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Blue balancing suggestions


#1

I seek to employ lighter touch, keeping in place current design philosophy behind Blue. So, just buffing cards that are criminally underused.

I’d like to hear your opinions on proposed list. I intend to print out some proxies and do some playing with a “fixed” version and report after I collect a reasonable sample. Primary tests are going to be — obviously — vs. monoblack, but other suggestions are welcome.

I also want to hear your kinky suggestions of decks built around properly utilizing Jurisdiction. So far the best I came up with was [Blood]/Law/Present to abuse Land Octopus and other Haste synergies, Jurisdiction serves as spot support for when my Drakk/Geiger are dead and I need a Haste activator.

A bit of a background.

I play exclusively IRL, but do drop here from time to time to get a perspective different to our local echo chamber meta :stuck_out_tongue: I have about 100 and counting games behind me, and I think more than 25 of those are either me playing Mono Blue or me playing against Mono Blue. After I’ve read here about Blue vs. Black imbalance, I made a point to play Blue more and try to explore the edges of the deck explicitly, which I did to some success.

After these games I’m more or less settled in an opinion that Blue is the weakest of monocolor decks for a variety of reasons. It’s not that far behind Green (imo 2nd weakest), but it’s noticeable. The gulf between Blue and Black power level, in my experience, is real. White, Red and Purple I find in a sweet spot.

Starter — basically, change nothing.

Out of Starter cards I’ve seen some people complaining about Bluecoat Musketeer. Let me tell you, this dude wreaks some havoc. He is basically a Nullcraft / Bloodburn from Blue, a free ping every turn for the rest of the game. He is slower and easier to kill than NC, but can be used as patroller, which is a huge upside, and does not care about anti-air. I’ve seen him run rampant from P1T1 for 5 or 6 turns, it really adds up.
I’ve also seen critique directed at Lawful Search. I believe it’s misguided. LS is a self-cycling starter card, which is already good because deck-thinning, but hand-scouting is a not-insignificant upside, which has strong synergies in Blue specifically. LS is good as-is.
The only Starter complains I can possibly get behind is Reputable Newsman banning Buildings, but it’s preeeetty questionable still, so probably do not touch since not obviously broken.

Peace — buff D. Alpha

Peace feels like the strongest Blue spec. It’s a default monocolor Tech II option for a reason. I do not think any existing part of a Peace machine deserves a nerf. It’s only fault is overshadowing other options, especially Flagstone Spy and Air Hammer. I found niches for both of these (I remember one hilarious game where I Temporal Distortioned into Air Hammer to set up an evasion lethal). The one card I just couldn’t get working is Debilitator Alpha. I’m not exactly sure what to do about him, but I like changing his ability to “While SQL, ALL attackers are at -1 ATK, whomever they attack”. Keeps his anti-swarm theme and strengthens it to counter evasion, while keeping all his other weaknesses in tact.

Truth — touch nothing; at most, add Resist 1 to Spectral Tiger

Truth is a second-best Tech II option. I managed to find a good niche for all their cards, except for a really hard time with Spectral Tiger. Fortunately, @Shadow_Night_Black courteously demonstrated me a couple of convincing cases for him. Tiger might still use a slight buff, like maybe Resist 1 to solidify him as a sort-of standalone Truth big boy option.

Law — Jurisdiction to 1g, GotG to 2/6 and affects heroes, some buff to Arresting Constable

Law has a lot of overnerfed / underused cards. Number one here is Jurisdiction. I’ve made a detailed reasoning here Nudging the tiller - balance. Jurisdiction should cost 1g.
Numbers two and three are Guardian of the Gates and Arresting Constable. @zhavier discusses them here Nudging the tiller - balance.
I want to add that GotG being shut down by Deteriorate or Sickness or L4 Orpal is really ridiculous. None of the similar cards — Gorgon, Voidblocker, Porcupine — suffer the same way GotG does. I do not see any good reason for GotG to be special in that relation. He really should have 2 Attack, and, I believe, should affect Heroes too.

I’ve realized how much of a joke Arresting Constable is when I compared him to Porkhand Magistrate. Same stats, but Porky is 1g cheaper; Yes, Porky’s ability is much more expensive, but he can affect Heroes and Tech III units for god’s sake. It makes perfect sense for his ability to be more expensive just due to this reason alone, and I’m very happy to Porky Chop a maxband Calamandra, Rook or an Oathkeeper.

Now sit back a little and realize that I’ve just drew a comparison between a Tech 0 and Tech II unit… And Tech 0 is not merely comparable, but probably even better. That cannot fly.

Now, I’m not sure what exactly to do about AC, but I don’t agree with making him significantly bigger as some people propose. He should be kinda wimp-ish, because you want to use his ability, not his stats; If you can’t find a good target for his ability, you should be somewhat punished. You also should protect him. I like @EricF 's suggestion of making AC cost 2g. I also like going a little bit less risk / less reward route and make AC 3g 3/4, but make his ability cost 1g and an exhaust to use.


