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XCAFS20 Initial Ruleset definition discussion!

Okay, I think @zhavier wanted a break from hosting tournaments, and I’ve been wanting to get a “re-balance” tournament, so I’m here to gauge interest!

I think @EricF came up with a really great list of suggestions in this thread and we can start from that, so I just want to hear a couple things from folks:

  1. Whether you’d be in for a tourney w/ those changes starting around Sept 22nd (equinox)
  2. Anything you feel strongly should be changed or added to on that list

I have copy-pasted the list of changes below, and will be editing it as we come up with definitive things we want changed on it:

Tournament Balance Changes

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”


isn’t prynn midband far too strong?

I don’t think so? Not sure though. Certainly skip discard/draw is powerful, but paying 5 and losing a hero for it is a high cost, too…Right?

You also get a hero for it though… imo a little OP

That’s ignoring what Prynn does in the meantime, though, and Prynn killing herself with banish becomes less painful too. It does seem like a strong buff, especially when Prynn is already one of the stronger parts of the Past spec.

You said it better xd

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Only other concerns for me are mythmaking and the Red spells (including detonate); however, i don’t thing either are broken enough to make an X tournament un-fun (as EricF passed on from Zvi’s blog, changes don’t have to be well-balanced to be fun, just newly balanced and not broken)

Generally speaking, these changes seem pretty controversial. Some seem like overreactions to perceived lack of or overuse of a given card or ability.

Prynn’s seems like a direct response to how hard to understand her midband is, combined with how infrequently it comes into play.

For example, should starlet really be stronger than bone collector? In semi-optimal scenario starlet becomes a tech breaking machine, as a 5/1 until killed. Meanwhile collector creates a couple skeletons. Under one scenario they get to attack twice, which is somewhat optimal. The damage potential of starlet, over 2 attacks, is 8 (3+5), while bone collector is about 6 (2+2+1+1).

Spark and Deteriorate have a similar power reversal.


That said, I dont think I’d mind playing with the wacky re-balance as proposed, I just think a lot of things will behave differently enough to really mess with people’s calculus.


Game for trying it, definitely a lot that make me nervous (wowowowow the Fire spell buffs are kinda wild), but could see how it goes!

Whooa… hey guys! Can’t believe it’s already been a year. Took a break from Codex for too long… Glad to see you guys all still around and some new faces :slight_smile:. I’m down for some Codex. I’d have to learn the rules again anyways so might as well try the changes :wink:


No rich earth at 2, no no no no no

I fought very hard to get rich earth nerfed during development and I will die on this hill
Rich earth is broken at 2


So starlet now can do 8 dmg, where before Bone collector with 2 attacks was (3+3+1+1)=8; and BC can now do 6, where starlet before was probably one of 3, 4 or 3+4 if you’re lucky… it hasn’t swung any further one way than it was before, probably slightly less far.
As long as it isnt any more un-balanced than before (I’m not tryna pick a fight with sirlin there pls don’t hurt me) then these changes have achieved their goal of spicing up the gane without breaking it.

I am also happy to play as given.
Recording these decks is gonna be a pain anyway, might as well go all in.

there is no hero with flying tho (midori only has it on his own turn, so during yours he’s not targetable.

Also, I know I’m not part of the active tournament community, but here is my 2 cents. AS proposed, black is unplayable. imho Garth and vandy are too nerfed and thei victory condition becomes nihil, esp vandy with the super nerf of DP (since you can use it 2 times tops every time you summon her).
Imo also:
Star-Crossed Starlet should remain 3/2 Her ability is now optional ("Upkeep: You may have SCS deal 1 damage to herself). She can get haste and a 3/3 with haste for that cost and with that power is very op imo.
Buff necromancer cuz it sucks. 3 gold for 3/3 long range and no haste is pointless. Same for corpse catapult, imo remove the :exhaust: or necro can’t win by hero or units.
Buff jade fox, like “all your ninjas get haste and readiness” so she synegizes well with all ninja.

This means you can disable one of:

  • a hero;
  • a unit with flying.

thanks, makes much more sense. Imo then would be clearer if worded: Disable a hero or a flying unit.

The Oxford comma strikes again.


I second the motion to move rich earth back to 3, but give it something else minorly useful, like… arrives: create a 0/1 wisp token.