Extra gold cost for the first card they play that turn, maybe? Then it does for cards what the Inspector does for buildings.
Hey, thanks for the card wording!
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
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?
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.
That’s actually the reason why it should NOT affect heroes 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.
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 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
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)
That’s about in line with what my usual Black vs. Purple experience is
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
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
@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
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
- Offer Blue some deck-thinning (it could really use it in general, similar to how White can use Safe Attacking)
- Specifically aid Blue in counter-playing Black’s early tempo by utilizing perfect information without risking giving up a hero kill
- Not be a very significant buff in Blue’s other mono matchups
- 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!
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.
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…
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!
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 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
- 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.
- It’s a Starter change. Every Starter change that does not affect first crucial three turns of a game is wasted opportunity.
- 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.
- 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
This might be silly, but how about adding “As long as Arresting Constable is in play, Jail can be played for free from hand” on the Arresting Constable card? Thematic and we all know that the Council loves having the Jail out as well ^^
for being thematic, imo also starter spell cards could cost 0 with constable online. Who better than him can perform arrests and search warrants?
Sure, some combination of Jail, Lawful Search and Arrest being free to play if Arresting Constable is in play could make Law slightly better, without making them over the top.
What if the Building Inspector were a 1/2 instead of a 1/1…?!
Compared to tenderfoot, that is a pretty large improvement.
what if constable ability becomes “arrives or exausts”?
Given that in blue vs black the early game pressure of black is so crushing for blue, how about moving Censorship Council to be a 3 cost, 4HP Tech I building?
This would let Law hard counter Dark Pact / Deteriorate much earlier in the game when Black always wants to play loads of cards and Blue is weakest. I’ve never been very enamoured with Tax Collector, so I wouldn’t mind getting rid of him, or retooling him for Tech II. This would leave Law Tech I focussed on siezing card advantage and hindering the enemy’s ability to counter it.
My only concern would be the interplay with Peace Tech II as a way to double down on card advantage.
I really like Tax Collector because you can pinch your opponent’s economy and that’s always fun, that said, it’s situational because I find I don’t have nearly as many opportunities to use them when my opponent is Player 1.
As far as Censorship Council being Tech I, I think it would be difficult to get it into play without having it blown up almost immediately. It’s the same reason Jail is a difficult play in that match up.
Yeah I appreciate the board pressure black typically brings is pretty brutal. A huge part of that pressure is that Black has so many ways to produce card advantage to recover/facilitate multiple cards played per turn. The idea for bringing council forward occured to me along with a notion that the things Blue starter can punish/enforce don’t intersect well with what makes Black so strong.
Alternative (probably crazy ideas):
- Jail to 4HP
- Swap Jail and Censorship Council, Council to 3g/4HP
- Tax Collector and Jail swapped, Tax Collector to 2/2
1 is about making Jail harder to kill so limiting multi-unit strats early
2 is about forcing black to “play fair” from the start and takes Deteriorate/Haunt/Dark Pact mostly off the table (also relocates Jail to “Law” which seems good flavour wise)
3 is about giving Blue an extra Deteriorate resistant Tech 0 that sometimes costs 1g
I think making Lawful Search cost 0 is the cleanest change, and while it is really good, I don’t think it would break anything (Young Treant gives similar early deck cycling). Free hand views doesn’t have a material affect on the game, but highly synergies with Blues core strategies, and the overall power level of blue is low enough that a significant boost shouldn’t put it to God tier.
I’ve played dozens of game with Mono-Blue, and my conclusions are :
- Blue needs anti-hero support
- Truth spells are redundant
- Tech II Law is very good in FFA (5 players) and really bad in 2 player games
- Peace Tech II’s spam strat is so straightforward than it eclipses any other Mono-Blue strat, even Peace’s buildingwrecker strats
- Truth Tech II isn’t fun to play, but it’s neither OP or very bad.
- Some cards are stupidly bad, Arresting Constable, Debilitator Alpha, General’s Hammer, Mind Control
- The real problem is that Black Starter is so much polyvalent it’s impossible to play around it. StW destroys Tech IIIs, Deteriorate pops Illusions, Thieving Imp is insanely good and the same for ALL these 10 cards !
My suggestions :
- Total rework of mono-blue
- Nerf Black starter deck
- Basically total rework of Codex, it’s not a competitive game yet