While the mystic historians of the purple faction look to the past, another part of the Vortoss culture is about looking to the future. The prospect of building newer and better technology drives engineers like Vir Garbarean, purple’s Future hero.
Vir can see a little bit into the future by knowing the next card that you’ll draw. For just 1 gold, he can realize that future by putting the card in your hand (at the cost of losing another card). When he reaches level 5, he can do even better by allowing you to play the future card without even putting it in your hand first. That saves you 1 gold, but it also saves you losing a card. You’ll be able to play one extra card per turn this way without reducing your card draw. (In Codex, towards the end of your turn you discard your hand, and draw however many cards you discarded plus 2, but capped at 5.)
At max level, Vir gets a ridiculous 6/7 mech token that’s untargetable...but it’s forecasted. He’ll get that mech 2 turns later. Vir is a pretty great engineer, and this monster of a mech is proof of that!
The forecast mechanic involves units from the future arriving in our time. Here’s a purple starting deck card that has forecast:
A 2 cost 4/4 is way too powerful for a starting deck card, but Plasmodium starts off in the future and takes some time to get synced up with our timeline. Once the strange beast arrives though it gives you a lot of beatdown power.
You can speed up your forecasts by finding some way to remove time runes, such as this purple starting deck spell:
You can also use Time Spiral to add time runes to your fading units to keep them from fading away so fast, and you can even add them to Present tech II's Tricycloid so he can fire his time cannons more, but the most powerful use is probably in speeding up your forecasts. Here’s another way to do that:
Tinkerer loves playing with new technology. His ability to add or a remove a time rune is so powerful, that he really is a must-kill unit. It might not look like much to spend 2 gold for a 1/2 at first, but your opponents can’t let you activate him turn after turn so playing him really forces them to respond.
Vir Garbarean’s spells show his mastery of technology. He can use this advanced cloaking field:
This powerful spell lets any unit or hero (it works on heroes!) slip past patrollers. The invisibility effect even lasts until your next turn, so you can use it to make something untargetable and unattackable by your opponents for a turn, too.
There aren’t many ways to destroy an upgrade in Codex. Dealing with ongoing spells and building cards can be tough too. Midori can trash unnatural things with Nature Reclaims, but Vir Garbarean can do even better: he incorporates the opponent’s technology into his own. Remember red’s Firehouse building and Bloodburn upgrade? Blue’s Censorship Council building or white’s Mythmaking upgrade? You can Assimilate all of that and more.
Vir also shows his mastery of the Future with:
He can pay for the here and now with gold from the future, but you can’t violate the inegrity of the timeline or you lose the game (and also destroy the universe). Promise of Payment is best used with something really expensive. That way, you’re getting a big threat one turn before you’d normally be able to. That’s what the Future spec is all about, allowing you control over the timing of your offense and defense.
This ultimate spell lets you take an extra turn, which if you’ve ever played a card game before, you know is totally crazy. You probably don’t need me to list the ways you can use an extra turn to do ridiculous things, so I’ll leave that to your imagination. Just keep in mind that it’s a very expensive spell. You’ll need your hero to be max level, which is already a total of 8 gold for Vir (2 to summon, 6 more gold to level to max) and then Double Time costs 6, so that’s 14 gold total and then you still have to wait for the spell to resolve. But when it does, oh my, that will be your sweet day.
As a general rule for ultimate spells, you need to have your Future hero in play at the start of your turn and already max level in order to cast this. Then it’s forecasted and you’ll have to wait a few turns to get it (though probably you’ll cheat it in pretty fast with some sort of time rune nonsense). Your Future hero does NOT need to still be in play when this spell finally resolves, only when you initially play it to the future.
Now let’s look at some Future tech I units.
This is a tricky card to play. Forecast generally lets you trade tempo at one point in time for another. Here, you’re spending a card and getting no additional patrollers in the early game. That’s a big drawback and you’ll need some other form of defense (which luckily the purple starting deck is pretty good at providing). If you can suffer through a bit of tempo disadvantage, you get a huge boost later with a 4/4 for 0 gold. 0 gold is really amazing here and that he has resist 1 is even better because he can end up making your opponent spend even more gold to get rid of the thing you paid 0 gold to produce.
Gilded Glaxx is a much different unit. A 3/4 for 3 gold is generally very powerful at tech I in Codex. So if you’re willing to pay 3 in the early game (which can be a little tough), you get a really solid unit. His ability is unique in that it makes him immune to all sorts of stuff that works on other units. As long as you have any unspent gold, no one can kill him with red’s burn damage or white's Shurriken Hail or purple’s bounce effects like Undo or even Ebbflow Archon’s. Don’t forget Necromancy’s Doom Grasp spell, one of the best removal cards around, but it won’t work on Glided Glaxx if you have just one extra gold laying around.
