One of my new favourite deckbuilding games is the brilliant Shards of Infinity, a game I reviewed back in January.
The game is published by Stoneblade Entertainment and Ultra-PRO and is Designed by Gary Arant and Justin Gary with artwork by Aaron Nakahara.
One of my criticisms of the base game is that while each player is a character/faction, it makes no difference during the game. It’s all very generic.
Enter the expansion, published in 2019, called Relics of the Future.
The expansion adds a number of things that I found really helpful and interesting.
First, it adds 24 new center deck cards. It also gives you 8 Relics (which I’ll talk about in a minute).
Finally, it has three more ways to play the game.
Since I explained how to play the game in my review, I’ll just get into what the expansion adds and why it’s an incredible expansion for this already great game.
Sticking with the base game for a moment, one of the things Relics of the Future adds is a reason to have different characters!
Finally there are cards that will benefit all players, but if you happen to be that specific character, you will get even better stuff.
The base game needed this so much, in my opinion.
The cards by themselves are perfectly fine and well worth getting even if you aren’t that character. They’re certainly worth denying your opponent if they happen to be too.
The Hounds of Volos gives you 5 Health, which isn’t bad for 3 Gems. But if you’re Volos, you get 5 Power as well. Super cool!
I especially like the Ferrata Guard, the Homodeus card shown. Giving each of your Champions an extra 2 Health is definitely a great thing.
There are multiple new cards like this, which actually makes the game more interesting. No more will you be starting a game and saying “Who do you want to be?” and getting “I don’t care” as an answer.
Why this type of thing wasn’t in the base game, I don’t know, but it’s a godsend with the expansion.
Otherwise, the most important thing Relics of the Future adds are the aforementioned Relics.
Each faction has two Relics that they can choose from to bring in once they have achieved 10 Mastery.
You choose one of the two Relics (the other is out of the game) and put it into your discard pile as if you had just purchased it.
These Relics are powerful items that your opponent will hate, but hopefully they have their own too.
What this does is give you a reason to try to get some Mastery even if you’re not going for an Infinity Shard victory.
Ten Mastery gets you the Relic, and it becomes more powerful at 20 Mastery.
Since each player has one, it’s not really unfair (unless one player didn’t go for Mastery at all).
I find the Relics a very useful addition to the game. It could hasten the game’s end, which I’m not really sure is needed, but it sure is fun.
The reason for this is because in the base game, unless you were trying for an Infinity Shard win, or unless you had a few cards that benefited from high Mastery, there really wasn’t a reason to go for it.
Now there is.
Relics of the Future also adds some pretty cool cards to the overall mix.
Yes, there are only 24 cards added, and some of them are the ones mentioned above that actually refer to the faction/character you are playing, but some of the other ones are pretty cool too.
These cards have mechanics that aren’t just copied from the base game.
The Axios card is cheaper the more Homodeus Champions you have in play. Sure, it costs 7 by itself, but it has 7 Health and gives you 2 Power every turn. It’s going to take a lot to kill this thing, and if you’ve been collecting Homodeus Champions, it will get even cheaper to buy.
Arach Devotees is a pretty cheap card and lets you draw a card. But if you have other Undergrowth Allies, you can also get 3 Health. Pretty good for a 2-cost card.
I really enjoy how even the cards that aren’t faction-specific do new things that the base game didn’t do.
There are three new modes of play in Relics of the Future that may be of interest to some people, though I haven’t tried them out yet.
There’s the Nemesis Solo game, which sounds pretty cool and I may try it at some point.
Then there’s the 2v2 Team Attack mode. Previously, you could play with 4 players. This is a 4-player variant that has teams.
Finally, there is the “3 Player Bloodbath”. I definitely haven’t tried this (my first play of Shards of Infinity was shortly before COVID locked everything down and I haven’t played with anybody but my wife since) but it sounds fun.
When you use Power to attack an opponent, it affects both of them.
The last player standing is the winner in this mode.
It sounds really fun.
Between the Relics and the new cards that are faction-specific, I really enjoyed Relics of the Future and I can’t imagine playing Shards of Infinity without this expansion.
The fact that the app doesn’t have it yet (and probably won’t) is a shame and sort of cheapens my plays of the app.
Not to the point where I will quit playing. It’s definitely a great app.
But it really needs the expansion.
Every criticism I have of the base game (other than the really crappy character cards with Mastery and Health dials that keep getting bumped) is addressed with this expansion.
If you play Shards of Infinity, and I really recommend that you do, you should buy this expansion as well.
You will be glad you did.
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