Disease, scourge, curse exhaust, solitary, countdown, potency
Original, plague doctor/grim reaper aesthetic
The Judge is a mod which presents players with a variety of viable playstyles and win conditions. Its main mechanic is judgement, which deals aoe damage at the end of turn based on the number of curses that have been exhausted. This damage can be increased by playing attacks and multiplied by gaining potency. As such, the judge is heavily focused on curses, having the option to add a curse to your deck every three combats. Fortunately, the mod comes with a selection of new milder curses that give you a better chance of being able to pull this off. Additionally, disease and scourge cards cause damage to be reflected back upon your enemies. Although the art is basic, not too different from the beta art, it is easy to read, sufficiently pretty, and most importantly every card has its own unique image. I greatly enjoyed playing this mod.
teamwork, magical(+), magic, magic capacity, limited heal, magical block(+), determination, transform, burn
The Senshi is a Sailor Moon inspired mod centred around increasing your magic capacity, then storing up magic and empowering your attacks and skills. Lovers of the franchise will be very happy with the inclusion of a huge roster of central characters. The visuals of the mod are incredible, with each card having art from the TV series, the playable character model being adapted from Sailor Moon video game, and many effects being accompanied by beautiful particle effects and in some cases the supporting cast as well. The main mechanic of the mod is teamwork: if a Sailor Moon card is played before a teamwork card, the teamwork card benefits from an additional effect. This often leaves you with turns where you have to carefully plan out the order of your plays, which I greatly enjoyed. It reminds me a little bit of rogue in Hearthstone, but taken to the extreme. Magic capacity is increased through power cards (transformations~~), and must then be filled using cards that generate magic. Magical attacks and blocks are amplified by your magic amount, up to a cap. A few rare magical+ cards exist that have no cap at all. Finally, the determination keyword makes the player gain (or lose) magic every turn. There are a lot of fun combos here, and the class draft is centred around having a good mix of combo activators and combo finishers. An enjoyable mod, even for those unfamiliar with the franchise.
Swap, multiple player characters
Slay the Spire
The gremlins mod is a hilarious but well thought-out addition to the game. You start with five gremlins who each have 20 Max HP and their own persistent health bars. Each gremlin also comes with their own bonus: the shield gremlin and the wizard benefit from skills, whereas the fat and sneaky gremlins have additional effects when you play an attack. Finally, the angry gremlin grants bonuses when it takes damage. The gremlin at the front is the one that will take damage from enemies, and it is your task to Swap your gremlins around to get the most out of your cards each turn. The set is very diverse, with each gremlin having their own archetype, whilst also allowing for many viable combinations of gremlins. What's more, the gremlin nob makes an appearance, and the mod even comes with unique interactions and dialogue for certain encounters, such as the gremlin slaver. As for visuals, although the cards all mostly remixes of existing Slay the Spire art, the visuals of the gremlins moving around is extremely satisfying and clear. I will add that the gremlins are not easy to pilot. This is a difficult mod, especially since once a gremlin dies, it only respawns if you sacrifice Max HP at a campfire. I highly recommend this mod and found it incredibly fun, but be warned that it is tough!
Original, mage/wizard themed
The wanderer playable character mod was developed by popular Slay the Spire streamer Jorbs and his community. The protagonist is a wizard who is confronted with horrifying memories of his previous attempts to climb the Spire. On turn 7 of each combat, the weight of these memories will cause him to snap, and he will take damage. Before turn 7, however, he has access to the remember and clarity mechanics. The wanderer can remember 1 attribute at a time, such as humility. Once a different attribute is remembered, the previous one will be forgotten unless it is permanently stored using clarity. There are a variety of sources of remember and clarity in this card set. Some memories provide a bonus when activated, but a persistent debuff whilst still remembered; some only trigger at the end of combat; others provide a constant bonus throughout. These very varied mechanics make the Wanderer a deep, complex and interesting character to play as. The set also features legendary cards, cards that you are only allowed to have one copy of and that cannot be removed from your deck once obtained. Additionally, several cards grant you material components, small cheap skills, similar to hearthstone's spare parts. The visuals of this mod are beautiful, with wonderful and detailed illustrations on the cards, very clear particle effects for remember and clarity, a lovely player model and plenty of custom dialogue and voice acting to boot. I would highly recommend this mod, especially to fans of the Watcher and her stance based gameplay.
