Balance Rat – Gedeon Equasneak
A Beastform Design Concept
Welcome to a short mini-series where I discuss some Beastform Concepts that I came up with. Please note that these are solely my personal ideas and concepts, and nothing from this article should be taken as a Spoiler of any sort. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the first Beastform I came up with. Please welcome the Balance Rat!
If you want a bird’s eye view of how I selected this form to design as well as additional information about Beast Form Design, check out the intro article linked HERE
With a squishy Balance form, you know this guy must be powerful. I think the other form we have of this nature, the Balance Fairy, is a little underpowered and I don’t see her used often. With that in mind, I wanted to kick the damage up a notch, which is what the smallest forms are supposed to do. Forms like Balance Krok and Balance Wolf have a 100 DPP model, and while I didn’t end up doing so, it may be appropriate to give Balance Rat 125 DPP like Myth Rat. I don’t think it should be quite that high, however, since Balance isn’t a super damage heavy school. I thought it should land somewhere between 100 and 125, which you’ll see reflected in the spells. A giant Balance school concept in the main game that the developers have left out of Beastmoon is pip manipulation. Every school has some sort of pip gaining spell, and it’s about time we introduce some more pip mechanics to combat that. There’s no better form to do that on than a Balance form!
Balance forms are quite possibly the hardest to name since all of them have some “Balance”-related term in them like honor, just, or justice. Those are pretty hard to fit in and still sound good, especially with a Rat Thief, which is quite obviously a criminal and against justice. With that, I went with “equa,” a prefix meaning equal, paired with sneak, which is a word not yet used in the Rat forms, but it fits well. The name Gedeon is Hebrew, meaning “destroyer,” which I found fit well since he’s a damage form and some of the Rat forms have eastern and biblical names like that. Hence, we have Gedeon Equasneak.
It was very important to me, that Balance Rat was given some pip manipulation capabilities while also staying true to the classic Balance forms. Currently, two Balance forms work with swapping wards, one with swapping charms, and one with swapping DOTs. Since the DOT swapping form is also a low health form, I went with charm swapping for this guy to even it out. I added a bunch of new mechanics to these spells, and I can see this kind of utility being split up across multiple forms, but I put them all in to at least showcase my ideas to you guys. I also don’t think it’d be too much if they were all just here at once.
As always, let’s now go through the mechanics that ALL Balance forms have and why I did or did not include them in Balance Rat…
- Pip gain – When you think of Balance in Beastmoon, you almost immediately think of pip giver, and I had to make sure this still stayed true for Balance Rat. Not only does he deal with enemies’ pips, but can also help his teammates with extra pips.
- Swapping – All forms swap some sort of hanging effect, and Balance Rat is no different. He swaps charms like the Wolf does.
- Clear something for something else – This isn’t super unique to Balance, but nevertheless, I included it.
- Irremovable hanging effect – Every Balance form has some un-counterable spell like an aura or global bubble that lasts all battle or a few turns. I added something kind of like this to Balance Rat, but it’s not exactly like the others. I added this in the form of a shadow spell.
- 2 Utilities at once – Each Balance form has an identity of sorts that combines two utilities into one, and most of them have more than one spell that uses it. Balance Fairy is Pip + Heal, Krok is Absorb + Trap, Wolf is Trap + Blade, and Cyclops is Blade + Absorb. With Balance Rat I chose to go with Blade + Pip.
Oddly enough, since Balance forms are so unique, there’s nothing that 3 of them have that the other 1 doesn’t have. Apart from the 5 things that unite them, they’re pretty free to do whatever they want since Balance uses and manipulates all utilities.
That being said, let’s go in to what new ideas I’ve added to this form. I will go into them in depth later…
- Steal Pip
- Shadow Trickster
- If enemy has X amount of pips condition
- Blade + Pip
- Swap all charms
Here are the spells I designed!
Note: Curious about making your own Wizard101 Spells? Check out our spellmaker!
