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Monster Train (at least as good as Slay the Spire- RPS)


therearerules
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Surprised not to see a thread on this unless my searching skills have let me down again.

 

Monster Train is a deck builder which appears to crib heavily from Slay the Spire, but I'm actually finding much more enjoyable! At first glance it appears a lot more complex, with a more MtG approach of summoning many monsters, buffing them, as well as spells, all over 3 floors. But after just a couple of runs it all fits together really smoothly.

 

Any StS veterans will know the score- pick a class and choose a direction from the first few cards, then keep your deck as lean and focused as you can because the final boss will escalate things.

 

The differences are all positives to me:

5 classes, one your main and one support, each with 2 different basic cards and champions, allow for 160 different starting setups and playthroughs before the different upgrade paths and artifacts are taken into account.

 

Very generous deck customisation from the off- it's not heal or upgrade, it's heal and upgrade and discard 2 and an event. But this doesn't mean it's easier, just more interesting.

 

Also it's free on Gamepass, so there's no excuse to skip it.

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Agree that this is at least as good as StS. 

 

Been playing it loads over Xmas stuck on Cov2 at the moment but nearly fully leveled all the different clans now with Umbra last to get to 10. 

 

Think I played it on my phone using the gamepass app for about 5hrs yesterday. Just nails the one more run addiction. 

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I posted about it yesterday in the Gamepass thread, but I agree it's a fantastic game. I have had little gaming time the past week, but this has been slotted in my spare half hours. It has the "one more go" factor and it just feels right. Would be amazing if they got this working with touch on the streaming app... 

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It’s a masterpiece. It’s like Slay the Spire’s scrappier, more anarchic cousin: even after days of play, the sheer number of combinations of clans, leaders and cards continues to blow my mind a little. It’s fantastic fun and while it lacks StS’s incredible balance and precision, I’m starting to think it’s every bit as good. 

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Yeah, this is great. It's been added to my very select list of perma-install games:

 

Slay the Spire

FTL

Into the Breach

Spelunky

Monster Train

 

Maybe not quite as well balanced as StS but the number of possible combinations and unexpected synergies makes up for that.

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I quite like the mash up of StS, Magic: The Gathering and tower defence styles in this game. I’ve enjoyed playing so far but it’s nowhere near as elegant or well balanced as StS. I’ve also found that the winning strategy for a particular set of cards is fairly evident early on and I’ve not really come across anything that forces you to change how you play later in a run. Maybe that will change with whatever the equivalent of Ascension levels are.

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I really enjoyed the hour I played of this. Since lockdown I am playing STS almost daily (which is mad when you think about it). 

 

I agree it's a little fiddly and the boss rush bit is a little odd. The final epic moment is suddenly autoplay? I get its kind of the pay off for your forward planning so that's not a complaint but I agree it's not quite got the elegance as STS. And graphically it could be purified a little. There's a lot of visual clutter distracting from the mechanics. 

 

Minor complaints though... The similarities and differences between STS are set just right to be familiar but new

 

I think the thing that will limit this for me is it being xbox, because if I have access to the TV I'm going to play something different, so I am eager for there to be a switch version or decent android version. 

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This game is so addictive. For me it's got the ultimate "one more shot" quality, and i can't even put my finger on why. I love experimenting with the different types of cards and seeing what All works best. The daily challenge is really good too. 

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Downloaded this thanks to Gamepass and just gave it a bash. Completed a run on my first go which is unusual for me. It’s seems ok, although very busy, and doesn’t feel quite... right... compared to StS. Going to try a few more runs to understand the systems a bit better though. 
 

Love the graphical style though, nice and chunky, and the sound adds to the heft. Could be a keeper, we’ll see

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There's a public beta test of the upcoming DLC live now. It closes on the 10th, so now is the time if you want to give it a go. Go into the game's properties on Steam and you can select it under "Betas" then the game will update with the new stuff. 

 

There's a brand new clan, one new rare unit for each of the other clans, new concealed caverns events and some balance changes to the existing content.

 

They've also added optional extra difficulty and an extra final boss, so the game has its own Heart now. There are new optional locations you can visit between stages. You gain access to various rewards in exchange for taking pact shards. The shards make the regular battles more difficult, with the difficulty/"threat level" increasing as you get more of them. To get to the new final boss you need to collect 100 or more shards during the run. This is a welcome addition, as Covenant 25 wins on this are not nearly as challenging as Ascension 20 Heart Kills on Slay the Spire,. 

 

The new class is a lot of fun already. I was completely baffled on my first run and overwhelmed by the new mechanics and terminology, but it clicked on the second run. I like their new brand of resource management and I'm looking forward to figuring out some of their strategies. I haven't seen the new rare units for all of the classes yet either, but both the Stygian and Hellhorned ones I've seen so far are amazing additions to the game. Some of the new events are also crazy, but I won't spoil them here. :) 

 

I love this game by the way, glad it's got its own thread now. I don't think it's quite as good as Slay the Spire in terms of polish, interface and balance, but it is still fantastic and has claimed 400 hours of my free time. It's been my favourite game to listen to podcasts to this year, even edging out Spire for most of lockdown.

