New status effect: Forced Mana Color

This is inspired by an indie game I played in the past few months (where it was one of a few central mechanics), but I think it could make an useful addition to Gems of War:

I don’t know what it would be called, but this would be a Status Effect that temporarily changes a Troop’s Mana Colors.

  • When inflicted on a Troop, that Troop changes to a single Mana Color only. (additional UI effects may be needed to help identify when this is in play – e.g. maybe the Mana Orb changes to Black but the Mana number itself changes to the target color)
  • For all in-battle intents and purposes a Troop with this effect is treated the same as a Troop of that Color normally – e.g. a Troop changed to Yellow effect will receive bonus damage from Visk’s spellcast, and so on.
  • This would NOT impact Daily/Campaign Tasks outside the battle itself – a (normally) Purple troop would count towards “Purple Slayer” even if this effect changed it to a different color mid-battle.
  • By design, there should be no Traits to block this effect directly; it can be blocked by “Invulnerable”, certainly, but may be allowed to ignore Impervious (similar to Curse, Mana Drain, and Transform).
  • Spells can either change a Troop’s Mana Color to a fixed Mana Color (as stated in the spell’s description), or a random Mana Color. In the latter case, the applied color will not be one of the Troop’s normal Mana Colors (if possible) – e.g. a Red+Yellow Troop under this effect will have their Mana Color changed randomly to either Green, Blue, Purple, or Brown (but never Red or Yellow), while a Troop of all six colors will receive a single color at random.
  • The effect does not cleanse automatically (debatable, change my mind?), and instead expires upon spellcast … or if manually Cleansed (by spell, trait, or Medal of Orpheus).

This could also technically have applications as a buff for allies, but I think inflicting it on foes (as a status ailment) is the more useful case for it:

  • By design, inflicting this on a Troop denies them their usual Mana Colors (if possible) and can leave them potentially mana-locked behind allies. Even if they are a six-color Troop, temporarily restricting them to only a single color can be very powerful against certain team compositions.
  • There can be passive Traits to cause this effect automatically (e.g. when inflicting Skull damage, matching 4+ Gems, etc). Certain Troops whose Spells cause this effect can also be Empowered, giving the player an option to cause it on turn 1.

In particular this could add a new response for meta-dominating looping team strategies. After all, the complaint about Chalcedony (Seekra/Todd/etc) teams isn’t how the right team composition floods the board with a single color Gem, but how the color in question is the caster’s own color, allowing them to instantly re-cast it without giving the opponent a turn to do literally anything about it. (Remember – you can’t spell “counterplay” without “play”!) Contrast how Wild Plains has the Weapon “Ragereaver” which does basically the same thing (deal damage and create 4 Red Gems + 3 more per Tauros ally) EXCEPT that it doesn’t create Gems of its own color (the weapon is Blue+Brown and creates Red Gems).