Designing Sky - Agility Prism Identity
Coulter L. Baker
Aug 27, 2021
Skyweaver is still in Private Beta, and information provided in this post is subject to change based on playtests and player feedback.
Welcome back to Designing Sky! For our second post, we’ll be looking at the speediest competitor out of all of our Prisms, Agility! In keeping with that theme, let's jump right in! If you missed our previous post on the Strength Prism, you can check it out Here.
The Agility Prism champions freedom, living life to the fullest, and never looking back. Agility-aligned Skyweavers embody these tenants, and will generally aim to protect those same freedoms for others.
At their best, Agility-aligned Skyweavers see every day as a unique gift, an adventure to be had, and strive to ensure others are free to do the same, standing against tyranny and oppression wherever it is found. They look with eagerness to the future, and all the possibilities it holds.
At their worst, they can become selfish hedonists, looking out only for their own desires and whatever interests them in the moment, seizing their wants, heedless of the consequences their actions may have for others.
Agility’s mechanical identity is all about speed and gaining an early advantage. Agility generally focuses on using Units to push the offensive, similar to Strength. However, unlike Strength, Agility’s Units tend to be smaller and focused on speed, rather than durability. Agility is not able to simply play big Units to outmuscle its foes like strength can. Instead, it aims to be fast and relentless, playing many small Units to overtake its opponent and end the game quickly.
Agility also has a wider range of tactical options than Strength. It’s able to draw cards more easily, and possesses more ways to immediately deal damage to the enemy Hero. Agility can even surprise opponents with Units that can attack on the same turn that they are played.
Overall, Agility has incredible offensive power, but requires players to think a bit more about their plays, and how best to time them, to ensure they reach their full potential.
Agility has some areas where it is designed to excel. These are some of Agility’s most prominent strengths and unique features. Future cards and updates will reinforce these key pillars of Agility’s identity.
Aggressive Power and Speed
Agility is by far the most aggressive Prism, both in terms of design and raw statistics. Its average card cost is the lowest in the game, and Its average stat-to-cost ratio is tied with Wisdom at second best, and is far more weighted towards offensive power than Wisdom and even Strength. Agility also has excellent burn damage options that directly damage the enemy Hero, like Backstab, Catch and Strige Strike, as well as cards like Fury Mask and Rave, that let it buff its Units in the mid to lategame and strike a decisive finishing blow.
One unique trait of Agility is its high number of Units that “ready” when played, letting them attack immediately, like Speedster and Hot Dog. It also has Units that automatically attack enemies when played, like Bolt, Yellowjack, and Flank Rider. It also has Spells like Dead Beats and Supersonic that allow it to summon one or more Units and immediately ready them, which can be combined with buffing cards like Rave for even greater damage.
Attacking With Your Hero
Agility has numerous cards that allow it to attack with its hero more often, or more effectively. Cards like Fury Mask, Montage, & Honk can allow your hero to attack additional times in a turn, while Cube Junior can give your hero lifesteal, and the mighty Mountain Lion will double the effectiveness of Banner on your cards, allowing you to boost your hero’s attack to huge levels and crush the enemy.
Payoffs for Playing Fast
Agility also has a number of cards that reward it for playing fast, providing a “safety net” for its aggressive earlygame-focused playstyle. Cards like Pandora and Blitz allow Agility players to draw more cards when they have fewer cards in hand, and cards like Card Sling and Burn Out allow Agility to rapidly cycle through its resources, trading its long term plans for short term power, helping it finish off its opponent before it loses control of the game.
Agility also has some fundamental gameplay limitations and areas where it is designed to be less effective than other Prisms. These core limitations will remain consistent, so as to keep the Prism unique. This isn't to say any of these areas are totally off limits, just that, as a general rule, these are areas where Agility will be weaker than the other Prisms, and future cards and designs will respect these limitations.
As a Prism centered on speed and aggression, Agility wants to end games quickly, and thus has more limited tools to sustain itself in long games. It is the worst Prism at restoring its own health, largely relying on its small pool of lifesteal Units and Spells to heal, or simply dropping the enemy’s health to 0 faster than its own. Agility is also the second worst Prism at card draw and generation, which hurts it in long games, though it can make use of low-hand size value cards like Pandora and Blitz to reduce this issue.
In the future, we will also explore Agility’s ability to use its health as a resource by offering Agility some powerful tools that have the additional cost of damaging its own Hero, putting a bit more strain on its health pool and giving it more ways to spend its health than by just smashing its Hero into enemy Units. We’ve currently explored this with cards like Grim Reprisal and Blitz.
Limited Hard Removal
Agility does not have a lot of hard removal for larger Units, and is typically forced to rely on using its Hero, Units or damaging Spells to overcome opposing Units, rather than having clean one-card answers for them in the way Prisms like Strength or Intellect do in cards like Mortal Blow and Encapsulate. This serves as a counterbalance for the advantages Agility already has in terms of tempo, and also provides it with something to look for in its secondary Prism.
Agility actually does have some large board wipes on its higher end, like Hurricane and Maelstrom, which help diversify its play space, offering it disruptive lategame options, but these tend to damage its own Units as well, making them less useful aggressively, and more useful for more combo-oriented Agility builds, or for more midrange/defensive decks using Agility as a secondary Prism.
That covers the Mechanical Identity of Agility, its strengths, and limitations. Agility is a Prism that’s all about living and winning in the fast lane, so next time, we’ll slow things down a bit and look at our most cautious and methodical prism, Wisdom!
What’s your favorite thing about the Agility Prism? Do you play with an Agility Hero? We want to hear from you! Tell us in our Skyweaver Discord community! Our community managers stream every week on Tuesdays and Fridays, so be sure to tune in at twitch.tv/skyweaverlive to catch their streams. See you in Sky!