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XCAFS20 Initial Ruleset definition discussion!

I was about to say that would interact oddly with chaos mirror, but it does in fact have a printed attack value, so nevermind.

Oh geez, I just realised I forgot to add an important line. Have a look again for the important end-clause.

I like this. It seems like it benefits offensive strategies more than the Peace engine, so could balance Blue’s strategies a bit. Truth makes them hardier with Macciatus, and offensive Law and building-killer Peace get cheap chump blockers while they do their thing.

It does give cheap units for using Sacrifice the Weak / Orpal’s midband. So you could run the Black starter with Necromancy more easily, or preserve Garth’s Skeletons. The latter means you’re running two non-combat heroes, though, so maybe it’s fine.

Other interactions: How is current health determined? I assume after damage and all other effects are calculated? So after MOLAC, +1 runes, -1 runes, feather runes, damage counters, etc?

Yeah pretty much. Whatever number you would type in a play by post game state, that’s the hp it gets.

Ok everyone, I’ll be posting the tourney signup along with my revisions on the rules that we’ll be using, based on some of the feedback here as well as some other balance changes that have been discussed in the forums in the past.

Here’s a summary of what I changed:

  • other Troq non Wrecking Ball spells all get a buff
  • Don’t buff starlet as much (no 3/3 change, keeps optional self-wounds)
  • Took away scorch for backline hero access, too strong
  • Added a sanitorium buff, never seen that played
  • Helped rickety mine a little more, removed the coin flip, removed the barrow nerf
  • Gave doubleshot archer a boost, removed Ember Sparks buff, fire too stronk
  • Gave Rich Earth Wisps, rather than reducing to 2cost as that felt strong in testing
  • Toned down Ironbark, he was too strong in testing
  • Buffed MoLaC a little, it was too pointless at 2/2
  • Made Haunt 1g
  • Toned down DP nerf to 1 damage on hero
  • Gave Meta Stealth instead of Invis, +1/1 instead of +2/2
  • Buffed Corpse Catapult, it never sees use, gave BC frenzy 1 so it’s not hit quite as hard
  • Made Lawful Search into a sacrifice upgrade instead of a spell, so it can thin deck and doesn’t require hero to get killed to use early
  • Made GatG 2/6 instead of 1/8, gave Constable a buff
  • Buffed Alpha a little more, made DS same as BA on limit 2
  • Buffed Quince midband and ulti, made changes to Hallucination and Dreamscape
  • Gave Roc resist 1 also
  • Scaled down Octavian ability cost to make it more immediately usable
  • Gave Double Time a buff, took KOTC resist away, buffed reaver more
  • Changed AS nerf to take away abuse case (buffing heroes), keeps 1/1
  • Buffed Focus Master
  • Gave IPN a floor so it doesn’t kill itself, Buffed Flying Fox HP+1 so it isn’t a glass cannon
  • Changed Bird’s Nest nerf to be a little less slow

Basically, if the card never sees play or I’ve always felt it should be buffed/nerfed, it was touched

Here's the full list, I'll take feedback on it until Monday the 14th

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

Harmony Instead of “sacrifice harmony” to stop the music, the card now reads “You may sacrifice Harmony at any time. Whenever Harmony leaves play, turn all dancer tokens over. They are now 2/1 Angry Dancers with Unstoppable”
Star-Crossed Starlet Her ability is now optional (“Upkeep: You may have SCS deal 1 damage to herself”)

Troq midband becomes topband and can deal 1 damage to any building (not just a base)
Troq midband becomes readiness, level range is 4-7 instead of 5-7
Troq maxband becomes Overpower
The Boot becomes “Trash an opposing Tech 0 or Tech I unit. Trash this card”
Intimidate changes from “Give a unit or hero -4atk until end of turn” to “Give a unit or hero -3atk/1hp until your next upkeep”
Final Smash cost reduced to 3

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

Zane Level 1 add “Dies: instead of opponent getting hero Levels, opponent gains 3 gold”
Detonate costs 2 (instead of 3)
Sanitorium cost reduced to 3, loses the ability cost of 1g (just tap to draw 1, play cards)
Pirate Gunship loses Obliterate

Rickety Mine gains Haste, ability changes from coin flip to “When this arrives, put two Ore runes on it. Tap: gain 3 gold, remove an ore rune. When this runs out of Ore runes, trash it and deal 1 damage to you and your opponent’s base”

Jaina Midband loses the “patrolling” designation
Fire Dart costs 1 (instead of 2)
Flame Arrow costs 3 (instead of 4)
Doubleshot Archer costs 2 (instead of 3)

