Total War: ELYSIUM – October Major Update

Elysium

James High
September 29 2020

Headline changes: The Empire (Era) Strikes Back

  • Davout – the Iron Marshal, undefeated General of the Napoleonic age – arrives in Elysium. Davout is the third General for the French Republic and the first new General outside of the Ancient era. Davout is careful, steady and disciplined. He grows in power as long as he can hold his nerve.
  • Daily store item – the store now contains a free item that can be claimed for random rewards. It refreshes daily, so make sure you log in each day to claim.
  • thanks for trying out the ranked system – you’ll all be able to earn more rewards next month! we’re now introducing seasons, starting with pre-season 1 on October 1st which will last for the full month!
  • You now gain a small reward each time you get promoted during a season
  • There is now an additional tier for most achievements, especially for dedicated players!
  • Fixed several stability issues with the Reserves flow, which could cause lock-ups
  • Adjusted the economy and progression:
    • Battle Boxes have been adjusted – the Epic box gives slightly less crafting currency, while the Legendary box is cheaper and gives much more crafting currency
    • Level progression with rewards are more evenly distributed (this does not affect rewards you’ve already claimed)

New cards

  • Davout (French Republic General), and Iron Defence (Signature Card)
  • Blindside (Timeless, Common)
  • Camel Nomads (Timeless, Rare)
  • Dread Harbinger (Ancient, Common), and Dread Host
  • Ghoorkas (Empire, Rare)
  • Ritual Sacrifice (Troy, Rare)
  • Privateers (Empire, Common)
  • Strike Fear (Vikings, Rare)
  • The Brave (French Republic, Epic), and 18th de Ligne
  • War Clerics (Timeless, Epic)

Legendary and late-game card changes

  • A theme of this update is starting to look at the design of Legendary cards, and the strength of late-game finisher cards. This will be ongoing process, and this is the first part. Balance isn’t the primary motivation here, though in many cases power level will be affected.
  • For Legendary cards we want to push the uniqueness and strength of Legendary card effects. Some of our Legendary cards felt vanilla, with some particular examples in Empire and French Republic, so we’re starting by putting a focus on those card pools. Legendaries – whether they’re pulled from a battle box, drawn or played – should always create immediate excitement.
  • For the late-game, we want high cost cards to have a more impact. Right now in Elysium, a large board, assembled combo or synergy successfully set-up in the mid-game is much stronger and will rarely have trouble with a strong finisher card. We’re taking some small initial steps to change that balance slightly. At first this will be subtle. If this is successful in the long-term it should make the late-game more exciting, and increase opportunities for comebacks.
  • Cataphracts
    • 8/7 -> 8/8
  • Dutch Blue Guard
    • Old: Herald and Daybreak: Units on this line gain +1 Action until the end of the following turn
    • New: Daybreak: Double the Actions of your other Units
  • Inspiring Champion
    • 2/6 -> 3/6
  • Huscarls
    • 8/7 -> 9/7
  • Lu Bu
    • 5/12 -> 6/12
  • Marshal Ney reworked:
    • Old: 1/6, “Has +3 Attack for each Planned card in hand”
    • New: 3/6, “Shattered: Deploy a Lancers for each Planned card in hand”
  • Protectors of Heaven
    • 5/7 -> 5/8
  • War Elephant
    • 6/10 -> 6/12
  • The Wild Geese
    • Old: Cost (6), 2/4, “Whenever you play an Event or gain extra Supply, this gains +1/+1”
    • New: Cost (8), 3/3, “Shattered: Fill your hand with Roundshots and Supply Caches”
  • Xiahou Dun
    • 1/6 -> 1/7

