Recently with the help of fellow discord users (thank you for enthusiastic support Sol, Candle, Sheik, Span and others) I've come to realization that highly popular spirits mode is an idea that would translate really well to the systems of Skullgirls Mobile. This is also the last time the word "spirits" is being used, and from this point on for the sake of pitching this idea the word is being replaced with support variants. What are support variants? Support Variants aim to increase the diversity of play, game mechanics and serve as a new collectibles by introducing completely new cards for players to collect and use to personalize their gameplay experience and fighters. These would not be playable characters, but rather serve as equips that affect the character they are equipped on. With each of the new cards representing a character from the rich lore of Skullgirls, it is the only realistic way to add them to the game. I believe deceased characters, like the Last Hope, or alternate story line characters (Like pre Samson Filia) are perfectly fine to join as well, but this is as far as it could be reasonably pushed (sorry robo-Minette) What exactly would they do? In order to make collecting the support variants worthwhile for most of the players they do need to provide some kind of benefits, for which I see a couple of main ideas. Before going into details however I'd like to share the idea from discord of making support affiliated with the characters provide better boosts than on indifferent characters. And my personal opinion that the supports probably shouldn't be very strong, as many players are already somewhat tired of the power creep diamonds introduced. Providing stat bonuses. This is the most obvious and simple idea, it may be a bit on the boring side but would be easily understood by players and not as hard to implement. The main benefit of this route is that variant effects would be easy to come up with. I personally believe that in this case side stat bonuses should be stronger than the main stat ones to encourage their use. These could also provide fighters with both +stat and -stat in order to make them more of a variant tuning tool rather than straight forward bonus. Introduce support SA's Essentially would work as SA3 for the fighter they are equipped on. This would allow more creative freedom and excitement for the players but sounds like more work for the team. As I believe support variants should provide small bonuses here are a few SA3 ideas I've thought of : Leduc - "Heal up" - every 30 seconds apply a single stack of regen for 10 seconds. Minette - "Food Delivery" - once per match increase meter for all blockbusters by x% Umbrella - "Hurry up, I want ice cream!" - If there are less than 60 seconds left on the clock gain permanent haste. If equipped on Parasoul - "Not right now Umbrella" - if there are less than 30 seconds gain permanent enrage. Of course it's just very basic ideas to demonstrate what it could be like, not actual skill suggestions. All kinds support skills could go in this section, increasing effectiveness of a type of damage, conditional buffs, starting with temporary buffs etc. Enemy debuff variants In this case instead gaining stronger buffs because of synergy with your fighter, a support should give stronger debuffs based on rivalry with enemy fighter. For example Sarge could Inflict Cripple against BigBand reduce enemy defense stat so his boosted ability is super effective against BigBand I also believe that support variants should be elemental and have an universal trait of boosting element bonus when used on a fighter of the same element, and reducing element penalty (benefiting the player) for using an opposite element. This stat goes mostly unused by the players, and it does make little difference in the fight, which is why it is fine too add this for the players who end up really wanting a variant they do not like the ability of. It's always a little consolation prize for the fashion players Fashion Players There without a doubt is a handful of players that really like some characters, or variants and they want to use them regardless of stats and abilities just to look at them. The same will surely happen in the support variants system so it would be great to reward them somehow for the resources / money they have spent getting their favorite support. I'm honestly not sure how much can be realistically done but for sure all of them will need at least one picture for a card that player receives. That one picture could maybe be repurposed to appear as a smaller circle under the hp bar, appear in the background on the Victory and Defeat screens. And it would be really amazing if the text informing about support ability (ad.2) activating could appear on top of a rectangle snipped from the card. Or maybe even write a few speech bubbles for them to randomly "comment" on player's victories and loses But these are some very loose ideas about that point, I do not really have any solid ideas, nor sufficient information on what can be done for this point. What more can be done about the system? Well, I'm sure there is a lot that I did not think / write about. These variants could have their own rarities, evolutions (Maybe eating elemental shards to make this currency relevant again) , could allow players to sacrifice them for skill points for affiliated fighters or coins, (pls coins), create variants that can only be obtained by sacrificing other variants etc. Last but not least How would these support variants be obtained ? Honestly? Outside of the obvious support variant relics, I'd like to see them appear in the character relics of affiliated fighters (maybe as an occasional bonus so players do not feel cheated out of a playable character), could have challenges for support drops, or even make them drop randomly from all the activities. This would be all for this idea for now, I do realize that it will probably not happen, and even if it will it will not be anytime soon, but it was a fun idea I felt like writing about. If anyone is still reading this, thank you for your attention, hope you had a good read.