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New Codex Faction! Feedback Welcomed

Disclaimer:

I play very casually, primarily with close friends. That said, I would like to create something both unique and balanced. We hardly ever play multi-spec decks, opting instead to just play a randomed mono-color from the binders. That said, we are probably closing in on 100 games (who play the most) and have enjoyed some custom factions I have created for other games. So I am just looking to spice up the variety a bit. Additionally, this is a completely fictitious faction I created for personal use and entertainment, but is free for anyone to use however they would like. I am just looking for feedback regarding the balance of specific Specs or Cards before I do my first proxy deck to play with friends.

Purpose of Post:

I have drafted up a new faction for Codex that I plan to make a print-and-play version of to test out. However, before I do that, I would love to receive feedback regarding balance / flavor / theme from those of you who play this game much more than I, and at a much more competitive level.

Inspiration:

As the Purple Vortross Conclave drew inspiration from Starcraft II’s Protoss, particularly within the Future Spec… I drew inspiration too from that game.

Faction: Zurg Collection - First Draft, the bottom of this post has link to updated post.
Color: Brown
Specs: Evolution, Primal, Swarm
Heroes: Abathur, Dehaka, Zagara
Themes: Gold Acceleration, Token Generation, Creature-type Synergy

Thank you

Thank you all so much for making it this far. I hope to create a better experience for my play-group with your feedback!**

Edit 1: OP reformatting.
Edit 2: New link, hopefully viewable
Edit 3: Adding a link here to post #26 containing the most current version

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It won’t let me look at it. I love the Zerg theme, though “Zurg” is a bit on the nose. Maybe “Surg” or “Zurrel”

You might want to make the Google doc public viewable.

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I think upon seeing this faction’s cards I’ll want to try it out a few times before making any comments on Balance/Dynamics.

Yeah, balance here isn’t easy to determine by yourself. It was fun going back to the old fan spec I proposed a couple years back and seeing just how unbalanced it was.

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Thanks for the feedback!

@Nopethebard - You were able to view doc?

I will see if I can find additional document settings for sharing.

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I was not. I was commenting on the idea. I haven’t seen the execution thereof yet
Edit: I can now tho

Three things immediately jump out
First, the starting deck has too many upgrades/spells/buildings and not enough units. Ensuring players have bodies to put on the board is pretty important
Second, Baneling is pretty ridiculous.
Third, Abathur’s spells seem pretty crazy.
I mean to play matches to test for balance but I can see those things right upfront

Like Nope, I like the theme of this spec and would like to try it out. I’m a fan of Zerg from StarCraft I, so would like to see how well they’d translate to a game like Codex.

Also like Nope, I suspect the current balance is whack. Only having five units in the starter means you can draw a starting hand with no way to put a unit on the board. Black only has five units, but Garth’s starting ability lets it get away with that.

Nope mentioned Abathur’s spells, but I’m worried about the other two heroes. Having a combat hero with Swift Strike seems really, really good, especially if they can give themselves armour and armour-piercing, and there’s another hero that can heal them for free, and the faction has cheap Tech II fliers (Corruptor, Overseer) and cheap ground blockers (Infested Terran) that can stop them being sniped. I also think Infuse is incredibly cheap for what it does: it’s cheaper than True Power of Storms without that card’s casting conditions, and makes it very hard for the opponent to go for your base without dominating the board first.

Still, it’s hard to evaluate these things without trying the spec out. If someone wants to try it after the current tournament, or slowly during it, let me know.

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I didn’t see the other heroes because I had to go to class. They sound like they blow Abathur out of the water. I suspect that this draft has a situation of either getting wrecked early or dominating, depending on the draws of the first few turns.

One way to fix the starting deck would be to swap creep tumor and baneling for 2 more Zergling cards while making zerglings lose haste but cost 0 gold. Red’s Bombaster is kinda Baneling-like already so just not having a brown baneling is probably fine.

As an aside, card zergling and token zerglings really need to be named different things. Also why are the card zerglings 1/1 while the token zerglings 1/2? IDK if that’s broken but it’s certainly odd.

Zergling seems fine as it is, it’s the same as Mad Man. Baneling seems more like a souped-up Fox Viper. I’d be looking more at swapping out Hatchery or Expand, two draw cards in the starter is a lot.

Archon, any thoughts on which spells etc. are/aren’t targeted?

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Awesome feedback! I am totally open to changing things around before I print a copy to test out, and those immediately obvious tweaks are exactly what I am looking for.

I may try leaving the starter deck with only the 5 creatures until it has been tested. I like the uniqueness of the Hatchery as potential support for the early game in lieu of a 6th creature. The creep tumor feels a little underwhelming to me, but I wanted to incorporate it for flavor.

