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Experimental changes event

So, I was thinking about Zvi’s series on re-balancing, and was thinking of what changes could be made towards a goal of having definite different balance (not necessarily “more balanced” just different). This is what I came up with:

Neutral Starter:
Spark costs 0 (instead of 1)
Fruit Ninja is a 3/2 (instead of 2/2) and keeps Frenzy 1

Star-Crossed Starlet is a 3/3 (instead of 3/2). Her ability is now optional ("Upkeep: You may have SCS deal 1 damage to herself)

Troq midband can deal 1 damage to any building (not just a base)
Troq maxband gains Overpower
The Boot becomes “Trash an opposing Tech 0 or Tech I unit. Trash this card”

Red Starter:
Scorch can target any unit, hero, or building

Zane Level 1 add “Dies: instead of Hero Levels, opponent gains 3 gold”
Detonate costs 2 (instead of 3)
Pirate Gunship loses Obliterate

Rickety Mine gains Haste
Crashbarrow reduced to 5/2 (instead of 6/2)

Fire Dart costs 1 (instead of 2)
Ember Sparks costs 2 (instead of 3)
Flame Arrow costs 3 (instead of 4)

Green Starter:
Ironbark Treant ability becomes “-1 ATK/+2 :psblueshield: while patrolling” (rather than -2 ATK)
Rich Earth costs 2 (instead of 3)

Midori Midband becomes “Your units with no printed abilities get +2/+1”
Circle of Life becomes “Sacrifice a Tech 0 or Tech I unit. If you do, put a unit one tech level higher with cost 4 or less into play from your Codex” (instead of a green unit with cost 5 or less)
Gemscout Owl is 1/1 (instead of 0/1. It still can’t attack)
Chameleon costs 0 (instead of 2)

Predator Tiger gets +1 HP (5 HP instead of 4)

Giant Panda is a 3/4 (instead of 2/4)
Might of Leaf and Claw grants +2/+2 (instead of +5/+5). Also, Might of Leaf and Claw gains the Healing 1 keyword (even when not yet active)
Blooming Ancient gains “limit twice per turn” on it’s second ability (can only move 2 runes off of the Ancient each turn)
Oversized Rhinoceros costs 4 (instead of 5, for Circle of Life synergy)

Black Starter:
Deteriorate costs 1 (instead of 0)
Thieving Imp reduced to a 2/1 (instead of 2/2)

Vandy midband loses “Resist 1”
Dark Pact becomes “Deal 2 damage to your Demonology Hero, and 2 damage to your base. Draw 2 cards” (cannot target opponent’s base, and also damages your Hero)
Metamorphosis no longer grants Invisibility (other benefits remain the same)
Banefire Golem costs 5 (instead of 6)

Garth midband adds “Once-Per-Turn”
Garth maxband fetches cost 4 or less (instead of 5 or less)
Lich’s Bargain deals 6 damage to your base (instead of 4)
Bone Collector reduced to 2 ATK (2/3 instead of 3/3)
Wight gains “Arrives: create two 1/1 black Skeleton tokens” (it keeps other abilities)

Crypt Crawler costs 1 for a 2/2 (instead of 2 for a 3/3). It keeps Sparkshot and the anti-flier ability

Blue Starter:
Porkhand Magistrate ability costs 0 (instead of 1) to use.
Lawful Search ability second option is “Look at an opponent’s discard pile. The next time that opponent chooses Tech cards, look at those cards as well”
Building Inspector ability is “Your opponents must pay you 1 gold to build (or rebuild) a building” (instead of only the first building costing 1 more)

Jurisdiction gains “You may trash Jurisdiction and/or the searched-for spell” and “If that spell has Channeling your Law hero can Channel it until he leaves play” at the end of it’s effect.
Tax Collector is a 3/3 (instead of 2/3)
Guardian of the Gates is a 1/8 (instead of 1/6) and affects Units and Heroes (instead of just Units)

General’s Hammer costs 2 (instead of 3)
Drill Sergeant’s abilities become “When you play a unit from your hand, chose one: that unit arrives with an additional +1/+1 rune, or put a +1/+1 rune on Drill Sergeant” (and he can’t move runes at will)
Debilitator Alpha costs 4 (instead of 5) and has “As Squad Leader: Attackers get -1 ATK” (even if they aren’t attacking Debilitator Alpha)

Spectral Tiger gains Resist 1

Purple Starter:
Time Spiral costs 0, and ability adjusted: “Add or remove a time rune from a card (or forecasted card) that you control”
Tinkerer also triggers on Arrival. “Arrives: or :exhaust:: Add or remove a time rune from a card (or forecasted card) that you control” //combined with the other changes, previous version was a bit too degenerate

Prynn midband becomes Dies:… (instead of “Dies from fading”)
Seer can only affect cards you control.

