When Magic: Legends arrives on PC, you’ll have your choice of planeswalkers with whom to begin the game. So far we’ve seen the Geomancer, the Mind Mage, and the Beastcaller. Developer Cryptic has spoken with us about the fourth planeswalker class, the Sanctifier, a ranged attack class with an affinity for white magic.
Each of the classes revealed so far is associated with one of Magic: the Gathering’s five magic colours. The Geomancer is particularly effective with destructive red magic, while the Beastcaller’s natural synergy is with green. The Sanctifier is primarily tied to white magic, and as you might expect, he’s a powerful priest whose specialties include a Divine Bolt primary ability and a secondary ability called Wave of Radiance, which sends out an expanding wave of light around the caster that hurts enemies and heals allies.
Adam Hetenyi, Magic: Legends’ principal lead designer, spoke with us about how the Sanctifier will work in combat, and it sounds as though he’ll be powerful healer on any team, but – depending on the deck you build for him – he can fit into a number of roles.
“The starter deck is, of course, mono white – that’s how we’ve done all of our starter classes, where they start with a deck that’s pretty right down the middle, really on theme,” Hetenyi said. “But it builds really well. I’ve been playing a lot of white-red, for instance, because you can make it a bit more aggressive. I play a whole bunch of little minion dudes and then keep them alive, and that’s really effective.”
The Sanctifier’s utility ability is called Salvation, which has its own unique mechanic. It’s a handy spell in just about any situation, as it regenerates the caster’s health and heals summoned minions. But each time you use the ability, you’ll also gain a stack of Devotion. When you’ve built up four of these stacks, you’ll be joined on the battlefield by an Angel, connected to you by a Lifelink.
As in the tabletop game, Lifelink heals your character as the linked character does damage, underscoring how helpful it is having angels fighting on your side and making the Sanctifier more survivable in close-in combat.
Magic: Legends is still in alpha, and Cryptic has been gathering data on how players react to its unique blend of CCG and action-RPG mechanics. Hetenyi says it’s been gratifying to see players internalise the randomly-drawn abilities in their ‘hands’ while playing what looks more like a traditional action RPG like Diablo, but that the alpha has helped the development team find ways to make the tutorialisation and onboarding process as smooth as possible.
With the reveal of the Sanctifier, we still have one big question mark on the board for when Magic: Legends heads into beta later this year: what will the black mana planeswalker be? We’re keen to find out. It’s important to remember, however, that all Planewalker classes can be paired with any Magic: Legends deck you create.
On PC, Magic: Legends will be available in open beta by the end of the year, with a full release set for some time in 2021.
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