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becoming a little bit more prominent, and many clans are getting powerful 8 power cards, SoB clans are starting to feel outdated.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...
Saintrl Master Thursday 27/09/2012, 22:22
@ghelas I disagree about the SoB only leveling the playing field. Some clans get hit HARD by SoB, effectively negating their main strategy (all atk manip clans, all power manip clans, SoA clans, Vortex) Only clans that don't get hit as hard are the dmg manip clans, life manip (although that can still suck for certain Jungo draws), other SoB clans, and Skeelz. If you compare the number of atk and power manip clans to the number of other clans SoB doesn't hurt as badly, you can see that SoB shuts down a majority of clans in the game. Individual ability-based SoB and CoB cards are just that, ONE CARD out of a 4 card draw. A smart and experienced player can play around that one card.
So as I have just explained, SoB doesn't 'level the playing field' at best; against most clans it is a game changing factor your opponent has to consider when they' would normally rely on atk or power manip or any other clan bonus.
@Saint: Sorry, I don't see what makes you say that. I think you're making assumptions rather than considering the lineup of every particular clan.
Most clans, even attack manip clans these days, have a good number of staples with 7 power and good gap. SoB clans don't act as a "game changer" against those clans -- they only negate the advantage as much as another attack manip clan would. In that situation, it's my 7 powered card against yours. So, saying "SoB clans shut down attack manip clans" is comparable to saying "attack manip clans shut down attack manip clans." They don't.
Now, let's go over what hurts SoB clans even in the "ideal" situation of facing an attack or power manip clan...
Ability SoA (because of those low-ish natural stats, many SoB clan cards rely on strong abilities. It's easy enough to get an ability reliant draw where the fact that your opponent has an ability SoA does translate into a serious disadvantage for you.)
8 power (rare in SoB clans, but starting to become pretty common in many others.)
I'm counting on you to draw your own conclusion from this.
Saintrl Master Friday 28/09/2012, 03:44
@ghelas Did you not read what I just wrote before my previous post??? Ability based SoA, SoB, and CoB are usually going to be one card out of your opponent's 4 card draw. A experienced player will know how to play around that. Also there're the non-clan related aspect of the game, including calling bluffs and perfect pilling your opponent. Piranas ' pillz manip is one of the most dangerous mind-game creating abilities in the game; pillz manip allows you to overpill to win without losing advantage even if your opponent might have atk manip or higher power. It's not all about who has more power or better atk manip.
And in accordance with your previous statement: please explain to me a situation in which I'd see a card lineup with more than one or two 8 powered, SoB, CoB, or Protection: Bonus cards. Do please explain to me a situation in which I'd see a ENTIRE hand or deck that would kill a Piranas or Nightmare deck consistently and almost ALL the time. I am heavily of the opinion you're talking about situational cards or draws that normally do not do too well against other decks that do not contain a SoB clan.
Well Ghelas I think that everything currently has to do with the meta...for instance currently Nightmare is destroying ELO with Azel and the amount of times I've faced Karrion/Azel/Kenny is beyond ridiculous....tbh I'm actually sick of Nightmare this week lol
Piranas are the hit hard clan...that's because of a few things
1. They have no dr's
2. Their old great 2* are kinda iffy these days except for Hawkins....poor old Tula has been left well behind the bell curve
3. They have 1 good 4*, and some shaky other options
Lizbeth wasn't what they needed...they need a solid 4* and a bloody DR lol...give them an artus and piranas will be fine
As I keep trying to explain, this situation is starting to become really, really common. Does this sound like an impossible draw to you?
-One 8 power (or 7 power with ability attack manip)
-One 3* with decent gap and 7 power
-One ability SoA OR CoB OR SoB
-One good DR or Defeat
To me this is a typical, well-balanced hand that any ELO deck worth its salt should be able to draw, and as I keep trying to explain... I draw hands like this all the time, oddly enough. You forget that in addition to 8 powers, SoB, CoB, ability attack manip etc etc etc low-star 7 powers will usually beat SoB clan cards pill-for-pill, too! A 7 power 3* is almost as good for beating Azel or Karrion as an 8 power.
