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Author Topic: What new cards would you make to balance all the mages?  (Read 3585 times)

BoomFrog

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What new cards would you make to balance all the mages?
« on: March 02, 2014, 12:58:58 AM »
Continued from Charmyna's thread: Bringing all mages on par!

Without any errata what cards would you issue to balance the current meta?  The obvious ones right now are:

teleport negating boots,
very cheap wall that blocks LoS with no specific elemental weakness so it can block mage towers, and enable wall oriented tactics (subtle gorilla buff  :) )
Defensive dispell that only dispells enchantments on your mage to stop 'cheesy' golem pit/plant pit locks.
quick action beastmaster only range 2 weapon (this might actually be too good, maybe add a mana cost to use)
a holy familiar that can only heal
a warlock creature suitable for fighting non-living
defensive buffs for nature swarm
defensive universal buffs for warlord melee swarm
cheap friendly only movement incantation to enable defensive mobility play and defensive ranged play.

That's all I've got off the top of my head.

DeckBuilder

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Re: What new cards would you make to balance all the mages?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2014, 04:53:57 AM »
I think this is a great thread, Boomfrog, to capture all the great ideas that are out there.
Not just ideas to nerf the Wizard but, following Zuberi's Go Slow plan, to raise the others to his level.
For example a quick ranged weapon for Jokthari has been mentioned but AW were already on the case.

You would be surprised how many of these ideas are already back burners.
The problem is there is no "fixing mages" expansion as it is not thematic.
Instead you get insertions in thematic sets that stick out.
But it can't go on forever. How many promos this year so far? So how many promos per expansion? Do the maths.

I urge fans to post their creative ideas for weaker mages (but not Warlord, hopefully fixed, or Warlock vs Nonliving).
Don't let ACG have a monopoly! :)
As well as ideas that weaken the Wizard. So everybody, let's show some positively by showing off your creativity?
And let's all give them ideas to improve this game we love together?

Cards that help Jokthari, Priest, Straywood Swarm, Forcemaster non-Grizzly builds.
Cards that hurt Wizard too.
Ideas please?
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 05:24:56 AM by DeckBuilder »
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webcatcher

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Re: What new cards would you make to balance all the mages?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2014, 06:46:07 AM »
Don't forget cards that negate psychic immune so forcemaster doesn't have to leave half her cards at home.

BoomFrog

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Re: What new cards would you make to balance all the mages?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2014, 10:05:53 PM »
I think the balance of the game relies on every card having it's counter.  If any one card is so dominate that it's mandatory then the counter card should become commonly played.  Then the meta will shift and the first card should become unpopular.  For example veteran's belt was popular, than acidball rose in response, now veteran's belt is more rare and acid ball is falling in popularity on OCTGN.  We don't want the counter card to be only a silver bullet, it should be generally useful as well as extra useful against the specific problem card.

So let's design a counter to dissolve, dispel, teleport and other "mandatory spells".

Teleport is so powerful because you can essentially move your whole army of slow creatures simply by moving the opposing mage to them.  If teleporting the enemy mage was an unreliable tactic it would be less popular.  I think we need some sort of enchantment to will effectively negate the movement control.  Divine intervention is too powerful to give out to everyone.  Teleport immunity is too specific of a silver bullet, I'd like to come up with something more generally useful.  And eagleclaw boots are approaching mandatory anyway just to protect against pushes and that's not a good state of things either. 

That's why I proposed "Fall Back!" a war enchant that allows you to make a single move when revealed, thus outrunning the teleport pit of slow creatures and negating teleport for a cheaper mana and SP cost.  There are other possibilities, maybe an enchant that when revealed negates all damage for the rest of the round?  Or maybe a version of intercept for incantations to allow bodyguard creatures?  An enchant that when revealed redirects an incantation to a friendly valid target like a lesser version of negate but not mandatory reveal?

