Meet the Sorcery Team: Rafa Novellino

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Chase du Pont

Get to know the Sorcery Team!

With a small but dedicated team at Erik's Curiosa, we are committed to delivering the best possible Sorcery TCG experience to players. However, it's not all just work; we are just as big fans of Sorcery as many of you are!

In the coming weeks, you'll be seeing members of the Sorcery team talking about some of their favorite parts of Sorcery, from artifacts to thematic play, or even the foiling process.

Get to know Rafa Novellino!

Rafa Novellino is a Game Designer at Sorcery: Contested Realm, focused on ensuring that Sorcery's fun and flavor manifest in the design of each card that enters the realm.

Q: What’s your official title/role at Sorcery: Contested Realm?

A: Game Designer.

Q: What’s your favorite minion in Sorcery?

A: I’ll have to go with Headless Haunt. It’s a card that I was introduced to very early on through the Alpha Precons and it just happens to be one of those cards like Pudge Butcher and Cloud City, where everything about it is so perfect - theme, gameplay, art - that it’s been left pretty much untouched (other than some balance and template updates) since early development. The random repositioning works perfectly with a d20, one of the most iconic dice used in tabletop gaming, given our 5x4 grid, and it really tells this perfect story of an utterly lost Haunt, perhaps looking for its ghostly head, which sometimes ends up landing on the worst spot ever, but every now and again lands in the perfect position.

Our ghost friend was part of my very first constructed deck, and it’s a card that I still have a blast playing with today. In my view, it truly highlights one of Sorcery’s gameplay strengths in its grid. It also reminds us that at its core Sorcery is a kitchen table game and that we shouldn’t take things too seriously but should rather embrace some of the craziness and the joy of playing games with friends, family, and strangers.

Q: What’s your favorite combo in Sorcery?

A: I’ve been experimenting more with aggro decks recently so there’s a turn-one Sleeping Giantess combo that’s been on my mind recently. I mean, getting a 5-power minion in play by turn 1, which either surpasses or rivals most other minions in the game, and either threatening your opponent’s sites with it or being ahead in your site development sounds interesting to me.

To pull that off, you need to run Elementalist as your Avatar, which gives you the earth threshold you need, and then you need Imperial Road, any of the three ordinary Towers, and Slumbering Giantess in your starting hand. So turn one you play Imperial Road, follow up with a Tower, and then summon your Sleeping Giantess there. If the opponent didn’t play a site, they are now behind and you can easily get to them next turn. If they do play a site, there is now a 5-power Giantess ready (well, not so ready yet) to attack.

As an honorable mention, I absolutely love the Eaten Monks combo. We don’t actually have a card that gives players an extra turn, which is an effect that is loved (and equally hated!) by many. But there’s actually a way to pull that off if you manage to get Candlemas Monks killed at the start of your opponent’s turn, which is possible with Crave Golem, virtually ending their turn before they can do anything!

Q: What’s your favorite Artifact in Sorcery: Contested Realm?

A: I haven’t really played it much, but Rolling Boulder might be my favorite artifact in the game right now. Everything about it is just silly. It’s a relatively straightforward card, but it creates a lot of those Sorcery moments of storytelling and just pure fun. It’s a powerful card but because it can easily be used against you, you have to know how and when to use it for maximum efficiency, otherwise, it may very well become your demise in the future haha. There’s one little quirk about it that I particularly like, which is the fact that its ability can be activated by ANY unit at that location. That means that I can have a little Foot Soldier carrying the Boulder around, and the opponent might be able to sneak in there with something like Blink, and can then tap their unit to push the boulder, thus killing my Foot Soldier who was a second ago carrying it!  It’s all so ridiculous and comical, it reminds me of those old Looney Tunes cartoons.

A: What’s your favorite Avatar in Sorcery: Contested Realm?

Avatar of Air. I just absolutely love her high mobility. She’s had different versions throughout development, but she always kept this once-on-your-turn flight ability of sorts. Most other Avatars are more static, while even more mobile ones either have to move in certain ways or are a little more restricted (Pathfinder, Avatar of Water). Avatar of Air though symbolizes freedom to me. As long as there are air sites in play, the realm is her domain, and she can just jump around to shoot projectiles or escape from a thunderstorm, but she can also temporarily give her allies the power to fly. She might not be the strongest Avatar, but she’ll always be #1 in my heart.

Q: When are you having the most fun with Sorcery?

A: When you (the person I’m playing with) are having fun!

In all seriousness, that’s it.

I love to see my deck and strategy work. I love to see the big explosions, gigantic whirling Amoebas, and earthshaking magic… but at the end of the day, the best games are those where both you and I are having a great time together, telling stories together, laughing, sharing, lifting each other up, while we see our decks’ themes & strategies breathe life into the game we’re playing.

That’s why I love those slightly longer, grindy games, where both players are able to pull off their combos and implement their strategy, and we’re trading blows, at one point I’m ahead, then there comes a big swing play that turns the tides, and it’s all that good stuff of game that could go either way with both avatars eventually on death’s door, looking at each other, praying for a top deck…

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