Spirit paths

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Eric R
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Spirit paths

As requested:

jffdougan wrote:

Eric R wrote:

<nod> I think of Spirits as existing on a spectrum from "strongly prefers high-Play strategies" to "strongly prefers high-Energy strategies". (The spectrum actually goes to "exclusively prefers..." on each end, but I try to make sure every Spirit is playable both ways and/or hybrid, even if it leans more strongly / readily towards one path.) Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares leans strongly towards an Energy + Major Powers approach, though a Plays-first strategy is also viable.

Maybe in a separate thread, I'd be interested in seeing where you put all of the extant spirits.

First off: some might consider this list spoilers. It's a high-level view, but it does "give away" some of the dynamics of each Spirit, which some folks might prefer to discover through exploration.

Secondly: please take this list with a grain of salt - for a variety of reasons ("having two young children" being among them) I didn't play much Spirit Island between development wrapping up at the end of 2015 and the retail release in June. I mean, I've played 15-20 times since then, but certainly haven't played all the Spirits yet. So my recollection of some Spirits' dynamics is much fresher than others!

All that out of the way:

Lightning's Swift Strike: Unusual. Its phenomenal Card Plays track + powerful innate would normally make it extremely Play-tilted, but it has multiple obstacles to going that way - including not enough Energy to flog its starting cards.

River Surges in Sunlight: Tilts towards Plays. It can get new Power Cards with ease and the Reclaim One spot makes it great at that.

Shadows Flicker like Flame: Balanced. It's good either direction (or mixed), and can adapt readily to either style.

Vital Strength of the Earth: Leans towards Energy, just because its track is so good... but, unusually for an Energy-leaning spirit, not towards a huge number of Major Powers, because three of its starting four Power Cards cost 3, and because its Reclaim option is so strong that it can just flog one or two over + over. (Also, it really wants to reach 2 Card Plays at some point, unless it's packing a truly titanic and effective-even-without-thresholds Major Power - maybe Fire and Flood or something.)

A Spread of Rampant Green: Balanced. I've seen play-heavy Rampant Green blasting out minors and triggering top levels of both innates, and my last play of Green I think I took something like 4-5 Major Powers. Of course, at least half the time it opens up its full Presence Tracks anyhow...

Thunderspeaker: Tilts towards plays. Has a harder time getting lots of them than Lightning does, but an easier time gaining Power Cards.

Ocean's Hungry Grasp: My recollection is "it really depends on the game" - more specifically, on the % of the players who are going to make feeding it a moderate priority (and to some extent on the Energy cost of Power Card acquisitions).

Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares: Tilts towards Energy + Major Powers.

Heart of the Wildfire: My recollection is "balanced". It's super-good at Energy generation once it uncovers a lot of Fire. And it's super-good at burning things in its lands once it plays lots of cards / has lots of fire. (IIRC, though, healing Blight tends to require veering towards Plays.)

Serpent Slumbering Beneath the Island: Unusual; the crossed Presence track means it has an early-game choice, then must go balanced, then a late-game choice.

Sharp Fangs Behind the Leaves: Tilts towards plays. (Though it has the elements early on its Energy track to trigger Ranging Hunt even with its base of 2.)

Keeper of the Forbidden Wilds: Tilts towards Energy + Major Powers.

Trickster Watches with Many Eyes: Tilts very heavily towards Plays - it's really good at gaining Minor Powers (and needs to), plus Stir Up All Manner of Trouble benefits from a wide swath of Elements. It still has viable paths that include Energy/Majors, though!

Also, writing the list, I realize how often it depends on situation: what other Spirits are in the game, what Adversary you're playing against, what you draw for Power Cards, what Events have shaped your position, etc.

Edited by: Eric R on Jan 10 2018 - 8:35am
Foote
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With Playing Fangs special rule incorrectly this entire time, I leaned toward pure energy gain for the free elements. But now that I know I messed that up pretty hard, I'll try your recommendation of card play focus next time. 

dpt
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Foote wrote:

With Playing Fangs special rule incorrectly this entire time, I leaned toward pure energy gain for the free elements. But now that I know I messed that up pretty hard, I'll try your recommendation of card play focus next time. 

What mistake were you making?
morph147
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Am I mistaking the Serpent Slumbering Beneath the Island and how the spirit tracks work. Based off Eric's post, it seems like you once you get to the point where the tracks cross on one track, you can not go pass that until you get the second one to the same spot on the track? Is that correct?


My wife thinks Sentinels is ruining our marriage. I think she doesnt know what shes talking about because she wont sit down to play it

dpt
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That's correct. To get the spot where the tracks cross (with the "Earth" element) you need to have advanced both tracks all the way up to that point.

Did you have some other interpretation?

morph147
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dpt wrote:

That's correct. To get the spot where the tracks cross (with the "Earth" element) you need to have advanced both tracks all the way up to that point.Did you have some other interpretation?

 

that if you could somehow keep going on the track. So it was like an intersecting path from top then go to bottom


My wife thinks Sentinels is ruining our marriage. I think she doesnt know what shes talking about because she wont sit down to play it

fjur
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Hey Eric, now that we have the Print & Play files for both Shifting Memory Of Ages and Finder Of Paths Unseen, could you consider sharing some insights into which path they (and perhaps the other Jagged Earth/Promo Pack 2 Spirits) prefer?

I really appreciate your thoughts on the Base Game/Branch & Claw/Promo Pack 1 Spirits and consult them often, so it would be great if you could take my request.

Thanks!

Edit: After posting this, I remembered the craziness of Finder's Presence Tracks, so there might not be much to say about it. Also, Starlight Seeks Its Form Tracks are so short and it's Growth is so variable, it too could be hard to provide general strategy. Lastly, Stone's Unyielding Defiance has that "Element Track" that might complicate things.

MindWanderer
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Those two spirits got a lot of path testing, which I was a part of.  All choices are pretty much viable.

Memory's almost backwards from other spirits--it gains versatility by going top track, which lets it take more power card-related Growth picks, or bottom track, which likely means it'll probably need to take the +9 Energy sometimes to fuel its Majors.  In smaller games, if you get cheaper Majors, bottom track and the +2 Energy growth option works really well.  A lot of people started off going top path, because it was obvious, but then gravitated towards the bottom path after getting some more experience.  Hybrid works okay as long as you account for the dead spot on the bottom track.

Finder basically has a top path, a bottom path, and a middle path.  Top and bottom are similar to most spirits (lean on majors more, or minors and innates more).  Top path is nicer in smaller games because you'll need to sacrifice presence to kill invaders more often, and you'll want those to count.  Mid path means few power cards of either type but is still super versatile--you don't get to use your Isolate innate as much, but you get your Push innate frequently and easily, and the Move Presence gives you (and your teammates) lots of options, plus then you can branch out to the top or bottom path afterwards.


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