I give you my armchair developer idea for the next Dawnbringer, appropriately named Duskender. But first we need the weapons that will forge together to create it.
With Dawnbringer, you’re combining two artifacts: a Shattered Blade and a Broken Guard and then a piece of jewellery, a Dawnstone, to create a Sword. I didn’t want to copy this exact mechanism because that’s kind of boring. Instead I came up with a Hammer, Bow, and Tome, and Duskender will be a Shield.
The Hammer is Brown, named Dawn’s End. Deal (Magic + 5) heavy splash damage to an enemy. Gain (Magic + 4) Armor, boosted by Dwarf and Construct Allies (5x). It features the upgrades Armored (+4 Armor), Shielding (Barrier), Mountainous (Destroy 3 random brown gems), and Stunned (stun first enemy).
Like Shattered Blade, Dawn’s End does some AoE damage and relies on specific troop types to boost its damage output. I also liked the idea of having a Hammer that can sustain you.
Next is the Green Bow, named Twin Arrows. Deal (Magic + 3) damage to the last two enemies. If there are 13 or more Green Gems, deal double damage. It features the upgrades Striking (5 damage to first enemy), Treacherous (5 damage to last enemy), Primal (destroy 3 random green gems), and Tangling.
One thing that Shattered Blade and Broken Guard had were the upgrades Cold and Hot. These destroyed 1 blue and 1 red gem. I’m not sure if destroying 3 (Mountainous and Primal) is too much, so maybe those should be Stone and Forest instead.
Last is the Purple Tome, Duskstone. Destroy a row and column. Curse a random enemy for each purple gem destroyed, then steal [(Magic / 8) + 1] Magic from all enemies. It has the upgrades Wraithlike (steal 1 magic from first enemy), Leeching (steal 2 mana from first enemy), Webbed (web first enemy), and Afflicted (apply a random negative effect to first enemy).
Dawn’s End is all about huge targeted damage, with a little sustain from armor that is boosted by dwarves/constructs. Twin Arrows is about hitting stealthy stuff hiding in the back row. Duskstone is about generating mana and weakening your enemies.
Combined we have the Shield, Duskender: Deal (Magic + 4) damage to the first enemy, boosted by Green Allies and Enemies (5x). Curse all enemies. If there are 13 or more Purple Gems, gain 10 Life and Armor. The upgrades are Armored (+4 Armor), Vital (+4 Life), Healing (Give all allies 2 Life), Gifted (+1 to all skills), and Mass Curing (cleanse all allies).
The shield is about striking your first opponent hard. You lose out on the splash damage and double damage from the other weapons, and you don’t get to steal magic of course, but you do get more sustain if conditions are met.
The costs of course would be identical for all the weapons to their counterparts, with the exception being that Garnets, Emeralds, and Amethysts are used instead.