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Meromorph Games is a game company, creators of the card games The Shipwreck Arcana and Norsaga.

Meromorph Games Blog

Art and gameplay design diary as well as current news and updates.

Stars Below card deep-dive: The Ash

Meromorph Games

This is part five of a five-part series of articles on the design of the cards for The Shipwreck Arcana: Stars Below expansion.

The Imago is the only standalone promo card we’ve made for The Shipwreck Arcana. If you haven’t seen it before, it looks like this:

It serves a unique niche: trying to get 7s on the board. Plenty of other cards that care about fates in play never actually get the chance to look at 7s, because they usually cause cards to fade the moment they arrive. The Imago is a “trash can” (see part 3 of this article series) that doubles as a mantelpiece for displaying 7s, making them less dangerous and also making other cards behave in new ways.

And if you’re wondering why we’ve spent this post talking about an old card instead of a new one, allow me to explain the purpose of The Ash:

Spoiler alert: it’s very similar to The Imago.

Much like its predecessor, this design is intended to make the usually-dangerous 7s into “safe” fates. Unlike The Imago, it makes them 100% safe, reusing the “comet” indicator as a way to avoid ever fading due to the fates piling up in front of it. Mix in a mandatory effect, and this single card flips the game upside down by turning 1s (and 2s) into the most dangerous fates to play!

This card basically summarizes Stars Below. It uses mandatory effects and unique fading. It has gold text and the comet indicator. It creates new play patterns out of regular old fates. It’s surprisingly simple, almost turning it into another building block.

And its artwork caps the narrative begun in the fictional deck of The Shipwreck Arcana, a year and a half ago. It will be covered in detail soon, in our final Lore post for the game: The Tale of The Stars Below.