Imperial Cycle – Spoiler

Imperial Cycle – Spoiler

Today at Imperial Advisor we have a special treat, a card preview, and it’s a good one. Please give us your thoughts on the card in the comments section below.


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Hot Takes


One of the criticisms from the core set was that the Imperial Favor seemed tacked on. It only gave 1 skill and was often forgotten, especially by new players. With the arrival of Censure, the Imperial Favor is never going to be neglected ever again. Where, previously, a great turn had some minor bonuses that carried into the next turn, now a good turn means switching on Censure. Having Censure in hand, and the Imperial Favor to use it, significantly increases your chances of winning the next turn as well. I can definitely foresee more games where characters are left unbowed to fight over the Favor.


We had a long discussion about negation in Episode 15 of Imperial Advisor on Monday, and how very quickly we’re seeing a lot of it in the environment at very low costs. It’s not clear yet how play with the Imperial Favour will evolve during the Imperial Cycle of cards as we see more emphasis on it. If we see decks which emphasise controlling the Favor begin to surface in the meta, I expect this card will be a big reason for them. If you can consistently control the Imperial Favor without too much inconvenience, this card will be incredibly powerful – negating an action for 0 cost.


The popularity of the Crane/Scorpion splash had a lot to do with the utility offered by having up to 6 “counterspells” in your deck. An additional counterspell which is again free but requires a particular board state is just going to enable that build with no influence requirement in some clans. Additionally given the mechanics in the set so far, I would not be surprised to see a card that allows you to gain the Imperial Favour for some cost, making this more reliable. As the availability of counterspells increases, I do wonder who will be playing the 3-5 cost events this cycle is also providing.


Here’s my hot take: Please don’t design cards that are so inflexible and binary and depend on conditions that have more than 1 degree of complexity in their play condition. Favor control has N^2 degrees of complexity. It depends on N things you have done and N things your opponent has done and each of those things are a very core part of the game loop. It could also be a very bad card for the dynamics of the game, as it facilitates players controlling back-to-back turns in a game where hard playstate resets are vital.


The feelings, they are mixed. On one hand, I am really unhappy to see another broad-application counter card, especially one that rewards the player who is ostensibly already ahead. On the other hand, Censure has a legitimate and significant opportunity cost that cannot be forecast with any certainty, which makes including it in a deck a genuine risk. So, of all the negation cards we’ve seen, this is by far the most fairly costed. Phoenix are probably best situated to take immediate advantage of the card, with their stronghold allowing them to secure the Imperial Favor with some confidence. I’m pretty sure I’ll end up playing this, but the proliferation of negation effects makes me uncomfortable, especially at such an early stage of the game.

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