Monsterpocalypse Yearly Update 2023

Hello, kaiju fans, it’s your friendly neighborhood Monster Dev Emanuel Class, and we have a big, exciting Insider to share with you this week: the 2023 Yearly Update for Monsterpocalypse. Each year, we make quality-of-life updates to some of the monsters, units, and buildings; this year, we didn’t bring much down from the top of the power curve, but we did bring many older models up a peg or two on the power scale. Some designs were made stronger while others were redesigned to give them a fresh new place in the game. So, let’s not waste any more words on the intro and dive right in!

First up, let’s talk about the changes to buildings. Buildings are the cornerstone of every list and an important part of Monsterpocalypse. This year, we chose to update four Faction bases and 1 neutral building.

Jungle Fortress – This model did not see many changes, but the change we did make can be quite impactful. This is a building that has some interesting tech to it but was not being brought to the table by many players. We tested many different versions of it before landing on the rule added to allow this building to live in a design space no other building currently occupies.

Rampart – Monsters do not roll Boost Dice when making power attacks against this model.

Rampart makes the Jungle Fortress much more durable and more in line with the mountain stronghold it represents. It can also be useful for keeping your power base a little safer from harrowing monsters who would like to see your backline buildings turned into rubble. It also makes for a great mid-map speed bump, allowing you to sneak important units out to midfield.

Shadow Sun Industries – A building that was updated once for some of its problematic interactions in the past was brought too low by that update. Since we were focusing on Faction bases, we wanted to make sure the Shadow Sun Industries got a fair shake. Especially since *SPOILER ALERT* there are quite a few Shadow Sun models in this update as well.

Ambush – If you are securing this building during your Spawn Phase, you can spawn a unit adjacent to this model. You can only spawn one unit adjacent to this model as a result of this ability each turn.

We tried many different versions of the earlier take on Ambush. However, after much testing, a new version of Ambush was born, and it offers some exciting new dynamics to the buildings draft. This new version of Ambush also fits well into the Faction’s sneakiest lines of play.

Shadow Screen – If you are securing this building, enemy models do not roll Boost Dice when participating in blast attacks targeting this model or allied units B2B with it.

Adding “If you are securing this building” to this rule alleviated some of the problematic interactions with its use. Now Shadow Screen is formatted the way it should be.

Martian Command Post – The Martian Faction building has never been bad, but when compared with other buildings, it just wasn’t making the cut. Since Ares Mothership got a glow-up in honor of her new con-exclusive alt sculpt, Star Princess Ares, it seemed only fitting that the Martian Command Post get the same treatment.

Action: Fission – During your Monster Activation, this model can spend 1 Action Die to perform a Fission action. Push 2 Action Dice from your Unit Pool to your Monster Pool.

Fission can be a simple resource extractor in some cases, but this ability plays into some interesting synergy lines within the Faction. Deimos-9 has the rule Integrate, allowing it to reach in and activate this building’s Fission drive when nearby. Deimos-9 also has Energy Cycle in its hyper form, further synergizing with Fission’s Action Dice economy. Phobos-7 also has Energy Cycle in hyper and a very long-range blast attack with Onslaught, stretching the Faction’s Action Dice economy to its limits. Fission plays right into its game plan. An extra Action Die for Tharsis-5 is basically a Free Action: Repair. The same goes for the action-heavy Ares Mothership. As you can see, that single Action Die can have a snowball effect in Martian Menace.

Void Gate – One of the most interesting looking and eye-catching buildings in the game needed a boost. Although the Faction is already quite strong, updating its building allowed us to create interesting new lines of play withing the Faction and to deepen the Cthul synergy across the game.

Empower – At the start of your unit turn, if you are securing one or more buildings with Empower, you can replace one allied unit with a unit of the same Faction with cost 2 or less from your reserves.

The previous version of Empower pales in comparison to the new version. Similar to the Ancient Ones Shamblers units’ ability Savage Growth, the new version of Empower allows you to upgrade your units to more expensive units in your reserve of the same Faction. Empower works regardless of which Faction you’re playing, offering much deeper utility across the board. However, there are quite a few neat synergies within Cthul itself for making Empower juicy. One of my favorites is when an opponent destroys your Cthul Meat Slaves but doesn’t destroy the unit you place with its rule Incubator, in which case you can rewrap your unit is a protective jelly roll Meat Slave when you start your unit turn again.

Action: Psychokinesis – During your Unit Activation, this model can spend one Action Die to perform a Psychokinesis action. Choose one unit within five spaces of this model. Move the chosen unit up to one space.

