Total War: ELYSIUM – August Update

Elysium

James High
August 6 2020

Update Highlights

  • In this update we are bringing the first new Faction to join Elysium: Troy!
  • Alongside the two new Generals and 20 Troy cards, are 4 new cards for the other Eras
  • A new board lets you fight below the mighty walls of Troy!
  • Balance changes have been made to Aide-de-Camp, Sappers and the Raid mechanic
  • Many important bug fixes and game improvements!

New Content

Faction

  • The Troy faction has arrived! Spearheaded by their first General: Agamemnon.
  • Troy joins the Ancient Era, and so Troy Generals can use Ancient cards too
  • HEROIC! Troy brings a new mechanic to the game.
  • For launch week only, all players will be given a special mission which will allow them to obtain Agamemnon for free. Strike with speed!
  • The city of Elysium is awash with rumours of a bulwark standing against Agamemnon…the great King Priam of Troy himself…?

Generals

Agamemnon has arrived in Elysium and can be earned through our special mission event.

Cards

There are 19 new collectible Troy cards to discover – including Achilles, Hector, the Minotaur and the Cyclops! There are also new cards for other Eras:

Demolition (Timeless, Epic)

Puckle Gun (Empire, Rare)

Second Wind (Medieval, Rare)

Sloop (Empire, Common)

Updates

Sappers

Previously: 3/2, (4) cost, destroys an enemy Structure

Now: 2/2, (3) cost, deals 6 damage to an enemy Structure

Design Notes: Previously Sappers was increased to 4 cost to address its power level issues. This proved to be a mistake, as it meant you couldn’t reliably bring in Sappers from your Reserves on Day 1 and be able to counter an important early game Structure, like Open Plain or Vineyard. We decided to revert its cost to (3) and try a different change. After discussion with the community, a popular point of feedback was shifting it to be damage-based rather than destruction. This means it retains its effect against cheaper structures, but expensive, late-game Structures like Star Fort will survive, which seems fairer and will allow more use of high-end Structures. 6 damage seemed to be the sweet spot for Sappers still killing the Structures we thought it should be able to, though we did adjust the health of a couple of Structures in response, which you’ll see below.

Aide-de-Camp

Previously: Daybreak: Restore ALL your General’s Health

Now: Daybreak: Restore ALL the Health of BOTH Generals

Design Notes: The Aide-de-Camp was a very strong Legendary, and a must-craft for competitive players. We try to avoid overly-strong Daybreak effects, intending that the effects are incremental so there’s a tension between playing the card on-curve or waiting until the turn before Daybreak. The Aide-de-Camp broke these rules by having an extremely strong Daybreak effect. This change is undoubtedly a nerf, but is less than it first appears: the player casting Aide-de-Camp is still in the driving seat and it’s their decision if the delta between the two Generals’ health stats makes it worthwhile.

Ceorls

Previously: Cost (3)

Now: Cost (4)

First Strike

Previously: Cost (3)

Now: Cost (4)

Longship

Previously: Cost (4)

Now: Cost (5)

Pillage

Previously: Cost (4)

Now: Cost (5)

Saga

Previously: Cost (6)

Now: Cost (7)

Design Notes: Raid is a powerful mechanic, which can easily result in large cost discounts to cards which were already costed quite competitively, e.g. Ceorls is a 3/3 for (3). This adjusts a few of the more powerful and highly-played Raid cards, including Lagertha’s Signature Card. The intention is that players need to think a little bit more carefully about their deck in order to get the most out of Raid, rather than it being a bonus. It’s a strong mechanic, so we expect to have to continue to keep a close eye on it.

Counterattack

Previously: Cost (7)

Now: Cost (6)

Design Notes: The Counterattack deck is a little weak, and quite hard to pull off. Part of that is the difficulty of getting enough value out of Counterattack. This is a step towards making it more competitive.

Fire Ship

No longer does its special attack against Structures.

Design Notes: Not so much a balance issue – it was just a bit strange and unexpected that the Fire Ship would attack Structures. Troy (which contains a viable structures deck) also made us thinking more about whether this interaction made sense.

Greedy Sellswords

Previously: Cost (10)

Now: Cost (9)

Design Notes: This wasn’t doing enough to punish opponents gaining lots of Supply. This small tweak hopefully will make it slightly more useful against those decks.

Guillotine

Previously: 1/6

Now: 1/8

Design Notes: Guillotine is a fun card, but not overpowered. We felt it deserved to survive a Sappers trigger, which might make it slightly more usable in competitive decks.

Hungarian Nobles

Previously: 4/3 for (3) cost.

Now: 5/4 for (4) cost. Ability: “At the end of your turn, shuffle a random card from your hand into your deck”.

Design Notes: Hungarian Nobles was a strong card, but didn’t synergise with anything else, so there was no deckbuilding or gameplay tension. This obviously slots quite nicely into the Viking “empty hand” deck, whilst still being a strong card for its cost.

Riflemen

Previously: Whenever an enemy moves, this gains +1 Attack this turn

Now: At the end of your turn, if an enemy moved, this gains +1 Attack

Design Notes: The old design was difficult to activate most of the time, and at the same time could be brutal when combo’ed with About Face. This made it one-note and quite luck-based. This switches that up: the bonus is capped at maximum one per turn, but is permanent.

Rout

Previously: Destroy an enemy Unit and any adjacent copies of it

Now: Destroy ALL copies of an enemy Unit

Design Notes: This is an effort to make Rout feel more legendary. The likelihood of the additional copies coming up is rare (so this is a narrow buff), but very effective when it does occur (e.g. against a Peasants deck, or Yellow Turbans). On a Legendary card, which you’d only be able to play once per game in normal circumstances, this feels like the right balance.

