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Unpopular Specs?

Hi, I haven’t technically played codex yet (some of the starter set, none of the others) but it seems like online here Future, Disease, and maybe Law (and definitely Bashing) are the least popular.
Why is that? From reading over the cards it seems that they’re all (Bashing withheld) pretty strong. I can see Future not having great synergy outside of monopurple but even then I feel like you could craft up some ideas. Disease I feel like has some crazy cool synergies. Is is just that these specs aren’t played out of mono or are they too slow or something?

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I think they are less popular because when people pick them those players don’t win games.

I don’t think Future is that bad, just it seems to be trying to do stuff that mostly isn’t very relevant to the game.

Credit Card (Promise of Payment) just seems to not be a card anybody is ever really going to want to bring in. It’s got a cool future theme, but I think it’s just not a good card.

Glaxx is a silver bullet for a non-dominant strategy. Assimilate is potentially pretty good, but how good the card is depends on how bad the opponent is playing, it’s very easy to play around.

When a lot of your board’s cards are about stopping things opponents don’t typically do, it’s a fast way to a board never being used.

I have to point out here that I believe a 5 player game was recently won by a player using Future as one of their boards and, as I understand it, assimilate took a couple different cards that game. Having 5 opponents to take things from is a lot better than 1.

With Law, I think it’s important to note that some of it’s cards turn things off temporarily (Injunction) or potentially prevent you from doing things that you don’t want to do anyway (Censorship Council, potentially).

If you stop people from doing things they don’t care about you are likely to lose that game.

The same thing if you pay your resources just to stall the opponent and you can’t use that window of time to get permanently ahead. Injunction may prevent them from attacking with Tech 2 units or something, but they are still there for next turn. While you are doing that, they can just cast heroes and level them up and kill you, too.

Control is about having the right answers at the right time and you can’t just save up cards in hand like you might in other games. If you don’t use it, you often can’t save the effect for next turn.

I think Codex is just a game that’s fundamentally hard to make control oriented game plans work in.

I want to point out that speed and tempo oriented game plans tend to be the bane of control decks in a lot of other games. Everything in Codex is about that sort of thing.


Hah! Kinda true. But these are fun to play, even if you lose.

To play them well, you have to be a bit more proactive and make very smart guesses about what your opponent is planning.


Ah, very informative! Thank you!
What about disease though? It sounds awesome!!
Or did is it more popular than I interpreted?

I would point out that Future is being used by Jadiel in Caps (Getting into the top 4) so it can’t be that bad


That is a weird deck!

Disease can be a bet expensive and a bit slow, and Orpal is a bit weak. He tends to answer some of niche opponent strategies, where Vandy and Garth answer 90% of opponent strategies. And usually if Orpal will do really well in a situation, Garth or Vandy might also do all right.

I think Disease could benefit most from some Haste, meaning Present for Now! or Blood for Bloodlust, but both of those come with Tech IIs that are just insanely brutal (Gliders and Crashbarrows, or Hyperions and Tricycloids), so it’s rare that you’ll choose Disease over Present or Blood.

That’s really the issue. It’s not bad. But it’s just so rare that it’s in a codex without one or two specs that are clearly better 90% of the time. Maybe it would shine in Disease/Bashing/Law?


I do appreciate that the cards will (probably) never change, but I do also appreciate the BALANCE JUGGERNAUT that is Sirlin. Maybe years down the road he’ll release updated cards like Yomi and you can just buy them for like 10 bucks.

Or if magically the entire community agrees on a change that’d be cool.

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I got to the top 8, not the top 4. The weird thing about Codex is that you often only tech 8-10 cards in a game (and as a lot of games are pretty much decided by turn 6, only 4-6 of those cards may actually be relevant in deciding the game). So even if a spec has a lot of very niche cards, it can still be worth playing if it gives you a strong one. It also means that heroes and starters should be a strong factor in determining which specs to choose.