#2

I support this post.
I’m curious though, can you make a thread (or find and resurrect an old one) on blue strategy? You seem like you know a lot and I’m very interested in your strategies


#3

Beyond maybe the reference sheet discussions from hobusu found here


I don’t think there is a clear blue strategy discussion thread. There are numerous black v blue matchups on the forums that could be referenced, but not a thread discussing strategies.

I think I like most of metallizes proposed changes.
I especially agree that the starter deck doesn’t need anything. The reasoning used for arresting constable is sound, he doesn’t really need to be bigger as I suggested, just cheaper so that something else can be played to protect him. I also agree that his ability should be more of a clear upgrade to porky.

I would like to think of law as the ultimate stalling engine. Law should be blues answer to a tech 3 race. Truth Tech 3 can be fast and effective, but Law should be slow and inevitable.


#4

I’m not sure its gonna be possible to buff Alpha to a point where it sees play and not be completely broken. Given how strong the peace engine is, and the fact that it is already effective against anti-swarms due to the number of units it can put out. I’m also worried about the fact that evasion is one of the main weakness of the Peace engine, and making it good against evasion might make peace way too difficult to deal with. I would prefer to give this card an effect to help the other peace strategies out, maybe have it reduce opponents patrollers attack? This helps out the tech 3 get through, and gives more options (although giving a spec too many viable strats might be a bad thing, as it reduces the opportunity for counter play from the opponent…)

I think he’s fine where he is. at the tech 2 stage, being an illusion is largely neither up nor downside thanks to both Retellers and Maciatus. Very few specs can target without spending resources, and most of the time he’s not affected or just ends up back in your hand with the patrol bonuses. Making it have resist 1 is gonna reduce the chance your opponent can actually prevent the truth snowball/tech 3 rush. Having played him, I like him for what he does, hes a big blocker for cheap that can break tech buildings or can start running my opponent out of resources.

I’m not sure what to do about Law. The first question I would ask is what sort of playstyle do we want Law to have? Both Truth + Peace are better at out valuing and running your opponents out of cards that way. Law seems like it should be built to slow down your opponent and then outvalue them. Not by stopping them having resources, but by them not being able to use them, but it doesn’t really offer much in this regard. Censorship council often doesn’t change your opponents plays if they are being offensive, they are often playing only 1 card and working, having no other card draw. And in late game after 10 workers, your tech 3 seems to suggest you want air superiority, yet you have no other flying units.

To address this, I would almost want Guardian of the Gates to either be something off anti evasion blocker
something along the lines of “While this unit is patrolling, attacking units must attack this if able” or reflects the aspect of holding a chokepoint and be antiswarm with “While this unit is patrolling, opposing units don’t ready”. With either of these suggestion, its stats should change.

Arresting Constable I feel almost fits with the idea of an aggresive law with things like Justice Juggernaut. With that in mind he can stop two opposing units from ever patrolling, what if we instead made him better at that line of play? Making him sideline patrollers etc (on attack while giving him a decent body? .

Jurisdiction costing 1g I can see not being a problem in mono blue (nor really fixing much), I do see it being a potential problem in multicolour, but the only way to find that out is to test it. Im happy to help with this and to hear what other people find, I would just like to make sure it doesnt become an autotech.


#5

Ugh, thanks for the compliment? :confounded:
I mean, I’m all over discussing strategies even here, as long as it pertains to topic somewhat. Which it probably does.

Also there’s that common cave-at that Codex is a deep and obscure game and I can’t pretend to have any sort of exhaustive knowledge about anything bar few very-very specific cases maybe.

So, I rely on “feeling” and my developed heuristics just as any other sane man would do in these circumstances. I can share these heuristics and feelings, sure.

Yeah, I agree that D. Alpha’s role as a swarm-controller seems a bit redundant in Peace with their fight fire with fire thing going on already. But Sirlin gave Peace that card for some reason, I don’t want to give up on it yet. I just want to make it useful enough in it’s current niche to test why Peace might want such a card in a first place and not get instaloss for teching the guy in. Your redesign suggestion is certainly interesting, though.

Yes, I see how evasion-swarms seem to be one of intended weak spots for D. Alpha. But he has so many weak spots already being a high cost mid-sized Tech II unit with no Resist and vulnerability to patrol manipulations. Maybe shoving up one of these very minor ones could be alright.

I like how my version accentuates his niche of anti-token dude even further. I like how it makes his unique mechanic even more relevant. I like how it interacts with Bird’s Nest, specifically. Blue has a hard time against obnoxious birdies already, since Elite Training requires you to break White’s patrol zone to get to them. And there’s no anti-air or cheap flyer even at Tech II as of now. D. Alpha might fill that soft-counter niche, and, given how vulnerable he is to Entangling Vines, is unlikely to break the matchup.

