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Lineage: Mulligan Man

by Charlie Plaine, Lineage Lead Designer

20th June 2012

In the course of our Designer Q&A thread for this expansion, someone asked each of the designers what question the wanted to be asked. My response was "Are you happy with how the expansion turned out?" and Nathan "GooeyChewie" Miracle obliged me. I haven't answered in that thread, so allow me to do so here:

"Yes, but..."

I love Lineage and I think it ended up in a fantastic place, where it will allow some new affiliations to shine and bring some of the previous powerhouses down a peg - without eliminating them from competition. But this expansion, while always species based, started out as home to a new mechanic that that just didn't survive to see the light of day. (And no, I won't tell you what it is because I think it'll be back some day and I don't want to ruin the surprise.)

It was absolutely the right move to let this mechanic go, as it wasn't going to be ready for Lineage. It was distracting too much attention for the rest of the expansion and pulling all the focus off of our species theme, which was supposed to be central to the expansion. So we made the call to cut it, hoping that it could return again in the future - and I'm confident it will.

So I am very happy with the work that we did on Lineage, but I consider it a personal "failure" that we couldn't get the mechanic to work how we wanted it. So yes, I am happy with how this expansion turned out. I'm just disappointed something we worked so hard on isn't quite ready to see the light of day.

Which brings us to today's preview card - the last survivor of the mysterious mechanic. Obrist is quite a bit different from where he started, but he ended up as one of the play tester's most popular cards in the expansion. For those of you keeping score at home, this is the "Mulligan Man" on the list of things Brad would see, and he gets his name from his ability.

Obrist, if he is in your opening hand, allows you to use a Magic-style "mulligan" to shuffle your hand back into your deck and draw a new hand of six cards. Although to be accurate, his trigger is "At the start of your first turn..." so you can use him even after using other such triggers. For example, if you're looking for a specific combo, you could use Historical Research to download Obrist, then use him to mulligan into a new six-card hand.

But aside from his ability, he's an excellent personnel. With attributes of six (6) across the board, he'll fit into most decks. His skills cover the weaknesses of quite a few affiliations, he comes with a command star and all for the low price of two (2) counters. Not to mention he has an AU icon, which can be handy, and he's a relatively uncommon species - Krenim.

While the original mechanic may be gone, it evolved into a phenomenal card that I suspect will see a lot of play. The fact that we can "punt" a mechanic but still find ways to twist it into a card like Obrist gives me hope. We're excited to see if he proves as popular with the entire community as he did with our devoted testers. Enjoy!

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