Dungeon: Gem Dragons need new teams badly

(If you noticed the very high edit counter at the top, that’s because I kept updating this post with new research, error corrections, etc.)

On one hand, I like the new bosses in the new Dungeon mode.

BUT.

It’s pretty obvious the Gem Dragons were literally just copy-pasted into the previous Mega-Boss team with almost NO consideration for how that team actually functions in battle or how changing one key troop might make (or break!) the resulting battle.

The previous teams were hand-crafted to fit various themes. The new Gem Dragon teams are just … copypasta. And in a few cases, BAD copypasta.

So here’s my take on all seven teams in turn (with added emphasis on the bad teams):

Monday, Sapphirax

Analysis
  • Ice Golem (Blue/Brown)
  • Valkyrie (Red/Yellow)
  • Snow Guardian (Green/Brown)
  • Eternal Queen Mab Sapphirax (Blue/Purple/Yellow)

This might actually be an improvement! Sapphirax has all of Mab’s colors before it (plus Yellow), while Valkyrie prioritizes two Mana colors to generate Blue Mana which triggers the dragon’s third trait (albeit it doesn’t flow directly to it; Purple does). I do miss the tension of seeing your team constantly get Frozen by Mab’s third trait, but it’s not a bad team for the start of each new week and Sapphirax fits the theme.

Tuesday, Emeraldrin

  • Fenrir (Green/Blue)
  • Forest Troll (Blue/Brown)
  • Wargare Totem (Green/Brown)
  • Eternal Wulfgarok Emeraldrin (Green, Blue, Purple)

The new lineup isn’t … bad, but it’s not good either. Emeraldrin actually LOSES the team one Mana color (Red) compared to Eternal Wulfgarok before it, Wargare Totem is still Mana Locked same as before, but at least then it had the ability to put Barrier on the boss (so while you had some ability to just ignore it, you couldn’t keep doing so forever).

Forest Troll is absolutely a good pick, but Wargare Totem is weakened by the switch AWAY from a third Wargare troop so it probably just needs to go. And if it’s not on the team then Fenrir needs to go too, because he can’t tank Skull damage (he’s a healer/buffer specializing in Beast teams).

Wednesday, Rubirath
One day later, the copypasta gets worse:

  • Gorgotha (Yellow/Brown)
  • Green Slime (Blue/Green)
  • Dark Troll (Red/Brown)
  • Eternal Elemaugrim Rubirath (Red/Yellow/Brown)

So where’s the problem? Two, actually:

  • Green Slime and Dark Troll are Purple Mana generators on a team with NO Purple Mana users. Previously they played key roles in enabling Eternal Elemaugrim to cast quickly and often (Purple flowed directly to it), but now all they do is harmlessly disrupt the board with an UNUSED Mana color while occasionally generating Extra Turns.

  • Rubirath (Red+Yellow+Brown) is Mana Locked behind Gorgotha (Yellow+Brown) and Dark Troll (Red+Brown). At higher levels this is mitigated somewhat by Gorgotha being a powerful exploder (able to charge all other allies in sequence, including Rubirath) but if you can keep Gorgotha in check, all Rubirath can do is sit there and wait to get sniped by a manual-target spell.

Fortunately for our new red burninator, this team’s actually super fixable super fast: Just replace Dark Troll with Flame Troll.

(Analysis of why it works)

The team lineup, and Mana flow, becomes:

  • Gorgotha (Yellow/Brown)
  • Green Slime (Blue/Green)
  • Flame Troll (Blue/Purple)
  • Rubirath (Red+Yellow+Brown)

Green Slime’s Purple Mana conversion now feeds directly into Flame Troll, who in turn generates Red Mana for Rubirath (activating its third trait). This would give Rubirath approximately the same threat level as Eternal Elemaugrim had before it.

Also, Flame Troll fits the “fire dungeon” theming better anyway. (There was a REASON you saw it so often in Broken Spire’s questline…!)


Thursday, Topasarth

Analysis
  • Archon Statue (Green/Brown)
  • High Paladin (Red/Blue)
  • Mercy (Green/Blue)
  • Eternal Gaard’s Avatar Topasarth (Yellow/Green/Brown)

Mercy may be Mana Locked but that’s mooted by Empowered, and synergizes with Topasarth’s Yellow Mana (color and trait). Topasarth is, unfortunately, not a True Damage dealer like Eternal Gaard’s Avatar before it (who with enough Yellow Gem matches could become capable of wiping your party in just one cast) so while this team isn’t bad, it is ultimately a small step down from its previous lineup.

