Banner Units (or Priority Units) are a hidden mechanic affecting the player's card draw in Monster Train.
Certain units are mechanically classified as Banner Units. As long as the player's draw pile contains at least one Banner Unit, each hand they draw is guaranteed to contain at least one of those units (but may contain more). While this effect does not end any time the player shuffles their discard pile into their draw pile in each encounter, any draw priority units in the discard pile will not be drawn at priority during a draw step that requires the discard pile be shuffled into the draw pile in order for the player to finish drawing their new hand.
Champions are not Banner Units, but intrinsic instead, meaning that they will always be the first card drawn each battle. Banner Units come in two levels of Rarity: Uncommon and Rare.
A Hellhorned/Awoken player's deck has the default starting cards, plus a Steelworker, an Animus of Will, and a Welder Helper. Steelworker and Animus of Will are Banner Units; Welder Helper and Train Stewards are not. The player's first hand will always contain Hornbreaker Prince, one of Steelworker or Animus of Will, and three random cards (one of which could be the other Banner Unit). If the player does not draw both the Steelworker and Animus in their opening hand, their next hand will contain the unit they did not already draw. As Train Stewards and Welder Helper are not Banner Units, they do not affect the priority draws and are treated as any other card.
As the player can draw Banner Units more consistently--and earlier--than other cards, players may wish to minimize the number of Banner Units in their deck to ensure they will draw the necessary ones early in each encounter. This creates a tension between having enough units to cover all needed roles and ensuring that they will not "waste" their critical early priority draws on units that cannot function alone.
The nature of priority draws also means that players should be especially wary when drafting Banner Units with difficult play requirements such as Consumer of Crowns, Shadowsiege, or Glugsider. These cards are guaranteed to show up in early hands, and they may deny priority slots to other, cheaper units when they do!
List of Banner Units
All units acquired from Unit Banners or Unit Drafts are Banner Units, as are certain special units from Concealed Caverns. Each clan has 9 Banner Units (3 of which are rare).
Before Version 2.0, Bounty Stalker was drawn from regular drafts instead of Unit Banners / Unit drafts, which made the distinction between Banner Units and Priority Units necessary, as Bounty Stalker was drafted from a Spell draft, but still followed priority draw mechanics. As of Version 2.0, only Dante the Deceptive and Heph the Blacksmith do not come from Unit Banners, as they are Clanless Units. For the purpose of simplicity and consistency, they are considered Banner Units, removing the need for this distinction.
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