While the big change to the Void Gate is Empower, we also didn’t want to let its second ability languish. One of the most difficult things with the Void Gate is that its range to affect anything is quite short. So, we increased the range of Psychokinesis from 3 to 5, allowing players greater flexibility in its uses.

Skyscraper – The only neutral building to make it into the 2023 yearly update is quite possibly one the biggest glow-ups a building has ever received. This imposing tower on the skyline already had a great rule with its generic Discount, but it struggled to find a home with so many other buildings offering Faction discounts and other important tech for your list. Looking across the Agendas, I noticed there were some interesting abilities on both Protectors’ and Destroyers’ buildings that were outshined by other abilities on those buildings. On the Skyscraper, these rules will get their chance to shine as well as to complement its useful Discount ability.

Eclipse – If you are securing this building at the start of your turn, you can advance an allied unit one space.

Outreach – If you are securing this building, allied monsters gain Reach. (A model with Reach can make a brawl attack targeting any model within two spaces. The model with Reach can participate in combined brawl attacks against models within two spaces.)

Air Kami/ Air Kami Elite – There were only two units in this update that received a “nerf.” Both units were units that carried the rule Momentum, which enables easy ways for units to combine and attack monsters. Additionally, the Air Kami’s previous rules interactions topped the power curve (and then some). Still, we wanted to make sure this key unit in the Elemental Champions and one of the premier blasting units in Protectors was not hit too hard. We tried a few different approaches to balancing this unit but ultimately felt the best thing to do was to redesign a few elements on the model.

Momentum – When determining the number of dice in your attack roll, this model gains +1 Boost Die for each Action Die it adds to the attack.

We added Momentum to the grunt. This is honestly a small bump up to make its mechanics reliable as well as to offer some compensation for the downgrade of Gathering Storm.


Action Dice 3

Boost Dice 0

Gathering Storm – Once per turn, if an attack with Gathering Storm hits, after the attack is resolved, you can replace this unit with an elite unit from your unit reserves with the same name.

The grunt Kami’s blast attack lost a Boost Die to make up for the fact that it now has Gathering Storm in its attack profile and will get a minimum of 1 Boost Die as it adds in an Action Die to generate its attack. We also moved Gathering Storm to its blast attack as a trigger. Now, after you hit with the attack, you can replace the grunt Air Kami with the elite Air Kami.

Thunderhead – When this unit is put into play by the Gathering Storm special rule, after that attack is resolved, this unit can participate in an attack this turn.

The elite Air Kami lost Momentum but gained a boost stat of 3. This by itself was a small buff-up in the elite Air Kami’s stats, as it now has an amazing gun; it just doesn’t get a free attack using dice in play anymore. Thunderhead combines with Gathering Storm to allow you to attack with the elite after it is put into play. Since Gathering Storm replaces the original model, the elite would not be able to participate in an attack without Thunderhead.

Courser – The Courser finally takes its place among other useful blasting units. We gave it a fiery Explosion and increased both the grunt and elite’s attack dice to make it a premium front-line blaster to make use of Pointer. It’s also an important model for triggering Zybanos’ new rule Dragonstorm…but well get to that later.

Fusilier – Another Drakken Armada unit to get a buff this update. And boy, did they get some love. We increased the range on their blasters to 5 and increased the Action Dice on their attacks to make them ideal candidates for combined attacks.

Team Tactics – This model gains +1 Boost Die when participating with one or more other Faction units in combined brawl or blast attacks.

We updated the wording on Team Tactics to explicitly stack. Now each model with Team Tactics that attacks will gain a Boost Die to its attack stat when adding its boost to a combined attack.

Focused Will – Once per turn, if this model is hit by an attack, you can push 1 Action Die from your Unit Pool to your Monster Pool.

We also moved this rule to a unit. It’s a good way to help set up a chain for the late game or to sneak in a monster turn when your opponent may not have been expecting it.

C-Type Shinobi – This unit saw a very minor bump. While it was not bad before, it needed a little something to step up its role as a blaster and refine its place in the Shadow Sun stable of units.

To achieve this, we added Aim to its card. Now it’s quite capable as a blaster and has a better shot at combining to shoot at monsters, possibly getting use out of its ability Power Drain.

Sun Fighter – The next Shadow Sun unit to see some changes is the Sun Fighter. You may have noticed the Sun Fighter lost its rule Anti-Air. We felt the Sun Fighter was not the premier attacking unit in the Faction, and it was not making much use out of Anti-Air. However, to refine its role in the Faction and the Agenda, we added the rule Jam to its card. This allows its fast speed and flight to help deliver its annoying jamming technology deep into enemy territory. This helps, then, to offer a different kind of air support by protecting nearby units from actions.

