Prismata balance patch going live this weekend!

Hi everyone!

I’m pleased to announce that we’re deploying a balance update this week! It’s our first one in quite a while, chiefly because we’ve been seeing pretty encouraging statistics for almost all of the Prismata units ever since our last round of changes. The results of our recent unit survey indicated a strong need for changes to Odin and Wild Drone, so we’re including updates to those units. We’ve also focused more on buffs this time than we usually do, mainly because we’ve been happy with the results of past buffs and want to continue the trend of trying to find the best and most interesting version of every unit in the game.

The complete list of changes is provided below:

Wild Drone – Now costs 2E, has a buildtime of 2 turns, has 2HP, and produces 1 gold per turn. Still Frontline. Now supply 10. Wild Drone has been a source of a large number of complaints from top players for a long time (mostly because it’s quite forcing in the opening and doesn’t leave a lot of options for players to be flexible in their builds), but we struggled to find a reasonable change to the unit that would fix its underlying problem. Instead, we’ve given up and decided to more-or-less retire the unit, deploying an alternate design for a Frontline economic unit in its place. This is really an entirely new unit with completely different synergies and opening strategy. We thoroughly enjoyed playing with it in testing and we hope you’ll have a good time exploring its possibilities!

Odin – HP reduced from 4 to 3. So… this will be a bit of a long explanation. Apologies in advance for the length, but I want to explain a number of details about the different things we tried before reaching our final decision regarding this nerf. Of course, we knew from the survey that a change to Odin was warranted, but we had a huge number of internal debates and playtests as well as discussions with top players about what the change ought to be.

Odin is the most player-1-favouring unit in high-level Prismata play, a combination of its overall power level and the fact that its cost favours a number of player 1 builds that are difficult for player 2 to respond to, especially in situations where Conduit is weak. The main difficulty lies in how strong Odin is when purchased as early threat but subsequently used as a defender. This tends to increase the benefit to whichever player buys Odin first (since their opponent has to deal with the 7 immediate threat, whereas the first Odin buyer can use their own Odin on defense to deal with the opponent’s 7 immediate threat) and is especially troublesome in unit sets where Wall is the largest absorber (since Odin’s immediate defensive value is particularly impactful).

This left us with a clear goal: make Odin weaker in situations where it’s currently very strong to rush it out quickly.

We considered simply nerfing the unit’s cost, but even with a 1-2 gold increase in price, Odin is still a pretty good buy in most sets where Wall is otherwise the largest absorber, and buying Odin early is still very important. A price increase removes Odin from the game in a few sets where it’s no longer good enough value, but doesn’t really address the underlying problem.

Several players suggested changes that would disincentivize an early Odin by giving the second player a good follow-up, such as making Odin prompt, or increasing the buildtime of some/all of the Steelsplitters, or of Odin itself. We tried a number of these (while adjusting Odin’s cost to balance things out). While they had some benefits, these changes ultimately didn’t do much to address the high value of getting Odin early (or threatening to get Odin early, in the case of the prompt Odin) and resulted in the same type of early BBB builds from both players.

The decision to try a version of Odin with lower HP was actually inspired by a series of experiments we did many years ago with a non-blocking Odin, where we found that the player who got Odin 2nd often had an advantage if the other player rushed it too early (the blocking ability adds more value to the player who buys Odin sooner, since they get to block first, so removing blocking helps the player who buys Odin second). Accordingly, we felt that we could ameliorate the Odin problem by adjusting Odin’s balance so that blocking is less favourable and attacking is more favourable. We tried a number of ways of doing this, including increase the click damage on Odin (and removing a Steelsplitter to compensate), or even making Odin fragile (ew!) but ultimately decided that simply lowering Odin’s HP to 3 worked best in practice. At 3HP, Odin retains all of its attacking strength in situations where you want to click it, but its role as an absorber is greatly diminished. The new 3HP Odin feels more like the “status quo” 4HP Odin does when other, stronger walls are present (Infusion Grid, Energy Matrix, etc.). You’ll block with it far less often, but it will still sometimes be correct to do so (especially in situations where you can deny absorb).