Other balance changes

  • Agamemnon
    • 1/25 -> 1/22
    • Design Notes: Agamemnon is increasingly the go-to choice for many Ancient decks. The ability to easily give him Short-Ranged, and his strong synergy with Campfire, mean his health pool is effectively much higher than it appears. This adjustments give him a more unique set of stats, and tones down that advantage a little.
  • Border Guard
    • 2/2 -> 1/3
  • Torch Bearer
    • 2/2 -> 1/3
  • Inexperienced Footmen
    • 3/2 -> 2/3
  • Design Notes: 2 Health is a tricky place to be in Elysium, it tends to make something much easier to kill than 3 Health. For a few cards that rely on survivability to have a strong effect on the game this is a particular problem. We’ve adjusted these slightly-underperforming cards to reflect that, which should hopefully produce an up-tick in win rate.
  • Faering
    • Cost (2) -> (1)
  • Fog
    • Cost (1) -> (0)
  • General’s Bodyguard
    • Cost (9) -> (8)
  • Trebuchet
    • Cost (5), 2/6 -> (4), 2/5
  • Rabble-Rousers
    • 3/3 -> 4/4
  • Design Notes: The cards above were falling short and rarely finding much use in decks. As ever, we’d like to see how stats changes to cards affect performance before considering a rework.
  • Fall of Troy
    • Cost (3) -> (4)
    • Design Notes: The Trojan Horse combo is intended to be volatile – high reward but difficult to pull off and easy to disrupt. Right now it’s looking a little too consistent in some builds. We’d like to see how making it a turn slower affects this balance.
  • Flogger
    • The +2 Attack bonus to adjacent Units is now permanent
    • Design Notes: Flogger wasn’t finding a home, and its effect too weak to make the damage effect worth it (even with the good self-damage synergies in the Medieval era).
  • Funeral Games
    • Cost (9) -> (10)
    • Design Notes: Funeral Games was undoubtedly the best late-game choice for most Troy decks, pushing out a lot of other options, including Achilles and Hector. It was offering a huge amount of value if Heroic was activated.
  • Headhunters
    • 3/3 -> 2/4
    • Design Notes: We always need to be cautious about cards that can direct 3 damage to a General which is difficult to prevent. This is because Generals are left on 6 Health after Last Gasp, and we want to be careful about how many games end with players saving up two sources of 3 damage, as this can create repetition, and can be an anti-climax if it happens too often. This change to Headhunters mostly preserves its power level, but means two instances of its death damage on its own won’t finish a General.
  • Lycian Stonemasion
    • Structure buff +2/+2 -> +1/+1
    • Design Notes: Troy structure decks have settled down a lot in the meta, and the Stonemason’s performance isn’t overwhelming any more, with structure decks having acceptable win rates. However, there’s a design concern here that structure decks are over-reliant on comboing with the Stonemason. At this point we’d rather tone down the buff it gives, and buff other cards that go into the deck (like Trojan Defenders and Shrine of Hephaestus, see below). This makes a larger variety of structure decks possible, and makes the deck’s attack plan less reliant on particular sequence of draws and plays.
  • Messenger
    • 2/3 -> 2/2
    • Design Notes: We’re always concerned about Timeless cards that are starting to become ubiquitous in decks, even without any strong synergy. High Ridge and Comrade-in-Arms are good previous examples. Messenger is one such example, being highly playable even without any Cavalry or movement synergy. Decreasing the stats slightly will make players think harder about whether to take it, and open up other draw options.
  • Ride Down
    • Old: Cost (2), “Stun target enemy Unit. If it’s already Stunned, destroy it.”
    • New: Cost (1), “Destroy target Stunned enemy Unit”
    • Design Notes: As stated in the previous update, we’re looking at ways to incentivise playing synergistic removal (like Ride Down and Surround) over generic removal (like Trample). This makes the card lean much more on synergy, but the lower cost makes it easier to combo with Trample, Out of Position etc on a single turn.
  • Shrine of Hephaestus
    • 0/5 -> 0/6
    • Design Notes: This card has been slightly underperforming, and its performance will go down further the Lycian Stonemason, so we want to make sure it stays viable. This makes the card harder to deal with, but still in Sappers range.
  • Trireme
    • 6/4 -> 5/5
    • Design Notes: Trireme’s issue has always been its survivability, the 4 Health making it difficult to play on-curve and get a card draw out of it. This keeps the value similar overall, but gives Trireme a little bit of help where it needs it.
  • Trojan Defenders
    • 1/4 -> 1/5
    • Design Notes: This card has been underpowered, and a little difficult to make work. This makes the card harder to engage, even without activating its ability, and more able to sit on the front line. It also improves its usefulness with Desperate Defence.
  • Veteran Trainer
    • 4/6 -> 3/5
    • Design Notes: This card’s buff has been highly effective – too effective in fact! This change keeps the Movement bonus (the key part of the card), but tones down its stats, making it easier to interact with.

Bug-fixes

  • Centaur Horde now correctly has Flanking
  • The issue with Open Plain intermittently activating the abilities of Agamemnon, Achaean Bronzeworker and Achilles has been addressed. It should now be consistent.
  • Uprising now overspills additional Peasants to the other line
  • The game no longer locks up if the History panel is open at Daybreak
  • Fixed several stability issues with the Reserves flow, which could cause lock-ups
  • Fixed an issue with the “Play cards with Splash” mission – this was actually a text error, it’s the Stun mission, but with the wrong keyword in its description

Other changes

  • Improved Achilles and Rally Point wording
  • Penthesilea’s role has been switched to Mid-Range, as that better reflects her playstyle than Aggro
  • Sun Ren’s wording has been tweaked to reflect the fact that, in the unusual situation where she kills an ally, a Sun Attendant will still be deployed
  • There is now a connection icon during battles, making it easier for players to confirm their connection is still strong
  • The number of tutorial battles has now been reduced to 4 (from 5)
  • The hand size warning now explicitly tells you the current number of cards in hand and the maximum allowed