to his power keeping him flowing and the thoughtfulness of the deck kept it from feeling boring while always being strong in plays without being overpowered.
 
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Michael Hunter
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Grom looks like he's coming together pretty nicely, congratulations!

A few wording issues as I look through the current card list...

With Monstrous Form, I believe the standard wording is Search you deck OR you trash for a whatever. If you search your deck, shuffle it.
They way you have it, you have to shuffle your deck pointlessly even if you got the ongoing from you trash.

For Furious punch, not quite clear how the rage works - does 1 rage card increase BOTH damages by 3? If not, can I spend two rage to increase both? And if I only spend 1, does it have to be the first damage that is increased?

Vicious Beating says you just have to shuffle 3 cards back in, should these be rage cards?
 
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Joseph Guzman
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Adelphophage wrote:
Grom looks like he's coming together pretty nicely, congratulations!

A few wording issues as I look through the current card list...

With Monstrous Form, I believe the standard wording is Search you deck OR you trash for a whatever. If you search your deck, shuffle it.
They way you have it, you have to shuffle your deck pointlessly even if you got the ongoing from you trash.

For Furious punch, not quite clear how the rage works - does 1 rage card increase BOTH damages by 3? If not, can I spend two rage to increase both? And if I only spend 1, does it have to be the first damage that is increased?

Vicious Beating says you just have to shuffle 3 cards back in, should these be rage cards?


Thank you for the wording corrections. Did not catch those. Yeah, Grom is coming together nicely. Does not play well with Unity sadly. But is good against most villains and works well with Necro. Still waiting to get someone to help me playtest him another time or two before I move onto more of the heroes to playtest. Everyone is so busy this time of year.
 
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Michael Hunter
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There were some hero card templates someone (tosx?) posted.. somewhere? I can't find them now, but I definitely saw them a couple of weeks ago. If you could put Grom onto those I'd happily print some ugly test versions and give him a go for some feedback if you wanted.
 
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Matthew Bishop
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You can get to them in a roundabout fashion if you go into the Cauldron google drive and navigate to the top level of the Resources folder. Link, explanation post.
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Joseph Guzman
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Adelphophage wrote:
There were some hero card templates someone (tosx?) posted.. somewhere? I can't find them now, but I definitely saw them a couple of weeks ago. If you could put Grom onto those I'd happily print some ugly test versions and give him a go for some feedback if you wanted.
Thank you. I will start to try and do this. No idea honestly on how to put them together. I will find a way though and get them posted for you.
 
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Joseph Guzman
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Playtested second time against Infinitor, Grom did well with damage and damage soaking. Made some changes to him after group playtesting.
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John Ellis
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I know, before the outcry of the masses, I am a hypocrite. That being said, irreducible damage is a HUGE boost, especially in this case. If all the infernal damage is irreducible, also on the same card that boosts his infernal output, AND gives him retributive infernal damage is overpowered. Just leave the irreducible off, he will be fine without it.
 
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Michael Hunter
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Still liking the look of this big dude - if you have playtest cards I'd be happy to give him a spin.
 
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Joseph Guzman
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Adelphophage wrote:
Still liking the look of this big dude - if you have playtest cards I'd be happy to give him a spin.
He is fun to playtest. Will try and get playtest cards designed and posted for ya.

Also, will keep the irreducible Infernal damage for the time being until playtested. My playtester suggested it after playing this deck and wants to try it out before removing or keeping it. It may be a bit OP. We want to find out first.
 
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Joseph Guzman
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Added flavor text to Grom along with some changes I made.
 
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Michael Hunter
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Jaggid, would you mind if I made/shared a test version of this for TTS?
 
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Joseph Guzman
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Adelphophage wrote:
Jaggid, would you mind if I made/shared a test version of this for TTS?
Go for it. All the decks I designed are for everyone to enjoy.
 
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