And yes, this does mean Odin will be targetable by Apollo. But we don’t see this as a bad thing (the new Odin is still good value in Apollo sets, and Apollo + Odin games should be shorter on average after the change).

This change is a strict nerf to Odin, and a sizable one in some sets. We definitely expect to see Odin a bit less often after the change (but that’s okay, Odin had one of the highest buyrates among all 1-supply units in Prismata). If it turns out that Odin becomes too infrequently bought after the nerf, we’ll consider decreasing its cost in a subsequent patch. We’ll have our eyes on the stats, so please send us your feedback!

Militia – Cost changed from 6B to 3B + Sacrifice a DroneThis is a change aimed at increasing the power of Militia in the late game and creating more interesting decisions in the early game. Top Prismata player Msven championed this adjustment as a way of making the unit more dynamic and less boring, and we really loved it in playtesting. So we’re trying it out. Decisions between Militia and Steelsplitter in the opening will be far less straightforward. Note that this isn’t a strict buff—sometimes you’ll now be an energy short in situations where you used to be able to buy DD + Militia during the opening. But it provides a decent blue sink during the middle phases of the game, and can even facilitate a breachproof transition! We hope you’ll find some fun new things to do with the new Militia.

Mobile Animus – Click ability cost reduced from 3 to 2. We always worry about making “tech-cheating” units too good, since they can sometimes be very powerful in the presence of the right supporting units. But Mobile Animus has felt rather unremarkable since its introduction, so we’re looking to see if we can find a way to make it a bit stronger. Let us know if you find anything really broken with it!

Sentinel – Cost reduced from 7GR to 6GR. HP reduced from 4 to 3. Sentinel is another unit that’s commonly cited as needing a buff. The status quo 7RG Sentinel is actually very powerful in the right situations, but those situations (low inflation, high-econ defensive games) don’t happen that often, and Sentinel’s massive HP actually tends to drag out those games longer than they need to be. We feel that by pushing Sentinel to be more affordable, we can make it into a bit more of a Hellhound-like support attacker that’s viable in more sets. Lowering its HP then balances out its impact on dragging out the game. It’s a win-win change, and we really loved it in testing.

Blood Phage – Cost decreased from 8RE to 6RE. Buildtime increased from 1 to 2. We honestly weren’t that sure whether we wanted to change Blood Phage. A lot of players really like the status quo. But a number of top players expressed concerns that it was very forcing in openings due to its immediate attack threat and overall value. So we tried this alternative out, adding buildtime to design around the immediate threat. We found that it led to a much richer variety of openings for both players (p2 gets a new DD/DA/T+Phage opener, and p1 can try DD/DD/DDA/Phage+Phage!) but also gave the opponent enough time to plan out their own response without having to sacrifice a mandatory early Engineer. It definitely feels different… it’s less edgy and punishing, more strategic and calculating. But we like the change. Blood Phage was caught between two identities—one, a highly efficient attacker that needs to be bought on the same turn as a Drone, and two, a key economic unit that allows you to sink excess red in the endgame and ramp up gold production as you ramp up damage. We want to push it more toward the latter, and in general, we want single R red units to be smaller and more flexible. Please let us know what you think!

Units not changed

There are a number of units that we considered changing, but didn’t. Some notes on a few of them:

Redeemer – Some players suggested that this unit might favour player 2, but surprisingly, we found little to no bias toward player 2 in our statistics. It’s more-or-less a perfectly balanced unit in master-level games. We’ll check on this again in the future.

Bombarder – One of our newest units, Bombarder is certainly strong, but we’re not yet sure whether we want to commit to a 1-gold nerf. So we’re going to wait and see before making a change. Let us know if you think we ought to go through with it!