I don’t like that “being a huge expensive-ish illusion that relies on Reteller, Eye and Macciatus” steps on Rokh’s toes. I also don’t like how his niche as “big blocker for cheap” steps on Spectral Hound’s toes. Meanwhile, Hound does benefit from Reteller/Macciatus as well, and is a better standalone card already. And Tech I, so you are likely to have it in your deck by the time you pick your Tech II, nudging you even more towards Reteller/Macciatus.

3g is more or less a breakpoint I’m willing to pay for a naked Illusion.

At some point I went and specifically looked at how all decks deal with Illusions. Of course, all monocolors have access to cheap targeting effects either in starter, tucked on a hero or in a form of a cheap spell.

It put things in perspective — right now I look to play Truth II not when opposing deck struggles with targeting things, because that’s almost never the case, but when I believe I can get away with protecting Macciatus, be it with Eye, or a straight up patrol zone. That means that Tiger is almost never an early tech. He comes only after Macciatus, Reteller(s) and Eye, and by that time I’m likely in a spot where I don’t need the Tiger because if my Macciatus sticks I probably win off Hounds and Retellers alone and I’d rather have a Free Speech or a Rokh to counter Heroes.

There are cases where that flow is not what’s going on and Tiger is a legit throwaway threat, as you demonstrated several times, and I like that. I want Tiger to occupy that specific niche of a Tech II cannon fodder that’s more card-efficient than Hound. But cannon fodder has to be cost-efficient, and Illusion tag goes against that; Hence, my thought about Resist 1. I like that it also makes Tiger unique among Truth II in a way that he does not necessary rely on Illusion synergies to be viable in the first place, more in touch with what I believe is original intent of the card — being a bigger, badder Spectral Hound.

Asking the real questions there.
I believe Law is about putting your opponent between a rock and a hard place. You limit his options, and then seek to punish him for being limited.
Censorhip Council pushes opponents towards tall boards, and Constable punishes tall boards. Guardian pushes opponents towards slowing down their tempo and start patrolling, while Juggernaut punishes them by destroying buildings through patrol zone. Insurance Agent is like a whatever utility/value support which seems to be intended to glue everything together and allow you to afford your expensive toys.
I think Lawbringer Gryphon being about air superiority is spot-on, but he does not get you there, he rewards you for achieving it. He is small for a T3 and is vulnerable to many T2 flyers, but Law T2 is designed to protect him from these flyers in numerous ways, with Bigby’s spell package decimating them as well.

I believe the design intent is sound, and we should stick to it as closely as we can with our “fixes”. Lighter touch, again. Reworking Constable completely seems too drastic, as he has a purpose already, he’s merely too high costed for his reward.

Re:Evasion counter on GotG. I think you are overcomplicating the card too much. Also Evasion is clearly an intended weak spot for him. Law has so many ways to shut down Tech II things preventively already, including evasion things, so if your opponent manages to get his Lightning Dragon to attack it just seems fair that he gets rewarded for this.

That said, if we for whatever reason come to a conclusion that GotG needs to be stronger against evasion, simply tucking Anti-Air on him should do the trick. No need to bloat the rule text. Anti-Air also happens to have synergy with his ability. But it would break the card, I’m afraid.


#6

I like what I’m seeing here! I’m not a Blue player, so take my thoughts below with however much salt you think appropriate, but I’ve also made “official” wordings and formatting for your suggested changes for each card based on the Codex Card Database.

Starting Deck

This is the bit that I find most interesting. No changes, huh? I can agree that Musketeer is probably underappreciated, though it’s probably a lot better against something like Green that doesn’t have direct removal, but the main complaint I’ve seen about Lawful Search is that playing it requires a hero to be summoned, and with how much pressure Black can put out early-game that’s a huge risk if you can’t see what’s in their hand… So you’re in this paradox where you have a card that lets you see their hand, but only if you take the very risk that looking at their hand was meant to help with. No one’s been able to come up with a way to disconnect it from heroes that’s agreeable to everyone, though, and the problem probably is with Black instead of Blue, so at least for now I can agree that there’s probably no need to change anything here.

Peace

I like the idea behind your Debilitator Alpha change. I’m not completely sold on it yet, but it is a simple way of keeping the intended use of the card without overhauling the whole thing. One thing needs clarified: How does it work in a free-for-all with 3 to 5 players? Does it reduce their ATK even when they’re not attacking the one patrolling Debilitator, or does it only protect its controller’s stuff? If the former, that would look like this:

Debilitator Alpha

Unit — Clockwork Soldier • Cost: 5 • ATK: 4 • HP: 5
As squad leader: Attacking units and heroes get -1 ATK.

I’m not as confident about how to word the latter way, but this seems like it should work:

Debilitator Alpha

Unit — Clockwork Soldier • Cost: 5 • ATK: 4 • HP: 5
As squad leader: Units and heroes attacking your units, heroes, or buildings get -1 ATK.