@wats_happenin: I do agree that Piranas are much harder hit by this than NM. I have been seeing a lot of NM lately, too, but they honestly feel like a free win 75% of the time, with an occasional one sneaking one of those high-gap cards through. With a good round-winner and a good SoA or DR in my hand, I definitely feel like I'm more in control of those games than my opponent is (most of the time.)
Saintrl Master Friday 28/09/2012, 17:01
@wats-happenin I don't think Piranas are that behind just because they don't have one card. Mono-Piranas still has some great options including many support cards which are pretty good and playable like Puff, Scubb, and Tajilion. And by solid 4* did you mean Raeth? Also I really don't think a lack of a usable DR is something that kills a clan. If you look at Nightmare they'll only use 1 DR in their deck and you'll only draw it a fraction of the time meaning you'll have to deal with draws that doesn't have a DR in it. Now I'll admit, no DR does make it difficult for Piranas to create a life-gap with Piranas and splashing in Spiaghi or Uranus may not work out as well as most people would think. So obviously this means people can't just all-pill 3rd round and just sit back and let the DR do its work. But regardless I think that Piranas are still a very strong clan with their own strengths. Oh and yeeeeeeesssss, it'll only be a matter of time before we finally get a amazing release for Piranas which'll convince all the noobs that Piranas are worth playing just like when everyone decided Gheist was worth playing when Hriger came out. Really I don't think that any clan is weak right now, they just need to be used correctly.
0_4DPaladin Veteran Thursday 22/11/2012, 02:45
(From the point of mono-Piranas) For reasons that take too long to explain, Piranas still pwn, please stop thinking otherwise
Although a DR would help, I can see the reason for not having one: Piranas are rock-freaking solid. SOB shuts out Roots and GHEIST, and most of thier abilities are some really useful pillz manip. (Hawkins, or Selma) or attack manip (Raeth, Taljion). Although a suprising amout of players justn say "Herp Derp splash uranus", she doesn't have SOB, GHEIST/Roots rip her apart, along with she messes with my Scubb and Taljion.
The reason Piranas might seem like a weak clan is that soooooooo many players make rookie mistakes. Don't take this the wrong way Ghelas, but using Lizbeth is one of the worst mistakes ANY piranas player can make. Selma is truely the only 5 star to use, maybe Dahlia, but honestly 5 damage is pathetic and doesn't help any bit with their damage And now I regret making Dahlia seem comparable to Selma. One last jab at Lizbeth: Having her in your hand and your opponent with even just one SOA card, your opponent practically forces you into playing her in one of two rounds. Not only this, but she becomes a puny 6/4 if you try to take a suprise-SOA shot with her, whereas selma is much, much better. Lizbeth is a step in the WRONG direction, and is really only good for her artwork, if anything.
TL;DR, Mono Piranas>Split piranas. Selma>>>>>>>>>>>>>Lizbeth, DR would make Piranas worse than present Jungo and AS combined. and Selma>Lizbeth
0_4DPaladin Veteran Thursday 22/11/2012, 02:50
I just necro'ed, sorry thought this was a legit topic lol. Awkward.
That one time when you necro something by accident instead of on purpose, huh?
At any rate, excellent reply. It's true that Piranas have a nice bag of tricks up their barnacle-covered sleeves, but I think their lack of gap can be a very difficult thing to overcome. Piranas don't deal well with DR, and they deal even worse with Defeat, which is starting to become much more common. The bottom line is that they are starting to feel very underpowered in a world where it's not unusual for a 3* to gap for 6.
You're right about Selma -- she is a powerhouse. I think Lizbeth is still a great card, though. The odds of your opponent drawing 2 ability SoA cards in ELO are practically 0. There's not much of an issue with your opponent forcing her into one of two rounds with 1 SoA, and that's because she's a 9-powered SoB on those turns. Forcing her into one of two possible rounds only makes her *somewhat* easier to fight.
We are definitely getting into the murky realm of opinion here... Everybody has a different play style, which sometimes lends itself to a certain clan -- I am, for whatever reason, a pretty good Vortex player in ELO. I think that your particular style may make it easy to steal 3-round wins with the Piranas... They can be an excellent clan for that, in the right hands. But what's not a matter of opinion is that by today's standards, their gap is low, and that keeps them from being what could otherwise be a much stronger clan.