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Variant proposal: pick your first hand

Some starters can have occasional bad splits. I think everyone here’s had a game that felt uphill because they got all their good spells/units in the same hand. So, suppose we used the following variant:

Both players choose their starting hands. For forum purposes, Player 2 would start the thread with a post giving their starting hand in a spoiler, so they don’t see Player 1’s turn first. Player 1 would then choose their starting hand, and post their first turn as normal.

Any thoughts? I’m not sure how this would affect balance, you’d still have a lot of variance in Turn 3 draws. Maybe it just means some of the less-popular starter cards would completely disappear.

Personally I like this idea on general principles, more choices mean more chances to outwit/be outwitted by your opponent and less randomness means less chance of a terrible starting hand ruining the early game.
However, that last point about unused starter cards does seem annoying… I doubt there’d be many cards this would make permanently redundant but I feel there are surely ones you’d end up only ever using in specific matchups.

As for balance it would surely mix a few things up but I can’t see it skewing any particular matchups too far… it would be annoying to play against a Vandy that always had her starting crew to drop on the board though :sweat_smile:

I guess it kind of depends on how significant a role draw-variance has on making specific match-ups good or bad. Like if Black vs Blue is trash no matter how good Black or Blue draws, this won’t have much effect, but if Blue Never Wins :tm: if Black draws perfectly on T1…

Now I’m imagining a variant where the blue players always gets to pick the black players starting hand. Probably also needs to pick their own starting hand. I wonder if the worst possible split vs the best split would actually have any impact on that matchup. Might make it 40/60 instead of its current 10/90 win rate.