Truth

I really like Resist 1 on Tiger. It’s a small change that “shouldn’t matter” if your game plan goes well, but gives a small reason to use it over the others if the plan isn’t working out. In general I like it when the only difference between two cards isn’t just changed numbers, and this is the smallest change possible that does this with Hound and Tiger. The only downside I see is that this would remove its synergy with Midori’s midband ability, but that combination is unlikely to come up much, it further differentiates Hound and Tiger, and I believe mono-color balance should come before multi-color balance anyway (that last bit also applies to Jurisdiction).

Spectral Tiger

Unit — Tiger Illusion • Cost: 3 • ATK: 5 • HP: 5
(Illusions die whenby spells or abilities.)
Resist 1 (Opponents must payeach time they wouldthis with a spell or ability.)

Law

The big one. You’ve already laid out the reasoning for Jurisdiction being overpriced and I agree with it, so let’s move on.

Jurisdiction

Spell • Cost: 1
Play any non-ultimate spell from your codex. (You still pay its cost to play it, then discard it.)

It’s worth noting that apparently Law was discovered to be overpowered late in development, so several key cards got nerfed—perhaps a bit too hard in some cases. That might explain why Guardian of the Gates is the only unit of the ones you mentioned that can be shut down with a mere Deteriorate, but I agree that it really shouldn’t be. It also needs to affect heroes in particular because of Blue’s weakness to hero-centric strategies.

Guardian of the Gates

Unit — Guard • Cost: 3 • ATK: 2 • HP: 6
Can’t attack.
Whenever Guardian of the Gates deals combat damage to a unit or hero, disable it. (Exhaust it and it doesn’t ready during its next ready step.)

Now that Guardian of the Gates is a better blocker than before, having Arresting Constable be big shouldn’t be necessary. For that reason I like changing the cost to 2g and leaving the stats alone the most, since it means that you have to be careful about protecting him but get rewarded for doing so. It’s also a much smaller change, so it’s easier to see whether it’s helping than if we changed cost to play, combat stats, and ability cost all at once. The question I have is whether AC should be able to arrest Tech III units—it’s obviously intentional that this is one of his weaknesses, but it’s strange that he can’t and Porkhand Magistrate can… Either way, assuming that the answer is to leave that alone (again leaning toward fewer/smaller changes), here’s what both of your suggestions look like:

Arresting Constable

Unit — Guard • Cost: 2 • ATK: 2 • HP: 3
:exhaust: → Disable a tech 0, I, or II unit. (Exhaust it and it doesn’t ready during its next ready step. Sideline it if it was patrolling.)

Arresting Constable

Unit — Guard • Cost: 3 • ATK: 3 • HP: 4
①, :exhaust: → Disable a tech 0, I, or II unit. (Exhaust it and it doesn’t ready during its next ready step. Sideline it if it was patrolling.)

Finally, while you didn’t talk about Censorship Council much (and thus it seems like it probably doesn’t need any adjustment), one idea I had for a small tweak to it was this:

Censorship Council

Building • Cost: 4 • HP: 5
Opponents can’t play more than one card from hand during their turns. (This doesn’t include hiring workers.)
Workers cost ① more to hire.

This was inspired by the Hard Times Mill map card and the observation that the “standard play” of just playing 1 card and hiring a worker each turn is completely unaffected by Censorship Council. Again, probably not needed, but I thought I’d bring it up while it was relevant to see what you think.

You said you were planning to test some of these changes, but now I’m interested in doing the same thing. This is the most excited I’ve been to try playing Blue since I first read Sirlin’s overview of all the specs!


I also remembered something interesting about Menelker’s lore in Yomi…

Lore Stuff

From the old Fantasy Strike website (emphasis added):

Eventually, Menelker ran out of worthy opponents. Even the Fantasy Strike tournament would be a just a trifle to him, not even worth his time. Menelker left the Realm in search of greater challenge. During this time, many referred to him as the Exiled Dragon, and hoped he’d never return. Where did he go? We’ve all heard fairy tales about the Dreadlands to the north, but Menelker dared to see what’s truly there.

He discovered the Undead Scourge of the Dreadlands (a playable faction in the upcoming customizable card game) and found dangers greater than any had imagined. There he learned a name that mortals of the Realm do not yet know: Vandy Anadrose, the Queen of Demons. (Or Queen of D’s as some say.) The undead Queen has made bargains with beings who don’t belong in our world. Even Menelker, a seeker of true power, knows that some things are too dangerous. Bargaining with the Beyond is bound to backfire.