Shadow Rider – To round out our Shadow Sun buffs and put a cap on our Protectors’ units, we saved a doozy for last. The next Shadow Sun unit to get some extra love is the Shadow Rider. Last year’s update introduced a 1-cost Flank model to the Protectors stable with the Carnidon update. But this overshadowed the more expensive Shadow Rider. Additionally, we wanted the Shadow Rider to have a more unique and premier role in the Faction lineup. So, we added the rule Hover to its card to help play further into its ability to be mobile. To synergize with that role, we added Shadows to its attack profile. This plays into the Faction’s sneaky ninja-like play.

Dervish – I am sure the Destroyers’ players are practically salivating for some updates by this point. This one’s just a teaser to whet your appetite. Dervish is the second and only other unit to get nerfed this update. That said, the update to Momentum still makes this an exceptionally strong unit. It’s just not over-powered anymore.

Belcher An original starter box unit for Destroyers and in need of some help. We buffed its body by bringing its DEF up to 3. Additionally, we added Splash to its blast, giving it in-Faction synergy with the Scorcher as well as one of the monsters in this update. But we will get to that…

Dire Ant – This unit received the same update to Team Tactics that the Fusilier did, making it a premier attacking unit for Destroyers once again. To further solidify its role as a combined attack expert, we gave the Dire Ant Ripple, allowing units that participate in attacks with it a small reposition after the attack.

Voider – Passed over for some time by Destroyer players, The Voider sat firmly toward the bottom of the power curve. To correct this, we added some spice to this higher-dimensional meatball. First, we added Cloak, allowing it some protection against blast attacks. We also updated the wording on Nullify to make it more explicit in its rules text.

Vorota Walker – One of the simplest if not the simplest changes in this year’s update. We increased the Vorota Walkers SPD to 4 and DEF to 4, allowing it to get to where it needs to go and hopefully survive long enough to be useful.

Numitor – At the beginning of this Insider, I mentioned bringing down some of the models that were a bit over tuned. This Legion of Mutates monster is the only monster this year that is taken from the lofty heights at which it played and brought down a bit to still being one of the best Protectors’ monsters in the game. In alpha, Numitor lost 1 DEF as well as a Boost Die on its brawl and power attack stats. He also lost an Action Die on his power attack stat. Additionally, Numitor’s health split was also changed to 6 in alpha and 5 in hyper as opposed to the 4/7 split before. However, not all Numitor’s changes were nerfs. We changed the wording on Pack Hunters to now be more useful. Instead of granting a Boost Die to Faction units that make combined attacks, it now grants a Power Die when two or more Faction units combine.

In hyper, Numitor was one of the most lethal monsters in the game. (This was driven home by his previous 7 HP in hyper.) The first thing needed was dialing in his hyper health track. To bring him down to Earth, we took away Tooth and Claw from his hyper side and cut away a Boost Die from his power attack. We also cut down his hyper side Action Dice by 1 on all attacks. However, there were some extra bumps to his hyper side to smooth out after losing Tooth and Claw. So, we added a Boost Die to his blast attack, Pack Hunters has its better version in this form as well, and we swapped Rapid Fire for Swift Strike as we moved to this default rule. In the end, Numitor came back down to the level with other top-tier monsters. He is still one of the best monsters in the game and makes for a fantastic pairing with any monster on the Protectors roster.

Leviathron – On the opposite end of the spectrum, Leviathron has been lauded as one of the most meme-worthy monsters in the game. But that ship has sunk, and emerging from the depths is a new creature. In alpha, Leviathron gained a defense and lost Bulwark. In place of this, Leviathron gained Bloodsport, a rule previously only seen on the Destroyer monster King of Camazotz. Bloodsport allows Leviathron to be more efficient when hunting his prey. Flip this baby over, and you will see his hyper has been made more impresisve. Again, Leviathron loses the Bulwark rule and even loses speed in hyper. But to make up for it, he picks up quite a bit. We had to shift his speed down because he picked up Action: Pounce, allowing him to leap into and out of vital positions on the table, which helps make up for his lack of High Mobility a little. Adding in Pounce to the mix can make Leviathron basically speed 8. He also picked up Blood Rage. Keeping up with the big shark theme, Leviathron can now add an offensive buff to the units already benefiting from King Tide. Collectively, this all adds up to a hundred tons of terrifying tuna. I can’t wait for players to sink their teeth into this monster.

