With Scrolls ceasing updates (essentially shutting down), there seems to be a large influx of interest in Prismata from the player base. To help everyone get up to speed, here’s a quick rundown of how Prismata compares to Scrolls to make the transition easier.
How Prismata is different:
- There are only two elements of random
- Who will be player 1/player 2.
- What non-base units will be available in the match.
- No collecting/buying cards
- Both players have access to the same units during the match.
- No grinding or paying for new units
- The business model is based entirely on cosmetic related items.
- No Unit vs Unit combat
- Attackers pool their attack power and depending on a few different factors, the attacker or the defender may choose who takes damage.
- No battlefield board
- There are some mechanics like frontline and blocker that affect who can be hit first, but no physical placement.
- Different win condition
- In Prismata you simply destroy all your opponents units, but you start the game with some econ units already in play.
- Only one real type of unit
- No spells, structures, etc. In Prismata there is simply units and the closest thing to spells is units that self-destroy when activated.
- Only some combat damage is permanent
- The health of surviving units is restored at the end of the turn (absorb) unless the unit is “fragile”, in which case it stays.
How Prismata is similar
- Strategy and resources are important!
- You have to make some similar trade offs in balancing resources vs power, especially early game.
- The game can be challenging to get good at, but rewards skill
- Both games pretty heavily emphasize strategy. Prismata’s lack of random even more so.
- Smart player base
- Scrolls has a pretty intelligent player base and you’ll find no different in Prismata!
- No two games play the same
- In both games the RNG has a hand in this. In Scrolls its your card draw, in Prismata its the unit set.
- Unit synergy and combos matter
- The difference is where those units come from.
- Non-shared, finite, pool of units
- In Prismata both players have access to the same units, but the supply of them is finite and independent.
That is obviously just a pretty high level overview, and in many ways Prismata is a better game IMO.
Now that you understand the basic differences, why not head over to How to Play to really dig in?
Look forward to you all enjoying the game, if you have anything else you think I should add/change, let me know on reddit!
To give an additional point of view from a Scrolls player via Reddit, here’s what wbmc had to say
Just like scrolls, this game isn’t pay to win. Even more, just like scrolls, you cannot pay for anything butcosmetics. That afaik as of now (or near future) includes avatars (just a picture, not an avatar with body parts like in scrolls), skins and emotes you can use in-game, Hearthstone like. This indeed means that there is no in-game chat, although you can access general chat from within a match.
The fact that you cannot buy things that affect the game is simply because of the fact that there are no things that influence the game before it starts. There are no decks, there’s no progression except from becoming more skilled. All you can earn are cosmetics. The way this game makes every match different is by a set of random units. Instead of cards you have access to a (limited) list of units, some of which are set, and some of which are randomized for each game (there being about 100 units as of now I believe). The exception to this is that you can choose 5 units before you go into arena, those units will be less likely to show up.
Units are different from scrolls (and from HS as well for example). Some give passive attack, some have conditional attack (like paying X resources or sacrificing certain other units), and of course there are units that just give resources, or summon other units.
Combat is very different from scrolls. Instead of positioning you as a defender get to choose how to distribute the incoming damage. There are 3 types of units, units that just block (like walls), units that never block and units the block as long as you don’t use their ability that turn (like attacking for example). What that means is that as long as there’s not enough attack to kill all blockers the defender chooses which ones will die and which ones won’t (at the beginning of his turn). However, if more attack is coming in than there is health on the blockers the attacker gets to choose which other units he wants to take down, this often results in taking out your opponents economy, or low health attackers. Another aspect is that most units fully heal up at the beginning of their turn, which means that you can adsorb a lot of the incoming damage if you plan ahead.
That planning ahead is of course possible, really necessary even in this game. In Prismata there is no surprise damage; when you start your turn you know exactly how much damage your opponent can do next turn, and can adjust your defenses accordingly.
Because of this and the fact that both players have the same units to use there’s no advantage going into the game except for first turn which is handled really interesting because the first player has, well, first turn and 2nd players starts of by getting more resources every turn. This makes it so that the outcome really is determined by who is the better tactician (strategist, what ever would be appropriate here, probably both). The game is easy to understand and get into, but has a long learning curve(which is a good thing).
I haven’t really looked into it yet, but there are frequent livestreams, there seem to be tournaments, reddit is fairly active and every I’ve met in-game was nice.
- Deeply strategical and tactical gameplay.
- No deck building.
- No shiny gold thrown at you after you win a game.
- No rng (during matches that is, except for 1st turn advantage or disadvantage, depending on the units).
- “Positioning” is very different from scrolls, and something you just have to try to get an idea how it feels.
- Good community (don’t know how it compares to something as great scrolls, but it’s not like toxic or anything as far as I can see).