Menelker barely survived this investigation. His very lifeforce was nearly sucked out of him, and half his body is now gray with the pallor of death. He returned to the Realm, saw the worthless clockwork army of Flagstone, and knew that he needed worthy opponents more than ever. This time not to defeat, but to train.

obviously blue being destroyed by vandy and the rest of black is canon and we shouldn’t change it, lol


#7

no, what we need is for the Gwen, Gloria, and Menelker to form their own faction against the scourge.


#8

Do we know what cards got nerfed? might be an idea to partially revert some of those changes then, or at least have an idea of what not to do.


#9

One thing that’s interesting about the Censorship Council is that it does nothing if your opponent kills it on their turn. As stated, it’s payoff is not the greatest against most decks (as card draw is not common in Codex). Most tech 2 buildings that see play either have an immediate payoff (Slowtime generator, Training Grounds, Plague Lab) or have a much bigger Payoff (Training Grounds, Firehouse). The fact that it costs 4 gold, does nothing to protect itself, has no impact if it just dies, and often has little impact it is lives. I can see it being good if your on the offensive (as it renders the technician bonuses much worse) but when is Tech 2 Law on the offensive and killing patrolers? its only good attacking unit has unstoppable anyway.


#10

I wasn’t involved in playtesting, but Sirlin told a story about how Scribe was broken in one of his podcast episodes (it used to have higher stats and its ability was triggered on both arrival and attacking) and I remember someone on the forums saying that Justice Juggernaut was able to patrol at one point. I don’t know what other changes were made, but at least those two are in a good enough place that it’s obvious they shouldn’t be reverted (though I could see both Law Tech I units getting +1 ATK over what they have now, it’s not a big deal either way).

As for Censorship Council, it does seem like it’s fairly low impact in most cases, though it looks like the intent is to prevent something like Red dumping their entire hand to get past any problems you put in front of them (it seems especially good against someone who techs Desperation, since it’ll essentially be a dead draw while Censorship Council is in play because they probably can’t play it and won’t get any use out of it if they do). It’s just that if the opponent isn’t going to do that kind of thing it’s often a complete waste of 4g and a card. The question becomes “is it okay that it’s so specific in what it counters?” I don’t have the answer to that, so I’ll wait for a Blue player to say either way, but I think if it does need a buff it should either be made cheaper or make it harder for the opponent to hire a worker (either taxing it like I suggested earlier or just removing the exception for workers and making it so you can’t ever play more than 1 card while it’s in play).


#11

Censorship Council could add something like

Arrives: All opponents discard a card at random

It feels like a reasonably small immediate impact, though stealing an effect from black is a little weird…


#12

Extra gold cost for the first card they play that turn, maybe? Then it does for cards what the Inspector does for buildings.


#13

Hey, thanks for the card wording!

Bluecoat Musketeer

Musketeer’s saving grace is he is low-profile and 2 HP to boot. The typical dilemma with him is smth like “I have 4 damage, I can kill Bluecoat and have 2 wasted or I can kill Onimaru and have 1 wasted”. That’s a nobrainer choice most of the time, so Mr. Mustaches tends to stick to the board more often than you would expect. After all, he never dies trading into something big like your average 2g 2/2 does.

Lawful Search is a bad idea against early Black not only because you have to pull sacrificial Bigby or gamble on Oni to play LS, but because “Spend 1 gold, do nothing on the board” is a disaster against insane tempo you are facing. And it’s alright. LS is not a card for the first few turns.

Blue vs. Black rant

That tempo is really a lynchpin. You want to “fix” Blue vs. Black, you have to do something about that first. Many other maladies that seem to plague the matchup really come together only in context of Black dominating Blue in the first 3 turns of the game. All the suggestions about Tech II and later are kinda moot/misinformed because of this.

Curiously enough, when Blue goes first and starting hands line up, Blue IS capable of holding his ground and proceed to midgame on equal footing. I’ve won my fair share of games against good opponents by performing some usual Blue midgame shenanigans. I’m especially fond of the memory where I pulled a double Hallucination combo on two Blackhand Dozers with Shrine in play. It was so good that second Dozers’ death effect actually whiffed — board was THAT empty :sweat_smile:

I’ve evaluated many of suggestions I found on this forum about that, and I don’t like any of them.

Deteriorate at 0g is strong, sure, but at 1g Black might suddenly get dunked by something like a P1T1 Sensei or a Merfolk in Lookout. Right now Black handles 1/1s easily, and that seems to be part of it’s identity; What’s going to happen when he can’t do that cheaply any more? What’s going to break? I have no idea. That said, Deteriorate at 1g is probably the least bad of all other suggestions I saw or came up with so far.

Deteriorate only targeting patrollers is even worse — now I’m going to be able to all but guarantee my Sensei survives first turn by not patrolling him, and, trust me, I WILL wipe floor with your Vandy if my Sensei lives and snowball the hell out of there.