Cryo Ray, Wincer, Lancetooth, Flame Animus, Lucina SpinosThese units have all been the subject of nerf requests in the past few months, but we don’t yet feel there’s a strong consensus on whether a change is needed, so we’re choosing to wait and see before committing to any nerfs.

The patch will be deployed this weekend!

We’re likely pushing a small client and server update around the same time, look for it in the next day or two. As usual, no change is final! If we need to make further adjustments to Odin or any of the other units listed above, we will. Please continue sending us your feedback and suggestions, they’re a huge help!

Survey, Tourney Announcement, and More!

Hi everyone!

Welcome especially to all the new players who joined us after the Kill the Servers Weekend on Steam (which did indeed kill the servers briefly last Saturday morning).

We have a lot to talk about as we’re making several announcements! Please have a look below!



We’re conducting a survey on how we can improve Prismata, particularly for new players. We’d appreciate your feedback if you could fill it out. It should take less than 5 minutes, though you could spend more time if you want.

The survey is here:


We’re looking for a summer gamedev intern

Hi everyone,

We’re seeking a summer intern to help us with some upcoming software development work for Prismata. Details of the position are listed below:


Position: Game Development Intern at Lunarch Studios

This full-time position is open to literally anyone with a background in programming or game development, but is ideal for a student or recent graduate of a college/university program in computer science, mathematics, software engineering, game development, or similar.

This is a remote position. You can work from everywhere in the world. Our team hangs out on Discord nearly 24/7, meets daily, and gets a lot of work done!



  • Exceptional programming, debugging, and problem solving skills.
  • Object-oriented development experience. Bonus points for AS3, but we’re happy with similar languages (javascript, C#, java, etc.)
  • Ability to rapidly learn new tools/technologies and work in an unfamiliar codebase.
  • Passion for gaming and Prismata.
  • Decent comfort in using Unix, git, and command-line tools.
  • Ability to get a lot of shit done in a remote work environment.


Tools we use

  • Actionscript 3 (Adobe AIR, FlashDevelop, Starling, FlasCC)
  • Python (Twisted, SQLAlchemy, Boto, etc.)
  • Amazon Web Services (EC2, S3, databases, redis, etc.)
  • Cygwin, Github, Sentry, and a lot of our own analytics and build tools


Possible projects

  • Localization development. This is the biggest one. We’re looking to get Prismata translated into a number of languages but our codebase is not yet ready to begin the process. You’ll make it so that people can add a new language to Prismata just by editing a single file. This will be your first project; you’ll do a pass over the entire Prismata UI source code, which will help you get up to speed on how it all works.
  • Mobile porting. A possible project if you have experience with mobile development in Adobe AIR or publishing via google play, the iOS app store, etc..
  • Junior dev ops. Typically these projects are difficult for interns unless they’re already quite experienced, but if you know a lot of python and Amazon Web Services, there might be a few things you could work on.
  • Single player game development. We’re be working on a lot of new single player content all spring/summer and there’s lots of work to do!
  • Game design. Not something we particularly need help with, but all Prismata developers are invited to create new units, missions, and puzzles for the game.
  • Something else? We’re a small gaming studio so most of us wear many hats and dabble in many different things.


About Lunarch Studios

Our team is stacked with MIT PhD students, poker millionaires, and winners of international awards in mathematics and computer science. We’re all massive nerds, driven and hardworking (and at times furiously competitive), but united through our love of gaming. The games we develop are games we love to play. See more at



Q: What do I require to work remotely?
Your own computer, an office where you can be free from distractions and get shit done, and a good microphone/headset. You’ll need to run fdbuild to compile the code, which requires Windows (you’ll probably need a Windows VM if you’re a Mac user). You’ll also need some kind of unix-like development environment (we all use Cygwin and can help you set it up). We do a lot of screensharing and large file transfers, so it’s absolutely imperative that you have a solid, reliable, high-bandwidth internet connection.

