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becoming a little bit more prominent, and many clans are getting powerful 8 power cards, SoB clans are starting to feel outdated.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...
That's my issue, haha. If you try to strengthen all the clans one at a time, some clans will always be much weaker, and ELO for a few weeks will simply be decided by new releases. It would actually be better if new powerhouse releases were in clans that traditionally oppose each other, and kept them balanced.
My point is, not too long ago I actually said (to you, by the way!) that all clans are pretty much ELO-playable, and most clans are good in ELO, but now we're starting to sharply lean away from that trend. Now it feels like you have to play the clans with the best temp unbans most of the time.
As you said, a draw of Jungo 1/1/3/7 seems like way weak against SOB clan, but actually no. Jungo low stars such as Jean, Pegh, are the last cards Nightmare and Piranas want to fight against, and check your damage when you are blocked, Ector turns out to be 2, Raeth-2, Edwin-2, Pan-3, what's more, when play against Jean, cards like Tula, Puff, Edwin, Artus, Oshitsune can hardly get a hit, and Piranas lost the pill manipulation which they rely on.
@Yuri: Sorry, I'm still not seeing it. I think if you tried playing such a Jungo hand against Piranas you would have a hard time. There is a chance that the utility of those low-star cards could salvage the game for you, and a smart player who makes some gutsy moves can win some really bad hands... But you would be at a severe disadvantage. I think you are just assuming that the low-star cards can be used in a way that would make the most of their utility, but that will often be impossible.
Pegh: half of Nightmare go right through DR, and Piranas pill manipulation is not effected by DR. Knocking a few damage off Azel or Dalhia only helps your game a little bit.
Jean: All it means for the game is that your Piranas or NM opponent is going to play his SoA-vulnerable card on a defensive turn.
But enough of that... You're missing the bigger picture here, my friend. Let's assume you are correct -- Jungo vs SoB is fine. All that means is that SoB clans are even more useless in the current meta than I tried to express, and need even more help, right?
Thing is, piranhas are kinda susceptible to ability SOA (Puff, Tula, Coleridge) while they don't have a dependable all stops themselves (although Kristin does kick butt when she gets her confidence). Add in the fact that their main DR card is often banned while they don't have a cheaper version like the Nightmare does (Artus) or a more bluff-able version like Nistarok, and you will find that piranha players do have to bluff and use their pill manip opportunities properly to get anywhere. In such situations, their only saving Grace is their ability to run circles around the opponent with their pill manip, but even then they have to be careful since their 2HKO options are kinda limited.
Dude by being susceptible to soa they get Sob .. and every clan does have its weakness.
Piranas half maybe?
Hawkins Ector Raeth Lizbeth ? / Selma? Even Mono
Hawkins Ector Tyd Raeth Hawkins Puff / Tula Ector Tyd Taljion Andsom Raeth Coleridge Scubb
Same deck but with no Coleridge + Scubb replaced by Andsom + Selma/Lizbeth/Bloodh