Something a Buddy of mine mentioned elsewhere made me scratch my head.
What was the justification behing the Uppers bonus?
I mean, I can kind of see how the Montana bonus "went wrong", and I can kind of see how the Rescue was ment to be balanced by low stats (well, they printed the chase rares and have taken them out), but what in the world resulted in the Uppers bonus?
Was there a discussion somewhere and someone said: "Hey, you know what - lets make a whole new clan that has a attack manipulation bounus identical but strictly superior to the Sakhrom, Sentinel and Junkz one, but lets also make that clan play like a bluffy big damage clan, because we have to make FPC and Junta look bad as well!"
Does anyone know what the real deal was?
Well, if I remember correctly (from a post that I read some time ago), the Uppers were one of the original clans (the others are Sakhrom, Sentinel, Junkz, Fang Pi, La Junta, GHEIST, Roots, Montana, Bangers, Ulu Watu, and Pussycats).
Getting back to your question. Based mostly on observations (since I only have played parts of Rescue, Uppers, GHEIST, and Berserk) I believe that the Uppers have worse 2-3 stars than the Sakhrom (but the Uppers have better 4-5 stars). Also, the Uppers seem to have more lower powered cards (most are 5-6 without ability) than the Sakhrom (who seem to be around 6-7).
Meanwhile, the Sentinel and Junks have +attack, while the Uppers have a - attack (A cheer for the obvious!). While it helps them less, it also means that they rely on the bonus less and gives them a boost to overcome the Uppers/Sakhrom bonus.
Well, the way I see it, the Uppers WERE balanced by having lower overall stats, and most of the Uppers are considered unplayable whatsoever AND they had strict design restrictions conisdering their 2*... But you can't really make sensible upper cards because of the bonus.
This is really obvious when you look at playable Sakhrom (there is really very little distinction between playable and staple in this game IMO, or at least has been). Murray, unless hit by SoA is an 8/5 3*, and only 1 of his damages is reduceable by dr's. Worse cards than Uranus and Graxx have been banned in various formats, yet almost everything the Sakhrom have apart from them is either really mediocre or obviously broken / shaky. Because if it wasn't broken, why not just use the Uppers?
Technicaly, the Uppers have the best attack manipulation bonus appart from the Montana and Rescue, but are also a big damage clan. The +/- power clans can beat them in theory, by investing pills, but if you invest pills against the Uppers you won't win 3 rounds, and if the Uppers win 2 rounds you're either dead or simply outdamaged. If you fury, you're wasting the pills you need to beat them - the Uppers bonus reads they effectively have +2 power till up to 5 pills or +1 power up to 10.
I think a huge mistake was made when the Uppers were made a big damage clan. They should've been kings of shaky +att, and sakhrom should've been 2hit KO guys...
Once upon a time, Uppers had (And still do have) amazing high-star cards such as Dorian, Hefty, Herman, etc. But in the way of 2 stars, Wendel and Samantha were the only playable ones (And they still weren't that good). So having a bonus thats better than the Sakrohm made sense, since thier 2 stars were trash.
Nowadays, with Gail Ld and Jose Star, UR has strayed from the low-star handicap placed on the Uppers. We'll never know why.
I like to think of it like the Upper's theme is to play dirty and to put you in your place. They are supposed to be heels, so they have that extra -2 atk to mess you up. The money always has an upper hand.
Wendel/ Samantha are still kinda the only playable ones as well as of course Jose Star seeing some popularity. Wendel is pretty good for a 2 star, what else do you expect?
Uppers is very prone to SoA if you have not realized, that is why Dorian is pretty much banned in elo every week. most of their power cards (Rubie, Herman, Nellie) have a mediocre 5 base damage. and w/ correct usage, SoB is awesome against them too.
that said, they ARE a very strong clan, but nothing uncounterable. try Roots, and you will see how powerful they are against Uppers.
"This is rock-scissors-paper-shotgun game and shotgun is pretty much winning hand."
This comment reminded me of a wow video dealing with the unbalances in the classes;
rogues are scissors
warriors are rock
Hunters, paladins,druids,mages,shammans, priests are paper
warlocks are mushrooms
Paper beats rock, scissors beats paper, scissors also happens to beat rock, until rock hits 60 inwhich rock becomes an unstoppable killing machine that also beats paper, and would beat scissors, but it can't find scissors because scissors
are invisable. So scissors beats paper, and avoid rock, and that is called balanced.
Basically Uppers were the rogues of Urban-rivals.