The way the Watcher bends the rules in Slay the Spire is delightful

February 13, 2020
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I’ve been playing the new Watcher character in Slay the Spire and it’s a delight. New characters are a real moment in Slay the Spire because it doesn’t get them very often. The Defect, the one before this, came out a year ago. There are only four characters in the game.

The Watcher ups the complexity and getting to grips with it is like learning a new game. You know the rudiments but it doesn’t work in the same way. The Watcher relies on stances and moving in and out of them to trigger effects. Wrath stance doubles your damage, which is amazing, but it doubles the damage you take, too, which is not so amazing. Calm stance, meanwhile, gives you two valuable blobs of energy when you exit it. There’s also Divinity, a third stance, but it’s a special occasion ability. It grants three energy and triple damage, but you need 10 Mantra to use it and it only lasts one turn.

A new suite of cards powers all of this. At the heart of them are Miracles, zero-cost cards which grant you a blob of energy and then vanish. Then, there are cards to move in and out of stances, and cards to build Mantra, cards to Scry (sort through your draw pile) and cards to Retain (keep cards between rounds). They’re the basics.

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