Dark Pact costing 1g is too harsh. People seem to really, really underestimate the “2 damage to base” part. Against Purple I all but never tech Dark Pact, because single Pact is enough to be dunked by Omegacron bros few turns later. Even something like monogreen with harmless L1 Midori surviving a turn on lategame board can tip you a Dinosize and get you for 10 damage. And I’m not even talking about Red things. You don’t want to be forced to play around every little bit of burst oneshotting your base late game. I think Pact is fine as is. Being able to lethal with it is just so beautiful, I don’t want that part to be nerfed as well; Especially since it does not really do anything about why Pact is a good card in a first place — its a strategic choice, something that brings you resources RIGHT NOW at the cost of disadvantage later of having to play around being OTKd with medium-sized boards.

Removing Vandy’s midband resist? Sure, why not… Wait. What does that really do? It helps Snapback and Origin Story, it TREMENDOUSLY (and possibly unfairly) helps Tricycloid, it might help Red a little bit (but what are you doing targeting Vandy anyway? Flame Arrow does not kill a 4/5, hellooo). Does it help Blue? Well, there’s Porky… Who usually is dead anyway to that very same Vandy in the first place. There is literally nothing else Blue does that cares about her Resist. Unless you Bootcamp her, the madman

So yeah, while removing Resist might make her fairer for White and Black, it very well might break Black vs. Present, since Vandy is one of the few things P2 Black can throw at Tricycloid train. Do we really want to do this? Do we need to? Why?

Nerfing Bone Collector… Well, ok, I did not give this one much of thought, but it might be at least relevant. Although, again, any touch to BC will send ripples across waters, and one has to at least consider every current usecase before touching it. Which means all the matchups, since BC is a default P1T1 Black tech in just about every game. Which does not necessary mean BC is broken, by the way. Just means that he is a “safe choice”. Makes it interesting to surprise opponents by teching something different.

Re: D. Alpha. I completely forgot about FFA. Yeah, does not seem intuitive to affect some other people across the table fighting. Should be “Attackers are weaker when attacking your stuff”, so option 2, if messier, seems to do the job.

Re: Truth uhhmmm brofist.jpg? :sweat_smile:

Justice Juggernaut

Yes, I’ve also read that piece about Justice Juggernaut being a patroller (and also being 1g cheaper I think?) And I was like “What kind of a madman would ever let this beast patrol?” but then again, hindsight is 20/20, the balance was in flux back then and all that.

As of right now, he fills a distinct and necessary niche for Law II, but it may still be slightly too punishing to put him on the board, since its 6 gold that can’t patrol, unlike, say, Immortal, who fills a niche close to JJ for Present. If the stuff we are talking about now does not work out as good — which is likely, tbh — putting Juggernaut back at 5g would be my next step.

Guardian

That’s actually the reason why it should NOT affect heroes :sweat_smile: Sucking against hero-centric strategies seems like one of Law’s key intended weaknesses. But I believe we can make a small exception in that case, because it’s Tech II, because all specs need some semblance of a fair chance against anything, blah blah blah, but mostly due to Guardian’s “Can’t attack” rider. Yes, he can disable Heroes… but on your opponent’s terms. Which seems perfectly fair and in line with Law’s philosophy.

Constable

After some further contemplation, I also concluded that Constable should just be costed 2g. It’s elegant and exacerbates his niche, which is exactly what we are looking for.

Comparing AC with Porky. The way I see it, Porky is a jack-of-all-trades: versatile, but cost-inefficient card. Constable is a specialist: cost-efficient, yet rigid. Porky is an epitome of a card you want to put in a starter deck, since players have him available every single game, and he is relevant at all stages of all the games always. Constable is his Tech II incarnation — toolbox thing you pull out to deal with that particular screw.

Censorship Council

Censorship council is about the only reason you even want to go for Law II right now. That’s the last card I’d consider touching, since Insurance Agent is so obviously good as-is. Yeah, it might require some creative thinking.

I believe, taxing workers is on the edge of what Law philosophy is. Law puts limits on you, and yes, sometimes limits are super annoying (Arrest, Injunction), sometimes they are relatively harmless (Censorship Council) but, ultimately, they always leave you some doors open. Workering is something you likely want to do every turn. There’s not a lot of a “limiting” theme with merely “taxing” this action. There is a little bit, yes, I agree. I could see maybe another Law card taxing Workers, to combo with Council and go with Law’s theme of mounting up that bureaucracy until it’s unbearable. But probably none of the ones currently existing are fit for a rider like that, and messing with a core mechanic is very dangerous. Note how expensive and rare worker-destruction things are in Codex.

