It's no secret that we're fans of Dark Souls the Card Game. It was our 2018 Board Game of the Year, and we scored it 9.5/10 in our review. We covered the first expansion, Forgotten Paths, which added in 2 new heroes and several great new ways to die. Seekers of Humanity is the second expansion for Dark Souls the Card Game, and like Forgotten Paths, adds in 2 new heroes, new enemies, new treasure and a great new mechanic.
Seekers of Humanity adds in the Warrior and Cleric as playable character options, taking the total available to choose from to 8. The Cleric and Warrior are similar to the Herald and Knight from the core set, with the Warrior dealing slightly more damage with slightly less defense and the Cleric offering different healing and defense options. They don't add much individually in terms of variety for the game but do allow you to produce a more focused party. For example, in a 4-player game, taking the Warrior, Knight, Cleric, and Herald allows you to deal a lot of damage, with a huge amount of healing ability. So for that, they are very welcome additions.
4 new bosses are available to fight in Seekers of Humanity. 2 of these can be fought as part of a focused Seekers of Humanity game, or they can be mixed in with the core set or the Forgotten Paths bosses. The 4 new bosses each offer a different challenge. Both the Old Iron King and Smelter Damon have their own damage resistance, The Pursuer follows characters who move, making avoiding attacks difficult and The Last Giant has a smaller action deck of 6 cards, with the last 2 attacks striking the players when the first side of the boss is defeated and are then shuffled into the deck.
All 4 of the bosses have attacks that deal high damage, or damage across multiple squares, making them a real challenge to deal with if trying to clear one early game.
Our favorite part of Seekers of Humanity is the new Embers and Invaders mechanics. Players can choose to use these mechanics if they wish. If they do, the Embers cards, which increase a player's deck size by 3 when added to their decks and as a result, increase their life, are shuffled into the treasure deck. To balance that, new powerful enemies are added to the enemy decks. 4 of the 10 Invaders are added at the start, and these are randomly chosen with the Invader tokens. The rest are added whenever a player draws and Embers card and adds it to their deck.
Each Invader has a set of 4 behavior action cards and they operate like a mini-boss. If defeated, they also drop an associated treasure card that the party adds to their inventory. Marvelous Chester, a ranged attacking enemy drops Chester's Set when defeated, which is a great defensive card, allowing you to discard to dodge all damage.
The Invaders add some real challenge to games, but also makes games very interesting and they offer great rewards for defeating them. If you don't draw the Ember cards, but draw several Invaders to fight through the game, it can be very difficult, but that's why we're here right?
The expansion also throws in several new enemies for each of the 3 power levels, along with some new treasure and transposed treasure cards. We love the Shadow Set, which has some great defensive and offensive options and the Handmaid's Dagger, which increases your hand size for additional options. Firestorm is a powerful spell that damages the character as well to cast, so recycling it back to hand can be costly.
Enemy wise, the Flame Salamander does damage to nearly the whole board but can be avoided by discarding the right stamina card. While the lower level Bee Keeper ad Grym Worker do consistent damage and need to be dealt with.
Seekers of Humanity can be used by adding the cards straight into the matching core set decks or can be played with only the Seekers of Humanity cards for a more dedicated game. Forgotten Paths can also be added in, for a truly random game. Players can select from any of the characters available and add in the additional rules for Embers/Invaders and also the Trap and Terrain cards from Forgotten Paths if they wish.
Forgotten Paths had some units with synergies, which added some great tactical challenges in terms of sequencing of removal. Seekers doesn't have that, but the challenge is real in terms of the difficulty of the included enemies and bosses.
It will be interesting to see what SFG do with Dark Souls the Card Game next. We'd love to see some more enemy synergies, possibly pulling out the related monsters from the decks for some hardcore tactical challenges. We'd also like to see some combo's and synergies with the players. It is very much a co-op game in terms of attacks and positioning, but being able to assist with the right cards and set up combo attacks would be interesting. There is also enough content now between the core set and 2 expansions for a great campaign game, and we'd love to see a dedicated campaign set released.
The Bottom Line:
Seekers of Humanity adds some great options for Dark Souls the Card Game but keeps what makes it great the same. The new bosses and Invaders add some real challenge. There is nothing groundbreaking in terms of changing up the game, but the additional character options and fresh enemies do add to the experience and longevity.
If you enjoy the core game experience, then this will add some great new challenges for you. A must purchase expansion for an already great game.
Get this game if:
You want to play Dark Souls the Card Game on hard mode.
You love cooperative card games.
You loved the original Dark Souls The Card Game and want more options and challenges to face.
You enjoy tactical, turn-based combat and deck building.
You’re a Dark Souls fan.
Avoid this game if:
You didn't like or don't have the original Dark Souls the Card Game.
You don’t enjoy a challenge.
Seekers of Humanity can be purchased on pre-release from SFG at GenCon from their booth 3019.
The copy of Seekers of Humanity used for this review was provided by Steamforged Games.