Recently, I had the privilege of taking the lead in designing the newest set of cards for the Mega Man Trading Card Game. The set is called Classic Set 5, and it is based on the fifth game in the classic Mega Man video game series. I’m now posting some Design Journal articles that will discuss some of my process in creating these new cards for the game, and offer previews of some of the new cards. This is the fourth of those articles. In the first article I talked about building synergies among minions. In the second article I talked about expanding the “Marked” and “Trap” mechanics. The third article previewed one of the most iconic bosses from the game. In this final preview of Classic Set 5 we’ll be looking at one more character card that is both new to this set, and breaks a long standing precedent.
The first set of cards for the Mega Man TCG was distributed in five different packs. One pack featured Mega Man (Set Classic 1, #1) himself. Another pack featured the nefarious Dr. Wily (Set Classic 1, #8). Each of the three remaining packs contained two of the six robot masters from the very first Mega Man video game.
The next three sets of cards were released in similar fassion, except that the video games they were based on each featured eight robot masters so the sets were distributed with four packs containing two robot masters each. In these sets, the fifth pack of cards would feature a single, more powerful character.
When Classic Set 5 is distributed this weekend, it will once again be distributed in five packs of cards. As with the last three sets, four of those packs will contain two robot masters each. However, instead of the fifth pack containing a single, more powerful character, it will contain four new characters that work together.
Bringing Dark Man to Light
In Mega Man 5, Dr. Wily frames Proto Man for the abduction of Dr. Light. To do so he uses a new robot creation of his called Dark Man. In the course of the game you battle four variations of Dark Man, each an individual robot with some variations on a theme. Dark Man 4 (Set Classic 5, #12) is the most powerful of the Dark Men.
As with all of the Dark Men, Dark Man 4 has a Cost of 1, a Power of 6, an Armor of 2 and a Speed of 1. He has a new keyword: Dark Man. Characters with the Dark Man keyword get you only 1 Resource Point when they Focus, instead of 2. The Dark Men also have the Wily affiliation, putting some limits on who they can be teamed with.
Dark Man 4 has 3 abilities. Basically, on his turn he can use an action to place 1 card from your hand facedown underneath him (maximum 1). While that card is there, he can’t be targeted by basic attacks, making him a rather defensive unit in spite of his low Armor. When he performs a basic attack, you can discard that card to give Dark Man 4 +3 Power on the attack and upgrade the attack to a special attack.
The other three Dark Men have different abilities, but all of them have this balance between defensive and offensive abilities. One of them can perform a counter attack when hit by a basic attack. One of them can gain Armor Tokens. Another one can prevent a unit that attacks him from refreshing. As you can see, with good use of these abilities, you can make it difficult for your opponent to find an easy target among your team.
One of the key advantages to using the Dark Men, is that you can field so many characters on the same team. Even with all four of them in play, you still have room on your team for any of a considerable number of characters that have a Cost of 2. You could even team the four Dark Men with another two characters that each have a Cost of 1. Your options would be somewhat limited, but the result would be an exceptional six actions from your characters each round. A new territory card also opens up further possibilities, thanks to the Dark Men’s Wily affiliation. Any way you cut it, four Dark Men push the boundaries of what can be done with team structure.
I hope you enjoyed all of these previews. I really enjoyed developing the cards for the new set. I look forward to their release this weekend, when they’ll see immediate play in their first tournament. Until then, good gaming!