Total War: ELYSIUM – July Major Update

Total War: ELYSIUM

Total War
July 14 2020

Welcome to the latest update for Total War: Elysium! For any feedback, comments, bug reports and troubleshooting help, please join our Discord server!

The July Major Update is here, and brings with it the mighty Dong Zhou! As our first new General, we’re excited to see the Beta community splash some cash

Update Highlights

  • Dong Zhuo is available in the store!
  • New cards have been added
  • Achievements system has been added
  • The tutorial is now completely optional

Whispers of a new factor are spreading throughout the city of Elysium… but when will they reveal themselves?

New Content


Dong Zhou is now live in the store and available for purchase with Amethyst. Here are his abilities:


This update is bringing four new cards, one for each Era.

False Dawn (Timeless, Epic)

Rally Point (Medieval, Rare)

Repeating Crossbowmen (Three Kingdoms, Rare)

Tavern (Empire, Rare)


A new achievements system has been added to Elysium as an additional way to earn currency and (eventually) other rewards. Expect many more in future updates!



  • The tutorial is now completely optional for all new players, and accessible from the main menu
  • Players will earn currency for completing the tutorial, but it’s not compulsory as all new accounts start by opening up a fully usable Cao Cao deck
  • The tutorial is also drop-in, drop-out – you don’t have to complete all five matches at once

Card Changes

Many of these changes are related to cards that are intended to be situational but are currently far too easy to bring out of Reserves in any situation. In ELYSIUM, choosing which cards to bring into your deck is tests your skill and carries with it with risk and reward. For a few cards, that risk has been lacking.


Caltrops has been completely reworked. It is now an Event that costs (2) Supply and destroys an enemy Cavalry.

Design Notes: The old Caltrops was overly complicated and frustrating to play against – as didn’t actually stop Cavalry from attacking (it just punished them for doing so), it also wasn’t particularly good at stopping them in the short-term, only in drawn-out games. The face that the Structure often stayed in play for a long time also made the decision to bring it out of the Reserves less consequential (it could serve as a good blocker in the meantime). This new design is a 180, but a much simpler, more elegant card which fulfils the same purpose – but more directly and is more dependent on the player’s decision to bring it out of the Reserves. This card is now highly effective against Warmongers, which is currently a very strong card seeing high usage rates. This wasn’t the original purpose of the change, but an interesting by-product.

Drowned in Flames

Previously: (3) cost. Deal 1 damage to an enemy line. Draw a card

Now: (2) cost. Deal 1 damage to an enemy line

Design Notes: The “draw a card” version was making this card very safe to always bring out of your Reserves, because the floor was quite high, and also made it too similar to Out of Position, which fights for the same slot.


Previously: Manoeuvre: Ships in your hand cost (1) less

Now: Herald and Manoeuvre: Ships in your hand cost (1) less this turn

Design Notes: This is a step to enable a Vikings Ships focused deck in the future, and to give this card more utility, particularly in Guthrum decks.

Forlorn Hope

Previously: Shattered: Trigger all other allies’ Shattered effects

Now: Shattered: Trigger the Shattered effects of all other allies on this line

Design Notes: This is partly a clarity change, as many players though this was already how the card worked (and were surprised when it didn’t). As an upshot, it allows a little more depth on both sides: the Forlorn Hope can be disrupted much better by movement cards, but there’s also a way to try and get around negative Shattered effects (like Warmongers).

Hit and Run (Guthrum’s Signature Card)

Previously: Give target friendly Unit Shield. It returns to hand at Daybreak

Now: Give target friendly Unit +1 Attack. It returns to hand at Daybreak (conversion is unchanged­)

Design Notes: Prior to the commencement of the closed beta, Hit and Run gave +1 Attack, which better fits its name. We switched to Shield to enable some different archetypes. However, this didn’t end up really doing that, and instead made Hit and Run quite a bit more frustrating to play against and too effective at gumming up the board.

