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Nudging the tiller - balance


Scorch has one major use case: Base Race. Red is built as the colour which has the option to go all in early, and just send everything at the base to finish the game before your opponent stabilises and punishes you for going down so many cards. Usually, you can pretty easily knock your opponent down to 5-6 hp, but getting that last bit of damage can be hard. This is where Scorch shines.

As an example, look at this game. FrozenStorm misplayed in workering Scorch on T2 (even though he’d decided to base race). If he’d workered Musketeer instead, he’d have had the win on T5.

As a general play, yes it’s worse than Deteriorate (this isn’t saying much - if I were going to nerf the black starter making Deteriorate cost 1 would be top of my list of changes). But it doesn’t necessarily lose board presence, you can kill a patroller with it, and on occasions it’s a good trade (I think my most recent time casting it was against a Bloodrage Ogre in Elite: I went down 1g on my opponent, but the tempo was worth it).

That’s basically my point: any card which is being played probably doesn’t need a nerf. Both Musketeer and Scorch see play, and (for Scorch particularly) sometimes win games. Show me a game between two good players where Bloodburn was played…


Bloodrage Ogre on Elite against Red Starter is really strange, isn’t it ?
I don’t think that it’s an optimal play (no offense).

I played Bloodburn once, yeah I agree it’s not the best Red starter card on 1v1 but it’s an ok play in FFA.


I think I had a 4 health hero (I forget which - maybe my opponent was playing around maxband Zane?) which my opponent wanted to defend against. Why is BRO in elite against Red not optimal? If it’s because you’re playing around Scorch, then I rest my case! :slight_smile:

I haven’t played any FFA, so Bloodburn may be better there. I think in 1v1 it’s definitely the closest card red has to auto-worker.


If your opponent doesn’t have a non-maxbanded hero on board, lvl 1 Zane can trade :confused:
Midband Drakk + Mad Man / Rambaster does the same too.
Not looking for techn bonus as Red surprised me, but I didn’t think about Zane stealing them.

Bloodburn’s main purpose is to get buffed by Hotter Fire later in the game IMO, but yeah you don’t see it often. Crash Bombers and Musketeer are IMO sufficient to get value from this :slight_smile:


In the game state, it wasn’t a bad choice. Anyway, I think you’re getting hung up on the details - my point was it’s not unusual early game to have a 2-cost 2-health unit patrolling in elite (or a 1-health unit in SQL, I guess), and in those circumstances Scorch is not unattractive.

I’ll grant you that Bloodburn is a lot better with Hotter Fire on the table, but in my experience that’s not enough for it to see play…


One note I’d add to those who’re talking about rewriting Drill Sergeant: I’m fairly sure one of his functions is meant to be a combo with Quince’s Hallucination/Dreamscape as a way to machinegun enemy Illusions. So changing Drill Sergeant to “Put a +1/+1 rune on each new unit you play from your hand” would remove that intended interaction.

By all means find some nerf to Drill Sergeant, but I think it’s worth trying to protect this intended combo within monoblue.

I also agree that starter deck tweaks need 10 times as much scrutiny as other tweaks. But that point has already been made by others.


I really like @EricF’s more constrained list.

And @Jadiel’s point about me missing the building damage on Scorch is real. It is not a great card so I auto-worker it, but in the particular game he linked I 100% should have kept it in the deck

I do like @APALM’s suggestion to buff Bluecoat Musketeer though. It’s a terrible auto-worker as it stands, if you gave it that kind of buff you’d actually give blue starter a reason to be in multi-color builds (it isn’t used in any that I know of) and have a unit on par power-wise with other A-tier Tech 0 units like Mox or Nullcraft.


But is that worth keeping? If anything, add something within Quince’s spec if that interaction is so necessary/desirable. I would nominate Eyes of the Chancellor for its ability to target friendly and unfriendly units. Not quite a ‘machine gun’, but again is that worth keeping? Keep in mind you can always combo Quince with Blooming Ancient and his spells if you still really want to go machine-gun.

