Ok so putting together mono Piranas, my thinking:
The non- negotiables are
Taljion (he's the reason to make mono)
Ulrich (he is the only DR and a good one)
Sting (I just can't do without her! seriously, she just owns some matchups. I'd rather take her over Dahlia)
The next 2 obvious are:
Which totals 22*s. Which is tricky because it's not at all obvious which is the next choice at 3*...
Do I take a 3*, Hawkins, or Spycee?
If I take Hawkins/ Spycee:
Do I upgrade Scubb to Dahlia? Dahlia IS an upgrade over Scubb right?
Or do I take Spycee AND Hawkins to upgrade Smokey, Tyd or Ulrich to Dahlia?
What is the next 3*, is it Deadeye, Aktara, Redd or Andsom?
Deck Core 12*:
Spycee/ Hawkins **
Andsom/ Deadeye/ Redd ***
Another way of looking at it, who to leave off the ship:
B) Smokey AND Ulrich
The other question is:
After Tajlon, Tyd, Smokey and Ulrich, are any of the other 3*s (Andsom, Redd, Deadeye, Aktara) worth taking over Hawkins or Spycee?
To answer your last question: no... it's not, and actually, hawkins IS the only way to go if you've got him... he's actually one of the non-negotiables... unless you can't afford him, in which case you'll be likely to use hawkins noel...
and... honestly, i don't believe in the power of a single sting, and i think neither does everyone else, dalhia/selma over sting is the best thing this deck can get to... but there's a 2nd best and that is to make ulrich or taljion into kristin, but honestly, that deck isn't any better than a 24* one with all the above and hawkins...
BTW: you're very wrong about taljion being the reason to make mono... scubb was intially the only reason why someone would want to make mono piranas, taljion is more of a support card to help strengthen mono. dalhia ISN'T an upgraded scubb, so you taking out scubb with dalhia is kinda gonna ruin the point of the mono deck
all of the above are pretty much staple...
I AM a fan of Scubb but currently it's hard to fit both him and Dahlia in without making a ton of sacrifices.
A few questions:
So you wouldn't Dalhia over Scubb if there's only room for 1 and the *s don't matter?
Would you take Scubb over Smokey if the *s don't matter?
Hawkins is the 8th man on the boat. To me he is just a huge downgrade from Smokey and while Spycee is such a weak card is the deck's only SOA option worse than the deck's 3rd or 4th worst pill manipulation option?
Finally, Kristin is nowhere near Sting's league. I've tried both, even in the same deck, and it's not even close. Sting is invaluable, Kristin is a constant disappointment.
Kristin doesn't have enough of a power advantage to win easily. If she wins it's going to be a huge pill war and then it isn't worth it because she doesn't do enough damage to KO even with fury, and she doesn't give you back any pills. Even ignoring *s I would take Smokey over Kristin. I can pill Smokey for 8+ because he's going to give me 3 back and Kristin isn't like that.
Even when she is a full stop:
Kristin has a slight advantage pill for pill against 6/6 4*s.
She's completely pill for pill against 4* 7/5s.
She's at pill disadvantage against 8/x 3*s, 8/x 4*s, 7x 3*s and most ELO played 5*s.
I practically always ended up using her SOA defensively, which was useful but Spycee would do the same thing easier.
It's really, really hard to trigger Confidence when her SOA and damge are both useful.
Sting could be replaced with Dahlia then Hawkins as the next card.
Just looking at the 4 top pill manipulators, if you completely disregard the * count, would you rank them:
Dalhia > Smokey > Scubb > Hawkins
Which makes Scubb the 3rd pill manipulation option and Hawkins the 4th...
Another way of looking at it is my ideal boat is weighing in too heavy at 27*s so someone has to go, and... push comes to shove, Scubb, Smokey, Ulrich or Dahlia are getting off before Sting is.
Taljion * * *
Scubb * * * *
Tyd * * *
Tula * *
Sting * * * *
Ulrich * * *
Smokey * * *
Dahlia * * * * *