Sentry’s ability becomes “Prevent the first point of damage that would be dealt to your patrollers each turn (active player’s choice if more than one patroller is dealt damage at the same time)”
Hyperion reduced to 4/4 (instead of 4/5)
Octavian’s ability becomes: “8: disable up to 8 units and/or heroes” (loses :exhaust: and no longer readies him)

Vir midband is range 4-6 (instead of 5-6)
Knight of the Conclave is Forecast 2 (instead of 3)
Reaver’s ability becomes: “Arrives or :exhaust:: Trash a worker, or deal 6 damage to a Unit or Hero”

White Starter:
Fox Primus is a 2/3 (instead of 2/2)
Aged Sensei is a 0/1 (instead of 1/1)

Versatile Style has these 4 abilities (improved, still costs 2):

  • Destroy an Upgrade
  • Disable a Hero, or a Unit with Flying
  • Repair 4 damage from a building
  • Your Discipline hero is a Detector until your next turn

Hero’s Monument - Daigo Stormborn has Haste in addition to his other abilities

Fuzz Cuddles is a 3/3
Masked Raccoon is much improved: 2 cost, 3/4. “Masked Raccoon has Swift Strike while you control another Ninja. Masked Raccoon is Invisible while you control another Cute Animal”

Bird’s Nest loses the Arrives: ability (it refreshes you to 2 birds on upkeep only)
Mythmaking gains the ability "Your Legendary units ignore the “Legend Rule”


Does it still have the sac a unit clause?

I quite like a lot of these changes, though I wonder if +2/+2 is maybe a little low for MoLaC given it needs 5 runes to activate. Can I ask why you want for that over +3/+3? Is it just to make it “not a win condition”?

Probably because its a test to see how far you can push cards rather than more conservative changes. +2/+2 is still going to win you the game, but you can’t just use everything to get it and have nothing left afterwards and expect not to get punished. I was curios of CoL because it never seemed very good to me, and it seemed to have been made even weaker?

Yeah that makes sense for MoLaC.

With CoL the removal of the green restriction on the summoned unit makes it much better as a multicolour card, where as just now it’s far too limited to ever tech outside of mono green. Spending 3 gold to turn a tech I unit into a crashbarrow is pretty nice.

That said I could see it go back to the 5 gold limit to allow Hyperions etc given that it requires the tech slot and suitable board to get it to work, unlike Garth maxband.

One other comment I have about these changes is that I think 2/3 bone collector is likely still too strong. If it attacks you get a total of 3/4 for 2 gold. A 2/2 for 2g seems likely to be a better change given the strength of necro overall.

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How about if the Bone Collector is 3/2 instead of 2/3? Still a high attack, but it makes it less likely to survive to give two skeletons.

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I like this idea a lot!

I have suggested changes for everything a bunch of cards, and a couple of comments on your changes:

The Zane dies mechanic is super-interesting, but I think even at 2 gold it’s a serious enough nerf.

Gemscout Owl loses Can’t attack, and instead gets Can’t have more than 3 ATK (could make for a powerful new tech 1 strategy, but requires some setup).

Banefire Golem changed to have two separate abilities: Upkeep: Deal 1 damage to each opposing unit, hero and building. End of turn: Sacrifice a unit. (this is another card I’ve never actually seen played, even when it theoretically makes sense, e.g. against swarms of weenies. Also, given all the nerfs to Vandy, I think some buffs to tech 2 are in order. Edit: this is actually worse than the current version in certain cases, specifically when you can’t play any unit alongside the Golem. It would just die, instead of patrolling for a turn and exploding during upkeep. Maybe it could summon its own weenie on arrival to sac on the first turn?).

