News Shop
Events Chat

XCAFS20 Initial Ruleset definition discussion!

Well, the point of Rich Earth at 2 is to give green a second card to play on P1, T1 alongside a hero. Green starter has been one of the worst performers, and deserves a buff.

Also lol at spark being anywhere close to Deteriorate as printed. Deteriorate is probably still better after the cost changes, but closer to B vs B- instead of A+ vs D.

The Fire spell buffs are probably excessive, though.

And reminder for … that Vandy can heal by leveling up, so she could get up to 4 Dark Pact casts. And another one if she Metamorphs.

Alternate Pryn midband:
Dies: Opponent draws 2 cards, and skips their next Discard/Draw step
That takes off the card advantage part, while still messing with deck cycling (possibly speeding a reshuffle and/or delaying access to new cards)

Oh, and Knight needs to stay Forecast 3, given the starter deck buffs)


I think I can see your point regarding spark and deteriorate.

I also agree green starter needs a buff. If the goal is to make something playable alongside a hero on T1, theres not a lot of other options. Tiger Cub at 1g seems too much, Young treant at 1 is definitely too much and not really playable on t1 anyway. Panda similarly can’t really see it at 1g, though maybe as a 1/2+wisp? Lastly, verdant tree, definitely OP at 1g, though i do really like the idea of buffing the tree. Could take away the healing part, or reduce its HP and maybe it would work?

What if you give the opponent a 0/1 wisp and Rich earth costs 2 @Bomber678?

1 Like

[about 1-cost things]
May be giving all colors the same ideas are way to balance codex? Not enough good T1 choise for P1 is a part of ‘defensive’ green color may be?)

I’m not sure. I don’t have a good read on how strong a 0/1 is.

The important thing to remember is that Rich Earth’s real cost is 1 less than printed. So Rich Earth at 2 is really a 1-drop, and an extremely good 1-drop at that.
Obviously as a 2-drop it’s a lot worse, but still playable I think.

1 Like

I don’t think that’s quite true. It’s a 1-drop that costs two cards, and Green isn’t great at recovering hand size; Young Treant is often a liability, especially early on.

Adding more Wisps sounds nice: it gives Midori’s buffed midband aura more to do. I agree with zhavier that cheap Cub / better Panda Wisp might be too good, for the same reason.


Or what if Rich Earth also gave your opponent gold? Like would you play it more often if it was 2 gold but also immediately gave your opponent 1g or 2g? So you can still play it to thin the deck and play for mid-late econ, but you’re actively making your opponent stronger early?

1 Like

Worker card doesnt really count as a card cost though. Costing a card is when you drop down hand size. Playing out a 1-drop, a worker and a hero isnt costing a card, so rich earth at 2 isnt costing you anything extra.


That’s true, I must have been accounting for playing a unit too without realising it. Being able to afford a hero gets rid that problem.

The current riches opening is Rich earth and merfolk, thus down to 4 cards, then Argagarg max to recover hand size. RE at 2 could still do something similar, with cub, panda or prospector, or even verdant tree, instead of a hero, which is similar to red’s dog+ BRO opening.

1 Like

Even turn 1 rich earth+arg is so powerful. That extra gold really adds up


I am now going to give my (unqualified) opinion on all of these changes.
Wall of text, incoming!

Spark: Seems like a good change I guess. Spark isn’t that strong, I don’t think this will break the game.

Fruit Ninja: Hmmm I’m not sure about this one. I think having so much potential attack is dangerous. I think making it a 3/2 with no frenzy is maybe fine?

Star-Crossed Starlet: This change seems kinda bonkers. Finesse is already strong, and Starlet is already a good card in a virtuoso deck. I think she’s fine at 3/2, just make the ability optional.

Troq: More text on Neutral cards: ehhhh. Troq buffs: good I guess. I don’t think Troq is the reason bashing is bad.

The Boot: I kind of like this actually. Could prove to be too strong, maybe, but it’s interesting and cool.

Scorch: Might be too good? Red starter already has a lot of ways to split damage around, and one of the interesting things about it is getting around its targeting restrictions to achieve your goals. Allowing them to just kill any damaged hero for 3 gold is… really good.

Zane: This is cool. I’m into it.

Detonate: Hmmm could prove to be degenerate, would need testing to see.

Pirate Gunship: Now this is the change we’re all after. We could even nerf it more, I think, but this is a very good start.

Rickety Mine: This makes the mine always net positive 1 gold, and sometimes it goes into insane gold amounts. Probably makes this quite a viable card, although @Toan might disagree (“it’s already perfectly viable, you just don’t know how to play Red”)

Crashbarrow: I don’t actually think Crashbarrow is too strong. Disagree with this change.

Jaina Spells: Hoo boy. When we said “Buff Fire” I don’t know if this is what we wanted. This could be super insane, but it’s really hard to say without playing it. I’m reserving judgment for now.

Ironbark Treant: Seems… fine. I think Treant is already “good” but now I guess it’s “still good”. Not fussed either way.

Rich Earth: Yeah no. While I was at work I came up with a totally not balanced but intended to induce thought version of this card: “3 gold. Your workers are free. :ps_::exhaust:: Summon a 0/1 green Wisp Token.”
Maybe it can have Haste too, I don’t know. Now, iterate!

Midori: Yeah this change is good. We all agree nerfing Midori was necessary, and I think we all agree it was nerfed a little too hard just to make sure it was not ever going to be a problem. I think we can confidently bring it up a notch, and allow synergy with Calamandra.

Circle of Life: I’m really kind of meh on this? It could prove to be really strong, I haven’t thought through all the implications. Probably going to need a whole thread to discuss the potential of this, so I won’t bother trying here.

Gemscout Owl: Yeah seems fine. Although, note that not every spec should have good air defence. There’s a reason you get three.

Chameleon: I guess? No-one plays this anyway, so it’s probably good.

Predator Tiger: I don’t know what the rationale for this change is, but I’m a little concerned about it making it too easy to snowball early with Calamandra. That’s a big unit to have turn 3.

Giant Panda: Seems good.

MoLaC: I like the idea of reducing the buff, since 5/5 is just so oppressive that this card is super feast or famine. If we reduce it to 2/2 though, I think I’d make it require only 4 counters. Still super strong, but not game-breakingly so, or at least I hope not. Could be wrong. And the healing is nice, because it helps you keep attackers alive for more attacks!

Blooming Ancient: I’m not sure how much this will actually help, and it reeks of bandaid. Would have to test it to see if it’s actually a good enough nerf.

Oversized Rhinoceros: I think this card is at a good power level already, I think we just need to nerf the stuff around it.

Deteriorate: I think we all agree this is a good change.

Thieving Imp: See above.

Vandy: Yes, obviously.

Dark Pact: I don’t like this. I agree the current drawback is too small, but I think Dark Pact is really cool, and I don’t want to see it become niche. I think maybe just increasing the base damage to 4? Or dealing 1 damage to Vandy I could maybe get behind. 2 damage just feels excessive.

Metamorphosis: This seems fine I think, but does reduce its power a lot. A different thought I had was it keeps all its current benefits but can only be cast on one hero per use. Not sure if it should still sacrifice all your units in that case, but maybe.

Banefire Golem: I’ve never seen this card played, so this is probably a good buff.

Garth: Reducing the draw power is good, I think that will go a long way to curbing his power. I think his maxband is ok though, it should feel powerful to pull off.

Lich’s Bargain: Great change. You still sometimes Just Lose to board presence, but at least if they cast it more than once you might just burn them to death.

Bone Collector: Ehh I dunno, I don’t think Bone Collector is the reason Necro is too good. If you’re set on nerfing it, I’d just make it 2/3 with Frenzy 1, which retains its identity as a good attacker, while making it weak on defence.

Wight: What does this card do again?

Crypt Crawler: I kinda like this? I do like the flavour of “2 for 3/3 sparkshot” that we’ve got going though. I dunno.

Porkhand Magistrate: Yeah this is obvious. Makes the ability not terrible anymore. I think this would see actual use.

Lawful Search: I think this change is too clunky. You have to remember this clause after the card has already left play and it’s just inelegant and weird. I think there’s a better way to buff this, or other places to buff Blue starter.

Building Inspector: This is… really good. I like it.

Jurisdiction: The channeling change is good, yeah, love it. The trashing is interesting… it does help you remove deck bloat, but it makes those spells two times max. Although I guess that’s usually enough for most spells, so maybe this is really good.

Tax Collector: Yeah, it always should’ve been like this.

Guardian of the Gates: Seems good. Probably still a bad card, but maybe not.

General’s Hammer: This has the potential to be degenerate, but prooobably not? Might make that wrecker deck even better (Bashing/Peace/Fire(or is it Blood?)).

Drill Sergeant: I think just make him put runes on other units as they arrive (he’s training them) and then give him another ability that interacts with the runes somehow. Like I dunno, “:exhaust:: Target units gets +X/+X where X is the number of +1/+1 runes on them.” I’m sure that’s way too strong, but something like that could be neat.

Debilitator Alpha: This change has been talked about a lot. I’m in favour.

Spectral Tiger: Yes.

Time Spiral: Yes.

Tinkerer: Yes.

Prynn: Maybe too strong. Other people have discussed this in this thread already and I don’t have too much to add.

Seer: Yes.

Sentry: This is an interesting change, and I like it. It does mean Present is very strong on defence though, which may be too strong overall. Needs monitoring, but Sentry is so bad it needs some kind of buff, and this is a cool one.

Hyperion: Yeaaah ok. I love Hyperions but this is probably warranted.

Octavian: It’s still bad, but sure. Sometimes you get 16 gold and win the game.

Vir: Yaaay.

KotC: Ehhhh I think this is probably too good. I actually pushed for this in the past, but I’ve come around on it being too fast. Turn 4 4/4 that costs you 0? That’s very strong.

Reaver: Cool I guess? I think I’d rather just give it haste (I know Reavers aren’t known for going fast, but how does it do damage when it warps in?)

Fox Primus: Yeah ok, I can dig it.

Aged Sensei: Hmm… I know he’s old, but he is a martial arts expert. And also I don’t know if this is the place to pull power out of White. Hard to say.

Versatile Style: Woah. That’s uhhhh broken. Combine it with Martial Mastery: “Sorry did you want to use that hero? Like, ever? Too bad.”

Hero’s Monument: Sounds good. Maybe one of the best Tech 3s with this change.

Fuzz Cuddles: Yeah.

Masked Raccoon: Hmm interesting take. I think I’m into it.

Bird’s Nest: This might just be too weak now. I don’t know how to balance this card.

Mythmaking: Wooaooah that’s strong. And yet, I don’t hate it… Double Boulder could be obnoxious though. Needs testing.

Ok yeah so that was my unqualified thoughts on that change list. I want to hear other people’s thoughts who disagree with me, because I’m probably wrong.


If we do use the Mythmaking change, then we’d have to track which copy of a Legendary unit entered play first, if the upgrade can get removed. Not that big a problem, just something for players to bear in mind.


I’m-a lobby for $1 Pestering Haunt.


Eh, deteriorate is generally much more frustrating than pestering haunt. It is possible to get a lot of value out of haunt, but fixing deteriorate massively helps that problem.

1 Like

Can’t say I agree. But then, I’m mainly looking at it from the Blue vs. Black perspective and maybe it’s different with other matchups.

Be that as it may, I still think $0 is too low for Haunt for what it does. I’m-a let Frozen explain it for me, 'cuz he did such a good job of it:


I was going to say that Blue has enough changes that Haunt would be less of a problem. Now that I’ve looked at the changes for Blue again, I’m not sure that’s true.

1 Like

Plus just in isolation, the reasons I gave still stand, yeah? Black does not have a board pressure problem, Haunt has the best evasion of all the 1-drops, (only nullcraft is better but it costs 2 for a reason, can you imagine 1-cost Nullcraft? That’d be played every game) it has really good synergy w/ Sac the Weak…

I do think that fixing Garth mid and DP and Det largely does away with the abuse-case of Haunt being just totally free board bully (it becomes a “why not plop this down” when cards are free and it costs 0), but I also don’t see why it should be $0 unless we are also making other 1-drops cost 0. Do people feel it’d become an auto-worker at that price?


yes, it costs 0 and is unstoppable, but is also unable to patrol and can’t be boosted any way. So idk, i think it would be insta worker for me since it would lose the sinergy with graveyard and would have little value as a 1 drop without haste.

At $1 it’s still better than Deteriorate (and indeed, is the optimal card) in some situations. Like, you can use it to wear down buildings and 0/X units for free unless the opponent kills it or maintains a Tower. Even if they do build a Tower, you can use it to trade with key X/1 units and gain synergy with Graveyard making it a more efficient tool than $1 Deteriorate, plus it can bypass targeting restrictions like Traffic Director and Mind-Parry Monk, and of course Flagbearers. Just pressuring your opponent into spending $3 on a Tower in the early game when gold is scarce can be a valuable defensive strategy (as Towers can’t attack you) and well worth the $1, not to mention there’s value in crowding out other add-ons.

But, if you absolutely insist on keeping Haunt at $0, at least buff Mirror Illusions to 1/2 or reduce their cost to $1. (Probably not a bad idea anyway, $2 for a 0/1 that dies to Grappling Hook is pretty awful.)

1 Like