I made several updates to original post / list of changes based on my opinion of others feedback.
have you tested Pirate Gunship yet with your changes? I suspect it would still be instantly ending games on the turn it arrives despite the nerf to its Obliterate.
Not yet. We dropped Red for now, been looking into other things. We also have had a few odd games where even the original Gunship arrival did not win the game… With Red being defeated eventually
We ran White vs. Black a bit.
On Raccoon and a bit of other White
2g, Invisible if another Cute Animal, Swift Strike if another Ninja is a legitimate monster of a card. Dropping one on the board by itself is a strong move. It threatens a second copy coming in next turn and activating infinite evasive “kill anything at 3hp or less for free” value engine. T3/4 Fuzz Cuddles at 2g 3/3 curves nicely into Raccoon. Also new cool synergy with Smoker, who eats a Tower, allowing Raccoon to sneak in and assassinate key target.
Overall, the card is very powerful and felt like a new T2 Ninjutsu staple, but I’d like more games to figure out if its not too OP.
Sensei at 0/1 Frenzy 1 felt like a fair nerf. It no longer trades with Pestering Haunt and skeletons, which was relevant.
2/3 Fox Primus was good.
Mythmaking that lets you ignore Legendary rule might be busted, but not sure yet.
Black. Oh boy. How the mighty have fallen. 2/1 Imp felt disgustingly bad. 3/2 Bone Collectors were still okay though. 1g cost of Deteriorate is a noticeable, but fair nerf. It’s still usable.
On Vandy, DP and Metamorph
Vandy, imo, was hit too hard. (Reminder: Midband is now 4-5, Dark Pact deals 1 damage to Vandy, Metamorph no longer grants invis).
Paying health for a Dark Pact, combined with harder time leveling her up (and Deteriorate now sucking gold) lead to something that I had to plan strategically around, nothing like mindless spam of things before. Still, it felt alright because Dark Pact’s extra card draw felt like a reward worth working for.
Metamorphosis, however, felt outright useless. It’s still expensive and requires careful preparation of the board, but not only that work is considerably tougher now, the reward is not nearly what it used to be. Snapback now works without Tower, and simple trading also does. All the while you can no longer control the flow of the game by ramming into Tech buildings or going all-in base race, because your Demon Heroes now have to respect patrol. It has to either keep Invisibility, or be made much cheaper, maybe 4g.
On Garth, Lich's Bargain and Wraith
Garth Torken’s midband nerf to Once-per-turn felt good and came up many times. Combined with Dark Pact nerf, it’s no longer easy to get your handsize back to 5 after early game tempo turns. Black’s tempo openers now have a real drawback, wow, too fair to be true.
I loved the Wraith buff that makes it produce 2 Skeleton tokens on Arrival. Felt like a solid Tech II card. A bit expensive, but threatening body and synergistic with the rest of Necro. A fair staple.
Extensively used Lich’s Bargain. 6 HP cost is very, very threatening. Casting it twice puts you into death-by-evasive-units-in-two-turns range. All but unusable together with Dark Pact. Not sure if fair, we did not have that much of a problem with old LB in local meta anyway. I hate how LB forces you into bloated deck.
LB is less of a problem in games that meaningfully last past turn 7.
Forum games are highly optimized, and usually end on turn 7 (40%) with another 40% ending before that. If time pressure leads to less optimal play, and games routinely reaching 10 workers for multiple turns, the “sac a worker” cost of LB becomes more of a balancing factor.
It seems to me Black has much more of a trouble closing out the LB game when confronted with card starvation due to DP and Garth nerfs. Simple Max Rook wall is suddenly all but impenetrable, because you did not draw Nether Drain in your 2 card hand out of 8 card deck and can’t quite dig for it as you used to.
I like that one of my Building Inspector changes made the list!
Also it doesn’t say this explicitly but I assume your version of Drill Sergeant doesn’t target so the +1/+1 runes it gives to units on arrival will work on Illusions?
And did your version of Troq mean to drop readiness at startband? I don’t see it anymore and vaguely remember seeing it before. Would be interested to know what feedback led to that?
Wow!! I mean I can imagine a few situations where that could happen (probably involving Tech II Future or Strength or a timely Metamorphosis) but certainly it feels like it would be quite a rare occurance. In my experience the floaty ship of doom usually delivers a swift and unavoidable death.
Troq maxband keeps Readiness and gains Overpower. Though dropping it wouldn’t be that significant power level wise. It could go on something else in the Bashing deck, for learning game purposes. Maybe swap out Overpower from the Tech 2 unit?
Personally, I’d make Giant Panda a 2/5. Being a 3/4 makes it feel very much like a bog-standard 3 gold tech 1 unit, and further increasing its health seems more in line flavor-wise while also making MoLaC’s Healing 1 slightly more relevant.
I’d also be worried about Masked Raccoon getting Swift Strike. It already exists next to Glorious Ninja, and at that stat/cost line it feels like it’d be absurdly good in comparison, though I do recognize that it requires additional support. I just wonder if it could get a more unique change.
Overall, though, these are very interesting and good-feeling changes. They address most of the worst balance concerns, and philosophical changes behind things like Jurisdiction and Circle of Life opening up strategic options is a great choice. I’ve got a pet project of doubling each color’s codex (each tech would still only play two Tech 1s, for example,) and broadening and flexing what every spec can do and how they can be utilized goes a long way.
