Siphon was nerfed today. And it’s sortof a tremendous thing. Simply put, existing Vet archetypes are going to fall apart without Kron as a lynchpin speedbump and Siphon as the turn buying window-maker that it was. With Zen’Rui banished to the 6 slot, the premiere Vet tech card also took a hit. Simply put- this was a nerf patch, and Vetruvian took the biggest hit, no matter how indirect that hit may seem. And yet, I couldn’t be any less upset about it, as someone who enjoys playing Ye Olde Imperium.
TL;DR: OP wants tools that actually make Vetruvian positioning important, distinguish Vet swarm from Abyssian Swarm, and wants to make Fountain of Youth an old Scion’s Second Wish with twice the mana cost. Power levels and meta be damned. (What a scrub amirite?)
Siphon Energy was a band-aid stuck to a gaping wound
Kron was plated armor
Simply put, most Vetruvian spells are dysfunctional. Meaning that have little to no meaningful impact on the game, pushing Vet onto a suite of subpar minions that have a few outstanding examples of utility. But Vet thrives in slugfests because of those outstanding units. Siphon was a bad answer, that gave Vet a way to push their few shining pieces of utility material, and with it’s change to a tempo driven disruption spell, the doors fly open for solidifying Vetruvian’s identity.
The suggestions here have little to do with “power level”- and instead are concerned with rounding out the faction’s soft spots by doing the most Vetruvian thing- turning a weakness into a strength.
Part I: Swarming- A Qualitative Function
Vetruvian squads are fairly good at occupying the board, but tend to lack the necessary tools to “swarm” effectively. This mostly comes from Vetruvian buffs simply being defensive in nature (as opposed to Abyssian’s suite of offensive buffs.) The general shift here is at making the more aggressive Vetruvian minions echo the themes of their slower counterparts- Each piece matters.
3 mana 2/2 DERVISH
Opening Gambit: Summon a copy nearby
Friendly spells that target this are copied for each friendly Orb Weaver
The dysfunction: Orb Weaver… Doesn’t do anything. The design was obviously intended to synergize with with Inner Oasis and Portal Guardian. But in practice, that clogs up the 3 drop slot with 3 subpar cards that don’t do much without one another.
The solution: Tying up loose ends. Vetruvian needs a minion that actually wears buffs well, and functions as some sortof engine with both protective buffs and the few, but difficult offensive buffs. Every Weaver answered is a blow to the engine, but copying Cosmic Flesh and Scion’s First Wish are practical plays that allow aggressive Vetruvian to function without having to have monster tools similar to Banishing Ritual or Void Steal.
2 mana 2/1 BATTLE PET
Dying Wish: Summon an Orb Weaver nearby
The dysfunction: Pax is a very powerful swarm card, but in play leads to one player playing Pax, and the other player positioning to mitigate Pax (usually by making Pax proc during the Battle Pets phase to make sure that the Dervishes come in exhausted.) This makes Pax quite a swing card for Vetruvian aggression, but the excess of material leads to premature pins or disasterous all-in plays that leave the Vetruvian player’s hand in shambles.
The solution: While a blow to Pax’s power level (something these suggestions aren’t concerned with, beyond observation;) this makes Pax play out in funnier, more interactive ways. If the opponent attempts to ignore Pax, the controller gains access to a piece of the Orb Weaver engine. If the opponent answers Pax, AND the token, they have taken additional steps, additional, or specific resources. The threat of a value engine beyond Inner Oasis makes Pax a better roleplayer.
3 mana 3/3 DERVISH
Wind Dervishes enter play as Sand Howlers.
The dysfunction: Sand Howler doesn’t wear defensive buffs well. The dream is to suit this bad boy up with Scion’s Second Wish, and/or Scion’s Third Wish, and let your opponent have it. 3 attack is far too common for this guy to ever put in any actual work, and “Protect the Queen” strategies only really apply to Vetruvian’s General units. Plus, Spellshield is a very Lyonar thing- where Vetruvian minions want to get value out of playing fair.
The solution: Add a much needed piece of support to Allomancer and friends. While this is still exceptionally slow, this changes gears on how Wind Dervishes are played (and supported.) Sand Howlers are bigger, not temporary, but slower than Wind Dervishes. A single Wind Dervish proc, creates a second Sand Howler (which continues to carry the static effect after the first has passed.) This creates massive quality boost in the Dervish generating spells in terms of board development, but also changes them from functional removal into board presence tools (which can, ofcourse- backfire if the Vetruvian player needs the burst damage.) Rather than strictly buffing the archetype, this gives it the ability to “shift gears”.
