From Hermit to Hero: Sarnack, The Yak Rider
You surely have heard about it by now! There is a new champion in the Ernack family.
First introduced to the community during the playtest phase, [SarYak] Sarnack, the Yak Rider, appears as a craftable hero, adding one more option for the player to diversify the efficiency of their troops. Almost no information about him was previously given to players, so we’ve taken the time to explore this newcomer, dedicating a bit of space on our platform, away from the shadow of playtesting.
Game Lore — A History of Sarnack
Even before the Scourge changed the image of Trellian society forever, Sarnack was a respected, hardworking member of the collective, contributing to its well-being, and widely known for his high-quality products and cattle herding skills. It has been said that the only thing larger than Sarnack’s herd of yaks was his big heart, showing love and compassion not only to the people of Citadel and their needs but also to his animals.
One of the notable fruits of this compassion is his loyal companion, Asher, an orphan calf that thrived under the farmer’s care. Their connection would become apparent after the events of the Crystal Scourge, in which Sarnack — other than being permanently changed along with the rest of Trellians — lost his entire prized herd to the initial impacts of the crystal shards.
To his great surprise, a ray of hope came from the most unexpected place when he witnessed Asher walking out of his devastated farmhouse, deeply shaken but otherwise unharmed. Even in his unrecognizable new form, Asher recognized his caretaker, rejoining Sarnack as a loyal companion.
With nowhere to call home, Sarnack and Asher gave in to a life of travels, traversing the fields and hills of Cryptonia, getting to know their every nook and cranny.
A summon from the devastated Citadel came unexpectedly. Once a skilled farmer and now a lone vagabond who believed his life’s purpose had been lost forever, Sarnack was asked to join his fellow Ernacks’ efforts in defeating the Scourge monsters and returning the control over Cryptonia’s land.
With his newly-acquired knowledge of the terrain, Sarnack unknowingly became the best (and only) person for the job, making him a valuable and irreplaceable power-up to the Ernack troops.
In the game, Sarnack comes with a new set of physical skills of high practical usability.
Sarnack in Hash Rush
Gameplay-wise, Sarnack is a melee heavy-hitter with a combination of buff-debuff potential and an excellent crowd control knack. Sarnack inflicts physical damage to his foes, helped by his loyal companion Asher through the use of mace, buckler, or spear-style weapons, and three different mana-based skills, each with two related effects:
First ability: Stomp
Early on into the game, Stomp is an excellent ability for Sarnack that synergizes well with its role. The damage inflicted scales based on Sarnack’s attack power, but the real utility is in the second effect that has a 25% chance to stun enemies (in melee attack range) for 1.5 seconds.
Stun: Units that are stunned are unable to move and cannot perform any actions. This debuff cannot be stacked.
Second ability: Speed Shout
Do you know that feeling when you want to shout your frustrations away? Even the most peaceful Ernacks sometimes wish to do that. In Sarnack’s case, shouting isn’t only a matter of stress-relieving but also a practical strategy against the enemy.
With the first of the two effects, Sarnack shouts out to his troops, giving them and himself and allies in a radius around Sarnack 3 stacks of movement speed up for 10 seconds.
Movement Speed Increase stack: Unit moves 10% faster per stack. Maximum stacks: 5. For Sarnack, this means that it gets a 30% movement speed bonus after using this skill.
With the second ability, this fierce leader contributes to the unit’s agility. This effect allows one stack of dodge chance for Sarnack and troops surrounding him for ten seconds at a time, so shout it out, loud and proud!
Dodge Change: Units with this buff have a 10% greater chance to dodge attacks.This buff cannot be stacked.
Ultimate Ability: Charge
As Sarnack participates in the battle, he gains experience and a better grip on utilizing his abilities, allowing him to widen their use. At that point, Sarnack and Asher gain the power to charge forward in a wide path, covering a larger radius of enemies.
With its first effect, the ‘Charge’ ability serves to trample all enemy units in a straight line in front of Sarnack, dealing physical damage: a great skill when that enemy wave just gets slightly out of control. With the effect on its second level, a stunning effect is included in the previously described physical damage. Sarnack’s Asher bumps enemies on the side upon charging, inflicting a stun that lasts for two seconds. Remember that — to execute this powerful ability — a path in front of Sarnack must be clear. The presence of any higher terrain, building, or other barriers will stop the charge.
This limitation does not apply to units.
Defending Cryptonia is a team effort, and some fresh backup is here! If you prefer melee-type heroes or want to diversify your troops, consider giving this unexpected leader and his faithful companion a try. We would love your ideas on how this hero could be combined with your current unit setup and what could be improved.
What other hero and ability ideas you’d like to see executed in the game?