Stomatavorus Rex – A monster that didn’t quite jive with its Faction and Agenda when it was first released, Stomatavorus Rex is now a premier partner for any Protectors monster and has some exciting new Faction synergies. In alpha, Rex lost Vampirism, Munch, Siphon, and Power Swell. To make up for this, his healing abilities rolled into Action: Sacrifice. With the Faction’s ability to create lots of units, it seemed fitting that this maw-covered tree would be keen on eating them up again. He traded Siphon and Power Swell for Parasite, a rule that mirrors Barbed on the Stomatavor unit. This rule was previously only on the Destroyers monster Mucustos and can make attacking Rex a sticky situation. His brawl attack picked up Power Gorge to keep with his theme, and we added extra Action Dice to his attacks in alpha. He also picked up High Mobility in both forms. (Now you can imagine him using his vines to launch and swing himself across the map.) In hyper, Stomatavorus Rex trades Onslaught on his attacks for Swift Strike, making him a much better monster in a one-on-one situation. He also keeps Parasite in hyper as well as High Mobility. Lastly, we increased the Action and Boost Dice in his brawl and blast attack stats to make up for the losing Onslaught. All in all, this is one terrifying monster.

Zor-Magna – The Shadow Sun Faction has been defined by monsters and units on the cusp of greatness, only to be overshadowed by other game elements. Knowing the Shadow Sun Faction was a fan favorite, we really wanted to make some exciting and unexpected changes to amaze and delight you. There were some things that fell off in the reforging process. For instance, she lost Focused Will in alpha and Power Drain on her brawl. And at 10 HP, Zor-Magna can be exceptionally squishy. So, to help her survivability, we increased her Alpha DEF to 9. We made her a touch more accurate by bringing her brawl and power boost start up by 1. Additionally, she picked up a new unique rule to her called Shadow Step.

Action: Shadow Step – When an allied Faction model advances outside of its full advance, this model can spend a Power Die to perform a Shadow Step action. Place another allied Faction unit up to three spaces from its current location.

Using Action: Shadow Step allows for the many movement tricks the Shadow Sun can harness to trigger a secondary movement on a Faction unit. This cyber ninja is sneaky and here to play shadow games.

The fun doesn’t stop there. In hyper, she loses Focused Will and Rapid Fire. We replaced Rapid Fire with Swift Strike to continue replacing these older rules with a more streamlined rule set. Next, we upgraded the Penetrator bonus on Death Blossom to become Puncture, offering Penetrator to more Faction models. We then rewrote the text of Death Blossom to something much more exciting.

Death Blossom – Each time this model destroys an enemy model with a blast or brawl attack, after the attack is resolved, this monster can immediately make a brawl attack.

This ability can allow Zor-Magna to mow down enemy units and build up power at the expense of Action Dice, all to enable a big power attack at the end. Lastly, we added Censure to her to lean into a new theme of the Shadow Sun: an ability or static effect that hinders, taxes, or otherwise inconveniences an opponent.

Zor-Maxim – Another good monster that has struggled to reach his greatness and find his home as a 10-health monster now enters the battlefield with some significant upgrades. In alpha, Zor-Maxim loses Sidestep as we phase that rule out of the game. In exchange, he gains two abilities. First, he picks up Entropic Presence, becoming the first Protectors monster with this ability and leaning into the theme we discussed at the end of the Zor-Magna update above. Further, the second ability he picks up is the ability Shadows on his power attack stat. This allows him to call for the aid of a nearby ally just in the nick of time to protect himself or to set up a devastating attack for his partner monster.

Flipping him to hyper, he trades Rapid Fire for Swift Strike, and he retains Shadows on his power attack in hyper as well as picking up a new rule.

Sealed Fate – While this model is in play, your opponent cannot reroll attack dice.

With the increase in the number of reroll options in the game, there needed to be a few more counterpoints to the “Rerollers Casino” style of play. Whether hiding in the Shadows or Teleport assassinating an enemy, this monster lives on the razor-sharp bleeding edge of the meta game.

Zybanos – I may have saved the “beast” for last with this one. Touting one of the most awesome models in the game, this double dragon needed a ruleset to match. Keeping with the same theme as above, Zybanos lost Sidestep. We added a Boost Die on his power attack stat as well.  Additionally, Flank, Spotter, and Precision Strike were all rolled into the neat package of Omen. Previously only on a building, Omen is a map-wide reroll that helps his allies’ attacks find their targets. This is also a nod to the Drakken Armada’s thematic tie to the constellations. We also wanted to make some room on his card to try something new, dynamic, and exciting.

