Chief Helm Protector

Saolkam Royals

Name: Safira
AKA: None
Occupation: Chief Helm Protector
Species: Human
Gender: Female
Age: 37
Height: 5'9"
Faction: Dymaer Royals
Loyalty: Royal Navy, Saolkam
Enemies: Gull Pirates, Elena
Combat Method: Magic, Rapier
Magics: Water
Affiliations: Galley Captain , Mage of the Tides

About

An accomplished member of the Navy, this Helm Protector received recognition and admiration from Saolkam civilians for her unwavering persistence and code of honour. Using her prowess in manipulating the ocean waves, she specialises in warding off enemies in droves as well as keeping a watchful and considerate eye over her crew. She's remarkably nimble, able to maneuver around allied ships with ease to assist from the sidelines, and attempt to hold up sinking ships to give the sailors just enough time to evacuate.

It can easily be said that praise for her heroic deeds has gotten to her head somewhat- her overly confident and optimistic nature as well as her showboating has earned the dislike of some more traditional Royals who find her methods intrusive and distracting.

Rulings

  • Safira can target herself with her own ability.
  • The ability can only be used during the Strategy Step, as Combat and Strategy Cards are being played. Once any card has been flipped, including Preparation Cards, her ability can no longer be activated.
  • The damage can only prevent a total of double X damage, and does not prevent that damage equally from individual sources. For example, if double X is 5 and the target is hit for 2 before combat, 4 combat damage and 1 after combat, then the 2 will be prevented, then 3 of the combat damage will be prevented, leaving the target taking 1 combat damage and the 1 damage after combat.
  • She prevents damage from both combat and non-combat, as well as all three combat types equally.
  • Safira's ability can be played more than once during the same combat and can target both Heroes involved.

Design

Safira is one of the Heroes that absolutely transformed. We designed her slightly top-down at first with the intention of her being an "anti-nuker", something that could survive taking huge damage and would essentially ignore her own defeat if she had high enough health when it happened, forcing opponents to chip at her slowly and leave her in play longer.

Although this is an ability I'd be interested in revisiting in the future, it just wasn't one we could really work out or balance. She struggled to effectively defeat heroes while also surviving, and getting her threshold right was horrible because she'd either be too weak and die normally anyway, or just be absolutely impossible to kill because she could force extra damage on herself if she was low.

So we changed her entirely, into something that could change the flow of the game at her own will. We wanted to keep the kind of idea that she could push the game away from her and keep herself alive long if she felt like it, but in a more interesting way, by allowing her to forcibly shuffle enemy Heroes away from the game and bring out new ones. The idea was that she could wash away problem heroes and be presented with new ones. However, the ability felt too situational and restrictive in most cases, and at the end of the game basically read "heal the other Hero".

So she was the victim of another drastic change, and become what she is now, able to confer protection across the board to whomever the player feels should stay alive slightly longer. It also made sure that she would be one of the heroes that could survive long late game and aim for sole survivor, and allowed her a unique opportunity to protect vulnerable heroes so that she may snipe them herself.

Artwork