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Krosmaster: A new beginning

By [Dewit] - ANKAMA - April 13, 2017, 12:00:00

With the arrival of the two new playing formats, we have also made changes have to the rules to improve your experience in Krosmaster Arena. We explain all here!

With the approaching release of two new tournament formats (Eternel and Season) we decided it was the right time to update the Krosmaster Arena rules.

These two formats both have their own restrictions (mentioned below) and we have also seized this opportunity to tidy up a few of the problematic aspects of the rules to make things more balanced.


We’ll leave you with [Nuuh], our game designer, who will explain all the changes coming up! 


Changes to minions


Rules on summoning limits are about to change.

From now on when a character tries to summon a unity, whether it is a mechanism or a character, they will only be able to do so if there are fewer minions in their team than the spell’s summoning limit.


For example: The King of the Gobballs can no longer cast a summoning spell if your team already controls another minion, whether it is a tofu, crobak or even a mechanism.


We have a range of objectives in this change:


  • To avoid the board becoming overcrowded with too many minions: We think that having several minions at one’s disposal should be like having a player toolbox, to give players more tactical choices, and this should constitute more than just a simple way to accumulate the maximum number of minions on the board. We don’t want to ban summoner combinations, but we would like conscious choices to be made when creating teams.
  • Harmonizing the rules for minions: Up until now we have had different rules for mechanisms and minions. The first step we made was to make mechanisms into allies or enemies, like other minions. Now, these two categories of playing pieces will be similar, and hence, easier for players to understand.
  • Opening up Design possibilities: This change makes it possible to look at summoners in a new way. We made the minion limit into a genuine tool that helps balance the power of Krosmasters using summoning and the intrinsic power of their minions. Better interactions between the characters (or with ancient references) will be created while avoiding the risk of having excessively powerful crowds of minions.


Change to the Unfazed power


If there is one ability we have worked and reworked again and again, it is Unfazed! We are going to change its definition once again. Here is the new wording:


“A Spell or Power that does not belong to this game piece cannot apply an effect that will move this game piece”.


One of the main problems with Unfazed is that it forbids a large number of interactions with your opponent: there is absolutely no way to gain time in a confrontation. But this is also a problem for team synergies since an Unfazed person has very little interaction with other members of their team, which makes them a self-contained character, separate from the others, starting from the moment the team is put together.

We took a long time to formulate this change because it entirely removes one of the two things that have been associated with Unfazed in the past. However, this is an idea we’ve been studying for a long time, probably even before I joined the team.


We are making this change for the following reasons:


  • It’s mainly to reduce the effectiveness of this power but it also opens a path for new synergies.
  • In terms of design, it opens up new possibilities in terms of mechanics. In the future, we could break the former effects of Unfazed down into several powers; for example, a power that renders one immune exclusively to AP markers.
  • The set pieces and traps will still function as before with the new wording.


Change to Wisdom power


Another power that has been causing issues for a long time, Wisdom, has been redesigned. We are going to limit Wisdom’s potential targets so that it meshes better with the new Boss dynamic.

The wording for this power will be:


When a character with Wisdom knocks out an enemy Boss, you steal an additional 1 GG.

When a character with Wisdom is knocked out by a Boss, your opponent steals an additional 1 GG.


This change might seem rather simple but we have actually tried many different ideas, from manipulating Demonic Rewards to making changes to initiative.

We finally chose an option that remains similar to what we already know about Wisdom in Krosmaster, while making it into a power that limits the meta. This is another important design change with effects that will usually interact with the presence or absence of a Boss characteristic near the target.


Authorization of the tournament timer



Use of a timer to time turns will be authorized from now on in tournaments. In local tournaments, we ask you to be lenient about timer use and not to scare off other players in a tournament with limited stakes.

We recommend a timer set at 6 minutes per turn. For top-level tournaments the limit will be set at 5 minutes per turn.


What we have noticed is that players don’t have much notion of time when they’re playing and that just having a timer in full view is enough to encourage self-discipline.


The main ideas behind the timer are:



  • Spreading the use of the timer and the call for referees. Players should not referee a situation themselves.
  • To usually allow players to go over the time limit in local tournaments and help players learn to play within a set time limit.
  • The timer is accessible and visible to all players. The idea is not for players to sanction each other but for them to call in a referee to adjudicate.



Season format restriction lists


The Season format will be a rotating format. We have already tried to explain why we need this kind of format for the game’s future, its competitiveness and to keep it fresh. We will keep the Ban List system in conjunction with a Boss List, which will be different in the two game formats and will adapt to the evolution of the metagame for these two parallel playing styles.

However, there will be a major change in this format that we haven’t described to you yet.


During Season format tournaments no Krosmaster will be considered as the Boss (even if it is written on a card) unless this Krosmaster is present on the Boss List.