Part II: Utilities Matter
Vetruvian spells typically vary in effectiveness with each micro decision made by both players. They have a nasty habit of being more expensive than useful, or outright just not having any conceivable application that doesn’t already involve dominating the game (winmore). The goal here, is to transform a couple of spells into key “neutral”, or “reactive” tools that don’t merely “fix” what Vetruvian struggles with like Siphon did. Instead, putting an emphasis on bringing an amount of redundancy into “how Vetruvian deals with X.” The keys here are going to be “Blast Range” and “Damage Prevention”- two tools already in Vetruvian’s kit that offset more major issues (like lacking fast lifegain, or dealing with something out of reach.) No suggestion here will combine the two, because Vetruvian’s weakness to Ranged minions shouldn’t be handled with Ranged “hate” (a’la Crossbones- as faction hate cards are sortof a neutral thing.)
Fountain of Youth
Prevent damage that would be dealt to your General this turn. Draw 2 cards.
The Dysfunction: In it’s current form. FoY is a funny thing.But ultimately, to use it effectively, a player must have such a massive tempo lead, that further board development would make less sense than getting superior trades… Something that fundamentally doesn’t happen in Duelyst unless your opponent is “dead on board”.
A flexible utility spell to fill the chasm. Playing a large number of reactive tools tends to whither the hand, deploying Obelysks requires a level of consistency not obtainable through current means (Spelljammer is the go-to, but occupies those precious 3 drop slots.) Damage prevention is a way that Vetruvian answers things.While this card would likely never be as good as Falcius, since it lacks tempo, and is probably worse than Rite of the Undervault or Heaven’s Eclipse more often than not- it makes up for that by being a (slow) but valuable bit of redundancy in making your Vetruvian deck less susceptible to running out of steam, and more capable of proactively extending your General’s life total. Y’know. A Fountain of Youth.
Clutch of Akkram
(Formerly Sand Trap)
3 mana SPELL
Choose a row nearby your General. Minions on that row take damage equal to your General’s attack.
The Dysfunction: Sand Trap doesn’t do anything. It’s a card geared for MAYBE slowing down golems in Gauuntlet. But on the whole, the card itself is a trap. Occupying a board space, allows your opponent to make 8 tiles, plus the one that is occupied by the immobilized minions difficult to access. This card in turn tends to PUNISH Vetruvian players for caring about positioning by using their own resource to make a portion of the board inaccessible. Nevermind how little other factions care about having a minon that is rooted, thanks to repositioning tools, taunts, or value triggers.
The Solution: Earth Slash, if you’re familiar with Final Fantasy Tactics. This is Blast in spell form. Not a Blast enabler, not a slow or vulnerable minion carrying Blast, not something that gives your general Blast. As a spell, this is simply an effect that Vetruvian needs. “Artifacts matter” empowers it. Reactive tools help to offset future damage are a huge part of playing slow, value oriented minions- and this isn’t a band-aid fix. It doesn’t synergize with Sajj’s BBS like Ankh. It doesn’t lack a mana cost, have infinite range (it often requires a careful movement step to prepare), It’s just a reliable way to discourage your opponent from bunching up behind a ball of body blockers, or in tandem with other tools- answer value oriented problems with similar efficacy to Abyssian. It simply breaks the opponent’s tempo, but gives them the ability to mitigate it with their own careful positioning. Puts a large emphasis on keeping the prime positioning of the middle 3 rows (less corner-play.)
Part III: Positioning (Actually) Matters
Am I the only one who chokes at posts that claim that “positioning is everything to Vetruvian”? Not because there isn’t a granule of truth to that, but because it isn’t a particularly skillful affair with Vet, in the way that it is described to be. “Positioning Matters” is a series of downside-effects dumped onto the opportunity cost of Vetruvian cards. But Vetruvian shares Magmar’s inability to utilize effects that improve mobility around the board (with exception only to Astral Phasing). Flying minions are within Vetruvian’s identity, but they are slow, or pay for the versatility with their HP. Blast and Flying are both potential, but never delivered on, upswings to the “Positioning Matters” element of Vetruvian. The suggestion here only regards one card, with an effect similar to other Vetruvian effects to give necessary counterplay (imagine that )
2 mana 2/3 MINION
Opening Gambit: This turn, units you control may move as though you control all units.
The Dysfunction: Wind Slicer is a highly disappointing, and oddly unflavorful minion. Reducing the cost of Obelysks is strong in theory, but with only 2 playable card Obelysks, and the MASSIVE opportunity cost of playing the 3rd card Obelysk. This guy is often just a spent Mystic/Fist, which is honestly a good baseline. But when did Vetruvian care about cheating mana costs?
The Solution: While experimenting with Psychic Conduit, many players found that the best use of the card was simply to “phase” through an enemy unit to get out of “the box” (a formation that punishes Vetruvian in gross ways.) The solution here is to do something similar, but on a more specific level. This allows Vetruvian units to kite Provoke minions, get out of boxes, and even pursue past a wall of body blockers- using a tool that allows them to properly obtain strong positioning. This also reinforces Vetruvian’s “Tricky” flavoring, and allows the burden of Sillhouette Tracer to become far less all-encompassing. Bonus, it drips with flavor.