This week in ELO has brought a game balance problem to my attention. Now that Copy Bonus cards are becoming a little bit more prominent, and many clans are getting powerful 8 power cards, SoB clans are starting to feel outdated. In UR's delicate ecosystem, SoB clans were usually a balancing force. They messed up games for clans that have incredibly good synergy between bonus and ability. A good deck had to be able to defend against both SoA and SoB without losing the ability to win rounds.
A good example of how damaging underpowered SoB clans are to the game is Jungo. Askai is currently unbanned, and the vast majority of ELO players are either running him or have tried to run him this week. If SoB clans weren't weak in the current metagame, running Jungo would pose a risk of a low damage draw, even with Askai. Many Jungo staples have mediocre damage, if they are deprived of their bonus. With SoB clans too weak to threaten Jungo, they are becoming overused. The same can be said of All Stars... Deprived of their incredible round-winning bonus, they struggle to secure the rounds they need. However with Saki's arrival, and Robb Cr unbanned, All Stars pack an even bigger round winning punch and gain the ability to wall vs SoB clans.
Has anyone else noticed this? I think Lizbeth is a step in the right direction, but her price puts her out of reach of many players...
KillerYuri Hero Monday 17/09/2012, 17:00
I don't think SOB can really threaten Jungo that much
Fapfap Titan Monday 17/09/2012, 18:49
Well SoB clans are strong and can fight montana or rescue so easy.Take for example Raeth or Taljion hand vs rescue,not to mention nightmare's raw power.Yea saki is strong and she is doing miracles and i guess beeboy is a beast(haven't seen him in action yet) ,sometimes u have to use rock vs scissors or ban them
Blue_Muffin Master Monday 17/09/2012, 23:15
Piranas are fine. Sure, a bit lacking in Life Manipulation compared to most other clans but otherwise they're fine.
Nightmare should actually be pretty strong right now. Lots of Life Manipulation cards like Karrion, Artus, Cutey, ect.
@ Blue_Muffin: If SoB clans are fine, where were they last week? Piranas had a great release, even!
@ DareSurfMeHOA: Rescue is still a bit OP; best attack bonus and an abundance of high-gap cards. I maintain that even with the new bans, they are one of the easiest clans to play in ELO.
@ Killer_Yuri: With an abundance of low-star staples that deal 1-3 base damage, Jungo needs to fight much harder to overcome SoB. A draw of 1/1/3/7 or 1/3/3/6 base damage would be an uphill fight vs SoB clans, while the same hands look pretty strong against other clans. The same applies to Jungo in a half deck.
Sorry sent before i finished
However....the cards aforementioned were a bit too strong in that, not only did they help against SOB but they completely steamrolled the clans that their clan was already good against.
I don't think we really want a Rock/paper/scissors situation in ELO...I don't want to have my Nightmare...then be like 'oh look AS I win'...'oh no skeelz i lose' like it used to be with Skeelz/rescue/gheist
However I think Ghelas is right in that we do need to help our SOB clans a bit since the meta now revolves around beast abilities.
ON saying that though I think it's simply difficult to release good new cards without completely destroying something else somewhere. I mean let's say we give Piranas the DR they need...a good one! They will be everywhere then we'll be complaining 'oh look SOB clans are too strong, what happened to the other clans? WHy do rescue suck now?'
edited by ArtemisBZ tuesday 18/09/2012, 08:17
The decline of SOB is related to the decline of the SOA clans.
the SOB clans tended to have medium power and nasty abilities. They could turn most matches into pill fights and have scarier abilities and enough power to have the advantage... .like what Montana or Rescue vs Piranas used to look like.
the power creep has hurt the SOB clans quite a bit. There are more 8 powered cards that have advantage over them in a pill fight. There are nasty abilities out there that match or surpass their own. Protect Bonus/Ability and Copy Bonus have hurt them too.
The game overall has become more about nasty abilities paired with high power. Power creep has had a huge impact on the meta of this game, and that will not change until the pool of cards available in a given mode is altered. There are so many good cards out there now that many clans are able to put out solid mono decks.
SOB still has its place, just not as big as it used to be. Much like how the Roots and Gheist have a much reduced role due to bans to their line up.
@Wats_Happenin: I definitely see your point, but I think it's just a matter of being a little more careful with the new cards. Beeboy would have been fine if he was Courage, Revenge, or Confidence-based. Saki would have been fine if she had 1 less power -- still a good card, but not something deserving bans.
It's honestly okay for clans to have weaknesses... Because what that does is encourage dual-clan decks and more creative play. I don't think that we should shoot for having clans that hold up okay against everything. That just results in a game that's more based on guesswork than good strategy and good deck composition. Can you imagine this game with 22 clans that ALL work great in Mono?
@Waster: Interesting take, but I think that the answer is much more simple. Power creep is a necessary evil, but it needs to be equal. We're at a point where it wouldn't be so bad if 100% of cards released were cards that weaker clans desperately need. After a few months of that, we would probably have a healthier looking meta-game.
I find SoA clans to be rather prominent on most weeks, myself. Roots have transformed from a SoA DR clan into a SoA attack manip clan, which is almost as much of pain. At high enough ELO, you tend to see a lot of them. GHEIST are fairly strong as well -- they're just better in a half-deck. Also, a good splash, such as Spiaghi, makes up for what these clans are lacking right now.