Green Starter:
Ironbark Treant ability becomes “-1 ATK/+1 :psblueshield: while patrolling” (rather than -2 ATK/+2 armor)
Rich Earth gains “Arrives: Get a 0/1 wisp token. While you have 10 or more workers, this gains “tap: make a wisp””

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 +3/+3 (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)
Pestering Haunt costs 1 (instead of 0)
Thieving Imp reduced to a 2/1 (instead of 2/2)

Vandy midband loses “Resist 1”, now midbands at 4/5 and maxbands at 6
Dark Pact becomes “Deal 1 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 grants stealth instead of invisibility, only gives +1/1 instead of +2/2, still gives readiness
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), gets Frenzy 1
Corpse Catapult moves to 2/5 instead of 1/4
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 Changes to an upgrade, with “sacrifice this:” as the trigger for the ability it currently has as a spell (Look at opponent’s hand or discard, then draw 1)
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)
Bluecoat Musketeer can now be long range while 2 attack or less (instead of exactly 1)

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 2/6 (instead of 1/6) and affects Units and Heroes (instead of just Units)
Arresting Constable Gains “Haste” and can target any unit or hero with it’s ability.

General’s Hammer costs 2 (instead of 3)
Drill Sergeant’s gains “limit twice per turn” on it’s second ability (can only move 2 runes off of the DS each turn, same as Ancient)
Debilitator Alpha costs 4 (instead of 5) and has “As Patroller: Attackers get -1 ATK” (even if they aren’t attacking Debilitator Alpha)

Spectral Tiger gains Resist 1
Spectral Roc gains Resist 1
Hallucination Changes to: Spell - Summon :target: Target up to 2 units or heroes. Summon a 0/X hallucination token for each target, where X is the current HP (factoring in any buffs, debuffs or damage) of the target. Destroy these at your next upkeep.
Dreamscape Instead of “all units are illusions” this becomes “Arrives or Upkeep: mark up to 5 units. These units are illusions until your next upkeep, even if Dreamscape is removed from play”. Also gains "Tap: Create a Mirror Illusion (max 2). Still channeling, still cost 3.
Quince Midband ability now costs 1 (instead of 2)
Mind Control Cost reduced to 4 and can attach to any unit, including tech 3s

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: “1: Disable a unit or hero and give Octavian -1/1 until next upkeep” (loses :exhaust: and no longer readies him). Also gains “Resist 1”

Vir midband is range 4-6 (instead of 5-6)
Double Time Cost reduced to 5 and moves to forecast 2 (instead of forecast 3)
Knight of the Conclave is Forecast 2 (instead of 3), loses resist 1
Reaver’s ability becomes: “Arrives or :exhaust:: Trash a worker, or deal 6 damage to a Unit or Hero”. Cost reduced to 2

White Starter:
Fox Primus is a 2/3 (instead of 2/2)
Aged Sensei Can only give its buff to units, no longer can buff heroes

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

Focus Master - Changes to 2 cost, ability becomes “All your patrollers gain +1armor”
Hero’s Monument - Daigo Stormborn has Haste in addition to his other abilities

Fuzz Cuddles is a 3/3
Inverse Power Ninja ability adds: “up to a maximum of -5/5”, so it bottoms out as a 1/1 with a board flood and can’t get itself killed
Flying Fox is a 3/2
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 Ability changes to "Arrives or upkeep: Put a 1/1 Flying Bird Token into play (max 2 tokens in play at a time). Remains as a channeling spell.
Mythmaking gains the ability "Your Legendary units ignore the “Legend Rule”


Final Smash is listed twice, and at $3, it almost makes me want to try Bashing. I think maybe 2 of Troq’s abilities could be bumped up a tier, so the 1 damage on attack would be starter tier, and either Readiness or Overpower could be midband (I’m feeling Overpower fits more thematically).

I feel like Rickety Mine should do something when it runs out of runes. Maybe auto explode when it has no runes left? Maybe coin flip from then on? Maybe pay some gold and sacrifice it to deal damage to something? Anything so it won’t just sit there ignored forever. Also, I think with the explosion risk removed, haste maybe a bit OP.

Totally agree that Sanatorium could use the buff, I’ve tried using it a few times, always with abysmal results.

Corpse Catapult I’ve had used against me only once, but to devastating effect. They caught me by surprise and completely locked down my tech buildings. Not sure they need a buff.

Hallucination might be more interesting if it allowed targeting up to 2 things, and created one token for each (can’t create 2 of the same thing).