Friday, Amethialas

Analysis
  • Gorgotha (Yellow/Brown)
  • Nyx (Purple/Green)
  • Dark Troll (Red/Brown)
  • Eternal Death Amethialas (Red/Blue/Purple)

Barely any different, but … not bad, either! Amethialas actually has the same Mana colors as Eternal Death before it, but now you don’t have the tension of that third trait to worry about. (Or Death Mark…)

Note the return of Gorgotha and Dark Troll as a pair, except here their Mana generation actually works in the dragon’s favor. Although Purple doesn’t flow to the dragon directly, it at least powers Nyx who creates Blue Mana that does.

Saturday, Garnetaerlin
This team is ALSO a “bad copypasta” and simply does not compare to the old boss team. At all:

  • Eternal Stonehammer Garnetaerlin (Red/Green/Brown)
  • Dwarven Slayer (Red/Yellow)
  • Apothecary (Blue/Green)
  • King Highforge (Red/Brown)

So what’s the problem? Only that the previous boss team was LITERALLY DEFINED by the presence of Eternal Stonehammer (and in lead position):

  • Unique 100% Skull damage reduction (only ever receives 1 damage, even when Archer class’s “Bullseye” triggers)
  • Immune to Stun (i.e. cannot bypass Skull reduction without a Curse+Stun or Berserk)
  • Unique trait giving ALL Dwarf troops (i.e. the whole team including himself) 50% starting Mana for quicker casts
  • Eternal Stonehammer’s spell massively disrupts the board and often looped right back into itself (because lead position) with extra turns, resulting in successive casts yielding a massive Life buff while your team is constantly being Stunned and Burned. Freezing him was often a necessity just to get a turn of your own.

Garnetaerlin possesses NONE of those features.

Yes, the dragon is at least first in line for all of its Mana colors but “Gem Scales” is no “Mega-Unbreakable” (it’s not even “Ice Armor”) and the Gem Dragons’ unique traits aren’t so valuable when they’re literally the first troop in line to go down.

Additionally, King Highforge is now Mana Locked behind Garnetaerlin, when he was previously Mana Locked behind only Dwarven Slayer (a situation which always resolved itself quickly).

Plus, this team also has a major thematic problem per the generally implied animosity between Dragons and Dwarves. For the love of Emperina, this team needs to be thrown out and rebuit from scratch.

Sunday, Diamantina
This team … uh, functions? But there’s a reason it isn’t a compliment:

  • Sir Snothelm (Green/Blue)
  • Boar Rider (Purple/Green)
  • Goblin Rocket (Red/Yellow)
  • Eternal Nobend Brothers Diamantina (six colors, Brown especially)

Notice that Brown is the only color that flows directly to the Dragon and this team has no means of quickly generating any extra Mana – Boar Rider only removes (not destroys) Gems, and Goblin Rocket isn’t exactly a strong Exploder.

The larger complaint is thematic: previously, Sunday was the “Dungeon of Luck” and purposely featured boss spells with RANDOM primary effects: King Mimic could collect Gold, deal damage, Devour (etc), King Mongo could … um, Mongo, and Eternal Nobend Brothers could deal damage, debuff the player team or explode the board (in addition to the Goblin signature extra turn). But why is an elusive Mythic of Dragon’s Claw hanging out with this ragtag bunch of Goblins in the first place? The Goblins don’t synergize with the Dragon or vice versa.

At least Diamantina doesn’t literally break the entire team strategy, but shouldn’t the Sunday dragon boss team be something special? Again, the previous teams were hand-crafted to fit a theme, themes which don’t (necessarily) transfer to the new Gem Dragons.

Like how about giving Diamantima an all-Dragon team of some form? (At least for that set bonus of +4 Magic.) Some ideas:

  • Divinia? (healing + Red Gem exploder + passive trait buffs)
  • Dragonian Sage? (Mana + Barrier + Enchant)
  • Essencia + Dragon Spirit? (a naturally explosive pair)
  • some kind of Skull generator (Bone Dragon? Nether Wyrm?) because almost every other boss team includes a Generator for the Gem Dragon’s preferred color (Diamantina’s “color” being skulls).

Conclusion

Sure, I generally like the aesthetic of these new Gem Dragons, but it’s really a shame to see more than one of them going down without even a chance at fighting back (…even when I’m not just one-shotting everybody with the go-to Shield of Urskaya+Paladin combo).

PS - Plus, if you can give the Gem Dragon bosses entirely new teams, then the previous “Mega-Boss” teams could be reinstated as a third Mini-boss team, with each Dungeon containing two of the three mini-bosses (chosen randomly). This would add some variety to the dungeon mode and in a way that players actually enjoy! (e.g. if today’s a Brown day, will we find King Gorgotha, King Behemoth, or King Stonehammer behind those doors?)

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I really appreciate your effort to make this game better, unfortunately this probably will fall on deaf ears because it doesn’t get them more money. And they are so lazy that even it’s just a few number changes in the team code, they won’t do it. At least they never thought of doing this obvious changes, like you said, they simply switched the boss troop without considering the team synergy at all.

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