Netherworld 2: Back Through the Portal is out. It is going to take some time to digest and play with the cards to get a real feel for the new environment, but here, are some of my initial impressions on the factions.
Dragons: We have a couple of new characters that look fun to play in Hiro Asataka and Wu Ming Li, but nothing that really jumps out like the reprint of Golden Gunman. The Events are more interesting -- Going out in in style and The Prof's Gambit look like some formidable character take out.
Architects: Ambush Ambush Ambush! Rats and Teeth add some punch to the ambush deck, and could prove to be effective. The Conversion Drone is interesting, but hard to say whether its worth 5 power. Another card that looks tricky is Helix Scrambler, but I like sneaky stuff like that.
Ascended: The characters seem pretty bland, except for maybe the NIDs, who might just breathe some life into the old Hood deck. Art-wise, The Eastern King kicks ass -- he looks to be as nasty as Draco. Bounty screams out to have a deck made for it, but I don't know if there will be much variety in the ones that sprout up. The Ascended got a few interesting events -- Playing Both Ends is fun for alternate power generation, but not as brutal as Mole Network or Bull Market. Both of the One-Shots look playable, and hopefully wont be overpowered.
Lotus: The Lotus has a small presence in this set, which is understandable given Throne War. At 3 power for 6 damage, we might see The Bound in a lot of decks -- she is kind of a slightly larger version of Walking Corpses. The Burning King looks to be fun, too -- he's big, he's bad, and he's fickle!
Hand: This set gives us Senshi Chambers up the wazoo -- I don't know if they will be played much or not. Fist of Shadow is probably over-the-top, and I am afraid it will have a chilling effect on playing Edges.
Jammers: While it's clear that the Jammers will never have first tier access to Tech, we do get two very playable cards that do beef up Tech a little in Low-Rent Cyborg and Junkyard Crawler. Otherwise, the best Jammer cards are reprints.
Monarchs: There are so many new cards in this faction, I haven't been able to fully digest them all. Prisoner of the Monarchs seems to be a standout, and will have a huge impact on the game by giving the Monarchs some offensive take-out. Thunder: The King is gonna be whupping on people -- tons of good Thunder Cards. Ice: Seems more limited -- it's really pushing towards a weapons deck. Fire: More fun stuff -- Avenging Fire really avenges! I am still debating whether I like the old or new kings better -- I like that extra plink when playing a Fire card. Darkness: This was the most disappointing -- there just doesn't seem to be a lot new here that jumps out. The Ravagers seem like an overpriced off-faction Stealth card. The General is ok as a 4 for 7 with Tactics, but I think the Palm of Darkness will be the most fun -- I hate specialty sites and love hosing them, especially with Tactics to keep these guys alive.
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