A lot of T2 buildings do nothing if your opponent kills them on their turn. Firehouse, Sanatorium, Fox’s Den School do literally nothing, and Training Grounds is very low-impact at first. All of these are at least decent; Risky, but rewarding.
Council does do something on it’s first turn. It makes it harder for your opponent to clean it up. In the specific — yet very common in practice — case of both you and your opponent hitting Tech II at the same pace and with handsize of 4+ cards, Council denies your opponent his multicard combos he was probably setting up. And that denial itself often makes Council unkillable. I’ve played many games with or against it to get a good feel — it was a flavor of the month meme card here for some time. Turned out it’s actually not so meme :sweat_smile:


#14

Really? As a purple player myself (which tbh, is the only codex I’ve played enough off to really give feedback on), you seem much nicer to play against then the other people on this forum, If I’ve managed to keep my tech 2 up to be able to play a tech 2 I’m doing well against black, and future really struggles with holding the fort down against less aggressive specs, let alone dark pact fueled screaming hordes from hell.

If im tech 2 Present, I’m using that Tric to clear the board and then smashing vandy to pieces with Hyperions or Now! Trics. Assuming I’ve managed to get my tech 2 to live, this change doesn’t change much. The game winning fight for purple in this matchup is getting that tech 2 to live, not grinding black into dust afterwards. This does mean Purple has a shot at preventing Meta with origin story, given max band vandy seems almost incidental to just playing well. Meaning I have to play around meta, which often puts me behind, and if I dont, they can just tutor for it/have teched it anway.

If you want to throw things at a Tric/Hype train, Disease should be your go to spec. Gorgans (deathtouch means no flicker/runes afterwads, and you draw cards) Cursed Crow (lol Present dealing with flyers…) and Abombinations (so thats two units I have to trade in to kill it) are all really good answers). it also deals with Immortals (0/0 indestructible units are good…) Past (Death and decay is fairly safe and wrecks it so badly), and can do okay against future (Aboms/Orpal ruin Hives, Crypt crawler lets you blow up Void stars easily enough, if not Cursed Crows and Sickness/Deteriote/Max Orpal, Plague SPitter)


#15

That’s about in line with what my usual Black vs. Purple experience is :joy:

Except that for some reason it’s always super hard to keep the game slow enough to prevent Tech II from ever being erected/surviving; and if I Dark Pacted I’d better go balls deep on that never-T2 plan or I’m legit toast. Sinking 5 damage per turn into that stupid building is taxing.

Vs. Purple the emergent meta around these parts is to go nuts with discard effects. Either you manage to wittle his hand down with Imps/Shadowblades so he has a hard time lining up his combos, or straight up Carrion Curse that Distortion out of his hand.

Discards are expensive, so that may be one of the reasons games tend to last up to Tech II, but Black at 4 cards against Purple with 2 cards is in a good spot even in a Tech II battle.

Sure, Hyperions suck and kinda undo your hard work, but as long as there’s no TD Now! TD TD bullcrap it’s all gucchi. That’s why Vandy with Resist is important — unlike Orpal and Garth, you can’t snipe her with just a Tric + TD, and Hyperion has to respect patrol.

I probably did not play enough of “screaming hordes from hell” © vs Purple to really develop that style. I guess I know what I’m doing next time I see Purple on the other side of the table :joy:


#16

Discard does hurt a lot as purple, but I wouldn’t go so all in as on Carrion Curse as well, Imp + graveyard does enough damage really.

Talk to @FrozenStorm about it, he seems to have a strong grasp on it…

But anyway, Black v Purple should probs be a different topic if we want to exchange strats :wink:


#17

@Metalize thanks for sparking this awesome discussion and sharing your experiences!

I am, as SNB says, happy to offer my thoughts on Black in general, Black specifically against Purple, and of course, the nightmare that is Blue vs Black.

I contend that Bluecoat is not as useful as you claim, and invite you to show me a specific matchup (via a fixed opening vs it) where it earns its place. I will be happy to be shown mistaken :slight_smile:

I also invite you to show me this P1T1 Blue vs Black opening you feel gets Blue a decently high win rate. I have a pretty long resume of blue vs black games, and I think even if an expert player were to fix Blue’s first three turns of draws, one could not best a 2-8 record against an expert black player drawing randomly (that’s gut feel number, I’d love to see it proven wrong)

As for “does Blue starter need changes”, I still feel strongly that changing Lawful Search to an upgrade (instead of a spell) which could be sacrificed, at any time, for its same effect, is a worthwhile buff to explore. If the flavoring seems off on it with that change, I think you could rename it “Search Warrant” with the same art to make it more “noun-y” and it would be a small buff that would

  1. Offer Blue some deck-thinning (it could really use it in general, similar to how White can use Safe Attacking)
  2. Specifically aid Blue in counter-playing Black’s early tempo by utilizing perfect information without risking giving up a hero kill
  3. Not be a very significant buff in Blue’s other mono matchups
  4. Make Blue starter more attractive in a multi-color deck

I’m definitely not on board with giving Newsman an ability to block buildings, as I don’t see that as a necessary buff. Newsie is pretty good where he is, if I would suggest any buff to him it would be allowing him to pay gold (1 or 2) to change his number.

I agree 100% with GatG and Constable changes.