Hero’s Monument 3rd ability changed to: Your units and heroes get +1/+1 (as the worst tech 3 in the game, it deserves some love. Edit: I think this might fit Discipline’s theme more than giving Daigo haste, but I’m happy with any buff).

Flying Fox changed to 3/2.
Masked Raccoon changed to 5/4 (these cards are seriously underplayed, but Raccoon is worse. This turns it into a building-breaking menace, if you manage to set up its synergies. Edit: EricF’s proposal seems more thematically appropriate, but I’m not sure it’s really strong enough).

Ebbflow Archon changed to 10/10 and Fading 4 (so it can’t clear an entire enemy board as soon as it arrives, but only 2-3 key threats).

Tricycloid changed to 2/2 (to make it less of an “always tech me” card).
Warp Gate Discipile changed to 1/2 (at least you’ll get to use him once, maybe, before he gets picked off by Deteriorate, a Bird, Nullcraft, Haunt, etc.)


Those look cool, but I was trying to mostly avoid changing Tech II stuff outside of the most widely and least widely used specs.


Well, I think combined with the other nerfs for Necromancy, this should really help things even out. Boney is still pretty strong, but at least it will not easily trade with other Tech 1s.

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That’s A LOT of proxying :scream:

I love 90% of your suggestions and will work on setting some tests up, although a lot of them are very bold, like buffing all those 3g cards in Starter decks and outright reworking some. Really cool designs.

Some things surely will end up a bit borked, but hey, ez costing fix should do the trick.

Also this Zvi Mowshowitz link, wow, cool, did not know he has a blog.

On 10% of things I do not like.

IMO losing Obliterate is a bit too harsh, I’d let him keep Obliterate 1.
I love how Zane ability combos with stealing effects, but, imo, 3g is too punishing when you don’t have Pillage / Taxman. To suicide Zane into Pillage you have to have 5gold available AND a Pirate online, pretty tough to set up early, still forces you to go down on cards etc. etc… Long story short 2g seems alright.

Or maybe simplify effect down to “Dies: opponent gains 1g”.

Heeey, wait up, those two are pretty decent as-is, Flame Arrow for 2g is way too good. I’d rather test 3g version first. Dart at 1g I feel is going to be overtuned as well, but worth trying out.

Imo Thieving Imp should still be a 2/2. You buff all other 3g units in other Starters, not buffing Imp is a “nerf” already.

I still believe Dark Pacting opponent is fair. Damaging Vandy seems cool, not sure about 2, maybe just 1 damage will be impactful enough.
Metamorph and Resist 1 I’d keep untouched.
I’d think I’d rather test Vandy with 1-3 topband, 4-5 midband.

Lawful Search too clunky. I still believe it should be left untouched. At most, transformed into @FrozenStorm 's Search Warrant (1g, Upgrade, Sacrifice: “Look at opp’s hand or discard. Draw a card”). But that’s about it.
Perma Long Range Musky is going to be a powerhouse :heart_eyes:

Juri is too clunky. @cstick 's “Look at opponents hand or discard before choosing a spell” imo is all it needs to shine.

Still think Resist 1 for Spectral Tiger is good.

Aged Sensei too harsh a treatment imo.

Too clunky.
How about “Your Legendary Units have Haste this turn” ?

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This is something I was thinking about a lot since this list went up. I basically only tech Owl if I’ve committed to CoL as it’s basically a wasted tech slot otherwise. I think it really does need to be able to attack in some way to make it worth while. So I’m really pro testing this idea.

I’d also quite like to see Young Treant losing Can’t Attack. I don’t ever find Wisps + buffs that game breaking because it’s so gold and card inefficient to buff them up from 0 attack, so I don’t think YT working similarly would be broken. Allowing Arg buffs and green starter buffs to work on Treant would give Green additional potential board presence that would help it compete.


I’ve set up a proxy set with @EricF 's proposed changes, and a few of other suggestions from Nudging the tiller - balance and Blue balancing suggestions sprinkled in.

Full list of changes here

First few test games netted following:
Game suddenly has a very fresh feeling again :stuck_out_tongue:

  • Constable at 2g is very playable. Did not feel too OP.
  • Musketeer that keeps LR at 2 ATK is much more relevant since combos with Elite Training and Bootcamp. Did not feel too OP.
  • Jurisdiction that peeks at hand felt good to play, strong yet fair. I think that one is spot on.
  • Search Warrant is pretty awesome and fair.


