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Commonly Agreed Balancing Suggestions

I’ve been absent from Codex for a couple of years, coming back to some irl play now that I have more free time. I check this forum intermittently and it seems that there have been a good number of balancing threads over the years, especially for Blue and Black. What are some balance suggestions that are good/common enough for my group to implement currently?

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If I remember well Sirlin suggested than Arresting Constable should get a price discount. I propose making it free.

Here are some personnal suggestions to narrow the tiers :

  • Identify unused spells (General’s Hammer, Mind Control, Troq’s spells) and add “draw 1 card” or “draw 2” to their effects
  • Maybe abandon boosting already good specs to aim for a minimalist changelog (for example Rickety Mines sucks but Blood is already strong and versatile)
  • When a colour doesn’t have any answer to something (Moss Sentinels against card depletion, Flagstone Dominion against hero-based strategies) maybe just have fun dealing with it. Like with card-effective options or Surplus with Green or good use or Peace spells with Blue. A match-up doesn’t have to be even to be worth playing.

My feeling about specs balances :

  • Law and Disease are good on 4 players FFA but are bad on 1v1
  • Black Starter has a problem, it’s too versatile and good even on mid-late game
  • Blood, Peace, Demonology and Necromancy can be anticipated, stick to their gameplans and even yet win the game
  • Pirate Gunship is really too good too
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Iirc, there were specific balance suggestions for Vandy/Deteriorate/Sac The Weak/Guardian of the Gates/Arresting Constable/Assorted Blue Spells/, though I forget the exact changes. Here are the ones I vaguely recollect:

Vandy - change level up thresholds
Deteriorate - cost 1/patrollers only
Sac the Weak - tech level restrictions
Guardian of the Gate - work on heroes
Arresting Constable - able to target tech III + heroes
Blue spells - Buff Jurisdiction/General’s Hammer/Hallucination(or rework this)/Mind Control/Community Service somehow
Misc - Buff certain spectral Truth units, rework certain Blue starter cards to be better at early defense, buff Fire/Feral some or give them more flexibility, nerf the heroes Zane/Rook, buff Hero’s Monument/Octavian, buff Bashing spells somehow

Any suggestions to tone down Blood/Peace/Demonology/Necromancy, and Gunship, based on the issues you mentioned, and do you think Law/Disease could be buffed to be better in 1v1 without affecting their FFA power level?

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I’m not an expert, but maybe ?

  • make Flagstone Garrison a legendary building
  • leave Blood spec as it is
  • new thresholds for Vandy and Garth + black starter changes you mentionned
  • remove obliterate from Pirate Gunship as it’s only a 6 gold tech III

I think that the changes you proposed for blue would make them good for 1v1 :slight_smile:
maybe in addition to buffing Bashing spells you could buff Troq too ?

Welcome back, feathers!

I don’t think there are any balance suggestions that are commonly agreed on. There’ve been various balance suggestions given to make Black vs. Blue less lopsided, some of which FrozenStorm and Nekoatl have recently been testing out here.

Quick summary of that thread so far

First, two “useful overkill” changes, which didn’t end up feeling like overkill:

  • Black is not allowed to play Vandy, or her spells. Much closer than normal Black due to reduced early Vandy pressure, but probably still advantaged to Black, due to the efficiency of its starter. Illustrated just how good Orpal is, when you don’t have both of the other Black heroes to overshadow him.
  • Black is not allowed to play Garth, or his spells. Still a very oppressive game from Black, to the point that Nekoatl decided Orpal is the more dangerous partner for Vandy, since he can suppress a lot of important cards for Blue/Peace and can constantly threaten Death and Decay. Less nasty than normal Black, but nastier than without Vandy.

They’ve also started another set that tries to make the starter and Vandy less cost-efficient terrors:

  • Gold penalties for Black: Dark Pact, Deteriorate, and Pestering Haunt cost 1 gold; Metamorphosis only grants one +1/+1 rune to heroes instead of two; Vandy now has 4/6 level bands, and gets the Resist 1 as topband instead of sparkshot, midband still grants the fetch ability. Still in progress.

There’s also been a suggestion (from Sirlin, I think?) to replace Flagstone Spy’s gold steal with discarding a card of your choice from the opponent’s hand, amongst others, but I don’t think they’ve been tested yet, at least on the forum.


Thank you! I’d hoped that after years of testing there might’ve been a set of changes that were settled on, especially for the Blue v Black matchup, but I suppose that was rather optimistic of me. I appreciate the suggestions and references, I’ll be checking them out.


I think part of the reason we haven’t settled on a list of changes yet is because most of the community prefers to play multicolor, and only Nekoatl is really willing to be sacrificed as the Blue side of the Blue vs Black matchup… :sweat_smile:


If a 2nd edition ever rolls around (or more likely Codex 2) I hope multicolor doesn’t return.


Well, it goes both ways, really. If Blue vs. Black could be better balanced, then monocolour tournaments would be more viable and the community might favour it more. Given that it’s not, and it’s unlikely there’ll be an update, I’m glad we’ve got multicolour as an option.


I just find multicolor way less interesting and enjoyable

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Multicolor adds to the depth of the game. If multicolor didnt exist, the game would definitely have been easier to balance, as issues like midband Midori effecting spectral hound would never have been a thing.

That said, if he hadnt put it in, fans would have pushed for it anyway, either fan made modes or a tacked on game mode from the creator. Customizing and tinkering with combos is at the heart of this game.


I consider adapting to the opponent and piloting an established codex to be the interesting part of the game. Sirlin has talked about how he considers mono color to be the “real” game and multicolor a Variant, much like how in Starcraft lots of people play Protoss but the strategy comes from what you build and when, not from what you stocked at the beginning.

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In starcraft, your options are still somewhat limited by the race you choose. Protoss are expensive, zerg are cheap. You can rush with any race, but it will look different.

I can definitely appreciate that monocolor is the “real” game. But sirlin also says play to win, if there is a winning option, you should take it.


Sure. That’s like mono color. I don’t really understand how this is against playing to win because I would rather play in tournaments that are mono color only. I basically only play in multicolor allowed tournaments because no one is running mono color only tournaments right now

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MMM is an option for that XD

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Oh yeah. I Voted for it