In the last blog post, we discussed the core mechanic of the three basic dice pools- Body, Soul, and Mind. However, some of you may have noticed another number below those pools. These are the Elemental Power Dice, and they are easily the most flexible tool in the arsenal of any Alchemist in their struggle for dominance of the Afterlife.
The most basic use of Elemental Power Dice is to enhance attacks or defenses. Whenever your homunculus participates in a direct fight, you have the opportunity to use your elemental power dice to enhance the roll, adding to your maximum damage or defense for that attack.
Similarly, you can spend Elemental Power Dice to move your homunculus just a bit farther. In a later blog post, we’ll discuss the various phases of a player’s turn, but for now, suffice to say that when moving your homunculus, you will be able to see both the unit’s normal move range, and the additional range allowed by spending elemental dice. The more dice you have to spend, the larger the maximum of this range, so well timed spending of these dice can allow your homunculus to outmaneuver your opponents and set up powerful strategies.
Elemental Power Dice can also be used when deploying cards onto the battlefield. If you lack the normal dice required, but still wish to play a given card this turn, you have the option of taking the remaining cost from your elemental power dice instead. This way, in your most desperate hour, you can play the card that might turn the tide of the entire conflict!
But wait, there’s more! Some cards have special abilities that can only be activated by spending a certain amount of Elemental Power Dice, and these can be extremely potent. Take, for example, the Paladin – normally, if he deals 4 damage in a single attack, he also Stuns the foe, preventing it from moving or attacking next turn. However, if you spend 2 Elemental Power Dice, you can simply activate the Stun Ability, even if he does as little as 1 damage!
With such varied and powerful uses for Elemental Power Dice, you might think that there has to be some sort of trade-off – you would be right. Whereas the other three pools become active or inactive, and offensive or defensive, Elemental Power Dice do not change in type. Furthermore, once spent, these dice are gone, so you must take care to spend them wisely!
How then, do you get more elemental dice to use? We’re glad you asked! First, a small amount of Elemental Power Dice are granted to each player at the beginning of every conflict. Second, a homunculus (and only a homunculus) can harvest Elemental Power Dice from Terrain tiles. If a Terrain tile matches the Elemental Alignment of the homunculus, it can harvest 2 additional Elemental Power Dice to add to its pool. If the Terrain type does not match the homunculus’ Elemental Alignment, but also does not directly oppose the homunculus’ Elemental Alignment, it can harvest just 1 additional die. Be careful, though – if the Terrain type directly conflicts with the homunculus’ Elemental Alignment, you will have to spend 1 elemental die to avoid losing the ability to play cards and make attacks that turn! Once a terrain tile has been harvested, it cannot be harvested again by you for the remainder of the conflict.
As you can see, Elemental Power Dice can swing a battle one way or another if spent wisely. Combined with the basic dice pools, they form the vast majority of a homunculus’ offensive and defensive options. With Elemental Power Dice, you can overwhelm your opponents and pull yourself out of the most desperate of situations. So make sure you use them carefully to give yourself the best advantage!