Ahh ok I see what you intended now. I think it must have been metalize that had Readiness on Troq’s Startband/Topband. I agree it’s not a very consequential ability on his maxband but I don’t think I like Harvest Reaper losing Overpower unless we give it something decent to justify its cost of 5 gold. I’m not convinced that Readiness really suffices for that but we could play test it I suppose?
Long Range isn’t represented in Bashing vs Finesse. Would it be completely crazy to switch Harvest Reaper to a Long Range/Readiness combo? That is a particularly strong combination if it gets to swing as it’s a guaranteed safe kill (even on a non-buffed Blademaster!) but it is killable while defending. I know that set of abilities doesn’t fit with the art (or the idea of bashing being the “rejects” of other specs) but it does work with a different take on the meaning of “reaping”. What do you think?
The most blatant “LUL Gunship” situation I recall was vs. monoGreen who went wide.
REALLY REALLY wide. Red is kinda bad against wide. Obliterate 2 was killing 2 random Frogs, nothing else. And Gunship itself had to choose it’s attack target between things like Tech II building, some random big boi in SQL, MaxCala and Max Arg, whose ultimate was unusually threatening with all the tokens. You get the idea. It’s not like Red was super behind, not at all (or Tech III would’ve been broken) but the zugzwang was real.
There were multiple use-cases of empty boards in Red vs. Black (So Obliterate does nothing) and Gunship being punished by Hoody, and other zugzwang cases where it had to choose between maxlevel Hero and a Tech III building, but overall Gunship winrate is about 90% for us, a bit too high even for a Tech III for my tastes. So I agree it needs to be brought down a bit.
Cards I only now noticed are missing from @EricF’s list (as well as mine) are Final Showdown, Final Smash, and Mind Control, which I consider the game’s bottom ultimate spells. It kinda makes sense I missed them considering I never take any of them into account while playing, either…
Zane’s and Grave’s ultimates are also pretty bad in that they’re super-situational, but at least when they land, it’s actually awesome. Midori’s, Troq’s, and Quince’s are both hard to pull off, and not that impactful when you do.
The easiest changes would be reducing the gold cost of Mind Control and Final Smash ($3 sounds reasonable to me), and weakening Final Showdown’s hunter tokens to 2/2.
I would argue final showdown is not bottom tier. It is actually extremely powerful once the hunter tokens are dealt with. I would argue it does not need a change, its just something difficult to pull off. Once the hunters are dealt with, Midoridragon becomes nearly unstoppable unless you have direct removal.
I can say I have used Final Showdown successfully. Getting the buff immediately guarantees one turn of big attack without worrying about the Hunters. I don’t think changing the gold cost by one affects it much either way, though.
Mind Control is tricky b/c it’s basically a worse Kidnapping (it sounds better b/c it’s “permanent” but in practice that rarely matters, and doesn’t offset the lack of haste, added gold cost, and ultimate cost).
I think a better change to mind control would be to have it grab more than one unit, or allow it to grab Tech 3s. If you could take two or three units with it (make it not ongoing but immediate control, and you keep the unit(s) til they die and go back to owner’s discard), that would make it effective patrol clearing or good against horde. Affecting Tech 3s wouldn’t be a monumental buff as many of the Tech 3s worth stealing would be able to kill Quince hastily before he has the chance to kidnap them, but the threat would make it more of a gambit for the player bringing out the tech 3: “Did they tech Mind Control? Guess I’ll find out!”
I would change Mind Control to take control of any targeted unit, and reduce its cost to 3. If it was left at 5, then I could see making it any 2 units, but I think I prefer the tech 3 change and reducing the cost.
While the fantasy of Mind Control is neat, what if it was a Channeling spell that acted like Kidnapping, but every turn? Probably too big of a rework, but just spitballing here.
Cost 5, Channeled Spell
Exhaust: Take control of target unit until your next upkeep, that unit gains haste until end of turn.
Something of a novel idea. Might be workable, puts a huge bullseye on quince, but at least it has impact the turn it arrives. Thematically granting haste is kinda meh.
For a non-haste version, maybe it just steals one thing per turn and keeps it? Uncomfortable snowball effect, but it is an Ultimate. Maybe mind-controlled units can’t patrol.
“Mind Control” may not fit thematically, but something like “Fervent Zealotry” would!
I feel like it fits Quince’s theme as a whole better, too; He’s so silver-tongued, he converts people w/ rhetoric to be his relentless supporters.
I almost feel like “channeling Kidnap” done like that would be too good though (and Quince is in a pretty good place as he stands). Maybe it should cost 6?
I still like the idea of it grabbing two units, though, so maybe a non-channeling double kidnap would be better? Or, I think that would be a better card, so that shouldn’t be what happens since it’d be OP?
If you don’t like it having haste, maybe just have it say Once Per Turn instead of exhaust?
Would it be possible to word the ownership such that it treats the new controlling player as the one who initially put it into play and thereby bypass the need for haste entirely?
Although, in light of @FrozenStorm’s comment, I think a Quince spell that gives Frenzy would be pretty on-brand.