I want to ask some simple questions:
How high do you rank Stop Opp. Bonus amongst other abilities, especially comparing it to SOA?
Do you usually prefer SOB on lower level walls or on higher level damage dealing cards?
During my first years playing this game, in deck building, SOB was viewed as an equal or even slightly better ability as SOA, for good reasons.
First of all, SOB triggeres every game, as the opponent will always have at least one active bonus on 3 or 4 cards.
A lot of the ELO payable cards didn't have abilities (most of the pussycats, nannok, noodile, dorian etc.)
The abilities were most of the time similar or weaker than the bonuses (-2 opp. damage, -4 opp. atk., -1 opp. power etc.) so countering them was not as important as nowadays. The real problem-causing abilities were the massive damage reduction like uranus and graksmxxt
Nowadays, a much bigger part of ELO playable cards have abilities.
The overall power of abilities usually exceeds the power of the bonuses.
For example, some common abilities: -3 opp. damage min 2 or 1, poison 3 or poison 2 min 1, -3 opp. power, support +1 power, support +1 damage, +1 life per damage etc. All these abilities are strictly better than the bonuses and so countering them is much more important.
Do you feel SOB has a specific place in deck building or it is only used when coupled with some outstanding stats (for the level of the card), like Lehane?
I really like SOB. I find that in the current ELO meta, attack manipulation clans appear about 70% of the time, and SOB clans about 20% of the time. This said, cards like Gibson, flanagan, Edd Cr, and to a lesser extent, samantha, are invaluable.
These will give you a MONSTER advantage over the opponent, and will frequently turn into an ability that would be considered "broken"...essentially the inverse of the bonus you're countering. For example, against montanas, SOB is +12 attack. Against nightmare using junkz, it's +8 attack. All extremely good abilities, which are frequently seen on banned cards in some form or another (ghumbo, askai)
At its worst, it has no effect....but that person is either running a 3/1 split, or is just running a rainbow deck. Either way, you don't need the ability at that point. Even against a clan like pussycats, it's invaluable..junkz for example don't have high damage, so you need to get that 4 through on gibson, and it counters their dr ability. You can use flanagan as a dr against fpc, and make their chan look downright foolish. Finally, it avoids those pesky stop cards like flinch.
TL;DR, SOB is easily one of the best, most reliable abilities in the game, maybe only surpassed by powerful support abilities.
I guess SOB is the better ABILITY on urban, but it has to be coupled with an attack bonus.
SOB in bonus needs an attack/power ability (it's rare, magenta, Taljion) to be interesting.
Why? 'Cause SOB is very good to win rounds, if possible with one pillz less. Having an advantage (the attack/power modifcation that the card own) and take away the one that the opponent could have.
It's why Flanagan, Lehane, Guru cr are such better than Gertrud (), thomas, or even marlysa: they reduce damages (berserk, Junta), deal more (pussy), remove the bonus of the opponent but do not take an absolute advantage.
To compare with old ELO, you have to notice that bonus have changed too. There is a lot of bonuses that dont help to win the round. It's why SOB lost importance.
SOB as an ability is alot more useful on lower starred cards and as the guy above me said, coupled with attk manip its a frightening, hard to face, combination
The simple reason is that you don't want to pill largely vs Lea, Lehane or Taljion, but you are forced to compensate for 'at least one' of their pillz......cards like this are very hard to predict pill wise and force a large number of pillz to counter + they cant simply be DR'd.....their only proper counter is a defeatxx card
Id say Gibson, Petra and Edd Cr are even more annoying than the above because they add decent dmg to the equation as well....so now your forced to pill to block heavy dmg as well as bypassing their attk manip
And as the guy above me said, SOB cards without any attk manip aren't that great, Tomas and Kuei are the prime examples here...which both seem very good on paper, but aren't actually overly great
WIth the release of Skeelz and berzerk reliance on Bonuses has dropped quite a bit and a new wave of high powered cards with good abilities has meant that clans that used to suck vs SOB are gaining stronger adv's....not to mention Protection: bonus
So all in all Id say SOB is still useful to have, especially on the above mentioned....but not a necessity anymore like it used to be
Glad to see that I'm, at least, understandable
My name is Jule, it's not as hard to write as to pronounce for englishspoken. I'll think about "guy-above-me"
After the big fail (named in another way Vickie cr and Guru cr), the staff decided to control SOB ability It's why petra, gibson or edd are desperately blanced, and boring to play. Not bad, there are not "big" card though. Hefty is a little better, but staff has understood that make SOB with damages + attacking bonus is very very dangerous. It's why I said it's the better ability of the game, and staff is feared about it.