 

 I am on a quest to complete covenant 25 with every combination of clans and champions. I've done it with every Alternate Champion from the DLC, working my way back through the original ones now. The only clan I've "completed" with all possible combinations of champions and allies is Hellhorned so far, but I'm well on the way with Awoken too. Glad I'll have somewhere to post my logbook screenshot when I'm done now. The new clan will add another 8 crowns to get when it's officially released though, so I'm going to be a while yet. Current progress looks like this: 

 

20210109034916_1.thumb.jpg.06645e39533ea5c868519de037bc4cf3.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Strangely I totally bounced off Slay the Spire when it was released but love Monster Train. I recently went back to STS to see if I like it anymore and it still isn't hooking me in. I really detest the art style and the whole "whimsical" feel of the game. Monster Train just feels more fully developed as a game and is just much more fun for my money. I also feel the tower defence elements give it more depth and strategy. 

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Damn, morsels are much much stronger in this new DLC. The morsel that used to just give one energy next turn when eaten, for example, now gives +2 attack, +2 health *and* the energy. Umbra was the weakest class overall, but it still seems very generous how much they've buffed all the morsels. The new class is also very strong. Had 2 Covenant 25 wins out of 3 runs with them so far. I think it's fine for them to be OP during this test run though. It's better to flex all the new mechanics and let people try and break it and and have fun with it so they can tweak it later. Haven't tried their second champion yet though, need to get him unlocked before this test phase ends! 

 

Also all of the new rare cards are insane. Again, some of them probably too strong at this point, but maaan they're a lot of fun. :) 

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  • 5 weeks later...

Took me ages to get my first win. Think I've spent just as long trying to win at the first covenant level, still discovering different methods and combinations with every run.

 

Pretty sure I would have done it the other night, if I didn't waste my money upgrading spells before the final boss, didn't realise I could have used it to buy some artifacts until it was too late.

 

Would never had played this if it wasn't on game pass and decided to try it after it being recommended, loving it.

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I do wish this was on Switch though. All my slay the spire time is thanks to having a quick go on handheld, if the TV is in use or whatever. I'd play this a lot more if I could do it that way. 

 

I'm still figuring out how to play the different clans. I was having a streak of always getting to the end with one particular combo, but any other class dying really quickly. The learning and figuring out your tactics on this is quite fun though. 

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  • 1 month later...

The DLC is out for this today. The cost is around 7 pounds odd, but I cashed in some reward points to get it as I play this almost everyday. I havent had much of a shot with the new clan, but the game itself has new cards, new "train scenarios" (when you find stuff between levels), and a new risk/reward mechanic where you can get more perks and money but the enemies are more powerful. There is also a new end of game boss, although I havent made it through as yet. 

 

On a side note this is now series X/S branded (no dlc required) and appears (to my eyes) to be slightly higher res than before. Unfortunatly the loading times seem to have got a little longer and the game itself seems a little less smooth than before. I'm hoping these things can be patched out soon, as while it isn't game breaking it's bloody annoying. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bought the DLC with the Easter voucher MS gave away to XBox users, and fallen deeply back in again. Really loving the game. One issue I had pre-DLC was that often it was better to focus on one clan rather than synergise, but the new 'merge units' feature has meant that often I'll take secondary clan summons to graft their special abilities onto the primary summons. Had some great runs- The green champion that gives rooted, combined with explode upon death tombs from Melting Remnants, and a wickless baron behind them. Also did an offering run with the Direchannel champion, and a merge of two incant summons. Just those two units, and a whole bunch of discard/draw cards and offering spells. Beat the Divinity in three turns.

 

Honestly, that DLC has just made this fantastic game even better.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just completed Cov 25! By the final covs I was rerolling at the start until I got a Seraph and starting hand I knew I could deal with. My last few builds were either a Little fade spike build, Awoken thornbuild with incant backup, or gorge consume Umbra build. I stopped rolling random builds at about Cov 20, where even what appeared to be successful steamrollers just got ended by Seraph.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I finally completed all my quest to fill out all the Covenant 25 crowns with every pre-DLC clan combination a couple of weeks ago. Really happy with that. Some of them were back to back wins, but then some of the combinations took 10-15 attempts, so it was quite an undertaking. 

 

Also this week I got my first win over The Last Divinity. Been playing the Wurmkin Snail with Hellhorned over and over again to try and beat it. Eventually managed it with a whole ton of consume/etch synergy. Going for the 9th floor gives the game a very different flavour. Had loads of runs where the deck stormed the game, demolished Seraph and then died in two turns against The Last Divinity. You have to make sure your deck is incredibly strong by the end at all costs. You also have to take into account which floor you'll be playing on, as you can run a build that sits happily on the top floor for the whole run, then against the big boss it has to deal with sweep every turn. I've had to take capacity as a boss reward once or twice purely to have room to relocate my floor for the final boss fight. 

 

 

Crowns.jpg

Last Divinity.jpg

 

What an excellent game. Glad to see the developers are so active on it too. There was another balance patch yesterday out of nowhere that made some good changes. They finally nerfed Transcendimp to cost 2 energy instead of 1. That has been ridiculously powerful since the game came out and I had assumed the developers were just happy with that being one of the more OP things in the game, but they have brought the hammer down. :D 

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I still play this almost daily, yet I'm still on covenant 15. Playing the daily challenge is just part of my gaming day and I look forward to gunning for the high scores (even though I rarely manage). I've beaten the last divinity a couple of times on lower levels but agree that it changes your strategy overall as you make your way through the game. 

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  • 3 months later...

Finally beat Covenant 25 on this excellent, excellent game using a Melting Remnant / Hellhorned combo. Plenty more to do though, I still need to defeat the Last Divinity super-boss as well as completing it with all the other clans and oh, what's that, Expert Challenges unlocked? Not done with this by a long stretch but I'd take some more DLC in a heartbeat.

 

It feels like sacrilege to say it somehow but I do think this is better than Slay the Spire.

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