An aptly named spell that does exactly what the new “Steal Pip” spell does. Simply, it takes a pip from the opponent! This can be used to prevent a player from using a high pip spell, and to help you gain some pips of your own! Now, at first it may seem crazily over powered with the fact that players could spam this on one opponent, making it so they can’t ever gain pips! Actually though, this wouldn’t be a huge issue at all. This would work like it already does in the main game; if an opponent casts a spell on the turn you steal or remove pips from them, they still cast it and get a pip next turn anyway. Also, if you used this spell on one player for 3 or so turns in a row, that only means they wouldn’t be able to gain any more than 1 pip, but all forms have 0 or 1-pip hits and spells. All trouble could also be avoided by a teammate giving them any amount of pips, which almost every form is able to do, so I don’t see this ever becoming an issue to that scale.
Much like Shadow Trickster in the main game, this spell will morph you into a trickster shadow creature that steals pips on turns that you hit the opponent. The only other spell close to this is the Life Colossus’ “Dark Protector,” so although rare, we know they’re willing to add shadow spells. With this spell, I can see a couple things being an issue. A player could use this spell at 1 pip, then proceed to use his 2-pip 225 spell over and over again. All this while taking a pip from the opponent.
If this became a problem, I may want to adjust this in a couple ways… First, maybe reduce it to 2 rounds, or second, have the form only have a CHANCE to steal a pip, kind of like the current trickster, although with Beastmoon, there’s a lot less randomness and I think players enjoy that about the game. It’s possible that keeping the spell as is wouldn’t be an issue at all, since the form only has 375 health. Thus, the opponents can target and eliminate this form immediately after it uses this card, but I think it’s neat to have! Maybe it’d fit better on a Tank Balance form. I wasn’t sure exactly how to represent how the spell works in symbols on the card, but I think it works. I would be open to adjusting it if this were ever implemented.
My first Wizard101 pun! The name of this spell currently is “Steel Colossus,” but I made a fun play on words to reference the swapping utility that this spell does. This spell animation is not currently in Beastmoon, but it fits well with the form. As far as damage and mechanic go, they’re pretty normal. This is almost an exact match to the Balance Krok’s “Shifting Sands” spell, but with charms instead of wards.
This spell adds a brand new mechanic to Beastmoon spells, and that’s having a condition that buffs yourself if the enemy has a certain amount of pips. I think I represented this perfectly on the card, and the reason for doing this was to add an element to the game that has never been there before, which is causing the opponent to worry about how many pips they have. Currently, you have to think about your enemy before you Blade, Absorb, Trap, DOT, etc., but there has never been any consequences for gaining and keeping pips. Now there could be!
The condition for this gives a blade since that’s one of the main identities of this form. To accommodate for the possibly easy condition to meet and pretty powerful blade, I thought moving the damage down to 75 was fitting. I’m not quite sure if this would be possible, but for this spell, but I would encourage the devs to make it so you gain the blade if this spell is cast on someone with 4 or more pips at the BEGINNING of the turn, regardless of how many pips they used that turn. Otherwise, this spell would almost never have a use.
Quite possibly a very dangerous spell, this guy right here gives INSANE value. Maybe KI didn’t put a pip with a trap/blade earlier because of the tempo they give. However I think the Balance Rat is the perfect place to put this due to its low health. He will essentially serve as a ticking time bomb for your team. I can’t think of many other forms that would be more of a priority to take out than this form.
The reason this blade is protected is because of the common swap blade mechanic on this form, and we’ve seen this concept on other forms. It’d be silly to give yourself a blade just to give it to the other team when you hit. If used on yourself, it’s essentially a 1-pip +100 blade, which is not unheard of or overpowered. It’s supremely helpful to a teammate who gains a blade and a pip from it, but with the Balance Rat also having some high damaging spells, players will have to decide whether to hit for much more damage or give a blade and pip to a teammate, which is less value by a lot, but potentially more helpful in the long run. I’d have to see how this spell specifically fits into the meta, but for the reasons I just described, I don’t think it would be terribly unbalanced.