  • Midori suddenly is much more of a threat. Tokens, too. Very interesting gameplay resulted. Felt strong. Might be OP, not sure.
  • Giant Panda at 3 ATK felt relevant, partly due to Wisps being better.
  • Did not notice much of a difference with YT able to attack, but being limited to 2 ATK.
  • Rich Earth felt good.


  • Flame Arrow at 3g felt strong. Not sure if OP.
  • Fire Dart at 1g felt very strong. Might be OP.
  • Scorch did not come into picture.
  • Zane giving 2g instead of 2 levels felt decent.


  • Sentry is supergood now. Not sure if OP.
  • KotC at Forecast 2 felt good, especially since Time Spiral is 0g now. I went balls deep into spamming things with time runes + 2xSeer + Temporal Research, felt cool, unusual and strong. This build was never able to take off for us before. Not sure if OP. KotC might warrant 1g cost.
  • Prynn midband always proccing on death felt a bit degenerate. Putting her in SQL was too good :roll_eyes: I’ll give her more chances though.

That’s it for now. No Black, White and Renegade games yet.


Wow, that’s a lot of work you did !

My general opinion is you’re right to buff 3-cost starter cards. They rarely see play, and get workered super fast as Tech I units are generaly both cheaper and better, while many cheap starter cards keep being useful through out the game.

As for the rest, I suppose we should test it ! Many changes sound great, other maybe a bit too much (Time Spiral for 0 gold and KotC losing a rune, or Flame Arrow for 2 gold ???). But I’ll definitely try some monocolor games with those changes, if some people want to :slight_smile:


This is really great work! Definitely going to do some balance testing!

Can I ask why you went with Gemscout Owl having a limit of 2 attack instead of 3 as per the suggestion from @Dreamfire above?

Similarly what about capping Long Range for Musketeer at 2 attack? I don’t feel like lifting it would be game breaking, particularly with the proposed Drill Sergeant changes and Blue’s overall weaker starter. Also having a starter card which simply has the ability “Long Range” would be good imo.

Happy to do some testing before we change anything up though. Better to have data over opinion.

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I was thinking of Gargoyle when I suggested the 3 ATK limit (if an existing Tech I flier can have 3 ATK, it can’t be too gamebreaking). The difference between 2 and 3 might be important, since your standard Tech I anti-air unit (Huntress, GPT, etc.) has 3 health.

3 ATK on a flyer is an important breakpoint for murdering heroes. I’ve felt it would be a little bit too drastic a change to allow it. For now.

2 ATK cap allows Rampant Growth and Spirit of the Panda, which I want to look into. Early buffable flyer is a dangerous value engine, as Rook + Arg decks regularly demonstrate. Birds + Arg at least require much steeper up-front investment in second hero and Heroes’ Hall. Gemscout costs nothing but a tech slot, so can be brought online much earlier.

Gargoyle is much more expensive and less flexible (though does not require a combo piece), so I think Goyle having a bit more oomph is warranted.

That’s a good point as well.

I’m one of those few people who believe Musky is playable as-is, so decided to be a bit tamer with him. Blue has a hard time buffing him above 2 ATK anyway. Also he is consistent with Owl and YT now with his newly acquired 2 ATK softcap.

Ultimately, it’s intuitive call. I think these values should lead to good gameplay. I might be wrong. You are welcome to test your own version :kissing_heart:


I’m pretty down on the whole “early flier + buff” gameplay, so I wouldn’t recommend enhancing the Owl (though it could go to a 1/1 base, while keeping “can’t attack” - that would let it play better defense against Nullcraft/Birds)


If it’s going to keep Can’t Attack, I’d go further and make it a 1/2, to let it survive things like Deteriorate.
But really, Can’t Attack makes Flying into an actual drawback. Compare the Owl to Merfolk Prospector. I’d argue that most of the time, you’d rather have Merfolk (a tech 0!) in your hand. He generates the same gold if he survives, but is more flexible since he can also soak an attack as a patroller, or get buffed and kill something. The Owl having Resist 1 and soaking a single Bird attack hardly makes up for that, and is certainly not enough to justify the tech slot (compare it to the difference between Mad Man and Lobber).
As it is, Owl is basically a slower, safer Rickety Mine. Its only saving grace is being in the same spec as Circle of Life.