Dispel already has a printed counter card, Enchanter's ward stone, however that doesn't really work since as a conjuration it is never a surprise.  It turns out to be less useful than a mana crystal in most cases with the exception of mana denial strategies that keep an opponent below the threshold to dispel through wardstones.  But my real question is, why is this considered mandatory?  For me the only reason I keep putting it into decks is out of the fear of forcehold.  Forcehold is far too powerful when used on a mage, so I think the solution is to provide alternative solutions to forcehold and than dispel won't be needed for all decks.  I think an enchant that gives uncontainable seems like the obvious solution.  Either an air spell "mist form" or maybe a war spell "Juggernaut".  I would also like a cheaper self only dispel, maybe in the holy or war school.

Dissolve is already theoretically countered by armor ward.  So why doesn't armor ward work?  Because it makes them pay 4 extra once and than it gets dispelled.  You lost 3-4 SP and they lost 1-2 SP and 4 extra mana.  And as we know, in a game where you can match spells to attrition their spell book, the long game is all about the SP.  I think dispel and dissolve could be soft countered by an introduction of a new trait for enchantments and equipment called Ward +X.  Ward +X would mean they must pay an additional X mana to destroy this spell (if it's revealed).  Honestly I think dissolve and dispel were bad design decisions to start with and would love to see a lot of cards with Ward proportional to their spell level on them.

Alexander West

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Re: What new cards would you make to balance all the mages?
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2014, 01:25:03 AM »
Teleport already doesn't work to pull out a Turtle because of Enchantment Transfusion tricks.

I like the Fall Back and Mistform/Juggernaut ideas Boomfrog, good thinking on both.

I would like to see Obscured be more widely available.  It just seems like a good trait to make available to most mages since it messes with the Teleport game.  (It's why I suggested the Smoke conjuration in another thread.)  It doesn't make turtling any better, but it makes it one step harder to get someone in a pit.

I think you are underselling Armor Ward.  Sometimes it's a hard counter, otherwise they are always floating 4 extra mana which is a penalty on its own.  If you make them lose 4 on multiple Armor Wards, that adds up to a significant mana loss for their side, which could give you a game winning creature/pair of curses all other things being equal.  I think Enchanter's Stone could be flawed, but Armor Ward is awesome.  (Though, I wish it had cost 2Holy OR 2 War instead of one of each.)  Mana on the board trumps SP for most time stamps of the game.
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BoomFrog

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Re: What new cards would you make to balance all the mages?
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2014, 05:35:59 AM »
When I say armorward doesn't work as a counter I'm simply observing the fact that dissolve is still considered mandatory despite the existence of a counter card. If armor ward did make dissolve a bad play I'd expect dissolve use to have gone down. I now realize I overlooked an important factor.

Dissolve is the only possible counter to some equipment such as wands. That is probably why it is truly mandatory. If we made more alternative solutions to winning the wand war than disolve wouldn't be a must have counter.

What other equipment is must dissolve? Suppression cloak springs to mind. Maybe circlet of protection and helm of fear? This is where my lack of practical experience shows through.

sIKE

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Re: What new cards would you make to balance all the mages?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2014, 09:21:01 AM »
When I say armorward doesn't work as a counter I'm simply observing the fact that dissolve is still considered mandatory despite the existence of a counter card. If armor ward did make dissolve a bad play I'd expect dissolve use to have gone down. I now realize I overlooked an important factor.

Dissolve is the only possible counter to some equipment such as wands. That is probably why it is truly mandatory. If we made more alternative solutions to winning the wand war than disolve wouldn't be a must have counter.

What other equipment is must dissolve? Suppression cloak springs to mind. Maybe circlet of protection and helm of fear? This is where my lack of practical experience shows through.
If you are Charmyna anything that has the Armor +X trait....
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Alexander West

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Re: What new cards would you make to balance all the mages?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2014, 11:15:31 AM »
What you *need* to Dissolve depends heavily on the game being played, but:

* Veteran's Belt if you're going to ignore armor and accept 50% damage from your creatures.
* Mage Wand (Teleport) if you're trying to accomplish anything with creatures/pits.
* Dragonscale Hauberk and Elemental Cloak if you're trying to burn someone down.  (Other armor more efficiently acid balled.)
* Eagleclaw Boots if you have a push based strategy.
* Warhammer if you're in a non-moving creature brawl.  (50% daze on two targets is unacceptable.)
* Staff of Asyra if you're running a non-living/incorporeal book.
* Lash of Hellfire if you're running plants.

