Prismata is not your usual Cards Dueling game; sure it has a bunch of different creatures and spells with awesome mechanics. It also features awesome artwork effects, sweet skins, and a cool story to tie the concept together. But what really sets Prismata apart is what it takes out of its genre… The element of surprise.
The guys at Lunarch Studios took out the decks from the equation, both players share the same units, and you can see turn by turn everything your opponent has and what he could get to do with it. How many times have you started an easy duel, just to lose because of an Ultra-Freakingdary card? Not here, everything you’re opponent can throw at you, you can throw back.
In the end, the game comes down to pure skill
There are five different resources and twelve unique mechanics that you’ll use to put together a strategy to carve at your enemy turn by turn. Usually, a match is won by the player that wastes the fewer resources at the end of the game, but with all the different options every match is unique and there is no perfect strategy.
Prismata takes place in a futuristic society with advanced technology, where war is waged with drones and genetically engineered creatures controlled by captains (You). You start playing as an ex-military security guard on a faraway base when the drones start to malfunction and you have to put them down.
Besides setting up the context for the game, the story will take you through a tutorial so you can familiarise yourself with the mechanics.
The gameplay relies extremely on maths, calculating the optimal paths to build up and defend your offense. Each turn you’ll have to choose between defending, attacking and growing your production. Here is where it gets tricky since some of the resources won’t stay with you for the next turn; you have to use all you can, waste plays for the enemy.
You start each match with eleven basic units, plus a few advanced units, randomly selected from both player’s blueprints pool.
I won’t post all 100+ current advanced units, but because of the complex nature of the game, I’ll share with you my two favorite strategies.
Cooldown is one of Prismata’s mechanics where units hit hard and then have to wait a set amount of turns to attack again, this can really mess with your opponent’s strategy because they’ll need to go with your rhythm, one turn to build up defenses, one turn to build up more offense.
The tricky part is that you have to sync up your cooldown units so all of them attack the same turn and the kick really hurts.
There are a few advanced Units you can do this strategy with, but my favorite is the Iso Kronus, with barely five gold coins and one Gaussite crystal you get two damage points every other turn. This unit also has another mechanic called build time. it takes two turns to make, bummer right? This actually makes them even better for this strategy.
You should start building them as soon as you can, but remember the next turn is about defense, so you better get one of the other basic resources so you can start popping up walls without sacrificing drones.
After that comes your first attack, and the cooldown for your first Iso Kronus goes back up to two, and as we know it takes two turns for them to build, you’ll also realize that besides gold, Gaussite is the only other resource you can take to your next turn, so you’ll have two crystals ready to build two more Iso Kronus. We’re up to six points of damage every other turn by now.
Then Just repeat
Take your next turn to build up the defenses you need, then build up two more Iso Kronus, and you’re going up to 10 points of damage every other turn… In the match I recorded you can see that by turn nine I had already built up sixteen points of damage every other turn.
You can also use other units like Immolites or Scorchillas, just remember to sync them so they all attack the same turn.
The Amporrilla Rush
This one really took me by surprise on one of my firsts ranked games, using Galvani Drones, he was able to build up eight points of constant damage by turn 7 and overrun defenses.
Amporrillas double the damage of your tarsiers (one of the cheapest artillery units), so they can get out of hand pretty fast. The downside of this strategy is that committing to two early Animus is kind of scary, but if your opponent lets you get one down, it will be pretty hard to get back up.
They way to go about it is doing it very fast, so you can take down your opponent’s defenses faster than he can re-build them.
He started with an Animus in turn 3, and the began to make two Tarsiers a turn. But by turn five came the twist, he builds the second Animus with only four queued Tarsiers, normally doing something like that would seriously undercut your production, so you won’t be able to defend your units… One of the things that make the Tarsiers so cheap is the build time mechanic we already discussed in the previous strategy, they take two turns to build…
So by turn six, when the second set of Tarsiers where ready to attack the next turn, he brought out the Amporrilla and I just didn’t have anything to stop it.
Prismata is absurdly competitive and addictive, you feel like they’re mocking you with the fact that you can see turn by turn what your opponent has and can do with it. This makes the stakes higher than usual; there is no blaming it on overpowered cards, or lucky draws.
Win or lose, it’s all you!
They really hit the spot for a “Fair” eSport, where strategy, skill, and attention to detail is all that matters. I can’t wait to see where the guys at Lunarch Studios will take this amazing experience next.