@metalize have you tested Pirate Gunship yet with your changes? I suspect it would still be instantly ending games on the turn it arrives despite the nerf to its Obliterate.

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Been playing a few games as Green vs Blue. I haven’t yet tested Gemscout Owl, Circle of Life or Predator Tiger but will feed back on them when I have data. Some thoughts on the rest:

Green Starter

Rich Earth
3 gold —> 2 gold

This is a huge buff, but having tried it I feel like Green should have been balanced around it being 2 gold all along. At 3 gold its almost impossible to use without tanking your very necessary board presence, but at 2 gold you are actually only spending 1g on top of normal worker commitment so its very doable while building up in the early game. It also just feels right, for what that’s worth. It synergises very well with all the key costs in the deck and makes the early game much smoother for a typically gold hungry colour.

Ironbark Treant
-2 ATK/+2 armor while patrolling —> -1 ATK/+2 armor while patrolling

Ironbark Treant is not a very relevant card vs Blue so I’ve hardly used it so far. It feels like a fair change though. It was always fairly poor at forcing trades on defence and Green could use more ability for that in the early game in general.

Young Treant
Can’t attack —> Can’t have more than 2 attack.

I have played YT but I haven’t yet made use of the change yet. To be fair I didn’t expect it to be very relevant vs Blue anyway. However knowing that its an extra body that can be buffed if necessary once again just feels right for what that’s worth.


Midori Midband
Your units with no abilities get +1/+1 —> Your units with no printed abilities get +2/+1

While I have used Midori’s buff, Free Speech kind of hampers the amount I would want to lean on him vs Blue. It felt strong when I did get to use it but I need more testing to make any recommendations. Wisps actually being a potential threat feels really nice though.

2 gold —> 0 gold

I love this change. Having gold free units in codex allows MonoGreen to do a bunch of things they struggled with previously - blocking up cheaply and going for Tech III, maximising the threat of Calamandra maxband, getting even more units on field to exploit for Growth buffs. It also resulted in a legitimate choice with a casting of Feral Strike - do I spend 8g to get 2 of something huge or do I spend 4g to get 2 Chameleons and do something else.


Giant Panda
2/4 —> 3/4

This change is very strong vs Blue, but I’m not convinced it would necessarily be much of an issue vs other colours. At 3/4 Giant Pandas are definitely worth a tech slot even if you don’t necessarily want to play for Growth Tech II, though obviously they are still strongest with that combo. This gives Green a strong counter push, which you can often lack when on the defensive.

Blooming Ancient
Remove a +1/+1 rune → Put a +1/+1 rune on another unit.
—> Remove a +1/+1 rune → Put a +1/+1 rune on another unit. Twice per turn.

In the game I used BAs in, the limit didn’t end up mattering as I got both BAs on field at once and also had two Gigadons on the board from Feral Strike. I could see situations where it would matter a lot though, and I think the limit makes a lot of sense.


I wasn’t playing as Blue but I think the buffs to Greens Tech 0 and Tech I cards way outclass the buffs to Blue’s Tech 0 and Tech I game. I think one of the following might be worth exploring:

Building Inspector
The first building each opponent builds each turn costs ① more to build.
—> Each opponent must pay you ① before they build or rebuild their first building each turn.

Building Inspector
The first building each opponent builds each turn costs ① more to build.
—> The first building each opponent builds each turn costs ① more to build. The first building you build each turn costs ① less to build.

Building Inspector
The first building each opponent builds each turn costs ① more to build.
—> Opposing buildings cost ① more to build or rebuild. Your buildings cost ① less to build.

These are in the vein of @zhavier’s comment that Building Inspector’s ability doesn’t do anything for the Blue player. The first change doesnt give any immediate benefit but the tax being payable to blue is really on flavour. Balance wise I like the middle change best. Having Building Inspector + Jail be only 3 gold is nicer overall than just making Jail cheaper. The last change is probably too strong given all the buildings Blue has but it has the benefit of being a much simpler wording which I really like. It’s also unlikely that anyone is putting down more than 2 buildings in a turn anyway.