Omegacron is a very strong card, and it’s basically the reason I played Future. Its Tech Is are bad and mediocre, it’s spells aren’t great. I’d say Promise of Payment is better than Unphase, and I’ve teched all of them in different games - ironically Assimilate (which most people regard as the strongest) is the spell I’ve teched least often, as it does a lot of work while staying in your codex (no one plays strong upgrades/buildings against you). Tech IIs are pretty good, but they don’t have the game-changing presence of some other specs.


If people played with 40 life, do you think some of these specs would get used more? I dunno if anyone would play with 40 or 30 life, but I feel like that could be a way to make matches more intense and bigger stuff would happen. Maybe.

Increasing to 40 life would kill Future, it is only really used on a combo deck with truth, and doubling life would stop it ever working. Increasing Life to 40 would incorouge more Tech 3 plays, and none of those specs have great tech 3’s, But really, most games are over at tech 2 where one person has gained a large enough board advantage that they can just keep killing your tech buildings, and it would just prolong people’s death. Many of the aggressive decks would die, and @ARMed_Pirate especially would be very upset.


I used to play Future/Peace/Blood and that would work with 40 life just as fine I reckon.

I agree that Disease could use some Haste, and it’s somewhat appropriate for the theme (“Fevered Frenzy” or something like that). Disease is a bit slow but potentially explosive, having a creature with Haste and the dirty damage that Disease is so well known for could be a useful siege-breaker. If you’re worried about that being too powerful, give it Ephemeral, which is also nicely thematic. Of course, at that point you’re stepping on Blood’s toes.

Disease does a nice job at dealing with weenies (things like Skeletons, Ninjas, Oni’s soldiers), and strangely teams up with them as well so there’s fuel for Orpal’s midband (as long as you’re careful about using Abomination). Putting a -1/-1 on a weak creature is great, putting it on a big fattie barely helps in many cases.

Future similarly can handle weenie hordes well with the Xenostalker, and can use your own weenies to fuel an Omegacron unleash. I must admit, though, that I do love Void Star.

In my (VERY LIMITED) experience Law is just slow. Raiddinn is right that Censorship Council is situational; I could see it as a nice counter to specs like Ninjitsu or Demonology that draw a lot. Law has some great stuff (Justice Juggernaut is kind of crazy) but it’s expensive. I guess you’re relying on Tax Collector and Insurance Agent to make your money.

Future is also awesome in Monopurple with all the support Past and Purple starter give to manipulate time runes. Also remember that the possibility that you have Assimilate means your opponent just won’t play things like Might of Leaf and Claw or Firehouse or Graveyard against you, which is a pretty significant advantage.


Yeah I figured that future was probably most used in mono purple due to time counter manipulation.
Is there any decent stall games out there? People say disease is slow so I’m wondering if there’s any viable stalling strats. Maybe with Strength, or growth, or blue? I just bought the game but I haven’t played 3on3 yet so I think I underestimated the time of matches. Especially since these 3 specs seem good “late game” but they’re too weak early on to be super viable

Games generally end on turns 6-8. Stalling is viable if you have a great end-game to put into effect on or about turn 7. Otherwise your opponent will just start playing Tech III things or Ultimate Spells, and your fragile control will just fall apart.

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I just wanted to point out that, while those strong cards are indeed hosed by Assimilate, that just means the opponent has to use one of like 10 other late game plans available.

Being able to shut down one game plan doesn’t help if your opponent is on some other game plan. The opponent will be able to see the Assimilate coming and they will just plan for something else. Now you have to shut down their slightly less good 2nd best plan also.

It’s hard to shut down every possible plan an opponent could use. That’s another strike against being defensive in general. Opponents will find a way around your defense.

That’s a lot of why everyone’s game plan is an active one. You want to put a question to the opponent and beat them before they find an answer to it. You can’t do that by sitting back and being defensive.


Obviously one card isn’t a dominant strategy. But it is good against decks like Past/Peace/Anarchy that are one trick ponies.

The PPA pony has at least 4 tricks – Peace engine buffed by Battle Suits; Mox buffed by Boot Camp; Gunships; standard Past game.


Also Art of War rush down.

That is one of the great design aspects of this game; you include specs that compliment one another for a great win condition, but each spec on its own almost always offers a strong win condition by itself!