Paint, Darken, Autopainter, Paintings, Cursed, Chromatic
The artist is one of the most unique mods that I have seen for Slay the Spire. You will immediately notice a huge blank canvas behind the battlefield: your deck is filled with cards that apply colours to this painting, each with its own effect. Red paint adds damage, whereas blue grants block. At any point in combat, you can pull the canvas into your hand and use it as a card based on the colours that have been applied to it. There is no limit to the amount of colour that can go on a painting, and it is possible to multiply the numbers on the painting by darkening the canvas through certain cards. The incredible flexibility of the canvas grants the player so many ways to play out a single turn. Do you create one painting with two splashes of red, or is 2 paintings with one splash of red better in this scenario? This is just a basic example; when you have 10 colours to choose from, turns can become much more complex. The class comes with many viable archetypes: there are various auto painter powers that add paint to the canvas every turn, and the keyword chromatic provides a specific bonus if there are only two colours present on the canvas. These mechanics do add some difficulty to the class, but when everything lines up perfectly it is incredibly satisfying. Unfortunately, the card art looks like it was whipped up in Ms paint in 30 seconds (I'm not exaggerating here), so those who are turned off by poor visuals might want to pass on this mod. On the other hand, every card does come with unique art and the player model is well done, plus the way paint is added to the hilariously named paintings is very crisp. The awkward alliteration of every card name slightly bugged me, especially since many of the words I had never even heard of before. (“Coruscating Corona”, anyone?) This aside, I would greatly recommend this class to people who enjoy combo decks and carefully deliberating each turn.
Circles, Rite, Curse manipulation, Bleed, Stun
The Cursed mod is another take on a class focused on manipulating curses. The rite keyword allows you to exhaust a card in your hand - if the card exhausted is a curse, the card has a bonus effect. The class also comes with a set of cursed weapons, cards that have powerful effects that also shuffle curses into your deck. The player must constantly balance the amount of rite cards and curses that are in their deck in order to squeeze the most efficiency out of their hand each turn. Other mechanics include bleed, which inflicts damage to an enemy whenever they attack, and circle cards, unplayable skills that are triggered each time you play a specific card while holding the circle. For example, Circle of Flame, when in hand, deals 2 damage to all enemies whenever an attack is played. There are a lot of fun, varied and powerful circle cards that greatly add to the gameplay. Visually, the majority of cards are recolours of other base class cards, but the character model looks nice. This is a fun mod, but it can be very difficult to gauge how many curses to add to your deck, so I recommend it to players who are looking for a challenge.
Id, Changing Enemy Intents, Terror, Constricted, Ephemeral, Intangible, Scry, Retain, Thorns
The Touhou Project
Koishi is a character mod inspired by the Touhou Project. One of the main mechanics is acting impulsively based on subconscious desires: Id cards are automatically played when they are drawn, and cause you to draw again. You have to spend the energy on them, but Id cards can trigger even if you have insufficient energy to play them. This is a very interesting mechanic that can either work in your favour or not - sometimes automatically playing a defence card when the enemy isn't attacking get in the way of your turn, and sometimes you are left without the energy to play the turn that you wanted to, but in other cases you can play cards you wouldn’t normally be able to afford since they autoplay. To compensate for their downsides, Id cards are typically very powerful. Hilariously, it is also possible to go infinite if your deck is only left with Id cards. Slideshow mode activated! In addition to Id, this class has access to a lot of intangible cards. The starter relic grants you one ephemeral every time a card is played, and at 15 ephemeral you gain one turn of intangible. The set also features the terror mechanic, which allows you to heal from an enemy when it dies. The player model is gorgeously animated, and the cards have nice art and flavour too. On the whole, I found this deck quite easy to pilot, but still enjoyed the madness that Id cards bring to the table.