Q: What are the hours?
This is a full-time position, but we’re extremely flexible regarding hours. Evenings, weekends, overnight, etc. are all fine. Just stay in regular contact with us and get shit done.

Q: Do I have to live in Canada or Ontario?
Not at all, but please let us know if you do.

Q: How long is the internship?
3 to 4 months, but we’re open to longer.

Q: When can I start?
We’ll be looking at the applications and conducting interviews in early May after our chapter 2 launch is completed. After that point, you can start anytime.

Q: What’s the salary?
Depends on your level of experience, but it will be a typical salary for an intern-level position at a Canadian game development studio. We can pay you in USD or CAD.

Q: Will I be an employee or an independent contractor?
In most cases, the latter, but we’re open to whatever arrangement works best.

Q: Do I need to be a co-op student or anything like that?
No. That said, if you are a co-op student in Ontario, please let us know. If you’re part of an undergrad or graduate program with an internship or co-op requirement, we can probably make this position work for you.

Q: Do I need to know a language other than English to help with localization?
No. In particular, you won’t be asked to translate anything, except to test that your code works. Translation is a challenging task and we’ll leave it to the pros. That said, it can be useful if you are familiar with the nuances of characters sets used by other languages or if you regularly use a computer or play games in languages other than English. If you have specific experience with game localization, even better.

Q: Who will I report to?
We don’t have a lot of structure at Lunarch. Elyot will onboard you and guide you through the setup process. Elyot or David will do your code reviews. You’ll work fairly independently but we’ll always be around if you have questions and we’ll do some pair-coding during the first week to help get you up to speed.

Q: Do I need to be good at Prismata?
No. That’s only necessary if you want to create hard Prismata single-player content or work on unit design/balance.

Q: Can I continue on as a full-time developer after the internship ends? Can I work on future Lunarch Studios games?
If you’ve proven to be an outstanding contributor during the internship, we’d be happy to have you.

Q: How do I apply?
Email careers [at] and include Summer Intern in the subject. Feel free to include:

  • a resume or CV
  • an unofficial transcript if you’re a student or recent grad
  • links to past work you’ve done, projects, games, a github repo you’ve committed to, etc.
  • anything else about yourself that might make us interested in you or might be relevant to the projects we’ve listed above
  • your Prismata username if you’re a Prismata player
  • dates you’re available

Q: What’s the deadline to apply?
We’ll consider all applications that are received by May 1st. We might still read late applications, but we may have already filled the position by then, so try to get yours in on time.


Unit Balance Patch Details – For Real This Time!

We hope you all enjoyed our April Fools Balance Patch. (It’s fake, if you didn’t know already!)

Today, we’ll be revealing the actual balance changes going live in this week’s update. The update itself will occur early on Friday, after the current round of the Golden Cup matches have completed.

This update will also add four new units to Prismata! We’ve given previews of these new units to a few of our favourite Prismata streamers to reveal live, so keep yours eyes on Prismata live streams for the next couple of days!

Now, without further ado, here are the balance updates going live on Friday:


Unit Balance Patch Details

Hi everyone!

We’ve been promising a few Prismata balance tweaks for a while now, and it’s finally time to announce them!

These tweaks will be going live next week, alongside a few brand new Prismata units. Think of this as a mini content patch while you’re waiting for campaign Chapter 2 (which we’re currently putting the finishing touches on!)


Why issue a patch now?

It simply made the most sense to do it now. We wanted to wait until after our Steam Early Access debut before releasing a content patch containing new units, and we wanted to deploy balance tweaks at the same time as the new units, so that the community would only need to go through one single period of readjusting to changes on the ladder.


Prismata Early Access FAQ

Hello, and thanks for checking out Prismata! Below are answers to a number of common questions about Prismata, the community, and the current state of the game.


Q: How do I get the game?

You can check out Prismata on Steam or grab the game at our web page,


Q: What’s the current state of development?

