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Nudging the tiller - balance

Reading this again, I really have to object. Obliterate is at its most powerful against solitary powerful units, e.g. opposing tech 3 units. Low tech swarms are the answer to obliterate. It’s either that, or not playing any units at all.


Your two opinions are not mutually exclusive. If you don’t have mass removal spells, Obliterate offers a good way to deal with swarms, being generally more effective than overpower and much more than standard attacks. On the other hand, if you face a unit with Obliterate and can’t get rid of it, you’ll want to have as many cheap stuff to throw away before you lose valuable units.

So I reckon that makes you both right !


I was thinking about the discard effects and possible suggestions earlier and I was wondering if they would work as well if they simply limited how much your opponent drew at the end of their turn? So if by playing Thieving Imp/Shadow Blade, you didn’t impair their current hand, but their following one by making their draw weaker. Could that be a suitable alternative?

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Based on some discussion in the Codex channel in the discord, something we thought worth considering was an addition to the Tech Lab: “You may tech one card more or less than normal each turn.”

This would give an additional reason to pick this add-on other than “I don’t like my Tech III, let’s get a better one” (which is what it’s used for almost every time currently), and while it could have a useful effect it seems like the opportunity cost of not picking a different add-on and the need to pay for it could make it harder to fit into your budget than expected. It’s also a small enough tweak to a single card that it can easily be tested.

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What situations would you want to tech more / less cards in? Cycle manipulation? Needing more answers / better odds at certain cards? It’s an interesting idea, but I’m not sure why I would want that still… I’d love to see somebody try it in a series to see how it ends up being utilized

I actually often want to tech exta cards when setting up the Peace tech 2 engine.


I could see playing it turn 1 on a really awkward split to maximize your chances of playing two 3/3s turn 3, then teching only 1 card on turn 3 or 4 to balance.

Might be explosive for purple, who can only spend all their gold p1t1 by mox or 2-drop + lab.* Going into a KotC opening, with Temporal Research to draw cards, you could have a very thin deck. Something like KotC + Seer into Temporal Distortion, then teching fewer cards to offset using TD early to fetch your other Seers / KotC. Temporal Research is like having you deck be two cards thinner if you have the gold to cast it.

okay or Prynn + Time Spiral on herself, presumably to remove a time rune to threaten early midband death by fading??

Yeah I think Persephone is right here, pretty sure you want to always play that turn 1 and put 3 really good cards in on your first tech. It minimises your draw variance significantly.

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I’d be willing to play a mono-color game with someone if they want to test!

Another option is make Wraith:
4 cost 4/4
Unstoppable when attacking Heroes
Create a 1/1 Black Skeleton when Wraith kills a unit or Hero

Surplus has never been built by the winner of a pbf game, as far as I know.
I think making it 4 gold cost, and “upkeep: gain a gold and draw a card” would be fine.


Woah hang on, let’s just go back to 4 cost. It used to be 4 cost until it was nerfed, so there must’ve been a reason.

I think the reason was Bashing vs Finesse, but I’m not certain about that.

The Tech Lab is, by far, my most common add-on choice (and I wish I could have 2 of them simultaneously), not for picking a different Tech III, but to facilitate combos between factions. Like, with Mono-White, for example, you’ve got all these Legendary cards spread out across 3 specs, which would be perfect for Mythmaking, except you can’t have access to all of them at the same time. At best you could throw down a Morningstar Pass and rebuild your Tech Lab from turn to turn, trying to match as many of your draws as possible for the next turn. It’s kind of frustrating to think of all these epic 3-faction (or more) strategies that are just too grandiose to fit into Codex’s game mechanics, and I’ve actually been contemplating a number of variant proposals to create space for them to flourish.

To your proposal, I think that’s an incredibly desirable bonus power, well worth the $1 price tag even for single-faction builds.

It’s rare, but it does happen. I remember winning games after building a Surplus, but a forum search proves that’s only happened in physical games, if at all. I’ve definitely lost to people in PbF games where they’ve built a surplus, however, and here’s one example:

[CAWS18] Nekoatl [Discipline]/Past/Law vs Marto [Discipline]/Strength/Finesse

Yeah, @Persephone and I have barely started testing it and I already feel like it’s way too good. I’ll hold final judgement for now, but I suspect I’ll end up deciding that this would be better as a map card than as part of an add-on.

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The ability to take 1 card, wait to see what your opponent does, then tech 3 cards, feels really good and against the spirit of Codex? Especially when skipping two tech’d cards means I can essentially tech whatever I want to play next turn.


@Persephone @Hobusu Do you think a watered down version of that ability where you can optionally tech 1 more card, but no less, is worth about $1 (on it’s own, not in addition to the Tech Lab’s normal perk). I’m tempted to crib the idea for a variant that would render the standard Tech Lab obsolete.

It might be worth it for consistency on the t3 / t4 split, but after that, probably not?

I feel like putting 3 cards into your deck early rapidly becomes a liability once you start needing higher-quality cards. Unless you’re teching a Dark Pact / Garrison / Boot Camp / Martial Mastery in the extra slot? so, maybe making the current best-er specs better isn’t a good idea.

I’m also finding the decision of how many cards to tech to be – if not difficult, then at least uncertain and time consuming. Picking the best card to tech is already a tough decision, also choosing if you want to tech a card multiplies it. Immediate probability by stuffing your deck now, at the cost of your deck becoming less responsive to modification in the future, seems difficult to judge and prone to regret; 2 vs. 3 is probably not as big a deal as 1 vs. 3.

I do wonder about an effect that let you tech an additional card, at the expense of telling your opponent what it is. There’s obviously a lot of unexplored design space around teching cards (because, unlike Dominion, Codex isn’t a game about putting cards into your deck.) A third neutral faction, Knowledge, based around that might be interesting…

“Show your opponents one of the cards you tech” might be an interesting map card, with or without “Tech an additional card every turn.”

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I’ve been thinking about the multicolor penalty (@Nekoatl, curious what your thing is) and what I don’t like about it is

  • unless you’re splashing for a early combat hero (Rook, Zane, Vandy, Grave) with t1/t2 impact you pay the upfront 1g penalty before you get any benefit from your other spec

  • hits rushdown decks harder than midrange/controllish type decks? So multicolor decks are more likely to be midrange and rushdown decks are biased towards Finesse.

  • the gold cost hits p1 and their 3-cost starter cards much more awkwardly (5g vs. 6g is a bigger deal than 7g vs 8g), specifically limiting the variety of openings to mostly just 1+2+2 or 3+2 vs. also 1+2+3 or 1+1+2+2. (except for black, which has multiple 0g cards, and to a lesser extent green if you get Prospector turn 1).

Why not: The first off-color hero or Tech I / II / III card costs an extra 1g? Slight nerf to some of the best early-game heroes, and doesn’t take effect until your board is actually multi-colored. Might be weird with Necromancy / Present having easy access to getting “free” units ~directly from Codex; might also need the Garth maxband 5g -> 4g nerf. (there aren’t any 5g black units, so it’s a little weird in the first place, but obviously intended specifically to be able to fetch 5g off-color powerhouses like Hyperion and Oversized Rhino.)

I’m really curious what’s already been tried and found not to work, because it seems like something that must have been iterated on a lot.

The biggest question is what are you using to determine “off-colour”? A colour other than the starter deck?