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Nudging the tiller - balance

@Bomber678 Agree on removing Vandy’s resist, though I don’t think that in itself is enough of a hit to Vandy. Her resist is rarely relevant.

@Hobusu would you (or anyone else) want to play a couple 4 or 6 game matchups of Black vs Blue with a couple of the tweaks we’ve proposed? I really think Deteriorate at 1-cost but DP at 1 damage to the casting hero (to get around the Jurisdiction point) and 2 base damage but 0 gold would be totally fine. I’d be fine playing the Blue side.

What changes to Blue are we wanting? GatG / Constable buffs + something for Bigby (stats? spells?) and the LS switch to an upgrade?

If we can find a set of tweaks that makes the Blue / Black matchup feel even more like 40/60, I think that’s probably about the limit of how many buffs / nerfs you want in that matchup to prevent problems in other matchups for both colors.

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I’d be willing to try some changes, but I have almost no experience with either side… Ironically, my only Blue experience was using the Peace engine to destroy a relatively new player who was trying Black, but I doubt that would translate into doing well on either side against a more experienced player! As long as you’re okay with that, though, I’m up to try it.

I still don’t like Lawful Search as an upgrade for flavor reasons (it would be the only upgrade that doesn’t stay on the board indefinitely, which seems bizarre for an “upgrade” to be temporary, and “Lawful Search” just doesn’t sound like an upgrade but rather a one-time action). Other people can test whatever they want, but I would prefer to test with Administrators (and maybe Guards?) able to cast it as well as heroes (this still feels more reasonable flavor-wise to me for a number of reasons, one of which is that it would imply that everyone in Quince’s government has the power to have people searched at any time).

(Sorry about part of my post being cut off at first, my internet’s been buggy today…)


If you don’t want to change JUST deteriorate and dark pact, which i think is a pretty significant change that will have some fairly significant effects to the blue matchup, I recommend changing Arresting Constable and Guardian of the Gates.

Arresting Constable is simply changed to a 4/5 or a 3/4. If that isnt enough, then lowering its cost to 3, but i doubt that would be needed.

For GotG, simply changing to 2/6 instead of 1/6 helps a LOT specifically in the black matchup. GotG should be comparable to Voidblocker, but in my opinion, GotG should be more powerful. As it is, voidblocker has an effect on heroes, and effects how someone chooses to order their attacks, and can go off even against swift strike or obliterate. GotG is meant to force a hard stall to the opponent. In its current form, it rarely slows black down at all. Just adding heroes to the effect would probably be sufficient if the increased attack isn’t enough.


On the topic of changing Blue, does anyone ever use Spectral Tiger? I’ve even managed to make Rokh really carry the game once, but Tiger is just beyond me.

Also Jurisdiction should clearly cost 1g. I think all other blue spells are fine.

I’ve used Spectral Tiger in a tournament game and won with it. It’s very nice when played on Turn 3. Jurisdiction costing one would make it far too powerful. Always havinig the right answer is very powerful in codex, and while 2 gold is alot for that, it still is used as it is such a powerful effect. Ideally I think it should be ~1.5 gold, but fractions are bad so 2 it is.

I completely disagree about jurisdiction. I’ve only ever managed to use it with free speech when quince was dead, but a 4g free speech didn’t let me do much else. Most of the time, you are far better off teching the correct answer rather than teching jurisdiction. Even at 1g, I see it more as a crutch to new players than as a really viable card.

I agree, I’ve never used Jurisdiction and never felt like it’s the right move

Tech II Spectral Tiger on Turn 3? :thinking:
Could you link a game topic, please?
I mean, what sort of environment it has to be to maxband Kala on T2, not get punished, actually have Quince on your team, and somehow 5/5 Illusion Tiger being better option than either of the 4/4 Feral ones with significant upsides or even better than just spending 4g on something else and attacking with a 4/5 Kala instead…

Wrong line of play :wink: I used Verdant Tree to build tech 2 on turn 3, and play the Tiger, link is here :wink:

EDIT: Remembered I had another game that tournament where I did the same thing, and this time the tiger didn’t just immediately die…


Ah, punishing P1T1 greed Mox into Battle Suits opener with Verdant Rush, so very delicious. Still not sure if going Feral for a 3g 4/4 invisible Tiger would not be a better choice for purposes of quick pressure, but that point is moot — Truth is a legit strategical option, carry on. Sad to see Tiger get instagibbed by Zane, but I guess it at least kinda forced that all-in line of play for Pirate.

