In the coming weeks (hopefully starting this week) I will be running a little test. In the previous week Kalindra was in play and I noticed a ridiculous amounts of games where I knew I had the game won or lost after the 1st round.
I will be be tracking the following stats from my games:
number of games decided prior to playing a single round
number of games decided after the 1st round
number of games decided after 2 rounds
number of games that was determined on the outcome of round 3
Since ELO has gone to 14 life and most matches play out all 4 rounds, if you have enough of an early lead in pills and damage due to your opponents' pilling mistake, it's pretty consistent to have a situation where you can put your opponent in a no-win situation turn 3 or even turn 2. Junkz and Sentinels are especially great at this, which is why they are so popular.
Grudj and Baldovino can really, really blow you out of the match. I've had matches where I no pill bluffed with Grudj, and my opponent decided to toss a 2*. So I began round 2 with 14 pills and up 10 life- immediate concession. These characters nullify SOA, SOB and DR, as SOA, SOB and DR only kick in on losing the round. So you have to fight them or concede and hope your opponent has grossly overpilled. And if you choose to counter them with a combat/ combat character, you still can be far behind if it was just a bluff- you've basically wasted both your best fighter and pills. You've given up a severe strategic advantage as your best fighters are most important on turn 3 and least important on turn 1.
I feel like ELO is at least partially about exploiting the meta. A good deck can stand up to the flavor-of-the week decks, and the decks designed specifically to counter them. With that in mind, IMO you are at a disadvantage this week if you're not running at least a little bit of SoB.
0 round wins are exactly what i am saying they are
they are not projections, gut feelings, etc. zero round wins are unstoppable wins if the player plays it right
games decided in round 0 and round 1 are bad for gameplay in my opinion. deck construction and skill and luck are all factors in this game. games being decided based on the result of round 1 is an increase in the importance of luck.
cards that were round 1 game deciders in the past...
now we have more card combinations that can be round 1 game deciders...
neither are actually conducive to good quality game play in my opinion.
Tally for the week
1 - 11
2 - 25
3 - 15
undetermined (timeout, disconnect, whatver i couldnt tell) - 2
made a real effort to play conservatively and not go for game deciding moves in round 2 even though opportunities are there but are too high risk
my assessment of the meta is basically this:
there are is an abundance of amazing cards out there that can decide games or more often, pairings of cards that can decide games (ie. Greem or Karrion with some strong DR, high powered nukes with good support). Because of the amount of game changing cards -- playing super risky will actually net you quite a few wins (for the sake of argument lets say about 50% of your matches if you play like a risky maniac with your hand). winning about 50%, or less, of your games is good enough to get to 1300 elo if you play enough.
These hands are extremely dangerous vs good players. In the past, weak players rarely had hands that could threaten more skilled opponents. not the case now... luck of the draw a far bigger factor now
thats my two cents. im sure some of the veteran ELO players that are still active now can make a better assessment than i can
After playing 50+ elo games each week, I can safely say that nowadays, there are only three ways to start a game in elo:
1. double old
2. nuke with your highest-damaged card in the first round
3. 1-pill (to beat old...such a nuanced tactic is only used by skilled pros!)
So doing well in elo comes down to correctly guessing what some 14-yo kid on the other side of the world is thinking
Love this test waster!!!
Perfectly shows what is currently wrong with ELO...it isn't necessarily just the 'big gappers' that are the issue...it's the very strong low star support and backup that goes with it
Easiest example follows....Rescue are all but nullified thanks to Lea/Elvira being banned....they got two of their strongest high stars back yet they are rather underpowered (avid Rescue fans will disagree with me here)
Other examples....Jungo was nowhere near as strong as they are now before Jean's release. Without Sasha/Chiara/Dr Falkenstein or Sandro's help would Greem be as good? Would Muze be as scary without Clover and Lucy?
Obvious NO! answers here....the simple fact is nukes by themselves are controllable, but not when you chuck in super strong backup as well.
Is there a 'fix' for this? Not really...and that's the problem...banning nukes does little as countless bans on Rescue and Sentinel showed...Cliff was banned every other week now he's hardly seen...but on the flipside banning 2 and 3* support really hurts the clan too much....i actually wouldn't mind seeing Lea back in ELO and I hate Lea!!
As Waster has said...seemingly 'good players' are getting tromped by noob tactics and it's really that simple. 6 pilling used to be scoffed at, now it's an actual problematic threat alot of the time...certain clans can't afford to let any poison in...and some draws have lost simply due to 30ld + fury nuke
While I feel that this is a good test and a lot of good points have been made, I still can't help but feel that the picture you guys are painting is simply not accurate.
Any time you make a move, there are only three ways your opponent can respond to it. 1: Your opponent "passes," or 1-pills something. 2: Your opponent tries to read, playing enough pills to beat what he thinks your move was. 3: Your opponent tries to win the round, pilling hard to try to secure a pivotal win. Those are the three options; pass, read, or beat. That is a fundamental part of UR gameplay, and yes, it means that some parts of the game are reduced to guesswork. It is NOT dependent on the meta.
A very good point that has been made is that strong low-star cards allow decks that are stacked with more big nukes. However, has that really contributed to the game being more "unfair?" Was it fair in the past when one player would draw 4 strong cards, and the other would draw 3 strong cards and one "throw-away" card?
I have enjoyed ELO the whole time I've been here, and felt that it has maintained a pretty good balance. There are a couple of strong players with a tactical style of play that I keep in touch with on a regular basis, and they feel the same way. We discuss fine aspects of deck composition, and we run big winning streaks multiple times per week. Obviously we've all had those games where we're defeated by "noob tactics," but that seems to be the exception rather than the norm.
It's not about whether the old or the new is better, though. That's an opinion question -- there's no right or wrong answer.
The questions I'm interested in is whether most of UR feels that ELO is a strategic mode or not... And if it is not strategic enough, what can be done to better it?