Gen Con 2022: SolForge Fusion, a new card game from creators of Magic, Ascension – Polygon
Every tabletop enthusiast has a favorite mechanic. Mine is deck construction. I’m an avid player of Ascension, a meddler in Magic: The Gathering, a lover of Gloomhaven, and a fiend for all other staples of the genre. To say I was excited to hear that Richard Garfield (creator of MTG) and Justin Gary (creator of Ascension) were creating SolForge Fusion together is an understatement. After many months of Kickstarter tracking and Reddit forum searching, last week I finally got to blaze the trail to the forge — just ahead of this year’s Gen Con in Indianapolis.
Fundamentally, the game is a revival of the original SolForge (a free-to-play digital card game released in 2016). Fusion was designed as a trading card game that could be playable for players of all skill levels. That means introducing a deck building mechanic that avoids the traps of overpowered “net decks’’ (created by one player, uploaded to the internet, and copied by the masses to crush opponents) and reduces the startup cost.
Another key goal the devs had for Fusion was crafting the story and lore. On a call for this story, Gary mentioned that over three years of arcs have already been written, and the game’s official release is still over a month away. This is an impressive feat considering players will help shape the future of the SolForge Fusion universe — each narrative tree will branch and change based on the outcome of Storyline Events (competitions once per release that decide the outcome of future plot points), the first of which is happening this weekend at Gen Con.
I played my first match on Tabletop Simulator (TTS) with Gary, and we started out by setting up our virtual table. With our decks fused and Forgeborn chosen, we each drew our hands and it was time to see who would start with the forge.
The game chose Gary to begin, so it was time for me to sit back and watch his play. When your forge is lit, you can play cards to the front of any of your five lanes or banish a card from your hand, plus take any free actions. Once a card is played, the deck upgrading begins. The lower-level version of the card is banished and the next-level version is placed into your discard pile.
He finished his turn and it was my chance to respond. All elements of play were the same on my turn except that my creatures were played to the back rows of my lanes. After we each had finished two turns, combat began. Creatures in the front row attacked and dealt damage to other creatures or hit the opposing player directly. Creatures in the back row could only defend.
We went from lane to lane, banishing creatures that had died …….