Game against Bob is a better showcase, since you get to put that 5 ATK to use by smacking Tech building on P2T4.

Ironically, I just had a game today where teching Tiger would’ve been a solid move (vs. Past/Peace/Anarchy and no Boot Camp teched). I opted for Rokh and regretted not having a 5/5 body in patrol.

I guess Tiger gets a pass from me… for now :face_with_monocle: :sob:

I would say that Jurisdiction is not that powerful in mono blue. Most of your spells are incredibly specific, so the flexibility is not needed, as the spells either need to be built around (Boot camp etc), or you can see them being useful a mile away and have time to tech (free speech etc). Its when its combined with specs that have spells that are more board state dependent that I could see it being too powerful at 1g. For example with Present, If my opponent has a big unit board that just swung, then Ready or Not! is a really good choice, while Now! is great when I have a big unit in hand, and TD a big unit on the field. Jurisdiction would give me the exact affect I need now, and only 1 gold seems really low for that. I do agree that 2g is steep, but I would prefer to maintain the skill in teching correctly and keep it as a niche “I don’t need that hero actualy” card, rather than a card which is an instant tech “I always have the right answer card” and can rarely be stopped.

Maybe :slight_smile: . I’ve never been the best imprest with Feral’s line up at tech 2, but I’ve always had trouble properly evaluating big slow units. I generally get associated with attrition playstyles in other games, and Truth fits that for me much better. I look forward to seeing Feral Tech 2 shining, but it’s not my prefered playstyle.


I’ve went through a mental exercise of evaluating all spells in a game as Jurisdiction targets.

I’ve came to a conclusion, that, for a Jurisdiction to be a legit teching option, the following has to happen:

  • You have spells in Codex that are situationally powerful, but are not flexible/versatile, or it’s easier to just tech them in;
  • That situational power has to be… Game-turning. So much so that you might be willing to overpay 2g for it;
  • The niche of those spells must not be easily predictable, otherwise you’d just tech the real copies in;
  • It can’t be a part of a multi-spell combo;
  • It can’t be a channeled spell;
  • You have SEVERAL of those spells in Codex, otherwise teching Jurisdiction is strictly worse than teching single copy of your situational spell;
  • Another use-case is if you are building your entire strategy around a single spell and you really want to have a backup Bigby available since your main caster is likely to be knocked off, but don’t want to tech in 2 copies of the key spell. I’ve only came up with Free Speech and Bloodlust in this niche.

So far I’ve narrowed it down to Ready or Not, Now!, Entangling Vines, Thunderclap, Free Speech, Unphase, Assimilate, Nether Drain, Kidnapping, maaaaybe Temporal Distortion and Bloodlust.

If your gut reaction to this list is “Why is spell XXX not part of it?”, it means that in my opinion, it’s either:

  • Flexible, usually easy to find a use for, so you’re better off just teching it, i.e. Shadowblade, Bloodlust.
  • Is almost never powerful enough to warrant 2g overpay, i.e. 6g Doom Grasp no thanks.
  • Usually is telegraphed/predictable well before it actually becomes necessary, i.e. Free Speech, Carrion Curse, Temporal Distortion, so you tech the real copy instead.
  • Is probably a part of a multi-spell combo, i.e. Hallucination or Spreading Plague.

You can see how those few spells that might make Jurisdiction worth it sorta coalesce in Present, Strength and maybe Blood or Future.

Honestly, just looking at this list of imo best use-cases for Jurisdiction, it feels like 2g Jurisdiction is… extremely niche, and even in that niche is probably more of a desperation move than a winning strategy.