Yes, you read that right! From now on, characters like the Queen of Thieves, Royal Gobball, etcetera, will no longer be considered as a Boss, either during team creation or during a match.

Only characters on the Boss List will be considered to be a Boss during tournaments!


This opens up a lot of new synergies to explore, and we hope that new figurines will use this change to their advantage.


However, the Ban List and Boss List will still exist for this format. Here are the new versions:


Ban List


Arthur Bine


Boss List


Black Crow
Ghett Outadier


Here are a few explanations about why certain figurines are on these lists.

We chose to exclude Poochan and Henual for a similar reason to Theo. 

These three Krosmasters transform the behavior of other figurines too dramatically and too efficiently.


We have tried to ignore this phenomenon for a while. Even if we expected there to be synergies between characters, and even hoped this would happen in Krosmaster Arena, these two figurines, Poochan and Henual, are far too effective and this has a substantial impact in the game environment.

For example, a figurine with an initiative of 5 can get a helping hand from Poochan, increasing their effectiveness hugely in comparison to a Krosmaster with an initiative of 6. This has created a troublesome problem of balance and design for us. We tried putting Poochan and any other major characters benefiting from Poochan’s help on the Boss List, but then we noticed players were preferring to play non-Boss Krosmasters, rather than do without Poochan! 

Arthur Bine is on the list because this is a combo piece that is much too strong. Arthur possesses an accumulation of positive points: an explosive hitting strength, no line of sight and medium range, impressive mobility gains, and an integrated healing capacity. All of these points combined made us decide to put him on the Ban List.


For a long time we have hesitated to make an official change. We have finally settled on the idea of drastically reducing the length of the Boss List. In the future this means people will take on new powerful figurines by choosing a response from the Boss list, rather than having new characters continually added to this list.  This allows us to begin debossifying profiles that probably don’t deserve to have this standing.



Well, this message is getting rather long, so I’ll be in touch again very soon to present Eternel. There’s quite a few changes there too!

May the dice be with you.




First Ankama intervention

Replying to WeisserRiese

Yes, we're working on other languages, but we had to publish this quickly (as there are several QT coming in the following weeks). 
See message in context
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Score : 259
Will there be a German translation?
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Yes, we're working on other languages, but we had to publish this quickly (as there are several QT coming in the following weeks). 
Score : 162
Hiii, I don't understand the Minion's limit at all, could you explain it thoroughly pls? on the other side... you have changed the Season Ban/Bosslist but I don't see nothing about s.1... will they can be played in Season thanks to Eternal cards??
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Season 1 characters will not be playable in Season format. They will only be playable in Eternal (with their new versions coming from the Eternal Deck). 

As for the summon limit, see it like this: count all the summons you control with your team. When you want to cast a summon spell, if the summon limit (indicated between brackets) is higher than the number of summons you control, then you can the spell; otherwise, the summon cannot happen. 

For instance, you have King of the Gobballs, which spell has a limit of (1); and Bad Aboum, which spell limits his bombs to (2). 

If Bad has summoned one or more of his bombs, then the King cannot summon his gobball: his limit is (1), which is inferior to the number of summons/bombs already in play. 

However, if the King has summoned his gobball first, then Bad can summon one more bomb: his limit (2) is superior to the number of summons in play when he cast it a first time. But he can't get a second bomb into play in this situation (1 gobbal + 1 bomb = 2, and his summon limit is (2), so no dice). 
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WTF is this? The changes in summons are completely innecesary...

"Oh! A Summoner equip, very dangerous!"

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 I think it's more deep than that, some clues are in the official post. Some other thoughts on the subject in the following link.
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Will this be set for Worlds too?
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Most probably. We're working on updating the official documents to make these rules applicable as soon as possible.
In general, changes like this become applicable around 2 weeks after the announcement. 
Score : 162
Thanks a lot Dewitt! Will it be applicable in Spain National Championship? (cause it will be in two days...)
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I can't say for sure, although it sounds unlikely to me. However, to make sure, you will have to ask the epople organizing the tournament directly. 
Score : 692
So you've just released the 2.0 ruleset.

How do you propose we teach people to play if basic rules change every 3 months?
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Pretty cool IMO.

So regarding the new Minion rule, if I play Steamy Wonders turret first.. and then katar's minions that should be ok, but not the opposite? Is that the correct logic?
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Pretty much. The condition on whether or not you can summon is checked only when you try to use the spell. So you'll have to be careful about the order of your summonings if you happen to play several of them in your team. 
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one question, if I'll use Sphincter Cell. there isn't evocation on the board anche I'll use Turtle Formation.
can i use Turtle Formation again for the Retreats or I cant because now one turle is on the board?

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ziuccio| Today - 17:35:24
one question, if I'll use Sphincter Cell. there isn't evocation on the board anche I'll use Turtle Formation.
can i use Turtle Formation again for the Retreats or I cant because now one turle is on the board?