If baneling is too powerful as it currently is, the other thought I had that is still thematic is to add an ability to “pay 1 gold & exhaust: evolve the zergling into baneling, which instead of a 1/1 haste would be a 2/1 haste + sparkshot.” Then I would have to figure out mechanically what to do with zergling (does it die and get replaced by a baneling token… then all zergling tokens would have that upgrade ability.) That would result in it being a bit more thematic. Another temporary option would be to remove the haste.

As far as the heroes go, I knew they would need some tweaks. I look forward to more feedback.

Thanks for the feedback on infuse! I want to keep the ultimate useable and “Ultimate” feeling. So I will think about potential changes. Zagara, as a hero, represents the Hero of Queens (the queen units), which are notable for being able to spend mana to give out big heals. So with her as a hero, I wanted to find a way to incorporate that.

@charnel_mouse What do you meam about spells targeted?

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Well, take the Slam spell, for example, which deals 3 damage to a patroller. Would it have the :target: icon printed next to its effect? This is important, because it determines whether it can affect units that are untargetable, and whether it can pop illusions. Similarly with Zagara’s midband, if it’s targeted it would be a free illusion popper.

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Note that Overlord can’t attack or patrol so for all practical purposes this starting deck only has 4 units

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I didn’t get past the starter deck, but it looks like there is a fundamental and often made error here.
When adapting something from one system to another, it is more important to capture the feel or playstyle of the source material, rather than generate a laundry list of independent top-down conversions.

For Zerg, cards basically represent Larva, and workers represent Drones, so putting them on cards is actively bad.

I would look at the global strategies that define Zerg play, and look at how that could be implemented. For example, you could put 2 copies of Zergling in the starter deck to evoke “zergling swarm”

I would look at playing around with the concept of Zerg being able to make workers faster than other races (probably having a Merfolk Prospector card AND a spell that turns itself into a Worker?), but being limited by larva in how many units they can deploy (which translates as having NO card draw, not easier card draw). Hey look, a fraction that actually wants to build a Surplus!

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EricF makes a good point. Adapting the spirit of the source material is more important than transferring its mechanics as literally as possible. And yes, thinking of cards as larva and workers as drones makes sense. Maybe for extra workers have a unit called something like “treasure bug” that generates a gold on upkeep

For the zerglings, it could be interesting (but maybe broken) to replace haste with “if you played this from your hand, put another zergling into play from your hand or discard pile” I think it would capture the feel of a swarm of little guys really well. But, as I said, it might be broken in actual practice.

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I completely agree with EricFs point about capturing the feel.

I thing zerglings should always be tokens. Also note, tokens ARE units in codex, and shouldnt be referenced seperately, unless you want to do something like battle suits where only non-token units or only token units do something.

Black starter was pointed out as being the only starter with 5 units, and that garths ability helps make up for this, but black also has the unique spell that spams units, summon skeletons. To me Zerglings should be something like summon skeletons. That said, I dont want Brown to copy Black, so thinking about spells or effects that also generate zerglings. For example, you could have an upgrade in the starter: “When you play a unit from your hand, create a 1/1 zergling token.” Probably cost 2 works here, but might need to be cost 3, but also might just be unworkable. Another thought would be change overseer to spawn 2 zergling tokens when played. I also don’t think overseer should be unable to patrol.

Haste isnt exactly what i think of for Zerg, though the zerg rush is a thing. I think of haste as things that appear suddenly in the middle of the battle, rather than just something that was built quickly.

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The other thing that can be done to create a “more money, fewer cards” feel (if that’s the desired direction ) is have things just cost less gold than they “should.” So, the Zerg starter could be:

3 cost unit: Queen (1/3 anti-air. Queen can cast Level 0 Zerg spells as if it were a hero)
3 cost unit: Spine Crawler (3/3. Can’t attack)
2 cost unit: Baneling (3/1 Sparkshot. Attacks: sacrifice this after the attack)
2 cost unit: Roach (2/2 Sparkshot)
1 cost unit: Drone (1/1 Tap to make one gold)
0 cost unit: Zergling (1/1 does not gain bonuses from patrolling)
2 cost spell: Zergling Swarm (Make 2 Zergling tokens; they are 1/1 who do not gain bonuses from patrolling)
1 cost ongoing spell/upgrade: Creep Tumor (Your Zerglings gain Haste and can get patrol bonuses)
1 cost ongoing spell/upgrade: Larva Reserve (Tap, Sacrifice: Draw a card)
A building of some sort
A 3 cost Ravager unit, replacing Queen or Spine Crawler
A Spore Crawler unit (Anti Air, Can’t Attack, Detector?/Cannot be bypassed by Stealth/Invisiblity)

Note that there is nothing wrong with copying over an existing card at the appropriate tech level if the flavor fits.

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Holy shit guys…
… so much yes!

Thank you for all the amazing feedback. @EricF you hit the nail on the head! I need to revisit some basics. This is exactly the feedback I needed and I will revisit the drawing board over the next week or two.

I will repost here once I have had a chance to tweak around some core concepts with the initial round of feedback collected!

Thank you all so much!

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