Summary: Yet another post about Infinity Wars. As in commander mechanics, this time I focus on another relatively unique aspect of game, called “Morale.”
What is Morale?
In addition to classic method of TCG i.e. take opponent’s life point down to 0, Infinity wars has second player parameter, which is called Morale. And you guessed right, if you take opponent’s Morale down to 0, you can also win a game.
There are couple ways to take Morale down (at least for now).
1. As the character destroyed, the owner of the character loses Morale equals to the cost of Character.
2. If you cannot draw a card i.e. library is empty, you lose 10 Morale.
Morale = Alternative Win
Alternative win is type of deck classified under Combo Archetype. These are basically simply type of decks shooting for non-classical method of winning games. For example, in Yu Gi Oh, there were cards called Exodia. When all five of Exodia cards are in your hand, it becomes instant win. In Magic, there were mechanism called “poison counter” in one of relatively recent set. When “poison counter” becomes 10, you lose a game.
These are interesting concept, and certain player definitely enjoyed a challenge and created new types of deck. However, only very specific cards could really perform this and therefore, once the set rotated out, these were no longer a choice.
On the contrary, Infinity Wars is taking very interesting approach by creating this second parameter Morale, which is part of game at its basis thus will be there forever. So from the get go, you will see people targeting for Morale attack i.e. Alt Win decks.
Games as in Magic, Eye of Judgment when library becomes empty you can also lose game. So some player shoot for such, and these are called “deck out” decks. Since the player lose 10 Morale every card he/she cannot draw due to deck out, and there are only 60 total Morale, it is perfectly feasible (in theory) for players to attempt winning game by deck out.
Real Control Deck
Personally, more interesting part is that Morale concept directly provides board control benefit. “Control” is frequently used term in the game of TCG and sometimes there is subjective definition. But generally speaking, you control board and by this typically means continue to destroy opponent’s characters from the board i.e. he/she cannot do anything to damage you (except direct attack spell). In the other TCG as in Shadow Era, Magic, this condition is not direct way of winning game but just a step/path to the victory. If opponent cannot damage you, even your wimpiest, character can eventually take your opponent life away as long as enough turns are provided.
In Shadow Era, people tends to use term control whenever people attempt to hinder opponent’s ally (character) build up on the board. This is almost 100% true as in Shadow Era, one can easily get out of control if you get 2-3 allies behind. So when I came up with classification system with discussion on Shadow Era forum members, I decided to use modifier such as Aggro Archetype High beat deck with Control Element. Others simply called Control-Aggro, Control-Combo etc. And not surprisingly, if we followed the concept of board control, pretty much every deck in Shadow Era had to be called Control.
But again, my argument for people classifying such way is that “controlling” is good idea but NOT a direct method of win. Because you may be able to keep opponent’s ally(character) zero on board. But if that’s just the case, you won’t win the game because no damage is done to opponent health until you hit your opponent player.
With this long explanation, basically I am trying to state that Morale parameter in Infinity Wars creates unprecedented real board control deck. Because as you control board by attempting/focusing on destroying opponent’s characters, you take away his/her Morale points. So not you only gaining control on the board, but you are directly damaging him/her to allow you win the game.
Again, there is a huge potential with this. For instance, one can imagine creating cards such that you actually summon character to opponent’s zone, and destroy it so you can take his/her morale.
With future expansion, Morale can be used in so many different ways. For example, you can think of it as magic point in RPG. Casting strong spell require use of Morale i.e. limiting number of those card.
Morale is yet another interesting concept/mechanics in the Infinity Wars. Just taking this parameter alone, we can potentially see so many different way of playing with appropriate additions of cards.