Dragonstorm – Each turn, the first time an allied Faction unit destroys an enemy unit with an attack, you can move one Action Die from your Monster Pool to your Unit Pool. The second time an allied Faction unit destroys an enemy unit with an attack, you can advance an allied model one space. The third time an allied Faction unit destroys an enemy model with an attack, this model can make a brawl or blast attack using dice in play. Each unit can only trigger Dragonstorm once per turn.

Dragonstorm triggers each time a different allied Drakken unit destroys an enemy unit with an attack. It’s important to remember that each unit, regardless of the number of attacks it makes or models it kills, will only trigger Dragonstorm once. Let’s look at those steps laid out. It may seem like a bit to read at first, but once you play it, you’ll see just how simple it can be to execute.

First enemy unit destroyed:  You can move one Action Die from your Monster Pool to your Unit Pool.

Note that this helps enable more attacks farther down the chain. Think of it as a refund on your first Drakken Armada unit attack.

Second enemy unit destroyed: You can advance an allied model one space.

The key thing to note here is that this is an allied model. So, it can be a monster or a unit. Ill let you work out the many ways this can create some fun interactions in the game.

Third enemy unit destroyed: This model can make a brawl or blast attack using dice in play.

When it says “this” model, it is referencing Zybanos. That means if you reach the final stage of Dragonstorm, Zybanos can make a brawl or blast attack using the dice in play on your unit turn! Crazy, right? This has some great synergy with the combined attacks the Fusiliers are now great at making.

At the apex of your Dragonstorm, you can use Zybanos’ blast attack to trigger Hit and Run, allowing for a deft escape or an aggressive posture. Or you can choose to use his brawl attack with Demolition on it to tear down a building and the units securing it.

On his hyper side, Zybanos lost Reposition, Chain Reaction, and a Boost Die on his power attack, but he gains +1 RNG on his blast attack and +1 SPD in hyper. Further, Zybanos retains Dragonstorm in hyper, giving you the maximum chance to make use of the Drakken Armada. We also gave him meaningful Dragonstorm triggers in hyper, so we added Intimidate to his brawl attack and Explosion to his blast. This is also a relevant change for him because both combine well with his rule Ultimate Weapon. Put it all together, and Zybanos is ready to bring the full might of the Drakken Armada to bear protecting Terra from…well, from everything.

Gallamaxus – This monster did not see a major change like some of the others in the packet. Already a very strong monster, Gallamaxus just needed some small updates. The first thing to note is that we swapped its alpha and hyper health totals. We did that to allow G-max a little more health to use its ability Redline. To spice up this necro-dragon’s punch, we also gave Gallamaxus an extra brawl attack by way of Destructive Impulse. Now Gallamaxus becomes a frighteningly fast killing machine with a versatile list of options.

Rogzor – When we look at the scope of the game, we know which abilities have not been replicated on either side of the Agenda lines. Each time we cross that line, we need to be very careful in doing so. Rogzor only got one upgrade. We added Action: Ignite to both sides of his card. This allows Rogzor the ability to deal even more damage during the course of the game. She also has some sneak synergy with the new Belcher update. Having Ignite in hyper can also increase Rogzor’s damage options by igniting rubble tiles near a foundation connected to another building, then using her blast attack to Beat Back an opponent into the newly created hazard. The last change was that we dropped Return Fire from Rogzor’s hyper.

Zavod 075 – Back from the frigid corners of the Zerkverse, Zavod 075 has some new upgrades. In alpha, it lost Wrecking Crew—and let’s be honest, no one’s going to miss it. We also flipped its health total to give it a longer hyper and a shorter alpha. To give Zavod more synergy with the Faction units, we gave it Spawning Locus [Walker], allowing your Propo Walkers and Vorota Walkers to spawn wherever Zavod goes. It also picked up Thick Skin in alpha, making this titanic terror one tough tank. To finish off the alpha, we added Suplex to its power attack. Taking its power attacks to the next level in hyper, Z-075 picks up Pile Driver, smashing its opponents headfirst into Suplex town.  It also retains Spawning Locus in hyper as well, keeping it ready to block off avenues of attack and harass enemies in every dimension.

Aaaaaaand exhale. Phew, that was one heck of an Insider. I hope we took you on an exciting journey and inspired you to go out and dust off some of your favorite monsters and go play. Don’t forget to share pictures of your games and tag Privateer Press. You can order an updated card pack on the Privateer Press web store. Good luck and have fun!

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