The answer is yes, you are able to, but the spell won't summon a turtle
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Score : 6602
According to this you can still make a Julith + Captain team because the rule change makes Captain not a Boss. So putting Julith on the Boss list literally does nothing.

Edit: Forgot capatain can not be played in the new tourney scene cuz he's season 1. Eternal is still screwed, but that's to be expected the more figures you add even with new cards.

Julith being a boss with only 3 other bosses still does next to nothing to nerf her. Up side, Jahash might actually be viable now. And fun.

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Captain is season 1, so you can't play captain. sorry GinjaaNinjaa
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krosartig| Today - 22:16:11
Captain is season 1, so you can't play captain. sorry GinjaaNinjaa

Oh thank god you are right!

I've been stuck in this online Meta-Limbo-Hell for 2 years I forgot. Thanks for the sanity check.
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I don't get the summon changes at all. In a sense where they change something nobody even complained about. Where Summoner teams too good? Winning too many tournaments?
The other thing is indeed that for newer or casual players these changes so shortly after a new ruleset make it extremely difficult to learn the game.
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Score : 167
Oh trust me, people did complain in high level competitive play. As soon as S4 was released, people saw the summon meta coming a mile away and this prophecy was fulfilled at the french nationals with tons of Sphincter + Black/Lord Crow (nicknamed the pokemon meta). It's not so much a matter of how strong it is (although the example I gave IS definitely strong), it's also a matter of overall undesirable gameplay style.

Dealing with a few summons is one thing, but when you spend your whole game doing that because the opponent has enough summoners to send waves after waves and the board is bogged down which results in a stalemate, that's an overall undesirable state of affairs.

Anecdote time : The game I just described happened to be the exact replica of the first game I played at the french nationals, minus the fact that I managed to pull a win (but juuuust barely, in the extra turns). The irony is in who was my opponnent for that game : a certain game designer of a french tactical board game Osmile  (I suspect he was using such a team to test and validate his point on today's changes)

I won't say there aren't collateral damages to this change (especially summoners with a limit of (1) ), but this is always bound to happen in any game with seasonal competitive play where the game designers adapt the rules to the trends.

That's for what we can see player-side, but there's also what Nuuh mentioned about deigning new summons in the original post
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Score : 25
On another note, is your boss and ban list only for Season format?
I don't intend to play Season tournaments as i have never seen any sense in limiting the pool of available krosmasters when there are what? Under 200? This is not Magic where such a thing makes sense with editions of hundreds of cards. So here my question. Will you establish a Boss list and further support and update it for Eternal? The updated S1 cards are a good start for the format, but i hope you will further support it!
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I quote :

We will keep the Ban List system in conjunction with a Boss List, which will be different in the two game formats and will adapt to the evolution of the metagame for these two parallel playing styles.
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I usually try to make my criticism in a positive way. In this case I just can't.
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I've already wrote this once a couple of days ago, but the forum ate it, so I'll try to be brief this time around.

I'm not really big on the summoning change. It seems to me that it limits a lot of potential team builds, especially in eternal format, and does so without a lot of actual benefits. A team with 3 rogues, where you're throwing 4 bombs a turn, is probably not that good. But it is definitely very fun. It is also pretty damn worthless with this new rule. In general, this turns summoners into their own class of boss where, with rare exceptions, it is totally not worthwhile to play more than one summoner on the same team.

As for limited, here are the 4 summoners of season 4:

Lord Crow - 3 Crobaks
Sphincter Cell - 1 Atooin
The Nun - 4 Tombstones
Elite Chafer - 4 Tombstone

These 4 characters make up 25% of Season 4 Krosmasters. There is only one combination between them (the two Tombstoners) where it is less than terrible to play then together. Pretty much any other summoner with ruin Sphincter Cell's most powerful and distinguishing feature. Lord Crow can probably stand to lose 1 Crobak, but Tombstones are practically indestructable! Once you play one, you can't move it and it's not easily destroyed. Indeed, there is very little incentive for an opponent to destroy it, while it also very effectively ruins a teammate's ability to summon under the new rules.

This all said, I think the rest of the announced rule changes seem solid. I suspect that the boss list will grow a little larger with time and I hope that the summoning change will at least be reverted for eternal, but I think there's more to be happy about than to complain over, here.

As an aside, the Unfazed change seems like an obvious Julith nerf to me, but it has me wondering how much it hurts her and how much it helps? I don't think the ability to give her even more movement is likely to make her much worse, but I'm not sure how feasable it is to give her +2/3 AP, which would certainly make her even more nightmarish.
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Does the new Summoning rule apply to the immature Dreggons? because then they are even more dead then now. Especially Crocabulias once per game spell, even though noone even used it.
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@Atticor: Good question.
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@Atticor: Very good question.
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