7/5 SoB with -8 on ability attack. Let's discuss this card. Just who are the 4*s that are better than him?
Most 4*s who gap high rely on an ability to achieve that gap or to help them win rounds. The ever-popular Buba is a virtual 10/7 that has a lot of trouble winning rounds vs SoA, and requires a mono deck. Coby is a virtual 8/7 +8, but becomes a big low-damage wall vs SoA, and also requires a mono deck. Jautya combines an attack manip bonus with the ability for gap 12 in fury, but again... turns into a mediocre wall vs SoA. Same with Diane. Eddie is essentialy Olga with one more star... And he... well, you know what's coming.
There are a few 4s that deliver great gap and have some built-in SoA protection: Greem, Kenny Cr, and so on. These guys have to get by with low power, so they demand large amounts of pills... Nothing ends your game faster than someone calling your move or turn order, with these guys.
Off the top of my head, I can only think of two 4*s who deliver good damage, and have good round-winning capability as well. They are Bogdan and Blaaster Cr. They are both frequently ELO-banned. Even in these cases, Blaaster gaps just 1 higher than Raeth, and Bogdan gaps lower if SoBed (although he makes that up with his utility.)
So, I'm curious as to which 4*s you feel make Raeth look mediocre by comparison.
Diana for sure, her solid 8 power and essentially 7 damage AS WELL as her -2 damage makes her highly diverse. We mustn't forget the staples for GHEIST - Hriger and Methane. Both have respectful damage and round winning power. Card like Bristone and great supporting cards to make sure you have to best possible chance to win.
Of course there are many other great 4* cards - Nellie, Marina, Dagg. I'll leave someone else to explain why they are good because I'm lazy
I was by no means trying to suggest that Raeth is the best 4*, I am just hard-pressed to find a lot of 4*s that are definitely better than him.
I would rate Diana slightly above Raeth, but her SoA vulnerability hurts. Hriger and Methane are good but risky cards that I would rate a bit lower than Raeth. Most cards will beat Methane and Hriger pill-for-pill, and many are at a significant advantage against them. I would say Dagg rates similarly: they play nearly identical roles, and depending on the situation, either one could be a better round winner. Both have very good bonus synergy. Nellie is probably a bit better, all things considered, but she is a definite liability vs SoA.
So far, here are the 4*s I'd rate better than Raeth. The ones with a * by them are frequently temp-banned.
X-0DUS (and possibly T-Gaank, have not had a chance to test him out)
Nellie (I say this reluctantly)
I could probably think of a handful more, but I'm still not getting the impression that Raeth is weak by today's standards... He's just not quite as good as he once was (but this can be said of most Piranas.) Raeth isn't the strongest card, but he is still one of the best at what he does, beating Dorian up to 8 pills, Robb Cr up to 7 pills, etc. I think it says a lot that many of the 4*s that can be said to be better than him are often banned.
Um... Qubik, Vermyn N, Heitachi, Grudj, Eddie, Kazayan, Maurice, Buba, Quinn, Eebiza, Dr Falkenstein, Benicio, Gibson, Numar probably, maybe Niva, maybe Fizzle, and those are only the clans I rank above Piranas. In the ones I rank below Piranas you have Tuck, Elvis, Jakson, Azgroth, Kerry and Isatis. Even Edd and Petra are more valuable to their clans than Raeth is to his; both are the only SOB characters in their clans, while I think it's safe to claim that Piranas have a far better attack manipulator than Raeth in Taljion. The only SOB character in your preset and in your draw is more valuable than the same character when all of your characters have SOB.
Even in Piranas I rate Scubb, Coleridge and Sting higher, but it would take many words for me to explain why I prefer those characters.
Finally, I think empirical evidence shows that SOB is a good ability to have on 2* and 3* characters, but not optimal on 4* and 5* characters. The ability combinations that are on the topend 4* characters include SOA, power reduction, damage reduction, + power and attack manipulation. SOB is best suited on 2* characters, as we have seen that over half of the top 20 2* characters ever released have had SOB and this is true even in ELO today (Flanagan, Lucy, Hawkins, Artus, Marlysa) and even 3 of the 6 permanently banned ELO 2* characters have SOB (Lehane, Lea and Bonnie).
I think limiting the conversation to 4 star cards is what people are overlooking.... the value of the 4 star can be devalued by the power of the lower stars.
more strong 3 star cards makes 4 stars less appealing to use.
really good 5 stars would also increase the likelihood of bumping your 4 star up to a 5
if one is going to talk about synergy and combination or whatever other fancy word people want to use to describe deck building then it makes no sense to compare 4s with 4s.
the arrival of more cards at ALL star count levels affect the cards.
here lets keep this simple:
If I want to run a Bangers half deck will I use Blaaster Cr or drop him down to a 3 star so I can bump one of my 2 Stars up to a 3??? Well probably not, cause he is pretty darn good.
Now ask the same question about a 4 star like Raeth or Petra
The same applies to other cards at other star counts....take Noodile or Tyd or Loocio for an example. Tyd and Noodile were once true staples to their clasn -- not really the case anymore. You can now opt to use a higher star count card in their place or a more devastating card of the same count (Ector in Tyds case) and make up the star count by fielding a great 2 star somewhere in the deck.
the worth of the card doesnt work simply comparison to other cards of the same star count. Would you bench Bogdan if available to you? probably not. Would you bench Raeth.... yeah possibly.
Lets even go the Marina route... great card. The arrival of Nathan is a minor threat to her value... at this point not quite a real one yet. But down the road easily imagined that dropping Marina for Nathan becomes an option because it will allow you to upgrade one of the cards in your deck.
Methane... once upon a time this card was indeed more valuable than many other 4 stars. When GHEIST ruled every other week, Methane was the best 4 star anti-GHEIST card that you could have since he could beat all GHEIST staples of the time. The value of Tula and Deadeye were also enhanced during this time.
edited by wasteroftime Wednesday 26/12/2012, 05:54
Interesting... I would agree with Qubik but not so much on the others. Scubb is a liability, Coleridge is far less solid (loses lower-pilled fights and dies to SoA) and Sting is too shaky to use in top-end ELO play (although, can be very interesting when combined with big confidence cards like Naele or Stanley.)
SoB is a good ability for any card to have, due to the incredible flexibility it offers. It's great on a low-star because it helps create a very defensive card, pilling against which is generally undesirable. But I think you're off the Mark about it not being optimal on high-star characters: by negating a round-winning bonus, it can help secure a pivotal round.
Think about Raeth (or Petra, etc) vs a card from Montana, for instance. His bonus in that situation becomes as valuable as 12 attack manip, because that is what it negates... And on top of that, there is his ability. In that situation, his ability and bonus are "worth" 20 attack. Meaning, he is better at fighting Montana than Troompah.
Winning rounds is definitely not everything, but if you are able to construct a deck that can win either through damage or a 3-round victory, your opponent is not going to be able to win simply by shutting your deck down. I personally see this as one of the keys to successful ELO play.
I was sticking to 4*s keeps it simple, but it's not a matter of star count at all. It's a matter of role. Raeth's job is to make your Piranas hand a lot more threatening to any deck that relies on a round-winning bonus. Taljion, Puff, Raeth, and Hawkins seem like a bum draw, but it can be a Nightmare for many decks.
Talking synergy means precisely that -- you take the role of the card into account.