As of March 2018, Prismata has entered Steam Early Access, which is the final step in our long period of feedback-driven development. Steam Early Access will feature frequent additions of new units, interface tweaks, and a new campaign episode roughly once per month. You can read more about our Early Access mindset and the latest updates on our Steam page.


Q: I already have a Prismata account. How do I sign in and play?

Just download one of the following versions of the game:

There is also the old web client at which is still supported, but we highly recommend the PC/Mac versions as they don’t require any asset downloading and are much less prone to browser-specific problems.


Q: Is there Linux support?

Linux users can use the web version at using Chromium and the Pepper player.

As for a Linux desktop version, unfortunately Adobe has abandoned support for Stage3D in Adobe AIR in Linux. Without this, we can’t use any GPU-accelerated graphics, which makes it impossible for us to create a Linux desktop version of any reasonable quality. Accordingly, the web version represents the best experience that is currently possible on Linux.


Q: I have a beta key. How do I use it?

If you have a 15-digit Steam code, redeem it on Steam.

If you have a 20-digit Prismata beta key, download one of the PC/Mac versions listed above or use the web version. You can redeem the key when the game launches.


Q: Help, I’m having a technical problem!

See our troubleshooting FAQ here.


Q: How do I update to the latest version?

The software is designed to auto-update whenever we put out a patch.

Note that Windows users will have to run Prismata in administrator mode for updates to work if Prismata was installed in a directory that requires administrator permissions. The game will warn you if this is the case!


Q: I’m a Kickstarter Supporter, how do I access my rewards? Can I play on Steam?

We sent Steam keys out to all of our supporters. Enter your Kickstarter email into the Humble Resender and you should see it there alongside the other rewards. If not, email support and we’ll take a look.


Q: Who created Prismata, and how did the game originate?

Prismata was the result of an experiment by a group of former MIT PhD students, who were attempting to create a new genre of strategy game by combining ideas from card games and RTS. The first prototype was created in August of 2010 and had incredibly simple rules, but its creators were blown away by its staggering, unexpected level of strategic depth. They grew addicted to Prismata’s fascinating gameplay and spent years developing the game as a hobby project. In 2013, several of Prismata’s creators dropped out of MIT to form Lunarch Studios and work full-time on the game.

A full account of the origins of Prismata by Lunarch Studios co-founder Elyot Grant can be found here.


Q: Is there a tutorial?

The first chapter of the campaign is intended to provide an overview of the game’s rules and systems. From there, the combat training challenges contain introductions to all of the unique mechanics that Prismata has to offer.

If you’d rather watch a video, here are a couple that we recommend:


Q: Are there any good guides for beginners?

We’re working on a comprehensive player’s guide at If you would like to contribute, let us know! There are a bunch of old guides linked at and a number of beginner-friendly resources on our wiki. See also the community resources linked in the “Learn” tab in Prismata (there’s some great content over at The Prismata Library).

Q: How much does the game cost?

During Early Access, we’re offering a $25 Founder’s edition that includes the base game, plus the entire 5-chapter single player story campaign and a few bonuses (supporter badge, skin, etc.)


Q: Will there be a free version?

Toward the end of Early Access, we plan to introduce a more affordable entry point for new players (a ‘lite’ edition with substantially less single-player content). The exact pricing, features, and timing are still to be decided, but we’re very committed to making Prismata accessible to as many people as possible.


Q: Is Prismata pay-to-win?

Absolutely not. At Lunarch Studios, we take a strong stance against the exploitative business models of other card games, where players are often forced to pay hundreds of dollars or grind for thousands of hours to build a sufficiently powerful collection of cards to compete with other players.


Q: Are there in-game purchases?

To fund Prismata’s continued expansion, we offer ethical microtransactions to help unlock cosmetic items—like equippable skins and emotes—that provide no competitive advantages. We promise to keep Prismata free from the annoyances that plague many so-called “free to play” games. Our motto is simple: No pay-to-win, no grinding, and no bullshit.


