Earlier this week, we rocked your world with revelations about mascots and their changing role for future games of Guild Ball, covering topics like Icy Sponge, VPs, cranking up Salt’s KICK, and Loved Creature. So what could be left? (If you’re already lost, you need to catch up with Mascots Part 1 and Mascots Part 2.) There’s only one last mascot mystery left to solve, and it’s the Creation character trait, of course!
In Season 2, the Creation character trait allows players such as Ratchet, Silence, and Veteran Graves to return a taken-out mascot to the game during their activation. The rule for Creation in Season 2 reads as:
Creation [Mascot’s Name]: Once per turn this model may spend  MP during its activation to remove the taken-out condition from the friendly named model and place it in base contact with full HP. The named model is not allocated Influence this turn but may activate as normal. Models created by this ability do not generate VPs.
So, this nifty trait not only let you bring your handy lil’ buddy back into the game with full health points (which means it’s likely to be spared from immediate obliteration and humiliation) but it also shut down your opponent’s greedy attempt to rob you of an activation. Clearly scarred by the walloping it received, your mascot can’t handle any Influence during its return turn. But that trauma did have an upside. Returned mascots cease to generate VPs for your opponent, and that’s a solid incentive to spend that valuable momentum. For most coaches, this meant the returned mascots became a ‘fire and forget’ missile. And when we looked at the mascots who could be used with Creation—Mainspring, Dirge, and Vileswarm—we saw the ‘fire and forget’ approach was especially true. These mascots give the opposition a tough decision: Sure, taking them out would shut down the tactical advantage these mascots give their team—advantages like the character plays Singled Out or Rabid Animal or the Tackle results early in their playbook, advantages that are all very worth removing. But doing so would come at a cost for the opposition. Shutting down that advantage would mean suffering effects like the burning condition, damage, or losing MP.
With the updated Icy Sponge rules in Season 3, we faced a new challenge. How do you manage to give coaches an incentive to use Creation when every mascot can return to the field after being taken out? We knew we didn’t want to weaken or overpower players with Creation, and we wanted to bring out its strategic value. So we found a simple place to start: Reduce the cost of the trait. Bam! For Season 3, Creation is a Heroic Play, meaning its cost will be reduced to  MP.
Keeping the returned models at full HP would give them an advantage over the other mascots (who return at half HP), which is a great incentive. So we kept it. Activating later in the turn and starting in base-to-base contact with the model that uses Creation? That would let returned mascots return to the action straight away to apply crucial Crowding Out or Ganging Up bonuses. Yep, we kept that, too. That just left the VP generation… which we decided to tweak. For an extra dash of strategic depth, we decided to change this part of Creation. In Season 3, returned mascots will generate VPs for your opponents.
Now that you’ve got a general idea for what’s changed, let’s look at the example of Veteran Graves and Vileswarm to see exactly how this has mixed things up.
Other than Creation and the global Season 3 updates, these two Morticians didn't change. As we’ve discussed before, not all players needed adjustments. Veteran Graves and Vileswarm fell into the same category as models like Hooper; they had a defined team role they were fulfilling and they didn’t need it. But that’s not to say that changing Creation hasn’t spiced things up a bit for these two.
Now that Creation is a Heroic Play, Graves can trigger the ability after a single attack, allowing him to immediately gain a Ganging Up bonus from his second attack onwards. Whoa. That means he’s more self-sufficient and MP efficient, and his potential for damage has been ramped up! This gives coaches more incentive to use Vileswarm in tandem with Graves rather than solo as a missile. And it becomes even more interesting when you consider the returned Mascot will generate VP for their opponent. Paired together, the two offer their coaches a significant sink of potential damage for an opponent when combining Packmaster and Noxious Death alongside their native damage output. Of course, if Mortician coaches still want to use Vileswarm as a missile or to get some extra attacks out of the model, we’re sure you can find a way to allocate Vileswarm some extra Influence…
As you can see, carefully adjusting the Creation rule for Season 3 has introduced new tactical choices for coaches, which is precisely what we’ve been after. More strategic choices = more fun! Plus, Creation is now easier to use and still offers an advantage over the regular method of returning to the field. And even better, it adds in an element of risk!
That wraps up our week of mascot updates, but now it’s time to sit back and consider these changes mean to you! Has this gotten your gears turning? Are you considering new ways to use Creation? Does it alter your team composition and strategies? Be sure to let us know on our forums.