Game Reviews

Monster Train Card Game Continued…

Hello friends and gamers,

Monster Train, the card game by Shiny Shoe, is more exciting (addicting, send help) the longer I play. On my last blog post about Monster Train, I talked about starting champions for Hellhorned and Awoken, but nothing about the Stygian Guard or Umbra cards in the video game. Previously, I mentioned the train of monsters as a literal hell on wheels. The angelic horde seeks to crush hell once and for all and stop the train. As the last pyre of hell needs protected, our duty is to combine the split clans of hell to bite back.

I aim to go a little more into details about two other clans today. Since the last post, I have achieved 4 more victories and increased my covenant rank. That’s right, your favorite game gush gamer has ranked up to Covenant 5 (out of 25)! While defeating angels for my victories, I unlocked the Stygian Guard and Umbra clans.

Monster Train Card Game — The Stygian Guard

The Stygian Guard are familiar to sea demons. These creatures have gills, fins, and mermaid tails. Color tones are a wave of dark blues and purples. Both champions of the Stygian Guard in the Monster Train card game are reminiscent of a long lost demonic-filled Atlantis. Tethyrs Titansbane looks like a little purple sea imp with a conch shell for a spear. Honestly, I don’t really like this champion though. Solgard the Martyr is the next Stygian Guard champion in Monster Train. He’s this octopus-like mastermind that is just so fun to use for whatever reason to me. I’ll talk more about him further down!

stygian guard monster train card game champion

Stygian Guard – Strengths

Stygian cards are all centered around spell damage and frostbite. Frostbite deals damage to the enemy once the round ends. Spell weakness is an amazing debuff that basically doubles the damage of a spell. So far, I really like 3 main creatures in the Stygian card pool. Molluscmage is a creature card that enhances magic power while on the field. Coldcaelia hits all enemies on the floor and applies 3 frostbite. Icy Cilophyte is the third fun creature that applies spell weakness when attacking an enemy. When combined together, all of the effects stacked together can hit really hard.

Stygian Guard – Weaknesses

But like all good things in a card game like Monster Train, there is a balance. Spell damage can be great but the downfall for Stygians is lack of unit health. Awoken have tanky brutes to soak up damage. Hellhorned have aggressive damage dealer units who can take an average beating. Most of the Stygian units though are very squishy mages. Encountering a boss with high stats will instantly weaken the excitement of spell damage. There are only 3 rounds to maximize damage if you haven’t damaged the boss before the final wave. Truly only 2 rounds if needing to take out enemies on the frontline.

Frostbite Effect – Cold & Relentless

At first, I disagreed with frostbite. Every chance I had, I threw frostbite cards away. You know, I wanted to kill enemies in the same turn and avoid damage to my already low health units. Who wants their units to be a punching bag? However, earning enough experience while playing clan cards will level up a clan. Thus, I unlocked the second champion of the Stygian Guard. The second champion of the Stygian Guard in Monster Train is really where frostbite turns cold and relentless to the angle villains in the game. And I’ll explain why by explaining Solgard the Martyr.

Monster Train Card Game Champion – Solgard the Martyr

Solgard the Martyr is really fun to play and mold in a standard run of the game because of the upgraded champion card effects that Monster Train implements. At the beginning of a run, Monster Train allows us to upgrade our champion between 2 options. One of my favorite options for Solgard the Martyr is an upgrade to deal 3 frostbite per shard when he is damaged. He gains a shard when playing a spell on his floor. With a low mana spell deck and extra draws per turn, this should be really easy to ramp up. The final boss had roughly 780 frostbite applied which dealt 780 damage by the end of the turn. That’s a MASSIVE boost for anyone who is playing on the lower covenant ranks.

stygian guard monster train card game champion

Monster Train Card Game — The Umbra

In my opinion, the umbra card pool is definitely the hardest one to use in Monster Train. The entire synergy of Umbra is about boosting and stacking buffs on one centralized unit. However, Umbras are a little creepy because this hellish clan favors cannibalism in order to achieve that goal. Umbra units will look like silhouette demons (think Luci from Disenchantment).

Other than eating the young, the card pool also kind of tells a story of its own. The Umbra cards in Monster Train are revolved around mining underground and dealing with metal ores and magma. Without even reading lore, I understood from the card art how morsel units are not just good for eating. These units also act like coal in order to kindle the fire. In this care, the fire means mana to play cards.

Monster Train Card Game Champion – Penumbra

The main Umbra champion card, Penumbra, in Monster Train is inspired by Bakasura. Bakasura is a demon in Indian mythology who is a supernatural man-eater. Smite also does a great depiction of Bakasura and I love both character models. Regarding champion card upgrades during the Monster Train standard runs, each one has it’s own benefit. Gaining 2 extra unit spaces on a floor when summoned is huge for man-eaters. But that’s only effective if you have a deck to pump out 4+ units per turn. Trample is good, in theory, because this means you can kill more than one enemy per turn with Penumbra. An upgrade to gain attack strength when a unit is eaten is also extremely viable and probably one of the better choices.

umbra monster train card game champion

The Umbra – Strengths

When equipped with the right setup, your champion will be unkillable. Consume little morsels (units) to fatten up your champion into one giant beefcake. Emberdrain is one of the most daunting effects in the card pool because it reduces your mana next turn. I imagine most players would stray away from cards with emberdrain. The thought that the positive effects do not outweigh the negative effects of no mana can be scary. However, lifesteal is the name of the game for a beefed up champion. With countless amounts of lifesteal stacks, Penumbra will easily solo bosses.

The Umbra – Weaknesses

As a one many army, you’d hope to slaughter legion after legion of the enemy with no chance of losing. Unfortunately, that’s not bound to happen on the first few runs with Umbra haha. Like I understand I’m supposed to fatten this boy up, but how to do it as quick as possible on the battlefield is the question. Some battles put down a row of 5 enemies every wave. There is only one champion lol which means the pyre will be saying hello to some unwarranted damage. The threat here is not bosses, but surprisingly non-boss enemies since creating a titan takes time.

Monster Train Game Gush

Feel like gushing about fun times on Monster Train? Thought something was cool in the blog post and want to talk about it with someone passionate about gaming? Fear of ridicule or resentment for enjoying a game? No sweat! Comment section is free to use and a safe space to gush your heart out! I’d love to hear more stories from other game lovers in a positive gaming community!

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