Q: When will Prismata be finished?

When we’re tired of working on it? We don’t know… we love developing this game! 😛


Q: Are you working on translating Prismata to other languages?

If Prismata is successful, we’ll certainly be looking at localization opportunities. However, we need to wait until all the campaign chapters are complete before we can send all the dialogue off to be translated. We may try crowdsourcing some small bits of translation before then (game menu text or unit infopanels), but no promises! We’ve seen other games go the crowdsourcing route with varied levels of success.


Q: What about an Android version?

We compiled one! It worked. But it was kinda slow, and there were a number of UI annoyances that we’d likely want to iron out before releasing one publicly. Adapting a game like Prismata for 100% touch-only input is a really non-trivial task. That said, if Prismata does well, we’ll certainly be considering other platform options!


Q: Is there a list of all the units?

You can see a list here, or you can check out the massive table of units on the wiki.


Q: Can I stream Prismata?

Yes! Instructions on how to do so are here. You’re free to monetize your streams and other video content (see our ToS for more information on that).


Q: Are there images available for use by fans/press?

Yep! Here are a few places to get Prismata images:

We love getting fan art!


Q: Is there a Prismata forum or discussion group?

The Prismata subreddit now serves as the de facto Prismata online community, but we also have a Steam forum and an official Discord server.


Q: Are there tournaments?

Yes. Lunarch Studios has run the Prismata Alpha World Championship in the past (and rumour has it that a Beta World Championship is due to happen soon!) Additionally, there are a number of community-organized tournaments, the biggest of which have been the Golden Cup and Prismata Master’s League. Other tourneys like Lord of the Swarms, the Scorchilla Cup, and the Q Cup are typically organized through the Prismata subreddit.

You can also host your own tourney (email us if you would like Lunarch Studios to donate prizes, which we’re happy to do!)


Q: Where do I find more information?

The Prismata Wiki is an incredible resource, filled with tons of information on just about anything Prismata-related. If you can’t find what you’re looking for there, try posting a question on the Prismata subreddit or Prismata Discord server. The developers frequently respond to player questions on just about anything.

Steam Early Access Launch Coming Soon!

Hi everyone!

I know it’s been a while since the last blog post; we’ve been hard at working polishing off Prismata to ready the game for its launch on Steam this year.

I look forward to reviving this blog with some new content relating to some of the exciting things we’ve been working on, but I’ll also be doing a lot more video content and Q&A Livestreams as we approach the launch, since they’re a lot quicker to produce than blog articles and allow more interactivity.

For now, I leave you with the following video, which outlines some of my hopes, dreams, and worries regarding our Steam Early Access debut:

I’ll be making more of these videos in the upcoming weeks. I’m going to try recording them live on twitch with chat Q&A and see how that goes. Here’s a schedule:

  • Wed, January 24th: How We Decided On Steam Early Access (stream starts at 8pm EST, show at 9pm EST)
  • Sat, January 27th: The Prismata Community (stream starts at 1pm EST, show at 2pm EST)
  • Tue, January 30th: TBA (stream starts at 3pm EST, show at 4pm EST)

All videos will be posted to Youtube afterwards. Feel free to dump questions in the Youtube comments and I will try to answer them in the next video.

We also have a new Discord server, come join the fun:

See you!

~ Elyot


The plan for Prismata’s Event system

Hi everyone!

We’ve been doing a lot of work on sound, assets, and the campaign this week. We’re not quite ready to show that work off just yet, but see our latest dev vlog for a bit of info about our upcoming Steam Early Access launch (that vlog was even picked up by Cliqist and N4G!)

Instead, I want to discuss our plans for Prismata’s Event mode. We deployed a few changes to the mode this week, and more are coming.

The new event mode screen, complete with detailed mouseover tooltips for each event.