Dead of Winter Champion Update

Jan 9, 2018

Hi all! Corey Burkhart here with a development update for Dead of Winter. Things have gotten exciting as we’ve added another constructed format to our balancing sheet.

We’re looking at champions for variety in limited and constructed gameplay. Overall, we feel that the champions are mostly in the right place. You won’t see us massively changing champions as we put a lot of work into getting them right the first time, but as new data from the community comes in and more formats arise, we look to make tweaks. This mostly manifests as adjusting numbers to make sure our champions fall into a healthy place in the metagame ecosystem.

Here’s what we’re looking at for today’s update:

  • Furiko: +1 charge cost. From 7 charges to 8.
  • Soaring Talon: -1 charge cost. From 7 charges to 6; -3 health from 25 to 22.
  • Adoni-Zeddek: +1 charge cost. From 3 charges to 4.
  • Frostshaper Gorkrog: -1 charge cost. From 10 charges to 9.
  • Haraza the Incinerator: Burning Banner now reads “Troops you control have Speed.” (No longer grants your troops +1[ATK].)

Furiko is the “default” champion of choice for those playing evo sealed. If you have some solid Wild cards, you’re more than likely going to end up Furiko. When you have a “default” option like that, it’s not exciting as a player or as an opponent. We want choice and variety in our games.

Furiko’s power lies in its ability to take over the game on 7 charges (sometimes before turn 7 with cards like Palm of Granite). We’re looking to push that window back slightly where Furiko becomes exceptionally powerful. We still want Furiko to be the late game ender, but we want to ensure this happens in the late game. Other midrange strategies shouldn’t feel like they’re making a grave error by not choosing Furiko as their champion. At the moment, there’s not enough tension behind getting to Furiko’s charge power in time. Therefore, we’re moving Furiko’s charge cost up by 1.

Soaring Talon

Soaring Talon was intended as a way for Sapphire decks to transition from being the controlling deck to being the aggressor. Soaring Talon’s power shines with troops that have high attack values, but this power is kept in check by the fact that you needed two troops that didn’t have Flight by your seventh charge. Unlike Furiko, Soaring Talon allows more counterplay because it doesn’t increase the defensive stats of those troops. The soaring Talon player is merely pushing an advantage by taking the battle to the skies. This differs from Furiko’s power which makes your troops both deadlier and heartier. It is hard to compete with that at equivalent cost. By lowering Soaring Talon’s health and charge cost, we are positioning him to better fill aggressive strategies which want efficient evasive options.


Adoni-Zeddek joins the ranks of the champions who we wanted to have at three charges but who are just slightly too pushed at that rate. Calilac and Cassia Goldknight both wanted to be 3 charges as well, but their abilities proved too impactful at that cost. We tried Zeddek at three because there’s only one set of additional cards that would key off of the Verdict keyword, but in the end, we think this is still doing too much. We’re seeing decks with little to no payoffs for Verdict including it in their decks, which is a sign that he is probably providing too much value. We like Verdict being powerful, but we don’t want it to eliminate other choices that can include more synergy. Therefore, we’re moving Adoni-Zeddek up to 4 charges to bring him more in line with our other Diamond champions.

Frostshaper Gorkrog

Frostshaper Grokrog was designed as the glue to pull together Lixil’s ranks. We like making champions who are out there for fringe strategies, which make you scratch your head and think. Frostshaper Grokrog does many things well, but he currently lacks the payoff to encourage players to try him out. There’s a fun necrotic deck hiding in the format, and we want to give players the ability to shoot for that dream. Thus, we’re lowering Frostshaper Grokrog’s charge cost by 1 to encourage a few more decks to try him out.

Haraza the IncineratorBurning Banner

This is the only champion in the constructed format we wanted to address. We knew the charge power on Haraza was powerful when we designed her. It was powerful in the Herofall draft format, and she has since become a staple in constructed as well. We’re concerned with her power level going forward. We could simply move the charge cost, but we’ve recently made an effort to push the amount of charges Ruby can gain. This was not a decision that was planned for in the original Herofall and Scars of War design. Thus, we want to pull back on Haraza as she is likely to cause some issues going forward. The champion isn’t currently doing too much yet, but she has a wide range in Standard in terms of how her games play out, and we want to bring that in a little bit by controlling the damage output from her Banner. Thus, Burning Banner now no longer grants an additional point of attack.

That’s it for now! These changes should be in with our next patch. We hope you enjoy playing with these updated champions!

~HexPureforce | Corey Burkhart

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