I think Wand of Dispeling might also be on the list for a curse based book, but I don't have enough experience there to speak to it.
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Re: What new cards would you make to balance all the mages?
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2014, 12:02:52 PM »
I think the balance of the game relies on every card having it's counter.  If any one card is so dominate that it's mandatory then the counter card should become commonly played.  Then the meta will shift and the first card should become unpopular.  For example veteran's belt was popular, than acidball rose in response, now veteran's belt is more rare and acid ball is falling in popularity on OCTGN.  We don't want the counter card to be only a silver bullet, it should be generally useful as well as extra useful against the specific problem card.

Acid Ball is more than just a hard counter to Veteran's Belt. That's why I didn't think the belt was that great; they released a hard counter to it in the same set that is also effective in a variety of other situations. It can act as a makeshift Dissolve most importantly, effectively removing their breastplate if you don't care about the element that's also reduced. Perhaps most importantly, given the current meta, Acid Ball is a hard counter to Voltaric Shield. It's also nice if you want to make a particular creature an opponent has dead faster (say a Forcemaster's Grizzly). The given ways of removing Corrodes are either expensive in mana or actions (except for Priestess).

As for your premise, I think that only works for hard counters. Acid Ball hard counters Veteran's Belt, but it's also a soft counter against armour in general (as is Dissolve). Yet armour +X spells are still popular.

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So let's design a counter to dissolve, dispel, teleport and other "mandatory spells".

You could put in as many soft counters as you please to these spells, but it won't make them less mandatory to players. The only way to make them unpopular would be to release cards that specifically shut them down.

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Teleport is so powerful because you can essentially move your whole army of slow creatures simply by moving the opposing mage to them.  If teleporting the enemy mage was an unreliable tactic it would be less popular.  I think we need some sort of enchantment to will effectively negate the movement control.  Divine intervention is too powerful to give out to everyone.  Teleport immunity is too specific of a silver bullet, I'd like to come up with something more generally useful.  And eagleclaw boots are approaching mandatory anyway just to protect against pushes and that's not a good state of things either.

Push spells aren't so popular anymore, and can't really be considered a poor version of Teleport anymore because Eagleclaw Boots is a hard counter (not to mention Iron Golem). They will likely not go away, because there are so many spells that have some sort of Push effect on them (Jet Steam, Push, Thornlasher, etc). On top of that, easy access to climb is useful...

Even if all mages had access to Obscured (Teleport soft counter), 2-4 Teleports would still end up in every build. Part of this is because even if you can no longer Teleport your opponent, moving your stuff or your opponent's creatures can still be very valuable (I think it would hurt "Pit" strategies the most). However, part of this is also because a more difficult position game is still worth playing.

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That's why I proposed "Fall Back!" a war enchant that allows you to make a single move when revealed, thus outrunning the teleport pit of slow creatures and negating teleport for a cheaper mana and SP cost.

I assume this wouldn't be a mandatory reveal? If it isn't, then that's ridiculously powerful. If you could put it on your opponent to force a move, then it would be stupidly powerful... Imagine DI, except now everyone has 4 or 6 of them... *Shudder*

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There are other possibilities, maybe an enchant that when revealed negates all damage for the rest of the round?

That would need to have some sort of penalty for using it, probably reduced channeling for the next round.

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Or maybe a version of intercept for incantations to allow bodyguard creatures?  An enchant that when revealed redirects an incantation to a friendly valid target like a lesser version of negate but not mandatory reveal?

If it's not a mandatory reveal, then it wouldn't be a lesser version of Nullify, it would BE the new Nullify. The main issue with Nullify is that it's triggered with Decoy or other enchantments the opponent doesn't really care about before the Teleport/other nasty incantation hits you. This avoids that, at the cost of having to keep a creature around. That's...decently balanced I suppose?

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Dispel already has a printed counter card, Enchanter's ward stone, however that doesn't really work since as a conjuration it is never a surprise.  It turns out to be less useful than a mana crystal in most cases with the exception of mana denial strategies that keep an opponent below the threshold to dispel through wardstones.