Furthermore how is Drill Sergeant + Dreamscape + Hallucination an ‘intended interaction’ necessarily? Drill Sergeant isn’t called ‘Illusion Killer’ after all. It’s not even clear that such a play is optimal because the Drill Sergeant/Flagstone Garrison combo is so strong and wants so many units in your deck that trying to put Quince’s spells in dilutes your main path to winning! If you really want to wipe the board as mono-blue there are certainly easier ways to do it (Judgment Day+Bigby). Anyway I dislike seeing redundancy in abilities within a game like Codex. There are only so many units and for 2 of them to be very functionally similar in 2 different colors with one of them being quite a bit better seems like a missed opportunity.


Because Sirlin explicitly pointed out the combo in his spec overviews that he did for the kickstarter.

I’m gonna have to straight up disagree with you. Allowing a different color to do a similar thing IS interesting because the conditions it happens in will always be different. Also, so long as it is slightly different it allows for combos that only 1 can do, like BA+ hive/murkwood allies.


@EricF I’m grateful for your additions to this thread, in particular your ‘restrained list’.

I’d be grateful if you’d explain more about why you don’t think Arresting Constable and KotC need a buff.


KotC does what it needs to do: be a specialized part of a few builds that want specifically a 0 cost source of time runes, or set up a forecast + board clear combo.

Constable I’ve never seen in action, but the first change I would look to would be reducing his cost to 2, so he would be less expensive than the typical tech 2 things he’s locking down, rather than being a slow and vulnerable Doom Grasp.


I dunno @EricF, enabling Arresting Constable to arrest 2 units makes him way more interesting method of going for the win, rather than merely another cheap unit which delays till tech III. Plus, it’s on the mark fluff-wise - would be fun to arrest more units than opponents can put out!


Maybe Arresting Constable is one of those cards that are better off in other modes.

Law spec is very annoying in 2vs2, truth hero can help too

Porkhand Magistrate
Bigby sideline ability
Arresting Constable (AC)
AC mirrors
Free speech
Censorship councel

The other team is not allowed to play :joy:
And your teammate is having fun with their base.
After a while Bugblatter comes to play and bigby ultimate spell nuke the board for a GG


The focus should be around balancing the game for 1v1 mode. If a card is good in ffa and/or 2v2 but bad in 1v1 it should still get looked at.

I agree that Arresting Constable is one of the cards that is worth looking at. for 4 cost it should be better. Maybe give it haste (probably too good?). that way Censorship Council is a counter to card spam and AC is a lockdown on few big unit plays which would give Law a deadly mix up. or it should remain the same and be cheaper. At 2/2 for 4 it is difficult to keep him alive.


So what do people think about Warp Gate Disciple, a 1/1 for 4 at Tech 2?

Sure, his ability is cool - but it’s not obviously more useful than that of Arresting Constable. And if the thing you’re summoning doesn’t have haste (or some other way of having an immediate impact) then there’s even more potential for you to have wasted your gold.


For what it’s worth, WGD is in a spec with access to a haste spell (Now!).
The closest that Constable gets is Quince mirrors for pseudo-haste.

Edit: Manufactured Truth cannot copy Tech 2 units.


Except Manufactured Truth doesn’t work on Tech 2s


Should have double checked! Just Quince then.


The other benefit that Warp Gate Disciple gets is how its effect can snowball. Arresting Constable can only disable one unit per turn, hence EricF comparing it to Doom Grasp. WGD, on the other hand, can summon an Immortal that will stick around forever unless they have a way to bounce it or remove Indestructible. Then it can do it again next turn. Maybe even the same turn if you have Ready or Not, and you can get any Tech II. As long as WGD lives, you get free board presence without teching what you need, regardless of spec, and without paying gold or cards. Of course, that’s assuming you can keep it alive that long…


You know how much more often Blue Starter would be used if manufactured truth worked on Tech 2. That would be amazing.