Lay Down Arms

Previously: Give all Units and Structures on an enemy line -1/-1

Now: Give all Units and Structures on an enemy line -2 Attack

Design Notes: Most of the time, Lay Down Arms was being used for its -1 Health aspect, either to kill 1 Health enemies, or tougher enemies in combination with other cards. As with Drowned in Flames, this too often made it an auto-include. Switching it to -2 Attack makes its usage a bit narrower, and closer to the intent. As a bonus, it fits the theme better.

Regime Change

Previously: Damage all Units and Structures down to 1 Health

Now: Reduce all Units and Structures to 1 Health

Design Notes: This has been done for consistency reasons and consideration for future cards rather than there being any particular balance concern. Treating this as a debuff rather than damage has a couple of interesting side-effects: it doesn’t combo with Raid any more, and also means you can’t use healing to recover.


Previously: Cost (3)

Now: Cost (4)

Design Notes: Sappers has been the poster child for strong situational cards with very little downside. Raising its cost makes it much less efficient, and it will be interesting to see if matches play out better with there being a higher cost attached to bringing this in from the Reserves.

Torch Bearer

Previously: Whenever anything else dies, this deals 1 damage to a random enemy

Now: Whenever another ally dies, this deals 1 damage to a random enemy

Design Note: This has reverted to its pre closed beta design. This card was extremely powerful, and by far the best choice of (2) drop in Medieval decks. This is a substantial nerf, and requires much more deckbuilding consideration to use effectively – though can still be very powerful when built around.

Volley of Arrows

Previously: (6) cost. “Splash. Deal 4 damage to target Unit or Structure.”

Now: (4) cost. “Splash. Deal 2 damage to any target.”

Design Notes: At (6) cost this fought for the same slot as Diverted Troops, which felt like a weird choice for players to make. It also had some fussy targeting restrictions, which made it annoying to use. Additionally, with Lay Down Arms now only affecting Attack, it felt like there was space for an AoE damage effect in Medieval at a lower cost.

Special Attacks

Attacks that are triggered by special card abilities – such as Fire Ship and Old Guard – now obey the same rules as regular attacks. This means these cards will not attempt an attack if Stunned, or if they have their Attack reduced to 0. Additionally, they won’t attack Camouflaged or Unbreakable enemies, and won’t attack Flanking enemies from the back line.

Targeting Unbreakable Enemies

Targeted Events and Herald cards cannot target Unbreakable enemies if all they would do is deal damage. This is a quality of life change to prevent inadvertently wasting damage. If the card has an additional effect – like Stunning, moving, debuffing, etc. – targeting is still allowed as those are all useful against Unbreakable.


Reworked the level rewards to better space larger rewards, and to take into account Achievements being the primary source of Amethyst. This does now affect already claimed rewards.

AI Opponents

  • AI are now aware of and will not waste Event damage, e.g. Crack Shot on a Citizen Soldier
  • Can now chain together direct damage Events to kill targets
  • Can now chain together Supply cards to play more expensive cards in hand
  • Will respond correctly to Open Plains while on low Health – previously this led to playing things on the wrong line
  • Will respond to Old Guard’s effect
  • Many more, smaller fixes

Other Changes

  • The UI for targeting cards is now much clearer, reducing the chance of losing targets in the background
  • Generals in the store will show their Signature Card and other connected cards (e.g. Marie Antoinette shows Revolutionary Mob) so you have a much better idea of what you’re buying
  • The Reserves screen has had some reworks. Performance is also improved, which should fix some issues occurring on lower-spec devices
  • Cards with abilities that fire at the start or end of the turn now have a different gizmo (the icon on the unit) so you can easily tell them apart at a glance. Affected cards include Cao Cao, Armed Recruiter, Battlefield Inciter, and Protectors of Heaven

Bug Fixes

  • Yellow Turbans now correctly counts card plays that happened before it was drawn, and counts Signature Card plays
  • Messenger now triggers other cards that care about card draw, like Supply Train
  • Opponent’s emotes are no longer cut off if their General is on the back line

Known Issues

  • If you choose an invalid target with a herald card (e.g. trying to use Javelineers on a camouflaged enemy), the card will return the hand without triggering a notification. You will be able to play the card again and choose a different target, but please be aware of this behaviour
  • The Reserves Timer may not be accurate, and will end the Reserve phase earlier than advertised