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Nudging the tiller - balance


I think it fits a lot better for Deteriorate than it does for Scorch.

If you’re not going for a straight base race, then it’s basically: In black I can kill a weenie for 0, even if it has infinite armor. In red I can kill a weenie for 3, even if it has exactly 1 armor, but it has to be patrolling; but with Scorch and Bombaster I have two ways of doing it! One of them can be used more cheaply as a patroller if I don’t need to kill an enemy weenie this turn! And it’s not Scorch!

Sirlin must be seeing more utility in building destruction than I do. Maybe if you stayed at Tech I and did Crashbombers, Lobbers, and Firebats? You’d want Bloodlust to support the CBs and FBs. And Desperation to support the fact that you’ll play out your hand. But then Scorch could help with the building destruction? I’m still not sure why you wouldn’t worker it once you’ve replaced it with Jaina’s spells, though.

To answer your point, White probably has similar “don’t worker me” cards in Snapback, maybe Sensei, Sensei’s advice, right? Purple, maybe Nullcraft, maybe Mox? (It’s tougher. Purple cards are all pretty awesome, but also all situational depending on the matchup.) Green, maybe Prospector? I dunno; again, it seems more situational.
For Neutral it’s much harder to come up with a definite “do not worker” answer, but Bloom and Wither are probably the most versatile and important. (Wither is an expensive Deteriorate!)


In fairness, remember he is talking about a 2-cost Scorch, not a 3-cost Scorch.

I don’t think there are really very many other starter cards which this description fits. From the ones you mentioned, Mox gets workered a lot. It’s powerful in some matchups, but in others it’s terrible. 1-cost 1/1s really aren’t that great late game, even if they have a cool exhaust effect (although if they stay in play from the early game, they have a huge effect on the game). I’m not an expert on playing White, but I don’t think Sensei’s advice gets played that many times in a game? It’s a powerful effect, but I don’t think people are playing it every time they draw it. If I had to make a list of the top contenders (apart from Deteriorate) it would probably be:

Sacrifice the Weak: There are very few game states where I would worker this card. It is powerful early game, and is just as strong in the late game. It’s also most powerful in those situations where the game is close with lots of trades taking place and players fighting for board advantage. However, there are also lots of situations where you draw it and don’t play it, so I don’t think it’s out of line.

Snapback: At first glance, this card is also never worker. However, while it’s powerful late game, it’s never played in the first two turns of the game, and it’s very situational on T3-4. It is rare to see it played more than once in a game, and it’s most powerful effect is probably just being in your deck, as it warps your opponents strategies as they try to play around it.

Bloodrage Ogre & Fading Argonaut: This guy is really strong early game, and I’m unlikely to worker it. Late game he’s an option, but there are lots of situations where you’ll want to play a T1 or a T2 unit instead.

Nullcraft: Fairly strong early game, and will often force opponents to find an answer (similar to the 1/1s with a cool ability mentioned earlier). I generally would try to avoid workering this, and it sees some play in the late game.

Arrest: Like snapback, this scales well into the late game. It’s more useful than Snapback earlygame (although it’s expensive). I probably wouldn’t worker this, but I have almost no experience with blue starter and @EricF workered it against me, so I should proabably just shut up!


I think you can find something in every starter that you don’t want to Worker most of the time, I think you have to look at the overall starter Balance not at individual cards.


I think it (deteriorate) would not fit that description if you took away Dark Pact from Black. It costs a card and isn’t universally dominant, but it’s super useful in a lot of matchups and Dark Pact makes it nearly free.


You mean Deteriorate? I think you’ll find it’s played almost every time it’s drawn. It’s also the spell I see most commonly casted by off-color heroes.

ETA: If that were true Deteriorate would be less dominant when non-Demonology specs are using a black starter. But in my experience that’s not the case. If you turn round and say well, if black didn’t have Garth’s draw either… But card draw is just one of black’s things. You kind of have to balance around that.


Yes, sorry for lack of clarity


Show me a 2-cost Scorch, and I’ll play it every time and take back everything I said. (:

I think you’ll find that Scorch is 3-cost in Mono Red. Off-color, it’s 4 gold for 2 damage. For comparison, I could play and Charge a Nautical Dog off-color for the same cost (though one card more) and deal 3 damage.


That extra is not a negligible cost. But is a 3 cost 3 damage scorch also too good like the 2 cost version?

On the topic of deteriorate, are there any other starter deck spells that can target units not in patrol? Because that seems like a potentially good balance change.


I think that was @Sirlin’s point :slight_smile:

Wither… Yeah, that’s all I’ve got…


I think that would definitely be too good, and maybe even better than the 2 cost Scorch. To put it in context, that card is already better than General’s Hammer.

Besides Wither, Nullcraft isn’t a spell but basically counts, and Rampant Growth can kill illusions.


Ah, you’re right; I totally misunderstood. I totally forgot that he had been talking about the earlier development version and not the current version. Yeah, I’m with you (and him) that currently it’s well costed to be a “sometimes food.”

Which means your point was, “Deteriorate seems to meet the same criterion that undercosted Scorch had, and might deserve a nerf.” I think I can get behind that.

In which case, making deteriorate only affect patrolling units might do the trick. And black can still affect back-line units with Sac the Weak. Then Neutral with Wither would start to feel special.

Alternatively, increasing its cost to 1 but letting it still affect back-line would mean it’s still a lot better than Spark.

I haven’t played any 2v2 team games yet, but they seem like fun. Has anyone tried any Black/Neutral teams so that the team has access to both Wither and Deteriorate? Much like Tag Team Yomi, it seems like the teams make for some hilariously ridiculous combinations on both sides.


Spark has the advantage that it can kill Nullcraft, so that makes it even right ? :stuck_out_tongue: Spark can also hit heros, and while it is not often the case, the fact that the damage from spark is persistent has helped in a couple of games (not on the forums sadly, so I can’t link)


Yeah, 'cause we’re always seeing Nullcrafts patrolling instead of swinging in the early game, and we’re always seeing Spark still in the deck in the late game. :wink:

Good points, though. And Scorch can also hit patrolling heroes. Those advantages are significant at times.


Spark can hit heroes so it can be quite a bit better than deteriorate sometimes.


After reading the thread on p1 v p2 strategy, I think giving torq +1 health would be interesting, giving players a different option for a p2 defensive hero other than rook. I think their abilities and codecies are different enough for them to do a similar thing differently.


Tweaking Troq/Bashing is very hard because it’s primary purpose is to be balanced against Finesse in the 1 v 1 starter game.


I guess I didn’t think about that, have only played the 3 hero version with zero interest in the neutral ding dong variant.


I would rather Finesse gets crushed vs Bashing and both of those boards are useful to pair with others in the 3v3 mode.

The Finesse board is useful in combination with other colors and Bashing should also be.

I find it sad that 95% of the time it’s Finesse that gets brought in as the neutral deck of choice.


I don’t think the maintaining the balance of 1v1 starter game should be the determining factor of balancing the whole game.

At present, Troq is a bit of a turd. I like @Penatronic suggestion - and flavourful with the character.


Well, I will say that the 1v1 game is easily the best way to introduce the game to new players, even those who are very familiar with MtG. It gives players a chance to figure out how Codex is not MtG (or anything else).

And the less friendly the game is to new players (particularly in terms of balance), the more likely it is to turn those players away and leave us with a smaller, less interesting community.