Hiya everyone, Alexicon1 here.
So I’m just going to drop my two cents on what’s going down with the latest change (the addition of set rotations). If you haven’t read the news yet, head on over to https://duelyst.com/news/set-and-rotation-changes and have a read through, what I’m about to say might make more sense then.
Well, down the rabbit hole we go! At first glance, this is a horrible change, cards are being removed from playability on ladder, removed from the Core Set and becoming unable to be pulled from orbs, nerfs to cards. The least controversial part of this is the fact that they are merging Rise of the Bloodborn and Ancient Bonds into Bloodbound Ancients and randomising their orbs so that you can get cards from both sets in the same orb. So that’s where I’m going to start.
Now this is a very good idea, it means that those cards in the 39-card expansions will now be fully craftable/disenchantable, allowing newer players to take some staples like Trinity Oath, Punish and Frigid Corona without having to potentially fork out 3900 gold, and can instead use some spirit instead to get them.
By dropping this wall, it means that if any player wants a card, they can go into their collection and craft it, no questions asked. No barrier, nothing in the way between them and the card they want. That is a very good change, and the fact that they are deciding to include it as a 2017 expansion for the purposes of rotation, means we’ll see these cards for a while yet (i.e Rise of the Bloodborn cards get an extra year). That’s all that needs to be said here, so we’ll move along to a bit of a talking point, the introduction of set rotation.
Arguably the most controversial change by Counterplay since the conversion of 2-draw to 1-draw (at least from a player’s perspective), the introduction of set rotation was greeted with horror very early on. However, upon reflection, however bad this may seem for a few months, this ensures that the game and it’s meta remain fresh for the foreseeable future. Cards have been moved in and out of the core set to ensure that they can still be played, so CPG are futureproofing the viability of some cards.
And even better, these changes will only be reflected in the ranked ladder, meaning that friendlies, Boss Battles and other game modes to be introduced will maintain the entire pool of cards. Sure, you might have a deck that comprises majorly of Shim’Zar cards (playing some dank Pokemaster Starhorn battle pet memes, anyone?), or even some cornerstones of decks and factions (looking at you, Falcius, Sphere of Darkness and Thumping Wave), but in all honesty, this encourages innovation because cards that you would use now need to be replaced. And this does mean that battlepets are no more as of 2018, farewell, you may be missed.
In addition to this, do any of you think that it’s realistic to ask a team at Counterplay to manually review 800 cards when they drop an expansion, and every time they drop an expansion the pool grows larger and larger. What happens when they reach expansion #10 and there are 1500 cards in the game? It would take longer to check all the new cards against the rest of the pool than it would to actually design the cards in the first place.
Sure, it seems lazy to do that (and I’m sure many of you are thinking that they could just balance the game regularly so that doesn’t happen), but do you really want to live with a game that patches every 2-3 days because someone has found two to three cards that mesh so well to be called broken. We know CPG wants to get new players in, so having a world where the game patches regularly would repeatedly sweep the feet out of the newer players who are just trying to stand up and learn the game would be terrible. They are ensuring the health of the game by introducing something that will continuously freshen the meta. Remember, “the green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm”, those who innovate will be better for it. To quote a meme, Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.
Core Set Cleanup
Now this is a change that does freshen up the game. By adding some staples to the core set, and therefore preventing their rotation, CPG has futureproofed some cards. However, by removing some, those cards are now in limbo and will never be pulled from orbs again. Sunstone Templar, Sand Trap, Mark of Solitude and legions of neutrals are being effectively isolated to crafting, including some interesting decisions like Sunsteel Defender and Dioltas which are both very good cards.
The problem is, cards like those can never be played again, any of those cards can never be played again when 2017 ticks over to 2018 Counterplay’s reasoning on this is solid, maintaining the base that newer players can build upon and removing niche cards that can clog the orbs being opened by newer players, with the intention of having at least 3-4 out of the 5 cards drawn being useful in a deck. In all of this, it seems like that veteran players are the ones being cheated, and of course, they’re the voices we hear. This will take getting used to, and it isn’t an easy process. Right, onto the last piece, the actual card changes.
Core Set Card Changes
This is nice, straight up, this is nice. Most problem cards have been addressed (with the exception of Seraphim/Reflection). Aspect, Chromatic Cold and Frostburn (the majority of Vanar’s premier removal) have taken hits, with Aspect/Frostburn costing 1 mana more and CC dealing 1 less damage. In all honesty, this starts to undo the damage that Vanar has with having every answer to anything being played.
Revenant and Saberspine being nerfed is very interesting, there seems to be no reason for it as they weren’t problems, however it may be that Counterplay have cards/mechanics in the works that would make those Rush cards busted (notice Makantor wasn’t touched). This will tank the playrate of those cards, and I’m not surprised if Revenant becomes a 1-of/2-of instead of it’s consistency in Abyssian decks currently.
Saberspine just won’t be played nearly as much, 4 mana is far too much and there are other sources of 3 out of hand damage that come much cheaper. Bloodrage Mask is a solid change, just weakens the early burst potential of Spellhai (not like we’ve seen it though recently). And we know about the Mechaz0r changes, which in all honesty are pretty nice. Warmaster being removed will be the least contentious change of all of this, there’s nothing wrong with it as Warmasters were severely underutilised. As in, never being played underutilised.
Anyway, that’s my thoughts on it all, if you’ve got questions, feel free to message me here or on Discord (Alexicon1 | C67#0939) and I’ll do my best to respond.
Thanks for reading,