Wardstone is a soft counter to Dispel, Explode, and Corrosive Orchid (and probably a hard counter to Purge Magic). A soft counter isn't going to remove a card from the meta. That said, I find Wardstones to be useful for an enchantment heavy build in general (the psychological component of making your opponent pay extra often makes her/him make bad decisions...for example not bothering to dispel your important stuff, plus if they do dispel your enchantments a lot then you get more out of it than you would from a Mana Flower/Crystal).

More soft counters would probably be fine, but I would avoid hard counters since that would break enchantments in general.

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But my real question is, why is this considered mandatory?  For me the only reason I keep putting it into decks is out of the fear of forcehold.  Forcehold is far too powerful when used on a mage, so I think the solution is to provide alternative solutions to forcehold and than [sic] dispel won't be needed for all decks.  I think an enchant that gives uncontainable seems like the obvious solution.  Either an air spell "mist form" or maybe a war spell "Juggernaut".  I would also like a cheaper self only dispel, maybe in the holy or war school.

Even with a hard counter to Force Hold like that, Dispel would still be worth including for dealing with other enchantments. I'm almost sure the Warlock's Familiar will be in the next set; I played a game once as a cursing Warlock against an opponent with no Dispels (my opponent was taking 2-4 direct damage each turn, couldn't heal, was Slow, etc), and that was a fun game for me. I wouldn't recommend it to an opponent though.

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Dissolve is already theoretically countered by armor ward.  So why doesn't armor ward work?  Because it makes them pay 4 extra once and than [sic] it gets dispelled.  You lost 3-4 SP and they lost 1-2 SP and 4 extra mana.

Armor Ward works much better if you have a Wardstone or two out. On top of that it's a non-mandatory reveal that can effectively counter a Dissolve spell if your opponent can't pay that extra four mana. Plus if they Dispel it, that uses up one of their precious Dispels that now can't be used against a nastier enchantment (Force Hold, for example).

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And as we know, in a game where you can match spells to attrition their spell book, the long game is all about the SP.  I think dispel and dissolve could be soft countered by an introduction of a new trait for enchantments and equipment called Ward +X.  Ward +X would mean they must pay an additional X mana to destroy this spell (if it's revealed).  Honestly I think dissolve and dispel were bad design decisions to start with and would love to see a lot of cards with Ward proportional to their spell level on them.

I wouldn't mind more Ward-like effects.

When I say armorward doesn't work as a counter I'm simply observing the fact that dissolve is still considered mandatory despite the existence of a counter card. If armor ward did make dissolve a bad play I'd expect dissolve use to have gone down. I now realize I overlooked an important factor.

Dissolve is the only possible counter to some equipment such as wands. That is probably why it is truly mandatory. If we made more alternative solutions to winning the wand war than [sic] disolve [sic] wouldn't be a must have counter.

You mean like Corrosive Orchid (isn't stopped by Nullify) or Steal Equipment (ignores Armor Ward, possible tempo advantage)?

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What other equipment is must dissolve? Suppression cloak springs to mind. Maybe circlet of protection [sic] and helm of fear? This is where my lack of practical experience shows through.

It depends on what sort of book you're playing and what equipment your opponent has. If you are heavily specialized in Fire/Lightning damage, then getting rid of the Dragonscale Hauberk/Storm Drake Hide and Elemental Cloak are musts. Regrowth Belt and Sunfire Amulet are good targets, as is Sectarus or Libro Mortuous and certain other weapons (such as JBM's bow or Warlock's Lash of Hellfire), Dancing Scimitar, Forcemaster'S Psi-Orb, etc. Basically anything that is important to the opponent's strategy or makes it harder for you to complete your strategy.

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Re: What new cards would you make to balance all the mages?
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2014, 06:32:10 AM »
Anti-Magic Aura

Lvl 2 War Enchantment
Range : 0-2
Target : Corporeal Creature
Cost : (2) (X)

You may reveal Anti-Magic Aura during the Counter Spell step to counter an Incantation or Enchantment targeting this creature.
x = cost of the card being countered

- A boost to a school needing some love ( War )
- An efficient counter to Teleport imo
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