Hey again everyone, this discussion sure took an interesting turn since I’ve been at work, so I haven’t been able to keep up with it. A couple general remarks:
I don’t know why the budget / F2P aspect, or the rank aspect keep being brought up precisely. Because I’m afraid people might be misinterpreting my position on this, I’d like to say a couple of things:
First: if it turns out that there is a substantial power difference between “budget” or “F2P” decks and tuned decks, I fully expect that as part of the nature of CCG’s, that broadening your card pool will sharpen your strategies / synergies per mana spent and give you an edge. No big deal.
Second: What rank I get to precisely with my deck isn’t the main point of my post. I do worry that the problems I’m seeing in Silver will get far worse as I rank up and my opponents will play more sophisticated “meta” threats on curve more consistently, which is why my initial post was a “canary in a coal mine” moment as far as I’m concerned. Aside from that, if I like the game (and right now I do) I’ll just roll with the punches and get as high as I can. I’m really not too worried about my rank from a “balance” perspective, but rather from a “personal knowledge” perspective only. And some nice people are taking time out to give me tips on that front, so I see things working themselves out.
As an update, I spent $30 on the game, buying the 10 starter orbs, then the two “bundles” that come with legendary’s / epics. With them I crafted my third Holy Immolation and all three of my Arclyte Regalia (man that card is fun, even if it weren’t usable in any meta deck, I’d still build around that) and have 1200 more spirit for “tech cards”. So that’s my final take on the budget / F2P / rank part of the discussion.
Now as to the other bit of the discussion I find interesting, this idea of uncertainty in answers. I had a nice winning streak going on and my last match before work today broke it. Vanar Mechaz0r. So I was thinking about why this match pissed me off today, and I think it helped focus my feedback on this topic a bit. So it’s like this. Vanar just destroys me, all the time. I only win when the person playing Vanar is just pure awful, otherwise it’s usually not even a fight (they usually end at like 19-23 hp with nothing on my board threatening them).
So I’ve been cataloging answers that help me suck less against Vanar, Bloom for walls, Alchemist if they go buffs / artifacts, tiger because it’s tiger, etc. Right, so I have this giant plate of possible answers to possible threats that Vanar destroys me with, just by their very existence. Usually, Martyrdom, not on that list. So I’m playing Vanar, trying to figure out what to keep in my hand, I think I’m alright. I see a mechaz0r thing and almost flip a table. I spend the rest of the game trying to deal with the mechs on curve, but don’t have efficient answers (at best I go 1 for 1 because so many have 3+ health). The whole time I’m looking for Martyrdom, so I can bloom / martyrdom the Mechaz0r that shows up. I never did get martyrdom, but it wouldn’t have mattered if I did.
I was basically being stunlocked / kited while the Vanar was free to draw cards, keep my board clean, and I would have had to blow two very good removals just to deal with the FREE Mechaz0r. I would have been utterly buried in card advantage despite dealing with the Mechaz0r. So what do I need? Crossbones. But here’s the kicker: how often do Vanar ACTUALLY use ranged units I care about? Not very. Usually it’s walls or super buffs, or big fatties combined with polymorphs / stuns. Etc.
So even if I had Crossbones to deal with Mechaz0r without being 2 for 1’d, would I have known look for / keep it in the first couple of turns, given that my opponent was Vanar? What would I have gotten rid of for it? Bloom? Surprise, they’re a wall build. I could just not develop a board state ever and try packing all answers until I see what they play? This is my point. T4 Mechaz0r is brutal (I mean T4 8/8 hexproof / doesn’t take combat damage would be one hell of a wombo combo in MtG unless Legacy / Vintage, and I’ve heard horror stories of him coming out as early as T2 on Reddit).
Niche threat, requiring a niche answer in a faction that runs so many ridiculous “niche answerable” strategies (no one else runs anything quite like walls that I’ve seen, abyssian swarm is close, but not quite the same level of WTF), and you must furnish the answer by turn 2-4. That’s the thrust of my post here. It’s this aspect of the game that’s annoying me, not the ranked / F2P stuff.