Ritual, wither, flight, intangible, heal, plated armor
Slay the Spire
The beaked is a character based on the cultist enemies you see throughout the Spire. You start with three ritual powers that allow you to gain strength over the course of combat before finishing off your foes with all the damage you accumulate. The class also comes with a wither mechanic, powerful cards that gradually and permanently decrease in effectiveness every time they are played. For example, on a card that deals 20 aoe damage with wither 2, It will deal 20 damage, then 18 damage, then 16, 14, etc. Wither cards can be replenished at campfires which restores them back to their full amount. Every campfire has one free replenish action, and you can choose to spend your campfire action replenishing another wither card if you wish. This deep mechanic has plenty of repercussions for deck building strategies. The least satisfying parts of this mod are the underwhelming attacks and excessive heal abilities: the extremely high amount of strength that the beaked can reach prevents the class from having powerful attacks, leaving many of the offensive cards feeling very underwhelming. Additionally, this class’s starter relic allows you to heal every single time you play a card. This means players are encouraged to heal scum which doesn't lead to the most riveting gameplay. Art-wise, the card art simply features recolours of other classes’ cards, although I do enjoy the amusing visuals of the flight effect. An interesting, if somewhat one-dimensional class.
Praise the Sun
The Forsaken class is an interesting character mod that focuses on buff and debuff manipulation. I find the starter relic incredibly interesting - gain strength if you played no attacks this turn; gain dexterity if you played no skills this turn. The class also features the Unplayed mechanic, giving you the option of playing a card for one effect or not playing the card for another. This leads to a lot of interesting gameplay decisions, both during combat and at the macro level. Unfortunately, regeneration features heavily in this class, even appearing in the starter cards. It is far too tempting to heal scum through weak encounters and in my opinion the constant access to healing makes the class far too strong. As long as this isn't something that bothers you, you will likely enjoy the multiple viable playstyles that the forsaken has to offer. With regards to visuals, each card has nice looking art, even if some of it is inconsistent in style, and the player model looks decent too.
Plant, Harvest, Burn, Orbs, Seasons
Original, farmer themed
The Hayseed is a very interesting class mod that is based around planting a variety of crops and harvesting them to reap their rewards. The class uses the defect’s orb slots and fills them with crops that increase in stacks via a variety of effects. There are several power cards that allow you to plant crops - each crop comes with its own unique mechanic, such as potatoes that grant you free ethereal attacks, and each crop also has its own maximum amount of stacks that it can reach. When a crop reaches max stacks, its effect is triggered. Planting more of the same crop increases the number of stacks on the crop, bringing it closer to maturation. Once mature, one stack will be harvested at the start of the turn, triggering the effect and reducing the stacks. If the class sounds difficult to understand, that's because (imho) it is – even after playing this class three or four times I was still struggling to understand how the harvest mechanic worked and why I was gaining or losing stacks of each crop. Not only this, but the class seems a little on the weak side since the expensive crops don't even do a single thing until they have been harvested. Harvesting a crop can be effective, but this also completely removes that crop from your orb slots, requiring it to be replanted again. This is particularly problematic when your only source of a crop is a power card. Outside of the planting mechanic, the hayseed also has burn, which is damage that is triggered at the end of the enemies’ turn. Mechanics aside, the visuals of the player model comment the crop particles, and all of the card art is beautifully done. The card names and effects are extremely flavourful and I appreciated the puns; my only complaint is the difficulty in understanding and winning with this mod. One of my favourite things about this mod is that each run begins with a random season: seasons determine which crops will be available for the run, adding more variety and replayability to the class.
Tithe, Fervor, Hoard, Bribery, Piety
Original, religion themed
The Hierophant is a mod centred around spending gold in combat and earning additional money at the end of fights. The hoard mechanic grant gold at the end of a fight so long as the card has not been exhausted. Additionally, Tithe allows you to turn gold into energy on specific cards - For example if you try to play Wrath of God which costs 6, and you only have 3 energy, you can spend 30 gold to make up for the extra energy. This mechanic can be powerful when you find yourself up against scary opponents, but will cost you in the long run. The fervor mechanic presents players with another playstyle, granting percent damage increase to the next attack. Finally, if enemies have less health than you have piety, they will flee from battle. All cards come complete with beautiful custom art and the entire class has a very cohesive golden theme running through it. The unique mechanics to this class are very well conceived, but intentionally losing gold in combat never seemed optimal to me, making me hesitant to use tithe and spend mechanics, sadly.
