Pocket Paragons Design Blog: Absa, the Storm Architect (KS bonus character!)

In today’s Pocket Paragons design blog, let’s take a look at one of the bonus Kickstarter characters.

Absa, the Storm Architect is my personal favorite character in Rivals of Aether, and while there are different ways to play her, I wanted to bring the feeling of playing a zoning character into Pocket Paragons. This was a fun design challenge since Pocket Paragons is a game that doesn’t have distance between the characters! I went with the essence of zoning, which is keeping control over your opponent and forcing them into making mistakes that you can take advantage of.

The Rivals characters are still undergoing playtesting and the cards shown in this article may not reflect their final versions.

Character Strengths:

  • High damage and good defensive options while your hand is higher
  • Double ultimate helps you naturally outlast the opponent’s options

Character Weaknesses:

  • Incredibly weak after your opponent plays Rest, putting the pressure on you to Rest.
  • Exhausting effects are particularly effective against a character that wants to keep her hand full.

Absa’s kit depends on you keeping more cards in hand than your opponent. Cloudburst and Lightning Blast both hit for 3 damage, and the Vicious on Cloudburst can take out more than half of their HP if you get the counter! Electric Barrier keeps the opponent sweating while leaving you completely safe.

Even without any of the printed bonuses, having more cards in hand than your opponent is just generally strong play. That’s not unique to Absa, but her kit rewards it even harder. Having the same number of cards as your opponent isn’t enough to turn on her bonuses, so playing an early Rest is a strong consideration for Absa, although it is risky. Zap is a weak hit, but having the ability ready itself helps you pull ahead in the hand size race. Her Storm Globe helps you against enemies that want to exhaust your abilities, which is a big weakness for her.

Absa’s Ultimates aren’t very impressive on their own, but what really helps is that you get two of them! Having a whole extra card over your opponent (and having two extra cards, if they have a Passive that never ends up in their hand!) means that you can keep your bonuses up easier and have more fodder to throw into enemy exhausting effects. They don’t Store themselves after use, so once you have them, they become exhausted and can be readied like any other ability. If you Rest on the same turn your enemy does, you’ll still have more cards in hand!

The tug-of-war with Absa and her opponent each trying to Rest to keep more cards in hand is an interesting one, and leaves more potential opportunities for both players to be Executed! Keeping a full hand is important, but not playing predictably is more critical. Sometimes it’s worth playing weaker cards instead of Resting, and other times it’s worth it to take that chance with a Rest! Knowing when to use each strategy is what brings the challenge to this deceptively simple character!

-Brian McKay

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