Dire Wolf has announced a new mechanism that will appear on some cards in the upcoming Defiance release: Pledge. This is an unusual skill in that it only works on your first turn. The only other ‘First Turn’ card I can think of is Infernus.
What Does Pledge Do?
If a card has the Pledge keyword then, on your first turn only, instead of playing it you can use it as if it were a Power card (Sigil).
Why Use Pledge?
Swapping a unit for a Sigil might seem strange, especially as one of the new cards with Pledge is Eilyn, the Rising Storm: a 6/12 Legendary with strong special powers. Why would you throw that away in exchange for a measly Power card? Because it costs 8 power to play, which you won’t have for quite a few turns. In your starting hand, Eilyn the Rising Storm is just a waste of space. Using the Pledge ability allows you to replace it with something else whilst getting your power curve rising more quickly you would otherwise. This is especially useful if, even after redraws, the RNG has given you a hand lacking a particular Influence.
And, of course, the card can always be brought back into your play later with a card like Grasping At Shadows.
Overall, I can’t say I’m particularly excited by what I’ve seen of Pledge so far. I suspect its effect on the game will be marginal at least; Pledge will be a bonus to having a card in your deck, not a reason for picking it. The ‘first turn only’ rule makes it fairly… mediocre. However allowing it to be used on any turn would have been seriously over-powered.
Still, despite that I’m glad to see Pledge. Along with the recent change to the redraw rules, it shows that Dire Wolf is working to reduce the excessive randomness that mars an otherwise excellent game.