Dreamscape not affecting enemy units as they come into play is kind of a downer, but a free Mirror every turn feels like fair compensation. Do marked units stay Illusions if Dreamscape leaves play?

Overall, this change list is much more appealing than the initial draft.

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Thanks for catching that, I’ll fix it, and yeah! I played “at what cost would I play this” in my head until it felt a little too cheap and 3g felt like the right spot where I’d be like “okay, I’d try maxing troq for that!”

I agree, I’ll consider adding that as well if other folks cosign for our impulse on this

I agree here but I also kind of feel okay with it sticking around as a deck thinner. Maybe when it runes out of ore, it trashes itself and dealing 1 to each base? That has good flavor as a “global cost of strip-mining” type thing and a “get rich quick” justification for haste?

Agree to disagree here, I think it’s pretty bad and wouldn’t mind a tournament where we see it more.

Agree, I’ll try to clarify the wording

Let’s say yes, they stay illusions until next upkeep no matter what

why the “up to 8” on octavian? given you can just activate it twice it doesn’t actually do anything.

I assume it’s just flavor, octopus has 8 arms.

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I can make the ability once per turn to better cap it at 8, and yeah, it was meant to keep the flavor of 8 arms to disable things with

Proposed Lawful Search change kills the interaction with Harmony and my CAMS19 deck loses it’s purpose. I’m not against the change itself but can you also change Harmony to “spell or upgrade” to at least keep the interaction? I don’t think you are actually going to see it being used with other upgrades. If you want to keep the theme consistent you can even change Calypso Vystari to “spell or upgrade” as well :slight_smile:

I don’t really feel like that’s necessary, but if there’s at least one other person that wants to advocate strongly for it I’m not really opposed either

I think the changes should be looked at in terms of whether it makes more cards playable, looking at it with respect to one’s own favoured deck seems like a good way to lose track of the general goal. I can see an argument for adjusting the Calypso, though, since she doesn’t see much play.


Octavian could be “1: disable a unit or hero (limit 8 times per turn)”

Rich Earth making a token every turn after the first seems really strong and frustrating to play against (especially when they are 2/2 due to Midori). I would suggest Arrives: make a Wisp instead (that also helps with the “no immidiate impact for your gold” problem).

KoTc should stay Forecast 3, with the starter deck rune buffs. Especially if Future is getting other buffs


Yes, we shouldn’t lose track trying to consider each deck fairly and focus on making more cards playable. I completely agree with this so let me put it a little differently. My argument is that I think Lawful Search sees play in normal setting and it’s not an auto worker like other cards that are buffed. Harmony is a conditional card that really needs a good combo. I think it synergies well with a card that lets you draw and costs less and Lawful Search is really the best option in this hypothesis. If you think Harmony is still a decent card that you can expect appearance in tourney matches even without interaction with Lawful Search then I will withdraw my comment but I feel that it is a big nerf to a card that really didn’t need it to make a card that was seeing use more play.

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He’s kind of right, I don’t think Harmony is very good.

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A couple of alternate suggestions:

  1. Bomber had a good suggestion buffing Bluecoat Musketeer. I think “2 ATK or less” would be an appropriate buff to allow interaction with Elite Training or Boot Camp. If you want to give Blue more options what about buffing Bluecoat ILO Lawful Search?

  2. If you want to leave the Lawful Search change alone and untie it from Harmony. Maybe let Harmony flip when Rive is dead to give it a little boost?

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I agree that it isn’t great but I think it’s still very playable with Vandy, Grave, or the new Purple with TR and rune buffs. I also feel like it doesn’t affect much besides LS and Safe Attacking

I was actually thinking some more and what if we do the following:

“1: Disable a unit or hero and give Octavian -1/1 until next upkeep” and also give him resist 1.

Solidifies him as a lockdown and lets him do something right away, but then can’t also be a total dominator in combat if he’s busy wrapping things up in tentacles.

I agree that it feels kinda strong but I think just one wisp feels pretty weak; What if we make it kinda like bloodburn?

“Arrives: Put two runes on this. Put a rune on it each time a unit dies.
Remove two runes: Summon a 0/1 wisp token (Once per turn)”

So it’s basically raising the dead spirits from the ground as chumps. I’d play that version of Rich Earth but I don’t think I’d feel totally oppressed by it either. Thoughts?

Agree to disagree here, Bansa and I did some playtesting and even still, KotC did not feel OP at forecast 2 (if anything it felt not a lot better as it doesn’t synergize as well with TR anymore)

I think that’d be fine, we could give Bluecoat a little boost, let him be a little more useful

That also feels warranted, I’ll work that up