Sea King

Previously: 3/4, this gains +1 Attack and Flanking whenever a Ship moves to its line

Now: 2/4, this gains +2 Attack and Flanking whenever a Ship moves to its line

Design Notes: This adjusts Sea King so that the pay-off is much higher. A Vikings ship deck needs some more pieces to make it competitive, but this is a good first step.

Stone Bridge

Previously: Cost (5)

Now: Cost (4)

Design Note: Stone Bridge is a useful Structure, but hasn’t been seeing a lot of play. In our pass on Structures in conjunction with the Sappers change we thought it warranted a small buff.

Veteran Trainer

Previously: 4/4, cost (5)

Now: 4/6, cost (6)

Design Notes: Veteran Trainer sharing the same Supply slot with the similar but more powerful Jade Dragons was an issue. This moves it up to (6) and gives it more survivability to keep it able to move over more turns. We may look at making the two cards feel a bit more different in the future.

Vineyard

Previously: Daybreak: Add three Supply Caches to hand

Now: At the end of your turn, add a Supply Cache to hand

Design Notes: Vineyard was a very effective enabler for Dong Zhuo combo decks, making those decks more consistent than we’d like. This change greatly reduces the power of a Vineyard played right before the end of Day 1, but slightly increases its effectiveness if it sticks around for a whole Day after that (by giving you an extra Supply Cache half the time, and giving you the partial pay-off straight way, rather than waiting until the end of the Day). The intention here is to reduce the power level in the Dong Zhuo deck, but keep it roughly as effective in other decks. Losing the combo with False Dawn is unfortunate, though False Dawn will increase in usefulness as we add more and more Daybreak cards to the game.

Tavern

Now deploys two Citizen Soldiers on Herald and at Daybreak

Design Notes: This card was straightforwardly too weak, only really paying off if kept alive for two Daybreaks, which was difficult. This change makes it a much more attractive prospect.

Lay Down Arms & Demoralise (debuffs cards in general)

Previously: As the game logic would understand it, cards could be reduced to less than 0, however visually it would always read as 0.

Now: No stat can be reduced below 0.

Lay Down Arms

Previously: Cost (2)

Now: Cost (4)

Design Notes: We are planning to rework Lay Down Arms for the next major update. In the meantime this substantial cost increase should shake things up and reduce the often repetitive and un-fun play pattern of having large numbers of units permanently disabled by an extremely cheap Event. The above changes will help, but wouldn’t be sufficient to stop the dominance of this card. This is likely to be an overly-aggressive nerf, but it’s important for us to get information on what the meta feels like without this card being so prevalent, so a big reduction in usage rate is a useful data point.

Caltrops

Previously: Cost (2)

Now: Cost (3)

Design Notes: As with Lay Down Arms we are intending to rework Caltrops in the future. This smaller cost increase is a temporary measure to encourage a little more usage of Cavalry. Caltrops is quite a risky card to bring during your Reserves phase – as it can be completely unusable against certain decks – but it is no doubt far too effective in many situations and pushing several interesting decks and cards out of the meta.

Special Attacks (continued)

Attacks triggered by special abilities (from cards like Fire Ship and The Old Guard) were changed in the last update. Those changes have been partially reverted, so special abilities can again occur against Camouflaged and Flanking targets, and if the attacker is stunned. However the change where special attacks won’t trigger for 0 Attack cards, or against Unbreakable enemies, is retained. We’re trying to find a balance between not creating overly confusing interactions, but also allowing enough counterplay against special attacks. This is likely to be tweaked further in the future as we find the right spot.

Other changes

  • There’s a brand new Troy game board!
  • We’ve improved long animations on a few cards (Pyrrhic Victory, Jade Dragons, Pearl Dragons, Regime Change) so they happen all at once
  • Fast Attack has been renamed “Fast”. Having attack in the name was misleading because it applies to any action, including movement.
  • Manoeuvre has been renamed to “Movement”. Though it was a flavourful name, it was causing issues across different territories where the spelling is different. Additionally, it wasn’t showing up in collection searches for “move”, which was a usability annoyance.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed an issue where Pyrrhic Victory was able to destroy Unbreakable Units
  • Fixed an issue when you destroyed a Structure next to Garrison, it wouldn’t lose Unbreakable until another on board action happened
  • Black Mountain Bandits now correctly gives you a Supply Cache if it dies when attacking the General
  • Silk Road now triggers off Signature Card plays
  • Fixed an issue where Fusiliers and some other similar cards wouldn’t update their cost upon being drawn, and had to wait until another action occurred
  • The sideboarding timer is accurate again, and you won’t sometimes run out of time with ~9s left on the clock
  • If you run out of time in sideboarding, your choices are kept instead of being replaced by random cards
  • Fixed an issue where Stun visuals occasionally wouldn’t update until the turn ended, most notably on Out of Position
  • Fixed an issue where playing Event cards as the last card in your hand would freeze the game

Known issues

  • Open Plain has some edge-case issues comboing correctly with some of the new Troy cards. Some of those cards care about when another ally is played onto an empty line. These will sometimes not trigger correctly if there’s a friendly Open Plain. A workaround is to always play the card to the left of the Open Plain, which will allow the triggers to resolve correctly. A full fix will come in the next major update. Note: the interaction with Heroic cards themselves is correct.