Psion and a barrier

So if my first troop has a barrier and gets skull bashed by psion, am I supposed to lose mana the first hit or should it be one hit to remove barrier and a 2nd hit to actually steal the mana.

I thought it didnt lose mana until the barrier is removed but I have a few guild mates notice that the he was stealing mana while under the protection of a barrier.

I’ll pay more attention now on to see if it happens to me, does this happen to anyone else and is it working as intended?

I think it work as intended, if you use korvash, he will also drain the mana if a troop got barrier

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Barrier protects you from damage, but in general can’t protect you from things that aren’t damage.

For example, “destroy armor” effects can and will ignore Barrier, or Mang would be a lot less useful in Invasions. You can still burn, stun, silence, etc. enemies if they have a Barrier. I can’t remember if “steal life” works through a barrier, but if it did I wouldn’t be surprised.


The stipulation of psion is that the trait is dependent on his dealing skull damage (korvash is entirely different as his is not a trait). That’s why psion can’t steal mana if he is entangled. So, when dealing damage to a barrier, this keeps the troop from actually receiving any damage, as the barrier takes damage, not the troop.

“Barrier protects a troop from a single piece of incoming damage.” So damage is not actually dealt to the troop, but to the barrier, which then goes away. But psion steals my mana, barrier or not, when running my usual pvp team. So it’s not something that has happened once or twice, it always steals when there’s barrier.


If he match +4 skulls he will still drain

That’s true, because 1 damage will get through. But if he’s not tangled, and you’re barriered, and his damage hits your barrier, it shouldn’t steal your mana, but it does. If a barrier “protects a troop” then that should mean the troop does not actually receive any damage, the barrier does. So maybe I’m wrong, but it seems to me that only one skull hit to a troop that has barrier, psion shouldn’t be able to steal their mana, as his trait is dependent on dealing skill damage to the troop.

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Ah, I always get confused with Psion and think people are talking about the ability.

For the skull damage, I think it makes the most sense for Psion to do the same thing when Entangled or hitting an enemy with Barrier. I don’t really care which of the implementations is done, but it’s sensible that they are both the same.

I suppose you could argue:

Well, when Entangled you can’t attack thus no attempt to deal skull damage is made. When hitting a Barrier, you can attack but the damage is absorbed, thus side effects happen.

I feel that’s convoluted, so here’s another question that might be helpful: What do other “on skull damage” traits do when the target has Barrier? Hellcat comes to mind.

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I notice if the silent one hits my top troop with skull damage and I have a barrier on that troop, I lose the barrier and no status effect is applied.

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Interesting, I haven’t caught that yet, I dont come across him too often and I have VoO at the bottom and usually shrug it off. But that’s a good point!

Nope. If his effective attack is 0, he won’t drain. This is also why barrier or dodging doesn’t save you from the draining effect - its conditions are that attack is > 0 and any number of skulls are matched with Psion in front and the trait active. This is the only “on skull hit” effect in the game that works like this - every skull status application trait applies if they are in front, skulls were matched, and damage was dealt (even if to armor) - this means that barrier or dodging or match 3s that don’t deal damage will prevent you from getting statused; while every other “proc” effect (eg., assassinate, bullseye, voracious) will trigger any time skulls are matched with the troop in front (they don’t care if you dodge or have 0 attack, but barrier interacts in its own way with each depending on the effect).

Its a pet peeve inconsistency that I keep bringing up that I wish there was a least differing text to differentiate the three different types of skull hit triggers (four, or five if you count the “buff” ones like Courage and Draakulis).


Well you should try again cause it drain on 4+ gems and same for the silenced one, he will silence on 4+gems when entangled same for any status effect on skulls

The only way he can’t drain is when you reduce attack to 0 but if you match 4+ gems he will still deal 1 damage and still drain and remove barrier

Yeah, the whole thing is that damage has to get through to the troop, so on a 4+ entangled, 1 damage will get through. That’s why the bizz with barrier is ridiculous.

And it will be worst with doomskulls since even if entangled they will deal 5 damages

Same as it has always been - Psion matching 4 skulls when entangled does not trigger the drain. There is no trait flash. Psion is clearly not stunned here and he has all three traits. Recorded this five minutes ago on the current version of the game.

As I said, status application traits work differently. Psion’s is the only skull trait that cares about attack score - status applications care about damage is dealt from skulls (therefore won’t trigger past barrier, won’t trigger through dodge, and will trigger on match 4+ with 0 effective attack) and the other proc types don’t care what your attack score is or whether you dealt damage (they will trigger regardless before damage is even rolled, then interact with dodge or barrier depending on the type used - eg., a Bullseye from a single skull match will be blocked by barrier and should be able to be dodged.) Then we have the two “buff” types - they will trigger either while the user is in the first spot and matches skulls, or while the user is in any spot and skulls are matched (eg., Courage vs Draakulis), but these are usually differentiated but still ambiguous (Draakulis/Warlord “when I deal skull damage” does not require actual damage to be dealt but requires them to be in front vs “on skull gem matches” trait from Courage/Maw triggers with them in any position.)

This is something I keep bringing up - traits and spells really at least need description passes so you can easily tell what they do.

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HMmm maybe different on console? I will try to test it again later when i get home

@Slypenslyde: barrier protects troops from losing life to “steal life” spells. The casting troop still gains life even though none was lost, however. Ask me about my experience defeating a Draakulis that gain 240 life from 20 mana and there was nothing I could do to prevent it!

More often than not. People blame the loss of barrier and Mana on Psion. When in all actuality it was most likely Famine or Death who’s third trait removed the barrier before Psion did its skull damage.


No that was not the case, as I was the one who brought it up in guild chat. My normal pvp team I run all the time is Gor, db, inf, VoO. So I’m always on the watch, a void letting psion skull hit me even when barriered because it takes it. I was just curious as to why barrier wouldn’t block the mana drain as no damage should get through to the troop. Idk.

You know what would help here? A game log.

Other games have it. It’s a little window that shows everything that’s happened in the match up to this point. So you can take a screenshot to prove what happened. That way we might see something like:

Opponent’s turn! Famine drains ?? {stat} from {troop}.
Opponent matched 3 skulls!
Opponent Psion attacked for ?? damage, draining ?? mana.

Since it spells everything out it can help erase questions about what happened, or at least prove certain interactions might be bugged.


This is so unintuitive. Instead of having uniform rules that apply to every troop with “do X on skull damage” trait, we have to memorize the way each troop interacts.
Forest Troll cannot entagle you through Barrier? Wow, cool!
Now, in my GW battle, I cast the DB, take that Psion! Haha!
AI matches skulls