The Balance forms have always desperately needed a big hitter, and as the Rat is a low health form, having high damage is critical. As I mentioned before, this form should have damage between 100 and 125 per pip, and this fits right in the middle with 225 damage for 2 pips. With a number this high, there’s not any room for any extra utility. For those who don’t know, the word “macadam” is a type of material usually used to make pavement. I thought it worked here pretty well as the worm looks like he’s got some tough armor there and it worked well with “maggot,” another word for worm, to create that alliteration.
This spell plays very well with the swapping of charms idea, but a bit differently. It’s also a great spell to have if you accidentally give a blade of yours to your opponent 😉 You may be wondering why the damage is so low for a 3-pip spell on a form supposed to have 100 DPP at least. The reason this is low is that the charm clearing is nearly 1 pip of value in and of itself. Since it is 3 pips, however, I decided to give it the full 2-pip value of 125 DPP. This spell would mostly be used for its utility since the form also has Macadam Maggot.
New to a Balance form is the idea of swapping ALL of anything. The only other places something like this is seen is on the Fire Pig, who removes all absorbs, and Death Rat, who steals all charms. A spell like this would most likely be used if the enemies are blade stacking one form for a big AOE. Typically this isn’t the best idea for teams to do, but if you’re against a Balance Rat, that’d be an even worse idea. It also gives an extra pip if the enemy has an absorb. This is pretty common amongst Balance forms to have a conditional effect that’s outside of their normal area of expertise. I think it’s a pretty simple spell idea that fits well.
The most needed of all spells for Balance in my opinion is this one, which punishes the opponent for having pips. At a 4-pip cost to the Rat, it’s quite possible he won’t be able to ever use this, and if he does, it won’t be often. However, it can be a very good move against some forms that typically stack pips up. Your opponents will think twice before using those spells that give 3 or more pips.
This does carry a risk with it, however. If you’re after your opponent in the turn order, it’s quite possible that you will use this and do zero damage, since, if they use their pips, you will be out of luck. With that vulnerability, I don’t think this spell would be overpowered at all. It’s a good response to pip hoarders and can put in some damage. For best value, you probably wouldn’t end up using this on any enemy that’s before you in the turn order and you should probably use it on someone with 3 or more pips.
An AOE version of the Power Up spell. It’s almost impossible that you will be able to pull this off since you only have 375 health, but if the opponents happen to let you live for this long, you will give your team a massive advantage. I properly balanced the blade value and pip value to other spells of the same nature.
Balance Rat Tiers
Tier 1Tier 2Tier 3Tier 4Tier 5
For his first 6 spells, I thought it important to include at least 1 spell from its 4 main identities, pip manipulation, swapping charms, pip and blade combo, and damage. With all those, at Tier 1, you will be very formidable. However, there’s quite a few spells missing. Also, its 2-pip monster of a hit only has 1 copy at tier 1 and no Battle Cards can be purchased to increase that either as to not be too powerful at first. Overall, improvements can be made, but you’re solid at 1.
Moving on up, you gain the Dark Deciever spell! If you can pull it off, this gives you a chance to do massive amounts of damage. Plus, you can now buy an additional Macadam Maggot from the Battle Card Shop!
Continuing through, you get the Leeching Saber that will help you gain some tempo if you have low pips and your opponents have high pips. You can also now buy some extra Hordes if you want.
Nearing the end here, you get the spell that allows you to swap all the charms, Fate Reversal. This is so far up since it can essentially be used to win the match depending on the situation. Although it IS rare that this would help a ton, you’re not going to want to miss tier 4!
Here at the end you finally get that amazing Pip Punisher! Since it is so powerful, you only get 1 copy for free, but with a fully tiered up Balance Rat, you will be a highly formidable opponent!
Balance Rat fills a void in the meta that is much needed, pip manipulation. That, along with its amazing damage output, would give Balance lovers a form to look forward to, and all kinds of players would have a fun time with it!
Beastform Concept Series
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