Jurisdiction I’ve always felt should cost 1g, but I would be a little worried about what that could do in some multi-color decks.

TL:DR; I love this discussion, let’s throw down some gauntlets, make some bold predictions, and check some stuff out!


#18

I can appreciate the argument for bluecoat musketeer a little. A while back I was schooled in a blue v green game where the bluecoat was very effective. That said I doubt it applies to blue v black. But I don’t think bluecoat has to be important to that matchup.

I would like to see a layout of plays/hands by blue and black that gets blue to tech 2 on decent footing. My suspicion is that you would have to line up both the black and blue hands just so.


#19

I’ll admit that calling it a Search Warrant does go some way toward soothing my objections toward the idea, though Lawful Search is a more flavorful name (since it can be cast pretty much at any time with little to no warning, calling it a “Lawful” search implies something about the laws in Flagstone). I’m not convinced it would be as small a change as you think, though, and it could end up being too good in other matchups to be able to play it without having anything else in play to cast it and then just leave it there for whenever it’ll be most useful. You could be right that it’s only a small improvement, but my gut is still unhappy about it and I’m not entirely sure why.

I’m not really concerned about that, partly because I care far more about mono-color balance than multi-color balance and partly because I don’t think it’ll result in anything worse than your Nightmare codex… :wink:

I’d love to test some of these changes with you or anyone else who’s interested, though I personally would prefer not to be involved in the Blue/Black testing for fear of contaminating the results with my inexperience on both sides. I’d be happy to test any other Blue/mono matchup, especially with Red, Green, or White since I’m most experienced with those.

@Metalize, would you be willing to try learning how to play over the forums? I’d love to play against you, with or without testing anything, to see how differently you play compared to the regulars here!


#20

I did not want to answer without checking out the stuff you linked first, discovered (to my amusement) that I’ve already investigated half of those threads some months ago.

The catch in my opinion was that, quote

Basically, Onimaru + TD opener and having the right combat trick in second hand lets Blue achieve a firm enough grip of the board for a good game to happen. In my experience so far, at least. Although it’s still much easier for Blue to screw up than for Black, I admit.

Say, in this game [MMM1] Game 10: P1 Blue (Nekoatl) vs P2 Black (FrozenStorm), Nekoatl goes for Jail on Turn 2, while I would’ve opted for Arrest into smack your base to 16 and threaten Art Of War. I’ve played that very same opener yesterday in a local meetup, and we’ve discussed how this line makes Dark Pact unplayable, since TD ping plus single T4 AoW puts Black’s base at 8, while Black can’t really afford teching answers for a potential T3 Max Oni yet.

Yours (and Bomber’s and Eric’s and I’m probably forgetting someone else) posts provoked me to look into Blue vs Black in the first place. After reading some of your PbFs and discussions I decided that I should start with easier thing first to figure out what’s happening, before tackling Blue as P2. So, for P2 Blue, I don’t have a good enough sample size or at least a gut feeling yet, and, for echo chamber reasons, I try to insulate myself from too much of exposure. For me, P1 Blue feels “tough, but winnable with some reasonable luck”. Probably not worse than 40-60.

The standard line of teching for black I steer my opponents towards is DP+BC first, then two situational cards depending on what’s going on, then figure out whether Metamorph or Shrine+Dozers are a better choice for lategame.

I very seldomly go for Truth or Law lategame, since FSGs are too good of a consistency enabler, and I feel Blue desperately needs his combos to line up in this matchup. I do have some positive experience utilizing Censorship against Black — it denies both Dark Pact and Deteriorate+StW combos! — but the rest of Law Tech II is so bad here it makes me dead inside a bit. It might be that Law was supposed to make this matchup balanced, but it got decimated at last stage development. Not only Tech II, but I’ve read Scribes also saw some nerfs and my guess would be Community Service used to cost 4g for a long time.

I like the name :grinning: Yeah, I guess making it a sacrifice-able upgrade could be interesting for the reasons you listed, but there are a few counter-points there, namely

  1. Spending 1g on something that does not affect the board is a no-no for Blue (vs Black) in the first 2-3 turns, so it might only help Blue in mittelspiel or later.
  2. It’s a Starter change. Every Starter change that does not affect first crucial three turns of a game is wasted opportunity.
  3. Lighter touch. The fewer changes we manage to make to improve things, the better; This especially is true for Starter decks, the most important part of the game bar maybe Hero cards themselves.
  4. Sacrificial upgrades (and buildings, for that matter) go against intuitive mechanics already established in the game — the theme of Upgrades being, well, permanent Upgrades like in StarCraft.

With all that in mind swapping Lawful Search for a Search Warrant would be somewhat low on my list of Blue changes to study.

Maybe sometime? You seem nice, but for me card games are very much about real time social interactions, and it’s so hard to see actual person through letters on the forum :sweat_smile: