Oh, I agree. But I think it’s about as far as you can get without having to make decisions about major changes to her design -and we’ve seen how divisive and difficult those are.
Oh yeah it was definitely suggested alongside buffing his fast normals, but that doesn’t mean that I have to agree with the normal buff if I like the Time Stop nerf. I think I’d like to try the nerf on its own first since Quince, Rook and Midori have an easier time dealing with x.6 normals / throws than 2.4 speed special attacks. I think this or J to 2.6 speed is the sort of additional change we’ll need to look at for Geiger.
Some interesting commentary and suggestions here @mysticjuicer. I’ll properly reply tomorrow because it’s late now and I’ll need some time to draft it. Will try to not build too large a wall of text
Arg has among the most lopsided matchups in the game both for and against. Removing his “free” damage should help people who are oppressed by him in his strong matchups, but giving him way more stack potential helps him get there when the free damage doesn’t really matter (mostly vs Gloria). It also fits how Arg works thematically in the fighting game, where he is kind of all about purple poison fish.
Val buffs can be taken a couple at a time but I think she is not very strong. Gets ruined too hard by 1.0 speed defensive things, and is forced to play a nickel-and-dime style against DP-heavy characters (who usually can also do that but also have high damage supers to murder Val’s face off).
Can you elaborate on Arg’s other lopsided MUs? I can guess at some of them, but I’m curious how bad you think the situation is overall.
Personally, I really don’t agree with this change for a couple reasons. For one, I don’t think Hex of Murkwood is the proximate cause for most MU advantages Arg enjoys. Usually, Arg wins an MU when 2.4/2.2 is a relevant speed, and he loses an MU when 2.4/2.2 is not a relevant speed. He also does better when the opposing character has key abilities (like Lum’s PF or Rook’s blocks) that are counterable.
Second, I don’t see how this actually helps him in his bad MUs. Sure, he can potentially stack up a bunch of 7s, but currently, he can also stack Bubble Shield up to 4 times to do 10 damage per turn. But, successfully stacking them without losing bubble (ESPECIALLY against characters like Gloria who dominate the neutral in the MU) is very, very difficult. Arg would have to guess correctly an awful lot for this to give him a leg up, and if being able to stack Hex was really that useful, Arg would do that already.
For what it’s worth, here’s my quick thoughts on Arg vs the rest of the cast:
Advantaged (In no particular order)
- Arg has dominant attack speeds as well as a free-to-use counter that can stop Rook’s K and special blocks. He can also combo into his AA from any combo-starting attack, which stops Rock Armer attempts. As a result, Arg can spam attacks at Rook pretty freely, and chip plus Hex allows for pretty easy checkmates. Moreover, besides CMB, Rook’s throws aren’t really that scary, which means Arg’s blocks become pretty good. 100 life is a lot to chew through, but Arg has so many good tools here it doesn’t matter.
- Dominant attack speeds, a counter to stop 2’s and 10’s, some nasty A block/normal attack mix ups when Midori is knocked down… Arg generally has a cake walk in this MU unless Midori plays for FDB, but even FDB can be defused if Arg draws enough counters and jokers.
- Generally dominant attack speeds (especially his AA outspending TPOS) along with Bubble Shield are the keys here. Bubble Shield acts like the game’s fastest DP, beating out Grave’s Qs and Aces. If Grave wants to save his 7s for the ability, this also gives Arg a slight advantage in throw speeds. Also, Grave likes blocking, and Arg likes to play against characters who like to block (same goes for Midori).
- She has effectively one of the lowest HP totals in the game; Arg’s 2, J, and Q are all decent-to-great reveals against any combo-starting attack from Jaina, and Arg’s Aces wreck Jaina’s day. Arg does hate that Bubble Shield doesn’t protect against chip, though.
- Ace block knocks a pretty big hole into Onimaru’s general game plan by obviating guard crush. The fact that Onimaru has sub-par throws is just icing on the cake. In other MUs Onimaru can supplement his poor throw damage with Guard Crush normals, but not really here.
- This is the poster-child for Arg-dominated MUs. While I agree that it’s certainly in Arg’s favor, I honestly don’t think it’s as lopsided as many intimate. Similar to Oni, Lum has poor throws whose effectiveness is supposed to be supplemented by another mechanic: in Lum’s case, it’s his out of combat damage dealing abilities, Jackpot and Poker Flourish. And again, the problem is that Arg has an answer to this in the form of his counter. Besides that, though, the MU isn’t really that bad. Arg’s AA is the dominant attack, but Lum’s Ace dodge can make it a risky play. When AA isn’t in the picture Lum can usually dominant the neutral with his speed-dominant attacks and throws.
- Same as above: Arg advantaged, but not as much as many might think. At close, Arg does well because 2/J/Q are all pretty safe attack reveals that prevent range. If BBB manages to get to Range, though, Arg’s life becomes a lot messier. AA is his only sub 1.0 speed attack; without AA, BBB’s normals and Junkshot become very oppressive, especially because the latter can be run into a Bubble Shield favorably. Jokers are Arg’s best method for escaping range, generally. Overall, though, if Arg can navigate the neutral in a way that minimizes the number of times he goes to range, he can eke out the advantage,
Neutral (In no particular order)
- This is the only MU where I would agree that Arg’s advantages comes primarily from his innate. Gwen would normally make Arg miserable: Arg likes when games are drawn out, and Gwen’s high card draw and big combos try to shorten a game as much as possible. Moreover, Gwen’s K and 2 make 2/J/Q from Arg very risky plays. Gwen also gets to enjoy a dominant throw speed in this MU as well, meaning she can play at being Setsuki and 50/50 Arg to death. The only reason this is a neutral MU and not a disadvantaged MU is because Hex means Gwen is losing a whopping 4 life per turn, which is a pretty big handicap.
- This MU goes very similarly to the Rook and Midori MUs. Troq is neutral instead of advantaged, though, simply bc his cards are a little better. Q and Fast J undercut or at least trade with Arg’s 2/J/Q, making that trio less oppressive than it is for the other grapplers, and Troq’s average damage off his normal throws is better than Rook or Midori.
- Arg hates the vortex, and Quince gets to KD a LOT, which Arg also hates. However, Arg can be oppressive with his 2/J/Q speeds, and he can deny Quince refuels by countering 2s. A lot of this MU comes down to how quickly Quince can get his big damage combos going and how well he can keep the cycle going. Like Jaina and BBB, this is the other major MU where Arg wishes that Bubble Shield negated chip damage.
- Similar to Gwen, Menelker has the potential to end the game much too quickly for Arg’s taste, and he doesn’t hemorrhage 4 life every turn. However, his attack speeds are not quite as nasty as Gwen’s (K at 2.2, 2 normal at 2.6), which gives Arg a little bit of breathing room in neutral. Arg also likes having a counter for Bone Cracker and Into Oblivion, but he cries a little because Menelker has 8 abilities Arg wants to counter and Arg only has 4 counters.
- My thoughts are similar to Quince. If Vendetta can build up a damaging hand quickly and/or keep the KD loops going, Arg collapses. But if Arg can stop himself from feeding Ven cards and guesses correctly in the beginning, Vendetta’s 75 HP can get melted pretty quickly by Hex. Arg does hate having successful Bubble Shield attempts acro’d, though.
- A very swingy MU that, in the long run, comes out kind of even. If Zane guesses correctly early on and unloads a bunch of damage, then Arg can die before you can say “oops.” However, Arg also has some useful tools in this MU. Q is a pretty good reveal in neutral, and so are J/2 depending on how many 2s Zane draws; Arg’s counter defuses Zane’s K somewhat; and Protective Ward is probably more useful in this MU than in any other, allowing Arg to get up from KD without taking more than 6 damage.
- Arg almost likes this MU, but DeGrey has just enough stuff that makes it a little difficult. DeGrey’s J trades favorably with Arg 2/J, esp if we take into account MHG damage, and his K and Ace dodge are pretty big punishes for any attack from Arg. Arg’s counter is mostly irrelevant in this MU, though Protective Ward acts as a pseudo counter to Ace dodge. Also, like Menelker and Gwen, sometimes DeGrey puts an end to a game way too quickly for Arg to do his thing.
Disadvantaged (In no particular order)
/ - Putting these two together for obvious reasons: they both deal a lot of damage; they have tools that make Arg’s 2/J/Q very risky to play in neutral; and they both naturally outspeed Arg’s throws. These MUs come down to a lot of nasty 50/50s for Arg. Setsuki is slightly worse than Val because Set Q is a way more intimidating answer to Arg’s AA than Val’s Q, but they both fry the fish. Val gets a special mention, though, for having one of the most demoralizing Yomi interactions: landing a Splash of Color through Arg’s A block.
- I know there’s some dissent on this, but in my opinion, this MU is pretty bad for Arg. Feeding Geiger cards is a one way ticket to oblivion, so Arg wants to play more defensively, but then Geiger can use Time Stop to neuter Arg’s blocks. It is true that if he hits a Bubble, Geiger has to spend a throw without dealing damage, but he still generally comes out ahead in the interaction bc now Arg is KD, which saves Geiger the Hex damage and opens up Arg to further mix ups. The fact that Geiger has a 0.0 speed super to undercut AA as well as a 0.2 speed attack that KDs and that can be comboed into (why on earth does Geiger need TWO DPs???) only further serve to tilt the game in his direction.
- Persephone is like Quince and Vendetta (A vortex character who deals medium damage and KDs a lot while recurring cards) except with less opportunity for Arg to mess up her game plan: Her throws naturally outspeed Arg’s, plus she can more consistently retrieve them through Dominance; she has the same life as Vendetta, but a more consistent KD game means she doesn’t get hurt by Hex as often; and Arg’s abilities are mostly irrelevant in this MU. It’s not terrible for Arg by any stretch, but it’s also not an MU he wants to play much.
- By far Arg’s absolute worst MU and one of the worst MUs in the game in my (totally unbiased) opinion. I’ve written a lot in the past about this MU, so I won’t repeat everything here, but basically, Gloria counters all of Arg’s game plans On one hand, Arg can play defensively and use Hex as an inevitabity; however, Gloria has a faster inevitability in the form of Overdose, and she can actively undo Arg’s progress by healing. Normally this means Arg would need to switch to a rushdown strategy, but since Gloria basically wins any combat where she and Arg reveal the same option, this becomes a very difficult prospect as well. Arg’s only advantage is that AA is the dominant attack speed, but having the dominant attack speed is not very useful when Gloria has the second (AAA), third (Q), fourth (AA), and fifth/sixth (J and K) fastest attacks in the MU.
Honestly, I think the only Arg MUs that need to be “fixed” are Rook, Oni, Lum, and Gloria. Otherwise, I think Arg is in a good place.
If I were to change Arg for V3, I would do the following:
- Bubble Shield prevents healing. This gives Arg at least something in the Gloria MU. Gloria would still have a big advantage but at least Arg has an actual game plan now.
- Bubble Shield counts as “1” for Guard Crush; that is, any of Onimaru’s normals beat it. I know this might seem like bad flavor for a “super” block, but it already loses to even cross ups, so I don’t think we should get caught up on the semantics of a super block losing to stuff. This would remain consistent with the mix up normal ruling (since, if Ace block counts as “1”, then it would lose to even normal mix ups) and it would probably single-handedly fix the Oni/Arg MU without affecting any others.
These are the only two changes I feel particularly confident about at the moment.
I like this idea from a balance perspective, but how on earth can Bubble Shield and/or Guard Crush be reworded to make that happen without sounding extremely awkward?
Honestly, Oni Arg is bad-but-fine as-is, and is probably improved enough by giving Oni a throw on his 6.
That’s true, I think a 6-throw (with a non-6.x speed, obviously) would probably be both enough of a change and much more elegant that whatever hoops we’d have to go through to make the wording work out for Guard Crush beating Bubble Shield.
Well, I originally thought we could just have it in the FAQ. After all, the only way you know that Aces lose to even normals is to consult the FAQ as well. However, I forgot that Guard Crush is worded with the clause that says Guard Crush doesn’t work on “named blocks with special abilities.” Is it obvious that I barely ever play Onimaru?
Knowing that now, I do agree it would be kind of convoluted to have Guard Crush work on Bubble Shield but not on Gwen and Rook’s special blocks.
This is a valid perspective, and if really pressed, I would say the only Arg MUs that I think absolutely need changing are Rook and Gloria. Otherwise, I feel like all of Arg’s MUs are fine as is. I just figured I would chime in if we were gonna talk more seriously about what Arg’s strengths and weaknesses are.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m starting to get tired of theory-crafting and endless debates. There are a few things pretty much everyone agrees on, so shouldn’t we start testing those? Once the consensus change ideas have been tested and either accepted or rejected, we’ll have a better idea of where to go from there.
Honestly, a pretty relatable sentiment.
I would be game to play some V3 Yomi, though! Maybe we should try to get play testing started in that thread and leave this thread for MU discussion and theory-crafting?
In the interest of facilitating playtesting, I’m going to update the Bureau of Balance thread with the proposed changes that received the most positive feedback. This will probably happen later tonight when I’m free. Correct me if I’m wrong or if there’s more, but I think these are:
- 9-throw -> 9 attack. Currently listed as Under Consideration, will move it to Consensus.
- Time Stop throws become Enders. Will move this to Under Consideration. I think this is a brilliant idea that prevents feel-bad high hp checkmates without significantly affecting 's disadvantaged mus. Perhaps most importantly, it lets us leave alone in good conscience since both his and mus get significantly better, so we don’t have to make the clunky Quince changes that have been suggested. This change is also really easy to playtest so if feedback is good we could just move it to consensus.
Few thoughts of my own:
Regarding the recent discussion, I understand the sentiments but ultimately I find these recent ideas to be little more than band-aids when she really needs a rework. I don’t say that lightly - I think and maaaybe are the only chars that actually warrant considering reworks.
Having played a lot of , I wanted to comment on him. I like the character a lot but piloting him can be less than satisfying at times because optimal play often consists of powering up everything in sight -> going to low hand -> threatening near-50/50s where your play is frequently decided by your topdeck. It’s true that he’s designed to function better on a small hand than others but imo the switch to V2 made it way too good. PCP is card neutral when you flip to attack because of normal draw, and making AA be affected by MHG is huge too. This results in pretty degenerate play imho. The other thing about DeGrey is that his damage efficiency/conversion ability is simply too high for a character with more than 90 effective life thanks to Troublesome Rhetoric.
I fully support the proposed change of making AA not affected by MHG, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t go far enough since his losing mus are getting nerfed (). I think the following changes warrant consideration:
- PCP discards 2 cards to flip
- 85 life and/or TR heals 8 life
And then let me finish by proposing making 's counter once per turn. When the reworked counter idea was proposed earlier it was suggested with an additional knockdown component that received a lot of negative feedback. The once per turn limit, however, seems to be very good on its own because it:
- helps a ton without having to make extensive and questionable changes to Lum’s throws
- makes the counter more interactive against other characters like and (if you counter their draw phase ability, you can’t counter their combat abilities that turn)
- actually doesn’t hurt the mu very noticeably since her Jacks recur so Arg just has to wait a turn to get good value from his counters. And the mu would be better already because of the “Bubble Shield prevents healing” change.
I’m not sold on the Time Stop throws becoming enders, thing, tbh. Geiger’s already getting a nice nerf with +1 damage going away and Gold Burst knocking off TD, imo. And Geiger is already hard to play - I’d kind of hate for him to be hard to play and also kinda bad.
I could see the tiny nerfs to DeGrey’s life and Troublesome Rhetoric, but not feeling the suggested PCP change.
I still don’t feel like +1 pump to Lum throws is bad, compared to limiting Arg’s counter.
I think I agree with most of what you said about the other characters (and I’m not really qualified to vote on them anyway), so let me just give my thoughts as a DeGrey player about those suggestions:
- Moral High Ground no longer affects Final Arbiter: If I didn’t agree with your thoughts on this, I wouldn’t have put it in the Bureau of Balance!
- Point, Counterpoint requires discarding two cards: Not a fan, though I see your reasoning for it. My problem with it is because of the (admittedly rare) cases where revealing the Attack side and spinning to Throw is better. This mainly happens in the Quince matchup, which is currently considered to be in Quince’s advantage already. Instead, what if you just didn’t get normal draw off of 7-attack? That way the cost is real without worsening one of his bad matchups unnecessarily.
- Reducing starting life: I don’t like this primarily for flavor reasons, but also because it’s a mostly inconsequential change anyway unless you reduce it by more than 5 HP, which is even worse for flavor.
- Troublesome Rhetoric healing by less: This is fine, especially since I’ve always thought it seemed a bit too much. Not sold on it being specifically 8, but either that or 10 should be acceptable.
Yeah that’s a good point. If we agree that high hp unjokerable checkmates and the associated horrible mus are undesirable, I think the Time Stop change should probably be made in lieu of removing +1 Spiral damage during TD. As written in the Bureau, the purpose of removing +1 Spiral damage from TD in the first place was that it was “the most straightforward way to further reduce his checkmate damage potential”, which the Time Stop change accomplishes more efficiently. Basically, I don’t think we have to choose between reducing Geiger’s feel-bad high hp checkmates and having a strong Geiger.
I understand your reservations and share them to some extent, let me explain where I’m coming from a bit more. The interaction you mentioned in DeGrey-Quince is a single interaction that won’t always occur in a single mu that isn’t worse than slightly Quince favor. In the big picture, we’re looking at a top 5 character that is probably disadvantaged in no more than 4 mus in the current game, none of which are really all that bad to begin with. Add in the fact that 3 of those 4 disadvantaged mus are getting nerfed, and I think it’s clear that he needs something more, whatever form that might take. Though given that I like playing this character, I wouldn’t complain if he became the best in the game.
That does make sense, but I stand by my stance that we don’t want to weaken him too much. I think if AA doesn’t get MHG, 7-attack doesn’t draw on hit, and 4 only heals by 8 HP, that’ll probably be plenty. Especially if characters he currently is advantaged against get buffs, and I expect that many of them will at least get some small buffs.
Changed wording for easy reference and to potentially copy into Bureau of Balance later
4* Troublesome Rhetoric [Draw Phase]
Choose attack, block, throw, or dodge. If the opponent combat-reveals that option this turn, gain 8 life.
7* Point, Counterpoint [During Combat]
Discard a card to rotate this 180 degrees. Do not draw a card if the attack side of this is blocked or wins combat.
The change to Final Arbiter is already listed in the Bureau post for DeGrey.
Aside from adding many more words, it seems like this would make especially sure that you never combat-reveal the attack side of 7, which would make me sad :^( . Currently, revealing 7 as an attack is a fun tech that is actually sometimes viable in grappler/Zane mus or in edge cases like against Setsuki who just recurred 7 and 10. I think it makes those mus more interesting, hence why I favor the “discard 2 cards” version so you’re still rewarded fully for reading the opponent properly, but have a bigger cost if your read was wrong.
True, that is a downside… It could be conditional on actually spinning it? As for it adding more words, I don’t think that’s a huge problem; it’s a single sentence that’s pretty clear in what it does, as opposed to some suggestions that have been made for other characters where it was almost impossible to come up with a wording that was unambiguous without being overly verbose.
7* Point, Counterpoint [During Combat]
Discard a card to rotate this 180 degrees. If you do, don’t draw a card if the attack side of this is blocked or wins combat.
For what it’s worth, another reason that I like this change is that emphasizing the removal of normal draw will help new players by making them realize/remember that normal draw exists on their other normal attacks. You wouldn’t believe how often I have to remind even the more experienced players in my area about normal draw…
I like that wording. It actually encourages revealing the attack side which sounds fun. What was your reason for disliking the simpler “discard 2 cards” version again? Personally, ignoring gameplay elements, I like the flavor of Quince having an ability that lets him draw two cards (Flagstone Tax) and DeGrey, his antithesis, having an ability where he discards two cards (PCP).
That flavor would be nice, but I think having it discard two would exacerbate the “always play low hand for maximum MHG” problem by letting him dump his hand even more efficiently. We want to get rid of MHG on AA specifically to make him less reliant on his innate, right? Even if it isn’t by much, I’d rather not balance that right back out by letting him discard more quickly. As it is, I think my version still provides an incentive to combat-reveal Attack first, since if you want to draw you can reveal attack and hope they threw, and if you want to keep your hand low you can reveal throw to be guaranteed to not gain cards.
Anyway, I’m off to bed for tonight. I think we at least have a couple changes we can agree on, and maybe we’ll reach a compromise on the others after testing!