There is one card which is hard to analyse: Lamar cr. When it was forbidden, it took advantage of metagame with Pussy1, caciope1, and others AS. Now, with a lot of bonus non-offensive + 8P cards, it's not strongest as before. This card is balanced within a clan which is not. Looking at why it's balanced now and why it was not before (be sure it was really too strong...I do remind a game vs Raven, in event, when he played Clara + Kero+marlysa to block it, he won with an anti-lamar deck, quite revealing that it was the big threat) help to understand why SOB has an importance which decrease this last 3 years. They still be the perfect block for 2*, and persons who play sentinel do it 'cause Lehane....
In clans with atk. manipulation SOB is so good because it ensures you will have that atk. advantage even against other atk. / power manipulation clans.
But overall SOB I feel that really is not that game-changing as it used to be.
Let's take cards like kuei, with his ability triggered he is similar to Lamar, even better because even without the bonus he still has 8 power and decent damage. Of course revenge needs to be active, but that's one of the easiest abilities to trigger.
Now let's talk about chlora, initially I thought she is a beast. Even if the bonus is considered worst than all stars bonus, it's sometimes better against all this protection: power cards. She has the stats and star level of striker and the ability of lamar.
So how come no one is playing bangers? It's simple, because, IMO, SOA has become better than SOB.
On the other hand we have fuzz 6/8 SOA and he is far from dominating ELO, although his bonus is a little worse. At this particular moment Lamar may not be that powerful as he used to be, and there are now a lot more counters to him. For 5 stars I think he is more balanced than striker is for 4 stars
I don't understand why you compare SOA and SOB. They are not design for the same reason. I guess the most important question is, I take your sentence: "Do you usually prefer SOB on lower level walls or on higher level damage dealing cards?"
I prefer SOB in low-level card, to block, the staff design them in order to win round but inflict weak damages. And I prefer SOA in big cards, because my threat (I have, without semi evo, 2 main threat in my deck) needs to be solid, and inflict damages without pb. As the defensive ability are strongest than defensive bonus, they are better for this.
I prefer flanagan as graff, even with graff with 7p. I prefer Yayoi full than 3 stars. And if Lyse is the best 3* ever, she could be strongest with SOB, in order to win round: it's not her job to deal damages!
You've well said what I think about SOA becoming better than SOB. But it's general case, and it has to be nuanced between low and high level cards. The staff does well I think, splitting the use of this two ability in 2 case well separated.
I would say yes and no to you Jule
Actually I do find SOB and SOA pretty similar in what they do: counter the "advantages" that others cards have.
in the end, in an actual combat, having an opponent card with -10 opp atk as a bonus or as an ability is the same thing, if you don't have SOB or SOA. Having both or one of them in your deck is a question of card choice from the cards available.
The concept of "walls" in UR is not that well defined. Sure you can call a wall a high power / atk card with low damage, but their function, IMO, is not that important.
Most of the time you will win 2 rounds and lose 2 rounds, if one of that rounds you win with a 2 damage card, you have pretty low chances of winning the combat. Even if you save your pillz to counter a big damage card with Lehane for example you may actually lose the combat because you don't deal enough damage.
This feature of being "wall-like" is a nice one to have on a low lvl card, but I usually prefer other abilities like damage reduction, defeat abilities or something that forces the opponent to use pillz, like heavy atk manipulation, poison or pillz manipulation.
Actually we don't have SOA cards with low damage in an atk manipulation clan, like we have lehane or flanagan. We may find that they may be equally useful as walls as SOB cards are... because countering poison or +X life per damage or +X damage cards etc. sometimes is worth a lot more than damage reduction.
Also countering massive atk or power manipulation like support +4/5 atk or support +1 power can be a lot better than having SOB on a low lvl card with high power.
It all depends on the situation but overall abilities have become stronger than the bonuses so having SOA is more important and it is, IMO, comparable to SOB
As you said, SOA is preferable on the high lvl, high damage cards, because it passes through damage reduction, defeat abilities but also because it denies all those power / atk manipulation found on many other high lvl cards. And in the end the high lvl cards are the ones that we first choose when making a deck and the ones that wins us the fights, so SOA becomes much more desirable to have.
After this week I can say the comparison between SOA and SOB has a lot to do with the current week.
For example, this past 2 weeks with freaks having their best team available, a lot of players either used freaks or had some SOB to stop them, as the power of their bonus coupled with the 14 life ELO is pretty strong. This meant, as far as I seen, a pretty low presence of the SOA clans... which "allowed" some nice usage of clans that rely on good abilities, like sentinels, uppers etc.