Creating Symetra was an exciting study in archetypal systems and mechanics. I got to compile the ultimate list of elements, emotions and energies from as many games and philosophical traditions as I could, and then give each one a unique effect that embodied its action in reality. In this post we will look at the deck organized in a few different ways in hopes that you can see the big picture of Symetra and increase your understanding through simplification.
The main division is the 3 card types: elements, emotions, and energies. Within each card type there are sets of 2 or more related cards.
Symetra Deck Breakdown by Card Type
1 Infinity (only card without a type or polarity)
4 Primordial Elements: Light & Dark, Sound & Silence
4 Material Elements: Earth & Air, Water & Fire
2 Immaterial Elements: Ether & Thought
2 Dimensions: Space &Time
3 Barriers: Mirror, Veil & Void
1 Equanimity (the only neutral, unpaired emotion card)
2 Love & Hate
2 Compassion & Cruelty
2 Courage & Fear
2 Innocence & Guilt
2 Enthusiasm & Envy
2 Generosity & Greed
2 Humility & Pride
2 Vigor & Torpor
2 Passion & Depression
2 Hope & Despair
2 Calm & Anger
2 Joy & Sorrow
3 Primary Trinity: Creation, Destruction & Preservation
3 Secondary Trinity: Transcendence, Transformation & Sustenance
3 Alignments of Control: Order, Chaos & Balance
2 States of Being: Life & Death
2 States of Connection: Union & Separation
2 States of Motion: Movement & Stillness
2 States of Expression: Freedom & Limitation
2 States of Volume: Fullness & Emptiness
As for polarity, there are 25 positive cards, 25 negative cards, 9 neutral cards, and Infinity.
Cards are also related by affinities & enmities, which always include cards from within its set, but sometimes cards from outside its set as well. Due to the similarity with the previous list, and the complexity of the web, we will let you discover those subtleties on your own.
Complete Symetra matrix in Oracle form
Next is breaking down the deck by the functions of each card action. Although each action is unique, some are close variations of each other, or ultimately affect the game in a similar fashion. Some cards even show up in multiple categories!
Symetra Deck Breakdown by Card Function
Actual Energy Control: Life & Death (potential), Generosity & Greed (universal)
Card Draw: Light (deck), Compassion (discard), Enthusiasm (give)
Card Discard: Dark (deck), Cruelty (discard), Envy (take)
Card Knowledge: Thought (top of deck), Veil (player’s hand)
Move Energy to Cards: Movement (charge), Union (potential to 2 cards), Fullness (potential to capacity), Pride (actual), Water (potential), Sustenance (universal)
Move Energy from Cards: Stillness (cancel charge), Separation (2 cards to potential), Emptiness (down to 1 in potential), Humility (actual), Fire (universal), Air (actual), Balance (make 2 cards equal into actual)
Card Capacity Control: Hope (increase) & Despair (decrease)
Affinity & Enmity Control: Love (affinity) & Hate (enmity), Equanimity (enmity with all positive & negative cards)
Polarity Control: Joy (positive) & Sorrow (negative)
Fuse Extra Card: Sound (hand), Creation (deck)
Banish Card: Silence (cancel fusion), Destruction (matrix to discard), Void (matrix to hand)
Exchange Card: Transformation (hand), Chaos (deck), Infinity (matrix)
Extra Player Actions: Sound (fusion), Movement (charge)
Cancel Player Actions: Silence (fusion), Stillness (charge)
Extra Card Actions: Freedom (card), Courage (player), Innocence (positive), Guilt (negative), Ether (deck)
Cancel Card Actions: Limitation (card), Fear (player), Time (chain reaction), Calm (negative), Anger (positive), Order (cards), Earth (card energy), Transcendence (player from being selected), Preservation (player from selecting others)
Relocation: Space (cards), Mirror (card actions)
Decrease Action Costs: Vigor (card), Passion (player), Calm (positive), Anger (negative)
Increase Action Costs: Torpor (card), Depression (player)
Reverse Cycle Win Condition: Humility (lowest total energy on cards instead of highest)
Restore Cycle Win Condition: Pride (highest total energy on cards wins as normal)
As for card action costs, there are 2 card actions that cost 0, 32 card actions that cost 1, 16 card actions that cost 2, 7 card actions that cost 3, and 3 card actions that cost 4. All the card actions were power balanced by their cost.
I hope you enjoyed the Symetra deck breakdown, and with your new understanding of the card functions, take your game to the next level!