In Seasons 12 and 13, Blaseball: The Expansion Era Lives Up to its Name

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This article is part of a series of recaps on Blaseball. Blaseball is “fantasy baseball with an emphasis on the fantasy,” an absurdist sports simulator where fans can bet on the outcome of fictional games, and spend their winnings to change the rules of the next one. For previous season recaps, click here. For an explanation of the basics, click here.

Welcome to Season 13! Last week’s season was a little uneventful, but it succeeded in what it needed to do, which was sowing the seeds of the next era. But before we can talk about the new season, we should go over how last season turned out. 

The Tarot cards, drawn during the Earlsiesta (Tuesday),  give specific modifications to players. The first and third card determine to which team the modifications are given, and the center card appears to determine the modification itself. 

The large quantity of weathers, plus blaserunning modifications (scoring 0.2 runs when you steal a base), led to some of the weirdest scores the game has ever seen (the most famous of these being the Flowers and Lift final score of 4.7 to -0.6). 

Midway through the season, the Baltimore Crabs ballpark page opened. Fans of the team were suddenly able to donate coins to fund the building of the Chesapeake Racetrack and Ballpark, affectionately known as The Crabitat. They were able to fully fund the park in a matter of minutes, which caused a sort of breach as the Crabs were brought back from the beyond. The ballpark now exists with its own stats, although it is unclear exactly what each stat does. According to its own team page, the Yellowstone Magic are up next for construction of the Yellowstone National Ballpark, and presumably one habitat will be built per season. 

This breach led to not just the returning of the Crabs, but the emergence of three new teams as well: the Core Mechanics, Ohio Worms, and Atlantis Georgias. Notably, each team starts out with a unique modification, and data asserting that each has won three championships. This makes them, along with this season’s champion, the Hades Tigers, eligible for Season 12’s Decree: Evolution. 

With each championship won after the first two, a team will now “evolve.” This results in a unique modification applied to the team (Tigers received Ambush,  which lets them replace incinerated players with a random previously incinerated player), as well as moving each player on the team to Base 1. A player’s base number refers to their minimum number of stars and is indicated on their player info with a gold star. After a player “rounds the evolutionary bases” (reaches base 4), they will “go home,” which is currently unclear as to what it might actually convey. Since the new teams start out with three championships, all their players are at Base 1 automatically, which should help to even the odds in their favor.

The in-game display for players who have evolved.

The other notable election day activity was the first instance of Wills, which resulted in some complex order of operations problems due to nearly every team receiving some kind of player transfer. Hawaii Fridays star player Nagomi McDaniel, for example, was transferred to the Seattle Garages, and then to the Boston Flowers, and then was placed in the Flowers’ Shadows (was benched). 

So here we are with season 13! It’s called ‘Home Free,’ and seems to be largely connected with the ideas of expansion and release. 

Hotbox Sato was swept elsewhere…

The breach added the flooding weather condition which can sweep up players and bring them ‘Elsewhere,’ which functions similar to a player being Shelled. However, they will return after a seemingly random amount of time, but usually between 5 and 23 in-game days. 

When players return, though, they gain the Scattered modification. It is unclear what actual gameplay or narrative effects this has, beyond just removing letters from their name. Regardless, the effect is removed and the player is returned to normal after a few in-game days. 

In lighter news: the Monitor has returned, and he’s got a fun hat! He’s the new director of Concessions, and he’s got a few new snacks to share in the shop: Pickles, Slushee, and Wet Pretzel. Slushies and Wet Pretzels both apply to weather, giving a payout upon activation of Flooding and Black Hole effects respectively. These two are definitely solid options for passive income, considering they don’t just rely on a single game per day. Pickles give a payout when your idol steals a base, which is definitely a helpful addition for those focusing on batter idols. 

This isn’t worth bringing up in the article, but come on there’s no way that’s a ‘wet pretzel’ on the right. That’s a donut if I’ve ever seen one.

Speaking of idols, there’s one last big change, which is to the idol leaderboard. 

It is now listed as the MVP Leaderboard, with a squiggly line and gold numbering denoting the top 9 idolized players. Each of the top 9 at the end of the season will receive an Ego Boost, which presumably is a positive modification. This is a little simpler than the classic idol puzzles of season 6 and 7, but I suspect it will suddenly and ironically turn against us, filling out another square on the bingo card

This season will certainly be interesting, and I’m anxious to see how Earlsiesta’s (Tuesday’s) tarot reading will add or change what we already know.  

Blaseball can be played for free at blaseball.comIf it’s your first time playing, I recommend also joining the Discord, as the community is very helpful.

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