Motivate, agility, power, elemental damage, ranged damage, piercing damage, support damage, shape shifter, synergy, poison, temporary HP, purge, fire common discard, exhaust, limited, semi-limited, orbs
Elsword, Goblin Slayer, Konosuba, No Game No Life, Overlord, Tensei shitara Slime, Owari no Seraph, One Punch Man, GATE, Katanagatari, Fullmetal Alchemist, Hitsugi no Chaika, Fate
This is an amazingly well done mod that is packed full of content. All art is taken from the shows and even has a unique expand option which works beautifully. The mechanics are thoughtful and the cards are well balanced. Unfortunately it can be difficult to learn all of the cards and mechanics for this reason, but that shouldn't put off experienced players. Lovers of anime will recognise and enjoy the flavour of the various cards in this mod. It features a unique synergy mechanic, where cards from the same anime played consecutively gain bonus effects. All cards have their anime listed on them, but those who are unfamiliar with the shows might have to spend longer assessing their hands. At the beginning of the game, you get to choose the size of the pool of cards that you pick from - a larger pool increases the difficulty by decreasing the likelihood of synergies. In this sense, it is a good idea to play with just a few sets until you have learned the cards. I definitely recommend this to players who have already tried out some other mods and are looking for a bigger challenge.
Bones, summons, orbs, debuff transfer
Grim Reaper, Necromancer
The necromancer mod has a few interesting ideas that are pretty fun to play. One of its main mechanics is summoning zombies and wraiths that constantly damage your enemies every turn, kind of like lightning orbs but with slightly different effects. For example, one of the summons casts a bite every turn. These are slightly more expensive to play than orbs, are powers and do not get removed/evoked. It also has a debuff transfer as a mechanic, allowing you to cleanse debuffs from yourself and stick them on an enemy. Finally, it also has a system akin to WoW rogue energy in the form of bones: generate bones and then spend them on certain abilities for powerful combos. The visuals of the playable character and the card art are nice but the fact that the creatures that you summon do not have any particles is very disappointing and makes it a bit harder to play the game. Difficulty wise, the necromancer seems very powerful so I would gauge this mod on the easy side as well.
Dead-on (bonuses if the card is in the middle of your hand), Rugged (Buffer but you take 1 damage), ignore and shuffle curses, strike/defend synergies
I was blown away by the quality of this mod! The Hermit genuinely seems like it could fit in as a fifth character have the original franchise. Its main mechanic is dead on, which grants cards different bonuses if they are in the middle of your hand. This means you have to carefully decide the order that you play your cards out in. This is a very satisfying mechanic with a high reward for successfully pulling it off. The deck also has ways of generating strikes and defends and gaining bonuses when those cards are played. The card also has the new keywords bruise and rugged which are flavorful and easy to understand. Aesthetically, this mode has very satisfying visuals and audio with beautifully drawn card art. The cards seem well balanced and thought through, allowing for a number of viable strategies, and the set even comes complete with some custom relics and potions. Overall I had a great time with this mod - I think the difficulty is in line with the other characters, but this mod is very easy to dive into if it's your first one.
Play as bosses, fight heroes
Slay the Spire
The downfall mod is a huge addition to the game. It comes complete with four custom characters that were mods in their own right which had all been amalgamated into this one. In this version of the game, you play as enemy bosses, and your aim is to protect the heart rather than to kill it. The uniqueness of the mod is visible right from the beginning: the opening title has a blood red sky and even a metal cover of the title theme! When you start your first run, you will notice that you actually take each act from the top down rather than climbing. Since you're playing as the bosses, it only seems fair to have the heroes as your opponents. The four base characters act as the act bosses. This combat is very interesting, with each character being randomly assigned a set of events and relics and their own deck for you to play against. This aspect of the game seems very well done, though the balance seems a little off in places. There are even custom events, new relics, repurposed keys, special interactions at every merchant, and a completely revamped act four with a hilarious cameo. I enjoyed the mechanics of the characters that are added with this mod (especially Hexaghost) and had a fun time exploring all the content, however I did experience two crashes in the few runs that I played. The developer is still working on and updating the mod so hopefully these crashes will be eliminated shortly.
Model nice but not animated. Nice particles. Fun and cool relic, but mechanics kind of limited.
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