Now, imagining 1g Jurisdiction… Makes those cases at least somewhat attractive as a real strategical option of “Making sure to not get caught with my pants off because I can’t make a good call to commit to a single option from my toolkit of situationally powerful Geiger/Drakk spells”.



Shifting the focus away from Blue for a bit, I’ve noticed two cards which haven’t been mentioned here yet, which I have never seen teched in a game, let alone played:

Balance’s Chameleon: a 3/3 with Stealth for $2, this card almost feels like a Tech 1 unit. Although it’s not strictly worse than Disguised Monkey (it gets to keep stealth indefinitely) or Flagstone Spy (it costs $1 less), it has way less impact than either of those.
I guess it was included in Balance’s roster as a way to give Mimics stealth? But if you’re after evasion you’re much more likely to go for flying, which is stronger and comes through the already impactful Fairie Dragon (and as mono-green you also have Behind the Ferns as cheap access to Stealth).

Ninjutsu’s Flying Fox: a 3/1 flier for $2, this is strictly worse than Finesse’s Cloud Sprite (usually this is the other way around, e.g. Backstabber vs. Flagstone Spy). You could argue that having the Ninja type is its advantage, but most Ninja effects have to do evasion, which is usually redundant for a flier.
The only real benefits it can get are Haste from Fox’s Den Students (which requires you to have both cards in hand), and Swift Strike from Jade Fox (which only matters against anti-air and other fliers, and even then - it dies to Tower damage, which your opponent likely built when you went Ninjutsu).

Obviously these aren’t huge issues, and Balance and Ninjutsu Tech 2 are probably both fine, but it’d be nice if we could think of changes that would let these cards see some play.

I think it’s ok for a single card in a spec to see very little play. When a nullcraft or rook bird is in the way, getting a flyer through with stealth as a surprise could be big pretty big. I consider both of those cards you might grab pretty late into the match, if at all, and perhaps they could see a bump, but if we are looking to make changes, they should be as limited in number as possible.


Oh I agree, these two are way down (and probably just off) the list of cards that I would actually change. I’m still curious as to what could be done in theory to help them, without making them broken.
The simplest thing for Flying Fox would be bumping it to a 3/2, but maybe an invisible flier with those stats would be too hard to handle for most specs? I’ve never seen one, so I don’t know :stuck_out_tongue:

@Sirlin: You say: “The market has spoken and they are very against me changing/improving a board game over time. So no changes are planned. Improving board games had a good run, but I can’t do it when there is a massive financial penalty and massive PR penalty attached to it.”

I take it you are still working on Fantasy Strike. However, could you see yourself or your company producing a update pack? As I would venture the guess that most people just wanted some cards reformulated or rebalanced and not a completely new edition (think of the way SFV handles updates and not SFIII).

Good luck with Fantasy Strike. I hope it will be a success!

I, for one, would be a huge supporter of a “balancing pack” style update - even if it’s print and play only.

I’d love an official review of the topics that have been discussed in this thread; as the game developers/playtesters have far more insight on why things are the way they are, than we might.

I just want this game to be the best it can be, and I’m willing to pay for it.


I think the issue has been that, in the past, there’s been a LOT of pissing and moaning about updates to Puzzle Strike in particular (and probably also Yomi), to the point where seemingly about the only way to safely do a rebalance of a board game is to be really secretive about it so that the boardgamegeek people don’t notice it until it’s been out for a little while.

Maybe if Fantasy Strike the fighting game is successful enough to not only break even, but actually make money, and they can afford to do the rules-enforced digital version of Codex they want to make, maybe they can do some balance tweaks then and maybe even release an upgrade pack? Honestly, though, I think there’s definitely a once-bitten-twice-shy thing going on overall with regard to doing balance updates.


Quick experiment: bring up Sirlin outside this forum and time how long it takes for someone to come along and “let everyone know” how Sirlin is crook and you shouldn’t buy his stuff. Some people treat it like a crusade to protect innocent people from him.