Notice that these two tech I cards are the opposite ends of the gold cost spectrum for tech I cards. One is free, and the other is 3 gold, which is high for a tech I. This reflects Future’s theme of helping you choose your timings and shift your resources across time. If you don’t have much gold now, you can still be powerful later (forecasted units are inexpensive, but powerful). If you do have gold now, you can pay a lot and get something that’s unusually technologically advanced.
The tech II units follow that same pattern. Here’s an inexpensive one with forecast:
An untargetable 9/7 is totally crazy. And he costs 2 gold?? The catch is that forecast 6 means you either have to wait a really long time, or you have to spend a bunch of other resources to speed up the process. That gives you a ton of flexibility though. You do have to pay for this enormous unit one way or another, but it doesn’t have to be directly with gold.
You won’t have to wait quite so long for a Reaver. Reavers are terrifying because of their splash damage. They may be slow moving, but they fire energy bombs with a big enough blast radius to kill TWO workers or even TWO units and/or heroes. Just to clarify, a single Reaver shot is capable of dealing 6 damage to a hero and 6 damage to a unit, all in one activation. Or 6 damage to two different units, etc. If you need to dominate the battlefield, Reavers will let you. If you already have a handle on that, the tempo gain from killing 2 workers per turn will become unbeatable really fast.
Future tech II also has really powerful units without forecast. One colossal unit can walk over anything that would get in its way and shoots lasers all over the place in the process. But I want to bring your attention to the Future’s airships.
Void Stars deal so much damage that they can destroy a tech I, II, or III building in one attack. Remember that flying is very powerful in Codex, and that fliers can usually attack ground units and heroes without even getting hit back. Void Stars can also charge up their beam cannons to do a whopping 9 damage. That’s so much damage that you can use them as finishers to demolish your opponent’s base.
While Void Stars are amazing, they can only attack one thing at a time. Enter, Hive:
Hives are enormous airships that carry many smaller Stinger units inside. They deploy 5 of these 1/1 Stingers when they arrive. Spreading out your attack power can help a lot in some cases. You could kill 5 1/1 frogs or something in one turn and still have all your Stingers. You could patrol a bunch of Stingers to clog up the airways for opposing fliers. You could kill a hero with 4 hit points and not waste the 5th point of damage as overkill (have the 5th Stinger attack something else).
Hive is also a pretty durable threat. Losing individual Stingers isn’t a big deal, and you can replace them for just 1 gold each. Opponents really need to destroy your Hive itself, rather than the Stingers; Stingers can’t function without the coordination from the Hive command ship. A Hive has 6 hit points though, 2 more than a Void Star, so it's tough to kill. Hives also have resist 1, which makes them cost more to target.
Both of these airships are expensive to use. Hive’s effect stacks if you have a second one, so you might even want 2 Hives so you can have a whopping 10 Stingers, but that costs a total of 12 gold and 2 cards in addition to having to build your Future tech II building. That said, remember that your Future hero has the Promise of Payment spell. You can promise to pay for a Hive or two even a turn sooner than you can actually pay for it, then the opponent is faced with taking down an armada they probably aren’t prepared for.
With such air superiority, you might be wondering why you should bother going to tech III with Future. These tech IIs are certainly capable of winning the game, so you don’t have to reach to tech III. In general, the jump in power to tech III can help you break any stalemates that might have developed, and it can reduce the number of turns you need to win. In this specific case though, your tech III can help you cover what might be a weakness of your gameplan.
One potential problem with an air superiority strategy is that you’re basically engaging in a race. You have to be sure to actually win that race. You can fly over enemy patrollers, but they can also attack under your fliers. If your opponent has particularly strong ground units, or if they can easily kill some of your units, they might end up winning that race.
Here’s something that can change that math:
The moment a Nebula arrives, it can fire its powerful death beam (which costs 0!) to take out the opponent’s best tech II. That alone gives you some breathing room and might have bought you a turn. You’ll continue to destroy their best unit each turn too, so this really slows down their side of the race, while adding 7 flying damage per turn to your side. You also get Nebula’s awesome cloaking field. Though Nebula itself isn’t invisible, all your other units are. Opponents won’t be able to target or attack any of them unless they have a detector. A timely use of Nebula can shut off the opponent’s only hope for a comeback.
The Future is full of amazing new technology and untold power. The Future comes to those who wait, and also to those who cheat it into play with time rune antics.